SAHIWAL: A three-hour marathon meeting between the central office-bearers of Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA) and Punjab Higher Education Minister Raja Yasir Humayun failed to convince the educators to withdraw their province-wide protest call against the conversion of public colleges into autonomous universities.
This was stated by Rao Ijaz, the PPLA Sahiwal division president, while talking to Dawn here on Friday. He said the deadlock between the two sides persisted.
Minister Humayun told Dawn over the phone that he agreed with the PPLA’s four demands except the one regarding the conversion of universities.
He told the association that policy-making was the sole business of the state that had got a mandate from the people. The minister said he would develop formal liaison with the association over the university issue.
Mr Ijaz said the minister agreed with the remaining demands of the PPLA, including awarding of five-tier promotion structure to college cadre on the pattern of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, pay protection, allocation of resources and immediate starting of promotion link training and issuance of new promotion range for college teachers falling in grades 18 to 20.
He also said that his government was committed to awarding five-tier promotion structure to college teachers and he will personally write to the provincial finance minister for readjusting of the previous budget needed for the promotion and pay protection.
Mr Humayun told Dawn that the meeting was held in a cordial manner and except the university matter he fully agreed with the PPLA’s demands. He assured them that he would play a positive role in meeting the association’s demands.
Over the university conversion issue, he told the PPLA that this was a policy matter of the federal and provincial governments and that he would follow the Higher Education Commission policy.
The meeting with the minister was attended by Naeem Ghaus, Zahid Awan, Sahibzada Ahmed Nadeem, central executive members and six divisional presidents of PPLA from Multan, Sahiwal, Dera Ghazi Khan, Faisalabad, Sargodha and Gujranwala.
Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2021