The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations–Sindh chapter conducted its general body meeting at the staff club of Karachi university passing a resolution for bailout packages for varsities of Sindh.

It was resolved that the government is not providing adequate and timely funds to universities that has severely damaged the functioning of higher education institutions. It was demanded from the Sindh government to immediately enhance the budget of universities according to their size and announce a bailout package to offset the financial crises in universities.

The association also highlighted the issues being faced by colleges. “The constituent colleges are also facing financial issues, especially the college of Shaheed Zulifqar Ali Bhutto College of Dokri, which needs a separate budget to properly function”.

The FAPUASA Sindh demanded from the provincial government to grant permission to universities to hold selection boards, as they have already granted to few universities. Since the delay in the selection board is causing severe problems.

It was resolved that allowances issues which are already communicated to the Secretary Universities and Boards and Chief Minister of Sindh have not been resolved. These allowances, including, MS and Ph.D. allowance as per government notification, Engineering allowance for Engineering faculty, Covid Risk Allowance for faculty members in medical Universities, and Disparity reduction allowance on par with federal institutions and institutions in other provinces.

The FAPUASA Sindh Chapter considers these all allowances as basic rights of faculty members of higher institutions of Sindh and demands from the government to resolve the issue of allowance as it’s already increasing disappointment and frustration. “It’s unfortunate that despite hue and cry from all stakeholders, the chairs of Vice-Chancellor in few universities are still on acting charge. FAPUASA demands to immediately appoint regular VCs to avoid further disturbance in administration.

The association condemned the fact that few retired persons continue to occupy the seats of directors. Universities don’t follow the rotation policy of chairpersons and deans. It was demanded to immediately replace retired persons with regular employees and implement the rotation of chairs.

“FAPUASA strongly supports the demands of Shah Abdul University Teachers’ Association and demands from the Vice-Chancellor SALU to accept all demands before coming Wednesday, if the demands were not accepted, then FAPUASA Sindh Chapter leadership would participate in SALUTA protest and take up the protest at the provincial level.

The representatives of varsities vowed that these genuine issues have been communicated time and again to concerned authorities, including Secretary Universities and Boards and Chief Minister, however, it is unfortunate that authorities are not serious in resolving the issues. Therefore, FAPUASA Sindh Chapter will start the movement for these demands and the movement will be started a large-scale protest at Press Club Karachi in the coming week. The scope of protest will be widened after that and FAPUASA will place a sit-in at Sindh Secretariat if the demands are not met.

Author

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

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