The Sindh Testing Services managed by the Sukkar Institute of Business Administration (SIBA) has raised objections over the applications of thousands of Madresah students who applied for the positions of Junior Schoolteachers, Sindhi Language Teachers, Primary Schoolteachers, and Junior Elementary Schoolteachers.

Earlier this year, former Provincial Education Minister Saeed Ghani had told the Sindh Assembly that the government had issued an advertisement for recruiting teachers, but due to the Covid-19 situation in the province, it could not hold exams. Later, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah chaired a cabinet session in which a policy to hire as many as 46,500teachers through IBA Sukkur was approved.

Last month, while presiding over a meeting at the office of the school education secretary, the former minister informed that so far the SELD has received five hundred thousand applications for the recruitment of 46,500 PSTs, JESTs, SLTs and others.

Directing the IBA Sukkur, he said, to conduct a transparent recruitment test in the second week of August and ensure the installation of CCTV cameras at examination centers. On July 31, however, the government announced a 9-day lockdown across the province and halted all examinations.

At the same time, the SIBA while scrutinizing the documents of the candidates found that thousands of candidates especially the Madrasas graduates have not attached BA degrees with their applications. Later, they were informed through the STS portal to attach the BA degrees. However, these candidates were unable to follow SIBA’s instructions.

According to them, the Madrasah students have Masters Degree Equivalency issued to them by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. As per the HEC rules, the students who complete 8-year education in religious seminaries with matriculation are qualified to get an equivalency certificate of 16-year education from the HEC. Therefore, they have requested the SIBA officials to consider their equivalency certificates.

Muhammad Idress who faces the same problem told; “We have not been provided a separate BA degree or mark sheet while the two-year BA program has been declared unauthorized by the Commission. This is why a majority of the Madrasas students have not applied to get admission to BA programs. “However, we have Sands (certificates) which are equivalent to BA”.

He said that the SIBA should accept our equivalency certificate of 16-year education. “Rejecting applications of the Madrasas students without any valid reason would be considered the worst form of discrimination. We qualify to appear in the recruitment test for the positions of Islamiat teachers, Arabic schoolteachers, and Qeraat Schoolteachers on the basis of our or educational credentials. This is why it’s government responsibility to provide us equal opportunities of jobs”.

Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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