HEC devolution widely opposed
Teachers oppose devolution of HEC
Karachi, April 07: The majority of teachers at public sector universities have expressed their
concern over the government's decision to devolve the Higher Education
Commission to the provinces, and roundly criticised the government for
initiating steps that will make the universities go further down the
The concern and criticism comes in the wake of the
government's plan to keep the HEC under its wings, but the funds would
go to the provinces, thus ending its position as an independent federal
unit. This step, by all means, will stall the progress in higher
education that has been achieved during eight years of its existence as
the regulator of the public sector universities.
Secretary Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) Dr Shakeel
Farooqui said: "It is true that some teachers are angry with the HEC for
its strict regime that has been brought about to elevate the standard
of teachers and ultimately enhancing educational standards at the
"But there are other things that have been dear to
us (the teachers) apart from certain paradoxes that were seen in its
(HEC's) actions, i.e. it pumped a lot of money into the universities. It
facilitated more research and more scholarships for the teachers and
the students and overall, except some hiccups, it had been doing fine.
Now the unilateral and uncalled for step by the government is going to
wipe out everything that was done during the last eight years."
Rafeeq Alam Khan, professor at the Department of Pharmacology, said it
was surprising that despite the protests lodged by the vice chancellors,
teachers and students at the public sector universities in Khyber
Pukhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab the government was adamant to go ahead with
Dr Khan lamented that the decision of the
Implementation Commission on the 18th Amendment to go ahead with the
devolution of higher education would result in dissolution of the HEC.
He was of the view that if the decision was implemented, it would
reverse the progress made in the higher education sector during the past
Dr Tahir Masood, a senior professor at the
Department of Mass Communication, University of Karachi (KU), reminded
that on November 27, 2010 all the VCs of the public sector universities
across the country had unanimously resolved that the HEC's functionality
should not be changed and the status quo should be maintained since the
HEC had performed exceptionally well and it was covered in the 18th
"I am not in favour of the HEC devolution since it
will stop the process of research and study at the universities and the
glut of funds will bring chaos to the universities that were taking off
to compete with the world universities. I am sure the provinces have no
infrastructure or human resources to take over this gigantic task," Dr
Dr Tauseef Ahmed Khan, professor at the
Department of Mass Communication, Federal Urdu University of Arts,
Science and Technology (FUUAST), said that he was in favour of education
to be an integral part and responsibility of the provinces but it
should be done gradually. "I do not mind if the HEC goes to the
provinces but it should be implemented in stages. I have some
reservations about the role of the HEC but I know that it (HEC) has done
considerably well in promoting higher education in the country."
professor at the Science Faculty, who requested anonymity, said that
the government was acting like a "narrow-minded and shortsighted
businessman" and was only concerned about making more money without any
concern about the losses that would follow. "All the universities in the
country, except some pro-PPP varsities in Sindh rural areas, are
opposing this decision of the government," he remarked.
"H.E.C is a central controlling department of education and its existence is very necessary for the promotion of higher education in Pakistan"
Name: himayat ullah
City, Country: Rawalpindi. Pakistan
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Students protest plan to devolve HEC Demonstrations staged in Peshawar, Swat
Peshawar: The students at the University of Peshawar campus on Wednesday staged
separate protests against the decision to devolve the Higher Education
Commission (HEC) to the provinces.
The first protest was
organised by the M Phil and PhD students. The protesters gathered
outside the Student Teachers Centre (STC) and chanted slogans against
the decision regarding the devolution of the HEC. They were holding
placards inscribed with slogans such as "No to devolution of HEC."
protesting students blasted the government decision to devolve the HEC
to the provinces and said that this would adversely affect the promotion
of higher education. They said that being students of higher classes,
they would be the directly affected by the decision.
the evening, activists of the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba also staged a
protest near the New Hostel at the University of Peshawar. The campus
head of the organisation Mian Sahaibuddin Kakakhel, University of
Peshawar Nazim Shah Zaman Durrani and others led the protesting
Meanwhile, the activists of the IJT also staged a
protest at Islamia College University against the government decision to
devolve the HEC. The protesters led by Hafizullah, later gathered
outside the Peshawar Press Club and chanted slogans against the
Speaking on the occasion, Hafizullah termed the
government's decision as unjust. He urged the prime minister to review
the decision so that students studying abroad on scholarships could
continue their studies.
