FAPUASA shows serious concerns over unilateral Higher Education Policies
Islamabad (GNP): Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association have condemned Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, Chairman Higher Education Commission and his team for launching policies that are damaging the faculty of Pakistan and discouraging research culture. The Federation has announced No Confidence on HEC and the Chairman. It was decided that if HEC would try to implement unilateral decisions/policy, without consultation with stakeholders, FAPUASA would boycott all HEC policies and will resist with full zeal. The federation showed disappointment on the attitude of Chairman HEC towards Academia, who is shy to meet the representatives of faculty of Pakistan. FAPUASA showed serious concerns over intervention of HEC and provincial governments in autonomy of universities.
The online meeting of Executive Council of Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association was held on April 21, 2020. The impact of COVID-19 on higher education was discussed. The Academic community of Pakistan expressed their solidarity and cooperation with the nation in these difficult times. The members expressed deep concern towards the injustice done with the education sector and universities, in-terms of annual budget. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the priority of any welfare state should be education and health and major part of budget should be allocated for education sector. Unfortunately, Universities have been pushed to the wall by the government. FAPUASA find that the role of HEC has been extremely discouraging towards universities as HEC has completely failed to acquire required budget from the government and convince the government regarding the budgetary requirements of the universities. Due to the failure of HEC in getting required funds from the Government; the universities such as Peshawar University, Gomal University and Shah Abdul Latif University are unable to pay salaries to their academic and administrative staff on time. In future, majority of the universities of Pakistan will also be unable to pay salaries to its employees due to the shortage of funds received from HEC.
The FAPUASA showed its serious concern on the news of converting educational institutes/hostels into quarantine centers and demanded that no such action will be acceptable. This practice would put lives of thousands of students, employees and teachers in danger. The FAPUASA would support online classes if needed, but proper training and technical support should be provided to the students and universities.
FAPUASA demanded that the recommendations from the committee constituted by Chairmen HEC for issues related to TTS faculty members should be approved at earliest. These recommendations include job security, salary increase, pension, endorsement issues and administrative posts, pending from several years. These issues have caused serious financial and emotional damage to the faculty.
FAPUASA rejected new research journal policy of HEC and demanded an immediate withdrawal of the notification. In case HEC would try to implement unilateral policy, without consultation with stakeholders, FAPUASA would boycott all HEC policies and show NO CONFIDENCE on HEC.
It was demanded that teaching experience for BPS faculty members must be considered for promotions or at least extend the implementation of the requirement of post PhD experience for further period of 5 years. FAPUASA demanded to expedite the procedure of appointment of VCs in Universities of KPK (Especially in Bacha Khan University) and Baluchistan. Further, it was emphasized that all appointments should be on merit as per law. 75% Tax rebate must be restored for academia and researchers.
FAPUASA resolved that the teaching community of Universities of Pakistan will remain with only choice of going on strike if the above-mentioned issues are not resolved on priority basis.