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Corruption in Education? Unbelievable!

by Atta Qasmi
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Atta Ul haq Qasmi
For a long time, teachers had been protesting at the school, which was related to corruption in school. Teachers were raising their voices against this apparent project of corruption. Now, three pieces of news have emerged on this issue. The first piece of news is that a delegation of teachers’ leaders met Maryam Nawaz and informed her about the issue. She consoled them and said that it wouldn’t happen. The second news is that the court has ordered the release of the teachers who were subjected to police violence and kept in the same cell like animals. The third and most important news is that Punjab’s caretaker Chief Minister, Mohsin Naqvi, answered questions from journalists, saying there is no intention of corruption in schools, and this proposal was not discussed in any meeting.

These three references are very welcoming, but the question arises as to why these teachers, including women and men, have been protesting on the streets for weeks. Some authorities even have their students participating in this demonstration. Tear gas was fired at them, batons were charged, and they were brutally treated and thrown into police vans. So the question is, if none of this was happening, why did this protest come about, and why was the protest allowed to become so lengthy? If the rumors of corruption were debunked on the very first day, this spark would have been extinguished, and there was no need for teachers to endure this humiliation. This “Shirley” was undoubtedly somewhere, and it was so dangerous that not only the teachers but even people who love education were captivated by it, and their emotions were not unreal.

Corruption in schools means that parents will be demanded hefty fees, similar to private schools where only the children of the rich can enroll. If God forbid, this happens, this plan will deprive a large number of children of education. There was a time when Government College Lahore was the highest standard educational institution, where everyone was admitted on merit, and the fees were quite normal. Many of our elders have benefited from this institution. However, when it was converted into a university, the admissions and monthly fees increased to the extent that now the only merit for admission is having substantial money, and even a child has to pay fees on merit. If there is corruption in schools, then the poor children will never go to school, and thus, our literacy rate will drop even further.

The issue is not only about children and their education; teachers will also suffer greatly in the form of privatization. They will not receive the only economic support for their old age, which is a pension. In my opinion, this is the pinnacle of injustice. They are helpless. Where are they most affluent? What factories do they run? Which privileges do they have? To which affluent class are they related, which is provided with ample financial facilities during employment and after retirement? Their situation is like ordinary Pakistanis, who can barely manage two square meals. For God’s sake, don’t deprive them of this two-time meal!

And yes, the threat is not limited to schools; in the next stage, the “hunter’s eye” may also be on colleges. Then, those people who somehow decorate their children with the ornament of education, and later those children live a much better life in society or can live it, their hopes will also be shattered. I would request the authorities that if there is any design in someone’s mind, they should remove that design from some therapist; otherwise, nature itself does this job.

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