Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has threatened to boycott the process of online education in all public sector universities countrywide from 30 June if their demands are not met.
According to the official statement issued after the online meeting of the Executive Council of FAPUASA:
Higher Education Commission (HEC), in the past, launched policies that have damaged the higher education sector and research culture. FAPUASA demands the federal government to replace HEC Chairman, Tariq Banuri, and resolve the issues of faculty and save the higher education sector of Pakistan from further deterioration.
FAPUASA claims that Punjab Government has drafted the Public Sector Universities (Amendment) Act 2020 that would open the door for the appointment of retired judges and bureaucrats as the heads of syndicates in the public sector universities in Punjab.
FAPUASA has announced to put up strong resistance to any politically motivated act aimed at undermining the autonomy of the universities.
Moreover, FAPUASA has called HEC’s entire management as incompetent over its failure to secure required financial assistance from the federal government.
FAPUASA has also denounced the recommendations of the 36th meeting of HEC regarding the Tenure Track (TTS) Faculty. HEC deliberately ignored the recommendations such as job security, salary increase, pension, endorsement issues, and administrative posts presented by the FAPUASA.
Lastly, FAPUASA demands HEC to restore the 75% Tax rebate for academia and researchers at the earliest.
Chairman HEC has rejected FAPUASA’s allegations and declared it as a personal attack. Dr. Tariq Banuri said that these accusations are based on fake news, inaccurate facts, and false statements.
Notwithstanding the allegations, Chairman HEC has announced to listen to the legitimate demands of FAPUASA.
The issues have repeatedly been discussed with FAPUASA representatives in the past and can be discussed again.
As far as the online education process is concerned, Dr. Banuri said that it is the internal matter of the teachers and university association. However, most teachers have embraced the challenge of online education as a national duty and have performed exceptionally considering the resources at their disposal.
HEC’s Technical Support Committee (TCS) has trained more than 23,500 teachers for imparting education online. TCS will continue giving 24/7 support to universities and their faculty members.
FAPUASA should either allow teachers who feel incapable of teaching online classes to go on leave or assign them other duties, said HEC Chairman.