LAHORE: The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has expressed serious concerns over the temporary appointment of higher education secretary as Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC).
In a statement issued here on Sunday, Central President FAPUASA Dr Mahboob Hussain, FAPUASA Punjab President Dr Hamid Mukhtar and other executive have said that the temporary appointment of Secretary HED as PHEC Chairman was based on mala fide intention of bureaucracy as it wanted to bring higher education system under its clutches.
They said that the appointment of a Non-PhD person as chairman of Punjab’s apex higher education body showed the level of seriousness of the government regarding higher education sector. They said the government should appoint any member of PHEC commission who could meet basic eligibility criteria of the post of PHEC chairman according to PHEC Act.
The FAPUASA office bearers said that the teachers of all the universities in Punjab have expressed disappointment over government’s decision since it was humiliation of teachers because a Non-PhD junior bureaucrat would chair the meetings in which senior PhD faculty members, internationally acknowledged academicians and vice chancellors of universities, who serve in scale equal to grade 22, were members.
They said that the government, instead of giving respect to teachers and ensuring autonomy of higher education system as promised, had taken a step to strengthen bureaucratic control over higher education institutions which would have drastic consequences. They said that the controversial appointment would make PHEC non-functional for another three months. They said that universities were the only institutions in Pakistan which were rapidly making progress at national and international level in the past 15 years only because they remained free of political and bureaucratic influence.
The FAPUASA office bearers called upon Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Higher Education Minister Raja Yasir Humayun to immediately withdraw the appointment of Non-PhD person as PHEC’s acting chairman and appoint any person meeting the basic eligibility criteria out of senior members of the commission.
They also demanded of the government to immediately advertise the post of PHEC chairman so that the seat could be filled in a regular manner and appropriate steps could be taken to improve higher education sector in the province.