Academics protest HEC chairman’s removal

LAHORE: Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUAFA) Punjab President Dr Abdul Sattar Malik and General Secretary Dr Ahtisham Ali, and Dr Amjad Abbas Magsi, General Secretary of the Punjab University Academic Staff Association (PUASA), expressed concern on the removal of HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri hurriedly and unceremoniously.

The new ordinance — HEC (Amendment), 2021 — has been issued in hurry without taking the stakeholders into confidence. The reduction in the term of office — two years for chairman and four years for members — is not justified in any way.

The amendments should have been discussed in Parliament first for comprehensive input and consultative legislation.

The new ordinance should not be in any way a tacit move to give the control of HEC to the bureaucracy. The post of chairman HEC must be held by an academician of the highest repute with an impeccable record of the administration in the higher education sector.

The new chairman must be well aware of the issues and indigenous solutions to the issues of the higher education sector in Pakistan. Any new imported solution or role of bureaucracy would be detrimental for the higher education sector which is already in the doldrums.

The representatives expect the government would take into consideration the concerns expressed by the teaching fraternity to avoid any untoward situation. The autonomy of higher education institutions must be intact and it should not be compromised at any cost.

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