PESHAWAR: The Peshawar University Teachers Association, which represents around 700 professors of the varsity, on Friday rejected the proposed amendments to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Model Act 2012 and demanded a uniform democratic legislation for all public sector universities of the province in consultation with all stakeholders, including teachers and students.

The opposition to the proposed amendments was voiced during a meeting of the association’s general body at the Khyber Law College of the University of Peshawar, said a statement issued here.

A resolution unanimously passed by participants said the Puta welcomed reforms agreed upon by stakeholders but was opposed to imposed ones.

According to the statement, the provincial government had been working for one and a half years to bring reforms to the Universities Model Act by incorporating certain amendments to transfer the major decision-making from elected bodies to the government.

A committee formed for the purpose was headed by senior vice president of PTI Shibli Faraz to the objection of teachers, who insisted the man was neither an elected person nor had he any official position in the government so amendments by the committee under him as the chair were political in nature and therefore, the amendments were unacceptable.

The statement said the amendments proposed by the committee in question was leaked and that a complaint was lodged by the vice chancellors of all government universities of the province during an official meeting.

It said the governor being chancellor of the government universities formed another committee to re-visit the proposal addressing their grievances.

According to the statement, the amendments tabled in the provincial assembly were disowned by all members of the universities, who remained in the chief minister’s or governor’s nominated committees for the purpose.

They denied having proposed those amendments.

To discuss the issue a meeting of Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) was also called wherein the latest scenario was debated inviting all members of the committees, including Professor Ameer Nawaz, Professor Shafiqur Rehman and Dr Jamil Ahmad, former FAPUASA federal general secretary.

Other members of the committees were taken on the telephone to take their words on the proposed amendments. None of them owned the proposed amendments.

After discussion, the FAPUASA Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also released a statement to the press rejecting the amendments and demanding a consensus-based document for all public sector universities of the province if that is desired.

They demanded the immediate withdrawal of the proposed amendments and threatened nationwide closure of public sector universities if anything imposed on them unilaterally deceiving the teaching community.

In the Friday meeting of the general body, the Puta reaffirmed the position and passed a resolution, which said the teaching community of Peshawar University collectively condemned and rejected the proposed amendments in Universities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Model Act 2012.

“However, we are open to reforms and welcome all efforts on them if stakeholders including students and teachers are taken on board for wider consultation before making policy changes in Universities Act 2012.

“We demand that the University of Peshawar Act 2011 be extended to all public sector universities of the province including the Institute of Management Sciences and other autonomous educational institutions.”

Published in Dawn February 21th , 2015

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