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Saturday December 04, 2021

Senate body concerned over cut in education funding

July 17, 2020

Islamabad : The Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology on Thursday expressed strong concerns over the cut to the higher education sector funding and recommended for an increase in the budget as per the sector’s requirement.

The Senate body held a meeting with Senator Rubina Khalid in the chair at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat to discuss the internet connectivity problems in online learning being faced by students of remote areas.

Besides the committee members, the meeting was attended by Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri, Executive Director HEC Dr Fateh Marri, Rector National Academy of Higher Education Dr. Shaheen Sardar Ali, Vice Chancellors of different universities, and representatives of the Ministry of Information Technology, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), and Universal Service Fund (USF).

Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman HEC briefed the Senate Committee on the steps taken to execute the Learning Management System (LMS) in higher education institutions. Since the closure of universities due to COVID-19, HEC has been actively trying to minimise the disruption in educational activities.

“Broadly, there have been two major issues. One, majority of faculty did not have an online teaching background. Two, students faced internet connectivity issues,” he said while highlighting the efforts made to train the faculty members to improve the quality of their lectures and their way of virtual teaching.

He also informed the Senate committee that HEC has been in contact with telecommunication companies through the Ministry of IT and PTA to ensure internet connectivity with subsidised internet packages for students. To this end, telecommunication companies are now offering student packages. “HEC is putting additional efforts to ensure the facilitation of internet-deprived children.”