By Nasira Jabeen
For a portrayal of the gnawing anxiety of the appointment order awaited Secondary School Teachers (SSTs), Paulo Coelho’s saying, ‘waiting is painful, forgetting is painful, not knowing what to do is the worst kind of feeling’, wins at a canter. None other but the test qualified starry-eyed SSTs better comprehend the pangs of such long lapse of time, uncertainty and indecisiveness.
The government SST posts aspirants—upon the announcement of a number of the said posts both for males and females in late 2014– high spiritedly braced themselves for a productive performance in the NTS test. On 3rd and 4th January 2015 both Science and General Candidates appeared in the test alternately with reliance enough on the testing service’ speedy proceedings to cultivate hope for their equally speedy recruitments.
Being one of its kinds (and here we are grateful) the NTS results were known the same day and were officially declared few days later. Their system being such as no single result could be questioned. But what possessed the short listed candidates to assure themselves of their timely appointments in the first place without any hitch having arisen is determined by the unpredictable nature of the state system as a whole. What unexpected things turn up here, there is no telling. Whereas the law and justice is often tardy here in safeguarding the rights of the people, the recruitments in the teaching field of the educational sector after a downright and transparent testing and interviews have more often than not been done within a convenient time frame. But things turn and rotate here and there the 2015 SST appointments are tangled in the unexpected in their turn.
What oppresses is why no any remedy, no resolution is genuinely sought to do away with the hindrances leisurely placed in the way?
Every adjustment on NTS’ part, including the display of school wise provisional and final merit list was duly done. All districts education offices too completed the customary processes in the wake and after a thorough scrutiny of each candidate’s merit position against the applied schools eventually came up with a definite placement list to be sent to the Directorate of Elementary and Secondary Education Peshawar. One month and half passed since the dispatch; by no means is any appointment letter to arrive.
The in-service teachers’ promotion issue (the government without promoting them announced the disputed posts) and their opposition to the new posts on which footing has stood out annoyingly as an impasse. Why this issue was not dealt with before hand? And I marvel any reason whatever is let to influence the almost completed process, after such a major expenditure of money, time and energy in the lofty pursuit of cherry-picking eligible teachers to frame the nation’s future. I marvel how it sat so ill upon the protestors as to make them brush aside the consciousness about the future of the millions of children across the country. They are to equip with proper modern education to ensure their healthy and civilized survival; they are to prepare an invaluable nation of; from their minds it is to shake off the national static and corrupt mode of thinking; it is to be seen that they must not fall short of the ideal; in short, they are to make much of as a nation so as to witness a peaceful Pakistan. These can merely come true through imparting to today’s generation the right and inclusive education providing for their overall development. And competent teachers solely claim this noble credit.
No doubt then in the face of all these, catering to one’s own interest and turning stumbling block in the way of the appointments of the saviors of the nation can be but termed as a leisurely strategy superlatively selfish. Their interest could have been considered if it was of the worth. These protesting teachers could have done without fretting the to-be inducted SSTs. They could be compensated with by the government in terms of facilities and increment and other benefits. As the PTI government is putting its every endeavor for justice to reign and education is paid particular heed. Imran Khan’s stance on the Worker Welfare Board’s teachers issue is remarkable. His decision of carrying out investigation (by NAB) into recruitment of the employees and of conducting NTS test to appoint teachers on merit to teach the children of the poor advocate his meritorious policies.
The in-service teachers’ plea of promotion being entered the Supreme Court the SSTs are to but wait for the time’s wingless chariot plodding slow now. With so many other grave cases in the progress, the slow proceeding is inevitable, especially with our context.
The provincial government was to deliberate on this issue earlier but it did not and resultantly ensued the recent plight and uncertainty and concern of the SSTs. Instead of getting appointed a month ago they still are waiting and it appear that May too will pass in vain with the election time approaching. They therefore, have steadied their gaze on June which month at all cost must herald their appointment orders.
They must not be let usurped of their rights. The fear of usurpation and suppression amassed in the minds of the country’s masses needs to be dispelled forcefully. The general thought thrived in our part of the world that here, ‘your right is not given when you ask for it, but it is to be snatched’ (yahan haq mangne se nhi milta, chehnna parta hai) is to be as forcefully uprooted from its core settlement. Why there comes the need of snatching? If it is one’s right and is achieved by adopting the righteous course and after a hard struggle one should not be made to put further strenuous exertion necessary for the ‘snatching’, to actually attain it in solid. In a world of humanity it is provided at door step.
If it were the situation with our country, the poor teachers would not face the troubles they are encountering now. From hiring a lawyer to exhausting time and money, from seeking ministers to arranging countless meetings, all for a favour for a right in theory secured already.
On behalf of the 2015 SSTs awaiting for their appointment letters and through this esteemed paper I want the district authorities and provincial government to take this issue into serious consideration and make every effort to accelerate their actions towards achieving a judicious solution for it. Sparks of sympathy must be mustered for the wandering teachers and their appointment must be brought round early the next month.
By Nasira Jabeen