Universities' boycott over HEC's budget cut
Universities' employees to boycott classes, hold rallies today
Islamabad, Sept 22: The first meeting of the committee set up by the Prime
Minister to resolve the budgetary issues of the universities was held on
Tuesday wherein the members of the committee deliberated the issues of
universities to rationalise their demands for final decision by the PM.
Dr Nadeem ul Haq, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission chaired the
meeting. Other members who attended the meeting include Chairperson HEC
Dr Javaid R Laghari, HEC Member Operation and Planning Dr Mukhtar Ahmed,
Additional Secretary Education, advisor to PM on Social Sector Shehnaz
Wazir Ali, Dr Samar Mubarakmand, Member Science & Technology,
Planning Commission and ex-Chairman National Engineering &
Scientific Commission (NESCOM) and three vice chancellors namely Dr
Saeeda Asadullah, VC Fatima Jinnah Women University, Dr Pirzada Qasim
Raza Siddiqui, VC University of Karachi and Imtiaz Hussain Gillani, VC
During the meeting the vice chancellors and
representatives of HEC presented three major issues which need to be
resolved urgently before the committee including non-payment of 50 per
cent raise and 15 per cent medical allowance to the employees of
universities, continuation of support to scholars studying abroad and in
local universities, payments for the default of the last financial year
which amounts to about Rs.5 billion and completion of development
projects which are near completion.
Sources privy to the meeting
informed that the officials of the commission were asked to rationalise
their projects and needs and it also came under discussion that whether
the university employees should be given salary raise or not as the
universities are autonomous bodies.
The vice chancellors and
officials of the HEC told the meeting that merely for the payment of
raise in the salaries to the employees they need about 7 billion rupees
which the government has not allocated in the budget of the current
financial year and allocated only Rs. 23 billion for the fiscal year
2010-11 in terms of non-development budget.
The committee was also informed that if the government releases the
amount 15.7 billion as pledged in the budget, the scholars studying
abroad and in the country under the human resource development programme
of HEC would not leave their studies incomplete, the projects which
have been completed 90 per cent would be completed and the contractors
who are all set to move the courts against the non-payment of their dues
would be paid.
The representative of the Planning Commission
would forward the demands of the universities which need to be met
urgently to the PM through Finance Minister who would finally take the
decision regarding the issue. The next meeting of the committee would be
held on Thursday.
Meanwhile, on the call of Federation of All
Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA) the
universities employees including faculty members and non-teaching
employees would boycott classes and hold rallies on Wednesday (today) to
protest against the refusal of Dr Hafeez Shaikh to release pledged
allocations for the universities.
The vice chancellors have been
fearing that if the government does not allocate Rs. 7.5 billion to give
raise in salaries of the employees like it has allocated for all the
government employees as announced in the budget, the employees of the
universities would refuse to work and offices of the universities would
be closed down. The nation
"Why are VCs lamenting ? what are they crying over? Although its a good thing to spend on higher education if not a prority but the its a fact that most of them (VCs)have sent their sons/duaghter/son-in-laws/other sifarshis abroad on govt foreign scholarships through engineered selections/nominations .I can name some of them but let the matter left to the govt to be investigated. the flood vicitims are a prioroity not the corrupt VCs its the decision of life or luxury?"
Name: sultan javed
City, Country: ISLAMABAD
"flood affectees should be given priority over all others.Its a matter of life .However govt needs to give universities fund so that existing scholars and projects complete their studies and objectives."
City, Country: lahore
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KUTS to boycott classes to protest against HEC's budget cut
Karachi: The Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) has decided
to boycott classes in University of Karachi (KU) on Wednesday (today) to
protest against the Higher Education Commission's (HEC) budget cut to
public sector universities.
KUTS has also called a General Body
Meeting today to discuss the situation arising from the financial crunch
and further decide a concrete line of action. Secretary KUTS, Dr Fayyaz
Vaid condemned the 'irresponsible, anti-education and antagonistic
attitude of Federal Finance Minister Dr Abdul Shaikh towards the
universities' and said on Tuesday that they had to resort to such an
action because the government is not ready to talk to the universities
after taking this unilateral decision.
