Civil society activists rap slashing of HEC

Daily: The Nation
Date: 07.04.11

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Civil society while condemning the government's decision to
make the Higher Education Commission defunct, demanded its restoration at federal level
for bright future of education in the country.

While addressing
a press conference held at Lahore Press Club on Wednesday the
office bearers of
Association of Friends Kashif Murtaza Gondal Advocate and Dr
Qaisar Rashid
proposed that existence of HEC as a federal institute is essential in order to
create a balance in the education system of the country.

The office bearers of Association of Friends demanded the government to make
unanimous education policy for ensuring national integrity further demanding to establish
quality education system in the country. They, however, criticised the decision of the
government regarding keeping HEC under the control of Council of Common Interest (CCI).

They said that UGC failed to achieve these two targets due to which World Bank and
UNESCO expressed their regret in their report published in 2000 over poor education
system and less research opportunities in Pakistan while HEC achieved both targets after
its establishment in 2002 with upgrading education system in the country according to
international standards.

HEC also introduced quality education system across the country equally and gave the
equal status to degrees of all the universities of the country. They said that before the
establishment of HEC there were only 59 universities and other institutes which were
awarding degrees while only 3000 PhD degree holders could be produced since the birth of
the country while after the establishment of HEC, 73 new universities were established in
the country which produced 3500 PhD degree holders only in eight years. They said that
HEC also promoted research culture in the country.

They proposed that CCI could remain away from HEC in case all the provinces agreed on
the proposal. They clarified that according to Federal Legislative list, HEC is relevant with
CCI due to its functions and not because of its name. They said that under Article 270-AA
Constitution of Pakistan the status of HEC could be restored through act of parliament if
MPs agreed.

They further proposed that HEC could be empowered through act of parliament to regulate
or oversee education in the provinces through CCI. HEC can be empowered through a
presidential Ordinance instead of adopting this procedure through act of parliament. While
concluding they said that the performance of HEC revealed that the education system in
the country flourished speedily and in case government let it work, the future of education
in the country must be bright.

Meanwhile, Mustafi Students Movement also staged a protest demonstration in front of
Lahore Press Club against the decision of government to transfer education powers to
provinces by abolishing HEC. Dozens students, carrying banners and placards were
chanting slogans against government declaring such governments decision a conspiracy
against the education system of the country. They termed the decision of the government
was based on revenge from HEC for exposing fake degree holder MPs. They were of the
view that such day in the history of education of the country would be remembered as black
day.
On the same issue, read my two columns printed/published in The News

1. Save Higher Education on April 08, 2011

2. The Higher Education Dilemma on April 15, 2011