Pakistán - Police attack sacked teachers

Police baton-charged protesting teachers and arrested several of them in a bid to stop them from marching towards the Chief Minister’s House on 5 August 2019.
The Early Childhood Education Teachers (ECETs) had been staging a sit-in and hunger strike for the previous month. They were hired in 2009 on a contractual basis for the Early Learning Programme (ELP) in the Sindh province under the National Education Policy 2009. Initially, around 300 teachers were appointed in five districts under the project to serve at 30 Early Childhood Learning Centres. On 30 June 2019, however, they were informed that the ELP was to be closed and their services were no longer required.
On 9 July, the teachers staged a sit-in at the Karachi Press Club and announced a hunger strike until the government met their demand for permanent jobs.
After two weeks, according to the ECET-Ittihad Sindh, no single representative of the Sindh government had bothered to visit their sit-in and listen to their grievances. Therefore, on 22 July they decided to convey their complaints directly to the Sindh government, and headed towards the restricted Red Zone. Around 24 protesting teachers were reportedly arrested by the Sindh police as they moved towards the zone.
By 5 August, there was still no progress, and so the teachers tried to march towards the chief minister’s house, but again the police prevented them from entering the Red Zone. After a tussle with the police, they started marching towards Pakistan Arts Council Chowk, near the Sindh Assembly Building. Police arrested several teachers for crossing into the restricted area. At least two teachers were injured during the tussle between the protesters and the Sindh police. The arrested teachers were later released.

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