LAHORE - Teachers from across the province have demanded the government to stop privatising the public schools, and increase their salaries.

Hundreds of Punjab Teachers’ Union members staged a protest demonstration outside the Punjab Assembly building yesterday and threatened to prolong their protest on The Mall until their demands are met.

They say the privatisation of public schools is equal to damaging state structure of education.

“The government has been deliberately trying to obliterate the network of public schools all over the province. Schools that performed well have been handed over to Punjab Education Foundation or Danish Schools in the name of Centre of Excellence,” they added.

Holding banners ad placards inscribed with their demands, the protesting teachers also chanted slogans against the government.

Heavy contingents of police reached The Mall which was blocked by the protestors for traffic. However the police refrained from dispersing the teachers and kept them confined there. Motorists, however, faced great difficulties on the busy road which is already overburdened due to the construction of Orange Line.

The union leaders said despite their peaceful protests the government privatised many government institutions. The government vowed to revise teachers’ basic pay scales but nothing has been done in this regard to date, he regretted.

They blamed the policies of the Literacy and Numeracy Drive (LND) and the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) for compelling them to take to the streets. The School Education Department (SED) secretary had assured them that no action would be taken against teachers from schools that under performed in LND tests. However, the PTU said, the pledge had not been honoured and the government continued to take punitive action against teachers. They threatened to continue their protest till their lawful demands were met.