KARACHI - Political considerations were more at play than merit in the appointment of teachers in Hyderabad district by the Sindh education department. According to reliable information available as many as 204 teachers out of 416 available posts were appointed directly on alleged political connections without appearing in any test. While out of the total posts 212 were appointed on merit after passing through a stiff test held recently. IBA campus Sukkur had conducted test for these candidates. A number of calls were made to the relevant officers of education department but no one was available and those who came in contact through telephone refused to give any comment or accept that the JST teachers were given appointments on political grounds and considerations. An effort was also made through the PRO to contact the education minister, but his cell phone would not respond. It is, however, unfortunate that both, those who were successful on merit and those who were given the appointment without appearing in a test were still waiting for their salaries for over last three months. However, the shocking part of the appointment of teachers was selecting the candidate on political grounds without their being through any written test as was obligatory when the posts were advertised soon after the new provincial government took over after Feb 18 elections. Sources said that more than 400 vacancies of Junior School Teachers were lying vacant in Hyderabad district for the past several years. During the tenure of previous regime, there was no appointments of teachers for reasons unknown. But as soon as the new PPP government took over the administration, it announced that 50,000 job would be given under the much trumpeted employment scheme. Appointments of JST teachers were part of that big employment exercise. IBA Sukkur was given task to conduct test, which was held according to the rules and regulation and as many as around 212 teachers passed through the examinations and were given appointment letters. However, no such exercise was conducted to fill the remaining posts and the EDO Education Hyderabad Muzaffar Shah allegedly directly appointed 137 in the first instalment and 67 in the second, instead of taking any written test. It was alleged all those appointed directly were given the job on political affiliations or connections. An inquiry was conducted when malpractice and allegations of bribery came to the surface in the appointments of teachers in Hyderabad district. Sources said that Nazim Hyderabad set up a three-member inquiry committee to look into the allegations and pinpoint the individuals and officers/ officials who had allegedly made bonanza in issuing appointment letters. During the inquiry, the committee found out that not only 137 but 67 more candidates were given appointment letters in Middle Schools on political grounds in clear violation of the procedure laid down by the education department. The committee also identified the officials and officers who were allegedly involved in issuing appointment letters and it recommended stringent action against those found guilty and withdrawal/cancellation of these appointments. But shockingly instead of taking to task the official for bringing the PPP government in disrepute with their illegal actions, some influential official who had connections in provincial echelons managed to block any action as the inquiry proposed. Sources said that out of turn promotions were also given to the Subject Specialists in education department on political grounds, which created heartburn among those deserving and who had no political access. On the other hand posting on detailment continued and to oblige their bosses or political influential figures, the officers made transfers/detailment verbally without any written orders.