Lahore : police on Saturday foiled an attempt of a large number of teachers and the owners education Foundation Punjab (PEF) partner schools to stage demonstrations in Zaman Park where is located the private residence of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The demonstrators began their protest against the Punjab government for non-payment of contributions to PEF partner schools outside the Lahore press club and marched towards the Governor House, where a heavy police blocked their March, and in the process some of the protesters were beaten by police, while some of them were also taken into custody.
As to the PM Imran Khan was in the city, the demonstrators tried to go to Zaman Park to record their protest, but an additional contingent of policemen was deployed in Zaman Park and beyond to the chief Minister, the Secretariat, together with the water Canon to prevent any adverse situation and to stop the protesters.
The owners and teachers of PEF partner schools protested against non-payment of six months of contributions to the Fund of education of Punjab. They noted that due to non-payment they were not able to pay the wages of pedagogic and non-pedagogic staff, in addition, they were also not able to pay the rent and utilities, etc.
Earlier, on 9 June, a large number of teachers and masters gathered at Faisal Chowk outside the Punjab Assembly to record their protest and the government the Committee held a dialogue with them with a guarantee of exemption from payment of education Fund of Punjab. Subsequently some schools were paid arrears of PEF, but the others remained unpaid until which prompted them to conduct the demonstration again.
In the news, Punjab education Minister Dr Murad SAR stated that PSV have already paid 50% payment at schools and the remaining payments will be made only after verification of the students in these schools. He said that earlier, about 250 000 of fake registrations were not detected in many of PEF partner schools, and with millions of rupees had to be paid to the inspection of schools was mandatory. He said that Nadra was on Board for the validation process that will start from 20 July and after checking the final payments are released. He said that schools should wait for the completion of the verification process.
The Minister said that many of PEF partner schools were in fact beneficiaries of PML-N and the government will not spend public money on fake registrations. He said that the PEF initiative was aimed to identify school-age children in school, and not for the financial support of the false registrations.
Dr. Muard RAAS further said that he informed Prime Minister Imran Khan about the issue at a recent meeting, who assured the full support. “Nobody can put pressure on me,” he said and added the amount remaining in school will be made only after verification. He said he held two meetings with two different groups on the issue in the past, but it was weird, they were avoiding the control of students.
Meanwhile, he learned that the police subsequently released the rioters taken into custody. Also chaired by CCPO Lahore Zulfiqar Hameed in which the MD PEF assured to solve the genuine problems of the partner schools meeting MOE PEF with the protesters.