An important meeting of the deans, administrative officers and principals of the affiliated colleges of Hyderabad was held under the chair of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Sindh (SU) Professor (Meritorious) Dr Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro, wherein different issues including raising the educational standards in the affiliated colleges were discussed.

The Vice-Chancellor while giving briefing to the house said that every new university wanted to get colleges, but no university was ready to take the responsibility of the employees appointed to facilitate the colleges.

He said that initially 10 people were appointed in the examination department of the SU, but later when the number of colleges and enrollments increased, the staff was increased in examination, enrollment and other related departments as per need. “Currently, there are more than 200 employees working in these departments”, he said.

He said those talking about the transfer of the colleges affiliated to the University of Sindh were not ready to transfer these 200 employees to their university, adding that these employees had been providing services for the affiliated colleges.

He said that there were168 public centers and educational institutions including universities in the country that received grants from Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad. “Due to non-receipt of this grant, salaries and pensions have not been paid even till August 3”, he said. The Vice-Chancellor said that after the inspection of 15 colleges of Hyderabad division, permission had been granted to start the BS program in some subjects. “Now if teachers continue to be transferred from these colleges and posted elsewhere, then these programs may be disrupted”, he said.

He said that if the colleges of Hyderabad were given to any other university, then what would be left with the University of Sindh? In this regard, he said that there was a need to consider at the government level.

Dr Kalhoro further said that the university that wanted to get the colleges of Hyderabad will have to receive 109 employees also working for these colleges in Sindh University. He said that the World Bank gave about Rs. 70 billion to the HEC and asked that the degrees of BA, BSc, MA, MSc and MPhil should be abolished and replaced by AD, B.S and MS.

He said that currently there were 1900 pensioners of SU, out of which 400 were above grade 20, consequently, Rs. 4.5 billion were spent annually on salaries and pensions. He said that the merit fee in the University of Sindh was only Rs. 35,000 per annum in the highly advanced disciplines, which became Rs. 3,000 per month.

“A good school in Hyderabad has a monthly fee of Rs 15-20 thousand”, the Vice Chancellor said. He said that Karachi University (KU) did not have a single hostel, however, Sindh University have 2,000 female students and 3,000 male students living in hostels while 2 new hostels were under construction.

He said that if hostel facilities were not available to these 2000 female students, they would definitely have been deprived of higher education. He said that a total of 48,000 students were engaged in education and research in the University of Sindh and its campuses, including MPhil, PhD and evening programs.

Dr Kalhoro said that due to the increase in salaries and pensions, the financial burden upon the university had increased to Rs 600 million annually. However, the provincial government had only increased the grant by Rs 200 million.

In the meeting, the principals of different colleges of Hyderabad, Yaqoob Chandio, Prof Altaf Memon, Haq Nawaz Abbasi, Prof Saeeda Parveen, Syed Sohail Tahiri and others expressed their confidence in the leadership of the Vice-Chancellor and said that neither the GC University Hyderabad (GCUH) had permanent faculty members, infrastructure, nor academic disciplines to grant affiliation to the colleges.

They said that the University of Sindh was the oldest university of the country, which will not be allowed to be pushed towards financial crisis by assigning its colleges to newly established GCUH. On the occasion, Dean Faculty of Natural Sciences Prof Dr Wazir Ali Baloch, Dean Faculty of Engineering & Technology Professor Dr Khalil Ur Rehman Khoumbati, Dean Faculty of Education Prof Dr Abdul Sattar Almani, Dean Faculty of Pharmacy Prof Dr Khalida Faryal Almani, Dean Faculty of Islamic Culture Hafiz Munir Ahmed Khan, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences Prof Dr Hamadullah Kakepoto, Controller of Annual Examinations Prof Dr Sirajul Haque Kandharo, Controller of Semester Examinations Muhammad Mashooque Siddiqui, Additional Registrar Abdul Majeed Panhwar, Deputy Registrar (General) Nadeem Butt and others demanded the provincial government of not assigning SU’s colleges to any other university, because they said these colleges were the only source of income for the oldest higher educational institution of the country.

They said such move will yield gerrymandering results financially for Sindh University and academically for the students as there was no academic atmosphere and Faculties at the Government College University Hyderabad.

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Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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