Bailout package for universities ruled out
No fund for HEC: Over 70 VCs threaten to resign
Islamabad, Sept 17: The vice-chancellors of 71 public sector
universities have threatened to resign en bloc against the government's
refusal to provide fund for higher education.
for Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on Thursday refused to provide funds to
the cash-strapped Higher Education Commission. Instead, he asked it to
generate its own resources.
Incensed by Mr Sheikh's response,
the vice chancellors of 71 public sector universities threatened to
resign en bloc. They also outrightly rejected the minister's suggestion
to set up a special committee headed by Deputy Chairman Planning
Commission Nadeemul Haq to determine the universities' needs, saying in
the presence of Higher Education Commission (HEC) there was no need for
On the special request of HEC Chairman Dr Javed
Leghari, the minister held an emergency meeting with the members of vice
chancellors committee on the HEC premises. He was also accompanied by
Mr Nadeemul Haq.
During the meeting, which lasted for a couple
of hours, the minister not only refused to make any financial commitment
but also appeared dismissive of the issues raised by vice chancellors
of 68 state-run universities present at the meeting, a participant of
the meeting said.
At one point after the VCs had spoken
about their financial woes, Mr Sheikh told them that the government had
more compelling commitments than the higher education sector.
He was equally non-committal when the future of the HEC's scholars
studying in foreign universities came under discussion. If the HEC
continues to remain short of cash, some 4,000 students may need to be
called back before they get their degrees. However, the finance minister
argued that at the moment the flood victims were more vulnerable than
anybody else. In the absence of funds, the HEC has already scrapped all
its future scholarship schemes.
Ironically, Mr Sheikh was one
of the task force members on whose recommendation in 2002 the HEC came
into being. Over the last eight years, the government has invested more
than Rs200 billion in the commission for promotion of university
education. "Now the federal government is hesitant to provide money to
the sector," said one of the vice chancellors.
Later at a press
conference, Dr Saeeda Asadullah, chairperson of vice chancellors
committee, and other VCs painted a dismal picture of the universities'
future if the government remained indifferent to their genuine needs.
Despite the announcement of 50 per cent increase in the salaries of
employees by the government, 99 per cent universities have not yet
implemented the decision due to financial constraints, they said.
Dr Nasir, head of the Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar,
warned that all public sector universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would
go on a complete strike if the salaries of the staff were not increased
as per government's own decision. "I will be the first to lead the
protest and will resign in case my staff does not get their raised
salaries," Dr Nasir said. Criticising the government, Dr Najma Najam,
Vice Chancellor of Karakoram International University, Gilgit, said: "Mr
Sheikh asks us to generate funds. Should I ask my students to start
digging up the surrounding hills to earn money?"
last financial year, the government released only Rs11.5 billion under
the development grants against a commitment of Rs18.5 billion. During
the current financial year under PSDP, Rs15.7 billion have been
earmarked for the development of universities but so far only Rs1.5
billion have been released. As a result, around 300 development schemes
have been affected adversely. The situation is, however, expected to
deteriorate as the floods will force the government to make more
substantial cuts in the PSDP.
Post your comments
Pindi college teachers boycott classes
Rawalpindi: College teachers here on Thursday observed strike
and boycotted classes in protest against establishment of board of
governors in selected colleges and initiation of four years graduation
The teachers under the umbrella of Punjab
Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA) remained away from classes
after 10:30 am and held meetings in their respective colleges where they
passed resolutions demanding immediate removal of BoGs from the 26
PPLA President Mohammad Illyas
Qureshi said teachers observed strike in all over Punjab and said they
would continue their agitation till the removal of BoGs.
said in a bid to counter the protesting teachers the provincial
education department had decided to install thumb impression machines in
every college to record the attendance of teachers. He called it an
attempt to curtail the liberty of college teachers and was a
discrimination as such system had not been installed in any office.
On the other hand the higher education department had announced the
schedule for admissions in four years BS programmes in the selected
colleges and was determined to carry on with the plan.
