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Teachers reject HEC 'interference' in university affairs

PESHAWAR, Sept 6: Members of the Federation of All-Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA) on Wednesday called upon the Higher Education Commission to let the statutory bodies of the public sector universities to function autonomously in accordance with law.

A joint meeting of teachers belonging to the University of Peshawar, NWFP University of Engineering and Technology, NWFP Agriculture University and the Islamia College Peshawar condemned the HEC's 'interference' and 'blackmailing' in the functioning of the autonomous universities.

According to a press release issued by the NWFP chapter of the FAPUASA, teachers observed a black day in protest against the policies of the Higher Education Commission and displayed banners to express solidarity with the teachers in other universities in the country.

They criticised the 'anti-teacher' policies of the HEC and interference in the university affairs.

Prof (Dr) Shafiqur Rehman, president of the Peshawar University Teachers' Association, said that the HEC should allow independent and autonomous functioning of all the statutory bodies of public sector universities.

A resolution unanimously passed by the FAPUASA members said that all university teachers who were deprived of upgradation must be upgraded as this had created division among the faculty.

The requirement of MPhil must be suspended from the eligibility criteria for appointment of assistant professors and the old criteria be restored, they demanded.

Research articles of university teachers published prior to June 2005 should be accepted for appointment to next higher grades by suspending the condition of HEC-recognized journals, subject to the normal peer review process, the resolution said.

Universities should be allowed to prepare their own lists of recognised journals in the light of criteria laid down by the HEC.

The teachers' body also demanded that meritorious professors, already in BPS-21, before the implementation of upgradation scheme, should be moved to BPS-22 with all the prevalent benefits without any further delay.

Opportunities and funding for doing PhD within Pakistan be enhanced for in-service faculty without the age limit and other conditionalities, said a resolution. Dawn
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