Our correspondent adds from Mingora: The
students of Swat University on Wednesday staged a rally outside the
Swat Press Club to protest the proposed devolution of the Higher
Education Commission (HEC) to the provinces under the 18th Amendment.
Carrying banners and placards, the protesting students chanted slogans
against the government's decision to devolve the HEC.
Mudassir Khan, the protesting students asked the federal government not
to devolve the HEC, as it would have negative effects on higher
education. The HEC, the students said, had played a significant role in
the improvement of higher education over the last 10 years. They urged
the government to reconsider its decision in the larger interest of
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Proposed HEC devolution: Hoti to consult VCs on 11th
Islamabad: Khyber Pakhtun-khwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti has fixed April 11 for a
meeting with the vice-chancellors of universities in the province to
adopt a consensus stance on the hot issue of the Higher Education
The vice-chancellors earlier had a meeting
with ruling Awami National Party (ANP) Senior Vice-President Senator
Haji Muhammad Adeel during which they had strongly opposed the
devolution of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to the federating
"The chief minister will have a brainstorming session with
the vice-chancellors (VCs) of the province so that a collective stance
can be adopted on this extremely important issue," said Senator Haji
Adeel when approached him on telephone for his party's
viewpoint on the matter.
Senator Haji Adeel pointed out that HEC
Chairman Dr Javed Leghari had attended proceedings on the thrashing out
of the 18th Amendment and proposed that the HEC and the scientific
education should be made part of the Federal Legislative List Part-II.
legislator noted that the panel on thee constitutional amendments had
accepted the proposal, which clearly meant that HEC was supposed to be a
subject of the Council of Common Interests. He said when other
departments were sending their recommendations and proposals to Raza
Rabbani-led panel such as the lawyers, why had not the vice-chancellors
done so and instead kept silent.
About the funding of HEC if it
was to be devolved, the ANP legislator contended that till the next
National Finance Commission (NFC) award, the federal government should
finance the commission. He noted that when the new NFC was agreed upon,
the 18th Amendment was not yet enacted. Hence there was no question of
HEC being funded under the existing NFC award, he said, adding: "The
centre may release funds to the provinces under NFC award or directly
distribute them among the federating units."
The ANP senator said
recently a federal government representative had stated that the
provinces would have to fund the devolved HEC from their own resources,
as the centre had already given them additional Rs300 billion under the
Talking to this correspondent, Muttahida Qaumi Movement
(MQM) Deputy Convenor Dr Farooq Sattar, who is also the party's
parliamentary leader in the National Assembly, strongly opposed the HEC
devolution and said that the commission was a success story of higher
education. "There is no doubt HEC has been playing a key role in
education sector and considerably improved the country's image abroad so
far as higher education is concerned," he said.
world, the MQM legislator pointed out, had acknowledged the new
standards of higher education set by HEC, pushing upward Pakistan's
rating. "Our models are being copied by others and this is exceedingly
appreciable and this shows how important HEC is," he said.
MQM legislator said today thousands of Pakistani students were studying
abroad and thousands of others were doing PhD at home as well. He said
that HEC was a strategic national asset, which should continue its
functions in its present capacity. Answering a question, he proposed
that even if it was to be devolved, its devolution should be deferred at
least for five years, enabling the provinces develop the required
infrastructure, as presently they were not in a position to run
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PML-N to stage protest over 'HEC's death'
Islamabad: National Assembly Standing Committee on Education Chairman Abid Sher Ali
plans a major protest taking students and educationists along against
the planned abolition of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and
devolution of education to the provinces.
