LAHORE - Some 3,360 College Teachers Interns (CTIs), recruited by the Punjab government under the Youth Development Programme, have been waiting for their monthly stipend for four months, TheNation has learnt.

The CTIs had been hired by the Punjab Higher Education Department in September 2012 in different public sector colleges of the province against the vacant posts. The CTIs have been told after joining that their salaries would be paid after the end of the academic year. “We have been told by the college administrations that our salaries would be paid by the government after May 2013. We have been recruited in September for the nine-month academic year and we had not been told at the time of recruitment for so much delay in release of our monthly stipend,” said a CTI while talking to TheNation.

It is not for only this year but the salaries of CTIs have been paid at the end of the academic year since the programme was launched. However, some CTIs have not been paid their stipend for the last academic year of 2011-12, the CTI further said.

“The CTIs are uncertain about their payments in case the incumbent Punjab government is no more after March 2013 since this government is promising them to release salaries in May 2013,” he said.

A female CTI said the Punjab government always claimed of bringing about a revolution in education sector but what a joke that on one side it was spending billions on schemes like provision of free laptops and other such tangible schemes but on the other hand it was not releasing the salaries of the CTIs, who were suffering unemployment since long.

The Punjab government hired these teachers to overcome shortage of teachers at colleges via CTI Selection Committee comprising relevant college principal, a deputy secretary of Punjab Higher Education Department and a subject specialist.

According to the agreement, the CTIs were notified that they would be paid Rs 15,000 per month. These teachers are master degree holder and doing the duties of a full lecturer against the mere salaries. But, it is add to insult on injury to pay them this amount after a nine month working.

A college principal, requesting anonymity, told this scribe that despite their requests, Higher Education Department was delaying the issue of payment of salaries of CTIs. He said these teachers were working better than the regular ones but they were disappointed in this situation. He, however, said they had told the CTIs verbally that they would be paid their stipend at the end.

An official of the Punjab HED told TheNation that there were some financial issues due to which they have delayed the salaries. However, he claimed that the salaries of CTIs of Faisalabad and Rawalpindi divisions have been released. “We will release salaries of the teachers of Lahore division very soon after that will do same to the other divisions,” he added. The official said that they the HED would scrutinise the CTIs as the department thought that the colleges had hired more than needed.