KARACHI: The Sindh Education Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar on Thursday accepted that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had been at the center of corruption in the hiring of teachers in the province.
“The [relevant] department was bribed to hire teachers by the dozen in 2012, some of whom are not even acquainted with Arabic language,” Dahar said.
“There were 23,000 ghost hirings in the province, with 11,000 in Karachi alone, at a time when there were no vacancies,” he said, adding that the Sindh government has decided to take retests of all the teachers.
The provincial minister’s statements came after teachers protesting non-payment of salaries since 2012 on Thursday marched towards the Sindh Assembly and protested at its gates.
The protesters claimed that Secretary of School Education Abdul Aziz Uqaili had assured two months back that their salaries would be paid but he had failed to keep the promise.
In a statement to media, Dahar also claimed that the protesters were planted.
A heavy contingent of the police was deployed outside the Sindh Assembly earlier today and roads leading to the building were blocked prior to the arrival of the protesting teachers.
Commuters faced inconvenience on the route from Sindh Assembly to I.I. Chundrigar Road due to the protest, as a traffic jam halted the flow of traffic in the area.
In September this year, the police had baton-charged and injured teachers who were protesting non-payment of salaries outside Karachi Press Club.
Three teachers were arrested during the protest, after the police tried to disperse the protesters with the use of water cannons.
The protesters had claimed that the authorities had assured them that they will be paid before Eid. They called a strike when their salaries were not released after Eid. The protesters also threatened to surround Chief Minister House if their demands are not met.
Following the incident, provincial Information Secretary Nasir Hussain Shah reached the protest site and discussions with the protesters are under way.
On July 25, around 300 government school teachers renewed their demand for salaries outside KPC.
A similar protest was held earlier as well, which ended in front of Sindh Assembly on June 5, the same day provincial budget was announced.
The protest ended after Uqaili had assured the protesters that their problems will be resolved within a week.
Teachers across the provinces have been protesting non-payment of salaries since the last five years.