DPI Colleges Jahangir Ahmad says PTI govt taking education reforms
By Saher Zulfiqar & Zahra Nazeer
Pakistan education system is not uniform. Prime Minister Imran Khan has been striving hard for his vision for 22 years to eliminate class system from the country. As per PM\s vision |federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood is trying to implement a uniform education syllabus, says Punjab Director Public Instruction Colleges Chaudhry Jahangir Ahmad. He was talking to The Educationist during an exclusive interview:
The Educationist: First of all, do tell us about your work experience?
Ch. Jahangir Ahmad: I have served as an educationist for thirty-four years. I joined this field as lecturer in 1985 in grade 17 and served in grade 20 in 2014. I was posted as an additional DPI onMay 25, 2015. I have a charge of DPI Colleges for about one year and three months. I have worked as a teacher for about 20 years and as an administrator for about 13-14 years.
The Educationist: Are you satisfied with the government’s efforts for college education?
Ch. Jahangir Ahmad: The vision of government has changed especially the new government has started providing all the missing facilities. Earlier, the government used to send only one performa to all divisions but now this government has started pilot projects in all divisions one by one and has tried to fulfill all the missing facilities including lab equipments.
The Educationist: What measurements have you taken to improve the educational system in colleges?
Ch. Jahangir Ahmad: We are doing a lot to improve the educational standard. The monitoring system will also become better now because we are shifting it to online system through mobile apps. When a director or deputy director will visit any college, online performa or recording will shift to HOD and DPI.
So with the vision of the new government, as you know the vision of Imran Khan and Punjab Minister for Higher Education Mr. Hamayou Yasir, who is also foreign qualified, wanted to transform all institutes at a par to the international standards. For this, we consider colleges as higher educational institutes like universities. We want to uplift the colleges and we gave permission to 118 commerce colleges to teach Intermediate of Computer Sciences (ICS) before this, these colleges which have very well infrastructure taught only short hand courses. According to the vision of current minister, the colleges which are good in infrastructure are being converted into community colleges.
In community colleges, four pilot projects are running, in which we have introduced those subjects which have market value. After doing one or two year courses in these subjects, the students can easily find jobs. The youth of Pakistan will no longer remain idle. With foreign investment and with the vision of new government, we see positive changes in colleges.
The Educationist: Our politicians say that they are foreign qualified, and they want to change Pakistan’s educational system according to foreign system. How can they change the educational system, as they do not know the real problems?
Ch. Jahangir Ahmad: Very good question. They can change the educational system by making research labs. They want to input foreign setup in Pakistan’s colleges as they have experience in foreign institutes. As you know that research work starts from universities not from colleges.
We have almost 52 colleges which are offering BS 4 years degree programme. For further development, we have to train all teachers because they have never experienced semester system. Although, they have PhD degrees but they need training in this regard. So, foreign qualified politicians are not disadvantageous for us but this proves advantageous as they want to implement the foreign educational system in our colleges.
The problem in implementing foreign system is our syllabus which is twenty years old especially in colleges. Without changing the curriculum, we can’t compete with modern world. For this, we are now replacing two year degree program with four year degree program. We will convert 52 out of 118 in community colleges.
By doing this, the situation will become better and the foreign countries will also accept our degrees as they have challenged our degrees before this. The situation will gradually become better.
The Educationist: Do you agree that the government’s main focus is on urban areas while rural areas are being neglected?
Ch. Jahangir Ahmad: No, it is totally wrong. The pilot project that we have started to improve conditions in Southern Punjab and our first priority is DG Khan, then Bahawalpur and Multan. So, we have first taken start from the end. For this we have provided all the facilities from A-Z including labs, faculty, IT equipments and infrastructure etc.
We are receiving certificate from principal and director after the completion of this process. They can also ask for any kind of help whenever they need. So, in pilot project, we will also work in central Punjab after southern Punjab.
The Educationist: What about violation of merit in admissions?
Ch. Jahangir Ahmad: As the quota system has been finished by the government in colleges, so there is only 2% sports quota and 2-3% differently-abled persons’ quota. I did not receive this kind of information from anywhere that the admission took place without merit.
The Educationist: But, sir, these kinds of cases have been reported in colleges?
Ch. Jahangir Ahmad: These things are not practically observed. You must have misunderstanding about the situation. Although, these cases have been observed in autonomous institutions but we don’t have any link with such institutes. They receive donations and we do not interfere.
The Educationist: Is there any syllabus difference in private and government colleges?
Ch. Jahangir Ahmad: There is no difference in curriculum at inter level in private and public sector. All the institutes have same syllabus. The students of Aitchison College etc who study Cambridge syllabus, are exceptional cases. The government as well as all private institutes that are registered here have same syllabus.
The Educationist: One student is studying Oxford and Cambridge books while the other is studying Punjab Text books syllabus, so they will have totally different mental level and perceptions about things. Don’t you think that government must offer uniform syllabi?
Ch. Jahangir Ahmad: (while nodding) This question is 200 percent correct and up to the mark. If you listen to our PM speeches, his all struggle is based on to change this system. He wants to finish class system from Pakistan i.e. elite, middle and lower class. PM has been striving hard for his vision for 22 years.
I have a complete confidence that his team will eliminate this class system. Mr. Shafqat Mahmood, Minister for Higher Education, is working to implement uniform curriculum country wide.
The Educationist: Do you think this government is really working better than the previous government?
Ch. Jahangir Ahmad: This government is working a lot for education. They are providing all the missing facilities to the colleges like labs etc. When the facilities are provided, we will proceed further. I was against the laptop scheme of previous government at Matriculation and Intermediate level. They should build IT labs for students in colleges instead of providing them with laptops.
We have started 26 colleges on PEARL basis. We provide them all the facilities. They have IT labs and everything necessary for inter level education. We are looking forward to provide these facilities to every college. Laptops should be given to students by keeping in view the level of education.
The Educationist: Can we expect something good in Naya Pakistan?
Ch. Jahangir Ahmad: Yes, absolutely we are expecting really good from Naya Pakistan. The nation will have to wait for the good outcomes after that there will be happiness everywhere. Vision of Imran Khan will be realized Inshallah.
Everything will be settled soon. You are the future of the nation. Youth should be the part of struggle to eliminate the problems of the country. People are saying prices are getting high. This is obvious when your country’s economy is at stake, it is an obvious thing.
Concluding remarks: I would like to conclude this by thanking you for coming and raising questions. Youth is the future of this country. If all people are like you to ask questions, this means that our nation is educated. Educated people are the integral part of any country’s success. I forgot to tell you about the sports strategies we are implementing. We are making squash ground and cricket grounds in every tehsil and they are provided with all the sports facilities for students. We are looking forward to increase sports activities among students. Just be faithful and loyal. Thank you very much.