PESHAWAR: The Governor’s Inspection Team has declared Allied Health Sciences programmes in general public sector universities ‘illegal and unlawful’ and said that medical, dental,...
PESHAWAR: The Governor’s Inspection Team (GIT) has declared Allied Health Sciences programmes in general public sector universities ‘illegal and unlawful’ and said that medical, dental, and allied health sciences programs are the sole mandate of the Khyber Medical University.
The whimsical, irrational, and arbitrary decision of the Vice Chancellor of Gomal University has put the future of 853 students of applied health sciences at stake, it said. “The students are the sole losers in this entire process. In the absence of proper quality education, their status after graduation may not be different from quacks. The administration has deliberately ruined the future of the young generation at the cost of earning revenue.”
The Governor Inspection has submitted its findings to the Governor KP for approval and implementation.
Sources in the university told this correspondent that the Allied Health programme was started under the law in the university, so that students could get an education on modern lines. Faculty and facilities were to be gradually increased but political interference affected matters and the VC was sent on forced leave twice.
The report says that the inquiry committee noticed that it was the mandate of the Board of Studies to devise curriculum and syllabi for the programs of Gomal University, DI Khan, but it was bypassed for reasons best known to the university administration. As a result of this lapse, the scheme of studies, credit hours for the programs and workload of the faculty were not properly organized.
The Inspection Team said that the syndicate in its 106th meeting held on January 16, 2021, approved the programs but it was necessary to first refer the case to F&PC of the university to examine the financial implications involved for the creation of posts, but F&PC was not consulted.
The syndicate was required to refer the case to the Senate for approval of the financial implications and budget involved for these programs. “The administration owes an explanation for this irregularity. However, in the case at hand, the Gomal University administration instead of first establishing teaching departments, directly established the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, which was a violation of standard procedure on their part.”
It further said: “Besides this, there should have been a Chairperson/Director of the Departments to be appointed by the Syndicate but in the instant programs, Dr Tabassum Nasir, Prof of the Physics Department, was assigned additional charge of the faculty of BS Programs in Allied Health Sciences. Similarly, Dr Momina, Lady Medical Officer, was assigned additional charge of coordinator of the faculty being a contract employee and ad hoc arrangements could not be justified by the university administration.
“The total number of students enrolled (program-wise) for both the sessions 2021-25 (Spring/Fall) is 853, which seems abnormal during the infancy stage of these programs. On the other hand, KMU being a well-established university, enrolled only 40 students per discipline/program having well-equipped labs and three MTIs namely LRH, KTH, and HMC Peshawar, while
DI Khan has only one MTI with which no MoU for clinical training was signed.
“According to the standard of HEC and KMU, the student-teacher ratio for sciences is 1:12, according to which about 71 faculty members are required, but there are hardly 25 teachers which is a violation of the approved standard.
The students of these programs have also voiced concern over the shortage of staff, lab equipment and huge enrolment.
“It was noticed that the financial position of the university was not sound. According to the Director of Finance, the accumulated deficit during 2021-22 was Rs498.330 and Rs.757.930 million during the current financial year 2022-23. In these circumstances, launching programs like Allied Health Sciences was not a prudent decision.
The present BS program in Allied Health Sciences at Gomal University, DI Khan, is also a sad reflection on the role of statutory bodies. These bodies are required to guard the interest of any university by strongly resisting any illegal and unlawful action. It is regretted that the Syndicate through its collective wisdom miserably failed to examine the decision in hand in its entirety, which led to the present state of affairs.
During the inquiry, it was revealed that not only Gomal University but other universities like KUST, University of Haripur, Hazara University, Abbottabad University and Abdul Wall Khan University have also started Allied Health Programs in different medical specialities. It is presumed that they have also not followed the aforementioned requirements.
The GIT has recommended that to save the future of 853 students, the Gomal University, the administration should immediately, in consultation with KMU, put the program on right track. It should be done on a war footing. All universities, which are running these programs, may be constituted to take stock of the situation and propose workable solutions for the entire province within one month.