The action from the
teachers' body comes in the backdrop of the decision by Dr Shaikh has
recently announced the halting of seven billion rupees to public sector
universities. "This amount is peanuts compared to the hefty amounts
pumped to other sectors, many of them non-productive," the teachers
The teaching and non-teaching staff in public sector
universities has reacted strongly against the proposed budget cut
announced by the minister calling it 'a murder of higher education in
the country.' Dr Shaikh further alienated the universities by advising
them to generate their own funds.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani,
after realising the strong opposition from the academics and other
stakeholders, constituted a committee to look into the matter and evolve
some method to wriggle out from the situation. The committee comprises
Vice Chancellor KU Dr Pirzada Qasim, Vice Chancellor University
of Peshawar Dr Azmat Hayat Khan and Vice Chancellor Fatima Jinnah
Women's University Vice Chancellor Dr Saeeda Asadullah Khan.
of Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has
rejected the formation of the said committee calling it an exercise in
futility. It is the general notion of the FAPUASA members all over the
country that the formation of the committee was wastage of time and the
research and study in the universities will be stunted. FAPUASA too is
boycotting the teaching process today all over the country to protest
against the antagonistic attitude of the government.
VC KU Dr Pirzada
Qasim also expressed his reservations about the committee and said that
he had already told the concerned government officials that the
committee was a non-starter and the suggestions forwarded by the
government were non-practical. "Advising us to increase the tuition fee
is preposterous as that amounts to just four percent of the budget.
Nothing will improve financially even if we increase the fee to 100
percent," he said.
Vice Chancellor Gilgit University Dr Najma Najam
opposed the idea of 'self-generation of funds' by the universities and
sarcastically posed a question to Dr Shaikh. "Should we send our
students (of Gilgit University) to dig the mountains to get funds?"
Other universities' heads agree with her in this regard.
representatives of the teachers in the KU Syndicate Dr Aqeel Ahmed, Dr
Aneela Amber Malik, Dr Shakeel Farooqui and Ms Saba Masood believe that
either the government is devoid of the importance of higher education or
the ministers, MNAs, MPAs and senators with fake degrees want to drag
others to their level of educational deprivation.
universities are bestowing knowledge to a large number of students from
middle and lower classes. What will happen when they are deprived of
education? They will come out on the roads and bring mayhem to the
society. Street crime will increase. The government should release the
seven billion rupees to the universities. All other actions by the
government would be a water shed," Dr Aqeel Ahmed said.
member, KU Syndicate and ex chairperson of the Department of
Pharmacology Dr Rafeeq Ahmed Khan reminded the government that its
action will push the country years back. "It will become a country sans
education and lack of intellectualism will be the order of the day," he
said. Dr Khan demanded the release of funds to the universities and went
on to add, "Self-accountability is also required to curtail the wastage
of funds due to corruption and non-productive projects." The news
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Students rally against govt's plan to increase fee
Peshawar: Students of different educational institutions here
on Tuesday staged a protest demonstration outside Peshawar Press Club
against the federal government's proposal to increase tuition fee and
other charges for overcoming financial crisis being faced by public
Activists of Islami Jamiat Talba led the
demonstration. The protesting students, holding placards inscribed with
slogans against the government's plan, were also demanding reduction in
examination and admission fee being charged by the government-run
educational institutions. "If the federal government's proposal
concerning fee increase was implemented people would come onto the
streets against the decision," a student leader Abdul Shakoor warned.
He said that Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh was not aware of
the problems being faced by the students of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in
case his proposal was implemented thousands of students would have to
say goodbye to educational institutions.
Mr Shakoor said that
the government had already slashed the education budget which had
negatively impacted the performance of education sector in the country.
"We will not allow anyone to close the doors of educational
institutions on poor students," he said. He said that on the one hand
the government had been claiming to have planned education for all and
on the other the already enrolled students were being forced to leave
Mr Shakoor said that students would fully
support teachers, who were planning to start demonstrations for release
of funds to the public sector universities.
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Varsity loses teacher
Khairpur: The Shah Abdul Latif University was closed here on
Tuesday following the death of Hidayatullah Malik, assistant professor,
department of Botany, in his native town of Ghotki earlier in the day.
The vice-chancellor, Professor Dr Nilofer Shaikh, and teaching and
administrative staff of the university at a condolence meeting expressed
grief over the demise of Mr Malik.
Meanwhile, the registrar of
the SALU has announced that date for admission to different faculties
of the university and its affiliated colleges in Sukkur and Larkana
regions has been extended up to October 15. Dawn
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College principal injured
Quetta: The principal of the Musakhail Degree College sustained bullet injuries when a staff member opened fire
at him here on Tuesday. MDC Principal Riaz Ahem was sitting in his
office when a staff member opened fire at him after an exchange of hot
words. As a result, he got injured and was rushed to the Loralai Civil
Hospital. He was later referred to Quetta. The news
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