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HEC closes key gates

2-year bachelor’s, master’s programmes

Shabbir Sarwar

Closing down two-year bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes by HEC for one million candidates is equal to ‘academic and economic murder’ of the students belonging to poor and lower middle class who do graduation privately and look for jobs, besides vying for competitive examinations of PCs and Css etc. Prime Minister imran Khan, Education Minister shahfqat Mahmood and all lawmaker must review the HEC’s new policy to support the ‘elitist agenda’. This was stated by education experts and students while talking to The Educationist.

The Higher Education Commission has issued a notification to close two-years degree programmes for regular and private candidates. Many universities and colleges are holding meetings to convert their master’s programmes into four year Bs programmes. Those who have already completed two-year graduation or associate degree will be eligible to get admission to the fifth semester of the four-year Bs programmes. However, academicians believe that policy is being implement in haste ignoring the ground realities. University of Education Vice Chancellor Dr. Rauf-i-Azam while talking to The Educationist said, “there is contradiction in HEC policy, as on one hand two-year programmes are being closed while at the same time two-year associate degree
has been launched.” He said that colleges lacked infrastructure to launch four years Bs programmes. Punjab University Registrar Dr. Khalid Khan said PU has constituted a committee to look into the HEC notification and give formal recommendations. “This policy will increase unemployment in the country as many people just do their graduation and master’s by only spending Rs 8000 only. now they will be unable to get into the mainstream.”

PU Dean of Education Prof. Dr. Abid Hussain Chaudhry said that the overall literacy rate of higher education would decrease due to this policy. “Private candidates who do two-year BA, they will be unable to complete graduation and pursue further studies. He also said that colleges lacked the capacity and infrastructure to run Bs programmes under semester system. Maddrissa students who join mainstream after Dars-e-nizami and other such courses, get graduation and master’s degrees after appearing is English and Pakistan studies examination. “They have been ignored in this policy. This would further isolate them and promote extremism in the society,” said Fahad Chaudhry, who is assistant professor at PU institute of Communication studies.

A majority of students who qualify the Central superior services (Css) and Public service Commission (PsC) examinations earn Bachelor’s Degree as private candidate, said a student M. sharif Rana, who is doing Msc Development Journalism from PU after graduation as a private candidate.

More than one million students annually appear in BA/Bsc and MA/Msc exams as private candidates in the country. This year in PU 200,000 students appeared in BA/Bsc exams and another 100,000 in MA/Msc exams as private candidates. This number is 100,000 in case of BZU Multan, 40,000 in islamia University Bahawalpur, 60,000 in University of sargodha, 30,000 in govt. College University Faisalabad. other universities including Karachi University and University of gujrat are also running this programme successfully

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