Public, HEC and its policies -The Frontier Post

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The Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for establishing an effective mechanism to stop unauthorized higher educational institutions from ruining the future of Pakistani students.

The directions were given during the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training, National Heritage & Culture held under the Chairmanship of Senator Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui at Parliament House on Tuesday. The Chairman Committee expressed his reservation regarding unauthorized institutions offering degree programs in Pakistan without approval of HEC or any other regulatory body of the country. HEC officials replied to the committee that the commission has published a list of approved institutions on its website and students, or parents should go through the list before applying for admission.

The HEC authorities further said that the Commission also issues alerts and advisories from time to time and blacklists the institutions which do not fulfill the criteria set for accreditation and recognition of degree programs. Chairman committee expressed their reservations on the performance of HEC in this regard and suggested that more should be done to stop these unauthorized institutions from ruining the future of Pakistani students.

In fact, there are numerous higher education institutions including Private Universities, Medical and Professional Colleges offering various attractive degrees in reward of huge tuition and admission fees to those students who couldn’t gain admission in public institutions being low merit cases. Al-Khair University is the living example of this problem. Currently, there are thousands of students and scholars who earned their degrees from Al-Khair University and HEC did not verify their degrees so far and the future of the students has been ruined by the system’s incompetency. The problem lies in the Education Ministry at policy formulation level.

As per law, all private, local and foreign public schools, colleges, and Universities need to get registration with Provincial/ Federal government and get accreditation with respective Educational Board or universities/HEC. Here, the question arises that if those education institutions did not fulfil government criteria then why were they registered/permitted to work in the country. Such institutions must be closed until they achieve the required standard set by the government/ HEC. However, nothing has been done by the government / HEC and the problem still exists.

Although the officials of HEC had briefed the Senate Standing Committee about the procedure being followed by the Ministry/HEC for recognition of educational degrees and skills in various fields, they could not prove their ability to resolve the matter of issuance of degrees by the private institutions not matching the HEC standard.

The lawmakers in the Senate Standing Committee Federal Education and Professional Training expressed displeasure over the performance of FIA and other investigative agencies which did not take any action against such organizations which destroyed the lives of thousands of the youths besides grabbing huge money from them. In fact, America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducts string operations to unearth such fraudulent cases on American soil whereas FIA, anti-corruption and NAB are unable to see these scams. In fact, there should be willingness to work to resolve the issue or to set standards in any field. Pakistan has plenty of self-claimed geniuses in the government’s offices who can resolve the issue in days, however currently, they are facing shortage of time due to their personal engagements.