He said that he has
called a meeting of the House body on April 11 to take up the one-point
agenda regarding the HEC's dissolution."As we notified the committee
members about convening the meeting, the federal government disbanded
the Federal Education Ministry to stop us from considering the HEC
burial," Abid Sher, who belongs to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
He said he has also called the vice
chancellors of the universities of the four provinces to the session of
the House body to come out with suggestions in order to save the HEC in
particular and education from devastation in general.
said he would also call students and academia from all over Pakistan to
lead a protest against the HEC disbandment. "We have to stop it
otherwise education would be completely torn down."
He said in a
recent meeting the committee recommended to the federal government and
Raza Rabbani led implementation commission on 18th Amendment to postpone
the devolution of the Education Ministry because it would hurt the
national unity and cohesion. "When every province would have its own
syllabus, it would focus on provincialism and Pakistan would not find a
mention in it. This would be disastrous."
Abid Sher said every
member of the committee except Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, sister of
President Asif Ali Zardari, supported its recommendation against the HEC
abolition. He said the representatives of the Pakistan People's Party,
PML-Q and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) sitting in the House committee
vehemently opposed the transfer of syllabus and curriculum to the
He said that it was a great injustice to the national
integration and unity if education was devolved to the provinces. "We
will not be party to such devastation." Abid Sher said unless there was
uniform syllabus and curriculum in all the provinces, foundation would
be laid to create four countries. "The educational system will be
spoiled beyond retrieval," he said and believed that provincialismwould
prosper if the federating units were permitted to make their own school
syllabus and curriculum.
To a question why didn't the PML-N
protest when the 18th Amendment was being formulated and passed by
parliament, he said that his party had given a dissenting note to the
effect and raised the same points that he and the House body reiterated.
said the federal government was not prepared to listen the voice raised
by the House committee. It ignored the recommendation and dissolved the
Education Ministry. "It would be counterproductive to wind up the
Education Ministry; and the capacities built over six decades must not
be diluted," Abid Sher said. "Several federal parliamentary
constitutions all over the world retain education as a federal subject
in one form or the other. Thus, the Education Ministry needs to be
He said under different provisions of the Constitution
the Education Ministry was responsible for 1.464 million students and
79,744 employees in Islamabad Capital Territory, Gilgit-Baltistan,
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Azad Kashmir.
Sher said for the cause of national integration and cohesion, the
subject of school curriculum needs to be retained in Part-1 or at least
Part II of the Federal Legislative List (FLL). The core curriculum up to
higher secondary level must be within the federal jurisdiction and
Islamic education and centre of excellence, numbering 12, need to be
with the federal level. The news
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Altaf urges PM to withdraw decision of abolishing HEC
Karachi: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)
chief Altaf Hussain has strongly urged upon Prime Minister Yousaf Raza
Gilani to take back the decision to abolish the Higher Education
Commission (HEC) as it will adversely affect the system of higher
education in the country.
Altaf said the HEC is a very important
institution and the hasty manner in which it is being dissolved is a
cause of serious concern. He said in other parts of the world there are
separate ministries for the promotion of higher education and here in
Pakistan instead of giving proper attention to the education sector we
are abolishing a highly functional institution in a ruthless manner.
said that the abolishing of the HEC would close the doors of higher
education and vistas of acquiring modern scientific knowledge to the
He strongly urged upon the federal
government to take back the decision about abolishing the HEC and avoids
wreaking havoc with the system of higher education in the country. Daily ties
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Dissolution of HEC irreparable loss: Pervaiz
Lahore: Terming dissolution of the Higher Education Commission an irreparable
national loss, PML central leader Ch Pervaiz Elahi has said the
government decision is tantamount to closing doors of higher education
on thousands of deserving Pakistanis, calling for immediate withdrawal
of the decision. In a statement issued here on Wednesday, Pervaiz Elahi
said the objective of the HEC was to provide equal higher education
opportunities to all the four provinces. Pervaiz Elahi said that the
HEC was considered as a catalyst of change in the country and harbinger
of a silent revolution in Pakistan. Pakistan's growth and development
were directly related to the promotion of higher education, he opined.
