LAHORE: According to the content pasted on the HEC website Despite establishment of over 69 Quality Enhancement Cells (QECs) at public sector universities and 15 QECs at “W” Category private sector universities since 2006-07 by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), teaching quality is on the decline in most of the government universities, sources told The Educationist. Permanent and visiting faculty’s evaluation is seldom made in all public universities, however, research publications are on the rise due to special interest of vice chancellors. As a routine matter universities distribute self-assessment forms among the teachers and they fill it according to their own will. No one is ready to check either it is correct or not. Only few universities are taking students’ feedback online to know teacher’s performance in class. HEC took the initiative in 2006-07 and 10 QECs were established in universities, where as in 2007-08 as many as 20 more QECs were established in the public sector universities and later in 2009-10 over 24 more added to the number, besides 15 from the HEC has introduced 8 criteria and 31 standards for the assessment of quality check. The road map of Quality covers eight criteria starting with program mission statement, objectives and outcomes, curriculum design and organization, laboratories and computing facilities, process control, faculty, student support and advising, institutional support etc. the framework also includes analysis’ of survey forms related to feedback from students, alumni, employers, faculty course review report, faculty survey , research progress review reports etc. HEC officials claim more than 140 QEC’s had been established all over Pakistan. When contacted HEC Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) assistant director Abaidullah Anwar said that was not included in the statutory bodies universities that they should establish QEC to ensure the quality education. Now universities send annual reports to HEC and they evaluate the reports and call a meeting in this regard. He said that QEC performance has impact on ranking of an institute. “QECs conduct three kind of surveys (i) Teachers Evaluation (ii) Student evaluation (iii) Course evaluation. According to HEC rules universities are bound to conduct these surveys twice in a year.”
Regarding flaws, Anwar said that was no HEC monitoring system provincially and it was also not possible to visit each university for this purpose because of budget and staff limitations. He said they conduct these surveys in different forms like meetings, reports and on telephone. He said according to the HEC Ordinance they conduct meetings group wise to discuss the QECs performance. Dr Muhammad Mansha, Director Quality Enhancement Cell, University of Education, said they evaluated teachers’ performance through online survey in 2014-15 and sent reports to HEC with 60 % criteria of satisfaction. “If committee is not satisfied with teacher progress they send reports to Vice Chancellor and he takes action. There are so many deficiencies including staff, laboratories, chemicals and infrastructure.” He said there is dire need of capacity building. He said HEC calls annual meeting and discuss issues regarding QECs. He said there is no software which can check plagiarism in Urdu assignments and thesis. Dr Dawar Hameed Mughal Director QEC University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) said they established QEC in 2007 and he is serving as director since then. He said they conduct various type of surveys to ensure quality education including Course evaluation and teacher evaluation semester wise, also graduating survey, faculty survey, alumni survey, employee survey, postgraduate review program survey and research progress review survey. He said that they will satisfied if teacher evaluation is 60 percent and if he or she below 60 percent then university evaluate in overall courses which he or she taught in previous semester and how many student evaluate it below define criteria. He said UVAS take action against a teacher in different ways such and the first one is the teacher’s counseling session with Head of department. QEC officials of National Textile University said they distribute online forms among the students twice a year. He said that they have limited resources to enhance quality education. The main reason behind this to lack of fund allocation. He said they are the employees of university not HEC and are bound to not take decisions independently that is the main hurdle in QEC’s performances. University of Health Sciences focal person Atif said that HEC awarded them best university which is promoting quality education in the field of medicine and they received best QEC result in 2014. He said that their prime focus on quality and they cannot compromise on quality education.