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University teachers to boycott classes against HEC policies

LAHORE, Sept 17: The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) said on Sunday that it would boycott classes for two hours in all public universities on September 19 and 26 against the Higher Education Commission's (HEC) refusal to accept its demands. The HEC has called it 'propaganda' against the commission.

The FAPUASA has been protesting against the HEC for the last two months, as the HEC did not accept its demands as to upgrading teachers, stopping the implementation of the Modern University Ordinance (MUO) in the Balochistan University, discouraging the appointment of retired soldier as vice chancellors and reducing the HEC's interference in universities' internal matters.

The HEC framed a committee, headed by Peshawar University of Engineering and Technology (UET) vice chancellor Imtiaz Gillani, two weeks ago to negotiate with the FAPUASA officials for their demands. The committee's first meeting was held in Peshawar two days ago but it could not solve the matter.

FAPUASA president Dr Mumtaz Ahmed Salik said that FAPUASA had decided that teachers would boycott if the HEC would not fulfill their demands. He said, "The government will be responsible for students' academic lose."

He said that in the meeting in Peshawar, the HEC
officials assured the FAPUASA officials that their demands would be fulfilled.

Salik said that another meeting in this regard would be held on Sep 21 in Islamabad at the HEC headquarter, in which HEC executive director Dr Sohail H Naqvi would announce a decision regarding FAPUASA's demands.

Dr Naqvi said he would not attend the meeting.

He said the HEC committee had forwarded the report of the meeting in Peshawar, suggesting "the FAPUASA did not want to solve its problems".

The FAPUASA was staging 'propaganda ' against the HEC and changing its demands day by day, he added. He denounced the FAPUASA's claim that the MUO was against the education policies and the Universities Act.

He said the FUPUSA had been demanding that non-PhD teachers should also be upgraded.

Naqvi said that in the Balochistan University, the degrees of some FAPUASA member teachers were
fake and the federation was saving their jobs.

FAPUASA secretary Dr Asmatullah said the teachers' degrees were genuine. He said if the degrees were fake the teachers should have been terminated. These teachers had a clash with the Balochistan University VC, who was in favour of the MUO, he added.

Around 400 teachers in public universities are waiting for the upgrade and their majority belongs to engineering universities. Dr Asmatullah said in the meeting with the HEC in January it was decided that the reaming teachers would be upgraded in a month, but the HEC had done nothing in this regard even after eight months.

Dr Naqvi said the HEC committee was working to upgrade the teachers. Daily Times
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