Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Friday unanimously approved a move to regularise services of 772 college teachers assistants in the province.
Proposed in a private member bill, the move was approved by both the opposition and treasury benches during Friday’s provincial assembly session.
Teaching assistants had been recruited by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government in 2014 and 2015 to address a shortage of lecturers in colleges across the province.
The teaching assistants have since been demanding their regularisation. They have held sit-ins and rallies outside the K-P assembly and even in front of Imran Khan’s palatial residence in Bani Gala, Islamabad.
Despite the protests, the higher education department was unwilling to regularise these teachers.
Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) lawmaker Meraj Humayun and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Mehmood Khan and Sardar Muhammad Idrees had tabled the bill in the house on Friday as a private member bill. With the assembly speaker and the lawmakers keen on claiming credit for regularising the teachers, they pushed to vote on and pass the bill almost immediately.
The Awami National Party (ANP) congratulated the lawmakers and teaching assistants after the bill was passed.
“I do not know who gave them [teaching assistants] the advice to stage protests outside Bani Gala for having their demands fulfilled. I congratulate them and would also like to share this prescription with other government employees if they want their demands to be fulfilled by the government,” he quipped.
The bill’s passage through the assembly was made simpler since few treasury members attended Friday’s session, most preoccupied with a rally by PTI Chief Imran Khan scheduled to be held in the provincial capital later in the day.
Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser even decided to defer questions over the bill, all addressed to the K-P Elementary and Secondary Education Department, since education minister was absent.
With the bill passed, the government has regularised the services of these teaching assistants in basic pay scale grade 17 with the designation of a lecturer.