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Breakthrough: HEC, FAPUASA talks remain successful

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HEC gives written assurance to resolve BPS and TTS teachers all issues

Post-PhD experience condition implementation postponed 

The Educationist Report

ISLAMABAD: The stalemate between the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan and the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA) came to an end Friday after successful talks between HEC and teachers representatives at the HEC Secretariat here in the federal capital.

HEC Chairman Dr. Tariq Banuri, Executive Director Shaista Suhail, FAPUASA Centeral President Dr. Sohail Yousaf, Secretary Dr. Kaleem Bareach, Punjab President Dr. Mumtaz Anwar Chaudhry and other representatives were prominent among the negotiating team members from both the sides.

FAPUASA Punjab Chapter President Dr. Mumtaz Anwar Chaudhry, who is also president of the Punjab University Academic Staff Association, told The Educationist that FAPUASA announced to end their protest sit-in outside HEC after written assurance of HEC to accept demands of the university teachers related to BPS and TTS cadres. He said the teachers community launched their protest in the larger interest of the higher education and the community. “HEC has accepted all our demands to resolve issues of the BPS and TTS university teachers.”

Dr. Mumtaz said that HEC also accepted their demands to withdraw Post-PhD experience for the promotions of university teachers besides agreeing to their proposals regarding research journals.

It is worth to mention here, that university teachers from all parts of their country were protesting outside HEC from the last three days. The 10-point demands of FAPUASA, which were sent to HEC through Education Ministry a day earlier, comprised:

10- Demands of FAPUASA

  1. Implementation of Post PhD Experience for BPS faculty

The old policy of accumulative 10 years and 15 years for promotion to associate professors and professors, respectively, irrespective of post PhD experience should be continued for at least next five years. The said point was already agreed with Executive Director, HEC in a meeting with FAPUASA on August 20, 2020. In this regard, the data of aggrieved faculty members due to new post PhD experience policy from universities across Pakistan has already been collected by HEC. An immediate notification should be issued in this respect.

  1. Time Scale Promotions for BPS faculty

The faculty serving on BPS or equivalent scale should be allowed time scale promotions (fulfilling eligibility criteria) similar to the time scale promotion of administrative officers/staff and TTS faculty. An immediate notification should be issued in this respect.

  1. Withdrawal of new journal policy

The new journal policy has been launched by HEC from July 1, 2020 without consultation of actual stakeholders of academia. It is demanded to immediately withdraw new journal policy. Academia must be taken on board before finalizing the new policy till then old policy should remain intact. It is pertinent to mention that the old journal policy is globally accepted.

  1. New admission policy

The new admission policy (both for graduate and undergraduate) has been proposed by HEC where universities have been directed to adopt new policy from Spring 2021 but not later than Fall 2021. The said policy has not been deliberated thoroughly with universities/academia. Any modification or revamping of admission policy without thorough consultation with actual stakeholders will prove to be disastrous. The said policy must be deferred till further consultation with academia.

  1. Pending endorsement issues of TTS faculty and early tenure clarification:

Hundreds of endorsement cases of TTS faculty are either pending with HEC or reverted back to university for one reason or another. The delays/lapses are mainly on the part of universities administration or HEC. All existing pending cases of endorsement must be endorsed with one-time exemption thereby ensuring due date promotions of TTS faculty. Also, early tenure should be allowed once in a career irrespective of cadres subject to fulfilling e to eligibility criteria to existing faculty.

  1. Lifting of Ban on further promotion/appointments on TTS and BPS

Due to lapses and gross mismanagement of universities administration and HEC, ban on further promotion/appointment on TTS and BPS is imposed on few universities which is against the autonomy of universities and also against basic fundamental rights of deprived faculty members. The imposed ban on promotion/appointment must be lifted immediately.

  1. Provision of administrative posts for TTS faculty

Recent notification regarding administrative posts for TTS faculty must be re-notified by incorporating provision that it will be effective “retrospectively” in order to eradicate previous anomalies created due to mismanagement of either universities or HEC.

  1. Time barred TTS promotion cases

All the time barred TTS promotion cases should be promoted as one exemption without any additional criteria. In future 9 years for Assistant Professors and 6 years for Associate Professor may be allowed for promotion without additional requirements.

  1. Representation of FAPUASA in policy making

FAPUASA being the elected stakeholder of academia must be given true representation in all policy making forums.  Policy maters related to research, academics, funding, autonomy and quality of higher education should be addresses in consultation with stakeholders.

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