Devolution of Higher Education Commission to provinces
Implementation Commission all set to devolve HEC to provinces
Islamabad, March 25: Making a somewhat tricky move, Implementation Commission has decided to devolve Higher
Education Commission (HEC) to the provinces and have started consulting with
provincial governments without taking HEC on board.
well-placed sources, Implementation Commission has approved the devolution of
HEC despite the fact that it exists in the Federal Legislative List (FLL) while
under 18th amendment only concurrent list is supposed to be devolved.
has been learnt reliably that the Implementation Commission in its last meeting
reviewed the HEC law for almost five hours after which they had decided to
devolve it without taking HEC into confidence.
"The plan has been
prepared very carefully. Federal government is trying to save its money by
handing over HEC to provinces. In this way they would save money in the upcoming
budget and would ask provinces to run HEC from the money they would get from NFC
award," a source said.
On the other hand, the source said,
provinces are having a misconception that they would get extra money as HEC
budget. "The federal government has committed World Bank that it would allocate
sufficient amount in higher education sector to meet Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs). Once HEC would be devolved, the commitment would automatically
come to an end," he added.
Meanwhile, provinces have been visited by the
members of Implementation Commission to check their preparedness to take the
responsibility. According to a member of the Implementation Commission, they
have received positive response from the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa so
According to the sources, HEC has written a letter to Implementation
Commission a month ago in which it was asked to brief them about its status and
also to provide them an opportunity to give presentation on their role in the
progress of higher education sector in the country. "There was no reply from
Implementation Commission. It is now again that HEC has written a letter to the
Implementation Commission to provide them an opportunity to present their
achievements. Saturday is the date that has been decided for the meeting," said
The source also revealed that they were not sure if HEC would
get chance to give presentation. "We are simply clueless. We have prepared our
presentation, but not sure if we would be allowed to present it, as
Implementation Commission has already decided the matter," he said.
education experts believe that the subject of higher education has close, deep
and multidimensional links to national policy and planning, economic growth,
scientific and technical research, defence production, industrial growth and
national innovation system.
"Higher education is not a subject that is
confined to national boundaries since it is imperative to have international
recognition of degrees for which adherence to international quality assurance
benchmark is a necessity," said a source.
HEC chairperson and Education Task Force Chairperson Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali
said that the 18th amendment has added key provisions to the Federal Legislative
List (FLL), which include all regulatory authorities established under a Federal
Law, National planning and national economic coordination including planning and
coordination of scientific and technological research, standards in institutions
for higher education and research, scientific and technical institutions,
inter-provincial matters and co-ordination. "The federal role of HEC is
inevitable for the policy, planning and coordination and it exists in FLL," she
She said that the role of provinces was already exists in higher
education sector as Governor of any province is the chancellor of universities
of that particular province and is an authority to hire Vice Chancellors of the
universities. "What would be criteria of evaluating PhD degrees when every
province would be having different standards to evaluate it," she
Terming it a disaster, HEC former chairperson Dr. Atta-ur Rehaman
said that the decision would reverse back the tremendous growth that HEC has
made over the last decade.
"Look at the progress HEC has made. There has
been 600 percent increase in our publications in over the last decade. We have
produced a number of Phd scholars in 10 years that have not been produced in
last 60 years," he added.
He informed that he would be holding a press
conference over this grave issue on Friday and would tell people that the
devolution would have an adverse impact over the higher education
It is pertinent to mention here that the vice chancellors of
public and private sector universities visiting UK under 'leadership development
training' took cognisance of the possible devolution of the HEC to the
provinces. They have issued a resolution in which they stated that the HEC must
continue in its current form, devolving HEC to the provinces and experiencing
with the proposed model will cause devastation in higher education sector, after
devaluation higher education sector would have the same fate as school and
colleges under the provinces have suffered by the similar cavalier policies
The resolution has been passed by 11 VCs that included the
names of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) VC Dr. Nazir A Sangi, Behria
University VC Vice Admiral (r) Mohammad Haroon, KPK University of Engineering
and Technology VC Engineer Syed Imtiaz Hussain Gillani, University of
Balochistan VC Professor Dr. Abdul Nabi, Gomal University VC Professor Dr.
Mansoor Akbar Kundi, Hazara University VC Professor Dr. Sakhawat Shah, Kohat
University of Science and Technology VC Professor Dr. Nasir Jamal Khattak, KPK
Agriculture University VC Professor Dr. Khan Bahadar Marwat, Government College
University Faisalabad Dr. Zakir Hussain, Sarhad University of Science and
Information Technology VC Dr. Salim-ur-Rehman, Isra University VC Dr. Ghulam
Qadir Qazi and UET Taxila VC Prof Dr Muhammad Abbas Chaudhary.
Executive Director Dr. Sohail Naqvi when contacted said that they
haven't received anything officially till now. "We have just heard that the
future of HEC has been decided. Our meeting in this regard with Implementation
Commission is scheduled on Saturday," he said.
He said that after 18th
amendment, HEC has become a subject that comes under Federal Legislative List
(FLL). "It's not simple as in case of schools and colleges. The 80 per cent work
on science and technology is conducted in universities. The federal role of HEC
is inevitable for inter-provincial coordination of the research work being
conducted in the universities," he said. The news
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To school without books
Islamabad: Students of the government-run and -aided schools in the city will start their new academic year
on April 1 without textbooks – all because of a tangle between the Ministry of
Education and the National Book Foundation (NBF).
