GILGIT: Educational activities in colleges came to a standstill on Thursday as professors and lecturers across Gilgit – Baltistan [G-B] went on a strike, boycotting classes.
The strike came after government failed to implement G-B professors and lectures association demands that called for promotions to the teaching faculty working in colleges since decades.
“In G-B there is more than 350 staff [professors and lecturers] awaiting promotions since decades but unfortunately that isn’t happening,” said professor Muhammad Zaman, president of G-B Professor and lecturer association or G-BPLA.
“We are forced to take this extreme step as government is unwilling to listen to our genuine demands,” Zaman told Outost on Thursday.
He said the teaching staff had suffered a lot due to indifferent attitude of rulers and the only option left to compensate them is to implement ‘time scale’ – a formula under which teaching staff across Pakistan has been given promotions, leading to an enhanced salary.
While the students’ attendance remained as usual in colleges, the teaching staff reportedly abstained from visiting classrooms leaving the student unattended, said a student leader at government degree college Gilgit.
Last week, G-BPLA had given an ultimatum to the authorities to accept the demands or else they would go on strike. The call however fell on deaf ears and nobody turn to the teachers.
In 2012, chief minister G-B Mehdi Shah had announced promotions to the teaching staff under the same time scale formula but that couldn’t materialse.
“We are awaiting implementation of CM decision as schoolteachers have already benefitted from that announcement,” said the president, adding the strike will go on as long as the demands aren’t met.
While the teachers’ strike, which is for an indefinite period, goes on, authorities are mulling over the outcome.
Chief minister’s office when contacted said the issue was under consideration and a solution would soon be carved out.
“CM has asked the secretary education to take notice of the issue and apprise him,” said Sajjadul Haq, a spokesman in the CM secretariat.