Teacher-less day at govt-run varsities

Teachers follow decision of FAPUASA, as their colleagues in other parts of the country also stage a similar protest.


Safdar Rizvi September 23, 2010

KARACHI: Teachers of most government-run universities in the province boycotted classes on Wednesday to protest the federal government’s cut in Higher Education Commission (HEC) funds.

The teachers were following the decision of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA), as their colleagues in other parts of country also staged a similar protest.

In Karachi, educational activities at the University of Karachi (KU), NED University of Engineering and Technology and Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology came to a halt.

However, the boycott was not observed by the teachers of the Dow University, where the classes were conducted as usual.

Wearing black armbands, KU and NED teachers staged a demonstration on University Road. They demanded the restoration of HEC funds and chanted slogans against the finance minister, the prime minister’s adviser on education and the HEC.

A few days ago, the finance minister had advised vice-chancellors of the government-run universities to generate funds on their own.

The teacher unions also held a meeting presided over by Dr Abid Hussain at KU, where it was demanded that not only should the HEC funds be restored, but increased as well, otherwise, a protest campaign would be launched.

Professor Fayyaz Wahid of the KU teachers’ association said that the participants of the meeting demanded the finance minister and adviser to the prime minister on education to issue an apology to the teachers for their remarks and attitude. If the demand is not met, the teachers will launch a campaign for their resignation.

The unions also warned the government that privatising state-run universities could jeopardise the future of students.

In other parts of Sindh, classes were boycotted at Sindh University, Mehran Engineering University and Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam.

However, Dr Naushad Shaikh, vice chancellor of the Liaquat University of Medical Sciences Jamshoro, said classes were not boycotted at his university and as far as he knew, academic activities continued normally at the Sindh and Mehran universities as well

Two-hour strike every day

FAPUASA has decided that teachers will boycott classes for two hours every day until their demands are met. “Teachers will not attend classes from 11 am to 1 pm every day until the HEC grant is restored,” said Dr Fayyaz Waid, adding that the decision will be implemented from today (Thursday).  Meanwhile, the FAPUASA Sindh chapter will hold a meeting on Thursday to decide a course of action.

additional input from ppi

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2010.

COMMENTS (1)

Quaidian | 10 years ago | Reply Boycotting classes is the most selfish act of the teachers. They have nothing to do with the deterioration of education. Rather they are concerned with their salaries. They don't bother if scholarships to students are halted. Their only concern is the 50% increase in salary and other income in the name of research grants etc. Our teacher at Quaid i Azam university islamabad make several times of their actual salary by teaching in other private institutions. They are happy to boycott classes so that they can get more time to teach in other institutions on hour rate while their salary at QAU is intact no matter if they don't take a single class. What a shame it is. I fully agree with the finance minister that the VCs shoud reduce their expenditure and use funds prudently. If they use the existing funding honestly I am sure it is more than enough.
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