Legal minds start arguing in the Islamabad High Court on Friday how to clear
the mess. Informed sources said the NBF was supposed to
have the books for Class 1 to 10 printed by March 15 but alleged that
ill-advised orders from the ministry created a legal mess and stalled the
They said the NBF posted a tender for the purchase of paper for printing the
books on its website, and that of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority
(PPRA), on December 22 last year as the All Pakistan Newspapers Society had
placed a ban on publishing the advertisements of the Education Ministry because
the ministry owed its members over Rs190 million in back payments.
Only two bidders responded to the NBF tender but one of them who had a
running dispute with the NBF withdrew from the bidding and lodged a complaint
with the then education minister, Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali.
The minister formed a committee which consumed 17 days to inquire into the
complaint. The minister ordered re-tendering on the basis of the findings of the
inquiry, although the PPRA had meanwhile ruled that a purchase order could be
placed even if there was only one bidder.
Pressed for time, the NBF's paper procurement committee immediately set for
It sought advice of the PPRA on hastening the process of procuring the paper
but found that it was not possible to meet all the codal formalities for
re-tendering in the short time left.
In desperation, the committee requested the pre-qualified printing presses on
the NBF list to arrange the paper themselves and start printing the books. Half
of the 50 registered printing presses agreed to use their own paper and print
the books at the existing rates.
Surprisingly, while the printing was in progress, the Ministry of Education
on February 17 wrote letters to the Director General Federal Directorate of
Education (FDE) and Chairman Private Educational Institutions Regulatory
Authority (PIERA) to purchase books directly from the Punjab Textbook Board.
Deputy Secretary Mohammad Ayub Paracha signed the letter with the note that
it had been approved by Secretary Education Athar Tahir. Mr Tahir has previously
served as Chairman Punjab Textbook Board.
Those printing the books for NBF challenged the directive in the letter in
the Islamabad High Court which granted a stay against it on March 4. The case is
to be heard today (March 25) but there is no chance of the books reaching the
students on time.
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Student composes book on Benazir
Rawalpindi: A student of A-level is all set to make history as her book on slain prime minister Benazir
Bhutto is in the final stages.
Saria, resident of Rawalpindi is studying in A-level part 1 and her book
titled 'Blood in the Terrain' throws light on the political efforts of Ms
Bhutto, her contribution to the Muslim world and finally the treatment meted out
to her by extremist elements in the country on her arrival.
In the book young Saria has paid tributes to Ms Bhutto for her tremendous
services in projecting the soft and liberal image of the Muslim world while at
the same time the young author has lamented the tragic assassination of Ms
Bhutto in poetic verses.
The young student in her book has foresighted insurgency and a regime of
dictators as she thinks that the kindle of liberty (Ms Bhutto) was no more on
the face of the planet."I stare around and see an insurgency. Opposed to
democracy and committed to slay it," she writes.
Saria said that she was inspired by the personality of
Shaheed Benazir Bhutto who even after knowing so many threats to her life
continued her political struggle.
"I used to see Ms Bhutto on internet and read her articles in newspapers.
When she was assassinated, I was determined to writing a book on her life after
she was mercilessly assassinated in my native town but my mother wished that I
should concentrate on my studies," she said. Dawn
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RSS director gets 'Tamgha-i-Imtiaz'
Islamabad: Lecturer of Economics at Advanced Level and Principal/Director Roots School System (RSS),
Khadija Mushtaq, was conferred with 'Tamgha-i-Imtiaz' in the field of education
in a ceremony at Aiwan-e-Sadr.
Khadija Mushtaq's students' achievements
in national and international examinations have earned them placements in world
top universities on scholarship and that raised the image of Pakistani youth and
Pakistan. As a result of their achievements, doors of opportunities are opened
every year for these brilliant students to acquire higher education in different
fields. To be able to compete at world level for admission in world top
universities, it requires tremendous motivation, inspiration, hard work,
competence, direction, skills, attitudes and abilities to qualify from amongst
thousands of brilliant students worldwide.
Khadija Mushtaq was honoured
for shaping the career paths of Pakistani youth to meet the challenges of 21st
century and contribute for a better and prosperous Pakistan.
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Shaheen School System graduation ceremony held
Islamabad: As many as 100 students were given prizes at the graduation ceremony of pre-school students
held at Shaheen School System, PAF Complex, E-9. Students from different classes
presented dramas, dress shows, national songs and skits. Speaking on the
occasion, the chief guest, Group Captain (r) Tahir Mehmood, appreciated the
performance of students and lauded teachers for polishing their abilities in a
right way. Principal Group Captain (r) Muhammad Ashraf Mughal said that hard
work is the only key to success. "Young people are the future of the nation. We
are trying to give quality education to students," he said. The chief guest
distributed prizes and certificates among students and teachers for showing good
results. The news
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IIUI to hold int'l seminar on Sirah
Islamabad: A 3-day international seminar on "Modern Trends in Sirah (Prophetic biography) Writing" is scheduled
to open here at International Islamic University's Faisal Mosque Campus on
Saturday. Islamic Research Institute (IRI) and Iqbal International Institute for
Research and Dialogue (IRD) are jointly organizing the event.
light on the background of the seminar, Dr. Zafar Ishaq Ansari, Director General
IRI said historians and scholars had started writing on the life of the Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) during the first century of Hijrah. The tradition
of Sirah writing that continues to date, has led built up a tremendously rich
mass of literature on the Prophet (peace be upon him) in various languages. The
last three centuries were remarkably productive in this regard and have
witnessed a phenomenal development of the subject.
The 3-day moot will
draw distinguished scholars from a number of countries including Pakistan,
India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, UK, USA, Canada, Germany,
and South Africa, who will be discussing different approaches to Sirah writing,
will take a critical look at the major works of this period and try to visualize
the vistas of future studies in the field. The present seminar will focus on
Sirah works in three languages – Arabic, English and Urdu. Daily times
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