A discord between teachers and the government over the issuance of an amended Local Government Ordinance to separate the education sector from the local government has led to the closure of all 390 schools in the federal capital, affecting around 200,000 students. Teachers are accusing the government that the amended ordinance could pave a way for political meddling in the education sector. The protesters argue that after devolving the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to the local government, the teachers and other employees would be deprived of many benefits, which they were currently availing because of their status as federal government employees. Teachers have threatened to continue their strike till the acceptance of their demands. If teachers sweat to impart education to students, then it should be the government’s responsibility to take care of its teachers. These men and women devote their lives to give all students an education. There should be a way to repay them and at the very least increase their pay and address their other legitimate demands.
There have been negotiations between the education authorities and representatives of teachers’ bodies, but so far, they have been unable to reach a compromise. If the impasse was not resolved, then there is a likelihood that students’ education would suffer and it could lead to more chaos in the education sector. It is sheer injustice on the part of the concerned authorities that has forced teachers to come on the roads for the acceptance of their demands. Teachers are a respectable community in society and their grievances need immediate redress. It is hoped that the government will sit with teachers to address their legitimate demands. Education is not merely a matter of priority for Pakistan; it is also the future of the country. Government needs to give due attention and incentives on par with high-level government officials to teachers for promotion of education and eradication of illiteracy.