Our campus building looks like a cattle market, QAU faculty says

* QAU faculty enraged over lax security arrangements and hold protest outside admin office

ISLAMABAD: After students, now faculty members of the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) on Thursday staged protest against the overwhelming issues of the university including worse security arrangements at the campus.

The QAU has over 20 departments with a large number of faculty is working in them. The sources confirmed that without any group distinction, almost 140 faculty members gathered outside administration office of the university in the afternoon. They were holding placards with slogans, “Save QAU from hooliganism, corruption, incompetency and from its land grabbers.”

After the hours long protest, a peaceful march was also carried out. The faculty expressed concerns over worse security system and poor administrative policies of the university.

They deliberated in detail on continuous security crisis and alleged that bad security mechanism was complete inability of administration which never addressed this issue seriously and on priority basis.

“Inactivity of administration has brought the university in a situation, where the lives, honour and properties of students and faculty alike are under continuous threat. All of us unanimously decided that work cannot continue under these circumstances,” they maintained.

Currently, the QAU has no boundary wall. An official said that the building did not look like a university but a cattle market as different kinds of cattle seemed to be wandering freely on campus. Moreover, he also said that there were no security checks on the visitors.

Earlier, this alarming issue was also highlighted at many forums including the Supreme Court. The sources said that accurate land demarcation was a major hurdle in making a comprehensive security plan for the university.

Recently, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education Chairman Col (r) Dr Amirullah Marwat also expressed his annoyance over the bad security of the campus. “Whenever a layman enters the university, it looks like a cattle market and the visitor can’t believe that it is the top-ranked university of the country. Such institutions are our national assets and we should take care of them instead of playing the blame game,” he regretted.

According to the available information, the situation of unrest and frustration was being held at QAU for the past four years. Many strikes have been held by faculty and students separately against poor administration.

An official, who requested not to be named, said that although, the university ranked internationally, around 15 of its academic departments had now stopped taking admissions, from Higher Education Commission (HEC) over incomplete required criteria.

The HEC Committee had also recommended that the university’s management seemed to have no recognition of the importance of the office of Quality Enhancement Cell at the varsity. “It is highly recommended to strengthen the office of QEC in line with the HEC guidelines,” it said, adding that the overall management and record was also found to be very poor and improper.

When contacted, QAU Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Ashraf denied all such allegations.

He refused to comment when asked about the HEC report regarding the academic quality of the university.

The faculty members said that they were committed to continue their protest at the administration block of the campus until their demands were accepted.

 Published in Daily Times, February  9th2018.