Teachers’ issue in FATA Remains Unresolved

PESHAWAR:11 May:The first quarter of the academic year is almost over while schools in Federally Administered Tribal Areas remain closed as teachers take to the streets everyday but there seems to be no solution in sight. While the FATA Secretariat, under its rationalisation plan, is trying to “rectify the wrongs” of many a decade, the sufferers are once again none but people of the tribal areas. Like Fata, its administration is an anomaly, by example of the education department, the teachers are mostly from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and work in the tribal areas on deputation basis. Under the rules, any changes that apply to the teaching staff in K-P will apply to Fata. But that has not happened since 2012 and now the demand is not just for the upgradation but also the arrears that have been pending. While the FATA Secretariat is not very comfortable to open up and explain their policy, officials say upgradation is not a possibility because of the lack of budgetary allocations for Fata. They said they want to send some teachers home and close down some schools because their presence is “irrational”, to put it in the simplest of terms. They are either waiting to lay off some of them or if that is not possible to put some of them. On the streets The teachers first closed down roads in their respective agencies and then took to the streets in Peshawar. For the last 20 days they have been protesting in Islamabad. The irony is that even the lawmakers from Fata are protesting alongside them, but there has been no single reply from the machinery that governs Fata, not even a one liner or a syllable uttered.Dawn.