The members of the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education along with Vice Chancellors of Public Sector Universities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have unanimously resolved to demand enhancement of the recurrent budget of higher education from 55 billion to one trillion, as an immediate bailout package so as to safeguard Universities from a total collapse. This if done in the upcoming Budget will enhance the quality of higher education and resultantly better facilities to the students and researchers, they added.
The one day discourse on the status of higher education in public sector varsities was held with Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education in chair. Federal Minister for Education Balighur Rehman, Chairman Higher Education Commission Dr. Mukhtar, Federal Secretary Education Muhammad Ahsan Raja, Provincial Higher Education Secretary Mrs. Farah Hamid Khan,Vice Chancellor UoP Prof. Dr. Muhammad and VCs of other public sector Universities were among the participants.
Addressing the meeting Senator Nabi Bangash said a sum of Rs. 500 million has been allocated since long for the establishment of FATA University but it’s a pity that a suitable place for the same was yet to be identified. He added the task of making FATA University, from a Dream to reality, has been assigned to the Senators of his committee and they would come up with a suitable place for it in near future. He lamented the fact that out of the three thousand FATA students studying in the University of Peshawar, the annual scholarship for them from the office of the Political Agents of all the FATA agencies is less than five hundred thousand. He added the issue will be taken up with the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for immediate redressal.
Vice Chancellor of the nine public sector Universities presented an overview and the financial problems of their institutions.
Addressing the Ceremony the Chairman Higher Education Commission said that a sum of 55 billion was allocated for the higher education which was far less than required and even the designated sum has not been disbursed to the HEC for the fiscal year 2013-14. He added only 7% of the total population of Pakistan have access to higher education, and they have set to attain the target of reaching to 15% countrymen in the years to come. He dismissed the impression that KP varsities are not treated on priority at HEC, adding that equal treatment in allocation of fund is being made to varsities across the country.
The Vice Chancellor UoP Prof. Dr. Muhammad Rasul Jan said that only fourteen hundred of the total three thousand FATA students of the University of Peshawar would benefit from the Prime Minister fee reimbursement scheme owing to the fact that students of the self support scheme are not considered for the benefit. He urged that the same facility may also be extended to the self support students studying in UoP. The Federal Education Minister acceded to the idea and agreed to incorporate the same in future.
A ten member committee headed by Vice Chancellor UoP Prof. Dr. Muhammad Rasul Jan was formed in the meeting to review the problems faced by public sector Universities in the province and to come up with their recommendations in three months time.
Source: UOP Official.