HEC & USAID | FBISE SSC papers delay
$550 million aid under threat as HEC is attacked
Islamabad, April 02: Parliament's revenge against the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for its laudable role in
identifying the fake degree holding MPs will not only destroy the higher
education structure, built in decades, but also threatens huge and committed
$550m (Rs47 billion) in foreign assistance.
Informed government sources
said that the USAID had hinted on Friday of keeping on hold the
committed $250 million assistance under the Kerry-Lugar Act to establish three
centres of excellence besides pursuing certain other potential goals for higher
education development in the country.
Already, the World Bank, which has
only recently approved $300 million soft loan for the HEC to support its various
programmes for the next five years, has verbally told the commission's bosses to
wait as the Bank is unsure about the future of the HEC.
The sources said
that the USAID, in its communication with the HEC officials, has indicated of
not doing the cost reimbursement PIL for the next six months because of a
meeting the USAID had with the Economic Affairs Division, which has told the
American agency that the HEC is going to be devolved.
Out of the $250
million, so far only $45 million has been transferred to the HEC by the USAID,
which had agreed to hand over to the HEC all the education related programmes
handled by the US Financial Assistance Development (FAD) programme. Now for the
HEC officials, all the committed US aid for the HEC is frozen.
sources said that under the USAID assistance programme, the HEC had designed to
set up three centres of excellence (CoE), including the CoE in water resource at
the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, the CoE in food security at
the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, and the CoE in energy at the
University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar.
Already, as reported,
the Higher Education Commission (HEC) would lose 300 million dollars of loan
approved by the World Bank (WB) to support its various programmes for the next
According to the report, the $300 million equivalent credit
was supposed to finance the government's tertiary education development
programme. It is said that the loan deal would automatically come to an end
after the devolution of the HEC due to some legal implications. "There is a
clause in the agreement between the WB and HEC that any change in the legal
status of the HEC would end the agreement at once," the reporter quoted HEC
Executive Director Dr Sohail Naqvi as saying. This is a soft loan.
HEC is facing the wrath of the parliamentarians after it had refused to accept
any pressure for the verification of the MPs' degrees, more than 50 of which
have already been declared invalid whereas above 200 degrees were termed
The federal and provincial governments and members of
parliament and provincial assemblies exerted all sorts of pressure on the HEC to
stop it from the verification work but to no avail. Later, more than 200 MPs
refused to cooperate despite the apex court's decision, refusing to provide to
the HEC or the universities concerned the details of their qualification
certificates and degrees to stop their verification by the
Apparently, the HEC is being considered for devolution under the
garb of the 18th Amendment; however, many believe that the subject of higher
education was never a part of the Concurrent List but of the Federal Legislative
List of the Constitution.
The Raza Rabbani-led Implementation Commission
is reported to have made up its mind to devolve the Higher Education Commission
(HEC) to the provinces amid reported threats of some federal ministers and IC
members to the HEC bosses that the commission's powers would be clipped no
matter what the 18th Amendment says.
Many are surprised over the conduct
of Raza Rabbani, one of the most decent and rational voices in today's PPP, who
is said to be supporting the devolution of the HEC when the cabinet even decided
to retain certain functions of the Education Ministry at the federal level.
Experts insist that the HEC and the education ministry are two different
entities and could not be clubbed as one for the purpose of making choice
In its meeting on March 28, 2011, the federal cabinet,
instead of devolving all functions of the Education Ministry, decided to retain
several of them at the federal level by assigning these functions to different
ministries and divisions like the cabinet and foreign ministry.
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SSC Part-II papers may be delayed as FBISE staff goes on strike
Islamabad: The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Part-II Annual Examinations 2011 may be
delayed because of complete strike being observed by employees of the Federal
Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) against the alleged
financial embezzlement in the board's funds.
Employees of the FBISE came
out of the building and locked it from outside demanding of FBISE Chairperson
Shaheen Khan to stop financial embezzlement that has allegedly been done while
transferring the official bank account of the board. They were of the view that
the FBISE director general has transferred the board's bank account to the Silk
Bank and the Atlas Bank from the National Bank and Habib Bank Limited (HBL) for
her vested interests.
