Petty move to undermine the HEC

Published: December 5, 2012
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The writer is a senior journalist and has held several editorial positions including most recently at The Friday Times. He is currently senior adviser, outreach, at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute

The writer is a senior journalist and has held several editorial positions including most recently at The Friday Times. He is currently senior adviser, outreach, at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute

First, in the interest of full disclosure, let me say that Feisal Naqvi is a very dear friend of many years and Dr Sohail Naqvi, the Executive Director of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), his elder brother. But that did not prevent me in 2006 from penning two pieces (here and here) strongly criticising what I considered, at the time, to be HEC’s woeful lack of interest in promoting higher education in social sciences and humanities, the Commission’s focus being on hard sciences.

I considered this policy lopsided and against the interest of advancing critical thinking.

It is a measure of the maturity of the Naqvi brothers, a trait hard to find in these hard times, that I did not lose them. We discussed my criticism of the HEC. Points were made and conceded on both sides. Those exchanges have since helped me look more deeply into HEC’s work, realise the extent of the challenge as also the absolute imperative of having an autonomous body to oversee higher education. A body free of the administrative miasma generally associated with governments in Pakistan.

I have remained critical of the HEC but with greater empathy.

I give this background to position my arguments regarding a recent decision by the Establishment Division to strike at the autonomy of the HEC by appointing the Education Secretary as the Executive Director. Much has already been written about the illegality of that order. The HEC Chairman, Javaid Laghari, has rightly informed the Federal Government via his letter dated December 3, 2012, that the order to appoint the Secretary Education as ED-HEC is null and void. In any case, the issue is now sub judice and will be taken care of by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

My intention here is not to talk about the person of Dr Naqvi but the HEC and why that body must not be allowed to lose its autonomy.

First, a peek into the reasons for this stand-off. Governments in this country consider democracy to be a system where equality must be defined in terms of inefficiency. Let me explain: if three organisations among 50 are being run competently, so goes the thought, the lesson is not to get the other 47 to work efficiently but to make those three dysfunctional in order to create equality. It helps if, as is the case with the HEC, the annual budget is Rs48 billion, a definite attraction for those with oily palms. There is also the satisfaction of extending control and subordinating those in a functional organisation who refuse to fall in line.

Another way of putting it is that Drs Laghari and Naqvi could have remained nominally where they were, deriving full perks of their jobs, if they had allowed the Ministry of Education to do unto the HEC and its funds as it, and by extension the government, had pleased. Since the HEC refused to oblige, the Establishment Division made its move.

What would be the result if the government succeeds? The HEC covers 72 public-sector universities which employ more than 100,000 personnel in different categories. The Commission also directly controls 14,000 scholarships and supervises development projects worth more than Rs200 billion. This is big turf with big money. The fight, therefore, is purely over control of patronage and funds.

Perish the thought that this government would give any consideration to the negative fallout of its decision or the fact that its takeover of the HEC will cause a sharp decline in the standards of higher education. Or even that democracy, in its essence, when it is not illiberal in its functioning, is about the rule of law. The rule of law, in turn, is about Constitutionalism, a concept that developed alongside but independently of the form of democracy and is at the heart of the substance of democracy, as opposed to merely its form which is the case in this country.

But we have another, more pressing concern. We keep lamenting, and rightly so, that this country now suffers poverty not just in the sense of the increasing number of poor but in all senses of the word: poverty of thought; poverty of intent; poverty of action; poverty of courage, the list is long. And yet, we give nary a thought, because of poor thinking, to the fact that power in today’s world is a function of knowledge. Without knowledge and without the ability to think, we will never have the human resource to advance either our economic interests or our military ones. We are destined to remain backward and, yes, weak. And a weak nation is always treated like one, remaining servile and doing the bidding of the powerful.

Anyone who thinks this is about persons needs to look into history again: political, social, economic and military. Economic and military prowess is a function of social and political harmony; socio-political harmony is underwritten by the rule of law and the understanding of these interactions is a function of high-end human resource. And that human resource is begotten of knowledge. The interactive dynamic here is such that, to quote George Orwell, “an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely”.

Let me state the obvious. We have extremely low-end human resource. This is directly owed to our poor education standards. There’s a debate in this country about which comes first, primary education or higher education. This debate misses the point that we need both. The primary and higher ends of education are not mutually exclusive. Nor can we ignore higher education until such time that we have provided primary education to everyone.

