Universities must be free from all extraneous influences: Speakers
PESHAWAR—Universities are the pillars of higher education system. They must have autonomy from all extraneous influences and implementation of 18th constitutional amendment in education especially in higher education should be ensured. It was resolved by the participants at 3rd round table conference on “6 Years of 18th Constitutional Amendment: Equity and Autonomy of Universities” organized by Pakistan Social Services Partnership (PSSP), coalition of 85 civil society organizations, Peshawar University Teacher Association (PUTA) and other organizations at University of Peshawar.
The event was presided over by former secretary Election Commission of Pakistan Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad and attended by academi- cians, parliamentarians, university faculty, researchers and representatives of civil society.
The unanimous resolution states that the autonomy of universities and academic freedom at campuses must be respected by federal Higher Education Commission and provincial governments as per true spirit of 18th constitutional amendment. A new Commission on Higher Education standards be formed by Federal Government as per mandated by the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which should repeal the existing one.
The next NFC Award must be finalized and announced immediately so that every province has adequate resources for education and health. The ban on student union must be lifted immediately. The participants also demanded that 18th amendment should be implemented in higher education sector in true letter and spirit without any further delay.
Realizing their responsibilities, the provincial governments should undertake concrete steps to strengthen provincial higher education set ups through provision of adequate financial resources so that the growing needs of Pakistani universities should be met in effective way. As per UNESCO standards, 25% of total education budget should be allocated for higher education by the provincial governments as well in 2016-17 budgets and proper utilization should be ensured of allocated development budget.—INP