ISLAMABAD             -         Dozens of students from higher educational institutions on Saturday demanded concession in submitting the semester fee during the novel coronaviurs (COVID-19) pandemic situation.

This was demanded by President United Students Front and President Anjuman Tulba Islam Moazzam Sahi, Central Secretary General ATI Muhammad Ikram Rizvi, Central joint Secretary Rashid Mughal and others during a press conference held at the National Press Club here yesterday.

They said that due to the coronavirus, parents have become unable to pay the fee of their sons and daughters. The government should announce soft loans for the students like given to other affected sectors and communities so that they may continue their studies without any hindrance.

They claimed that HEC has failed to solve the problems being faced by the higher education sector especially during COVID-19. It was the HEC which could not introduce an online education policy and even the online academic programs of various universities had been closed down.

Surprisingly, all of sudden, online education is being promoted by HEC without proper preparations, training of faculty and solving the Internet connectivity issues which has resulted in a lot of resentment among the student community. There is also a dire need to review all these policies, they said.

All the policies in the higher education sector should be formulated with the consultation of concerned stakeholders.

The students said that unilateral Higher Education policies and no increase in higher education budget has severely affected Pakistan. The Higher Education Commission under the current chairman has totally failed to solve the problems and he should resign immediately over failure, inefficiency and incapability.

Meanwhile, Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association FAPUASA rejected the proposed allocations for the higher education sector in the federal budget 2020-21.

According to the statement released by the FAPUASA, the current budget allocations will be insufficient to meet the growing needs of 131 public sector Universities and 87 sub campuses.

The universities would continue to suffer during next financial year as well. They also criticized the leadership of the Higher Education Commission, HEC which has failed to get the budget allocations increased.

HEC leadership is responsible for solving the real issues being faced by the higher education sector of Pakistan. Such deliberate efforts would further deteriorate the performance of higher education institutions, its faculty and employees. FAPUASA also announced an emergency meeting of the executive body to chalk out future course of action against the injustices with the Pakistani universities.