The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has launched e-courses on ‘Protection against Sexual Harassment in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)’ and ‘Policy for Students with Disabilities in HEIs’ to make Pakistani universities safer and more inclusive for stu-dents, faculty and adminis-trative staff.
The e-courses have been launched in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women and the Australian High Commission in Pakistan.
The National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE) will host the e-courses that will promote awareness and outreach of these policies.
Addressing the virtual launching ceremony, HEC Executive Director Dr Shaista Sohail said the role of HEIs was instrumental to empha-sise and promote the significance of practising basic principles and high moral grounds.
She informed participants that two per cent of scholar-ships are specified for stu-dents with disabilities in the Prime Minister's Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Programme.
She hoped that the coordinated efforts will not only make HEIs safer and inclusive but will also im-prove students’ overall aca-demic accomplishments.
In his remarks, UNDP Resident Representative Knut Otsby asserted: “If we want to encourage youth to stay in higher education and continue to make progress on the SDGs commitments to provide equal access to women to obtain a tertiary education, we must ensure that young people are able to attain education in a safe, culturally appropriate and eq-uitable environment.”
Deputy High Commissioner Joanne Frederiksen said this was an important step for pro-moting inclusion on campus.
We are heartened by HEC's leadership in this area, and encourage vice-chancellors to ensure faculty staff and students complete the e-courses.
Country Representative UN Women Sharmeela Rasool observed that a vast majority of women were still unaware of the protections available to them through legislation.
She stressed the need for creating awareness among women about legal protection. NAHE Rector Dr Shaheen Sardar Ali said the academy was a national institution for capacity building of aca-demic leaders, faculty and staff. “One of the aspects of capacity building is to trans-late the rules and regulation into knowledge.”
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