ISLAMABAD - After becoming victim of various obstructions in the way to resolve their problems, junior lady teachers (JLTs) have no way out than to formulate their own association.

It is a reality that they are the backbone of the whole educational set-up running under the model colleges in the capital metropolis. These teachers in fact provide the base for the whole system by brushing up kids and setting their educational position for advance studies in the higher classes. JLTs are roughly overburdened but less rewarded in terms of salaries, promotion and job security. They are discouraged to request for any casual leave. Beside regular teaching activities, they perform extra duties as there is no task force to conduct admission tests and new induction at the start of a term. Rather the admission of new students continues all over the educational years and JLTs are busy in the admission procedures that further make their life miserable.

“Finding no other solution, the Junior Lady teachers of Islamabad Model colleges, at last, are compelled to form an association in order to protect their rights. They realise after non-compliance of Prime Minister’s directive regarding upgradation of JLTs,” said Farzana Akram, a representative of JLTs and a candidate for the office of information secretary, after attending an emergent meeting of JLTs called for the formulation of  a union body which was held at Islamabad Model College for Boys, G-11/1 on Saturday.

“The package announced by the Prime Minister on November 8, 2010, was no doubt reflection of his vision for the cause of education and complete understanding of the importance of teachers in the process of uplifting the society through education but the prolonged and prevailing situation regarding upgradation resulted in aggravation of the issue of JLTs.

In response to IHC notice, however, Ministry of Capital Administration and Development  on May 25 has notified upgradation of JLTs adopting the same nomenclature notified for Trained Graduate Teachers (TGTs) of F.G schools. Now both the JLTs of model setup and the TGTs of F.G setup have titled as SSTs (Secondary School Teachers). JLT’s were promoted with the nomenclature as secondary school teachers (SSTs) is now a victim of ifs and buts. This nomenclature exists in F.G Schools as they are teaching secondary classes but not in the Model Colleges because JLTs are teaching only primary section.” Farzana added.

Rehana Farhat Kiyani, a candidate for president ship of JLT association said, “First of all JLTs were out rightly excluded from this upgradation process; but from the back hard, that is, they were promoted on emergency basis in response to honorable court notice, ignoring the all technicalities and modalities. This is in fact, immediate result of the writ petition in IHC representing 109 JLTs out of 280. The Islamabad High Court issued the notices to FDE and CADD on May 18 with the instructions to expedite finalization of the case and the progress be reported within 15 days. Had there been a way out, it would never have happened that JLTs are raising vice for their rights and form an association. Not only this, a chain of hurdles are also there to plunge across before reaching the goal”. Another JLT said, “The authorities at AGPR will object on our new nomenclature because we are not “Secondary School Teachers” at all.  This chaotic situation is created by education wing of CAD which never had a soft corner for JLTs”. After formulation of our association, we will expose the officials who leave no stone unturned in bringing about bad name for the present democratic government and dismantle their efforts towards uplifting and improvement in social and financial status of the Junior Lady Teachers”.

Another JLT maintained that as we were without any association or union body to raise the voice as such the Headmistresses and Principals of the colleges treated us as class IV or labourers.

JLTs are threatened of forced transfers to odd locations. This is quite amazing that the Junior Lady Teachers of Islamabad Model colleges have been made victim of discriminatory behaviour. No one listens to our issues.’ Another JLT expressed her concern over red-tapism of the recruitment process. She pointed out that ‘vacant posts are not pursued and communicated to the FPSC in a timely manner. This is done intentionally to allow the administration to hire the daily wager cheaper staff who can be so easily threatened and victimised’.