Punjab University decline in teachers' output
PU bust-ups taking their toll on education
Lahore, Nov 05: Unending conflicts among faculty members have stamped a
blot on the Punjab University landscape as decline in teachers' output
and unnecessary hurdles in imparting education have jeopardised the
careers of students.
What makes the situation alarming is the
fact that many departments have earned notoriety for frequent teacher
bust-ups. If media reports are something to go by, many such cases have
hit the headlines during the last one year.
The Institute of
Communication Studies, the Institute of Education and Research, the
Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology, the Institute of
Geography, the Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, and Islamic
Studies department all have seen clashes among academics.
Confrontation between factions of teachers and sometimes within a
faction itself has become a talk of the campus. Most faculty members
have lost interest in elections for their representation in the
Syndicate and other associations due to disputes.
have launched vilification campaigns against their rivals by
circulating pamphlets and writing (anonymous) letters to the vice
In the backdrop of the growing number of such
incidents disturbing the campus atmosphere, PU Vice-Chancellor Dr
Mujahid Kamran has forwarded to all faculty members a letter expressing
his concern over the sorry state of affairs.
is being seen as a desperate move by the head of the institution, who is
well aware of the falling standard of education. "It is unbecoming of a
teacher and also retarding the growth of the institution," observes
Prof Kamran in the letter which seeks input of the teachers to resolve
conflicts and set the university's future direction.
that "perpetual conflict is one of the most important reasons why
Pakistan has failed to achieve in the global arena", he admits that
"conflict among faculty members of the higher cadres has been a fact of
life in PU as far back as one could recall."
"The conflict of
senior members is then translated into grouping of younger teachers," he
says while claiming that the administration has "not given anyone cause
of anxiety on account of delay in promotions except those held up for
Prof Kamran stated that those
departments and institutes that had avoided or resolved these conflicts
or had toned down the level of conflict had progressed. He stressed that
the faculty members must strive for conflict resolution because they
were being watched and observed by students all the time. "If third
party intervention is needed, it should be invoked," he said.
The vice chancellor said no university could flourish without a culture
of genuine tolerance of difference of opinion. "A difference of opinion
is a difference of opinion and not a blood feud," he writes.
The letter titled "Future Direction of PU" further reads: "No one can be
taught the culture of tolerance through letters and speeches – it is an
inner thing and we should all focus on our inner selves from time to
time. Tolerance remains one of the supreme human virtues".
Kamran asks the academics to realise that "PU is a mini-Pakistan and
embodies the potentials as well as the conflicts that are being
witnessed in daily national life. If PU can be taken on a path in which
there is a continuity and ownership of development and activity, only
then we can hope that the same could be done for this country." He also
urged them to give ideas to set targets and future direction of the
The vice chancellor reminds the academics that "PU
could look forward for global ranking, if it would set a target of at
least 1,500 faculty members, a suitable number of post-docs and a
well-populated PhD programme. However, this endeavour requires money –
for salaries, offices, laboratories, equipment, infrastructure for the
increased number of PhD students, housing, transport etc. Where will the
money come from?"
Saying that the Punjab University is the
most important institution of higher learning in this country, Prof
Kamran demands that the faculty set targets and strive for their
achievement regardless of the fact that who heads the administration "to
be able to lift this university to a very high pedestal in the global
arena in this decade."
"We must always bear in mind that the
failure or success of PU will impinge deeply on the failure or success
of the country. If PU fails, Pakistan is bound to fall – if PU takes
off, Pakistan is bound to take off," the letter says. Dawn
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Over 200 more institutes affiliated with PU this year
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) Affiliation Committee Chairman Prof Dr Hafiz
Muhammad Iqbal said that the number of colleges affiliated with the
university had risen from 525 last year to 584 this year.
reporters at PU New Campus on Thursday, he said that this number was
likely to rise even further in future. Prof Hafiz Iqbal who is also
Dean Faculty of Education at PU further said the decision to affiliate
any college was taken by a committee comprising six members, which also
included the secretary and the subject specialists.
