Creation of Punjab HEC termed turning point in education sector
Islamabad, Oct 14: The academic circles on Monday welcomed the promulgation of an ordinance by the Punjab governor that provides for the creation of a Higher Education Commission (HEC) in Punjab for the regulation of provincial universities.
The news that went unnoticed in media is considered to be a turning point for higher education sector in the province. The Punjab Higher Education Commission has now been authorised to regulate funding of the universities in the province, and to also select their vice chancellors.
In order to strengthen higher education sector in the province, the Punjab government promulgated ordinance to provide for the creation of a higher education commission on October 3, 2014.
After 18th Amendment, the promotion of higher education has become a shared responsibility of federal and provincial government as functions of Federal List II fall under the preview of Council of Common Interest (CCI).
The council in its meeting held in April 2011 decided that the financing of provincial universities and population welfare would be the responsibility of federal government till next NFC Award. After the end of current NFC Award from next year, the provincial governments would have to undertake financial responsibilities of the provincial universities, which are already under the administrative control of the provincial governments.
The establishment Punjab Higher Education Commission was announced by Chief Minister Punjab during February 2013 and it was included in Medium Term Development Framework (MTDF) 2014-17.
After deliberations, a detailed road map for strengthening higher education set up in the province was prepared under supervision of a five members Steering Committee notified by the chief minister of Punjab. In order to address problems being confronted by the province in higher education sector in a more effective and efficient way, the participants of three-day national conference titled 'Future Road Map of Higher Education' held in March 2014 at Government College University Lahore recommended the establishment of provincial Higher Education Commission as an autonomous body under the supervision of the chief minister.
It suggested that the commission would not work in conflict with the main functions of federal HEC and would have facilitative and supportive role not only to improve the state of higher education in the province but also brining provincial higher education sector at par with national and international standards. The road map mentioned that the commission would coordinate and facilitate academic and financial matters of all HEIs. The commission would also pay special attention towards specific needs of the province in higher education sector.
During last two decades, there has been a perceptible increase in the number of HEIs in Punjab i.e. 22 HEIs in public sector and 20 HEIs in private sector with 630 degree colleges. Punjab's gross enrolment ratio at higher education level is low whereas at university level (17-23 age group) is about 4.5 per cent, while enrolment target for the year 2015 is 10 per cent. Through the roadmap, special attention would be paid to increasing access to higher education, especially in remote and far-flung areas.
The President and Secretary General Federation of all Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) Dr. Waheed Chaudhry and Dr. Kaleemullah Berach in their joint statement appreciated the Punjab government for establishing provincial Higher Education Commission in order to strengthen and meeting the growing needs of higher education sector in the province.
Terming the establishment of provincial higher education set up a positive step towards improving higher education in the country, they demanded that other provincial governments should also expedite the process for establishment of provincial higher education commissions on immediate basis in order to strengthen higher education throughout the country.
"As the universities are already under the administrative control of the provincial governments, the provincial governments should also realize their financial responsibilities as well," said the statement.
They emphasized over the provincial governments to expedite the process for establishment of provincial higher education set ups so that governance and financial related to higher education sector issues may be resolved in effective and efficient way at the provincial level. They urged federal and provincial governments to allocate 25 per cent of total education budget to higher education as per international standards. They demanded that in the light of 18th Amendment, the federal government should allocate the development funds as per the provincial share prescribed in National Finance Commission (NFC) award. Under the new formula of current NFC award, approximately 51.74 per cent of shares were directed to Punjab; 24.55 per cent to Sindh; 14.62 per cent to Khyber Pakhtunkhawa; and 9.09 per cent to Balochistan province.
Accreditation of medical education: PMDC, CPSP, HEC join hands
Islamabad: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (CPSP) have joined hands for the accreditation of postgraduate medical education in the country.†
The development came during a meeting of the PMDC, HEC and CPSP representatives at the PMDC head office here, where all vice chancellors and principals of the country's postgraduate medical institutions were also in attendance.
The participants unanimously decided that in future, universities won't offer any graduate or postgraduate medical programme without having constituted medical college and that the PMDC postgraduate curriculum standard setting would be increased and the minimum requirement for training institutions reviewed.
Later, PMDC President Professor Masood Hameed Khan, who chaired the meeting, said his organisation had established a board to keep a complete check on the doctors working in those specialties which they were not qualified for.
He said doctors had been practicing different specialties without having certification of specialty procedures like hair transplant, liposuction, angioplasties, endoscopies, cosmetic surgeries and constructive surgeries.
The PMDC president said the doctors, who didn't have the relevant specialisation or certification, won't be allowed to treat patients. He said the PMDC was empowered to establish such boards under sections 16 C1 and C2.
Professor Masood said the continuous medical education and continuous dental education certification would be essential to get renewal of the registration of the specialty certification, while the specialty board would define the level of competence of doctors.
"After January 1, 2015, no renewal of the PMDC registration certificate will be given without CME or CDE certification," he said.
The PMDC president said all institutions included in Schedule III of the PMDC Ordinance were eligible to apply for recognition or their CME/CDE activities and thus, helping doctors know new technologies and research and medical education.
1,206 SZABIST students get degrees
Islamabad: The graduation ceremony of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) Islamabad was held at Jinnah Convention Centre.
Overall, 1,206 students graduated this year from the programmes of bachelors, masters and PhDs and were conferred with the degrees.
Barrister Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, who was the chief guest on the occasion, distributed medals among the 23 position-holder students. He congratulated the graduates, praised and urged them to play their positive role in fighting poverty and illiteracy.
After the formal opening of the convocation ceremony, Dr. R K Malik, head of campus, addressed the audience and shared the achievements of the institute. She also congratulated all the students on the behalf of SZABIST Islamabad.
She said that the purpose of the event is to celebrate the achievement of every graduating student. She emphasized that students of SZABIST has huge potential to serve in leading positions in public, corporate sector and in civil society organizations.
She congratulated the teachers, parents and graduating students for their hard work and accomplishment. "This year 1,206 students are graduating, which is a remarkable achievement in the history of SZABIST," she added.
QAU announces BA, BSc and BCom result
Islamabad: The Quaid-i-Azam University has announced the results of BA, BSc and BCom annual examinations (Part II), 2014.†
Only 42 per cent of the candidates passed the examinations in which students of the federal government colleges appeared.
It was the first batch of BA, BSc and B.Com students at the QAU. Previously, these examinations of the federal government colleges were held by the Punjab University.
Over all 3,942 students appeared in the examination and only 1,656 (42 per cent) passed it. The overall pass percentage of B.A. examination was 51 per cent, B.Sc 43 per cent and that of B.Com examination 23 per cent. The news
QAU decides to open two new faculties
Islamabad: Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad has decided to launch two new faculties. QAU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Aitzaz Ahmad said university is going to open two new faculties including Human Resource and School of Media Sciences. He said that precious chemicals were destroyed in laboratories due to load shedding and now this problem has been overcome. Work on construction of boundary wall around the university has been started and 400 feet wall has been built.†Daily times