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JI to resist HEC's dissolution
Lahore: Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Munawwar Hasan has vowed to resist the
dissolution of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) or its handover to
the provinces for being an anti-education step.
He condemned the
government's move in this regard and said the HEC was, in fact, being
punished for pointing out the fake degrees of politicians. He said
there was no provision in the 18th Constitutional Amendment that
required the dissolution of national institutions like the HEC.
the achievements of the HEC, Syed Munawwar Hasan said the HEC had
upgraded the education standard in the country to international level
and facilitated the education of thousands of talented Pakistani youth
in the top most universities of the world. The HEC's services for
improvement of the educational system at the federal level were
commendable, which brought the Pakistani nation at par with the
developed nations in the field of education, he said.
chief said that with the HEC's dissolution, thousands of Pakistani
students, obtaining PhD degrees abroad, won't return to the country and
would prefer to work in other countries, which would obstruct the
advancement of education in the country and darken the future of
He said with the devolution of the HEC to
the provinces, the universities and educational institutions would be
reduced to regional entities and regional prejudices would increase and
the provinces would not be able to maintain the higher standard that had
been achieved by the HEC within a few years.
He said the need
of the hour was to increase the grant of the HEC to improve its
performance. He called for immediate release of scholarships for the
students, studying abroad. The news
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HEC's ongoing scholarships programmes to continue: Mian Raza Rabbani
Islamabad: Chairman Implementation Commission on 18th Amendment
Mian Raza Rabbani said Wednesday the ongoing scholarships programmes of
the Higher Education Commission (HEC) would not affect despite the
commission was being devolved as per spirit of the 18 Amendment.
to media men at inauguration ceremony of the Parliament's refurbished
members cafeteria, the senator said though the commission's Act was
being amended in light of the 18th Amendment in order to devolve it to
the provinces but there is going no change in ongoing scholarships.
he added, " let me clear it yet again that those students who have been
studying under the existing the HEC's scholarships would continue their
He also dispelled the impression
that HEC devolution plan would also affect foreign funding for the
commission, he said the foreign loans were always released to a
government that is to decide its executing agency or organization.
Replying to another question, he
said those subjects did not exist either on current list or federal
legislative list, were under the law, controlled by the provinces.
"The provinces have the
constitutional rights to decide on the items that did not exist on
current or federal legislative list and the federal government shall not
legislate on such things.
He said those who were criticizing
the devolution plan were against the 18 Amendment and raised hue and cry
that devolved ministries's employees would affect.
But, he added, the landmark piece
of legislation of 18th Amendment was successfully done and now these
elements were criticizing the HEC devolution and the employees were not
going to be affected at all.
Meanwhile at the ceremony, the
Interior Minister Rehman Malik told media men the courts had issued
non-bailable warrants against Pervez Musharraf.
Replying to a question the minister
said, while the issuance of Red warrants fell under the domain of the
Interpol after pursuing certain formalities.
He said that the extradition treaty had been discussed with the Britain officials but it was not finalized as yet.
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IHC moved against HEC devolution
Islamabad: The devolution of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) under
the 18th Amendment has been challenged in the Islamabad High Court
M Kokab Iqbal, making the federation and the cabinet
secretary as respondents, filed a petition in the IHC on Wednesday
challenging devolution of the HEC on three point controversies. He said
that the HEC was created through an act of parliament and it was not a
subordinate department of the Ministry of Education nor was a part of
the concurrent list, therefore, it could not be devolved into the
provinces. The petitioner alleged that the HEC was being devolved
because of its role in the verification of the degrees of
parliamentarians. He maintained the devolution of HEC would reverse the
higher education system. app
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