What is needed is to understand that improving human resource is crucial for our very survival and that requires focusing on education at all levels. The HEC needs constant improvement and monitoring but equally, it is one of the few government institutions in Pakistan that has functioned reasonably well. For that reason, the HEC must be left alone and autonomous, free from the ambitions of petty bureaucrats and the avarice of politicians.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (41)

  • shahid
    Dec 5, 2012 - 11:23PM

    A wonderful piece of analysis. Thanks.

    Recommend

  • Organ of Big Profit
    Dec 5, 2012 - 11:29PM

    I won’t vote for PPP ever, HEC ought to be above political umbrellas that let rain thru.

    Recommend

  • Falcon
    Dec 6, 2012 - 12:17AM

    Very well reasoned argument. We can only hope that someone is paying attention.

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  • Nadir
    Dec 6, 2012 - 12:19AM

    Are people in HEC not bureaucrats? I think we should separate Dr Naqvi from the HEC and its issues itself. Save HEC, save Pakistan slogans that are going around along with the usual, one of the disciplined institutions in the country rhetoric, is being used by many to justify the status-quo and cover up many of HEC’s failings.

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  • fus
    Dec 6, 2012 - 1:06AM

    @Nadir….cut the allegations and rehtorics, list the real failing of HEC which can show that a person or people did something in their interest rather than the nation? HEC may have flaws but unlike 99% of organization the ppl on the helm of affair are not corrupt.

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  • Truth Detector
    Dec 6, 2012 - 1:53AM

    For PPP , higher education is a nuisance since their supporters can make it to ‘Top 100 thinkers’ without any higher education & a 25 year old lad is ready to lead the country without going through the hassles of learning real-life skills.

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Dec 6, 2012 - 2:16AM

    This is nothing but a lip service uncle Ejaz. How come you have not written a piece on miscreants blowing up our school? Are we children of a lesser god or education is the right of urban elite of Pakistan only- A girls student victim of blown up girls school.

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  • Mirza
    Dec 6, 2012 - 3:19AM

    @Its (still) Econonmy Stupid:
    I agree with you 100%. HEC is funded by people and its working should be openly and honestly discussed in both the elected houses before funding. No govt institution is above the accountability. If we leave SC, armed forces and others to do what they want then why should the people fund them? Pakistan is one of the few countries where paid govt servants want to behave like privately owned business. If some hate this govt that does not mean we should change our oversight in the future.
    I agree with the above comments and the only solution of Pakistan’s problems is “educate women”. Pakistan needs primary and basic education more than any other form. How many real poor and rural women benefit from the HEC?
    Regards,
    M

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  • Nadir
    Dec 6, 2012 - 5:03AM

    @fus: Indeed, only when the middle and upper classes attach themselves to a cause is that cause incorruptible, while everything else in the country is going to the dogs. Typical.

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  • Dec 6, 2012 - 5:16AM

    @Mirza: Not a single word you wrote makes sense

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  • Javed Mohmand
    Dec 6, 2012 - 6:57AM

    Army should be under control of the civilian government,all the other state institutions/ departments “must be left alone and autonomous, free from the ambitions of petty bureaucrats and the avarice of politicians”.

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  • basharat
    Dec 6, 2012 - 7:20AM

    The Executive Director, as Mr Naqvi was, is appointed for a term of four years, he remained
    with the HEC for about ten years. According to High Education Commission Ordinance, 2002
    the Controlling Authority of the Commission vests in the Prime Minister who is empowered to supervise and control the affairs of the Commission. The Chairperson and members of the Commission
    can only be removed before expiry of their term of office if charges of corruption, inefficiency, permanent disability etc., are proven against anyone who may have been removed before expiry of his term
    The matter is already in the court, most probably, he will be reinstated. The courts do not have any soft corner for the present government.

    Recommend

  • abu-uzhur
    Dec 6, 2012 - 7:24AM

    @fus:

    HEC has totally failed to resurrect our universities . Here is only one area of failure to

    meet yuor demand .

    HEC has pumped billions into universities to promote research . Result ? The biggest

    industry in universities today is mass-scale plagiarism . In one university I know , hundreds

    of fake plagiarised “research” papers are being accepted by authorities

    willfully overlooking ( even encouraging ) the fraud . It helps universities/HEC to build

    statistical castles to present on tv or other forums The pre-occupation of university

    administrations has been

    to gobble and digest free flow of funds from HEC . The performance of HEC needs to be

    thoroughly investigated , and magnificient statistics vaunted by HEC spokemen should be

    checked against ground realities . And get ready for the shock .

