Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Karachi Saturday, July 5—July 11, 2008
By A Correspondent
GILGIT: More than 300 teachers of Aga Khan Education Service (AKES-P), the largest private sector education system in Gilgit-Baltstan, staged a sit-in outside its head office against what they called discrimination with teaching staff and for increase in their salaries. The teachers, serving in 127 Diamond Jubilee schools, were demanding immediate settlement of issues pending for the last 20 years. The protesters were carrying banners inscribed with slogans against AKES management and seeking their removal staged a sit-in for four hours as an arbitrator committee comprising of local people mediated to resolve the matter amicably. The protesting teachers and the management held three inconclusive rounds of talks to end the sit-in but to no avail. Later, addressing a hurriedly called press conference the leaders of DJ Teachers Association said that the AKES lacked transparent policy of indcutions and promotion of teachers. The secretary-general of the teachers body, Gharib Ali and vice-president Sultan Ali told journalists that the teach staff of the AKES had been worst example of exploitation of the management and there is no opportunity of promotion for teacher. They demanded of privileges at par with government departments and said the community funds are spent on useless activities in hotel in the name of academic development. The leaders of association demanded immediate stop of illegal appointments and unde promotions as well as regularization of contract employees forthwith so that they could focus on their professional duties. The leaders demanded of the management reasonable increase in provident fund, family health insurance, gratuity, annual increment. They said the teachers of DJ schools were fell into inferiority complex and their ego is badly hurt. When contacted General Manager AKES-P North Jan Madad he said the management agrees in principal what they demand but the way they have come up with is quite uncivilized and such tactics would not be encouraged at all. He said AKES-P is not a profit earning organization and it is dependant. He said there were eight hundred teachers in the north and only three hundred were protesting. He said a criteria is in place for induction and promotion and most of them were not happy with that because they had to undergo the process which is quite tough.