HEC proposal in VCs appointment
HEC has no say in appointment of vice chancellors
Islamabad, Jan 18: After failing to get a positive response from relevant quarters, the Higher Education
Commission (HEC) is gradually retreating from its proposal to appoint vice
chancellors of public sector universities in provinces through an all-inclusive
search committee having its proper representation, well-placed sources told this
scribe here on Monday.
Sources said that the proposal was floated
verbally on the basis of circumstances experienced by the HEC when
politically-appointed vice chancellors of various public sector universities
allegedly put hurdles in the degree verification process initiated on the
directives of the Supreme Court.
According to them, the chief ministers
of provinces would have more say in appointment of vice chancellors after
passage of the 18th Amendment, but the issue of political interference would
continue to halt the smooth process of appointing competent persons on these
The implementation of the clauses of the 18th Amendment
would clearly show the situation, but till now a governors was the sole
authority to appoint or dismiss vice chancellors so the universities were
believed to face tremendous political pressure as all administrative powers of
universities rest with governors.
An official said that the HEC moved a
proposal to make procedural changes in appointment of vice chancellors to reduce
chances of political involvement, but no representation was given to the HEC in
search committees formed at provincial level.
He said that the vice
chancellors were appointed by the chancellors themselves through search
committee comprising five eminent scholars and citizens of Pakistan who usually
sent three names to the chancellor after publication of an advertisement in
The job of the search committee was to collect
applications from aspirants for the vice-chancellor's job, shortlist them,
conduct panel interview and suggest at least three names to the
governor-chancellor for appointment of the vice-chancellor. The chancellor would
then appoint one of the three persons as vice chancellor as recommended by the
search committee. If the chancellor did not agree with three names then he might
ask the search committee to propose fresh names.
Sources said governors
enjoyed absolute authority in appointment of vice chancellors and even
secretaries in the Governor House sometimes pressurised universities to appoint
their candidates at open positions, admit students without merit and even alter
results of examinations.
According to official data constitution of
search committees for appointment of vice chancellors in provinces was accepted
at the meeting of the chancellors committee headed by former president General
(r) Pervez Musharraf on May 11, 2006, but when these committees were formed no
representation was given to the HEC which was the sole authority to monitor and
promote higher education learning in the country.
Federation of All
Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) President Professor
Dr. Mehr Saeed Akhtar told this correspondent that the process for appointment
of vice chancellors in sector universities is non-transparent and based on
considerations other than merit.
"It is due to their
politically-motivated appointments that vice chancellors often face political
pressure so we suggest making a clear and transparent mechanism in which senior
teachers should be appointed as vice chancellors of public sector universities,"
HEC Executive Director Dr. Sohail Naqvi told this correspondent
that it would be better if the HEC is given representation in search committees
but "I believe constitution of search committees is itself a great achievement
of the HEC and I hope the situation would show improvement with the passage of
To a question, he said that the proposal to give representation
to the HEC in search committees has not so far been forwarded in writing but
they had previously talked to the relevant authorities in this respect.
Replying to another question, he dismissed the impression that governors
use their political influence over vice chancellors and said public sector
universities are serving the education sector in a much better way. The news
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Government to review school rationalisation policy
Lahore: After being put to pressure by Members and Speaker Punjab Assembly on
Monday, provincial Minister for Education Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman had to
bow assuring his colleagues that government would review the school
rationalisation policy, and establish regulatory authority to check private
While responding to queries
during the Question-Hour on school education, Shuja was also found lost when
members gave him hard time, and he admitted departmental mistakes by saying,
"Worthy member might have been right sir! I will check from the Department."
The Minister had to give assurance on behalf of his government that the rationalisation policy would be
reviewed when Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal also joined the members in their
verbal protest over the 'irrational' policy since it was causing problems to the
students, who had to travel miles for reaching 'new' institutions, which was in
turn hurting the very assertion of providing education to all in a convenient
manner for increasing the literacy. "Why were the elected representatives of the
constituencies concerned not informed or taken into confidence for the policies
that directly affect them?" quizzed the members, while the Speaker further asked
the Minister, "Why had the EDO-Education not consulted the MPA concerned while
merging different educational institutions?"
Members also criticised the
education policy of the government and put question marks on various
"The Daanish Schools are
being opened, but the Mosque-Schools are being closed," they added, and seeing
serious objections being raised, he assured, "The government will look into its
Moreover, to a query, he
replied that the government was in the process of introducing an educational
regulatory authority for tackling matters of divergent nature, especially steep
"The government has already constituted a committee and its report will be presented in the House," he
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UHS directed to allow nurses to appear in test
Lahore: Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed of the Lahore High Court Monday directed the
University of Health Sciences (UHS) to allow 91 nursing students of a Nursing
College to appear in promotion test commencing January 18 (today).
The judge passed the said
direction on a petition of Saida Waheed FMH Nursing College filed through
Training Programme Director Mrs Irshad Javed submitting that UHS has refused
permission to nursing students to appear in the examination without any
The judge directed UHS to
allow the students to sit in the examination but withhold announcement of their
results till final decision on the petition.
