Karachi university token teaching strike

Wrangling teachers leave KU Sociology Dept in chaos
Karachi, Feb 24: The Department of Sociology, University if Karachi (KU) continues to be in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. A 'token teaching strike' was observed by a number of teachers on Tuesday who were protesting against former Chairman, Dr Fateh Muhammad Burfat. The teachers maintained that Dr Burfat is still calling the shots and the current Chairperson Dr Ra'ana Saba Sultan stays mum regarding the problems of the department.

According to a reliable source, the teachers are aghast at the greed of two persons who have distributed eight courses each in the evening programme while effectively keeping away the others from this monetary gain. The Department of Sociology is not attracting students in the evening programme and Dr Burfat has devised courses in Criminology and Population Sciences though officially, these departments do not exist.

Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) tried to mediate between the two warring factions but failed to resolve the matter and seems clueless in deciding to help any faction. A member of KUTS has thrown his weight behind Assistant Professor of the Sociology Department, Dr Sobia Anis while others are keeping their options open.

It is interesting to note that this free for all situations in the department is not a fight between forces of good and evil. It is a struggle to safeguard ones own interest. Dr Burfat has been running the department as his fiefdom and has not relinquished his powers even after the assumption of chairpersonship by Dr Saba Sultan. Dr Sobia Anis and her cohorts are fighting to guard their own interests. She failed in the selection board for the post of Associate Professor and does not have the required number of publications in HEC-recognised journals. She is allegedly aspiring to become the next chairperson and for that she has to be the associate professor.

A Professor of the Arts faculty condemned the situation in the department and asked: "What message these teachers are trying to convey to the students. How do they expect to get respect from them? It is disgusting. And there is it seems no one to control the situation. The new Dean of Faculty of Arts Prof Saleem Memon is working hard to solve it but there is complete silence from the Vice Chancellor who is more interested in his foreign tours or presiding at the functions of Arts Council or repeating same things in umpteen programmes of the university", she says bitterly.

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Public Holiday
Karachi: Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Qaim Ali Shah announced a public holiday on 11th Rabi-ul-Awal (Friday). This was decided in a meeting with Ulema presided over by Sindh Chief Minister at the CM House on Tuesday.

The meeting reviewed the arrangements and security measures in connection with Eid Melad-un-Nabi (SAW).

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KC teachers' petitions disposed of
Lahore: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja Muhammad Sharif on Tuesday disposed of petitions of four faculty members of the Kinnaird College for Women against their repatriation to the Punjab Higher Education Department after a representative of college administration informed the court that the impugned notifications had been withdrawn in the meeting of the board of governors of the college. The teachers were sent back to higher education department and the KC administration was not allowing them to take classes.

The court had already granted petitioners stay against their repatriation, ordering the college administration to allow them take classes.

Ms Farrukh Sohail, head of the Islamic Studies department, Ms D Helen Khokhar, head of the Physics department and two other teachers, had challenged their repatriation to the higher education department through a letter issued by college Principal Dr Bernadette L Dean on Dec 23, 2009.

The petitioners, through their counsels, submitted that they had been serving as regular faculty members at the KC since long. They said the provincial higher education department on December 3, 2009 had issued a letter addressed to KC principal not to transfer any regular or contract employee. But the principal, in sheer disregard to the letter, issued their transfer/repatriation orders along with two other teachers, surrendering their services to the higher education department, they maintained.

The petitioners pleaded that the principal's action was based on mala fide intention as they had filed a complaint before the BoG of the college against her, pointing out that the action was also in violation of the Punjab Kinnaird College for Women Ordinance 2002. They requested the court to declare the repatriation orders as illegal and suspend the operation of impugned order till the final decision of their petitions.

Later, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif constituted a three-member "Review Board" to review the cases of preventive detention in Punjab province.

According to a notification, senior judge of LHC Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry will be the Chairman of Review Board while Justice Ch. Iftikhar Hussain and Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman will be its members.

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GCU Exhibition
Lahore: The annual fine arts exhibition of Government College University (GCU) was held on Tuesday. As many as 152 art pieces of students and old Ravians were put on display at the exhibition.

It was organised by the university's Fine Arts Department. The exhibition also housed as many as 78 pieces of calligraphy, abstract art, watercolours and pencil drawings. Many painted greeting cards and ladies' purse were also part of the exhibition besides ceramics and glass work. The news

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