LAHORE : Chaired by Provincial Minister for Higher Education Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfraz, a high-powered committee on higher education reforms met to deliberate on the 100 days agenda of the government.
The meeting held at Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Secretariat, was attended by PHEC Chairperson Prof Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin, HED Additional Secretary Ms Maryam Kiyani, Dr Ahsan Rana, Dr Faisal Bari, Dr Arif Nazir Butt and others.
The participants discussed in detail the agenda of the meeting in line with the PM’s 100-day plan.
Raja Yassir Humayun said the government was determined for qualitative reforms in the higher education sector.
“Overhaul of the entire system is need. We need to adopt the imperatives of modern knowledge economy and have to update our system on emerging global trends”, the minister stressed.
“In nine divisions of Punjab, the government plans to establish a high-quality research university each which will fall in top 500 world universities.
Initially, the government is going to establish three universities, one each in the south, north and central regions, with international linkages”, the minister maintained.
The minister said the government would establish an institute for higher education management and research training for excellence in teaching and research on a par with international quality benchmarks.
“Punjab Higher Education Commission will develop a comprehensive strategy for research and partnership with international universities in consultation with HEC. The land for the establishment of the institute shall be provided by the federal government”, he added.
The minister stressed upon development of communicative, critical and cognitive abilities among students.
The basic objective of teaching should be to inculcate critical thinking and how to communicate, so there is a need to include courses on communication, reasoning, IT literacy as well as liberal arts in the curriculum” he suggested.
He said, “To promote the concept of conceptual learning, we needed to discourage rote learning approach.
We needed to rethink our examination and evaluation system in our colleges and universities.
Instead of the marking system in vogue, we need to introduce a grading system based on percentile, as practice by leading international universities and examination bodies.”
Talking on the transfer/posting mechanism of public sector college faculty members, the minister said that the government was planning to introduce an automated mechanism for transfer/posting and empowering divisional commissioners to deal with such matters. “It will save time and ease the process”, he maintained.
The minister for higher education lauded the efforts of Punjab Higher Education Commission for improving the quality of education and research, and promoting skill-based education in Punjab.
He especially praised the concept of community colleges which was being piloted in four public sector colleges in the province.
The community college project has been very successful in imparting marketable skills to students. There is a dire need to expand this to the entire Punjab” the minister said.