Over 3000 schools in Balochistan are closed due to the teachers’ shortage crisis gripping the region, the Junior Teachers’ Association said in a press conference in Quetta. The association said that teachers are employed for the sole purpose of teaching and training the children, but they are frequently called to serve on duties that do not align with their training and line of work.
Association president Muhammad Yousaf Kakar presided at the press conference in Quetta Press Club. He said that over 3000 schools are closed due to the shortage of teachers, and many of the teachers are frequently overworked outside of their line of work. He said that government calls on teachers on duties during the national census and general elections, which has exacerbated the teachers’ shortage.
He said that a teacher has the sole purpose of teaching and preparing the next generation of students. Unfortunately, in Balochistan, the teachers are also expected to serve in various government departments alongside teaching.
Kakar said that the government had frozen the salaries of 170 permanent teachers on unsound allegations. The court ordered a judicial inquiry into the matter and found the teachers innocent of any malcontent, thus reinstating their salaries. He said that despite the court order, the education department is yet to pay the salaries to these teachers.
Kakar lamented that there are numerous bureaucratic hurdles in the teachers’ way, such as the first posting system, the transfer posting system and the retirement cluster budget. He said that the government should introduce an online system to expedite the process and make life easier for teachers. He also stressed that the teachers are willing to work duties outside their line of work during the national elections and census, but they should at least be informed before they are posted to different districts.
Kakar said that the government should treat the teachers are the architects of the country’s future, not as servants.
The Junior Teachers’ Association appealed to the Balochistan Chief Minister and Chief Secretary to stop the transfer of the teachers and other employees of the education department to Quetta. The association announced that its workers would hold demonstrations in Turbat, Sibbi, Dhadar and Quetta for the cause.
The association warned the government that if its demands are not fulfilled, the teachers would boycott the upcoming national census and the matriculation exams, and close the educational institutions in protest.