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APP
September 24, 2018

FAPUASA for strengthening provincial HECs in light of 18th Amendment

National

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APP
September 24, 2018

Islamabad: Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has demanded strengthening of provincial Higher Educations Commission (PHECs) in the light of 18th Constitutional Amendment. In a joint statement issued here Sunday, FAPUASA Central President Dr Mahboob Hussain and General Secretary Atif Khan has urged the government to resolve issues pertaining to provincial HECs in light of decision taking during the meeting of Council of Common Interests (CCI) held in current year.

Sharing the background of the issue, they also stated that with the passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, education including higher education was shifted to the legislative and executive jurisdiction of the provinces.

Over the recommendations of the multi-party 10-members Implementation Commission, the CCI has decided that “a limited extent body would continue to work as Commission for Standards in Institutions of Higher Education in the light of Entry No.12 of Part-II of Federal Legislative List i.e. Standards in Institutions of Higher Education and Research, Scientific and Technical Institutions, they added.

With the devolution of higher education, they said that Punjab and Sindh governments had established their respective provincial HECs through Acts of provincial assemblies, after proper deliberations, to cater the growing needs in higher education sector in their respective provinces.

While, they stated that Balochistan Assembly passed joint resolution for establishment of provincial HEC and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa government has already prepared a draft of autonomous higher education body. The superior courts through various verdicts have recognized the legitimate role of these autonomous provincial higher education bodies, they informed.

The Council of Common Interests (CCI) had also set up a committee to look into the matters pertaining to higher education in post 18th Amendment scenario. After three years deliberations, the recommendations of the sub-committee were submitted in 35th meeting of CCI held on 26th February, 2018 under the chairmanship of Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Endorsing the recommendations of the sub-committee, the CCI decided unanimously that federal government would deal with seven functions in higher education sector mainly setting up minimum national standards and defining national policy in higher education while provinces would play main role in higher education sector while performing 12 key functions including policy formulation, regulation of higher education, issuance of guidelines & NOC for establishment of new universities and implementation of quality assurance system, they said.

It was also decided that seven functions would be performed both by the provincial and federal governments. They further stated that among all 192 recognized universities , only 19 per cent of universities are federally charted universities while provincial governments control the majority of the universities i.e. 81 per cent (155 out of 192).

The federal government cannot effectively handle matters of 155 provincially charted universities, they said. They underlined the multiple challenges being faced by Pakistani higher education without recognizing key role of provinces in higher education sector and strengthening provincial HECs in the light of 18th constitutional amendment and the decision of 35th meeting of CCI.

They said that FAPUASA, being representative body of more than 100 public sector universities had already deliberated over the issue of effective implementation of 18th Constitutional Amendment in higher education sector.

They demanded immediate implementation of unanimous decision of 35th meeting of CCI and confining the role of federal government in higher education sector as per Constitution of Pakistan.

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