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Wolesi Jirga urged to reject presidential decree on higher education

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: The union of state-owned universities lecturers on Thursday asked the Wolesi Jirga or Lower House of the parliament to reject the recent presidential decree on higher education.

The union termed the decree against the Constitution and the civil services law. Recently, President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree stating that a government university lecturer must possess at least master degree. The decree will be sent to Wolesi Jirga for approval.

Speaking at a press conference, the chief of the union Taj Mohammad Akber said that if the decree was approved by the Wolesi Jirga, 2,500 university lecturers would be dismissed and 785 others would be retired.

He said that all lecturers ask the parliament to reject the decree because it is against the rights of all teachers and would harm all higher educational bodies.

According to him, those teachers having bachelor degrees and currently doing their masters would also be fired if they failed to complete masters within six years. The decree also sets 65 years of age for retirement of the lecturers.

He furthered that based on the civil services law, retirement and resumption of academic cadres in government-run educational organizations would be arranged through special decree.

Akber also said that the president wants that every university should have at least six faculties; otherwise, would not be considered a university and the bachelor degree issued by the varsity would not be acceptable.

He warned that if the Wolesi Jirga does not reject the decree then students would face challenges in the university entrance exams. “Students will go on protests and will close the doors of some useless ministries.”

Aziz Rahnaward, a lecturer in the Faculty of Political Science and History of Kabul University, also asked the Wolesi Jirga to reject the presidential decree.

He asked the government to allow the graduate teachers to complete masters during the teaching period.

Abdul Manan, a lecturer in Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani University, said the decree would lead to closure of many universities in the country because it causes dismissal of many lecturers. He underlined that the decree is against articles 79 and 50 of the Constitution.

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