It has been learnt that the HBL was distributing
examination papers to various destinations free of cost but now when the funds
have been transferred to other banks, HBL has refused to distribute papers this
time around. "The examinations for class 10th are just round the corner and the
HBL has refused to distribute papers," said an FBISE official.
protesting employees of the FBISE alleged that the husband of FBISE Chairperson
Shaheen Khan was involved in the financial embezzlement. According to
information, an amount of Rs1.2 billion has been transferred to commercial
banks. "What exactly was the point to transfer funds to other commercial banks
when a branch of the HBL exists in the FBISE?" asked an official.
protesters also demanded immediate removal of Secretary Mudassar ul Hassan who
has been reappointed after his retirement. They believed that corruption has
increased manifold since Mudassar ul Hassan has taken the charge. "He is the
right hand of the chairperson as he supports and facilitates her in all
wrongdoings," said an official.
The protesters also demanded of the
director general to vacate the FBISE guesthouse. "She is living in the
guesthouse despite having a house on self-hiring in Sector F-10," an employee
He said that either the chairperson should vacate the
guesthouse or the house, which has been approved for self-hiring. "She has been
living there since her joining the FBISE which is not fair. It is not for the
first time we have demanded her to vacate the FBISE guesthouse," said another
FBISE Chairperson Shaheen Khan
said that demands of the employees have been accepted and they would be
announced on Saturday. When inquired about the transfer of funds, she said that
they have accepted the demand of employees and reversed the process of funds
transfer. "The situation will be normalised by tomorrow," she said
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Quaid-i-Azam University distinction
Islamabad: The Quaid-i-Azam University has awarded PhD degree
in Anthropology to Naseer Ahmed Khan, says a press release. His research was
based on the anthropological appraisal of the changing role of Post, a social
embedded institution in the socio-economic development of Pakistan. Naseer Ahmed
Khan is presently serving as director in Pakistan Post. The news
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Arts festival begins at GIK Institute
Swabi: A three-day All Pakistan
Arts Festival started at Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and
Technology here on Friday.
The festival is organised by Naqsh Arts Society of the GIK Institute.
Students of different universities from across the country are participating in
the event while judges from various reputed organisations, including Pakistan
National Council of Arts, are also attending the festival.
The festival is divided into various categories including exhibition, mixed
media, calligraphy, theme-based painting, landscape, portrait, T-shirt design,
class-painting, graffiti, sculpture competition and textile design.
Students in each category would be awarded for their outstanding work at the
The organisers claimed that such events enhanced skills and develop
personality of the young artists beside infusing a spirit of teamwork and
raising their concentration level.
The participants told this correspondent that what they read in theory was
practically exhibited in the event. Dawn
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Poetry session held at Edwardes College
Peshawar: Pashto poets received applause from the audience at a mushaira held at the Edwardes College
here Friday. Over 70 poets belonging to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa attended the poetry
recital organised by the Pashto Literary and Cultural Society.
Pashto poet Ghazi Siyal was the chief guest. Known poets Rehmat Shah Sail, Iqbal
Shakir, Asad Danish, Samandar Yusufzai, Dr Zabihullah Hassan and Saadullah Jan
Barq were also present.
Speaking on the occasion, Pashto Literary and
Cultural Society president Dr Yar Mohammad Maghmoom said the mushaira was held
after every year or two at the Edwardes College. He said Edwardes College was
not only famous for imparting quality education but also contributing to the
promotion of Pashto language. "The Edwardes College has played a vital role in
introducing the poetry of famous Pashto poet Ghani Khan by popular singer Sardar
Ali Takkar. It was at this stage that Sardar Ali Takkar first sang a ghazal
composed by Ghani Khan," he added.
The literatus said Arabic, Pashto and
Persian languages were also taught at the college after its establishment in
1900. He said Maulana Abdul Majeed Afghani, who was a Pashto lecturer in the
college, rendered unmatched services for the promotion of Pashto
Rehmat Shah Sail thanked the society on behalf of the poets for
arranging the mushaira. He said such programmes provided some respite to the
entertainment-starved masses facing precarious security situation. He said the
poets being members of the society could not remain aloof from the prevailing
situation and their poetry reflected the problems with which the masses were
confronted. Assistant Prof Gulzar Jalal hosted the session. The news
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