A story has been making rounds on social media claiming that the Punjab government has quietly started the rationalization process which will cause 25,000 teachers to lose their jobs.
Originally published by The Express Tribune, the story claimed that the Punjab Education Department has increased the teacher to student ratio from the previous 1:40 to 1:60. The move, according to the news website, will allegedly cut 25,000 jobs across the province – leaving thousands of educators jobless.
The story published under the name of APP, a state-run news agency, looked suspicious. Thus, Propakistani decided to cross-check the facts with a Punjab government official.
When approached, one of the focal persons to Chief Minister Usman Buzdar categorically denied the story. He said that instead of laying off teachers, the government is actually going to hire more teachers when the rationalization process takes place.
There are schools in the province that have six teachers for just a hundred students while others have only one or two teachers for over 150 students.
Hence, the rationalization is directed at balancing the teacher to student ratio in all public schools in Punjab, he said.
According to the process, a primary school should have at least three teachers. Schools with up to 130 students will have four teachers; those with up to 180 students will have five teachers.
Similarly, at least six teachers will be deputed to schools with up to 230 students, and seven for 280 students. The number of teachers will go up to eight for a school that enrolls up to 330 students.
The spokesperson said that the rationalization process will increase the number of teachers in 90 percent of the schools. More teachers will be hired for remaining schools, but none of them will be fired.