Uni­ver­si­ties must be free from all ex­tra­ne­ous in­flu­ences: Speak­ers

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL -

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

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