LAHORE: Many fresh graduates have lost hope to get selected as college teaching interns (CTIs) as the Higher Education Department (HED) has decided to change the policy to hire intern teachers in colleges across Punjab. Under the new policy, if implemented, the HED will hire intern teachers against vacant posts only contrary to the current policy under which intern teachers are hired against student-teacher ratio, which allows the department to hire maximum number of fresh graduates; however, the new policy will allow few applicants to get jobs. Earlier, the HED had decided to hire more than 5,000 CTIs in different government colleges for the academic year 2017-18. Sources at the HED told Daily Times that as per the previous policy, around 1100 seats were available for CTIs in colleges located in the Lahore district alone. They added that the number of seats would decrease up to 50 percent after the implementation of the new policy. “Same is the condition in colleges in other big cities, including Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Kasur, Okara, Gujrat and others,” added sources. According to the advertisement issued on October 2, 2017, candidates with MA/MSc degrees were invited to apply for posts against salary of Rs 30,000 per month. They were to be hired in the subjects of English, Urdu, Physics, Chemistry, Biology (Botany/Zoology), Mathematics, Computer Science, Pakistan studies and Islamiat. A number of applicants who have applied for the said posts in different colleges are not happy with the decision to change the policy at the eleventh hour. They not only condemned the policy but ask the HED and its officials to create more job opportunities. Talking to Daily Times, a fresh graduate, Ali, who was very hopeful about his selection, said: “All my hope is gone after I came to know about the decision of the department.” He said that HED officials should have thought before giving the advertisement for appointment of CTIs. “It is sheer negligence on part of HED officials,” he added. Another candidate, Fakhar, said that there were more than 14,000 vacant posts in colleges across the province. “But they just want to oblige their favourite candidates and that was why they have decided to change the policy,” he alleged. A female candidate, Kausar – who was hoping to finance her higher studies after being selected as the CTI – said, “I am already working as an intern teacher in a government college of Kasur and I was very hopeful to get selected again but the news has shattered my dreams.” It is pertinent to mention here that the HED secretary was not available for comments. Published in Daily Times, October 16th 2017.