The court adjourning further
hearing of the case to February 19 remarked the matter was of important nature
as such decision would be taken after considering all aspects. The nation
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Indian academic speaks on quality of education
Lahore: Continuous assessment of quality of education imparted to
schoolchildren on an annual basis creates ripples and stimulates people to think
and find solutions to achieve the desired result, says a leading Indian
Dr Madhav Chavan, the president of PRATHAM Education Foundation, India held a
meeting with education reporters as he arrived here on Sunday to participate in
the national launch of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) Pakistan
Dr Chavan said PRATHAM had launched its sixth ASER India report on Jan 14
that assessed quality of education being imparted to schoolchildren.
He said there was a common feature that people keep criticising a lack of
qualitative education in schools but nobody had ever tried to see what was wrong
inside the classrooms. This concept led to the conduct of ASER India to measure
and identify how much was wrong inside a classroom or a school.
Underlining the factors leading to low learning outcomes of students, he
said, there was no continuity of policies in India and most students were
first-generation learners and they had no support or literate environment at
Dr Chavan said the South Asia Forum for Education Development (SAFED) and
Idara-i-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) had decided to replicate the learning outcomes
concept and instead of re-inventing the wheel they adopted ASER India tools with
He said ASER was assessing students' learning outcomes at their homes, which
was altogether different from conventional assessments in schools. He said
another feature of this assessment survey was that citizens were involved to do
the survey because ultimately it was also the accountability of public money
Stating that assessment done by citizens themselves is considered more
authentic than government's data, he stressed that this learning outcome
assessment initiative could be replicated in any country. Since the ASER India
was holding survey, he said, the student enrolment ratio had risen from 92.6 per
cent to 96.4 per cent.
He said the ASER India had assessed over 700,000 students (3-16 years age
group) in households in 580 districts across India. In each district, he said,
30 villages were selected and 20 households in each village.
Dr Chavan also told reporters that the government was offering mid-day meals
to the students in public schools up to Class-VIII because many children in
India come to schools without having meals. He said malnutrition was a big issue
and it was necessary to provide students hot cooked food in schools. He said the
government provided all the required food material and had hired cooks.
He said there could be no magic solution to improve students' learning but it
needed to be ensured that the teachers should attend their classes regularly and
impart education in a manner that their students could learn.
About curriculum, he said, it was generally misunderstood as textbooks.
"Curriculum is much more than textbooks and refers that what a child is supposed
to learn. Textbooks are just an aid," he said. "There is no need to centralise
the curriculum," he said.
THE Pakistan Caucus at the Harvard Kennedy School, a student body working to
promote the country's image among the international students studying at Harvard
University, visited the Lahore University of Management Sciences this past
The 10-member students' delegation held a dialogue with the Provost of LUMS,
Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, regarding public policy issues in Pakistan.The students
also interacted with the deans, faculty and the LUMS student society members and
discussed how the educationists and students from both countries could
collaborate to reform the education system.
A presentation on the Flood Maps, which was a recent initiative taken by Dr
Sohaib Khan, was given to show that how the LUMS community was conforming to
social responsibility. The purpose of the trip was to give the visitors a sense
of the vibrant civil society in Pakistan and how the educationists and students
at LUMS were exploring new avenues to engage in collaboration to bridge the gap
between the two countries.
The six-member 'Pakistan Caucus' students' delegation of Harvard Kennedy
School, Harvard University, USA, also visited the Punjab Education Foundation.
PEF's Managing Director Mohiuddin Wani briefed the delegation on the
foundation's initiatives for the cause of providing quality education
opportunities to children belonging to poor strata of society.
THE University of Engineering and Technology's Teaching Staff Association
(TSA) body for 2011 was elected unopposed last week as all contesting candidates
withdrew their nomination papers.
The new elected office-bearers are: Prof Dr Muhammad Zafar Noon (president),
Prof Dr Akhlaq Ahmad (vice president), Dr Muhammad Shoaib (vice president),
Muhammad Burhan Sharif (secretary general), Muhammad Shoaib (joint secretary),
Farhan Faisal Sheikh (social secretary) and Muhammad Amjad (treasurer).
The executive members are Dr Khurshid Aslam Bhatti, Malik Akhtar Hussain,
Muhammad Arshad, Muhammad Farooq, Rakhshanda Naveed, Shaker Mahmood and Tanveer
THE Aitchison College last week won the All-Punjab Quiz Competition 2011
hosted by the Ravians Quiz Society at Bokhari Auditorium. The contest was
participated in by delegates from 19 educational institutions from across the
The Military College, Jhelum bagged second position and the Services
Institute of Medical Sciences third position.
Chief guest Nasira Javed Iqbal lauded the students for their knowledge,
saying hard work and sincerity would pay in future.
THE Lahore College for Women University won the Persian essay-writing
competition and obtained second position in verse recitation competition under
the auspices of the Iranian Cultural Centre, Lahore.
As many as 16 institutions including the Punjab University, the Government
College University and the Kinnaird College participated in the
LCWU lecturer Faleeha Kazmi says varsity's student Maria Umar
won the trophy and cash prize in the essay competition. Fiza Batool and Kainaat
Azhar were awarded with certificates and cash prizes for their second position
in verse recitation.
Chief guest Iqbal Salahuddin, the grandson of Allama Iqbal, presented prizes.
Iranian Cultural Centre, Lahore, Director-General Abbas Ali Famoori said Persian
was the common asset of Pakistan and Iran. Dawn
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