Police block protesting university teachers’ advance
KABUL (Pajhwok): Police on Saturday blocked from advance towards the Presidential Palace dozens of university teachers carrying a symbolic coffin in a protest march against a presidential decree on higher education law in Kabul.
The nearly 100 protestors, all teachers at public sector universities, wanted to ask the president and the higher education minister to declare as void the presidential decree, said Taj Mohammad Akbar, head of the university teachers association.
“The decree has caused a huge damage to the higher education system and has disturbed it,” Akbar said, asking the higher education minister to join the protesting teachers or resign.
He said 2,500 professional and skilled teachers would be sacked and another 785 subjected to forced retirement under the decree that barred individuals not holding master’s degree from teaching at universities.
Political science teacher at Kabul University Aziz Ahmad Rahmand said the presidential decree would create acute shortage of professional university teachers in Kabul and provinces.
He said the government should provide master and doctorate level education facilities to university teachers who had been associated with teaching for many years instead of sacking them.
He said instead of subjecting teachers to forced retirement, the issue should be resolved in five years in line with teachers’ demand that was finding suitable replacements.
Burhanuddin Rabbani university teacher Abdul Manan Haqyar said the presidential decree was in conflict with Article 50 and 79 of the Constitution.
Similar protests have been previously carried out against the decree and teachers have boycotted attending classes in protest.
Pajhwok Afghan News tried to seek comments from Higher Education Ministry officials, but could not succeed. The Presidential Palace has also said nothing in this regard.
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