LAHORE - Dozens of teachers of Asatza Muhaz and Jamiat Talba Islam staged a protest rally on Tuesday against the autonomy of government collages and approval of four years degree programme by Higher Education Department. The participants of the rally including teachers and students gathered at Nasir Bagh at 10:30 am and marched towards the Punjab Assembly. They while carrying banners and placards were chanting slogans against the HEC and government. They were demanding the government to review the decision of privatisation of the institutions in public interests. On the other hand, a spokesman of Higher Education Department said talented students wanted to acquire quality education through four years degree programme. However, under the ulterior motives a group of teachers who teach in academies and private colleges during the college time is opposing this programme, he added. Terming the protest campaign of Asatza Mahaz and Jamiat Talba anti-education steps, the spokesman said these elements were trying to destroy the peace of educational institutions. Moreover, very little number of the protesters in Tuesdays rally also depicts that majority of the dedicated teachers do not favour this campaign, he maintained. The spokesman said there is great difference between autonomy and privatisation. He said academy mafia is behind this campaign because under this programme, the study hours of colleges would be from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. On account of long study schedule there is no chance for the teachers to join academy and private colleges. So they are pressurising the students to avoid from this degree course. The spokesman observed the opponents of degree programme are afraid of check and balance systems of Board of Governors. They only desire to receive heavy salary without teaching the students.