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PPF Seminar “Violence Against Teachers”

Location: Karachi

The Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) organised a seminar for journalists titled “Violence Against Teachers” on Thursday, December 1, 2005 at its Vicky Zeitlin Media Library, Karachi.

Prof. Dr Sarwar Nasim, President, Karachi University Teachers Society, Prof. Dr Sulaiman Muhammad, President, Teachers Society, Urdu University, Engineer Tahir Yusuf, Chief, All Pakistan Muhajir Students Organisation (APMSO) and Mr. Syed Tahir Akbar, Karachi Nazim, Islami Jamiat-e-Talba (IJT) addressed the seminar.

Teachers and students representatives at the seminar condemned growing incidents of violence against teachers at local educational institutes and called for enhanced teacher-student interaction besides restoration of students unions to provide students a platform for resolving their issues.

President of Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) Prof. Sarwar Nasim said violence against teachers was not a political issue instead it was a social problem and needs debate at various levels, in seminars, conferences and by media to curb the menace. He said there was no justification of violence against teachers in any case and adding appealed students to bring their problems to teachers instead of trying o resolve them by using force.

He said enhanced teacher-student interaction was the key to eradicate the trend of use of force against teachers. Thanking Vice Chancellor University of Karachi Dr. Pirzada Qasim for taking prompt action on teachers’ demands and Sindh Ministers Rauf Siddiqui and Shoaib Bukhari for their support to KU administration, he said KUTS had to take some strict action against growing incidents of torture on teachers to end the practice.

On the occasion, he appealed teachers to remain neutral and unbiased at educational campuses saying this would not only enhance their respect among students but also help maintaining peace at educational institutes. According to him, whole society lacks tolerance and the issue needs immediate attention of all stakeholders and adding suggested formation at least three more public sector varsities in Karachi.

President of Teachers Society of Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) Karachi Dr. Sulaiman Muhammad said phenomenon of violence against teachers was of very unique nature as it was never heard before in our society that students subjected a teacher to violence.

He deplored that education never remained priority of
government owing to which no local student want to adopt teaching as profession. Dictatorship is mother of majority of evils while democracy prevents society from many social evils and problems including violence at educational institutes, he added. Prof. Sulaiman observed that violence entered local educational institutions in 1980s when student unions were outlawed and now student’s organizations are using force against teachers for using unfair means during exams, cheating and admissions in violation of merit.

Engr. Tahir Yousuf, head of All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organization (APMSO) in his address claimed that through a well-conceived conspiracy, educational institutes of Karachi were being defamed to give message that educational institutes of Karachi were not safe and peaceful. He deplored that a major representative body of teachers was raising issues concerning a particular group of people and adding called for initiating protest for all teachers, who have been subjected to violence.

He said Muttahida Qaumi Movement did a lot for teachers as they were given representation in the Parliament and even some of them were given representation in standing committees of the Parliament. He said that the media did not highlight this issue properly but stressed more on the recent university incident, not other violence occurrences. Nazim-e-Karachi of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) Syed Tahir Akbar praised KUTS and Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA) for raising voice against violence and torture against teachers and said the trend started in 1990-91 when teachers compelled to offer their services to Punjab government for protection of their lives.

He alleged that a political party in coalition provincial and federal governments had turned educational institutions into its sector and unit offices and involved in violence against those who disagree with its policy and refuse to accept its dictation.

Tahir Akbar said tolerance was needed as those who oppose that particular party’s politics and policies are abducted, tortured and even killed and added when IJT tried to initiate protest against violence against teachers in front of Sindh Assembly, police was used to disperse and arrest them, which resorted baton charge, teargas shelling and firing on students. He called for restoration of student unions at educational institutions, saying it was the sole solution of problems currently facing students and teachers in Karachi.


List of Speakers
Prof. Dr Sarwar Nasim
Karachi University Teachers Society
Prof. Dr Sulaiman Muhammad
Urdu University Engineer Teachers Society
Mr. Tahir Yusuf
All Pakistan Muhajir Students Organisation (APMSO)
Mr. Syed Tahir Akbar
Karachi Nazim
Islami Jamiat-e-Talba (IJT)