Lahore: A protest against privatization of public schools continued on Sunday as hundreds of school teachers decided to stage a sit-in outside Punjab Assembly after talks with the provincial government remained unsuccessful on Saturday.
The protesters spent the night outside the assembly and refused to end the sit-in until their demands are met.
Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) had given the call for the demo in which despite hot weather male and female teachers from the neighbouring districts also participated and expressed strong resentment over Schools Department’s policies especially the recent one under which public sector primary schools are being handed over to private sector, including NGOs, on the ‘pretext of poor performance.’
The PTU leaders recently had pointed out some good performing schools were being handed over to the NGOs and had termed the move a conspiracy to jeopardise the whole system of public education.
The protesting teachers chanted slogans and vowed to continue their protest till the acceptance of their demands, including upgrade of teachers.
PTU President Sajjad Akbar Kazmi who led the demo said the chief minister instead of listening to bureaucracy should listen to the real stakeholders, the teachers. He said the gathering of hundreds of teachers was a proof of the fact that there was a great unrest among schoolteachers owing to the Schools Department’s policies.
Sajjad Kazmi, Rana Liaqat, Jam Sadiq, Ch Sarfraz, Rana Anwaar and other leaders said the good performing schools were also being handed over to Punjab Daanish Schools and Centres of Excellence Authority to turn the same as ‘centres of excellence’ despite the fact these schools were already performing well.