HEC funds & Degrees' re-verification issue
Release funds to HEC or face protest again, govt told
Islamabad, Sept 25: The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff
Association (FAPUASA) on Friday threatened that boycott of classes and
countrywide protest demonstrations would be started on October 5, if the
government failed to release agreed funds to the Higher Education
Addressing a press conference here, FAPUASA central
president Prof. Dr. Saeed Akhtar Mehr said the government should
immediately release funds as agreed between the government functionaries
and representatives of the vice chancellors. "The government should
show with its act that it is interested in promotion of higher education
that is necessary to embark the country on the path of progress and
prosperity," he added.
He said the government should remove all
retired army officers, bureaucrats and teachers from the posts of vice
chancellors and appoint competent persons to give boost to the education
sector. He said that 250 students were selected for foreign
scholarships but unfortunately they have now been told that HEC would
not be able to sponsor them due to lack of funds. "These students must
be sent for studies on foreign scholarships as our universities already
lack highly educated teachers," he added.
the proposal of raise in fee structure in the public sector
universities, he said it would make higher education unaffordable for
the students who belong to middle and lower middle class. He said,
"proposal to raise fee structure is totally anti-student and
anti-education and it would cause grave damage to our education system."
He questioned why the government not reducing expenditures of
ministers and divert these funds towards the education sector. "It is
highly regrettable that billions of rupees are being spent to facilitate
ministers but when it comes to the education sector, the government
shows its inability to provide funds for the development projects," he
Prof. Dr. Saeed Akhtar said when HEC was established in 2002,
it was agreed that its annual fund would be increased by 30% every year
but now the finance minister is presenting a different 'theory' and
trying to curtail its funds.
He said that the finance minister
issued an irresponsible statement in which he alleged that teachers are
using students for their personal interests. "The finance minister
should immediately take back his statement otherwise we would protest
against him and demand his resignation," he said.
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HEC may not press for degrees' re-verification
Islamabad: Lethargic attitude of university administrations is likely
to force the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to hand over previously
verified degrees to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) without
further insisting for their re-verification in line with a formula in
which provision of degree supplementary forms is necessary for the
elected representatives, sources told this scribe here on Friday.
said that a high-level meeting would be held on Monday under the
chairmanship of HEC Chairman Dr. Javed Laghari in which they would
deliberate upon the proposal of handing over all previously verified
degrees to the ECP instead of pressing for their re-verification by
An official said that the HEC showed dissatisfaction
over the previous verification process and directed all public sector
universities to re-verify degrees of the elected representatives in line
with the formula envisaging provision of degree supplementary form,
copy of computerised national identity card and copies of matriculation,
intermediate and graduation certificates.
"Only 437 degrees have so
far been verified after introduction of the new formula and there are
still 658 degrees which are yet to be verified by universities. So we
will hold a meeting on Monday to discuss what to do keeping in view the
current situation," he said.
The official refused to confirm that a
decision has been taken in principle not to press for re-verification of
the remaining degrees and said: "The decision will be taken in the
Sources said that the HEC extended the deadline
for verification of degrees time and again and now it would not further
extend it from September 25 to any other date so it is unlikely to wait
anymore for re-verification of the remaining degrees by universities.
to official data, 437 degrees have so far been re-verified out of which
387 are genuine and 50 fake, while 15 elected representatives have
moved courts regarding authentication of their degrees.
person Rahim Bux Channa told this scribe that they have directed the
universities time and again to complete the verification process and
gave various deadlines but the process was still likely to take more
"I do not know whether the deadline of September 25 for
completion of verification process would be extended but we would
discuss it in the meeting scheduled for next week. It is unlikely that
the universities would complete verification of degrees till 25th so it
is an issue to be discussed by the HEC high-ups," he said.
Chairman Dr. Javed Laghari confirmed that the degree issue would be
discussed in the meeting to be held on Monday but "any decision about
this issue would be taken after a detailed discussion in the meeting." The news
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Teachers warn of another strike if salary not raised
Islamabad: The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic
Staff Associations (FAPUASA) warned the government on Friday to
immediately release funds so that university teachers could get their
increased salaries at the end of the month. Also on Friday,
office-bearers of the federation headed by its President Prof Dr Mahr
Seed Akhtar said they would go for another countrywide strike from Oct
Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the
federation's executive committee, Dr Akhtar said they had formally
withdrawn their call for strike and a planned sit-in outside the
Parliament House on Saturday as a goodwill gesture for the acceptance of
their demands by the government.
However, he cautioned Finance
Minister Dr Hafeez Sheikh that if university teachers didn't get their
salary in accordance with the the government decision with 65 per cent
increase, the federation would go for a new strike from Oct 5. And this
time it would be for an indefinite period, he added.
countrywide strike by teachers of state-run universities on Wednesday
the government accepted their main demand about an increase in their
In the federal budget of the current financial year,
the government had announced a 50 per cent increase along with 15 per
cent medical allowance for government employees. But, because of
financial constraints, 90 per cent of public sectors universities were
unable to pay their faculty members their salary with the increment.
He criticised both Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Education
Minister Sardar Assef Ahmad Ali for what he called their apathetic
attitude towards education and demanded their resignation for making
derogatory remarks against the teachers' community.
At a recent
press conference Sardar Assef had accused university teachers of
bringing students to roads for the sake of their salary. And during a
meeting with vice chancellors' committee, Dr Sheikh said that
flood-affected people were more vulnerable than teachers.
also criticised the government for according a low priority to the
education sector, saying the government had reduced the education budget
from 2.2 per cent to 1.6 per cent despite that its proclamation in the
Educational Policy 2009 that the education budget would be gradually
increased in coming years.
The children of parliamentarians and
bureaucrats go abroad for higher studies, so they were not concerned
about the public sector universities where people from the poor and
underprivileged income group and middle class families sent their
children for education.
He said earlier that the government had
committed with vice chancellors that no budgetary cuts would be imposed
on HEC, but it was doing otherwise. He said that IMF and World Bank
were forcing the government for making such policies to make the
education out of the reach of the poor and destroy the education sector
of the country.
The federation also demanded removal of all
retired army officers, bureaucrats and retired professors from posts of
vice chancellors and pro-vice chancellors of government universities.
They said that quality education could only be achieved by resolving
teachers' problems. Dawn
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