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Islamabad’s teachers appeal to President for signing crucial ‘protection of family life’ bill

Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, AUG 18 /DNA/ – More than 300 teachers working in Federal Capital’s schools under wedlock have appealed to President Dr Arif Alvi to sign the much-awaited legislation titled “Protection of Family Life & Wedlock Bill 2023” passed by both Houses of the Parliament, the National Assembly and the Senate.

After the President’s signature the bill is destined to become an Act of Parliament and the wedlock teachers who have been working in Islamabad’s schools for the last many years, would be settled once for all along with their families in the federal capital on a permanent basis.

The National Assembly of Pakistan had passed the bill in the last week of May 2023 while the Senate passed it on August 7, almost 12 days ago.

Recently, the president returned a number of bills raising some objections or on technical grounds but thankfully the Protection of Family Life bill was not among those 13 bills and according to a senior official of the President House, since there was no objection on the bill, the president would most probably sign it on Saturday (today).

However, another official said the bill was not forwarded by the Prime Minister’s Office because the president never delays nor suspends a bill of public interest. “As soon as he receives the bill, he will sign it,” he assured.

The delay is at the end of either the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs or the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and you need to check with them, he said.

The bill was passed as a result of years of struggle by these wedlock teachers, majority of them are women whose husbands are working in Islamabad. Under wedlock policy, there was a 10pc quota for teachers working in Islamabad’s schools and under that quota they are entitled to absorption but for the last many years this was not being implemented.

A couple of years ago, the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) had started sending repatriation letters to these teachers asking them to go back to their parent departments in Punjab, KP, Sindh, AJK and Balochistan, even GB.
Having no one to come to their aid, they moved petitions in the Islamabad High Court and got temporary relief.

Meanwhile, they launched a campaign for absorption and approached different parties such as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Interestingly, in both the National Assembly and the Senate PTI members took up their case and presented the bill for House’s approval. The PPP also supported them.

The bill is now at the president’s table and we have great expectations from our president and the leadership to feel our hardships and sign the bill for one-time absorption, said one of the lady teachers on wedlock. She said in case the bill is not signed, the lady teachers would face hardships which are beyond one’s imagination. The FDE too would relieve us without waiting for a single moment, she said and appealed to the President on behalf of all 300 teachers to sign it without further delay.

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