Friday March 01, 2024

Teachers urge govt to increase budget for public universities

May 16, 2023

Islamabad:The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has demanded from the central and all provincial governments to increase the budget for public sector universities across the country in the new annual budget 2023-2024.

FAPUASA President Prof. Dr. Kaleemullah Bareech, Vice President Prof. Dr. Farrukh Arsalan, General Secretary Prof. Dr. Akhtiar Ali Ghumro and members of the Central Executive Council Prof. Dr. Bashir Ahmed, Engr.Mian Abdul Mubeenand cabinet members of all provincial chapters in a joint statement demanded the federal government to allocate Rs500 billion in the recurring budget for the higher education sector and Rs200 billion rupees in the development budget and have also strongly demanded the provincial governments increase the grants in aids of the universities of their respective provinces.

They regretted that despite a high inflation rate i.e. 38%, during the last five years, the budget for the higher education sector remained stagnant. The higher education sector has to face budgetary cuts and delays in payments which resulted in non-payment of salaries to the universities’ staff.

There was no option for the teachers and employees of the universities except to protest. The higher education sector is facing a crisis-like situation across the country. In the light of the decision of the Council of Common Interest, 147 public sector universities with 88 campuses are mostly dependent upon the federal government for the release of required funds till the announcement of next NFC award. But the higher education sector especially public sector universities has been ignored. They said in their statement that all the developed countries of the world allocate at least 5 percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and neighbouring countries up to 4 per cent of their GDP for the education sector, while Pakistan allocates barely 2 percent of its GDP for the education sector, there can be no development and prosperity with this low budgetary allocation for education.

In the statement, all the provincial chapters of FAPUASA and the academic staff associations of all the universities were requested to organize demonstrations and budget seminars for the increase in the budget of the universities together with the officers and employees association in the universities so that to create awareness and convince the central and provincial governments to increase the budget.