LAHORE - Punjab University College of Art and Design (PUCAD) former principal Maliha Azmi Agha has termed the MPhil programme run by the college as illegal and against the rules of Higher Education Commission (HEC).
Addressing a press conference at Lahore Press Club on Thursday, Maliha Azmi, who had been head of the institutions almost one year after Rahat Naveed Nasood, alleged that she had been removed from the headship for highlighting the illegalities and criticizing the parallel and ‘illegal MPhil programme’ which was started to oblige teachers. She revealed that 10 teachers were studying in the programme, adding that no GAT, entrance test or interview was conducted prior to the admission in that MPhil programme. She said that no advertisement was appeared in the newspapers for the admission.
Azmi said that non-M Phil teachers was teaching the programme which was against the rulers of HEC. Moreover, she told that once a week classes were being conducted whereas at least 4-day classes were required. “The programme was started in March 2013 whereas a department entrance test was conducted on the last day of August 2013 but it was not up to the pattern of the regular MPhil entrance test.”
On the occasion, Azmi also distributed the copies of the entrance test among the journalists. She also told the media men that a blue eyed teacher - Amjad Pervaiz - of the college who was also studying in the M Phil harassed her and abused her in his office. Amjad Pervaiz is head of the printing press of the university and teaching in the college. She said that the MPhil classes were being conducting in the office of Amjad Pervaiz.
She told that former principal of the college Rahat Naveed Masood had been appointed as coordinator of this programme to oblige her. She said that her contract had been expired but she was not vacating the room given to her. Maliha said that when she wrote a letter to Rahat for vacating the room, Rahat threatened that she would get her removed from the headship.
“After one week I was removed,” she said, adding that a charge sheet was given to her after ten days of her removal and an inquiry committee had been formed. She said she did not surrender to the inquiry committee due to its partiality.
She also alleged Amjad Perviaz and others teachers including Habib Alam, Arif Khan, Tassaduq Amin and Atif Ameer of being rude to her. She said that she had written to the authorities including education minister and chief minister but did not get any relief so far.
In retaliation of allegations leveled by Azmi, some teaches along with the students of PUCAD also held a press conference at the same venue. Rejecting the allegations, the teachers including Prof Dr Shahida Manzoor and Amjad Pervaiz said that Maliha Azmi leveled baseless allegations without having any proof rather she herself was involved in promoting unethical activities at college.
They said that it was quite easy to level allegations against somebody’s character as Azmi did, but she had failed to produce any evidence. They alleged that Azmi tempered result of 12 students after declaration and affected the results of the students. They said that gross misappropriation of College funds had been found in printing of prospectus and other related projects and events. They also said that Azmi hired unqualified and incompetent people on senior faculty posts, adding that SM Mansoor, a diploma holder from NCA was appointed on contract and was tasked to teach M Phil classes, which was against the rules.
They alleged that Azmi was habitual in insulting teachers and employees. They said that she was operating as the convener/member of the College’s Doctoral Committee, despite the fact that she was not a PhD and only possessed a Masters degree in Art Education. “According to the university rules, if the principal/director of any department do not hold any PhD degree, then the Dean is supposed to perform this function,” they pointed.
The teachers said that the allegations of illegal admissions leveled by Azmi were merely based on prejudice, as she herself admitted her favorite teacher Arooj Rizvi's husband Kamil Iftikhar illegally.
Meanwhile, reacting to the Azmi’s press conference, the PU spokesperson said, “Azmi herself has approached the court and now she should wait for the decision and under these circumstances, there was no point in holding such a press conference.” The spokesman further said that it was inappropriate to comment on the issue, as the matter was sub judice. However, the spokesman said that the PU administration, on the complaint of CAD teachers, students and on the direction of PU Syndicate, had formed an impartial inquiry committee to look into some allegations of sensitive nature against her.
The spokesman termed her allegations as big surprise. Regarding the allegations about the conduct of CAD faculty member Amjad Pervaiz, the spokesman said that Azmi had only sent a text message to the VC who summoned Pervaiz, where he denied the allegation. The spokesman argued that if Azmi had submitted a written complaint, the administration could have proceeded following the law, in a regular manner.