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December 8, 2019

Punjab govt to set up universities at district level

Lahore

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December 8, 2019

LAHORE :Punjab Minister for Higher Education Raja Yasir Humayun Saturday said the government had planned to establish universities at district level across the province.

Addressing a press conference at the Directorate General of Public Relations (DGPR), he said that initially eight universities would be opened in districts of Mianwali, Murree, Bhakkar, Chakwal, Nankana Sahib, Layyah and two universities at Rawalpindi. "Models of these universities have already been finalised," he added.

The minister said that it was a roadmap and under the project, universities at divisional headquarters would be main campuses of the universities which would be inter-connected. He said that the project would bring about education revolution in the province.

He said that the government had already been working on merit-based appointments of heads of educational institutions under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, adding that vice-chancellors of universities had been appointed on merit in the first phase while work on the appointment of heads of colleges and other educational institutions was under process.

He said that the government was also planning to ensure a 4-year degree programme at district headquarters level, adding that already 73 out of 470 degree colleges had introduced the 4-year degree programme. The minister said that the government was also introducing a guidance project ''Rahnumai Markaz'' to provide career counselling to students so that they could choose proper programme for themselves according to their aptitude and the demand of the market.

He said that the centres would also guide students about domestic and international scholarships and work as job placement centres.

He said a grading system was being introduced for improving education standards in the province, and it would be implemented in five years. He said the grading system had already been introduced at grade nine.

Yasir said that sports leagues had also been introduced in educational institutions as healthy activities and every student at university level could play any game or sport due to these leagues. "The leagues would consist of several sports and players of 48 universities are participating in the leagues, starting from Jan 15, 2020," he added.

He said that another mechanism was being introduced in the universities through which the performance of the vice chancellors and universities would be monitored. "It will also be helpful in raising the rating of universities among international institutes," he added. He said that Higher Education Department had been reorganised and it would be strengthened more in future. The minister said that chip architectures would play a vital role in the economy in the future and the government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China in this regard.

"In near future more than 50,000 employment opportunities are expected to be generated in the field in China and our professionals would play their role in this regard," he added. To a question, he said the PTI did not believe in politics on education as it was the future of the next generation. Punjab Information Minister Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan was also present in the press conference.