Teachers across the country observed the World Teacher’s Day (WTD) as a black day. The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA) called for all public institutions to boycott classes in response to the government’s failure to release funds to the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
Teachers in Lahore also observed the World Teachers’ Day (WTD) as a black day in all of the city’s public universities and completely boycotted classes on the call of the FAPUASA.
FAPUASA Punjab president Dr Zafar Noon told The Express Tribune, “The FAPUASA has observed a black day in protest against the federal government’s attitude. The government has not fulfilled its commitment to release funds to the HEC.” Dr Noon said that federal government’s handout that it has released Rs12.1 billion to the HEC was misleading.
He said that in keeping with the demands of the FAPUASA, a special committee constituted by the prime minister, on September 21, had agreed to release the grant to the HEC but so far not a penny had been released. He said it was unfortunate that a day celebrated all over the world was deemed a black day in Pakistan.
On the eve of Teachers Day the teachers’ fraternity of Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) on Tuesday observed a black day for non-regularisation and nonpayment of their salaries.
Carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the government more than a dozen teachers assembled outside the National Press Club (NPC).
Computer teachers are providing the best results in these institutions but the government was reluctant to regularise them, adding that it is unjust that government has regularized the teachers of other departments and not them. A senior Teacher Tallat Saeed said that if the government can regularise computer teachers in each province then why not in federal capital. He demanded of the government to regularise all the computer teachers and give them salaries who are deprived.
The halls and classrooms of Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU) also rang empty due to the teachers’ strike. According to Dr Taj Lashari, the media coordinator of SALU, the university responded to the call of the Federation of All Pakistan Academic Staff and decided to cancel classes on Tuesday morning and evening.
Teachers also held a meeting and tabled a resolution demanding the government release all funds to universities, including the assigned money for development and scholarships.
SALU requires extra funds of Rs94 million to increase the teachers’ wages by half and for a 15 per cent medical allowance.
Public sector universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also observed Teachers Day as black day, against government failure to release promised funds to the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
In Peshawar professors and other employees of University of Peshawar, University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Agriculture University and Islamia College University (ICU) boycotted classes and staged protest rallies against the government.
The protest rally started from of the Convocation Hall of University of Peshawar and culminated at Peshawar University Teachers Association (PUTA) Hall. The protesting teachers also demanded for the safe recovery of Dr Ajmal Khan, vice chancellor of Islamia College University. FAPUASA Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa president Dr Fida Muhammed said public sector universities observed Teachers Day as black day against the non-implementation of 50 per cent increase in salaries of teachers and other non-teaching staff of the varsities.
The University Campus in Quetta wore a deserted look on Tuesday as the teachers boycotted their classes protesting against the non-release of funds for all the public sector universities. The Academic Staff Association (ASA) and Employees & officers Association also held a protest demonstration at the Campus.
Addressing the gathering, President of ASA, Kalimullah Barech said that the academic affairs across the province have been severely disturbed because of non-release of funds. “The Premier announced immediate release of Rs6 billion to universities but so far merely one billion had been released,” he added.
(With additional reporting by Obaid Abbasi from Islamabad, Shahzad Baloch from Quetta, Manzoor Ali from Peshawar)
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2010.
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