From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Raheel Qamar
Sent: Saturday, April 16, 2011 9:02 AM
To: nadeem abbasi
Cc: University Teachers Forum
Subject: Re: [PUTF] We can accept devolution if .....
I will add my two cents worth, though I am sure that people on the other side of the debate will not be convinced no matter what the facts of the matter are.
In all my dealings with HEC they have always put the smaller provinces ahead of Punjab, numerous times I have been told that we need to fund this project/proposal as it comes from one of the smaller provinces and we hardly get any proposals from them, even though in my opinion the proposals might have been on a weaker wicket. I can assure you that other equally good projects/proposals from Punjab are not funded because the competition from that province is much stronger and better projects are coming from there. Although my personal opinion is that everything should be merit based and all across from Pakistan things should be funded on merit and merit only, but I always give into the smaller province argument. Now tell me is it HEC's fault that good projects or even marginal ones are not coming from the smaller provinces? I myself belong to a smaller province and lets be fair to HEC for giving the due to every province, there certainly is no bias against the smaller provinces, if anything people at HEC are in favor of further developing the capacity of the smaller provinces.
As pointed out that people at HEC are vey progressive and respectful towards the academics as most of them are themselves former academicians, do you all seriously think that you will be accorded the same respect and funds given out when you have to deal with the bureaucracy? In such a scenario it will happen like before that whoever is well connected will get all the funds and people who are genuine workers will be left getting frustrated or leave the country for good. For once in the life of this country things were being done purely on merit, taking under consideration that all provinces need to be developed to the same level and we now want to destroy that as well.
Do you all seriously think that the sons/daughters of the poor will be sent on scholarships when the secretary will be controlling them? Only sons of the influentials will go, I can assure you. Before HEC a long time ago when the S&T scholarships were announced I applied for the Biology scholarship, passed the written but in the interview they did not award me the scholarship and gave it to a Medical doctor who was the son of a General from NWFP (BTW I am from the same province so the argument of awarding a scholar from a lesser developed province did not hold here), I was subsequently awarded an American Welch foundation scholarship, so it meant I was good enough for an American but not a Pakistani scholarship, what does that really tell you?
Merit will be out of the door if bureaucracy starts handing things be it at the center (as proposed) or at the provinces. This is what our fight is all about. The present team at HEC is composed of highly qualified people, who are a rarity in Pakistan and I can assure you will not be available in any subset if we try to establish things on a regional level, let things be centralized so we don’t have to beg the bureaucracy for our rights.
Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar, T.I.
Dean of Research & Innovation
COMSATS Institute of Information Technology
Park Road, Islamabad
On Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 4:35 PM, nadeem abbasi <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I think the debate on HEC devolution is deviding our community into different groups on basis of who got what amount of benefit from HEC in past. Those who could get lesser share are angry and .... But we are not realizing the consequences on long term basis if HEC will be dissolved, who will handle the higher education policies in provinces????
We can accept the devolution but before that we should be taken into confidence for future plan. We have reservations and I believe same concerns will be from all the university teachers of Pakistan that is:
+ Who will be given the authority in provinces to deal with universities for providing research grants, scholarships, developing and maintaining standards etc.?
+ If this authority will be given to the beaurocracy of the provinces that is education secretary etc., then the red tape starting from section officer through deputy secy., Ad. Secy., Joint Secy, Secreatary and then back through same channel etc. will not allow our faculty and researchers to think of getting such things in honourable way on merit. At first moment in secretariat, the section officer will try to show his powers to the PhD faculty, so Dr. sahib can realize his/her value.
+ Sir if it is necessary to dissolve the HEC then Govt. should give a plan showing that same type of HEC like authorities are going to be established in provinces which will be headed by professionals having reasonable experience in university teaching/reseearch and will be directly under the respective Chief Minister not under the secretary.
+ The good thing in HEC which we experienced is its style of work. HEC employees work in a progressive manner like advance countries. They respond to the querries even sent by emails. They try to keep matters transparent. The high officials of HEC also personally answer to the emails and telephones. They give respect to the teachers and students and have no education complex. They understand us and we understand them.
+ The university teachers are therfore requested to convince our elected parliamenterians that if they are committed to dissolve the HEC then give us same sort of set up in provinces which should not be under any red tape but directly to the chief executive of the province.
+ Secondly, this debate has also highlighted certain defects in present system of HEC. I think the reforms can be introduced in HEC to make it more acceptable for all the provinces. Like scholarship quota for each province, research grants can also be distributed on share basis etc. and then can be kept centralized HEC depending upon the decision of lawmakers as regulated by people of Pakistan.
+ The conclusion of my present mail is that the higher education system should remain autonomous, under highly educated, experienced and visionary persons working directly under the chief executive to provide a free and fair working environment to educationists/researchers in all units of Pakistan and it should not be handled by people who themselves are ......
Nadeem Akhtar Abbasi
Department of Horticulture
Post Code 46300