ISLAMABAD-University teachers protesting outside Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Friday said that the chairman of the commission has failed in securing sufficient funding for the higher education sector.

Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) continues its peaceful sit-in protest against the destructive and disruptive policies of HEC for the third consecutive day, in front of HEC head office Islamabad.

All the organisation’s chapters from AJK, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh have joined the protest.

A statement released by teachers in protest said that the authorities appear completely oblivious of the misery and destruction of the once flourishing higher education sector of Pakistan. An individual namely, Chairman HEC, appears to have been given free rein to single handedly obliterate the gains achieved over past several decades in the higher education sector.

Repeated positive efforts of FAPUASA to engage HEC on various policy matters have aborted due to intentional lack of follow-up by the HEC despite initial agreements over the past two years.

It said that Chairman HEC has failed to secure sufficient funding for higher education and has indulged himself in damaging practices and policies, instead.

The research funding has been reduced by orders of magnitude, research culture at universities is being undermined by de-incentivising the research, and faculty is being discouraged. 

FAPUASA rejected the claims and allegations levelled by the Chairman HEC against the faculty representatives in his last press conference. FAPUASA condemns highly derogatory language against the faculty, and instigation of student sentiments against their teachers merely in a reckless attempt to save job, while leading campuses to fire.

Unless the above stated very genuine demands of FAPUASA are met, the FAPUASA continues with its sit-in protest until an inept chairman of HEC is removed from his post.

Moreover, FAPUASA announces to take its protests to all the university campuses across Pakistan, declares to resist all HEC policies and its representatives at all the campuses. All these actions may seriously disrupt the academic life at campuses across the country but FAPUASA cannot accept a role of silent spectator at systematic destruction/dysfunction of higher education in Pakistan.