He said the
university had allowed private candidates for appearing in BCom
examination with a view to protect poor students from exploitation of
private sector institutions.
He further said PU affiliation
committee had offered facility of affiliation to government educational
institutions in such subjects including BCom, which were generally
considered to be the right of private academic institutions. Dr Iqbal
said grave problems such as unemployment, poverty, ignorance;
intolerance and extremism being confronted by the country presently
could only be resolved through improving education standards.
observed that during the 1960s, per capita income of Korea, Thailand
and Malaysia was almost equal to that of Pakistan but after passage of
four decades, their per capita income was today much higher as compared
to Pakistan owing to higher literacy rate. He said the present rate of
literacy in the country was 57 per cent but in the poor low income
classes apart from abject financial poverty the incidence of educational
backwardness was also very high with the result that the participation
of less privileged classes in national affairs and decision making has
practically come to an end.
We will have to introduce a high
quality system of education from top to bottom which is within easy
access of the entire population, he added. He also stressed the need of
uniform education in the country.
He appreciated the Chief Minister
Punjab's decision of starting Danish School system but he said there was
a need of improvement in whole of the education system. "Development of
some excellent schools in the system will not serve the purpose. There
is a need to develop an excellent system of schools," he added.
wins: THE University College Lahore (UCL) on Thursday won the 30th All
Pakistan Allama Muhammad Iqbal Declamation Contest, hosted by the
Government College University (GCU) Debating Society (GCUDS), by beating
the best orators of 70 educational institutions of the country. Noted
lawyer Aamir Aziz Sayid was the guest of honor while GCU Vice Chancellor
Prof Khalid Aftab was also present.
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Call to integrate tech with education
Lahore: Incorporation of technology in higher education can raise the
standards of learning and teaching at university level in Pakistan.
was stated by resource persons and participants in a two-week workshop
"Incorporating Technology in Education" during inaugural session held at
Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) on Thursday. Dr Sonia Gull,
coordinator of workshop, said that varsity aimed to make university
faculty members aware about usage of technology in their skills of
imparting education. Humaira Kausar, resource person of the workshop,
was of the view that 20 people were participating in this course. "These
participants are from various departments of LCWU and the course can
make them aware about the advanced technological teaching aids", she
said adding the course was based on different modules that include basic
IT equipments and operating system skills, professional documentation,
lecture preparation, data manipulation and analysis, etc. The news
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UAF's flood relief plan for Athara Hazari
Faisalabad: The University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) after
completion of a survey of flood-hit Athara Hazari, Jhang, will organise a
farmers' gathering here on Saturday (tomorrow) to distribute relief
goods among the affected families.
This was stated by UAF
Vice-Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad while addressing participants in a
"Cultural Night" arranged by Senior Tutor Office at Iqbal Auditorium on
Wednesday for raising funds for flood survivors.
"The university will also carry out reconstruction of Athara Hazari under Punjab Governor Relief Programme -- Sooraj."
He said the UAF had recently completed a social and agricultural survey
of selected areas of Athara Hazari and would distribute 6,000 maunds of
wheat seed, 4,000 packets of vegetable seeds, 2,000 school bags, 1,000
pickle packets, 1,400 sets of various agricultural implements and 2,500
packets of animal feed among the affected farmers.
besides depositing two-day salary with the flood relief account of the
Punjab government, the university took the lead in mitigating miseries
of the victims by dispatching vaccination teams to Khushab and
A flood relief donation camp had also
been set up on Jail Road where the university volunteers collected over
Rs10 million in cash along with relief goods.
He said the UAF had sent 42 truckloads of relief goods amounting to Rs8 million for flood survivors in various areas.
VC said the UAF alumni in other countries and Washington State
University, US, had collected an amount of $0.5million which would be
spent on the flood-stricken people. Dawn
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