Blind teachers serving in Punjab’s general education dept decry discrimination

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 14 (APP):The blind teachers serving in the general education department of Punjab have decried discriminatory attitude being meted out with them.
Professor Muhammad Tahir, President of Punjab Blind Professors and Lecturers Association (PBPLA), told APP on Sunday that the disabled teachers were deprived of their special education allowance and other facilities. The issue had been raised at various forums, including the media, while former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif was approached through ex-Evacuee Trust Board Property chairman Siddique ul Farooq, but all their requests were not heeded to.
Prof Tahir said the blind teachers teaching in general education institutions were not given the facilities, which were being availed by their counterparts serving in the special education department. The blind teachers were neither permitted to mark papers nor they were hired by any private university or any other educational institution despite having experience and skill.
Prof Tahir, who is blind and teaches at Government Post Graduate College Asghar Mall Rawalpindi, said a number of blind teachers and professors were performing their duties in many educational institutions despite odds, but their grievances were not being redressed.
He said the government had announced facilities and allowances for the blind teachers irrespective of their departments, but the same were given to only those who were working in the special education institutions, which was discrimination.
Prof Tahir mentioned that the blind teachers had to prepare their lectures from recorded books by writing the same in Braille, which was more labourious for them but they were denied their due allowance.
Professor Tahir said he had a meeting with Farah Agha, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Member of Punjab Assembly, who had committed to raise their issues at the floor of the assembly.
He urged Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to announce the same facilities for the blind professors and teachers serving in the general education department, which were being availed by those serving in the special education department on the White Cane Safety Day, which was marked across the globe on October 15.
Prof Tahir said the State Bank of Pakistan in a notification had directed all the scheduled banks in the country not to adopt discriminating policy in the reserved quota for the disabled people during appointments. But on the contrary, mostly banks avoided to hire a blind person despite qualifying for the posts announced, he added.