Rawalpindi division Director (colleges) Dr Mohammad Ashraf when
contacted said government had planned to install the thumb impressions
machine to check the regularity of the teachers.
He said they
would not be able to install the system immediately as the required
software was yet to be received from the department concerned.
Post your comments
FG schools in cantonments: Verdict on hiring of serving army officer reserved
Rawalpindi: The Lahore High Court here on Thursday reserved
verdict on a petition challenging the appointment of a serving army
officer as director of federal government educational institutions,
cantonments and garrisons (FGEICG).
Justice Ijaz Ahmed will announce his decision on the petition of Izharul Haq, a former clerk of the directorate, later.
The petitioner through his counsel Mohammad Fazil Siddiqi maintained
that FGEICG was declared as an attached department of the ministry of
defence in 1992 but it was being run through the inspector general
training and evaluation of the GHQ in violation of rules.
said the director's post was of BPS-20 on which appointment could only
be made by the prime minister. He said that all employees of the
department had been getting salaries from civil estimates.
petitioner maintained that no education code had been made by the
directorate despite the fact that it was mandatory under the law. There
is neither a regular admission policy nor any code of conduct for hiring
of teachers, he added.
He said the appointment of director had also not been notified making it impossible to challenge his decisions at any forum.
He prayed the court to declare the appointment null and void.
On the other hand, in its comments in writing the directorate of FGEICG
stated that the serving brigadier had been appointed as director by the
ministry of defence after taking approval from the President of
The director FGEICG claimed that in 1977 the cabinet
secretariat with the sanction of the President had transferred the
control and management of schools and colleges in cantonments from the
directorate of nationalised cantonment educational institutions,
ministry of education, to the directorate of army education with serving
military officer in the command. He also maintained that in 1977 the
then President had transferred the management of educational
institutions in cantonment and garrison areas from the ministry of
education to the GHQ to maintain unanimity for children of army officers
who are frequently transferred to different parts of the country.
The respondent director stated that 200,288 institutions were being run
through the education code of 1974 issued by the federal ministry of
Post your comments
BoG plan for 26 colleges resented
Rawalpindi: On the call of Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association
(PPLA), local chapterat Government College Asgher Mall, Rawalpindi,
observed black day against Punjab government's decision to set up board
of governors in 26 colleges, says a press release.
A meeting was held
here with Professor M. Shakeel Abbasi, President PPLA, in the chair,
which was attended by a large number of teachers.
said that they couldn't accept Punjab government's unilateral decision
of setting up board of governors in 26 colleges that is damaging to the
college teachers. A resolution was unanimously passed in which teachers
extended full support to PPLA for demanding of the government to
withdraw its BOG programme and announce up-gradation of scales for the
Post your comments
Stay safe around the school bus
Islamabad: Teaching children to take precautions while waiting for, entering and exiting a school bus can help keep them safe.
The National Safety Council offers these suggestions:
Today's Health Tips
* Wait for the bus far away from traffic. Stay on the sidewalk, and pay attention to passing cars.
* Use the handrail while entering and exiting the bus.
* Don't approach the bus until it has completely stopped, and the door is open.
Allow at least 10 feet clearance if you cross the street in front of the bus. Wait for the driver to tell you that it's safe to cross.
* Make sure the driver can see where you are after you've left the vehicle.
* Stay well away from the bus's rear wheels.
Post your comments
MCJ students outshine in F.Sc
Islamabad: The students of Military College Jhelum (MCJ) have performed excellently in the FSc (Part-II)
examinations of the Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary
Education, says a press release. Cadet Anees-ur-Rehman won the first
position in pre-engineering group by obtaining 1008 marks. Cadet
Muhammad Adnan with 999 marks bagged the second position in
pre-engineering group. Cadet Adnan Mustafa clinched the third position
in General Science group by getting 927 marks. The overall 78 cadets
out of 99 cadets obtained A+ or A grade. The news
Post your comments