Higher education: Punjab HEC formally inaugurated

Its functions will not overlap with those of the federal commission, CM says.

Our Correspondent May 17, 2015
CM Punjab was speaking at the inauguration of the PHEC and the concluding ceremony of a workshop for journalists on Sunday. PHOTO: EXPRESS


The Punjab Higher Education Commission was officially launched at the Arfa Karim Software Technology Park on Sunday. The PHEC Act was passed by the Punjab Assembly earlier this year.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated the commission. He said the PHEC would play a complementary and supplementary role in regards to the Federal Higher Education Commission. He said there will be no overlap of powers or functions.

Vice chancellors of several public and private universities and officials of the Higher Education Department and the PHEC attended the ceremony.

Academic research provides direction and muscle to industries all over the world, said the chief minister. He said he hoped that the PHEC and the HED would take the lead and work towards creating academic-industry linkages. “I hope the PHEC serves the purpose it has been created for.”

Punjab Higher Education Commission Chairperson Muhammad Nizamuddin said the chief minister had first given directions with regard to a provincial HEC in 2013. Later in January 2014, a Vice Chancellors’ Committee was set up to deliberate on the proposal for two days. After that, a roadmap for higher education in the province was formulated, he said. Towards the end of 2014, an ordinance was introduced which later became an act, Nizamuddin said. “This is how the PHEC materialised,” he said.

Elaborating on the aim of the commission, he said, that it aspired to strengthen higher education in the province and provide capacity-building opportunities for their staff.

He said the PHEC will complement its federal counterpart. The PHEC will work to maintain the standards set by the HEC. He said the administrative glitches would be smoothed out in consultation with the Council of Common Interests. Regarding funding for higher education institutions, he said after the 18th amendment, they had considered the option of routing funds to institutions through the PHEC. However, the commission would focus on introducing teacher education and training programmes. He said they would set up academies to train teachers before they took up posts in higher education institutions.

The chief minister said that the government had set a target of 100 per cent enrolment in primary schools by 2018. He said the government had never interfered in individual institutions. However, for the first time in its history, government intervention had ensured that Aitcheson College admitted students on merit. He said this was in line with the government’s initiative of ensuring merit-based enrolment in educational institutions.

“Now is the time for educational institutions to rise up to the challenge and ensure standards and quality. We have done our best to get rid of the ‘booti’ mafia that had plagued the examination systems,” the chief minister said.

Collaboration with the media

Speaking at the inauguration of the PHEC and the concluding ceremony of a workshop for journalists on Sunday, the chief minister said the media had played an important role in strengthening monitoring and accountability mechanisms.

Commenting on media coverage of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s dharna, he said it was true that it was the media’s prerogative to air what they deemed fit to cover, however, there was also need for balance.

He said Pakistan’s media has fought a long battle for its freedom. “It stands today as an important part of the society which cannot be ignored… Power and accountability go hand in hand if we are to work towards a model that works best for citizens’ welfare.” Speaking at the conclusion of a two-day workshop for journalists at the Information Technology University, Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) president Mujeebur Rahman Shami said this was the first time the government had held a training workshop for journalists at an educational institution. The workshop was organised by the ITU and the PHEC. Commenting on the workshop, Shami said after the 18th Amendment, the CPNE and the UNDP had organised workshops to train journalists on how to report on the decentralisation of governance. He said with regard to decentralisation, the Punjab had to play a lead role. “There is still a lot of confusion as to what subjects remain with the Federation and which ones have been devolved to the provinces.” These are questions that the workshop aimed to address.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2015. 

Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2015.



syed & syed | 6 years ago | Reply Whenthere will be no primary education from where you will get higher education people. You have schools which are animal farms. Cheating is prevailing through out the country. It is another theater or say juggat common in Punjab
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