The Higher Education Commission (HEC) in consultation with experts has come up with certain recommendations to phase out the existing two years BA/BSc and MA/MSc programmes by 2018 and 2020 respectively. In this regard, a mechanism is being worked out to accommodate the students currently enrolled in the above-mentioned degree programmes. It’s being said that these steps are in continuation with the objectives envisioned over a decade ago. The question arises: Are we prepared for the process? There is still lack of collaboration between the HEC and the provincial government because of which achieving the desired results seems like a far cry. The above mentioned recommendations have also created shadows of uncertainty over the mechanism being followed by colleges across the country. Almost every college is offering two-year degree programmes and it is most likely that they do not have enough resources to entertain semester-based four-year degree programmes.
Other mandatory facilities apart, faculty at colleges has never been provided with the privilege to go for higher studies. Isn’t it a kind of discrimination? A college teacher is granted study leave on the bases of a rotten ‘half average pay’ formula, whereas university teachers enjoy fully-funded foreign scholarships along with perks and privileges. Furthermore, we need to introduce education reforms to improve the current situation. We need to have a practical and futuristic approach towards education. It’s high time for the central and provincial governments to sit together and come with an umbrella policy covering all levels of education, with special care for the elementary schooling.
Waheed A Tunio