By Mohammad Ashfaq
PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has backtracked on its major education policy decision under which the teachers once appointed will not be transferred and will remain at the same school till retirement.
The Khyber Pal(htunl(hwa Assembly on Friday unanimously passed the Khyber Pal(htunl(hwa Employees of the Elementary and Secondary Education Department (Appointment and Regularisation of Services) Bill, 2017, paving the way for the regularisation of around 37,000 schoolteachers,who were initially appointed as non-transferable teachers.
After the installation of PTI-led provincial government in 2013, it had decided that the fresh appointment of teachers would be made under a condition that their services would be non-transferable to ensure the teachers` availability in the schools.
At that time many schools located in the rural areas of the province were short of staff as the teachers would use their political influence to transfer their services to the urban and semi-urban areas. However, the PTI had decided that fresh teachers appointed in a school would not be transferred to other schools until their retirement with the intention to end the political influence in the education department and ensure teachers` availability in the far-off areas.However, this aspect of the education policy is not reflected in the law passed by the house on Friday under which the contract teachers were regularised, who are basically appointed under the `nontransferable` policy.
Sources in the education department said that earlier the department had prepared a bill in which it was mentioned that such teachers would not be transferred, but later it bowed to the pressure of the teachers` union opposing the school-based appointment policy.
`In the advertisements and the appointment letters of the 37,000 teachers we had mentioned that their services would be non-transferable and based in the schools of their first appointment, recalled one of the district education officers.
The regularised teachers were appointed after 2013 till now on ad hoc or contract basis by the education department through theNational Testing Service.
Under the original bill tabled in the assembly, an employee has to be regularised from the day of the commencement of this law. However, MPA Mufti Fazl Ghafoor of JUI-F later introduced an amendment proposing the regularisation of the employees from the day of their appointment.
The amendment was incorporated in the law after the house`s approvalthroughvoting.
Law minister Imtiaz Shahid tabled the bill for the regularisation of teachers which was passed unanimously. He also tabled the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Buildings (Management Control and Allotment) Bill, 2017.
The house also passed a resolution demanding of the federal government to merge the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa immediately. The resolution was tabled by the law minister, which was unani-mously passed by the house. It was also signed by Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Mohammad Atif Khan, Minister for Zakat and Ushr Habibur Rehman, PPP MPA Nighat Orakzai, ANP MPA Sardar Hussain Babak and others.
In the resolution, the law minister demanded of the federal government to amend the relevant section of the Constitution for merging Fata with KP in the best interest of the tribal people.
However, after passage of the resolution JUI-F MPA Mufti Said Janan opposed the merger of Fata with KP, terming it an act against the wishes of tribal people. He said that the merger of Fata was a serious issue which couldn`t be resolved immediately. It requires proper consultations and consent of the masses living in the tribal areas, he said. The chair adjourned the session till March 15.–Dawn
By Mohammad Ashfaq