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NWFP Agri Uni yet to regularise appointments

PESHAWAR, Aug 16: The management of the NWFP Agriculture University, Peshawar, has yet to regularise the appointments of at least 80 male and female teachers who have been teaching in a constituent institution of the university on contracts for the last one decade, according to teachers.

A university official said the Agriculture University School and College, having a total strength of 1,200 students, was established in 1995 in a deserted building on the campus. The number of students increased as time passed but teachers were hired only on contracts of six months' duration.

A teacher, on condition of anonymity, said that some teachers had not been given appointment letters even though they had been teaching for more than a year.

"We are working on contract basis as several of us have not even received the appointment letters. We are not treated as the Agriculture University's regular staff despite our long services," said another teacher.

A teacher alleged that teachers drawing nominal salaries were at times not even allowed by the administration to take leave without pay.

Female teachers were initially allowed to take a 15-day maternity leave which was later extended to 45 days by the university syndicate. But at times it was difficult for a teacher to get her maternity leave extended in case she faced medical complications.

Prof Fazl-i-Razik Durrani - a dean at the university who is convener of the vice-chancellor's committee overlooking the matters of the constituent school and college - acknowledged that there were seven teachers who had not been issued appointment letters. "This is because they are yet to complete the formalities involved," he claimed. He added that appointment letters would be issued soon.

Mr Durrani said that sometimes teachers were required to fill a vacant post urgently, which was one reason why they were hired on six-month extendable contracts.

He claimed that the university administration was unable to regularise the services of the teaching faculty because neither the Higher Education Commission nor the provincial government wanted to allow the same.

He said: "The management is willing to regularise the services of the teaching staff but the quarters concerned, including the HEC, have refused to provide financial support." Dawn
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