Fw: Pakistan Teachers Under Attack

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at gmx.net
Fri Jul 26 02:18:58 MDT 2002


This just came from the Labour Party Pakistan:

> De-Nationalization of Educational Institutions in Pakistan & it's
> Repercussions
>
> Please send your protest letters:
>
> An Appeal from All Pakistan Professors and Lecturers Association
>
> A Province-Wide unrest and agitation against the decision of the Punjab
> government to denationalization and privatize the educational institutions
on 8th
> July is continuing. The movement is lead by the teacher's community of the
> province. Why was this drastic step taken by the provincial government is
> still a big question mark? The haste and timing of the policy makes it all
more
> suspicious and smacks of conspiracy and ill will.
>
> Was it the pressure of the international donor agencies or a deliberate
ploy
> of the policy makers to bring bad name to the present regime, remains to
be
> seen? All the teachers unions have formatted a joint action committee. The
> JAC has successfully organized protest meetings across the province
(Punjab).
> In these meetings thousands of male and female teachers have participated.
It
> seems that government measure to denationalization the educational
> institutions have unit all the teachers form primary school to post
graduate colleges
> on one point agenda, to oppose privatization.
>
> Background
>
> A bird's eye view of the history of education in Pakistan brings to fore
the
> high handedness and callous approach of the private sector. The
> pre-nationalization scene is replete with the financial exploitation of
teachers, fake
> and bogus salary structure, appointments of unqualified staff and no job
> security for the teaching and other staff in the private sector.
>
> The standards of education were fast deteriorating, till unrest and
> discontent among the teachers and students reached a crescendo in the 1968
agitation
> against Ayub Khan's military dictatorship where a popular slogan was the
> demand for nationalization of education.
>
> This lead to the establishment of a probe committee by the Yahya Khan
> government to ascertain the genuineness of this demand. Under these
circumstances,
> the succeeding government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1972 was forced to
carry
> out the nationalization of education vide martial law regulation 118,
later
> ratified by the national assembly of Pakistan.
>
> These nationalized institutions were granted a sum of Rs.180 billion
during
> the 30 years period between 1972-2002. The old buildings were expanded.
Some
> altogether new ones were constructed. Fresh recruitments were made some of
> the best results have been produced by these nationalized institutions
over the
> years.
>
> The denationalization and privatization policy was under taken a few years
> back when 53 schools were returned to the former owners, managements and
> missionaries. An immediate resentment and displeasure was recorded by the
various
> representative bodies of the teaching community, pointing out the
disastrous
> repercussions of such a policy.
>
> The sitting govt. made assurances regarding the new fee structures, job
> security of the staff members and the use of school property only for the
purpose
> of education. All proved hollow and futile as the properties were sold for
> commercial purposes, the staff was removed and the fees were raised, to
around
> thirty times of the former in same cases. Same happened in the case of
> colleges, which were granted so called autonomy during the 1990's.
>
> The situation will not be different this time around as the govt. has
issued
> a notification for denationalization and privatization of 82 out of 379
> colleges of Punjab including 16 major colleges of Lahore, and more then
2000
> schools. This policy is a clear indication that thousands of teachers will
lose
> their jobs, adding to the unemployment already rampant in the country.
>
> Education, primary, secondary and higher, will become out of reach of the
> large sections of society due to unbearable raise in the fee structures.
The
> poor sections of the society will be the worst hit because of this anti
people
> policy.  Billions of rupees worth of state property will be sold, breeding
> more corruption in the society. Moreover, this ill planned and ill-advised
step
> will create dangers for the national security and solidarity.
>
> We demand an immediate review of this lethal policy. The government
should
> use its good sense and save the teachers, the students, the parents and
the
> society from complete disaster.
>
> WE EXPECT THE SUPPORT AND ACTIVE COOPERATION OF THE MEDIA, THE HUMAN
RIGHTS
> GROUPS, AND THE TEACHERS UNIONS ACROSS GLOBE   AND THE INTERNATIONAL
> COMMUNITY TO SAVE EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN FROM TOTAL DISASTER AND
CATASTROPHE.
>
> comradely yours,
>
> Raja Mehboob
> Information Secretary
> Punjab Professors & Lecturers Association (Pakistan)
> E-Mail: ppla786 at hotmail.com
>
> Please send your protest letters to
>
> Chief Executive
> Write to:
>
> General Pervez Musharraf
> President of Pakistan
> CE Secretariat, Islamabad
> Email: ce at pak.gov.pk
> Fax: 92-51-9201051
>
> Federal Minister Education
>
> Zubaida Jilala
> E-mail: pak at yahoo.com
> Fax Number 92 51 9202851
>
> Governor of Punjab
> Khalid Maqbool
> Governor Punjab
> Governor House, Lahore
> Fax: 92-42-9200077


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