LAHORE: Punjab University Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Niaz Ahmed Akhtar on Monday stopped a teacher of the College of Art and Design from taking classes for his alleged involvement in demanding money from his students over submission of their theses.

He has also ordered College of Art and Design Principal Prof Dr Shahida Manzoor to hold an inquiry into the issue and submit its report within two days.

The vice chancellor office had received an anonymous complaint from the students of the college against their teacher ‘Ah’ through an email.

According to the email available with Dawn, students of BFA Graphic Design fourth-year (8th semester) of PU College of Arts and Design Allama Iqbal campus alleged that ‘Ah’ was handling their theses and he directed all the 77 students to upload their works on a paid website -

The teacher told the students that it was an international website and he had finalised the site for them after discussing with international teachers.

The complainants said under the head of account registration the website was charging Rs6,028 per student with further fee of $30 to $40 taking it to Rs12,000 per student.

The class strength is 77 and it will make a total of Rs900,000. The payment method is via Jazz cash.

One of the students said they had raised the issue with the teacher as it was not affordable for them but he kept forcing them to register on the website otherwise he would not pass them in theses.

He said the students had checked the website and it was registered by the teacher from his own studio Puchi located at Gulberg.

“The teacher has also been involved in this malpractice previously and taken Rs3,000 per student in the name of participating in an international poster contest by UN Art for Peace competition during their seventh semester,” he said.

The students had questioned the competition to which the teacher got angry and scolded them.

The complainants have demanded action against the teacher.

VC Prof Akhtar told Dawn that he had held a meeting with the principal and faculty members of the College of Art and Design at his office after receiving the complaint.

He said it transpired in the meeting that the students had not yet paid any fee to the teacher but he had stopped the teacher from taking classes.

He said he had ordered the principal to hold an inquiry and submit its report within two days.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2019