ISLAMABAD    -   The university teachers on Thursday continued their protest against Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) alleged discriminatory policies for the teaching faculty and spent a night outside the regulatory body building.

The teachers camped outside HEC vowed to continue their protest until their demands were met.

Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) Central President Dr Sohail Yousaf said that the protest and sit-in entered in 2nd day where teaching community across Pakistan showed its severe resentment over the behaviour of HEC Chairman for not addressing long lasting and legitimate demands of FAPUASA.

He said that struggle is for the future of higher education in Pakistan and to cease the brain-drain that is being caused by ill-intended policies of HEC.

Senator and Ameer JI Siraj Ul Haq came to show solidarity with the academia and stressed the government to resolve the issues immediately in the best interest of academia.

Senator Farhat Ullah Babar of PPP also visited the sit-in and showed utter disappointment over the failure of government in addressing issues of academic elite of the country.

Participants of the sit-in and members of the society showed severe disappointment upon the current state of affairs in the HEC.

The BPS university teachers have demanded from HEC for time-scale promotion and career path for BPS, withdrawal of new journal policy and PhD admission policy, employment of fresh PhDs, restoration of NRPU funding, restoration of tax rebate and new recruitment policy for university.   

Meanwhile, All Pakistan Tenure Track Faculty Association (APTTA) also decided to join FAPUASA in its ongoing protest. This decision was announced by President APTTA Dr Khurran Shehzad Ahmad and General Secretary Dr Qazi M. Zaigham Zia at the protest venue in front of HEC in Islamabad.

The decision came about as a reaction to non response of APTTA’s email regarding reservations on HEC’s recent notifications that it issued after APTTA’s protest and HEC Chairman’s allegation that it has sorted out all the issues of TTS faculty. Other representatives from APTTA including an Executive member, information Secretary and Finance Secretary were also present at the protest venue.

It was unanimously agreed that it’s the need of the time for combined efforts against the HEC’s policies and irresponsible behaviour that are damaging not only the faculty but also the state of higher education in the country.

Both the presidents appealed the government to take notice of this continuously deteriorating situation and take immediate corrective measures against those responsible in the HEC.

Meanwhile, Chairman HEC Dr. Tariq Banuri talking to media said that HEC had attempted to talk to teachers; however, they instead of listening are trying to threat the department.

He said that HEC has resolved the issues of TTS faculty and will also address the problems of BPS faculty. He added that HEC wants to provide quality education to students and it has started the training programme of faculty also.

He said that some elements do not want improvement in the higher education. He said that HEC does not interfere in the matters of the universities while students and parents should come forward to demand quality education.