Ad hocism puts education sector in disarray
Secretary education, another important post has fallen vacant
Islamabad, Jan 01: With the retirement of secretary education on
Wednesday another important post has fallen vacant, as the Higher Education
Commission (HEC) is still awaiting appointment of its chairperson.
former HEC Chairman, Dr Attaur Rehman, had submitted his resignation, reportedly
on the insistence of the government, some two and half months back, but the
government is yet to find a suitable replacement for him.
Similar is the
case of Jehangir Bashar, the outgoing secretary education, whose retirement was
notified a couple of months ago by the Establishment Division and the government
had enough time to find his replacement.
This attitude brings into
question the government's level of commitment towards education.
government has asked Ms Shehnaz Wazir Ali, Special Assistant to the prime
minister on social welfare to take care of day to day official work at the HEC.
Similarly, an additional secretary would look after the affairs of secretary's
Some senior officials at the HEC reveal that in the absence of a
regular chairperson, the commission had become a rudderless ship. During the
tenure Dr Attaur Rehman, there used to be meetings after meetings till midnight.
However, since his resignation on October 9, one does not see such activities
any more, a non-gazzetted official of the commission said.
in the budgetary allocations of the commission mainly earmarked for the
development activities in the public sector universities of the country in the
current financial year have further reduced its (HEC) area of
When asked, a well placed official of the HEC confided,
"we absolutely don't know what the government is up to as far as its future
plans are concerned regarding the commission."
There is whole lot of
rumors: Autonomous status of the commission is under scrutiny and the government
is considering giving it back to the federal education ministry. The government
is waiting for the return of an American of Pakistani origin to appoint her next
HEC chairperson. She is currently working with the Bush administration which
will be officially over on January 20, when new US president takes over the
charge, the official said.
It will be a grave mistake on the part of
government if it wraps up HEC, which over the last few years had become a
dynamic public sector organization which raised the level of university
education in the country with scores of new initiatives.
is a provincial subject, the role of federal education ministry is of critical
importance; it decides on the curriculum which is taught in the public sector
schools and colleges up to intermediate level.
It is the federal
education ministry when it comes to liaison between the provincial governments
and the federal government, be it the issue of increased funding from the
federal pool or changes regarding examination system. Therefore, the presence of
secretary education is always of pivotal importance, hence, the government
should have taken some decision, knowing the fact, he is retiring December 31,
an official from the education said.
"Yes, the government is preoccupied
with more important issues right now such as economic melt down and tension with
India, but it does not mean, it should leave these important positions vacant,"
the official added. Dawn
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Merit ignored in appointment of lecturers in Gomal University
Islamabad: The Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, has inducted more than 85
lecturers in BPS-18 without merit.
Deputy Speaker National Assembly
Faisal Karim Kundi, who earlier wrote letters to the prime minister, governor
and Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman to take notice of rampant
malpractices in the university, no longer seems concerned. Campus protests are
being staged almost on a daily basis against the university administration,
especially against the vice-chancellor of Gomal University, Dr Farid Khan.
The university administration had inducted more than 70 lectures on
contract basis in the second half of 2007 in various departments of the
university without advertising any post. According to faculty members of the
university, these inductees were either relatives of the varsity high-ups or had
political backing. Later, the posts were advertised in the national newspapers
in January 2008 and screening tests were conducted in May 2008. Hundreds of
candidates applied against the posts but only those who were already working in
the university on contact basis were selected.
administration admits that it has regularised the services of more than 70
lecturers who were inducted without any advertisement on contract basis in the
second half of 2007 but says the appointments were according to the rules.
Kundi, in his letter dated June 4, 2008 wrote: "Since June 2007 to date
quite a few vacant positions in various departments were filled that were
neither advertised nor individuals selected through constituted
committee/Boards. The management of the Gomal University has now advertised some
positions. In this regard call letters were issued for screening test on 23, 24
and 25 May 2008. This is just a formality to regularise those who have been
appointed on a contract basis in violation of Establishment Division Cabinet
secretariat: Government of Pakistan letter No. 6/2/2000-R.3 of 06 May, 2000."
One of the professors of the university, Pervaiz Saleem, who is also a
member of the university syndicate, openly disagreed with the vice-chancellor of
the university in appointing the near and dear ones in the university. Professor
Pervaiz Saleem said that he raised his voice because he was not
satisfied with the selection criteria. He said that he expressed his dissent
when so many near and dear ones were appointed on contact basis in the
university in violation of the rules and feared that all those would be
regularised, and the same happened. If those lecturers who were inducted on
contract basis were to be regularised then there was no need of advertising the
posts. While one of the candidates said that candidates with PhD degrees were
rejected while Master's degree holders were selected because of nepotism and
Kundi, when approached by this correspondent, said
that he wrote letters to the prime minister and NWFP governor to take notice of
these appointments and an inspection team was formulated which gave a report
that all these inductions were done on merit. "After getting that report I was
satisfied that the inductions were done on merit", he said.
spokesman of the university, speaking on behalf of the vice-chancellor, said
that all appointments were made on merit. He admitted that all those who were
appointed on contract basis have been regularised. "The university's selection
committee has approved the induction, therefore, the recruitment was legal,"
said Fazlur Rehman. "The committee nominates the names of inductees to the
university syndicate and the syndicate approves it and all has been done
according to the rules."
He denied that a contract worth billions was
given to a firm closely associated with an influential politician of the area
and said that the contract of boundary wall around the university was given to
six different contractors. About the protests in the university against the
vice-chancellor, the spokesman said that Dera Bachao Tehrik was behind it and it
is the right of the people to protest. About the kin of vice-chancellor and
other high-ups of Dera Ismail Khan being inducted in the university, the
spokesman said that there were a few relatives of VC, including his nephew,
among the recently regularised lecturers but all have been inducted on merit.
But when pointed out that candidates with PhD degree were rejected while those
holding Master's degree were selected, he said the former might have got fewer
marks in the written examination.
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Rs 2.25 billion for NWFP education sector
Islamabad: The European Commission (EC) has provided an amount of $20 million
(equivalent to Rs 2.25 billion) for the NWFP Education Sector Reforms
The financing agreement for this grant has been signed with
the Economic Affairs Division, the Government of Pakistan. The Charge díAffaires
of the delegation of the European Commission (EC) to Pakistan, Frank Hess, said
on Wednesday that the European Commission was committed to providing support to
the education sector in Pakistan and feels that education is the only way to
However, the Commission views with grave
concern the unabated spate of bombings of schools in the NWFP. He said the
Commission believes that these bombings and ultimatums to school-going girls
negate the basic human values and are totally unacceptable.
the Government of Pakistan to take all possible measures for ensuring the safety
of children and protection of their fundamental right to education," he added.
Frank Hess said the grant was provided in the context of the EC-Pakistan
Development Co-operation Programme, under which the EC now has current grant
commitments to Pakistan totalling over Rs 24.75 billion.The overall objective of
the EC's current contribution is to support the NWFP government in implementing
the reforms outlined under the Education Sector Plan.
IIUI student tops inter-varsity speech contest
Islamabad: Muhammad Arif Moqueem, a student of Centre of Media & Mass Communication of
International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) got the top position in Inter
University Speech Contest (IUSC). The contest titled 'Importance of Role of
Students against HIV and AIDS' was held recently by Community Support Programme
at University of Lahore, Islamabad Campus. Arif was awarded a shield by Pir
Sumsam Ali Shah Bukhari, Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting,
said a press release here Wednesday. Meanwhile, Director Daw'ah Academy
Professor Abdul Jabbar Shakir has been given an extension of a period of two
years. The News
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