Punjab HEC rejected | English language in Pakistan
VCs 'reject' provincial HEC
Lahore, Mar 29: The dominant view of those tasked
with formulating modalities for the setting up of the Punjab Higher
Education Commission is that the body cannot be formed without amending
the Higher Education Commission Ordinance 2002 that is protected by the
The HEC has not been devolved under the
18th Amendment and a Supreme Court judgment says: "The HEC shall
continue discharging its functions and duties as it had been doing in
the past unless and until a fresh legislation is promulgated."
The judgment had also declared March 31, 2001, Cabinet Division notification having no effect on functioning of the HEC.
vice chancellor, who attended the all Punjab universities' vice
chancellors meeting at the Government College University (GCU) on
Thursday, remarked that somebody had given a "wrong suggestion" to the
chief minister to set up an independent HEC in Punjab.
with this point of view, a Chief Minister's Vice-Chancellors Committee
member said that he already knew the HEC's legal status but had to
sit in the committee for being nominated by the chief minister.
Minister Shahbaz Sharif had approved the establishment of the Punjab
Higher Education Commission (PHEC) in a meeting last weekend. He had
also constituted a five-member vice-chancellors' committee, headed by
University of Engineering and Technology Vice-Chancellor retired Lt-Gen
Muhammad Akram Khan, to formulate modalities for setting up the PHEC.
other committee members are: GCU VC Prof Dr Kahleequr Rehman, Punjab
University VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, University of Gujrat VC Prof Dr
Nizamuddin and Fatima Jinnah Women University VC Prof Dr Samina Amin
Qadir. The committee had deliberated on Wednesday and invited all Punjab
universities' VCs as well as HEC Executive Director on Thursday.
marathon meeting on Thursday became reluctant to present a model of an
independent HEC in Punjab in the presence of the HEC Ordinance protected
by the Constitutional provisions.
Sources said the meeting
acknowledged that the Sindh government had established its provincial
HEC but later faced embarrassment because it was challenged in the
court. They said the committee was now planning to formulate a model of
an HEC in Punjab that should not clash with the functions assumed by the
HEC at the national level. The committee would propose that the Punjab
HEC should create endowments for scholarships, establish universities'
campuses or look after the colleges in the province, they said. The
sources, however, admitted that these functions were already with the
Punjab Higher Education Department and the chief minister himself was
heading the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund to offer scholarships to
needy and merited students.
The sources said the VC's Committee
saw the reason after a presentation by HEC Executive Director Prof Dr
Mukhtar Ahmad who discussed devolution plan and future role of the
commission. They agreed that all the provinces, including Punjab, should
first discuss the lessons learnt by the HEC during its past 12 years
and then thoroughly discuss the possible plans for setting up
commissions at the provincial level.
They said Prof Ahmad had
explained HEC's structure, its functions and lessons learnt while making
the commission a world-recognised higher education policy-making body
in the country. He also explained the HEC's functions after the 18th
Constitutional Amendment as well as Federal Legislative List Part-I and
Part-II and the Supreme Court judgment that protected HEC functions and
The sources said the HEC executive director, however,
recognised provinces' thinking of developing the HECs at the provincial
level and suggested that they should not do anything abruptly as it
could do more harm than good. Instead, Prof Ahmad said, the respective
provincial governments should discuss the University Grants Commission's
transformation into the HEC and its accomplishments as well as failures
during the past 12 years. He said the provinces should also take into
account the world best practices to maintain the country's identity in
Prof Ahmad reportedly stated that the HEC should
continue doing policy formulation, working on curriculum, quality
assurance and research priorities as well as performing activities
identified in the Federal Legislative List I and II.
the sources said, the HEC executive director suggested that the
provinces should constitute taskforces to hold series of consultation
meetings at the provincial level and synthesized recommendations should
be finalised at the federal level. In order to handle the legislative
issues, he suggested that recommendations or systems agreed at national
level should be taken to the Council of Common Interests for initiating
legislation at provinces level.
