KARACHI – the new requirements laid down by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the post of Associate Professor, have been rejected by the Sindh chapter of Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA). The association has decided to voice its concerns and demanded the withdrawal of the new policy.
According to a media report; the office bearers will also discuss with the HEC authorities, the ongoing controversy at Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology and the problems with Sindh Universities Amendment Act 2013.
This was decided at a meeting of FAPUASA’s Sindh chapter held at the Karachi University’s staff club recently, to finalize the agenda for a meeting with HEC, in Islamabad.
A three-member delegation of FAPUASA’s Sindh chapter represented public sector universities in the province and raised the demand for withdrawal of requirements put by the HEC for the post of Associate Professor, applicable from June 2015.
The FAPUASA delegation compriseed of its Secretary – Assistant Professor Moiz Khan, also an executive member of the Karachi University Teachers’ Society, Vice President Dr Azhar Ali Shah from Sindh University, Jamshoro, and president Prof Dr Usman Ali Shah, who is also the Secretary of NED University Association.
According to the new policy, teachers had to wait for five years, while faculty members waited for eight years to apply for the post of an Associate Professor, said FAPUASA Secretary Moiz Khan, after the meeting.
He said if the new policy was implemented, a PhD holder had to wait for five to eight years even if he met other criteria, including 10 years of teaching experience for Associate Professor with 10 research papers and 15 years of teaching experience with 15 papers for the post of a professor. “This does not make any sense and is not followed in any other part of the world,” he said.
He said teachers’ representatives from all over Pakistan had already given a detailed presentation to Prof Dr Iftekhar, the director of quality assurance at the HEC on August 23, 2014, regarding these issues. However, he said, it did not bear any fruitful results.
“This practice does not exist even in India, Bangladesh and Korea, besides USA, England, Malaysia and Australia, and this was conveyed to the HEC,” said Khan. “However, the authorities still don’t agree to withdraw this criterion.”
He said until 1999, the requirement for promotion to the post was to have five research papers with eight to 10 years of teaching experience and a PhD degree was not necessary.
“The criteria was revised in 2002-03. Ten years of experience, 10 research papers and a PhD degree was made compulsory for teachers to become an Associate Professor and nobody had any problem with this change. But the proposed policy will not be acceptable under any conditions,” he claimed.
The FAPUASA will urge the HEC to withdraw this ‘illogical’ criteria which was not followed anywhere else in the world.
“We believe that such a condition was framed to stop people from progress,” said FAPUASA president Prof Dr Usman Ali Shah.
Participants at the meeting expressed their strong reservations on the role of Sindh government towards higher education.
They said several meetings had been held with government officials regarding the Sindh Universities Act 2013 but the matters have not been finalized according to the agreement.
They claimed that the government was delaying matters to get their own way.
They also expressed their concern over the ongoing controversy in Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences and Technology which they said was not favorable for academic environment and was negatively affecting students and faculty.