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Female teachers appeal to Chairman Senate for passage of long-awaited legislation

The Senate of Pakistan is all set to take up on Monday (today) the “Protection of Family Life & Wedlock Bill, 2023” giving one-time absorption to around 300, mostly female teachers working on deputation under wedlock in various schools and colleges of Islamabad. The National Assembly has already given a nod to this bill in its session on July 27. The bill is now with the Upper House of the Parliament and the teachers are very much hopeful that it will sail through the Senate of Pakistan as well and after the President’s signature, it will finally become an act of the Parliament.

These teachers have been working in the schools under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) which borrowed their services from Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Balochistan, Sindh, and other parts of the country under wedlock law. According to the wedlock policy, the federal government can borrow the services of a male or female individual whose spouse is working in Islamabad for a period of five years. Under the wedlock rules, a 10pc quota is fixed for the ‘absorption’ of these teachers in the FDE every year. However, for some years this was not being implemented.

The previous government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had promised to give one-time absorption to all the teachers whose service tenure is above five years in the schools. However, that could not see the light of day as the PTI government ended in April last year.

The ‘deputations’ teachers after the coalition government of the PDM and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) came into power, re-launched their campaign and raised the matter with Education Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain and Speaker of the National Assembly Raja Pervez Ashraf. Both of them assured me they would look into the matter.

Speaker NA, Raja Pervez Ashraf went one step further and gave a ruling in October last year for one-time blanket absorption to all these teachers. However, the FDE once again created hurdles and these teachers had to wait for another nine months till a motion was moved in the National Assembly on behalf of MNA Javaria Zafar Aheer by her colleague Zahra Wadood Fatemi and was unanimously adopted by the House.

“We expect Hon’ble Chairman of the Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, members of the Upper House from the PML-N, PPP, and the PTI will support this matter on humanitarian grounds as we have been struggling for a long time to get this legislation approved by the Parliament,” said one of the female teachers on deputation while talking to Pakistan Observer on Sunday. Meanwhile, a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety has unanimously passed the Bill titled “The Zakat and Ushr (Amendment) Bill,2023.” The meeting was held at the Parliament House with Senator Kamran Murtaza in Chair. The Bill was introduced by Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri. Yusuf Khan, Secretary for the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, informed the lawmakers that the subject ‘Zakat and Ushr’ had been re-allocated from the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony to the newly created Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety in 2019. However, the concerned ministry is confronting legal impediments with the transfer of subject and the sole purpose of this amendment is to address those legal impediments, he added. The meeting was attended by Senator Danesh Kumar, Senator Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Secretary for Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Yusuf Khan, and other senior officers of relevant departments were also in attendance.

 

Source: Pakistan Observer