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The News

Published Date: Apr 22, 2014

Quality education in smaller cities equally needed: HEC chief

The
institutions of higher education and learning are increasingly getting
clustered in bigger cities while there is an equal need for quality
education in smaller cities of the country, said Higher Education
Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed.

The HEC
chairman stated this while delivering a special lecture on ‘The state of
higher education in Pakistan’ organised by the Sustainable Development
Policy Institute here on Monday.

Dr. Ahmed said it is
time to think of ways in which higher education can have real impact for
the welfare of society at large. He stressed on the need for a
value-based education system. He said that there is a need for creating
impact of knowledge in terms of indigenous solutions to Pakistan’s
problems and development issues.

On the issue of fake
degrees, he said that making information about validity of degrees
public damaged the reputation of the HEC. In the context of the 18th
Amendment, he said that there should be a centrally-set minimum standard
for education. He said that budgetary allocation for higher education
should be increased progressively and not in an abrupt manner.

Quaid-i-Azam
University Vice Chancellor Dr. Eatzaz Ahmed stressed on the need for
better quality of education at college and high school level. He said "We require qualitative measures for gauging the impact of knowledge."
He recommended that there is a possibility of promotion through a
weightage-based system whereby all four elements of education are
considered. These include teaching, research, administration and
community service.

SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Suleri
said that the real world problems and issues of development should be
covered in the curriculum taught at universities. He said that in
Bangladesh and India, universities are proactive in linking research
with policy, while in Pakistan think-tanks are playing a more active
role in the policy domain compared to universities. He recommended
‘immersion courses’ whereby students coming from better economic
backgrounds should be sent to the field while those coming from
underprivileged backgrounds could be sent to various institutions for
better exposure.

Dr Muhammad Qaiser, vice chancellor of
the University of Karachi, said that there is a need for more funding in
higher education sector and its budgetary share should be increased to
at least 4%. He said that there should be greater balance between basic
research and applied research to find solutions to the real world
problems.

Pakistan Institute of Development Economics
Vice Chancellor Dr Asad Zaman observed that liberal arts and culture are
becoming neglected in higher education in Pakistan. This is
unfortunate, since we have a strong poetic heritage that can be very
important in inspiring students to serve the nation and create impact of
the knowledge acquired.

Source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-245669-Quality-education-in-smaller-cities-equally-needed:-HEC-chief