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Ad-hoc lecturers uncertain future

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Ad-hoc lecturers uncertain future
« on: January 02, 2009, 02:13:29 PM »
Ad-hoc lecturers uncertain future
600 ad-hoc lecturers face uncertain future

Karachi, Jan 02: The fate of more than 600 ad-hoc lecturers, including teachers of the Sindhi language, hangs in the balance as their services have neither been regularised nor extended as the three-month extension in their service given them earlier has expired.

Besides them, there are 700 more lecturers, selected after written tests and interviews conducted almost a year ago by a committee that had a representative of the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) on it, who are scrambling to get their posting orders despite possessing appointment letters.

The ad-hoc lecturers (around 500 general subject teachers and over 118 of the Sindhi language) have been posted in various government colleges across Sindh for the last four years.

Giving a breakdown of the present posting of the ad-hoc lecturers, sources said that of the around 500 ad-hoc lecturers of general subjects, 89 male and 78 female lecturers were serving in public sector colleges of the Karachi region; 68 male and 61 female in the Hyderabad region, 20 male and 13 female in the Mirpurkhas region, 29 male and 20 female in the Larkana region and 68 male and 36 female were posted in the colleges of the Sukkur region. Besides, there are in all 118 ad-hoc lecturers of the Sindhi language who are posted in colleges across the province.

They were initially appointed on a three-year contract when Irfanullah Marwat was the provincial education minister. Since the expiry of their three-year service last year, the Sindh education department has continuously been granting extension in their service to overcome the acute shortage of college teachers throughout the province. The last extension in service grated to both categories of ad-hoc lecturers was for three months - from Aug 1 to Oct 31, 2008 in the case of ad-hoc lecturers of general subjects and from Aug 16 to Nov 15 for the ad-hoc lecturers of Sindhi.

However, it was shocking that although more than two months had lapsed since the expiry of the extension granted in the service of both categories the provincial education department has taken no concrete steps concerning the fate of the ad-hoc lecturers.

Sources in the education department said that a summary, recommending a last and final extension of three months (from November to January) in services of both categories of ad-hoc lecturers, had already been prepared for the consideration of the Sindh chief minister, but the ad-hoc lecturers were highly perturbed about their future in case the proposed extension in their service proved the last one.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association's Karachi chapter general secretary, Prof Iftikhar Azmi, said that the provincial SPLA had already fixed Jan 15 as the deadline for the acceptance of its demands which include regularisation of all ad-hoc lecturers and some other lingering issues, and if the education department failed to accept their demands by the deadline, the teaching community would launch a campaign for the acceptance of its demands and the government would be held responsible in case their drive resulted in disturbing the peaceful atmosphere of colleges in the province.

Expressing his concern over the delay in regularising the services of all ad-hoc lecturers and in giving posting to the SPSC-selected teachers, he said it was beyond one's comprehension why the government was hesitating in accommodating these lecturers when there was a shortage of around 2,600 college teachers across the province.

He said it would not be for the first time in case the present government decided to regularise service of ad-hoc lecturers because the previous governments had also regularised services of ad-hoc lecturers at least on four occasions, in 1973, 1989, 1992 and 1994, and it was a coincidence that the PPP was in power whenever services of ad-hoc lecturers were regularised.

He said the teaching community would not have faced such problems if PPP leader Benazir Bhutto were alive. Dawn