In order to protect country's
national integrity at international level, Prof Ahmad suggested, that
the provinces should constitute commissions but under different names
like the Council of Higher Education or Tertiary Higher Education and
assume the role of implementation of national policies in respective
provinces, monitoring and evaluation and funding to the universities. He
also offered commission's all-out services for the capacity building in
the provinces as well as supporting the prospective independent bodies
in provinces that should be represented in the HEC and be part of making
policies, the sources said.It is learnt that the vice chancellors'
committee will formulate its recommendations on Friday (today) for
submission to the chief minister. Dawn
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Punjab HEC against constitution'
Lahore: Pakistan Muslim League-Q Punjab Senior Vice-President and former Provincial Law
Minister Basharat Raja has said the legislation by the Punjab government
contrary to the Constitution was a matter of concern.
to the party office-bearers at the Muslim League House here, he said
after Local Government Ordinance, constitution of Punjab Higher
Education Commission and health and education authorities at the
district level were against the spirit of 18th Constitutional Amendment,
many provisions of the Local Government Ordinance had been annulled by
the court on these being in conflict with the Constitution. This
attitude of the Punjab government was negation of claims about good
governance and very harmful for the federation.
He said in
the Punjab Local Government Ordinance, Article 140-A of the
Constitution was ignored and on the other hand, no legislation was being
done for the provision of free and compulsory education to children of 5
to 16 years age group under Article 25-A of the Constitution. Likewise,
the provincial rulers had bulldozed rules and regulations by
establishing LDA, PHA, Transport and other authorities and this could
not be ignored, he said and added that in this regard, writ petitions by
people and legal circles were sub judice. He said the establishment of
the Punjab Higher Education Commission was not only against the
Constitution but the Supreme Court March 31, 2001 verdict was also
violated. He said the PML Punjab would issue a fact sheet in this
context. The news
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English flourishing in Pakistan at the expense of Urdu?
Lahore: The English language is flourishing in Pakistan, breaking free
from the shackles of its earlier perceived status of being the language
of the elite to become the commoners' language.
A one-day policy
dialogue on English language in Pakistan, organised by the British
Council on Wednesday, agreed that Pakistan lacks a formulated policy on
its national language. The dialogue had a thrust on bigger issues
pertaining to English both as a medium of instruction and as a common
language at workplace, social settings and domestic surroundings.
Divergent viewpoints, local and global, were presented to capture a
broader perspective on English language's present and future in
Pakistan. However, there was one common ground amongst the all the
discussants, participants and experts-English language and Pakistan were
no longer aliens to each other despite the existing anomalies while the
paradox of national language had become global in its nature with
Pakistan being no exception.
Does Pakistan really has a clearly spelt
out policy vis-a-vis its national language, was the question thrown by
Tony Jones, British Council Pakistan's director programmes towards both
the audience and the participants of the inaugural panel discussion. Dr
Tariq Rehman, a veteran scholar on linguistics and a distinguished
English language teacher, revealed that there was no consistent policy
paper addressing this larger question yet there were certain documents
indicating that Urdu was supposed to be the national language of
Pakistan. "There is no uniform policy of national language for every
Pakistani child. Both the state and provinces have been pursuing
different goals at the same time," he remarked.
Ghazi Salahuddin, a
journalist and a writer, was of the opinion that without imparting
education to the school beginners in their first language, proficiency
in English or any other second language couldn't be ensured. "Your
genius can only flourish in the first language. As long as we don't
recognize this fact, English will remain a barrier to progress in
Pakistan." Prof Chris Kennedy, a research fellow at the University of
Birmingham, was in the same stride with Ghazi Salahuddin, stressing the
need for initial learning in the first language as suggested even by the
worldwide research. John McGovern, a freelance consultant and the
fourth panelist, pointed out that there was a great deal of confusion
between the national language policy and the actual practice in
Pakistan. He cautioned that without a sound policy, all the proposed
strategies would prove futile.
Earlier, Dr Shahid Siddiqui, a
linguistics scholar, in his welcome address highlighted the historical
perspective of language evolution in Pakistan. Stressing upon the
connection between the language and the society, he termed linguistic
capital as a pivotal force guiding economic, cultural and social capital
of any society. "At the time of independence, Urdu became a strong
language in Pakistan. And, now the same goes for English," Dr Siddiqui
maintained saying he saw a disconnect between mandated language policy
and the ground realities. He revealed that 27 out of 67 languages
currently being spoken in Pakistan, were endangered.
British Council's regional director for South Asian region, said in his
address that English language had become a global phenomenon as the
United Kingdom no longer owned it as its sole property. Rather, it was
owned globally now, including Pakistan. He claimed that English
proficiency level amongst teachers in Pakistan was quite poor while 90
percent teachers in Punjab weren't equipped to teach different subjects
in English medium. Roman disclosed British Council has been making
investment to promote English language through various programmes and
initiatives. "Education will be the biggest asset of Pakistan in days to
come. UK is fully committed to support Pakistan for all English
Richard Weyers, the area director for British
Council Punjab, stressed upon the need on part of all the stakeholders
to speak as one voice for promoting English language in Pakistan. He
informed that just three percent population of the Pakistani students at
the school and college level had access to private schools imparting
proper English language while the rest 97 percent were at the mercy of
the state-run schools with no paraphernalia to teach them in English.