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  • USMAN786
    Dec 6, 2012 - 8:51AM

    HEC should give importance to masters (MPhil level) than PhD. This will give more scholarships with same money and the good students would get foreign scholarship for PhD themselves if they are really good.

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  • KH
    Dec 6, 2012 - 9:03AM

    I am part of the middle class and one of my relative was given Masters scholarship in university of sydney all expenses paid even the living. So who says HEC is working for the upper class? They dont need to goto HEC for scholarships

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  • USMAN786
    Dec 6, 2012 - 9:35AM

    Another suggestion is if our universities can enter into agreement with Norway, Danish universities to exchange students thus students get free education. if one applies directly then student has to pay a lot of money in fees

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  • gp65
    Dec 6, 2012 - 9:35AM

    Ejaz,
    Just noticed a discrepancy in your argument when it came to the Dr.Hoodbhoy/LUMS case versus Dr.Naqvi/HEC case.
    There you said that merit was not the issue, contract was the issue. Contract expired so regardless of how good Dr. Hoodbhoy was people should not criticize LUMS management which had a right to decide as they thought fit.
    Here too. Dr. Naqvi had served for 10 years. His term had expired. The government which was the employer did not extend the term and hence government was within right to not give extension.

    Why are you treating the 2 stories in the exact opposite manner?
    Please note, I am not passing any judgment about Dr. Hoodbhoy or Dr. Naqvi – since I don’t know enough. I am pointing to the inconsistency in your argument.

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  • Ejaz's fan
    Dec 6, 2012 - 9:38AM

    This is a wonderful analysis by Ejaz Haider over the forceful expulsion of his friend Sohail Naqvi from HEC. May everyone have as good a friend as Ejaz Haider.

    Recommend

  • jugno
    Dec 6, 2012 - 9:52AM

    I was closely involved with science and HEC in pak for some time. I must admit that apart from Prof. Atta-ur-Rehman all other scientists which get promoted to director/chairman level are extremely incompetent and in turn favor incompetent researchers regarding scholarships, foreign visits and funding. This breeds incompetency in research institutes and universities with the consequence that only very ordinary research is carried out and the next generation of directors/chairmen are also incompetent. For example the institute where I worked, the criteria for success was that you must belong to Lahore or areas adjoining Lahore. Alternatively if you happen to be good in research, then you must include the name of your boss/director in research papers you write (even if his/her field of expertise is different). Failing to do so results in penalties which can include: not sent abroad for training, no promotion and funding for your research. Until and unless this culture is changed pak will continue to get science managers and not scientists and all HEC money will go to waste.Recommend

  • Ijaz
    Dec 6, 2012 - 10:05AM

    A well balanced article but I am sure too late in the day! Mr Ejaz Haider used to label HEC as ‘heck’ ( what the heck?) a few years ago. Suddenly he has started to empathize with the HEC. Wonder why?

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  • Ley dasso
    Dec 6, 2012 - 11:17AM

    Ejaz Sb, how is Tanvir naqvi doing?

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  • Pinky
    Dec 6, 2012 - 1:20PM

    er Ejaz you borrowed the following info from Farrukh Saleem of The News, right?

    “The Commission has an annual budget of Rs48 billion, covering 72 public sector universities with more than 100,000 employees. The Commission controls development projects worth more than Rs200 billion and directly manages 14,000 scholarships.” _Farrukh

    “The HEC covers 72 public-sector universities which employ more than 100,000 personnel in different categories. The Commission also directly controls 14,000 scholarships and supervises development projects worth more than Rs200 billion. This is big turf with big money”_Ejaz

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  • Isran
    Dec 6, 2012 - 1:56PM

    I feel pity at the intellectual poverty of the people who think HEC is higher education and higher education is HEC, which is not. The fact is that higher education is imparted in the universities which no body is talking about and they are rusting by every passing day. The focus of whole debate is HEC and 3rd extension of Dr. Sohail Naqvi. People think if Dr. Sohial Naqvi is reappointed fro 3rd tenure, the system of higher education will improve and rivers of milk and honey will start flowing across the country. Here again Ejaz Haider a question: What is the academic contribution of Dr. Sohail Naqvi?

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  • Uza Syed
    Dec 6, 2012 - 3:44PM

    @Isran: What is the academic contribution of Dr. Sohail Naqvi? —- He has made flattery and brown nosing a fine art and raised standard to academic level. Dr. Attaur rehamn would certify the ‘highest level of psychophancy’ that this chappy has attained and the best prized job for 8 long years!, he achieved as reward, but, at the cost of tax payers money.

