PPAU supports GERAK’s proposals to reform higher education

Lecture. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, June 1: Persatuan Pegawai Akademik Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (PPAU) supports the reformative measures taken by Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK) in rejecting political appointments for top posts in university management.

PPAU said there should be democratic and consultative decision-making in the appointment of the university board, vice-chancellors and deputy vice-chancellors (VCs).

“Good governance requires meritocratic appointments, not political ones. Good governance requires the appointment of deputy VCs, deans, deputy deans, directors and others on professional and leadership merits, not personal preferences,” said PPAU in a statement today.

PPAU added that institutional change was of “urgent necessity” in order to address deep-rooted and long-standing problems in Malaysia’s universities.

It also agreed to the abolishment of AUKU (University and University Colleges Act) and supported a review and abolishment of outdated-thinking circulars that demean and insult the intelligence of academic staff.

“PPAU strongly agrees with GERAK’s statement about the role of universities. For comprehensive universities, academic staff are expected to be ‘jack-of-all-trades’ and ‘master-of-all’, as reflected in the annual appraisals. In UNIMAS, academics teaching 18 credit hours per academic year and some of the measures taken to ensure students graduate on time may compromise the quality of attention given to students.”

Stating that PPAU represented academic staff from diverse backgrounds and walks of life, it also supported GERAK’s stance against discriminatory policies based on ethnicity, religion, gender, class and age.

“We also strongly support the ministry’s push for equality and equity at all stages of education for our students as well as in the recruitment and academic growth and promotion of academic staff.”

PPAU also agreed with GERAK’s stance to allow academics to publish in all reputable journals without discriminating the non-ISI ones. GERAK’s suggestion to establish a Committee on Institutional Reforms of Higher Education that seeks regular input from the grassroots to address pressing issues has PPAU’s nod, too.

“PPAU stands by GERAK and believe reforms are urgent and vital to reclaim autonomy, academic freedom and professionalism for universities. PPAU wishes Dr Maszlee (Malik, Minister of Education) the best of luck in the tasks ahead and looks forward to your visit to our campus,” said PPAU. — DayakDaily