LAHORE: Teachers of Punjab public schools are living in a situation of unrest and with constant fear of job security, as they accused the government of playing delay tactics while dealing with the issue pertaining to teachers’ sit-in. A group of teachers held a two-day protest sit-in on May 14 and May 15 at Faisal Chowk outside the Punjab Assembly. They claimed to have achieved their demands from the government, but other groups of teachers are still strongly criticising the “mala fide tactics” of Punjab Education Minister Rana Mashhud.The protest was organised by Punjab Teachers Union’s (PTU) Sajjad Kazmi Group, whereas PTU’s Ghulam Muhiud Din Group and Mutahida Muhaaz Asatza Group had criticised and rejected the recommendations presented by Punjab government to the PTU Kazmi Group. It is pertinent to mention that the Punjab government announced that it would handover those public schools to Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) and Danish School Authority (DSA) who are not performing as per the desired aspirations. It was announced that schools with passing percentage of less than 25 percent would be handed over to PEF while schools with less than 200 enrolled students would be given to DSA.The protesting teachers had demanded that the Punjab government should not handover those schools to NGOs that are performing better, adding that the government should also provide job security to teachers of schools being handed over to the NGOs. The government did not directly accept these demands, and instead constituted a committee, which included representatives of teachers’ associations. Talking to Daily Times, PTU Muhiud Din Group President Hafiz Ghulam Muhiud Din was of the view that the Punjab government, against its own policy, handed over schools with good passing percentage to PEF and schools with enrollment of more than 200 students to DSA. “No one assured the protesting teachers that they would not be fired or they would continue their jobs even after the schools was handed over to PEF or DSA,” he added.The PTU president said that the teachers were concerned that despite serving the nation to the best of their abilities, they remain the most neglected segment of the society. He demanded that the government should not only promise job security but it should also announce special increase in the salaries of teachers.PTU Secretary General Kashif Shahzad was of the view that decision of Punjab government regarding handing over schools to DSA is a way to facilitate their people sitting in the NGO sector. He said that although several teachers and teachers’ groups are supporting this initiative, but this would ultimately create a fear of job security and a situation of unrest among teachers, which would also affect their performance.“How can a teacher perform well when he is unclear about his/her own future?” Shahzad questioned, adding that the job description of government schoolteachers is three times more difficult than teachers of private schools, as a government schoolteacher faces lack of infrastructure, higher ratio of students besides teaching more than four subjects at a time.Apart from the teachers, parents of students studying in government schools had also demanded the teachers and government to settle down the matter as soon as possible, as this would only affect education of their children.Father of a student studying in a government school, Zafar, 41, who is an auto mechanic by profession, said that his child is studying in class 3, but he was not taking interest in studies. “When I investigated the matter, I was informed that there was a tussle between teachers and government about handing over of schools to some organisation,” he added.Zafar said that he was not interested whether the school would be handed over to NGOs or remain under administration of current department, but the learning process of his child should not be affected.