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  • FAPUSA Pakistan and Islamabad chapter press release

    FAPUSA Pakistan and Islamabad chapter press release Social Media FAPUSA Pakistan and Islamabad chapter press release

    The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) and FAPUASA Islamabad Chapter during the press conference at National Press Club Islamabad said that in the fiscal year 2023-2024, the Government of Pakistan allocated a mere 1.6% of GDP to education, the lowest in the region.

    Within this allocation, higher education received only 0.44% of GDP as a recurring grant. Since the fiscal year 2018-2019, the Higher Education Commission's (HEC) recurring grant has stagnated at PKR 65 billion. Concurrently, the prices of gas, electricity, petrol, diesel, and other amenities have increased steeply since 2018. These financial pressures have placed an unsustainable burden on university expenses across the country” FAPUASA Cabinet noted.

    FAPUASA stated that the current ruling political parties in Pakistan have acknowledged the financial challenges faced by education sector in their 2024 manifestos. The PML-N manifesto promises to increase education spending to 4% of GDP, enhancing budgetary allocations for education at both federal and provincial levels, and providing need and performance-based grants to universities. Similarly, the PPP manifesto pledged to allocate at least 5% of GDP to education.

    Given these commitments, it is imperative that these political parties should support education in general and higher education in particular. This funding is essential to improve the financial condition of universities, support high-quality education, and promote cutting-edge research. In contrary our neighbor country increasing 19% and Bangladesh is increasing education budget by 40%. These countries increased their education budget by 600 times in past ten while Pakistan has reduced its education budget by 66%.

    FAPUASA also shows its deep concern over Finance Division’s letter dated May 24, 2024 to HEC for provision of indicative budget ceilings FY2024-2025 recurring budget only to Federally chartered universities and research programs of about 25 billion only. This step shows lesser commitment and low treatment of Education at the national level and provinces are also being deprived of their federal funding. This letter should be revoked, and funding should be increased to 4% to 5% of GDP.

    The cabinet and faculty of entire Pakistan also highlighted that the salaries of the Government employees have gradually increased by 60% since 2021, yet Tenure Track System (TTS) faculty have not seen any
    revision.

    The TTS system was introduced in Pakistan in 2007 to attract and retain young faculty with competitive, performance-based salary packages, though they were deprived of pensions and death /Prime Minister’s Assistance packages. According to policy, TTS salaries must be revised every three years but have only been revised three times: in 2011, 2015, and 2021, in 17 years.

    Additionally, the tax rebate for faculty, which was 75%, was reduced to 25% by previous governments. It was also observed that BPS (and parallel pay scales like OG and SPS etc.) faculty must be given a fair chance to compete for the next cadres and their timely promotions should be taken up seriously wherever that is required for their career growth options.

    FAPUASA urgently appeals to the Chairman HEC, the Minister of Federal Education & Professional Training, the Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Shehbaz Sharif, and President Asif Ali Zardari, to pay a special attention and provide ample budget to meet the impending financial collapse, and to increase the higher education budget in order to meet the demand of bulging national youth and to immediately take up this matter to extend government support and adherence to the educational funding commitments outlined in political manifestos, 4 to 5% of the GDP.

    Further, it was demanded to increase TTS salaries one time by 60% and link it with the annual budget increase, maintain a pension plan and extend death /Prime Minister’s Assistance package to these highly qualified faculty, and a 75% tax rebate in the current budget. While FAPUASA also demanded a 50% increase in the salaries of BPS faculty with the focus on BPS faculty career path for promotions. It is also requested to the power corridors of the government that Education should be taken seriously as topmost priority and institutional mechanism and Vice Chancellors appointments be taken seriously throughout Pakistan.

    The FAPUASA representatives further said that if the government didn’t withdraw its notification immediately and fulfil our demands, all faculty members, and employees all over Pakistan will observe protest and sit in in Islamabad from next week which will proceed until all the demands are fulfilled.