Guidelines sought after teachers transfer ban lifted

Lahore: With a view to avoid pressure from the elected representatives for transfers/postings of schoolteachers the Punjab Schools Department has moved a summary to the Chief Minister seeking approval on certain issues involving the whole process.

According to the sources, each time the ban was lifted the department had to face pressure from MPAs and MNAs regarding transfers/postings of teachers serving in schools of their respective constituencies.

"Without a clear-cut policy it is impossible to stand against politicians," remarked one of the officials. "The guidelines will certainly help to streamline the whole process," he said adding, "These will also ensure transparency."

Talking anonymously, the department officials said it had been proposed that teacher serving on single post would not be transferred unless a substitute was available, adding that similarly criteria would be followed for transfers of head teachers.

They added that it had also been proposed that the transfer seeking teachers should have fulfilled a minimum tenure of three years in a particular school.

They said that in absence of Chief Minister's directions the department high-ups especially Executive District Officers (Education) could succumb to pressure exercised by the political leaders while transferring/posting a teacher.

The sources however said that transfer cases were being processed on CM directives, adding that another reason for not formally lifting the ban was ongoing recruitment of educators.

They said that contrary to the Schools Department, the Higher Education Department was processing the cases of transfers/postings ever since the government lifted the ban a couple of days back.

Higher Education Department Acting Secretary Ahad Khan Cheema said that the department had formed a policy regarding transfer of single post teachers so that those who had been serving on a particular post over the years and could not get transferred could be facilitated.

He said newly appointed lecturers of few subjects were being adjusted against the post where a single teacher was serving for the last many years.

However, a schoolteachers' representative, Rana Liaqat, claimed though the Schools Department had not lifted ban on transfers yet those influential especially politicians were getting their favourites transferred.

He said transfers under wedlock policy were never banned, adding that it was only under tenure of this government that a ban was imposed on transfers on basis of wedlock. He said rules should be same for everyone.

When contacted, Minister for Education Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman said transfers against vacant posts were being processed while hardship cases were also being processed.

He said formal ban by the Schools Department would be lifted after approval of summary from the Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif.