Lahore : Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association has strongly shown its concerns over federal government’s anti-education policies, budgetary cuts and closure of various academic programs and said that the government was bringing higher education sector to the stone-age.
In a press statement, FAPUASA President Dr Mahboob Hussain, Secretary Arif Khan, Punjab Chapter’s President Dr. Hamid Mukhtar, Islamabad Chapter’s President Dr Sohail Yousif and others have said that the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf had promised during elections that it would give top priority to the education sector.
They said that there were many hopes from the PTI government that it would boost and support higher education. However, they said, contrary to their tall claims, the policies and steps being taken by the government were negatively affecting higher education sector in the country.
FAPUASA leadership said that teachers could not accept this U-turn by the government as this would make Pakistan’s future bleak. They said that since the government was not extending support to the Higher Education Commission, the HEC had to shut down some academic program completely while funding of some programs had been reduced drastically, which was bringing the overall higher education sector to a halt.
They said neither provincial nor federal Higher Education Commission was providing any funding to the university teachers for participating and presenting research papers at the international conferences abroad, which was seriously discouraging the researchers who put in a lot efforts to do research, writing papers and get them published by reputed foreign journals.
They said that instead of increasing the budget of higher education sector as per tall claims during elections, the government had massively cut the recurring budget as the government has decided to allocate only Rs 58 billion against HEC’s demand of Rs 103 billion. Teachers said that the future of any country was associated with education and if the government wanted Pakistan to prosper, it must give priority to education. They said that universities were the only institutions in the country which had rapidly made progress in the past few years due to which international ranking of all Pakistani universities had improved.
However, if the government continued to ignore the higher education sector, research and development activities would be affected badly and all the process of making achievements at international level would face reversal. FAPUASA called upon the government to act as per the promises made in the elections and give priority to education otherwise teachers of all the universities in Pakistan would be compelled to take hard steps.