Sharmila Farooqi says none of the country’s public-sector universities are at par with the world’s best universities
KARACHI: Despite lapse of five years after the 18th Amendment decentralised the higher education commission, there is still a tussle going on between the federal and provincial governments over its functioning, which is one of the reasons that quality of education in the country is not getting better.
These views were shared by adviser to Sindh CM Sharmila Farooqi on Friday. She was speaking to a gathering of universities’ vice-chancellors, other academics and students at a seminar, titled ‘Higher Education in Pakistan: The way forward’, organised by Sindh Madressatul Islam University at Marriot Hotel.
“As of now, only two provinces, Sindh and Punjab, have established their higher education commissions,” said Farooqi. “Out of these, only the former’s is functioning as an independent, fully fledged institution, while Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have yet to establish theirs.”
Read: Way forward: HEC chief stresses quality in higher education
Deploring over the education and literacy system, she said that one of the most pivotal issues in the country was quality of education.
She was of the view that none of the country’s public-sector universities stood amongst the world’s best universities. To cope with this shortcoming, she suggested, the academics needed to update the curriculum continuously at all levels.
Sindh senior minister for education Nisar Ahmed Khuhro seconded Farooqi’s opinions. “We have yet to pick up the pace to move forward,” he said. Tokyo alone has around 500 universities, which, according to Khuhro, shows that Japan has education among its priorities.
According to former Sindh University vice-chancellor Prof Mazharul Haq Siddiqui, primary education should be emphasised in order to improve higher education. “Primary education is basic and yet prime education,” he said. “If the basics are strong, advanced grades will be stronger for sure,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2015.