The Punjab School Education Department (SED) has rolled back the decision of suspension of a head teacher and a teacher whose video went viral on social media after they brought the school’s miserable state of affairs to light.
Muhammad Aqeel, a Government Primary School teacher in Jand Wala Kalan tehsil in district Bahawalnagar, had apparently invited the displeasure of higher authorities in the Punjab School Education Department for resorting to a video message to showcase the plight of the school.
In the video, Aqeel was seen standing in the school’s courtyard in rain and detailing how the school had no room to seat children. He explained that the school only had a boundary wall, which was evident from the empty spaces that could be seen around him in the video message.
The teacher also said that the school had been established 30 years ago and still had no building, forcing children to study under the open sky, be it rain, cold or hot.
In response, the District Education Officer had suspended both Aqeel and head teacher Mahboob Alam, their only apparent crime being raising a voice for the children of the school.
The Bahawalnagar District Education Officer (DEO) wrote in the suspension order that the teacher violated the service rules of 1974 and had initiated an inquiry against both the teachers.
Besides stating the deplorable position of the school, Aqeel had also requested Punjab School Education Minister Murad Raas, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Prime Minister Imran Khan to take notice of the school’s condition and order remedial measures.
The video went viral on social media, with users flaying the government for first depriving the school of a basic facilities and then suspending the teachers for highlighting the issue.
Following the uproar, the authorities reinstated both the teachers and claimed that the school in fact had a room and washroom and the teachers stated otherwise on purpose. It also issued a warning to both teachers to remain ‘careful’ in the future.