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SAHIWAL: The newly-elected leadership of the Punjab Professors and Lectures Association (PPLA) plans to review de-regularisation and privatisation of public sector colleges, converting colleges into autonomous universities, administrative and financial powers for divisional and district directorates of education during its two-year tenure.

PPLA President Hafiz Abdul Khaliq Nadeem told Dawn by phone the college community across Punjab had serious concerns at Higher Education Department’s (HED) ongoing de-regularisation and privatisations policy.

“This is time to revisit and review the ongoing policy with elected leadership of Punjab by safeguarding interests of all stakeholders.”

Hafiz Khaliq criticised delegation of power to HED based in Lahore. He said it would be hard for a college teacher, specially female, to travel to the secretariat for official work.

“Its time to decentralize the higher education secretariat,” says Shaikh Muhammad Yousaf, newly-elected Secretary General.

About contract lecturers’ problems, the president said the HED had no workable plan to give ‘pay protection’ and ‘seniority list’ to more than 3000 contract lecturers inducted in 2009 and 2012. He said the PPLA would work in redressing this issue.

Hafiz Khaliq said the PPLA was keen to work on “one step promotion” of college teachers under Dr Attaur Rehman package. He claimed all university teachers and college teachers working in three provinces had availed this promotion but Punjab college teachers were yet deprived of it.

Talking about other issues, he said his association would try to have the Punjab Government Servants Housing Scheme Act amended so that college teachers could get plots by the age of 50.

The president urged HED to fill more than 5000 college teachers’ posts in grades 17, 18, 19 and 20 across 590 colleges in Punjab.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Attehad-i-Asatiza Pakistan (AAP) categorically defeated Jammat-i-Islami backed Tahreek-i-Asatiza (TA) in 5th PPLA election held on May 19, says the result announced by Shafqat Mahmood, chief election commissioner.

The AAP panel not only won in Punjab in five divisions of Sargodha, DG Khan, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur and Lahore. The Sahiwal and Multan divisions were partially won both by AAP and TA.

The newly-elected leaders of PPLA met Irfan Ali, Punjab Higher Education secretary, in his office who promised to solve their issues on a priority.

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2016