BS programme being shut in several KP colleges

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The Higher Education Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has decided to wind up several faculties running the Bachelor of Studies (BS) programme in about 20 government colleges.

Official sources said that the faculties running the four-year BS programme in around 20 government colleges could be closed as these colleges were not fit to effectively continue this programme.

“Actually, the BS programme was introduced in these colleges under pressure of the MPAs and MNAs in the respective constituencies,” said an official of the education department.

The already enrolled students of the programme would not suffer due to closure of the programme in their colleges because they would be shifted to the adjacent colleges to pursue their BS degree, he said.

The programme was first introduced in 20 postgraduate and degree colleges as a pilot project in 2010 as per the national education policy.

According to the 1978 national education policy and policies onward, the two-year BA/BSc degree was to be replaced by the four-year degree programme.

The idea behind the implementation of BS programme was to bring it at par with the bachelor’s degrees of the developed world. Slowly, the number of the colleges and faculties were increased. Presently, 164 faculties have been running in 54 colleges across the province.

This way the colleges have been providing inexpensive higher education to the students in their native districts. The officials said that students in government colleges had been paying only Rs3,500 per semester, while the public sector universities charged up to Rs30,000 for the same faculties.

The programme is being run successfully in the prominent and big colleges, but those colleges where it was launched through political interference were facing several problems, said an HED official.

He said that the faculties with less than 20 enrolled students would be shut. He said that currently the number of students in several faculties were five to 10.

“The colleges cannot afford to continue the BS programme with minimum number of students because huge amount is spent on running the programme,” he said.

He said that in some colleges there was shortage of teachers and laboratories and as such the programme could not be run successfully.

The students of faculties facing closure would be shifted to the nearest colleges in the same area so that they could continue their education. However, he said that that this would be done with the consultation of principals of both colleges and administration of the affiliated universities.

“There will be no such step in the whole procedure that could have negative impact on the students,” he said.

When contacted, Higher Education Department director Noorullah Wazir said that the department had constituted a committee under him for establishing new faculties in colleges under the BS programme. He said that director Project Management Unit for the BS programme and deputy chief planning officer of the HED were members of the committee.

He said that the administrations of colleges were bound to take permission for establishing new disciplines. He said that the committee would see whether the respective colleges had the required facilities prior to allowing them to establish new faculties.