The PPP and HEC
News Post (The News, April 3- 2011)
It is ironical that while we harp on about declaring an education emergency in the country, we turn a blind eye to the devolution and fragmentation of the only institution that has brought recognition to Pakistani academics: the Higher Education Commission. In less than a decade, HEC achieved the establishment of merit-based education system and a standard of education, which, for the first time in six decades, elevated at least three Pakistani universities to the league of world’s top 500 universities. It was for the first time in the history of our country that the less-privileged were given access to funds and opportunities for higher education. The research base of the country was strengthened and standards were established for hiring and promotion of university faculty which further enhanced the standard of research and teaching in the country.
The present government, with education being the least of its priorities, is punishing the HEC for exposing its fake degree holders. Providing higher education to the masses would create enlightened individuals challenging the incompetence of the government. So, in true dictatorial style, they are bent on removing any signs of resistance from the deaf, blind and mute masses they would like to lead.
The PPP is bent on destroying the HEC. The ruling party has only destroyed state institutions in its three years of power. It is now trying to undo the little good that the Musharraf government did. I request the PPP to have pity on us.
For God’s sake, spare the country your half-cooked policy changes. Our future generations deserve a better Pakistan.
The livelihood of so many HEC employees would not be in danger today had its chairman agreed to toe the government’s line on the degree verification issue.
The PPP should stay away from serious issues like higher education. It should remain focused on projects like Benazir Income Support Programme where it could dole out money to keep its supporters happy.
Who would not agree with Professor Atta-ur Rahman’s views mentioned in his letter ‘Don’t shred HEC’ (News Post, Apr 1)? The only people who would disagree with him are the likes of Dr Zulfiqar Mirza who know very well that it is not education which is needed to make one a successful politician.
I wonder what the country will be like at the conclusion of the PPP’s term in 2013. One after another, it is destroying state institutions. Mr Zardari was right: democracy is indeed the best revenge.
In Karachi, the Sindh government has created a lot of financial problems for the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA). At the federal level, the PPP is now after the HEC. What is wrong with it? Why is it anti-education?