Medical colleges faculty shortage | AIOU sacks 300 tutors

Shortage of faculty in medical colleges
Islamabad, July 04: The faculty shortage has plagued medical colleges around the country.

In total, 128 government and private medical colleges, recognised by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), are functioning in the country. Under the PMDC rules, every medical college is bound to have a professor, an associate professor, two assistant professors of every specialty and other teaching staff, including a senior registrar, a senior demonstrator, senior lecturers, lecturers and demonstrators. However, the statistics compiled by the PMDC lately reveal a severe shortage of medical faculty in the country.

In total, the countrywide medical colleges have 1,197 professors, 651 associate professors, 3,855 assistant professors, 504 senior registrars, 38 senior demonstrators, 59 senior lecturers and 4,996 other members of the teaching staff though the required strength is over 17,000.

According to the breakdown of the statistics, there are 73 professors of anatomy against the required strength of 128; 52 of physiology against 128; 36 of biochemistry against 128; 39 of community medicine against 68; 53 of pharmacology against 68, and 18 of forensic medicine against 68.

Likewise, the medical colleges have 37 associate professors of anatomy against the need of 128; 31 associate professors of physiology against 128; 31 associate professors of biochemistry against 128; 32 associate professors of community medicine against 68; 20 associate professors of pharmacology against 68, and 19 associate professors of forensic medicine against 68.

As for assistant professors, their current and required strength at medical colleges is 145 of anatomy against 258; 152 of physiology against 258; 88 of biochemistry against 258; 128 of community medicine against 136; 74 of pharmacology against 136, and 58 of forensic medicine against 136.

Like students, the medical colleges are bound by the rules to get their faculty, too, registered with PMDC. However, most of them are understood to have not done so.

When contacted, a PMDC official confirmed the acute faculty shortage in the country's medical colleges. He said that the PMDC had recently written to the administrations of private and government medical colleges to apprise PMDC of their faculty strength and get all their teaching staff registered with it without delay. He said that the colleges failing to follow these instructions would be dealt with strictly.

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HEC plans to set up sub-offices
Islamabad: In order to facilitate young people and general public from remote and far-flung areas of southern Punjab, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) plans to establish its sub-office in Bahawalpur. The sub-office will be inaugurated this month.

Subsequently, the HEC will establish sub-offices in Sukkur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit to cater to the youth of upper Sindh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Through these offices, the HEC would guide youth of far-flung areas about various HEC programmes and initiatives, scholarships and close liaison with higher education institutions of the areas would also be established.

HEC Chairman Dr. Javaid R. Laghari said the HEC is focusing on increase of access to higher education targeting especially youth belonging to remote, under-developed and far-flung areas of country.

"The establishment of four new outreach offices would not only guide and encourage the youth of these areas to avail various HEC programmes and but also be helpful in networking with local universities and colleges. The HEC sub-office at Bahawalpur would cater the three populated divisions of Southern Punjab including Bahawalpur, Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan.

The HEC has paid special attention towards increasing access to higher education in remote and far-flung areas of the country. Within last few years, out of total 55 new university campuses, 31 have been established in rural areas throughout Pakistan. A number of scholarships and other programmes have been launched aiming at equitable access to higher education throughout the country. The commission is also implementing PM's Tuition Fee Payment Scheme for students of Balochistan, Gilgit/Baltistan and Fata which has been recently extended by the federal government to northern Sindh and southern Punjab.

Four regional centres of HEC at all four provincial headquarters are already coordinating and managing different academic activities and events like meetings, workshops, seminars, trainings, human resource development and quality assurance programmes in collaboration with different divisions of HEC as well as regional institutes of higher learning. The news

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AIOU sacks 300 tutors over 'irrelevant' experience
Lahore: The Allama Iqbal Open University Lahore region administration has terminated services of some 300 tutors for not fulfilling the criteria and inducted new ones with relevant qualification and experience.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, AIOU Lahore Director Rasul Bakhsh Behram said the university was celebrating 2013 as 'Quality Education Year'. He said the university was offering a second chance to people who had to discontinue their regular education for certain reasons to get education from matriculation to PhD in around 150 programmes.

In these programmes, he said, they were offering some 1,500 courses. He said students were being admitted to various programmes twice a year. During spring admissions, he said, the university had completed its target and provided free books to students at their doorstep.

Behram said he had ensured this year that 3,500 tutors were appointed well in time to benefit students. He said the university had also developed a mechanism to monitor tutorials.

He said the university was increasing enrolment and in Lahore region alone some 200 sales points had been established to sell their prospectus and admission forms to attract more and more students for fall admissions. He said the university would also be launching a two-year associate degree programme offering specialisation in various disciplines, including tourism management, hotel management, hospital management, accounts and finance.

The director said the university had also imparted information technology training to its tutors and asked them to submit students' results online. Behram said a new building costing Rs70 million at the varsity's regional campus was almost complete. Dawn

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AIOU, Iranian varsities to launch programmes for women education
Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Vice Chancellor Prof Nazir Ahmed Sangi on Wednesday showed keen interest in launching academic programmes for promoting women education and family studies in the country through a joint venture of AIOU and five-big Iranian universities.

Iran's Women Section World Linkage Organisations head Dr Khanum Siddiqa Hijazi met with the AIOU's vice chancellor.

Iran's Cultural Consul Dr Taqqi Siddique, AIOU's Faculty of Social Sciences Dean Prof Rashid A Naeem, Faculty of Gender and Women Studies head Dr Riffat Haque, Abdul Basit Mujahid and Abdul Wadood were present on the occasion.

Both teams discussed ways and means to prepare and launch the academic programmes for the promotion of women education.

It was said that the proposed agreement between AIOU and five-big Iranian universities would be signed before the holy month of Ramzan. The AIOU vice chancellor said that Model Study Centres and new campuses of the university are being established in remote areas.

The university has also launched a plan of open-schooling system to provide middle-level educational facilities to drop-out women students.

Dr Khanum Siddiqa Hijazi appreciated the open-schooling system of AIOU and said that this project would increase the literacy rate at a large scale.

Dr Taqqi Siddique disclosed that Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad would deliver a special lecture on 'Architecture Design' at AIOU during his upcoming visit to Pakistan.

On the occasion, Dr Riffat Haque briefed the Iranian team about the academic programmes, initiatives, achievements and planning of the Gender and Women Studies Department for the empowerment of women. Daily times

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