By Raghib Ali Khan
In 2002 the Higher Education Commission (HEC) came into being by a federal constitutional order to replace the University Grants Commission (UGC). The purpose of the HEC is to control and monitor the educational activities in universities in the public and private sectors. Since then, Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, chairman of the HEC with a wide experience of teaching and also managing educational activities, proved his abilities and sincerity by the performance of the HEC and the improvement in the educational sector in Pakistan. Dr. Rahman has the status of a federal minister and heads this commission with the executive directors which are equivalent to the state secretaries.
However, the purpose of this introduction is not to praise the HEC or Dr. Rahman, but to bring light to a serious issue.
The HEC states some basic requirements for any university or other the degree-awarding institute (can be download from www.hec.edu.pk). Two years ago, the HEC pointed out that about 40% of universities in Pakistan are not meeting the basic requirements and gave them a five year period to fulfill them. Now on November 13th 2004, after about two years since the initial announcement, the HEC again advertised the names of the universities in all major papers of the country in which they categorized all universities in four major categories, category A to category D with category A universities fulfilling all basic requirements and category D with universities in extremely poor condition that do not fulfill any requirements. The degree awarding status of category B, C and D institutes and universities is deemed to be cancelled in 2007. The HEC will also advertise again in January and warn the parents and students not to take admission in such institutes.
The Textile Institute of Pakistan (TIP) falls in category B which is for the universities or degree-awarding institutes which do not meet HEC requirements.
In an interview on Geo TV, Dr. Rahman on November 21th in outlined some of these basic requirements:
# basic infrastructure
# teaching level
# Ph.D faculty
# And some others.
My point is not to bring in your knowledge that TIP is a B category institute and is lacking in all three basics. Our infrastructure is not enough that fulfill our requirements, out Wet Processing Lab have converted into classrooms, our gym has converted into an Apparel Studio and future plans are up in the air. Many Ph.D teachers, including Dr. Jabbar, Dr. Zubair Bandukda and Dr. Khalid Pasha, and other good teachers such as Adil Moosajee and Aslam Khan have left. Their replacement teachers are all undergraduates (Bachelor-pass). The end result is that our teaching and studies suffered and students are unhappy with the current state of affairs.
We should consider this all and bring into debate as it is not only necessary for TIP but also for our good future.