HEC devolution mixed response | Provincial HEC
HEC devolution plan draws mixed response
Karachi, April 08: Mixed feelings have been expressed by different
stakeholders over the Higher Education Commission's (HEC) proposed devolution to
provinces following the passage of the 18th Amendment in the
The Karachi University Teachers Society's (Kuts) on Thursday adopted a
unanimous resolution, saying that that the "KU teachers who have always been
rejecting the HEC's regulatory role are not prepared to accept the rules
introduced by the commission whether it enjoyed a federal or a provincial
A meeting of Kuts' executive committee chaired by its president Prof (Dr)
Abid Hasnain held on the campus to discuss the situation arisen out of the
ongoing debate concerning the HEC's devolution plan unanimously resolved that
the society's executive committee accorded priority to the universities autonomy
and the importance and priority given to the public sector universities under
the University Act of 1972.
"The measures being taken by the government concerning the HEC's devolution
plan are, at present, vague and no clear line of action has been devised," the
meeting participants opined and urged the government to take the "real"
stakeholders ie teachers into confidence prior to taking any decision concerning
the HEC's devolution and all other decisions be made in the light of teachers'
A press release of Kuts issued by its secretary Dr Shakeel Farooqui said that
a general body meeting of the Federation of All-Pakistan Academic Staff
Association was being convened in this regard on April 9 and 10 in Islamabad and
as, such, a final line of action would be announced after its ending.
Opposition to devolution plan slammed
Minister for Education Pir Mazhrul Haq said that all those who were opposing the
devolution of the HEC to the provinces had, in fact, nurtured in the era of
martial law and, as such, they were unable to digest the provincial autonomy
being ensured by the present government with its devolution plan.
In a hard-hitting statement, the minister accused the former chairman of the
HEC and a section of the media of launching a negative propaganda against the
government move of devolving education sector to provinces, saying that by doing
so all those who had been raising slogans in favour of provincial autonomy had
also been exposed.
Mr Mazhar said that education being a provincial subject that in 1973
constitution was kept in the concurrent list only for 10 years remained a
federal subject for 27 long years mainly owing to the trampling on the
Constitution by dictatorial rules.
However, education was now being made a provincial subject and the present
democratic government got the credit for it, he said.
Accusing a section of the media and some vested interests of creating a
negative propaganda against the HEC's devolution plan, the minister said that
with the devolution of the HEC to the province neither the foreign aid being
received by the commission would be affected, nor the autonomy of the public
sector universities would get damaged.
Moreover, the HEC's tasks of ensuring quality of higher education and
degrees' equivalence would remain with the federal government and the cabinet
division would look after the administrative affairs of such affairs, he said,
adding that the HEC chairman who called on him recently also had some
reservations concerning the commission's devolution but the latter's
reservations had been removed.
Call for transparency
Commenting over the current debate over the HEC devolution plan, Karachi
University Pro Vice Chancellor Prof (Dr) Nasiruddin Khan said that though he was
not opposed to the commission's devolution plan, there was a dire need to make
its working transparent and bring an end to the misuse of its funds.
Mr Khan who currently serving as acting vice chancellor of the university
was, however, of the opinion that with the devolution of the HEC to the
provinces a healthy competition would generate among universities as each of
them would try to take a lead in improving quality of education of their
respective institutions for achieving better rankings.
Besides, with the devolution of the HEC, the work relating to authenticity of
degrees could be handled by the provincial higher education commissions in most
efficient manner as even the original data of the degrees remain with the
universities concerned, besides thousands of students who were forced to
approach the HEC for the purpose of authenticity of their degrees would be able
to get the work done from the HEC of their provinces concerned.
About the fate of the KU teachers who were currently doing their PhDs abroad
on scholarships provided by the HEC, he said that though they might be perturbed
over the current controversy over the HEC's devolution plan, their
research/studies abroad would not be affected whether the HEC remained a federal
subject or devolved to provinces.
There were 25 teachers of the KU who were currently doing their PhDs abroad
on the HEC scholarships and 50 per cent of research of them were in the final
stages of completion, Prof Khan added.
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KU buses off road after staffer's manhandling
Karachi: Karachi University students on Thursday faced
immense hardships in going homes when drivers and conductors of the university
buses and its shuttle service went on a strike in protest against the
manhandling of their colleague allegedly by an activist of a student
KU sources said that the entire point operation of the university came to a
halt at 1.30pm when a student allegedly manhandled and slapped a conductor on
some petty issue.
