Upgradation: Tribal teachers block Pak-Afghan highway

BANNU / PARACHINAR / JAMRUD:10 May:Teachers from Parachinar and Jamrud boycotted classes and closed schools on Monday. They held a sit-in on the Pakistan-Afghanistan highway against the government which failed to upgrade them as promised earlier. The teachers threatened to keep schools closed until a notification for their upgradation was issued. For the last few days, their peers have also been protesting in front of the Parliament House in Islamabad. On the occasion, a protest rally was taken out from the education office to Bab-e-Khyber where protesters shouted slogans against the government and FATA Secretariat. The agitated speakers said they have been demanding their upgradation for the last four years, but their appeals fell on deaf ears. The demonstrators further stated they had been neglected, adding the education department, FATA Secretariat and Ministry of States and Frontier Regions were responsible for the problem. They urged an immediate resolution to the issue. They claimed the tribal areas had already fallen prey to terrorism as buildings were damaged and the government had not started rehabilitation of infrastructure. They added students were suffering tremendously due to the poor building structures and lack of motivated teachers. Meanwhile, a similar protest was held outside Parachinar Press Club where teachers shouted slogans against the government for not addressing their concerns. They claimed that 24,000 tribal teachers were deprived of their rights and threatened to continue sit-in in Islamabad and tribal areas till their demands are fulfilled.Similarly, teachers from FR Bannu also lodged a protest against the government and closed Indus Highway for two hours that disrupted the flow of traffic and caused hardship to the passengers. The Utmanzai teachers held a protest demonstration in favour of their demands. On the occasion, a rally was arranged on Bannu-Miranshah Road. The demonstrators shouted anti-government slogans and demanded upgradation of teachers.Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2016.