University teachers from across Pakistan, including Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, are gearing up for a massive protest scheduled to take place tomorrow in front of the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) office in Islamabad. The demonstration, organized by the All Public Universities BPS Teachers Association (APUBTA), aims to voice concerns regarding the prolonged delay in the issuance of a notification approving their service structure and promotion policy.
Indefinite Sit-In Planned
Dr. Manzoor Ahmad, the media secretary of APUBTA, announced that the sit-in would be conducted for an indefinite duration. In preparation for the protest, local teachers in Rawalpindi and Islamabad have made arrangements to welcome their colleagues from various cities, providing hostels and hotels for their accommodation.
Primary Demand: Immediate Notification for Service Structure and Promotion Policy
APUBTA has made it clear that their primary demand is the immediate issuance of a notification approving the service structure and promotion policy for all Basic Pay Scale (BPS) teachers. In their press release, the association emphasized that the protest is a response to what they view as discriminatory and exploitative policies adopted by the HEC.
BPS teachers claim that the absence of a service structure, due to what they call HEC’s “criminal negligence,” has deprived them of their fundamental right to promotion. While the HEC was mandated to develop promotion criteria under section 10(q) of the HEC Ordinance 2002, they argue that no substantial progress has been made in this regard over the past two decades, creating serious promotion and seniority issues for over 50,000 BPS faculty members in public sector universities.
This protest marks the latest in a series of demonstrations by APUBTA across the country in the past three years as they strive to address the promotion-related challenges faced by university teachers. BPS teachers assert that the HEC has made several written commitments to resolve their issues, but these commitments have yet to be fulfilled.
HEC Responds to University Teachers Stage Massive Protest
An official from the Higher Education Commission told a national daily that a committee of vice-chancellors had recently forwarded recommendations to universities for the implementation of service structure and promotion policies. The HEC stated that they will consider the genuine demands of university teachers but claim that there is no fault on their part in the delay.
As the nationwide protest looms, the academic community watches with bated breath, hoping that a resolution can be reached to address the longstanding grievances of university teachers in Pakistan.