Urdu varsity leaves staff, students in the lurch: Evening programme closure
KARACHI, July 9: The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and
Technology (FUUAST) seems to have opted for making losses and keeping hundreds
of students in a fix over their desire to learn as it could not resume its
evening programme this year after running it successfully for five
The university has cited financial losses leading to the decision
to do away with the evening programme but the institution's accounts show
considerable profits earned through the programme, based on the self-financing
The balance sheets reflect the fact that it was, in fact, a major
source of the university's income.
According to sources, until last year,
the more than 1,500 students had been enrolled in the evening programme, that
offers disciplines like Business Administration, Commerce, Computer Science,
Mass Communication, Education, English, etc. The net profit stood at around
Rs29,052,600, they added.
The profit and loss accounts of the Business
Administration, Commerce and Computer Science show a net profit of Rs10,300,000,
Rs1,800,000 and Rs2,800,000, respectively, according to sources. Even after
deducting the declared loss of Rs747,400 vis-a-vis other disciplines, like
Economics, Mass Communication, Education and English, the net profit came to no
less than Rs29,052,600, the sources argued.
Apart from considering the
profit and the students' keen interest in the programme unimportant, the
varsity's hierarchy's approach and measures have created an impression that the
quality and standards of education had deliberately been kept low, the sources
say, pointing out that many of the university's departments are still pursuing
the annual examination system.
A senior FUUAST official maintained that
there were two major obstacles in continuing with the evening programme this
year, one being the losses that were being made by certain
"Although the other departments were gaining profits, the
overall assessment point to an average loss," Dr Qamarul Haq, the university's
Registrar insisted when contacted.
Identifying the second major
obstacle, he said the institution was without power generators while frequent
and prolonged electricity failures had become a matter of daily routine in
Karachi. He noted that for projects like evening programme, uninterrupted power
supply was a must.
"However, funds have now been arranged to procure
power generators," Dr Haq revealed, adding that chairmen of some departments
have been asked to prepare a feasibility report of their respective disciplines
with a view to resume the evening programme.
A student at the
university's Abdul Haq Campus made mention of a senior varsity official's
remarks he had given while talking to a group of students that "the programme
was suspended because of the growing trend of male and female students forming
couples while being on the campus."
Tauseef Ahmed Khan, Chairman of the
Department of Mass Communication, stated that his department had last year
proposed switching over to semester system but the in-charge vice-chancellor
deferred the matter to next year, without citing any reason.
He said his
department's teachers had even offered free service of one class each to help
the varsity contain the financial losses, as claimed by the
Meanwhile, the FUUAST Teachers' Association has appealed to
the deputy chairman of the varsity's senate to intervene and help restore the
evening programme. Caretaker President Ashraf Khurram and Secretary-General Prof
Abdul Ghafoor Baloch of the association accused the institution's ad-hoc
administration of having some ulterior motives vis-a-vis the Abdul Haq (Arts)