The Punjab government and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) have agreed to collaborate to improve higher education in the province.
Punjab Minister for Higher Education, Youth Affairs and Tourism Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan recently met with HEC Chairman Javaid Laghari in Islamabad to discuss the matter.
During the meeting, they went over various issues including the prime minister’s laptop scheme and the establishment of the country’s first laptop manufacturing and assembly plant.
Mashood showed keen interest in the idea of setting up of a ‘Knowledge City and Technology Park’ in Lahore. “The idea behind the knowledge city is to invite foreign universities to establish campuses in Pakistan,” said Laghari.
“The establishment of the knowledge city will bring all educational institutions under one umbrella, assisting students seeking window education opportunities in one city,” he said.
During the meeting, the Punjab government’s recently launched an enrolment emergency campaign, while the provision of internet connectivity to colleges and improvement of college education in the province also came under discussion.
“It is imperative to improve teaching standards at college levels so that they were ready to meet international standards,” said Laghari.
The minister said that the step to build the laptop assembling plant would not only be helpful in strengthening indigenous capacity in laptop manufacturing but also create job opportunities for the youth.
Laghari said that the board of investment (BOI) would soon organise an international investors’ conference to generate funds for the establishment of country’s first ever laptop assembling and manufacturing plant.
Meanwhile, the minister also held meetings with vice chancellors of different universities and executive district officers (EDOs) of Rawalpindi division to discuss the enrolment emergency campaign.
Vice chancellors of the Fatima Jinnah Women University and the University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila and EDOs of Rawalpindi division discussed the issue of quality education at the higher education level and the enrolment of out-of-school children.
The meeting decided that a proper performance evaluation mechanism would be developed for teachers to discourage absenteeism, ensure quality assurance at educational institutions and regular evaluation reports would be submitted to the minister from time-to-time.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2013.
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