LAHORE: Reform and restructuring of the higher education system in the province is among the top priorities of the newly-formed Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC), its chairman Dr Nizamuddin said on Monday.
He was addressing a seminar organised by the Punjab University’s Institute of Social and Cultural Studies on the Role of PHEC in Promotion of Tertiary Education in the Punjab.
PU Vice Chancellor Mujahid Kamran and Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences Dean Zakaria Zakir attended the event along with a large number of students.
Nizamuddin said that bringing reforms and reorganising colleges would be a tough challenge. “There is need to improve the performance of 516 public sector colleges who have a pass percentage of no more than 30 per cent in the BA examinations. The pass percentage of around 1,500 private colleges is better than 85 per cent at the level,” he said.
He said that the PHEC would ensure the success of four-year degree programmes being run at various public sector colleges. He said that there was a need to revise the bachelor-level commerce curriculum to bring it in line with market needs. “The PHEC will establish academies for professional training of teachers and staff. We will also devise a system for quality assurance at colleges by the PHEC,” he said.
The chairman said that there should be more government colleges along the lines of the Government Home Economics College that offer four-year degrees after matriculation. He also said a technical university would be set up soon. “The three-year degree programme being offered by TEVTA institutions will be upgraded to four-year degree programme. “In Pakistan, only 8 per cent people are able to get higher education. This figure stands at 12 per cent in Bangladesh, 18 per cent in India and 29 per cent in Turkey,” he said.
Dr Kamran said that the higher education system in the province would improve under the leadership of Dr Nizamuddin.
Zakari said that more funds were needed for institutions of higher learning. “The PHEC will promote a research culture at higher education institutions,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2015.