Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan on Monday unwillingly signed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ad hoc Lecturers (Regularisation of Services) Bill, 2014, which sought regularisation of 241 college teachers without qualifying the Public Service Commission’s (PCS) examination.
“I hereby give my assent to this bill although I disagree with the concept principally,” the governor said while writing his observations on the bill, which was passed by the provincial assembly on May 12.
The private member’s bill was tabled by Jamaat-i-Islami MPA Muzaffar Said.
Interestingly, the governor signed the bill despite disagreement though he has power under the Constitution to return a bill to the provincial assembly for reconsideration.
However, he opted not to exercise that constitutional authority.
Under Article 116 of the Constitution, a governor can return a bill, other than a money bill, to the provincial assembly with a message requesting that the bill or any specified provision thereof be reconsidered and that any amendment specified in the message be considered.
The higher education department had appointed 195 male and 46 female lecturers on ad hoc basis to various colleges in September 2013. Their contract is to expire on June 30.
There is much difference in the appointment procedure by the departmental committee and that of the provincial PCS.
The ad hoc appointments to government colleges are made by a committee formed by the higher education department.
The candidates didn’t appear in the written test and interview as the ad hoc appointment are made only on the basis of their academic record.
As for the procedure of appointments through the PCS, candidates first appear in the written test and once they qualify the test, they are called for interview.
After serving several years in their respective colleges, the government regularises them through special legislation in the assembly.
Earlier, the provincial PCS had expressed serious reservations about the regularisation of ad hoc lecturers saying such practices adversely affected quality of education at college level.
However, the provincial government didn’t pay attention to the commission’s observation and tabled a bill in the assembly for the regularisation of ad hoc lecturers.
In a report, the PSC had observed that the services of ad hoc employees would not be regularised by the departments through any Act or Ordinance as ordered by the Supreme Court in its judgment.
The government justifies the regularisation of ad hoc lecturers saying appointments through the PCS is very slow.
Currently, the higher education department requires 1,300 lecturers in different colleges.
According to a senior official, the higher education department has sent requisition to the PCS for appointment.
“The PCS will take years to fill these vacancies as it is overburdened. In such situation, the department has no option but to appoint lecturers on ad hoc basis,” he said.