HEC degree verification woes

Express May 20, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The degree verification process introduced by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for citizens who intend to move abroad has been termed inefficient.

Long queues are seen outside the HEC building in sector H-9 and officials confirm that the new ‘first come first serve’ formula has led to large scale confusion. Students who wish to travel abroad for further studies or in search of jobs need to get their documents attested from this office. They complain that the size and attitude of the staff cause frustrating delays.

“Students have to come from all over the country to this office and what they do is a mild form of torture,” said Shahbaz Khan, a student waiting in line outside the office. When the commission was established there was no condition of fee submission for attestation. There are only two counters, one for each gender. Rashid Ahmad, a student of Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, said that he visited twice for the verification of his MSc transcript but could not succeed because of long queues and inefficient handling of the job by officials.

Marrium Hussain from NUML, standing in a long queue before the counter for women, said that respective universities should verify documents themselves instead of sending students all the way to Islamabad. Director of Attestation and Equivalence department HEC, Dr Abid Ali, when approached, said that all collected dues went to the national exchequer.

He said that directorate employees worked day and night to accommodate the students. He claimed that students came late and without proper documents and that was why the process was delayed. The attestation of degrees, transcripts and diplomas awarded by certified universities and awarding institutions of Pakistan, both in public and private sectors, was transferred to the HEC by the government in May 2000.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 21st, 2010.

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