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Teachers worried over delay in payment of salary

Teachers worried over delay in payment of salary

KARACHI: More than 700 schoolteachers employed under a World Bank-funded programme in Sindh have not received their salaries for the past seven months, it emerged on Saturday.

According to sources, many of the schoolteachers posted in Karachi, Dadu, Naushahro Feroz and Larkana are still unpaid though they were appointed after they had cleared their NTS (National Testing Service) tests.

The Karachi-based teachers who spoke to Dawn about the issue of remuneration said they had contacted the Reforms Support Unit (RSU) of the Sindh education department multiple times but never received a satisfactory reply.

Many of the teachers were married with children and got into debt due to the non-payment of salaries, while others, too, were finding it hard to manage their families.

“We haven’t received a single salary since our appointment some seven months ago. It’s so frustrating. There is no word from the authorities. Many of us are finding it difficult to even manage transport fare we bear daily,” said a teacher.

Another teacher, posted in a Malir school, said: “Initially, we had been told some four months ago that the salaries would be released once the teachers would get registered with the biometric system. Our job status was again confirmed by an RSU team that visited our school two weeks ago. But there is no indication that we are getting our salaries any time soon.”

When contacted the consultant for teachers’ recruitment, RSU, Syed Inam Ali, admitted the delay in the release of salaries but said the number of such teachers was ‘small’ as most teachers had been paid salaries.

“Over 15,000 teachers were appointed under the project and 98 per cent of them have been paid salaries. In some cases, however, salaries have been delayed either due to some documentation error/s in the credentials of the teachers or absence of relevant taluka education officer whose confirmation is required in each case,” he explained.

According to Mr Ali, all the teachers of high school have received their salaries and its information is available on department’s official website. The delay was also linked to the detailed verification process introduced in recent years to ensure transparency, he said.

In Karachi, 651 junior schoolteachers and 281 primary schoolteachers (out of 1,427) have received their salaries. “Only 258 schoolteachers are left in the interior of Sindh [Dadu, Naushahro Feroz and Larkana] to be paid salaries,” he said.

On this issue, the special secretary of education had recently held a meeting, he said, adding that the salaries of the remaining teachers would be released soon.

Last year, too, schoolteachers posted in Karachi had to stage a demonstration and block traffic on M.A. Jinnah Road over non-payment of salaries for many months.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2016

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