Wave of fear: Teachers to ‘lock up schools’ if forced to partake in polio drives

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The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa All Primary Teachers Association (APTA) Women’s Wing protested against the provincial government on Thursday and threatened to lock up schools if they were forced to take part in any polio drives.

Around 50 teachers from various localities of the city gathered in front of Peshawar Press Club, blocking Sher Shah Suri Road for one hour. Led by K-P APTA Women’s Wing President Nizakat Kalsoom, the protesters carried banners and placards, and chanted slogans against the K-P government.

Talking to the media, Kalsoom said they had received threatening letters from unknown people saying if they took part in the polio drive, their schools would be blown up. “A wave of fear has spread amongst female teachers, and now their families are not allowing them to work any longer,” added Kalsoom.

She claimed it is not the duty of teachers to carry out vaccination drives on the streets, adding that the health department had a considerable staff of lady health workers who should be deployed in their stead. The teacher also claimed that all her colleagues in the city have decided not to participate in the drive any longer.

“Many female teachers across the province are already under threat and perform their jobs with great difficulties,” shared Kalsoom. “Putting this additional burden on them will only disrupt the education system further.”

Kalsoom questioned how it would be possible to ensure the safety of teachers, if security personnel and polio workers were not safe from attacks. She demanded the government to distance teachers from the campaign, and threatened to continue their protest until the fulfilment of their demands.

Source:The Express Tribune.