Friday, December 14, 2007

Urdu University students continue protest

Source: Daily Times
ISLAMABAD: Unavailability of teachers in the department of engineering in The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology has provoked students to continue boycott of classes for the eighth consecutive day on Thursday.

Dozens of students staged a protest on campus. They carried placards reading ‘save our future’, ‘appoint permanent VC’, ‘ensure permanent faculty’ and ‘get accreditation from the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC)’.

They vowed to protest until their demands were met. They said the PEC board had asked the university to induct new teachers to take classes. They said the PEC wanted to cancel the one-year on-probation accreditation of the university because it had failed to appoint the required faculty. The university officials told Daily Times that private sector universities offered more salaries to qualified faculty than public sector universities so the teachers were attracted towards the private sector universities.

They said they had to go through a long process to induct teachers. They said 15 teachers were required for the Engineering Department and the university would induct 10 teachers initially. They said the university’s labs were well equipped and new books worth Rs 200,000 had been added to the library. Students, on the other hand, said the administration was deceiving them by presenting excuses about the accreditation of the university by the PEC. They said their future was at stake since their course ends next June but the administration could not get the university accredited with the PEC.

They said no one will accept their degrees without the university’s accreditation by the PEC. They said the absence of a permanent VC was another cause of concern for them. They said Higher Education Commission (HEC) Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi had informed a student delegation that he could not help release funds for the university, as it had no permanent VC. University’s Finance Director Abdul Aleem claimed that the administration will soon advertise posts for teachers. The engineering department head confirmed that the PEC was reluctant to accredit the university due to lack of faculty. staff report