Saving HEC: Revolution needed against devolution

Published: April 7, 2011

Educationists, students decry the move to split higher education matters to provinces.

ISLAMABAD: 

People from different walks of life on Wednesday continued to record their apprehensions and protests against the devolution of Higher Education Commission (HEC). The move, they said would destroy the decade-long investment in higher education.

The critics pointed out that there is no alternate institute to successfully handle higher education, which is crucial for national development in the long term.

Former education minister and Information Secretary Ahsan Iqbal said, “The 18th Amendment does not make it mandatory for the HEC to be devolved to the provinces.”

He pointed out that no alternate institution is present at the provincial level to take the place of the HEC, which has acquired tremendous experience in managing research and development projects in higher education sector.

Iqbal termed the devolution unwise, urging the government to review it in the larger interest of the country.

Professor Dr Attaur Rehman, who is the founding chairperson of the HEC, said the commission had performed well in the past eight years and it “must” not be devolved.

The HEC is the only central regulatory body that links education to national development projects, enabling universities to produce skilled manpower, he said.

Dr Rehman added, “Higher education is far more important than the nuclear progress as no war can be won without excelling in the education.”

The total university enrolments between 1947 and 2003 were 135,000, which increased to about 400,000 in the following five years from 2004 to 2008, Dr Rehman said. There were 59 universities and degree awarding institutes in 2001. By 2008, they had grown to 127.

HEC’s efforts helped University of Karachi achieve a world rank of 223 in some disciplines. Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) was ranked 270 in Natural Sciences and NUST was ranked at 350 in overall world university rankings, according to Times UK Higher Education Ranking, November 2009, he said.

Dr Masoom Yasinzai, Vice Chancellor of Quaid-i-Azam University, said, “The HEC has been a true success story, producing more PhDs scholars in eight years, than there were in the last 56 years.”

He added that a recent grant of $300 million from the World Bank was issued because of HEC’s performance.

Provinces lack the capacity to handle higher education, he said, adding there is need of an organised and centralised body to independently develop and implement educational policies.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • saif
    Apr 7, 2011 - 12:20PM

    we are against the decision of the govt. about hec.Recommend

  • Apr 7, 2011 - 1:20PM

    we are against the decision of government to dissolve hec . if the government has extra time to take issues seriously then they take action against jobs because no of people are jobless thats a big deal aur introduce lowest education system in pakistan. i against almost all over the students against to dessolve higher education system.
    ” effective body incorupt system ” Recommend

  • Apr 7, 2011 - 1:21PM

    we are against the decision of government to dissolve hec . if the government has extra time to take issues seriously then they take action against jobs because no of people are jobless .thats a big deal aur introduce lowest education system in pakistan. i against almost all over the students against to dessolve higher education system.
    ” effective body incorupt system “Recommend

  • Taleem
    Apr 7, 2011 - 4:44PM

    The schemes of the HEC have allowed many with simple backgrounds to go abroad and earn doctorates at excellent schools. I am surprised that the PPP is against this. As to handing it over to the provinces, please show me a single provincial department that has performed decently in the last ten years.Recommend

  • Mahmood
    Apr 7, 2011 - 4:58PM

    I do not understand when will our so called high-ups understand the importance of education. They are so uneducated and illiterate that they are demolishing HEC and throwing billions of Rupees in parliamentarian secretariats. Its just unacceptable. People who vote for these corrupt leaders should stop voting for them in the general elections.Recommend

  • Muhammad Akhtar Sahil
    Apr 7, 2011 - 6:48PM

    This decision is simply ridiculous and only will further deteriorate education sector in Pakistan. I loudly say that this decision is a shame for our “Jamhori Hakomat”. I condemn it…………… Recommend

  • Javed
    Apr 7, 2011 - 6:56PM

    Is there any one who can stop this devolution.Recommend

  • ehsanali
    Apr 7, 2011 - 7:05PM

    They will anything good done by Musharraf for revenge sakeRecommend

  • Critical Observor
    Apr 7, 2011 - 8:11PM

    A great decision of the government. After the HEC, we need the govt to slash those money-making businesses called HEC-recognized private universities that are creating rotes.Recommend

  • Sohail
    Apr 7, 2011 - 9:47PM

    Totally against the decision of government to dissolve HEC, has the government gone insane ??? Recommend

  • Nadya
    Apr 8, 2011 - 9:29PM

    What the hell ths govt is doing … ???
    Now these politicians that who r juz graduate n even undergradute decided the future of pakistani Youth …. !!!
    y not this corrupt govt. hv been resolved ….. ????Recommend

  • Inam
    Apr 10, 2011 - 12:26AM

    Our parliamentarians be it PPP, PM, MQM and JI are seriously lacking vision for progress of the country otherwise HEC’s existing should have been give the status of the constitutional entity. Where they were all on such issues? everyone was behind crafting the 18th amendment just for allowing some people to be 3rd Time Prime Ministers , renaming the provinces, blah blah but constitutionalization for masses is missing , this amendment was done just for few people not for the People of the Pakistan.

    I strongly register my protest against the devolution of HEC. Mr. Raza Rabbani who is self proclaimed champion of 18th amendment has given a ridiculous statements today about HEC. They must not forget , they have been elected by the people to look into public welfare issues than making political stunts. Recommend

  • Inam
    Apr 10, 2011 - 12:30AM

    @Inam:
    Our parliamentarians be it PPP, PML, MQM and JI are seriously lacking vision for progress of the country otherwise HEC’s existing status should have been preserved as constitutional entity in the amendment.

    Where they were all these parties on such public issues when this amendment was being created? , Where was Mr. Ahsan Iqbal at that time? . Everyone was behind crafting the 18th amendment just for allowing some people to be 3 times PMs , renaming the provinces, blah blah but constitutionalization for masses is missing in this amendment , it was done just for few people not for the People of the Pakistan.

    I strongly register my protest against the devolution of HEC.

    Mr. Raza Rabbani who is self proclaimed champion of 18th amendment has given a ridiculous statements today about HEC. They must not forget , they have been elected by the people to look into public welfare issues than making such non-sense political stunts.Recommend

  • SunStar
    Apr 10, 2011 - 10:17AM

    i m against the decision taken by the Govt. to dissolve H.E.C. and appreciate the challenge in Supreme Court. Recommend

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