Higher Education Commission Rs15bn allocation
HEC receives over Rs15bn
Islamabad, June 07: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) received a
major setback on Saturday when the government could allocate only
Rs15.762 billion against its demand of Rs30 billion for the development
of public sector universities.
The government, under Public
Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2010-2011, has committed Rs15.762
billion for the HEC against Rs22.5 billion it had earmarked last year.
Sources in the HEC said with this money the commission would not be in
position to start even a single new development project in the coming
In the outgoing financial year, originally the
government had committed Rs22.5 billion to the HEC under PSDP 2009-2010
which was revised to Rs18.5 billion, but as of today it has received
only Rs11.5 billion, they said. With this major cut and regular delays
in releases throughout the year the HEC remained under financial
The HEC had shown 230 ongoing projects and 128 new
projects for allocation under the PSDP 2009-2010, whereas the number
has been reduced to 193 ongoing and only 11 new projects for PSDP
The HEC needed more than Rs10 billion to support
its ongoing Human Resource Development (HRD) project under which it has
to provide scholarships to around 9,000 students. Around 4,000 students
are in foreign universities on various types of scholarships--PhD, MS,
MSc, Post Doc, short courses--while the rest are availing financial
assistance to study in local universities.
In this way the
HEC will be left with only Rs5.76 billion out of the allocated Rs15.762
under PSDP 2010-2011, putting it in a tight corner to take any
worthwhile development activity in the coming year, said a top HEC
official when asked to comment on the new budgetary allocations.
Moreover, the HEC has to face an additional impact of Rs2 billion after
rupees's depreciation during preceding years. A number of HEC's
financial commitments were made when one dollar was worth around Rs60,
which over the last couple of years has shot up to over Rs85, thus, the
commission will have to do lots of adjustments in its ongoing
development projects, the official said.
"Our major focus
will be to complete ongoing development projects which are in final
stages, because with every passing day, cost of civil works is rising.
There are several projects which have already crossed their time
limit," the official said.The HEC had submitted development projects
worth over Rs30 billion to the Planning Commission for allocations in
the PSDP 2010-2011.
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Cut in HEC budget decried
Lahore: The massive cut of Rs7 billion in the allocation for
the Higher Education Commission compared to the current fiscal budget
is bound to devastate the infrastructural and academic development of
the public-sector universities across the country.
government has allocated Rs15.7 billion for the HEC compared to the
current financial year allocation of Rs22.5 billion. The already
funds-starved universities will be pushed in the financial mess leading
to decay of ongoing physical development, lament vice chancellors of
the public-sector universities in Lahore.
University of Education Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Munawwar Mirza said the
major cut in development funds for the institute would immediately halt
development. She said the varsities' vice chancellors and the HEC had
proposed Rs30 billion funds to meet the existing expenditure as well as
maintain further development.
"The higher education was given
boost in the previous years but the latest allocation will ruin the
physical development and pace of academic advancement," she said.
Prof Mirza said the government would neither be able to open new
universities nor could it expand the base of students' enrolment (in
universities). She said the universities, including the University of
Education, had launched new academic programmes in anticipation that
the infrastructure would be developed in a couple of years. Now, these
would be closed and those announced for launching would never be
materialised, she said.
She feared that the highly
insufficient budget allocation might also affect the scholars doing
their PhDs abroad and being funded by the HEC. "If the HEC would ask
the respective universities to finance the PhD scholars abroad, the
universities have no money. They are already cash-strapped," she said.
University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr
Muhammad Nawaz said the relatively young universities would be in
financial straits as they had no resources available to generate funds
at this point of time.He said the UVAS was a new university and needed
massive funding to carry out its development projects leading to
quality education in livestock, poultry and agriculture sectors. He
said churning out competent graduates in these sectors was a must to
continue growth on fast pace.
Prof Nawaz said the university
was banking on the funding for its mega project on new campus in
Pattoki, where heavy investment had already been made and dairy farm,
dairy shed, sheep and goat sheds and other infrastructure had
Now, he said, the university was expecting massive
funding for the construction of lecture rooms, labs, library, hostels
and other infrastructure to move students there for their hands-on
training. "Unavailability of funds will halt this development and
severely impact growth in the livestock sector. It showed 4.1 per cent
growth this year," he added.
Prof Nawaz also said the
university's financial position was not even strong enough to meet the
impact of 50 per cent raise in basic pay of employees as well as 15 per
cent increase in medical allowance.
pro-vice-chancellor Prof Dr Jamil Anwar Chaudhry said the financial cut
would bring the ongoing projects to a standstill as the varsity would
be unable to purchase the latest equipment and run the existing
equipment that required massive funding as recurring expenditure.
