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Lecturers demand abrogation of president’s decree

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Lecturers of the state-run universities once again came out on Saturday to protest presidential decree over higher education. They demanded abolition of the decree.

President Ashraf Ghani in a decree has limited the age of the university lecturers, which the lecturers call against the higher education law.

The professors called the president’s last decree against civil services and higher education law as well as in contrast with the Constitution.

They planned to march from Kabul University to Ministry of Higher Education and then to presidential palace, but police impeded them to get out of the campus.

Professors were carrying banners and placards reading “The new law and decree take the coffin of universities”, “Farida Mohmand is not capable to hold higher education ministry” and “We support the right demands of lecturers”.

“If the 65-year-old lecturer is unable to lecture, how is 70-year-old Ghani able to hold presidency?” read a banner carried by a lecturer.

Prof. Taj Mohammad Akbar, head of the union of the universities said that the implementation of new law and presidential decree will put negative impact on higher education system will lead to crisis.

“2,500 professional lecturers will be fired and 785 others will resign if the decree is put in action,” Akbar said.

“This decree has decreased the age of retirement for lecturers from 75 to 65 years and has said the bachelor lecturers who fail to get master degree within six years will be fired.”

Akbar added that over 3,200 lecturers and professors would be dismissed from universities if the decree is implemented.

Kabul University Professor Lutfullah Safi said that the decree was made based on specific clusters’ orders, which is “totally against higher education interest”.

“Our protest will continue with greater dimensions, if our demands not addressed, Safi said.

The university professors had earlier asked for the abolition of the decree, but they say that their demand was not met by the government.

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