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October 8, 2015

ICU teachers, students call off protest as admin agrees to demands

Peshawar

 
October 8, 2015

PESHAWAR: The teachers and students of the Islamia College University Wednesday boycotted classes and staged protest to force the university administration to accept all their demands.
The teaching community of the university boycotted classes under the aegis of Teaching Staff Association against the administration’s decision to increase their workload, decrease remuneration of extra classes and remove the contract teachers and visiting faculty.
After the boycott, the students took out a protest procession to the main Jamrud Road and blocked it for traffic for several hours. The Teaching Staff Association had announced to continue the boycott and protest campaign till acceptance of all its demands.
Soon after the protest, the university administration invited the teachers’ association representatives for talks, which continued for several hours and finally all the demands of the teachers were accepted. In response, the association called off the boycott and protest campaign.
According to Awal Said, general secretary of Teaching Staff Association, the university administration had increased their work load in violation of the decisions of the syndicate. He said the syndicate had decided working hours for extra classes in 2012. “As per that decision, a lecturer was supposed to do 12 hours extra work apart from his regular classes per week, an assistant professor 10 hours, associate professor eight hours and professor six hours,” he said.
He added that a professor was being paid remuneration of Rs1,100 per one-hour class, associate professor Rs1,050, assistant professor 1000 and lecturer Rs967. “But the university administration all of a sudden issued directives to all the faculty members that everyone, whether a professor, associate professor, assistant professor or lecturer, would take extra 12-hour classes per week. Also, their remuneration per class was decreased to flat rates of Rs600 per class,” argued Awal Said.
He pointed out

that the university decided that four-hour extra classes of the faculty members to intermediate students would be considered as three hours. All these decisions were not only unjust but also a serious violation of the decisions of the statutory bodies of the university, he maintained.
He argued that another serious issue faced by the teachers was that of removal of some 75 contract lecturers and appointment of visiting faculty in their place. He said they were demanding the withdrawal of the decision. He added that the university administration had now agreed to re-hire the contract lecturers for one year.
He was of the opinion that the university administration had pushed the teaching fraternity to the wall and they had no option but to launch a class boycott and protest campaign.
After acceptance of all the demands of the teachers, the teachers’ association called off the protest campaign.
Meanwhile, vice-chancellor of the university Ajmal Khan postponed his scheduled press conference about centennial celebrations of the college due to the tension in the university following the protest by teachers.

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