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  • sabi
    Dec 6, 2012 - 4:00PM

    @gp65:
    Just noticed a discrepancy in your argument when it came to the Dr.Hoodbhoy/LUMS case versus Dr.Naqvi/HEC case.”
    Well caught:OUT!

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  • Akhter
    Dec 6, 2012 - 6:33PM

    And here lies the problem! we ALL read and hear what we want to hear or read!
    First of all right at the beginning of the article the author stated his view of HEC and his disapproval of some of the actions of the HEC, but he also accepted that it was imperative that the HEC remained INDEPENDENT of interfering politicians and beauracrat’s. (FOOD FOR THOUGHT! a man named Musharraf set up the HEC provided all the funds and encouraged overseas Universities to enhance relations with Pakistan Universities furthermore he ensured its INDEPENDENCE, while the so called democrats first cut its funds,effectively stranding hundreds of students overseas on scholarships and then decided to post a government stooge to loot whats left)
    Let me explain, Yesterday i sat in the office of a local MPA and witnessed first hand the manipulation of senior lecturer and professor posts in a government University. A total of 6 Senior posts were given out to the people who had visited this MPA and assured him of votes following which he made phone calls and promised them that the posts would be allocated to his nominees.Everyone was very happy that they had effectively bypassed the selection process. I asked the MPA as why he had to be involved? and his answer was there are 12 post’s and 30 people have been shortlisted so obviously the successful applicant (regardless of merit) will be the one who comes with the most saffarish!.
    Finally with regards to HEC i believe the post should have a longer tenure to ensure continuity of projects and if Mr Naqvi is doing a good job his contract should be extended but be subject to performance review, however if an applicant comes along with greater merit/skills vision then he/she should be offered the job. Something that works in the west is re-applying for your job at end of tenure in competition with other applicants. But then who am i kidding! THIS IS PAKISTAN.

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  • al
    Dec 6, 2012 - 8:42PM

    Not good collection of facts. Naqvi has already been there for decades and leeched on the resources. Better bid him goodbye

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  • qwasi moto
    Dec 6, 2012 - 10:36PM

    De-education of Pakistan is on the prioroty list of PPP government. Everyone knows that all funds going for primary education goes to the feudals.

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  • Akhter
    Dec 6, 2012 - 10:38PM

    Please forgive the blatant Plagarism below i felt Dr Javed R Laghari put it much more eloquently then i could possibly ever do.

    ” Scimago, an independent research organisation and an international evaluation and ranking platform which analyses scientific outputs of institutions and countries and monitors over 30,000 journals, is considered one of the most credible databases in the world of research. Its most recent publication http:// http://www.scimagolab.com /blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/forecasting-excercise.pdf is a forecasting exercise on how the world will perform in research by 2018 based on their past performance. The top 50 countries are included in the forecast.

    While China, as expected, becomes the number one country in the world by 2018 in terms of research output, three countries stand out and show the most drastic increase in numbers and rankings: Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan. Iran moves ahead from number 19 to number 4, Malaysia from 30 to 13, and Pakistan from 43 to 27. The expected output of research in Pakistan moving up 16 notches, which is the second highest increase worldwide, is primarily due to the innovative higher education policies and reforms taking place in Pakistan under the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

    In Pakistan, under the HEC, in addition to quality reforms, there has been a strong resurgence of research and innovation. In particular, there is a significant growth in the number of PhDs awarded out of Pakistani universities. The numbers speak for themselves. In the first 55 years since Pakistan’s independence, a total of 3281 PhDs were awarded at Pakistani universities. However, since the establishment of the HEC in 2002, over 4000 PhDs have been awarded to-date, which is more than what was awarded in the previous 55 years.

    The number of PhDs awarded per year has now increased from a low of 200 in 2002 to over 850 in the year 2011, and it is expected that over 1000 PhDs will be awarded in 2012. There is a renewed focus on engineering and technology, agriculture, biological sciences, business education and social sciences, which are relevant subjects important for the socio-economic development of Pakistan.

    This increase in PhD awards is despite the fact that standards for the award of a PhD degree are today stricter than in the past, and even more than those in developed countries. There is a GRE-type entrance test for all graduate programmes, with a GAT (General) required for admission to MPhil and a GAT subject in 59 disciplines required for PhD admission. Advanced coursework is required in addition to research.

