University of Balochistan (UOB) is the largest and oldest university of the province. All the colleges of the provinces are accredited by this university and therefore it has pivotal role in the education of Balochistan. Current administration of UOB has been repeatedly blamed by different quarters for turning UOB into a den of corruption.
On Saturday, different student organizations carried out protest marches inside UOB to protest against UOB administration. These students organization include BSO, BSO-Pajjar, PSF-Azad, IJT, JTI-F, ISF, BSF, Baloch students Action committee and so on. All the marches culminated in the form of a gathering outside the administration block where student leaders delivered speeches against the rampant corruption in UOB.
Recruitment of competent teachers is must to impart quality education in any University. As a result, UOB administration conducted the tests for recruitment of teachers through National Testing Service (NTS). 60% marks were minimum requirement to be short listed for the interview process. However, UOB administration has now reduced the minimum requirement to 50%.
According to chairman of Students action committee, Zubair Shah, this has been done to recruit the favorite candidates of the administration who have failed to score 60% marks. Issue of reducing the required percentage has been under debate for last few weeks but UOB administration has failed to issue a single clarification statement.
Quoting an example of Education department, Mr. Shah said that a candidate whose application was rejected during the scrutiny process was also called for test and interview. He blamed the university administration for influencing the recruitment procedure just to ensure that person of their choice gets the job. Mr. Shah demanded the recruitment tests for education must be conducted again to ensure transparency.
According to the university administration, a fraud of Rs. 60 million rupees was uncovered in the examinations of BA and BSC. UOB administration sacked three small scale employees of class-4. This raises many questions such as that only three small scale employees were involved in this corruption? Student leaders didn’t agree with the findings of the UOB Administration. Students Action Committee alleges that Controller and deputy controller examinations department were involved in this corruption and they were given safe exit due to pressure from Balochistan government. UOB administration needs to clear itself from this blame by conducting a transparent enquiry into this matter.
UOB is the only institute of the province where under-privileged students of Balochistan can acquire higher education. Fees of this institute have always been kept low for this purpose. According to the rules of UOB, there would be 10% increase in fees of university. However, current administration has increased fees by 40%-50% this year alone. Increase in fee has been termed as an attempt to deprive under-privileged students of education by the student organizations in UOB.
“Corruption is everywhere in UOB and there is not a single department which is free from it,” said Shoukat Baloch unit secretary of BSO. He further added that “Current administration is receiving bribes on the construction contracts and as a result the quality of construction will be poor.”
Representatives of BSO and BSO-Pajjar described the plight of UOB in detail. They revealed that admission process for this year is yet to be completed and four months have already been passed. Dr. Malik Balochistan, Chief Minister (CM) of Balochistan had earlier announced that all applicants in UOB would be given admission. However current administration has not given admission to everyone. There is no hostel for female students studying in M.Phil and the rooms of teacher hostel are available on rent on daily basis, revealed the leaders of BSO.
“By university administration we mean the Vice Chancellor (VC) and Registrar of UOB,” a protesting student told The Balochistan Point when asked to elaborate the term administration. “No one has forgotten how the daughter of a provincial minister was promoted two grades overnights which was an example of gross injustice,” added the student.
A student leader, who requested to not be named, told The Balochistan Point that few ministers in Balochistan government are involved in backing the incumbent administration of UOB. According to this student leader, Dr. Malik Baloch the CM is also responsible for the terrible state of affairs in UOB because everything is happening under his watch.
Despite repeated efforts, University administration was unable to comment on the number of allegations levelled against them. Silence of university administration is making the matter even more complicated.
All protesting student organizations on Saturday announced to start a campaign to force the resignation of the current VC. Student organizations believe that’s the only way the oldest university of Balochistan can be saved.
Published in The Balochistan Point on April 26, 2015