HEC devolution: 'Our degrees aren’t fake, are yours?' ask students

Students gather to stop devolution of higher education body.

Samia Saleem April 10, 2011


After academics and scholars, the students of the University of Karachi (KU) and the NED University of Engineering and Technology got together to say that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) must be saved.

The government is about to disband the HEC as part of the process of devolution that hands education over to the provinces.

These students marched on University Road with banners and placards on Saturday. Scholarships, merit, value of student degrees were the most persistent worries but some creative students did not hesitate to ask: ‘We don’t have  fake degrees. Do you have one?’

“When everything was running so smoothly what was the need to do this to the HEC?” asked Abdullah Waqar, a third-year civil engineering at NED. “With more political influence, how do we expect merit to flourish?”

Even though Waqar believes that the HEC needs to still give credit to NED University, he still opposes devolution. “HEC still seems to be better than corrupt politicians, who will eventually control education if the plans go through.”

Madiha, a student from KU, said that she supports the HEC even though she heard the Sindh education minister saying that the students from this province are neglected. “It was based on merit and I have seen many examples of deserving students benefiting from the HEC’s policies,” she said.

“I am from Sindh and I wouldn’t have worried about my chances of getting a scholarship from the HEC,” she added. For Nabiha Chaudhry from the electronics department, the devolution affects issues beyond education. “Every learned person knows that at this point in time, the nation needs to build up, instead of break apart,” she said.

She is worried because she moved from the Punjab during her Bachelor’s to pursue an engineering degree at NED. At that time, she did not realise that the education system would be segregated. “Now if I go back to pursue my Master’s in the Punjab, my degree won’t be a national one and may be judged on a provincial basis,” she pointed out.

A member of Insaaf Students Federation, Imran Ghazali, also accompanied the students. He explained that he is against this devolution and has attended three events on this cause to register his protest. Given the standard of schools and colleges at the provincial level, it is evident that the quality of higher education will not be maintained if it is segmented, he said.

Insaf Students Federation, which is a student wing of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, announced a hunger strike on Monday at noon. The strike is open for all.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2011.


Ali Jan | 11 years ago | Reply @natasha kadri: it seems that the rulers and the extremist have joined hands to curd education sector. the present government’s resolve to dissolve the higher education commission has shown it passion and love for education sector. more then 5000 hundred student has gone abroad for PhDs on the HEC scholarships.the HEC was the first to take step for the improving of standared of research in Pakistan. it has given new trends in research and vision. extremist are there to set on fire the educational institutions. they want more and more youngsters to come towards them. only the less education in society can provide them the nursery of suicide bombers and youth ready for terrorist attacks. may the HEC may be penalized for the fake degrees case. it means Jamshaid Dasty has won and the degree is the loser. government has deputed Raza Rabbani to decide the fate of HEC and the pseudo intellectual among the present political lot is trying to provide relief to under educated politicians by dissolving the HEC. government has stopped many trained just because of the bad performance. the HEC performance was fantastic. the sane people failed to understand was it is been targeted and why the government is trying towing the line of extremists whose agenda is to eradicate education from our society.
Umair Ahmed Khan | 11 years ago | Reply Good to see ISF all over the place.
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