    There is a zero tolerance policy on plagiarism, where every research paper, thesis and dissertation must be scrutinised by anti-plagiarism software before submission. All thesis and dissertation must be evaluated by at least two foreign referees in academically advanced countries in the relevant area of research. There is also a publication requirement in the HEC recognised journals. Degrees not following the above criteria will not be recognised.

    Despite having very limited funds, HEC supports many research initiatives through grants. There are split PhDs, post-doctoral fellowships and foreign faculty programmes. While research projects are supported, there are also collaborative and joint projects with the US, UK, German and other foreign universities which are also funded by their agencies.

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  • Alamgir
    Dec 7, 2012 - 1:14AM

    Why not hand over HEC to Dr. A Q Khan? He is the genius who made Pakistan the only Islamic nuclear weapons state. He can do the same for education sector as well as for technology. It is the only way to save Pakistan.

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  • sabi
    Dec 7, 2012 - 1:51AM

    @Akhter:
    I do respect your feelings but I’m intrested in knowing where have gone all these PhDs because we don’t see the impact of the ‘wonderfull’ performance of HEC on grounds.Looking at the deteriorating situation of economy, I take that HEC has not focused much on applied sciences,the first and formost priority of any developing country.How long will it take for HEC to transform higher education into public benefits.Or the focus is on quantity not quality?.
    Regards

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  • Reason
    Dec 7, 2012 - 3:00AM

    @abu-uzhur: I also wish that to happen; HEC seems to claim PhDs as if the UNI and student have nothing to do with it and PhDs are made for 1200 US$ per month! then they claim high speed Fibre Optic laid in UNIs as their achievement, shame on them; then they claim PAK UNIs in global top, shame on HEC that’s also fabrication; The truth is HEC was created as a huge money pot by two consultants Dr. Ata and Naqvi to fulfill their dream of being Kings for life time; Ata was kicked out (no body tells why?) and Naqvi too (no body again points to the real reasons); What a shame, every paper written by Naqvi or every presentation made by him compares UGC with HEC; the blatant lie is difference in the scale of funds available at disposal NOT leadership or blue-eyed professionals. For people like Naqvi or Ata, I can only say, get a life and go back from where you came in the first place!

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  • abu-uzhur
    Dec 7, 2012 - 3:46AM

    The functioning of HEC needs to be radically re-conceived .

    Right from its inception HEC , exhibited a fatal flaw of the bureaucratic mindset — the belief

    that all problems can be solved by throwing money at them . The fact is some problems are

    not amenable to this rule of thumb . They are primarily cultural or if I may dare to say spiritual

    in nature . In 1970’s Bhutto government dramatically raised

    the status and emoluments of university teachers expecting uplift of teaching and

    research . Both remained as stagnant as ever . Post-graduate programmes were launched

    with great fanfare but all were practically still-born .

    No positive change in universities is possible without changing the norms, values , and

    deep-rooted traditions that govern the conduct of teachers . That is the central issue , that is

    where the energies and

    resources of HEC should have been focussed . By and large , the Hec tenured professors at

    2-3 lacs per month are doing no better in research or teaching than what they did at

    35 thousand a month .

    The anti-intellectual ethos still reigns supreme in our universities , with zombies doing their

    mindless routines . With sincere apologies to honorable exceptions who are too few to define

    the character of their institutions .

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  • bball
    Dec 7, 2012 - 10:12AM

    HEC’s fault has been that its spent lots of money at problems that are not going to solve the skills problem in Pakistan. Their plan was too abstract and far-fetched. They needed to focus on vocational specialties and niches rather than generalized degrees. Pick up any middle level job anywhere and see what tyype of skills are required – are hec-sponsored thousands ready for them?

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  • Akhter
    Dec 7, 2012 - 2:44PM

    @sabi: Thank you for your comment, i am like you also disappointed at the current state of the economy,however this cannot be blamed on fresh graduates,the role of job creation is for the incumbent government who as you know have other priorities.
    I know many graduates who are striving hard to get a job but as they have no MNA or MPA support are at a disadvantage as saffarrish is a must (not quality of degree), some are given Laptops to while away the hours and others are given Yellow/black taxis as an alternative, if all else fails they can always go to a sasthi roti Tandoor for cheap roti, What else could they possibly desire??? If they happen to live in another province (karachi/Quetta) then just to have a life is a boon. Jeeve Bhutto! thats all that matters!

