CHITRAL, April 29: A comparative study of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University Sheringal main campus and sub-campus Chitral.
- There are only three degree colleges affiliated with the university in Dir Upper while in Chitral there are as many as 40 degree colleges. Still the Chitral campus is denied the vital resources like library, laboratories, internet access, transportation and students and faculty hostels.
- From Dir, there are about 11 syndicate members while from Chitral there is only one. This is disturbingly disproportionate representation of Chitral given the stronger stake the area has with regards to affiliated degree colleges and revenue going from Chitral.
- Almost all the faculty members at Sheringal are regular, with assistant professors, associate professors and professors; while at Chitral campus not a single faculty member is regular, not to mention the existence of assistant professors and professors. Moreover most of the faculty members at Chitral campus have been serving for the last two and half years, with the option of ‘regularization’ clearly mentioned in the advertisement through which they were hired. Plus their mode of selection was Selection Board, which is a legal selection process to hire regular staff.
- If the same syndicate body can regularize the faculty and other staff at Sheringal campus, why can’t it regularize those at Chitral campus? And if there is not a single faculty member or staff regular under Chitral campus then does it mean that Chitral campus has not been recognized by the Higher Education Commission? If so, then why has the matter been kept secret for so long? And who is responsible for the exploitation and by violation of human rights of the faculty, administrative staff as well as the students enrolled at Chitral campus?
- At Sheringal campus there are fifteen established departments with two more new departments (Urdu and Islamiyat) recently approved, by the syndicate, to be opened. But the cumulative enrolment in these fifteen departments is hardly three hundred, while at Chitral Campus there are only four departments with a students’ strength of as many as five hundred, with female to male percentage of about 70% to 30%. Despite of this strong point the campus has been denied its proportionate share with regards to provision of resources.
- The main campus at Sheringal is housed in a state of the art building with new construction projects on the way, like: academic block, students’ hostels, examination block, professors’ colony, guest house and state of the art video conference room. While the Chitral campus is housed in a congested rented building hardly sufficient to accommodate only classes, with no specified library, labs, conference room, examination hall, girls’ common room and even offices for Heads of Departments.
- At Sheringal campus there are about a hundred ministerial staff all regular, while at Chitral campus there are only seven, and all of them are on contract basis and are drawing a meager salary of only Rs 8000/- per month. Since the regularization of these staff is a normal matter which lies exclusively in the discretion of the Vice Chancellor, so why have they been denied their right to be regularized?
- At Sheringal campus almost all the key academic and administrative office bearers, assistant professors, associate professors and professors exist; while at Chitral campus there is no Campus Coordinator, no assistant professors, associate professors and professors. The assistant registrar, on contract basis, has been made the administrative in charge of the campus.
- The Chitral campus is provided with paltry petty cash of Rs50,000 for two to three months, which hardly meets the campus’s utility bills, stationary and other miscellaneous expenses.
- The campus has not been provided even a backup generator. This badly affects academic activities and office work, especially during load shedding and light outages.
- Just recently, some contract and regular positions had been advertised for both the campuses, but after the Selection Board no regular faculty have been hired against Chitral campus. Moreover, the contract lecturers who have been serving at Chitral campus for the last one year and who have qualified both the test and demonstration and appeared in Selection Board this time have been rehired under the same contract, instead of getting regularized. Worse, a contract lecturer serving at Chitral campus for the last one year has been regularized against Sheringal campus.
- The question is why to advertise regular positions against Chitral campus if the administration does not (or cannot) grant them? What is the reason or motive or the ‘mysterious constraint’ in this case? It should be made clear.