LAHORE:December 10:As many as 277 headmasters, headmistresses and principals of public schools of Punjab have been called in to defend themselves against charges of poor performance. Their cases will be processed under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability Act (PEEDA) 2006. According to two separate lists of accused, the schoolteachers charged under the PEEDA Act have been asked to present their written defence, along with the record in support of their stance in a hearing to be held on Monday in Lahore. The teachers will be tried under the Act on the basis that students of their schools performed poorly. According to the lists, sent to the accused as well as the District Education Authorities (DEAs) Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), a total of 183 headmasters and headmistresses in grades 17 and 18 were charged under the Act. At the same time, a total of 94 principals in grades 19 and 20 are also charged. The CEOs of the relevant DEAs have been asked to furnish a comprehensive report to the department. The proceedings were initiated last year in which teachers were accused of inefficiency and misconduct, while also showing poor performance during their tenures. The Punjab School Education Department (SED) created the lists of poor performing teachers along with their cumulative average scores. When contacted, SED Secretary Dr Allah Baksh Malik said that these were only a few teachers among the thousands employed in the province. He said that the action against them was being taken because of poor performance. He added that they were being called in for the hearing so that the department could ascertain the reasons behind the dismal showing. As far as punishments were concerned, he said that an inquiry officer would determine the punishments for the teachers. Punjab Teachers’ Union (PTU) General Secretary Rana Liaqat said that these charges were years old and the teachers were now being dragged through these proceedings unnecessarily. “Some of these teachers had retired and now their pensions were stopped,” “The department, by law, has to complete these proceedings within 90 days. However, after three years the department is yet to finish these proceeding. Now after years, when the department itself is unable to complete the process, how can they expect teachers to give good results without the necessary facilities?” Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2017.