He said the Punjab government had already instructed that the varsities
could neither increase fees nor could they run self-finance scheme
programmes. He said the PU had estimated that it would be required to
pay an additional Rs460 million under the head of salaries in case the
government offered 15 per cent raise. "The 50 per cent increase in
salaries will upset the financial capacity of the university," he said.
University of Engineering and Technology Vice-Chancellor
Muhammad Akram, a retired lieutenant general, said the financial cut
would cost universities a lot in the long run as the existing
development projects would stop. In order to re-start development
projects, he said, the universities would be requiring funds much more
than the current estimates.
During the current financial
year, he lamented that the university received only Rs40 million out of
the Rs195 million allocation under the Public Sector Development
Programme. He said construction was currently being carried out on its
Kala Shah Kaku, Faisalabad and Rachna campuses. Dawn
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School admits student rusticated for getting married
Peshawar: While confirming that a Grade-7 student was rusticated for
getting married despite being under-age, the management of the Peshawar
Model School has promised to obey the court verdict if it ordered his
"The student was recently promoted to Grade-7. He
is hardly 13 years of age. His early marriage will certainly affect
other children, which is why he was rusticated from the school," said
Ghayur Sethi, chief executive of the Peshawar Model School system. However, he said the matter was pending in
court and its verdict would be followed in letter and spirit.
was of the opinion that the student, Ghairat Khan, had violated Child
Marriage Restrained Act. The act has fixed 18 years for the marriage of
a boy and 16 for a girl, a legal expert said.
The story hit
headlines a few days back when the student moved court to get
reinstated. Ghairat Khan said his father was dead and his mother was
ailing. He said that he got married because of the poor health of his
mother. He added that his father-in-law was his uncle and head of his
family. He wanted him to marry one of his daughters in his lifetime. He
stressed that he was 18 years of age, but as is common in schools his
age was registered less than the actual.
Ghayur Sethi confirmed
that father of the student was dead and his uncle was his guardian as
per school record. However, he said that the reason of his marriage
that his mother was ill could not be justified.
"If his mother is ill, they he should better arrange a maid for her instead of violating
law and getting married at such a tender age," he argued. Legal counsel
for the student, Isa Khan said that the court had fixed June 9 in the
case. He opined no law in Pakistan permits expulsion of a student for
getting married. The news
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Girls school without teachers for 20 years
Peshawar: The successive governments have failed to provide
teachers to a government girls' primary school in Maira Urmar Miana
area despite the fact that it was built in 1989-90
building spreading over two kanals of land, is in dilapidated condition
with broken floor and fallen boundary walls. The owner of the land, who
had given it free of cost to get a class-IV job at the school, has
grown old but without a job.
The Maira Urmar Miana is located
some 15 kilometers from the capital city while the school consists of
two rooms, two toilets and a veranda.
A resident of the
locality said that when the government started construction work
on the school, the villagers were very happy that they would be able to
admit their daughters to the school. But the education department
shattered their dreams of seeing their daughters educated as it didn't
bother to appoint teachers for the school in the last 20 years, he
He said the locals continued efforts till 2001 to get the government to appoint teachers in the school but to no avail.
Luckily, an NGO, Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF), commenced
coeducation in the school giving admission to child labourers working
in the nearby brick kilns. However, the BLLF wound up its programme in
The parents got worried about their children's future
because neither there was any one to teach the students nor any school
in the close vicinity to admit their children.
a young graduate residing in the village, proved far better for the
children then the government as he started teaching the students
voluntarily after BLLF ended the project.
Muqadar Shah said
that he and his two other friends prevented the students from becoming
child labourers. Fortunately, Unicef started paying Muqadar Shah and
his friends in April 2008.
"The Unicef paid me Rs6,000 per
month and I was appointed as headmaster of the school", he said.
It also paid to his another colleagues teaching in the school, he
However, the Unicef too stopped funding the school in December 2009, he said.
Mr Shah, who has also done Primary Teacher Course (PTC), said that once
again responsibility of around 300 students fell on his shoulders.
"Since December last, I and my two other colleagues are running the
school without the support of the NGOs and government", he said.
When asked how they fulfilled their financial needs, he said they had
started charging Rs50 from each student. "Though all the students are
poor but the orphans are exempted from monthly fee", he said.
"I am happy with the children. I also do tuitions in the evening to the
children of rich families and earning sufficient money", Mr Shah said.
He said he was regularly paying visits to the brick kilns to convince
the parents to send their children to his school. "All my students do
work with their parents in the brick kilns in the evening", he said.
When asked about the facilities like water, electricity and fans in the
school, he said they had arranged all the facilities on self-help
basis. One of the villagers has installed a cable providing electricity
to the school from his home, he said. Dawn
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