The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has put in place a huge array of programmes to promote higher education and improve quality of education and research in the country.
Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman HEC stated this while speaking in the 6th meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training held at the Commission Secretariat on Thursday with Mian Najeeb-ud-Din Awaisi, Member of National Assembly in the chair. He said HEC is revamping the academic and research systems including teacher education, and PhD and undergraduate programmes.
The meeting discussed different agenda items including the University of Islamabad Bill 2019, issuance of No Objection Certificate (NOC) to Federal Udru University of Arts, Science & Technology (FUUAST), Karachi, and Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) issues including appointment of FDE head, absorption of teachers from provinces in the post-18th Amendment scenario, and regularisation of daily-wage and contractual teachers teaching in Islamabad schools.
Before making any decision with regard to the University of Islamabad Bill, the committee decided to visit the university site on October 1, 2019 to examine if it has necessary infrastructure and hostel facilities in the light of HEC criteria.
The NA body was briefed on the hurdles in issuance of NOC to FUUAST, Karachi to set up its campus in the Federal Capital. It was informed that the university has acquired land for establishment of its campus, however, it could not so far obtain NOC because of lack of an access road, non-payment of land conversion charges, and non-approval of layout plan.
The committee urged the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to cooperate with the FUUAST, Karachi and report progress on the matter in the next committee meeting scheduled for October 3, 2019.
The committee stressed the need for immediate measures for appointment of FDE head, as the post is lying vacant for years. It emphasised on regularisation of teachers hired on daily wages or contract basis as well as absorption of teachers from various provinces to serve in Islamabad. It expressed grave concerns over the problems of children’s admissions in Islamabad schools. “The obstacles in getting admission in Islamabad schools have put the future of children at stake.”
The committee deferred the agenda item related to detailed briefing on foreign and indigenous scholarships awarded by HEC to the next meeting in view of its importance.