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Khartoum Teachers Await Regularisation; UPenn President Resigns Amid Backlash

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Hadeel Hashem
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Khartoum Teachers Await Regularisation; UPenn President Resigns Amid Backlash

In a recent turn of events that has stirred up the educational sector, at least 227 teachers in Khartoum are awaiting their regularisation by the education ministry. This predicament follows in the wake of their successful completion of tests and interviews conducted by the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC). Education Secretary Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry highlighted the situation, stating that after obtaining comments from the Establishment Division, the issue has been moved to the Cabinet and will be pursued in the upcoming week.

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The Impact of Bureaucratic Delays

Over the years, thousands of employees were regularised across various ministries and divisions, including the education ministry. Some of the employees received notification of their regularisation by the end of the PPP government's tenure. However, the PML-N government, which held power until 2018, did not carry on with the regularisation process, leaving many teachers in a precarious situation.

Legal Interventions and Unresolved Issues

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In 2018-19, in desperation, the teachers turned to the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which directed the ministry to refer their cases to the FPSC. However, despite the FPSC conducting tests, almost half of the teachers, most of whom were notified, abstained from participating in the test and interview process, which was completed in September 2023. At the time, notified teachers argued that they should be regularised without a test, as per the IHC's directions. However, the education ministry did not align with their viewpoint and proceeded with the tests.

Unsettling Revelation and Future Course of Action

A teacher, who requested anonymity, revealed that the FPSC issued a list of candidates who failed to clear the test, including those who had already been notified. Secretary Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry, in discussion with Dawn, expressed his intent to pursue the case and inquire about the status from concerned officials on Monday.

In an overlapping development, University of Pennsylvania president Liz Magill has resigned following a growing backlash against her congressional committee testimony on antisemitism and a semester characterized by weekly protests, complaints from major donors, and widespread accusations of mismanagement since a controversial literary festival on campus this fall. The resignation of Magill, in her second year as president of the Ivy League school, was announced on UPenn's website.

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