Representatives from universities should be appointed to the governing bodies of schools and colleges to promote research and academic excellence, a committee of vice chancellors, tasked to suggest measures to improve primary and secondary education in the province, recommends.
The committee, comprising of vice chancellors of King Edward Medical University Vice Chancellor, Government College University, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences and Information Technology University, submitted its report to the Punjab governor last week. They suggested that public universities should be represented on the board of governors of secondary education institutions.
One of the committee members told The Express Tribune that they had held several meetings before finalising the recommendations. All members were of the view that linkage between universities and schools was necessary to promote a culture of research in schools, he said.
Government College University VC Khaleequr Rehman, the committee’s convener, said, “Our mandate was to recommend how universities can play a role in improving education standards in schools and colleges.”
He said the committee had recommended that representatives from universities should be appointed to the governing bodies of the schools for greater collaboration between universities and schools.
“For example, if the GCU is represented on the governing body of the Central Model School, we can make arrangements for their students to engage in research at our laboratories,” he said. “The model has been adopted by several countries including Singapore and European countries.
Rehman said some people suggested refresher courses for school teachers but “we have noticed that teachers do not take these courses seriously”. Students of grades nine and ten in European countries are invited to work in laboratories under the supervision of university teachers during Easter holidays, said Rehman.
“We can do the same during summer vacation.” This will not only encourage school children to take up research in the future but also give university teachers a chance to impart knowledge to younger children, he said.
Once the programme is initiated, “we can devise an innovative system to continue such activities throughout the year”, said the VC.
Rehman said the committee had yet to identify schools and colleges for the programme. “We have offered general recommendations without mentioning what schools, colleges or universities will be part of it. Various universities and schools can be linked as required,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2014.