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PESHAWAR: The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association has alleged massive irregularities in the financial, administrative and recruitment affairs of the country’s several government universities and demanded of the government to take corrective measures without delay.

It also complained about the victimisation of university teachers across the country and warned that it would give a call for pen-down strike if the practice didn’t end immediately.

FAPUASA central general secretary Prof Arif Khan told reporters at the Peshawar Press Club on Friday that the universities faced serious financial crisis, while the vice chancellors and registrars of universities were victimising faculty members but the relevant authorities appeared totally uninterested.

FAPUASA leader also alleges massive irregularities in affairs of universities

He asked the government to announce a financial bailout package for the decade-old public sector universities and allocation of four per cent of GDP for education sector.

The FAPUASA leader said the provision of quality education to all people was the responsibility of the state but the people were subjected to inflated fee.

He said if the government didn’t take steps for reforms, then getting education would become a dream for the poor people, especially those living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Prof Arif said the university teachers were victimised by VCs and registrars for raising voice against the law governing varsities or for their genuine demands.

Accompanied by other FAPUASA leaders and representatives of various universities including Dr Bashir, Dr Salman, Mohammad Shoaib, Dr Khalid, Mohammad Tufail and Hakimullah, he said show cause notices had been issued to more than 180 university teachers across the country for one reason or the other in an unjust move.

He said many universities had initiated ‘biased’ inquiries against faculty members, while no objection certificate was being denied to them for leaves for studies and on medical grounds.

The FAPUASA leader alleged that many appointments were made to universities against merit, while the ‘culture of adhocism’ towards the higher educational institutions had nurtured swiftly.

He said many public sector universities had been managed through acting or pro-vice-chancellors, registrars, treasurers and controllers since long.

Prof Arif added that additional charges had also been given to the influential staff members’ near and dear ones or retired employees in violation of merit.

He claimed that there were reports about violation of merit and victimisation in Bannu, Swabi, Hazara, Haripur and Gomal universities and Islamic University of Islamabad.

He said the academic and research departments of universities would suffer if teaching faculties continued to face difficulties.

The FAPUASA leader urged the government to take immediate notice of the ‘injustices’ meted out by the VCs to teachers for corrective steps.

Prof Arif, who is the president of the Peshawar Universities Teachers Staff Association, complained about the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Model Act and called for the removal of its flaws.

He suggested the formation of a committee to review the university statutes and said research department should be freed from all kinds of interference.

Prof Arif also proposed the establishment of provincial higher education commission in the province on the pattern of Punjab and Sindh provinces.

He called for an immediate end to red tape to ensure appointment of full-time vice chancellors to all public sector universities across the country for smooth running of their affairs.

The FAPUASA leader called for the review of the tenure-track system for the hiring of teachers in universities and said a proper service structure should be formulated for university teachers to remove their unrest.

“If the government fails to take notice of our demands, then we will announce a pen-down strike initially across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In the second phase, the strike will spread nationwide,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2018