Zar Alam Khan
ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of teachers, mostly females, from different provinces, Azad Kahmir and Gilgit-Baltistan working in Islamabad under the wedlock policy continued protesting against Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) demanding withdrawal of their repatriation orders.
Starting their protest from outside the press club and then at D-Chowk on Jan 11, the teachers have been staging a sit-in outside Parliament House for four days but no government functionary came to listen to their grievances so far.
The wedlock policy was evolved by the government in 1998 to protect family units. Under this policy, working couples are entitled to live and work at the same station. With the passage of time, successive governments also approved a 10pc quota for the absorption of the teachers under the wedlock policy.
The absorption under the 10pc quota continued till 2009 after which the FDE stopped it. However, in the meanwhile it absorbed 16 blue-eyed teachers through the backdoor, alleged the protesting teachers.
A few years ago, the FDE asked over 50 teachers working in the capital for more than 10 years to submit permanent no-objection certificates (NOCs) from their parent departments for their absorption. When they brought the NOCs and completed all other requirements including sitting a test and appearing in an interview the FDE lingered on their absorption.
Early this month, the FDE issued orders for repatriation of about 300 teachers, including the over 50 teachers who had submitted their NOCs for regularization, and sent the repatriation and relieving ordered to them through Whatsapp.
The female teachers are of the view that they have spent 15 to 20 years of their service in Islamabad and their children are continuing education and they cannot shift to their native areas in KP, Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh, AJK and GB, leaving behind their families in the federal capital.
The teachers said they would continue their protests till their repatriation orders were withdrawn and those having permanent NOCs were absorbed by the FDE.