The drivers and conductors of the university buses also threatened to go on
an indefinite strike on Friday if the university administration did not take an
action against the student who manhandled the conductor.
Although the university bus operation remained normal till 1.30pm, it came to
a standstill shortly after the news of manhandling of a staff member associated
with KU buses by a student spread on the campus.
As the shuttle service remained suspended, a large number of students,
including girls, had no choice but to walk to the university's Silver Jubilee
gate and the other gate located near the Maskan intersection from their
respective departments to catch public buses to go home.
When KU transport committee chairman Dr Zulqarnain Shaa'dab was contacted to get his version of the Thursday's incident, he said that the staff
associated with the KU bus service had submitted a written complaint to the KU
against a student who had allegedly slapped one of the
conductors of KU buses.
He also confirmed that the staff associated with the buses had also
threatened to go on a strike on Friday if no action was taken against the
student responsible for misbehaving and manhandling with their colleague.
"The student could not be traced until now," he said, adding that all-out
efforts were being made to resolve the issue amicably so as to ensure smooth
operation of the KU bus service on Friday. Dawn
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Provincial Higher Education Commission to be formed in Sindh
Karachi: Preparations have started for the formation of a
provincial Higher Education Commission (HEC) in Sindh. Sindh Education Minister
Pir Mazharul Haq stated this here on Thursday. He was of the view that it would
be run in an effective manner and on the pattern of the " Higher Education
Commission (HEC)." Pir Mazhar said that eminent educationalists of Sindh would
be made members of the provincial Higher Education Commission. app
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Students to take oath not to use unfair means
Karachi: Students of
government and private schools affiliated with the Board of Secondary Education
will be sworn in on April 12 in front of their juniors that they would not use
unfair means during the upcoming secondary school certificate examinations, says
chairman of the Board Anwar Ahmed Zai.
The annual exams will start from
April 18. The move to administer oath to students is part of the Board's drive
to discourage the cheating culture during examinations. The students of class IX
and X will take oath in front of students of class VI, VII and VIII while
schools will observe Youm-e-Dua on the day, Anwar added. The examinations will
take place in two shifts: from 9:30am to 12:30pm in the morning and from 2:30pm
to 5:30pm in the evening.
The admit cards of private candidates have been
sent to their residential addresses whereas those of regular candidates will be
distributed from April 11. The news
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SSUET mourns demise of Dr Nabi Bakhsh Baloch
Karachi: Vice Chancellor of Sir Syed University of Engineering and
Technology (SSUET) Prof Dr Saiyid Nazir Ahmed has expressed his grief and sorrow
over the demise of Dr Nabi Bakhsh Baloch, a member of the University's Board of
Governors, who died on Wednesday. Board members laid a floral wreath at the
grave and offered Fateha for the departed soul. The funeral rites of late Dr
Baloch were attended by Registrar Shah Mahmood H Syed, who was accompanied by
the members of Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), SSUET's
Board of Governors and faculty members. The university was also closed as a mark
of respect to the departed soul. app
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Teachers to 'boycott' Pir Mazhar socially
Hyderabad: Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association has
decided to observe 'social boycott' of Sindh Minister for Education Pir Mazharul
Haq in protest against his use of intemperate language against teachers in the
provincial assembly and before electronic and print media.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the association held
here on Thursday with Prof Ather Hussain Mirza in the chair.
The meeting demanded that the government issue a notification with regard to
already-accepted demands of the association, which included grant of time-scale,
issuance of posting orders of teachers, who were promoted to grade-18, 19 and 20
more than six months ago, holding of DPC meeting for the promotion of librarians
and DPEs and other issues.
The meeting decided that teachers would resume hunger strike on April 11 to
press for the acceptance of their demands, hold a general body meeting at D.J.
Science College in Karachi on April 21 and take out a procession to the Chief
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No admissions to commerce section of college since 2009
Nausharo Feroze: Admissions to commerce section in the
Government Degree College, Naushahro Feroze, have been suspended since 2009 due
to a lack of interest by lecturers.
As many as 174 students of
B.Com (Part-I) and 187 of B.Com (Part-II) have abandoned studies in the filed of
commerce as lecturers belonging to the district have got themselves transferred
either to Hyderabad or Karachi.
The commerce section of the college has no lecturers for teaching subjects of
advanced accounting, business communication, money and banking, introduction to
business, economics, statistics and computer application.
