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November 3, 2020

45pc Karachi colleges have no capacity to arrange degree classes


November 3, 2020

KARACHI: Owing to the lack of faculty members and affiliation-related issues, around 45 per cent of degree colleges in the Karachi region have no capacity to arrange degree classes for undergraduate students, reveal the statistics available with The News.

Despite the fact that all the government colleges, including both for girls and boys, are titled as government degree colleges, a large number of them actually do not offer degree programmes.

At present, around 138 government degree colleges are functioning in Karachi, of which 62 colleges are unable to offer degree classes to students. A majority of such colleges are located in the suburban areas of Karachi, including Orangi Town, SITE, New Karachi, Sujrani Town, Baldia Town, Korangi and Malir. Although in some of these areas the college education department has established even more than three colleges, they are unfortunately not functioning up to the mark.

Furthermore, the data show that 20 per cent of these 62 colleges are hardly able to offer Intermediate classes. Such colleges have only two or three teachers, even though they are degree colleges.

According to the academic community of colleges, the main hurdle in the way of making such colleges fully functional with the teaching of all the disciplines of studies, including humanities, science, commerce, physical education and others, is the uneven appointment of teachers in the colleges.

Whereas in some colleges several teachers are available for one subject, others have no teachers even for compulsory subjects.

However, government officials are of the view that one of the reasons behind the colleges without teachers in suburban areas is that the existing teaching staffers are not willing to join colleges located at a distance from their houses.

The officials agreed that if high ranked officials such as the department secretary directly assign teachers on need bases throughout the city, such issues will be fixed in no time.

Commenting on the issue, the spokesperson of the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association, Azizullah Memon, said colleges have been facing financial problems and most of them cannot get affiliation for undergraduate programmes from varsities as they cannot pay the affiliation fee ranging up to Rs1 million. He added that getting affiliation from varsities is a very lengthy process.

“Affiliation fee is one of the major problems as a college can’t generate budget from its own resources. Also, the shortage of subject specialists and teachers make hindrance in the affiliation process.”

Memon said that this situation has been affecting female students especially as they prefer to attend degree colleges located near their homes. He lamented that many of the parents of female students living in suburban areas do not allow them to attend varsities while the degree colleges near their residences do not offer undergraduate programmes.

He suggested that colleges should be allowed to generate funds using their own resources so that they could start degree classes without relying on the government funding. He remarked that as per the documents, at present, there is no Intermediate college in Karachi as all the colleges are actually degree colleges.

According to Memon, if all these colleges start offering degree programmes, students from low- and middle-income classes who cannot afford transport expenses and varsities’ fee will get access to higher education without paying too much.

Meanwhile, the college education regional director, Prof Dr Hafiz Abdul Bari Indher, said that he was well aware of the issue. “The directorate college education of Karachi region has recently transferred teachers to those colleges which lack faculty members,” he maintained. He added that the department has also asked the colleges’ heads to have their institutes affiliated with varsities. He stated that if any college needs any assistance in this regard, the department will provide help.He, however, could not explain about those 20 per cent colleges which hardly arrange Intermediate classes.