Lahore:Ombudsman of Punjab, Khalid Mehmood, has ordered to pay the salary to the teachers, serving in private education institutions, for the period of vacation and pay salary above the minimum level of wages, fixed by the government for labourers/workers. Private Schools are exploiting teachers as they have no job security, no medical care and no retirement benefit. They are qualified teachers but being paid less than the wages fixed for the labourers/workers.
In an order on the application of Ms. Um-ul-Baneen, a resident of Wahdat Road, Lahore, Ombudsman concluded that the owners of some of the private institutions have, over the years, turned too powerful and the Education Department appears to have lost the will and the capacity to impose and check or to enforce any discipline through legislation.
Ms. Um-ul-Baneen,stated as an educated young person she wanted to adopt teaching as a career. She approached several Private Schools and offered to serve as a teacher but was frustrated to find that those Private Schools were following a policy based on exploitation of teachers. For instance, as against minimum wages of Rs. 7,000/- per month fixed by the Government for labourers/workers, the Private Schools were paying only Rs. 3,500/- to qualified teachers. The teacher did not enjoy job security and were not allowed to sit on chair during working hours. They were also not paid any salary during vocation whereas full tuition fee for three months of summer vocation, was received in advance from the students. Original degrees/certificates of those teachers were kept in possession to force them to work in the school against their will. No medical care or any retirement benefit was provided to the teachers serving in Private Teaching Institutes.
Ombudsman Punjab deputed Mian Muhammad Afzal (Advisor) as Investigating Officer who has called report from concern authorities and joint hearing was also arranged. Secretary School Education and DPI (SE) reported that the private schools were registered under Punjab Private Educational Institutions (Promotion and Regulation) Ordinance, 1984 and the rules framed there under. On the directions of C.M, a committee had been constituted to formulate recommendations in respect of privately managed schools and that the matter would be placed before the Provincial Cabinet after consulting all stakeholders.
Ombudsman Punjab ordered Secretary Labour, to design a plan for provision of medical care and pension benefits to teachers of private schools with the consultation of Punjab Employees Social Security Institution and Education Department and issue definite/clear instructions in this regard. He also ordered Secretary School Education and DPI (SE) to formulate recommendations for an amendment in the existing law and ensure by taking practical steps that the teachers in private schools/institutions are paid salary above the minimum level of wages (fixed for workers) and no teacher is deprived of salary for the period of vacation.