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Academic staff threatens to boycott online classes from June 30

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Academic staff threatens to boycott online classes from June 30
Islamabad :19 June: Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA) has warned that if “its legitimate demands” are not fulfilled by June 30, the public-sector universities teachers’ body will boycott all Higher Education Commission policies including boycott of online teaching.

The federation is opposing attempts of the Punjab Government to impose politically influenced personalities as heads of Syndicates in public-sector universities. A proposal called Public Sector Universities (Amendment) Act 2020 is underway envisaging the appointment of retired judges or bureaucrats as heads of respective syndicates of the universities in the province.

A syndicate is the highest decision-making body of a university. Currently, the vice-chancellor of a university heads syndicate meetings of established universities though, in some new universities, outsiders like retired bureaucrats, judges, and ministers also mandated to chair the meetings.

FAPUASA in a statement condemned HEC and its “incompetent team” for launching policies to damage the higher education sector and discouraging research culture.

Announcing no confidence in HEC and its chairperson, it asked the government to replace HEC chairperson with a “competent person” who would resolve the issues of faculty and save the higher education sector of Pakistan from further deterioration.

The federation expressed disappointment on the attitude of HEC chief towards academia, who has “miserably failed to address issues of academia and keep his commitments, multiple times, in the past two years.

Earlier, an online meeting of the Executive Council of FAPUASA was held Tuesday with representatives from provincial chapters and Academic Staff Associations from various Universities of Pakistan also attending.

The meeting strongly condemned and opposed the attempts to impose a politically influenced “Public Sector Universities (Amendment) ACT 2020” by Punjab government. Any such attempt to reduce or compromise the autonomy of Universities would be met with resistance by faculty. FAPUASA does not accept the proposal to appoint retired judges or bureaucrats, as head of Syndicate, it stated.

The members expressed deep concern towards the injustice done with the education sector and universities in-terms of the annual budget. Unfortunately, Universities have been pushed to the wall by the government.

FAPUASA found the role of HEC extremely discouraging towards universities as the commission “completely failed to acquire required budget” from the government and convince the government regarding the budgetary requirements of the universities. Due to the failure of HEC in getting required funds from the Government, the universities are unable to pay salaries to their academic and administrative staff in time.

FAPUASA also rejected the recommendations of the 36th meeting of HEC regarding the Tenure Track (TTS) Faculty.

FAPUASA condemned the HEC authorities for not presenting the recommendations of the committee constituted by Chairperson HEC for issues related to TTS faculty members for approval. Rather, selective agenda was presented and recommendations of FAPUASA were ignored. These recommendations include job security, salary increase, pension, endorsement issues and administrative posts, pending for several years. FAPUASA rejected the new formula of the salary increase for TTS faculty which it said shattered the confidence of Faculty on HEC policies and commitments.

FAPUASA demanded the restoration of a 75% Tax rebate for academia and researchers. FAPUASA resolved that the teaching community of Universities of Pakistan will remain with the only choice of going on protest if the above-mentioned issues are not resolved by June 30, 2020.The news.
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