ISLAMABAD: Amid announcements from the government that they intend to open up palatial government buildings such as governor houses and state guest houses to the public, one academician has suggested that the Prime Minister House should be converted into a university.
This was stated by COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) Rector Dr Raheel Qamar on Monday. He said that the Prime Minister House should house a university which focuses on future technology.
He also underlined the need to end the rote learning system prevalent in educational institutions, warning that if the rote learning system is allowed to continue, then around 70 per cent of the country’s youth could find itself unemployed.
Dr Qamar further suggested that the incumbent government should also properly involve higher educational institutions in order to achieve its target of providing 10 million jobs to the youth over the next five years.
Noting that as many as 600 foreign students are studying at the eight campuses of the varsity across the country, he refuted suggestions that COMSATS had awarded affiliations to any college nor did it have any plans to do so in the future since the university will not compromise on the quality of education.
Asked whether it meant that COMSATS could instead establish additional campuses, he said that expansions had halted owing to a shortage of funds since the university did not receive any funds from the government in the past eight years. Despite the cash crunch, he said that they planned to set up a campus in the Samungli neighbourhood of Quetta. In this regard, land for the project has been acquired but they require funds to build the main building.
Moreover, he said that they were speaking with the Sindh government to establish a campus of the university in the province.
The COMSATS rector suggested that the incumbent government encourage universities to use information and communication technology in teaching as it will help provide education to a massive number of students in a short span of time.
Asked about reports that he had allegedly plagiarized his thesis, the COMSATS rector said that a high-level committee had probed the matter. He claimed that some people with an agenda were involved in spreading this propaganda.
Replying to another question about the National Testing Service (NTS), he admitted that there were some gaps.
However, he refuted most of the rumours about the service as propaganda by its competitors, adding that the university had referred complaints of people leaking NTS papers to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for further inquiry.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 18th, 2018.
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