KARACHI: The federal government has cut down the annual budget of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to Rs28.65 billion from the current Rs46.68 billion. Its impact on education will be that all public-sector universities will increase their semester fees.
Higher education in public-sector universities is now very expensive. Middle class and poor students cannot afford the burden of these ridiculously high fees. Everyone has the right to get higher education and it is the government’s duty to provide education free of cost in public-sector universities. Other countries increase their education budget, but in our country, it is the opposite.
The HEC has also decreased the number of scholarships for the public-sector university students. This is again a classic case of how the rich and powerful are regulating these sectors for their own benefit. The poor will be unable to move up the social ladder and will mentally crush themselves, reaching for the little hope that is given by the government.
Even though students can get scholarships from other organisations, most of them are not affiliated with these organisations, due to which they cannot avail of these types of opportunities. The government, backed up by universities, should help their students and provide financial support to those in need so that they can easily continue their education.
After the 18th amendment, the education department is under the control of the provincial governments, it is also the responsibility of the provincial governments to help in all the ways they can. This is not how we treat our future generation.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2019.