Lahore: Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmad has called on Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi to discuss measures to boost higher education in the province.
The meeting was held at the CM office and was also attended by PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi and Higher Education Minister Ahmad Raza Sarwar.
CM believes that exposing young people to skills-based technology is an immediate need and will build new universities to this end. He insisted that the introduction of a flat pay scale for university teachers was being reviewed and would be linked to performance. He further stated that it is working with Microsoft to create free advanced courses for youngsters to enable them to compete with the world by adopting new modern trends in the field.
CM Elahi further stated that technology is changing every moment and higher education must also adapt to modern requirements. The Government of Punjab will fully support HEC in improving university governance. To end the ad hocism of universities and overhaul the academic and administrative affairs of campuses, he said, adding that much needed to be done in promoting research and that stipends for students in higher education should be increased.
The CM said the recruitment had been approved to address the shortage of teachers in schools and colleges.
Speaking to reporters earlier, the HEC chairman said there was no need to build universities in remote areas and that higher education faced a shortage of competent vice-chancellors. University faculty should shift their focus from monetary gain to teaching and promoting research, he said.
Responding to a question about the introduction of a four-year bachelor’s degree program at universities and colleges, Mr Ahmed said the decision had been taken in 2005 but was fully implemented in 2018. Two-year associate degree programs offered by different universities are not up to par, and universities do not synchronize and update degree syllabi with respect to four-year bachelor’s degree programs.
The HEC chief said the committee is working on upgrading and updating the syllabus so that students can enter the fifth semester of any BS program. He further stated that there was a shortage of funds and university administrations were instructed not to start new projects.
Posted on Dawn, December 21, 2022