Sunday, 1 June 2014
Five students expelled and 4 suspended from Poonch University AJK for demanding the accreditation of their faculty
Five students expelled and 4 suspended from Poonch University AJK for demanding the accreditat
ion of their faculty
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that five students have been expelled and four students have beensuspended from the faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences of 'the University of Poonch, RawalaKot' Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Pakistan, for demanding the accreditation of their faculty. From the nine expelled and suspended students eight were in their 9th semester and about to graduate,and one female student was in her 7thsemester. Every year the Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council (PVMC) issues circulars warning that University of Poonch, Azad Kashmir (AJK) is running illegal degree courses for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree and it has not been accredited with the PVMC. However, the University of Poonch, in contravention to the instructions of PVMC, opens admissions to the faculty every year.
More than 200 students have graduated with the DVM degree but remain jobless since their graduation. Criminal cases have been filed against the expelled and suspended students, including two female students, in the local police station and there are chances that they will be arrested in coming days.
On 9 May, the University of Poonch, Rawala Kot, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Pakistan, through its Discipline Committee, expelled five students and suspended four students, including two female students, on charges of distorting the image of the university by doing negative propaganda; affecting the examination process; using bad language against the vice chancellor, registrar and other teaching staff of university; and chanting slogans against them.
The students from thefaculty of veterinary sciences were demanding the accreditation of the faculty so that their degrees could be recognised andthey could workas veterinary doctors. The university authorities have assured the students that they will get the accreditation many times, the lack of which has resulted in the unemployment of 210 graduated students.
The names of expelled students are: 1) Mr. Sufyan Riaz, son of Riaz Ahmed, 9th Semester student of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM); 2) Mr. Mohammad Ammad Shujat, son of Shujat Ali, 9th Semester; 3) Mr. Zeeshan Mehmood, son of Rahim Dad, 9th Semester; 4) Mr. Abid Hussain Baqri, son of Mohammad Ehsan, 9th Semester; and 5) Mr. Tauqir Baber, son of Malik Baber Hussain, 9th Semester of DVM.
The suspended students for one academic session (two semesters) are: 1)Mr. Syed Iftekha, son of Altaf Hussain Shah, 9th Semester; 2) Mr. Haad Rabbani, son of Mehmood Rabbani, 9th Semester; 3) Miss Amina Jabeen, daughter of Mohammad Baqir, 9thSemester; and 4) Miss Fatima Janjua, daughter of Abdul Aziz, 7th Semester.
These students are barred from entering the university premises. They cannot join or shift to any other department or university to continue their education. The students are not only from Azad and Jammu Kashmir (AJK) but also from other provinces of Pakistan.
The students, including thosein their final semesters, remained on strike for 37 days from August-September 2013, demanding the accreditation of the faculty.The students first held their rallies and demonstrations in Rawala Kot city, AJK, for 30 days. After receiving no remedy from the government of AJK and or from the PVMC they held a long march of 110 kilometres towards Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. First they had a sit-in outside the National Press Club, Islamabad, for five days but no one from the government responded to their demands. The striking students, more than 100, went to Kashmir House in Islamabad, where the President of AJK government, Chief Secretary of AJK, Vice Chancellor of the Rawala Kot University, Dr. Arshad, president of the Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council (PVMC), Dr. Manzoor Hussain and other officials of AJK were staying, and held a protest and sit-in outside the gate.[u1]
On the intervention of the President of AJK it was decided and announced before the protesting students that the government of AJK and the PVMC will accredit the faculty of veterinary sciences of the University of Poonch. The President also announced a grant of 50 million Pakistani Rupees to the faculty. The vice chancellor was asked to arrange a visit for experts from the PVMC to examine the facilities for the education of veterinary sciences in the faculty, which is manadatory for granting accreditation.
The government and the university authorities failed to fulfil their agreements. Criminally, the authorities from the University of Poonch swept away the findings of the team of experts from PVMC, which were made after their visit . The PVMC has said that there are no proper facilities, no proper laboratories, no standard of teaching the syllabus and no proper classrooms and field visits. The university is nonetheless charging heavy fees from the regular students and those students who got admission on the 'sponsorship' scheme.
The annual examinations were supposed to start on April 28, but the students held demonstrations. This resulted in the expulsion and suspension of the students as the punishment for demanding accreditation of their faculty and post-graduate degrees. The university authorities are also using coercive and intimidating tactics against the 210 students, particularly the female students. The authorities are making phone calls to the parents of female students to intimidate them, warning them of dire consequences.
Criminal cases were filed against the expelled and suspended students in the local police station and there are chances that they will be arrested in the coming days.
The PVMC had already spread the word through the advertisements and official circulations to all the four provincial governments and the AJK government that jobs will not be offered to the veterinarians who have do their degree in veterinary sciences from the University of Poonch as the University is not recognized by the PVMC.
There are two methods of the admission to the veterinary faculty of Poonch University. The students are selected by the federal committee for admission to veterinary faculties. The committee nominates and selects students from every province on the basis of the population of the particular province. Regular students selected by the federal committee have to pay 25,000 Pakistani Rupees per semester whereas those who are admitted[l2] on sponsorship scheme have to pay 50,000 per semester.
The University of Poonch and the federal selection committee, knowing that the faculty is not recognized, are intentionally cheating the parents of more than 400 students.
Even the University of Poonch was accredited in the year 2012 but it has started the faculty of veterinary degree from 2008. [l3]
Please write letters to the following authorities calling on them to immediately cancel the orders for the expulsion and suspension of nine students from the faculty of veterinary sciences of the University of Poonch and withdraw the criminal cases filed by the university authorities against the students. Legal action must be taken against the vice chancellor of the university and registrar for charging heavy fees from students. The faculty of veterinary sciences of the university must be accredited immediately from the year 2008 so that graduates can be qualified for jobs. [u4]
The AHRC is sending a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Question of Education calling for his intervention into this matter.