The area director disclosed that British Council's library in Lahore
will become fully functional again by the end of this year.
Shahid, British Council's director English, shared the key findings of a
research conducted on behalf of her institution, informing the
participants that the percentage of English speakers in Pakistan had
risen to 49 percent of the total population by 2014. She pointed out
that the existence of pseudo English medium schools in Punjab was
rampant. Daily times
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English - more than a subject
Lahore: The teaching of the English
language in Pakistan is class-based as the country's education system is
programmed to provide different levels of English teaching to people
belonging to different economic status.
Those who afford
go to elite private schools and access better learning material,
authentic environments and well-trained teachers whereas the poor and
low-income families miss out on the opportunity to learn English up to
the standards assumed by society.
This is one of the key findings
of a research report on "English language in Pakistan today: Class, the
workplace and the shift in language use," conducted by the British
Council. The council on Wednesday launched the summary findings of the
report at a local hotel; the full-fledged report would be launched in a
couple of months.
The report said the existence of pseudo
English-medium schools was rampant in Pakistani society, which claimed
to have English as a medium of instruction but the entire conversation
and communication between the students and teachers was in Urdu.
said English was not being taught as a language but rather as a
subject, confined to the 40-minute class sessions. It said there was a
wide urban-rural divide in the standard of English teaching as people in
urban settings had much more choice and better quality of teaching and
learning facilities available compared to the rural areas.
report said English was deeply penetrated into the Pakistani society as
it had one of the largest English-speaking populations of the world and
claimed that 49pc population (88.69 million people) could speak English.
Speakers at the policy dialogue said English was flourishing in Pakistan and serving as a window to the outer world.
Tariq Rehman, dean of Education Department at the Beaconhouse National
University, said there was no uniform policy of national language for
every Pakistani child. He said the state and provinces had been pursuing
different goals at the same time.
Prof Chris Kennedy, a research
fellow at the University of Birmingham, stressed that initial learning
should be imparted to children in their mother tongue.
consultant John McGovern identified that there was confusion between the
national language policy and the actual practices in Pakistan. Without a
sound policy, he said, all the proposed strategies would prove futile.
Council's Regional Director for South Asian Region Stephen Roman said
the English language had become a global phenomenon as the United
Kingdom no longer owned it as its sole property. He said English was now
being owned globally including Pakistan.
He, however, said the
English proficiency level amongst teachers in Pakistan was quite poor
while 90pc teachers in Punjab were not equipped to teach different
subjects in English medium.
Roman said the British Council was
making investment to promote the English language through various
programmes and initiatives. "Education will be the biggest asset of
Pakistan in the days to come. The UK is fully committed to support
Pakistan for all English language initiatives," he asserted.
Council's Punjab Director Richard Weyers stressed the need to speak as
one voice for promoting the English language in Pakistan.
just three per cent population of the Pakistani students at the school
and college level had access to private schools imparting proper English
language while the rest 97pc were at the mercy of the public schools
with no paraphernalia to teach them in English.
Weyers said the British Council's library in Lahore would become fully functional again by the end of this year.
and writer Ghazi Salahuddin said proficiency in English or any other
second language could not be ensured without imparting education to the
school beginners in their first language. He said children's genius
could only flourish by teaching them in their first language. He said
English would remain a barrier to progress in Pakistan until this fact
Dr Shahid Siddiqui, a linguistics scholar,
discussed historical perspective of language evolution in Pakistan.
Stressing the connection between the language and society, he termed
linguistic capital a pivotal force guiding economic, cultural and social
capital of any society.
At the time of independence, he said, Urdu became a strong language in Pakistan and now the same was true for English.
Dr Siddiqui stated that 27 out of 67 languages currently being spoken in Pakistan were endangered.
British Council's Director English Mussarat Shahid shared the key
findings of the research and vowed that the council would go the extra
mile to bridge the gap between the ever-increasing demand for the
English language and the supply of fully-equipped institutions in this
She also highlighted the salient features of the Punjab
Education and English Language Initiative (PEELI) launched by the
British Council. Dawn
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