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June 29, 2020

Ban on recruitments, promotions: University of Peshawar teachers announce boycott of online classes, exams

Peshawar

June 29, 2020

PESHAWAR: The teaching fraternity of the University of Peshawar (UoP) on Sunday announced complete boycott of online classes, examinations and other academic activities from today to press the government to lift ban on appointment and recruitment in the university.

The decision was taken at the online meeting of the executive body of Peshawar University Teachers Association (PUTA) with its president Prof Dr Fazle Nasir in the chair. The decisions taken at the meeting were circulated to the media through a press release of the association as well as in a video message of Dr Fazle Nasir.

The meeting rejected the ban on new recruitments, contract renewal and promotions in the university, which according to the teachers’ representatives have been adversely affecting the career of the teaching community as well as other staff of the university.

The meeting also decided that a token protest sit-in would be staged outside the PUTA Hall for two hours daily till acceptance of their demands. Dr Fazle Nasir said that various teaching and administrative positions had been advertised in the UoP in 2018, but due to the unjustifiable ban imposed by the chancellor on recruitments, promotions and renewal of contracts no progress could be made in the process.

He also expressed concern over the government’s policies about universities and other seats of higher learning. The major issue faced by the universities these days was that of financial constraints and most of the institutions were unable to run their routine matters due to lack of funds, he added. “The government’s cut on education budget has exacerbated the severity of the situation,” he went on to add.

He urged the government to immediately lift the ban and ensure smooth functioning of the University of Peshawar - the largest and oldest general university of the province.

The boycott call of PUTA has added to the concerns of the authorities of the university administration, who believe the university cannot afford any such situation. The boycott would spoil the tiring efforts of the university management of launching and effectively pursuing the online studies of the university students.

The University of Peshawar launched online education a month ago due to closure of the institution in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic. The university is supposed to complete its academic year by the mid of August next. But the boycott would certainly affect the academic and other functioning of the university and the timely completion of academic session would not be possible, said Ali Imran, spokesman for the university. The university administration through a recent letter has also strongly urged the chancellor office to lift the ban on recruitments, promotions and contract renewal and overcome the issue in an amicable manner.

The university administration has also urged the provincial government to immediately release Rs150 million grant-in-aid to the institution. The amount had already been promised for running the routine affairs of the university.

Those following the events complain that the current government has adopted a casual approach to the universities across the country in general and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular. Majority of the 30 universities in the province have been functioning without regular administrative heads. Several are facing ban from the government on recruitment, appointments and development matters.

They alleged that those at the helm of affairs have been busy in appeasing blue-eyed people only. They felt concrete and transparent steps are not being taken to ensure smooth and effective functioning of the universities.