It’s time to turn to science, believes Higher Education Department HED Punjab

Published on August 31, 2012 at 8:10 am

It’s time to turn to science, believes Higher Education Department HED Punjab

It’s time to turn to science, believes Higher Education Department HED Punjab

It’s time to turn to science, believes Higher Education Department HED Punjab

LAHORE – Looking to save the money being spent on Humanities and Social Science subjects, the Punjab government has decided to shift its focus to subjects on scientific and technical education, Pakistan Today has learnt.

The Higher Education Department (HED) is currently involved in an exercise of ‘rationalization of staff’ in a bid to tilt towards science subjects and technical knowledge and all 495 colleges under the Higher Education Department across Punjab would be involved. Also included in this project are 12 universities, 26 autonomous colleges such as MAO College Lahore, and four old autonomous colleges such as Kinnaird and Queen Mary.

According to sources, a large number of seats in government institutions have been taken up by Social Science and Humanities teachers whereas there is a dearth of teachers in science subjects. In the on-going exercise, extra seats, which have been identified, will be reallocated for science and technical education subjects while Humanities and Social Science teachers would be transferred to some other city, the source added.

“HED has collected all the relevant data from colleges across Punjab and a major shuffle is expected in the coming weeks,” the source added.

“Many Islamiyat and Pakistan Studies teachers with political links have created unnecessary posts in colleges and this is a waste of public money,” sources said.
The high ups of the HED have also held meetings with the Directorate Public Instructions (DPIs) from all over the province for their input and suggestions on the issue.

Interestingly, one of the officers who attended the meeting revealed that at some colleges Islamiyat teachers have been asking students to not to opt for science subjects because they were ‘un-Islamic’.
A senior official from the HED on the condition of anonymity said that the exercise had been taken up because of the challenges of present times. “Any student with a masters degree can teach the Pakistan Studies and Islamiyat in the colleges, however a large chunk of the provincial budget is being spent on humanities subjects, which is not yielding any benefit…hence the authorities have decided to rationalize the existing posts of all subjects to efficiently spend the crucial budget available for a vital sector,” the official said, adding, “the boy who topped recently and grabbed everyone’s attention had opted for Islamiyat, Kashmiriyat and Punjabi. It would have been of benefit if he had been studying science subjects. Humanities and Social Sciences are a waste of money,” he added.
TEACHERS IN A FIX: This has also sent a shockwave among the teachers of humanities who have reportedly been trying to form associations to block the move which could lead to sacking of humanities teachers.

‘WE ARE DOING WHAT THE

STUDENTS WANT’: However, HED Secretary Dr Ijaz Munir has said the ongoing rationalization was not “subject-oriented”, but “student-oriented”. “We have already gathered the data from all over the province to initiate the move. People need to understand the spirit of the move; no one will be sacked, it is only meant to relocate resources for an efficient management of the Education Department and better spending of resources,” Munir said, adding that Islamiyat and Pakistan Studies are compulsory subjects, while admitting there would be many transfers as part of the move. Explaining the spirit of the entire exercise, Munir said if for example Shakargarh College has three seats for a subject and only five students taking a subject, the department will keep only one seat and the other two seats would be converted to some other subject where there are more students. “Definitely we would like to increase the seats of science subjects after the first step of the re-allocation of resources is amicably done because for that we will have to write to the Finance Department,” he added.

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