During a visit to the college on Saturday this correspondent found only three
and seven students who had come t to attend classes for B.Com (Part-I) and
part-II. Earlier, 187 and 174 students were enrolled in the commerce
The commerce students complained many of their colleagues had abandoned
studies because there were no lecturers for commerce subjects.
"We held several meetings with the principal and demanded appointment of
lecturers for these subjects and the principal also gave us assurances in this
regard but nothing happened," he said.
The principal, Mohammad Bachal Kakepoto, however, said that it was
unfortunate that lecturers for commerce subjects had not been arranged and the
students were suffering.
He said that he had been in contact with the director of colleges over the
issue but nothing could be done and because of this very reason admissions to
the first and second year (commerce) had to be suspended from 2009 onward.
Mr Kakepoto said that lecturer for advanced accounts, Mohammad Ashraf Memon,
and two others, including Tariq and Shahid Channar, who were posted in the
college got themselves transferred either to Hyderabad or Karachi five years
He said that he had informed the regional director of colleges Sukkur, Abdul
Hameed Channar, of the situation during his visit to the college a couple of
He said that two lecturers of commerce, Munir Shah and Zain Larik, were
posted at the Government College Kandiaro where commerce section did not exist
and requested the regional director to transfer them to Naushahro Feroze
The principal said that the regional director expressed inability to transfer
these lecturers because only provincial secretary education was competent to do
He said that lecturers were not ready to work in colleges in rural areas and
preferred urban areas.
Students and their parents have appealed to Sindh Secretary of Education Ms
Naheed Shah Durrani to help revive commerce classes at the college. Dawn
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OUP donates 300,000 books to flood-hit children
makes all the difference in an individual's life and is an indispensable part of
These views were expressed by Mr Neil Tomkins, Managing
Director, International Division, Oxford University Press, Oxford, England,
while speaking as chief guest at a book distribution ceremony at Goth Suleman
Kohari, Thatta District, Thursday morning. The ceremony was arranged by the
Oxford University Press (OUP), Pakistan.
"We thought we could make a
worthwhile contribution in this regard by donating books for the underprivileged
children who have as much a right to education as the others", Tomkins said.
With the beginning of the reconstruction phase after the gargantuan
flood of 2010, the Oxford University Press is supporting the rehabilitation
effort by contributing over 325,000 books for children printed in Urdu, Sindhi,
These books were distributed among children in the
flood-affected areas through the temporary learning centres (TLCs) set up by
UNICEF all over Sindh. These children included some at Thursday's function from
the displaced persons' camps in the surrounding areas.
poverty writ large on their faces and the expressions of dismay brought on by
the massive trauma of being deprived of hearth and home, their faces really lit
up on receiving these gift packs containing these books and their joy seemed to
be further enhanced as they were made to feel so important with noted poetess
Fehmida Riaz reading out stories to them in Sindhi and Zara Mumtaz singing songs
for them , narratives of stories about animals, to the accompaniment of the
portable keyboard, most deftly played by Zara Mumtaz herself. One of the songs
was sung to the tune of the oft-sung children's song, "Here we go around the
mulberry bush". Then there was the instrumental rendition (again by Zara Mumtaz)
of the well-known English ditty, "For he's a jolly good fellow". With all this
importance being showered on them, one could see these children beaming and
their faces lit up, despite the trauma they were in the midst of.
Ameena Saiyid, Managing Director, Oxford University Press (Pakistan) said that
apart form wreaking damage in the form of a heavy toll of lives and property,
the flood had also weakened the education system. Deeply concerned over the
situation, she said, the OUP had decided to contribute to the redress of the
situation by donating these books. She said that the OUP in all had donated
3,00,000 books made highly attractive for children through coloured
illustrations and other features to stir their imagination.
Uqaili of the Education Department at Thatta, thanked the OUP for their valuable
contribution in the form of books and the UNICEF for sponsoring these centres
after most of the buildings had crumbled in the wake of the flood.
Adil, Deputy-Manager, Reform Support Unit (RSU), Government of Sindh, lauded
both the Oxford University Press (Pakistan) and the UNICEF. Education, he said
was the right of every child regardless of his circumstance and regretted that
the trend towards profit maximisation had hit education hard.
the OUP for its generous donation, Andro Shilakadze, chief field officer of the
UNICEF in Sindh, said that books were a great force the power of which could
never be underestimated. "Get books and read them to your children and it will
surprise you how it contributes to the development of the child's personality".
He called for public-private partnership in the field of
education. The news
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