ISLAMABAD - The Higher Education Commission (HEC) would continue to extend its support for strengthening the women universities across the country with special emphasis on capacity building of the newly established women universities.
This was expressed by Chairman HEC, Dr. Javaid R. Laghari while and presiding over a meeting at Government College Women University Sialkot, the first Women University of the Region. He said that women's universities are playing a vital role in the education of female professionals, artists, writers, thinkers who are the future leaders of an educated, enlightened and prosperous Pakistan.
"Since the inception of HEC, new women's universities have been established in Peshawar, Quetta, Lahore and Multan and priority has been given to such development projects which have been really helpful in increasing women's enrollment in higher education sector of the country," he remarked.
Dr Javaid Laghari stated that women enrollment in higher education has increased from 36 percent to 47 percent within last few years as an outcome of the HEC reforms.
The female researchers or faculty members are being encouraged to avail HEC programmes such as on scholarships, research and travel grants and holding of conferences.
He assured utmost cooperation of HEC to provide every sort of possible support to the administration of the university. Prof Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin, Vice Chancellor University of Gujrat and Additional Charge Vice Chancellor Govt. College Women University, Sialkot was also present on the occasion.
The meeting was attended by all the officials and faculty of the Women University. The meeting decided that HEC would assist in interim placement of faculty,provision of Digital Library, PERN-II and Video Conference facility and capacity building of faculty while the university administration would ensure implementation of quality assurance criteria.
The university administration and faculty members appreciated the contribution and efforts of HEC to promote female education in the country.
Smart card scheme in offing for students of govt schools: Minister
Sindh Minister for Education Nisar Ahmed Khuhro has said the government is introducing a smart card scheme for the students of government schools.
"These cards will be given to all students from the primary to the higher level of school education. They will help us in collecting data about exact number of school going students, distribution of free books among them and their attendance," he informed at a press conference at the Circuit House here on Sunday. The Minister said that the first launching ceremony of those cards would be held in Benazirabad district on August 27, adding that the other districts would follow.
Khuhro said the government also wants to provide electronic smart cards to the government teachers so that their attendance, payment of salaries amd ghost teachers could be monitored. "We are reviewing this proposal and also to take satellite help to watch if a particular teacher is attending the school during the duty time or if they are just drawing the salary without contributing their work," he said.
The Education Minister agreed that Sindh province lags behind others in the quality of education partly due to law and order, economic conditions and negligence on the part of those who were responsible. "Around half of Sindh government's over 500,000 employees in the province work in Education Department. They include about 150,000 teaching staff and around 100,000 administrative and other staff in the Education Ministry," he said.
The Minister said that an overhauling was being done in the cadres of administrative officials so that the junior officers were not posted to senior posts. Initially, he added, all the junior officers posted on BPS-18 posts of Additional District Officer (ADO) have been removed from those posts.
"We also want to do the same to the BPS-20 District Education Officer posts where many junior officers are occupying these posts," he saidadding that a Departmental Promotion Committee meeting would be held in the next few days.
The committee, he added, would scrutinise the cases of 500 officers for promotions so that the senior positions in the department which were lying vacant and made the government to post junior officers on them could be filled.
According to Nisar Khuhro, the promotions to the said posts had not been done since year 2002. About the newly passed Sindh Universities Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013, the Minister said "The new legislation has been done in the light of the country's Constitution which vests the authority over the higher education institutions in the chief minister rather than the governor of a province," he explained.
Responding to a question about the new local government system, he said the provincial government carried along all the stakeholders in consultations over the Bill. The leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) including Aftab Khanzada, Roshan Solangi, Mir Fateh Talpur and others were also present on the occasion.