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  • Organ of Big Profit
    Dec 7, 2012 - 2:46PM

    @gp65: The difference between Hoodboy and Naqvi is evident. Hoodboy was an employee of an autonomous and independent institution, LUMS and that indy institution chose to let go of him. Over here HEC, which is also an autonomous institution had its autonomy taken away when a politically elected PPP executive intervened and appointed someone external into this autonomous body.Recommend

  • Rehana Rahman
    Dec 7, 2012 - 3:12PM

    My first objection to HECs functioning is that it was to improve the universities can they name any one professor who has reputation for research in any of their high levelled committies or are there any retired research scholars who have first hand knowledge to improve higher education in any of the HECs high post?,Please HEC correct me if I am wrong!How can you expect to improve higher education by just appointing some bureaucrats on these powerful posts who are extremely arrogant and do not listen to logic which is different from their way of thinking?.Can you expect just a few Phds to improve such an extensive system of education with out the help of well researched scientists and social scientists?I want to know how many of the HEC National Distinguished professors have been consulted on so many of these crucial projects which need their expertise?These distinguished Professors were given this status by the HEC itself but were given hardly any role in improving the universities because their way of thinking clashed with these powerful bureaucrats that is why in practice there has hardly been any change in higher education Any operation can only be successful if performed by the expert surgeons not by some expert lab boys or nurses! like wise our education system needs a complete surgery by the most competent surgeons if we really want any change.Lastly @ Akhtar I totally agree with you that every person whether the one who is currently on the post or the new applicants should all compete in a transparent environment so that who ever is the best should be appointed but what do you say to this that on the last day to submit your applications the so called governing body of the HEC illegally gave the third extension to its ED with no competition at all. @ Ejaz Haider you call this government corrupt,so do we but what about this procedure why did you not give any comment on this too or my worthy writer thinks that only the government is corrupt and HEC is pure and above any law and accountability?????

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  • abu-uzhur
    Dec 7, 2012 - 6:48PM

    Wish to share with readers a word about the cultural impact of HEC policies on our universities

    As a community of scholars , the university teachers have their distinct set of values which inspire and sustain them ,

    feed their egos and give meaning to their lives . It involves love of

    learning , creating intellectual products which win admiration of colleagues or society at large and the thrill of shaping the future generations . It entails a degree of indifference to (even disdain for) the

    materialistic values that rule the business or the bureaucratic world .

    By the manner in which the HEC threw massive filthy lucre up for grabs, it has

    undermined the academic culture and promoted the market-place rat-race for money.

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  • gp65
    Dec 8, 2012 - 1:18AM

    @Organ of Big Profit: “Over here HEC, which is also an autonomous institution had its autonomy taken away when a politically elected PPP executive intervened and appointed someone external into this autonomous body.”

    Autonomous – as in not answerable to the legislature OR the executive but yet paid for by the government? Like your army you mean? In most countries, institutions funded by the tax payers as HEC is – have ether legislative or executive oversight – if not both. The only exception is judiciary which is a coequal pillar of state to legislature and executive.

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  • abu-uzhur
    Dec 8, 2012 - 3:27AM

    @Ejaz Haider

    You mention the national debate whether primary education comes first or
    higher education , The debate that we need more urgently is :

    Do we need education which liberates the mind
    Or education which enslaves it ?

    Do we need education which indoctrinates
    Or edcation which nurtures a questioning mind ?

    Do we need education which encourages innovation
    Or education which instils conformity ?
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  • Akhter
    Dec 8, 2012 - 12:51PM

    I now realize that there are many issues at play in the run up top decommissioning of the HEC well that was to be expected as who? needs a governing body that declares MNA/MPA degrees as fake! why do we need to regulate Universities at all? when they can recruit professor’s regardless of merit (only need the local MPA/MNA to recommend).
    I am truly saddened to see the negativity towards progressive thinking, someone commented on huge amount of salaries, without evidence or regard for a professor’s experience or tenure another mentioned throwing money at professors/Universities without any result? HOW do you know? WHAT is your measure? HOW? have you come to this conclusion? i have in the past been involved with Scientific research and understand how costly it can be (Top end Research can cost Millions of Dollars), I fully endorse a shake up of the HEC system to ensure it fulfills it’s purpose with, We in Pakistan have become so accustomed to “obliging” our way to the top that when we face a institution unwilling to “bend” the rule’s we begin to despise it. Autonomy should not mean that it is not accountable for its action’s it just means that it is free of Political and bureaucratic pressure. However that will not last now that our saintly PPP is in charge.

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