A meeting of Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) Punjab Chapter was held in University of Engineering and Technology Lahore in which a large number of elected representatives from all Punjab participated. The crux of the meeting and press conference were to save higher education.
In current fiscal year, a huge cut in budget of universities and Higher Education Commission (HEC) had been imposed. Cut in budget of higher education is unacceptable as the investment in human capital cannot be compromised in era of knowledge economy. The reduced budget is leading to non- payment of salaries to teachers and staff as well as increase of fee burden on students and their parents. Therefore it was principally demanded that recurring and development budget as demanded in actual must be released to HEC. It was also stressed that after 18th amendment and release of handsome NFC award to provinces, Government of Punjab must also take care of its universities and provide grant to the universities as well as provide funding for provision of allowances such as PhD allowance, technical allowance, executive allowance, etc. Technical allowance had already been granted to all engineers working in Punjab Government as well as autonomous bodies such as WASA, LDA, TEVTA. However engineering faculty of universities is still deprived of this allowance. It was also resolved that all the demands of FAPUASA central such as reinstatement of illegally terminated teachers, restoration of tax rebate, increase of retirement age, etc ought to be accepted.
It was expressed that FAPUASA central as well as Punjab have been very politely requesting for release of demanded funding since June 2019 but no positive response was received from the Government. It was hence decided that starting from Monday 9th December 2019, all teachers across the province of Punjab will wear Black ribbons to show concerns over funding cut and other issues as stated above. For the first two weeks of this province-wide protest, a token boycott of classes will be done every Wednesday for one hour from 11 am to 12 noon to register our protest. And lastly, if our demands are unmet, there will be a complete boycott of classes in the whole Punjab province after two weeks i.e. starting from 23rd December 2019.