Pakistan: Karachi University classes remain suspended, teachers’ strike enters 10th day

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Karachi [Pakistan], September 25: The classes at the University of Karachi in Pakistan remained suspended for the 10th consecutive day after the University teachers announced a strike due to non-payment of arrears for the past one and a half years.
According to The News International, the complete strike was announced by the Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) earlier this month. Moreover, the permanent faculty members are yet to receive the increment announced in the provincial government’s budget four months ago.

Quoting the University Vice-Chancellor Dr Khalid Iraqi said the teachers were invited for negotiations but they did not come to the meeting. “The teachers will be invited for a meeting today as well,” he added.
Meanwhile, KUTS said that the management did not call the teachers directly for negotiations.
Moreover, in line with their demands, the KU administration abolished the teachers’ fee for MPhil and PhD. They added, however, that this would further increase the financial deficit of the varsity.
According to the notification issued by the KU registrar, the teachers are now exempt from paying admission, enrollment, semester examination, thesis evaluation, and viva examination fees for MPhil and PhD — which means it is now completely free for them.
It should be noted that the students doing MPhil from the University of Karachi had to pay PKR 332,000 while the fees for PhD was PKR 407,000.

KUTS Secretary Faizan-ul-Hassan Naqvi said that the strike will continue for an unspecified time until the teacher’s body takes further decisions, reported Geo News.
According to Naqvi, the KU’s budget has not been approved for the past four years.
Hence, it affected the academic and research work at the university.“The teachers in the evening programme have not been paid their arrears for the past one-and-a-half years, while the permanent faculty members are yet to receive the increment announced in the provincial government’s budget four months ago,” he said.
The authorities have also reduced the salary of visiting faculty and are not even paying that on time. “The visiting faculty are being hired at a rate of PKR 600 per lecture, which after deduction is reduced to PKR 480. Even this is not being paid,” he added.
Additionally, the facilities at KU are in a horrible condition which clearly signifies mismanagement of the administration.
Naqvi further lamented that the students were moving towards private universities as these problems in the public sector surged.

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