To express their resentment at the prolonged delay the provincial government is demonstrating towards the release of grants to universities, teachers at a meeting held at Karachi University (KU) decided to keep public sector universities across the province closed on Sept 17 followed by a two-day closure on Sept 25 and Sept 26.
The meeting chaired by Dr Naik Mohammad Sheikh was attended by representatives of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (Fapuasa) Sindh chapter.
Describing the reduction in the budget as “disastrous”, the teachers demanded resignation of the HEC chairman who, they believed, was responsible for the sorry state as he failed to convince the federal government about the financial needs of universities.
According to the resolution passed during the meeting, teachers demanded restoration of 75 per cent tax rebate, which was used to be given in 2009 to teachers and researchers. The teachers also expressed concern over the prolonged delay being shown by the Sindh government in release of grant as well as required funds to pay 15pc rise in salaries to staffers and decided to close universities on Sept 17 and then on Sept 25 and Sept 26.
“Even then if our demands were not met, universities would be closed from Oct 1 for an indefinite period. Teachers appreciated the return of Prof Inam Bhatti (of Mehran University of Engineering and Technology) and condemned illegal and unconstitutional taking away of teachers (reportedly by security agencies). It was decided that letters would be written to the army chief and heads of security agencies on this matter.
“Teachers supported the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expressed concern over university administrations which are reportedly threatening their staff for exercising it. These institutions include Shah Abdul Latif University and Sindh University Jamshoro,” says a press release.
The participants also condemned appointments of the director of finance and the registrar at the SU, which were made against the university code, it adds.