Election Commission, HEC & fake degrees
EC, HEC poles apart on fake degrees
Islamabad, June 26: The issue of the fake degrees of parliamentarians is far
from being resolved as the two institutions charged with verifying the degrees
are not on the same page as far as authentication process is concerned.
Both seem to be indulging in a blame game aimed at making the other the
scapegoat. While the EC is blaming the HEC for not realising the importance of
the issue and giving it due importance, the HEC is claiming it cannot move as it
has not been provided all the required documents.
Although it seems as
if this spat has been provoked by the HEC's decision to send back 140 "illegible
degrees" to the EC and asking for clear copies to proceed with the verification
process, the hostility on both sides indicates that the unpleasantness has
existed for some time.
The EC is not happy with the HEC. An EC official
said that degrees of 873 legislators had been sent to the HEC on May 24
while another 228 were forwarded on June 14, but the HEC had yet to verify even
a single degree "despite the fact that it is interconnected with all the boards
and can verify a degree of a private applicant within 24 hours".
opinion, a degree does not need to be completely legible to be verified "as long
as just one component such as the roll number is visible, the rest of the
details can be gathered", he said.
Nonetheless, he added the EC was
trying to resend clearer photocopies to the HEC. "The Returning Officers
concerned will be asked to send readable copies."
The official said that
in a few cases the HEC had asked for "English translations". He was of the view
that the verification of degrees "was a national issue" that should have been
handled on an emergency basis.
However, in the halls of the HEC tempers
are just as frayed as the flustered staff is trying to deal with an issue they
contend they are not equipped to handle.
"The media is making it appear
as if the HEC can check the authenticity of a degree with a click of the mouse.
But it is not that simple," an HEC official said.
He explained that
there was no such thing as simply authenticating a single document or degree:
"Even if we have to verify a BA degree, we will first check the candidate's
matric and intermediate certificates to first determine if he or she were
eligible to sit for the bachelors," adding that an applicant who is seeking
verification of a BA, MA or PhD degree has to provide photocopies of all prior
certificates as well.
The HEC insists that it will not shorten its
procedure even if this is "a national issue". Its officials insist that the
education commission needs the original documents because apart from all else
"we also check the paper the certificate is printed on for authentication".
In the absence of all the documents the HEC needs for its procedure, an
official insists, "all we can do is pass on the photocopy of the degree to the
educational institution concerned and ask it to verify the document". In other
words, the HEC can do nothing but act as a post office, the official said.
It seems as if despite the pressure of people such as Abid Sher Ali and
institutions like Supreme Court, which directed the EC on Wednesday to initiate
action against legislators accused of getting elected to legislative
institutions on fake degrees, the nation is going to have to wait a long time to
learn which of their representatives lied about their educational
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'Fake degree holders should resign, apologise to leadership'
Lahore: Parliamentarians who submitted fake degrees to enter the
corridors of power should tender their resignations and apologise to the nation
and their party leadership, women legislators of the treasury and opposition
benches said on Friday. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) female lawmaker
Arifa Khalid Pervez, talking to journalists in the assembly lobby, said that
submitting a fake degree to the Election Commission to be a parliamentarian was
a regrettable act and it was a cause for embarrassment for party leaderships.
She said that fake degree holders should voluntarily tender their resignations
from parliament and apologise to the nation and their party leaders, who were
being criticised by the masses and opponents "due to such acts perpetrated by
their party members". "The public showed confidence in the leadership of the
PML-N, which was reconfirmed in the recent by-elections in PP-160 in which the
PML-N candidate won," she said. Separately, Opposition member Samina Khawar
Hayyat of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), criticising fake degree
holders, said that her party did not support such acts. She said that
disqualification of parliamentarians on the issue of holding fake degrees was
embarrassing for the country's political institutions. Another member of the
opposition, Seemal Kamran, said that the issue of fake degrees of
parliamentarians was defaming political parties and the democratic system in the
country, adding that political parties and other organisations should make a
policy to give party tickets only to those people who have a good reputation and
credibility among the people. Daily times
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Punjab plans to spend Rs6bn on schools
Rawalpindi: The Punjab government will spend Rs6 billion on 800 primary
and 200 middle schools in the next fiscal year to augment their physical
Chief Minister's Taskforce on Elementary Education
chairman Raja Mohammad Anwar said this while addressing the concluding ceremony
of a teachers' training workshop held at the Government Girls High School,
Kallar Syedan in Rawalpindi on Thursday.
Mr Anwar said improvement in
elementary education was the top priority of the Punjab government by providing
basic infrastructure to the educational institutions.
buildings will be rebuilt with an amount of Rs6 billion in 2010-11."
taskforce chairman informed the audience that besides improving educational
standards of public-sector schools, the government was also committed to
establishing information technology laboratories in all 700 elementary schools
To strengthen computer learning in schools, appointment of IT
teachers in all elementary schools will be done on merit. He disclosed that the
Punjab government had decided to start a special educational stipend scheme for
deserving students belonging to minority community.
Mr Anwar said as a
policy initiative, the provincial government had appointed female educators
close to their homes, adding that allowances for teachers showing exemplary
performance in teaching would be enhanced from the coming fiscal year.
He asked the newly recruited teachers to take their job as a sacred
The function was also addressed by officials of the education
department and teachers who dwelled upon the need of improving school education
on priority basis.
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Pakistan may not achieve Education for All goals
Islamabad: Speakers at a roundtable stressed the need for reappraisal
of educational priorities and resource allocation to address issues related to
Education for All (EFA) goals.
They regretted that instead of increasing
the GDP spending on education, the government had condensed the GDP spending on
education from 2.49 in the fiscal year 2007-08 to 2.05 per cent for 2009-10.
They suggested the federal and provincial governments to plan their
future development projects and reforms keeping in view the challenges being
faced by the country. They also pointed towards the need for removing inequality
in the education system.The session on "Financing quality basic education for
all" was organised by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and
Transparency (Pildat) in collaboration with Unesco.
According to the
global monitoring report, Pakistan is among 29 countries which are not likely to
achieve EFA goals by 2015.
The report said Pakistan may need another 15
years to achieve 86 per cent literacy rate and 38 years to achieve universal
primary education or 100 per cent net enrollment rate. This means EFA goals will
not be achieved before 2048 if the present trend continues and special
initiatives are not launched.
Dr Warren Mellor, the Unesco
representative, said Pakistan needed to make significant investment in education
if it wanted to address issues related to EFA.
Senator S.M Zafar,
chairperson Senate standing committee on education, said there was a lack of
political will to promote uniform education in the country.
finance minister Omar Ayub Khan recommended that the education budget of
districts, tehsils and UCs should be analysed if the education system was to be
Tahira Abdullah, a civil society representative, criticised
the cuts made on social sector budget including education.
national specialist (education) Unesco, said of 1,000 children enrolled in class
one, only 550 retained up to class five while 13 per cent of them were lucky
enough to get secondary school certificate.Ahmed Bilal, executive director
Pildat, said the country had a number of international obligations in the form
of MDGs besides commitments made in its national education policies. Dawn
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