Cash-starved Varsities Observing ‘Black Day’
Around 72 public sector universities suspended academic activities and observed ‘Black Day’ on Wednesday (today) to press the government to release blocked funds and revoke cut in teachers’ stipend, Dunya News reported on Wednesday.
The teachers also held a demonstration against slashing of their salaries.
No educational activities took place in all the 72 cash-strapped universities. As per reports, students and teachers boycotted the classes at Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, while the teachers of Islamia University Bahawalpur are observing Black Day with sporting black bands round their arms. Also, the teachers at Faisalabad’s GC University continued the boycott of the academic process at the university.
Sindh University Jamshoro and Mehran University are also observing the boycott. The teachers of Khairpur’s Shah Abdul Lateef University have also suspended the academic process.
According to Vice Chancellor of Gomal University Professor Mansoor Kundi, Gomal University Dera Ismail Khan is not conducting any educational activities; however, admissions and examinations are in progress. Muzaffarabad’s Azad Jammu Kashmir University is also witnessing the boycott process for receiving no grant from the federal government.
On the other hand, Higher Education Commission dismissed the protest, saying that the check and balance system of the universities is unsatisfactory.
It merits to mention that Vice Chancellors of public sector universities have threatened the government to shut down universities from Wednesday (today) after their meeting with government officials ended without any conclusion on Tuesday. The meeting chaired by Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Nadeem ul Haq was also attended by three vice chancellors and other officials. The vice chancellors said that the cash strapped universities cannot continue with their development projects and demanded an immediate release of Rs7 billion. They also demanded a 50 per cent increment in salaries of staff and a 15 per cent increase in medical allowance. Haq, on the occasion, said that the government was unable to release the demanded funds. On this, the vice chancellors said that they were left with no other option than to close the universities.
Govt should not slash funds: HEC Chairman
Javed Leghari, Chairman Higher Education Commission, said that the government should not cut the grants to varsities. He maintained that meeting would be held with PM-constituted team in this regard and hoped that the government would not slash the funds in future.