HEC gimmicks

Chairman Higher Education Commission, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad while discussing the research and academic activities with the faculty of Women University Swat, urged result oriented research in higher education institutions. There is no denying the fact that universities should work as the centers of quality research and imparting contemporary knowledge to the students. HEC acts like a mother who does not keep a vigil on her children for their mistakes. The university faculties are deliberately shunning their responsibility of equipping the youth with modern education.

The Public Sector Universities have no encouraging environment for research and imparting education. The science laboratories are in a very pathetic condition and are not equipped with recent technologies and much needed chemicals. HEC always roar a slogan of quality education and research but in reality its role is dismal in this regard. It provides funds for the construction of new buildings at the campuses but not for the scientific equipments. The University Syndicates is synonymous with medieval age monarchy as they are above the law of the land and is accountable to none. The faculty members of reputed public universities like Islamia College University and University of Peshawar spends most of their time in useless gossips in staff rooms and is least interested in academic activities. Any faculty member with a progressive charm and is keen to facilitate the students in academics and research is treated like a social pariah by this powerful cliques of syndicate.  There is no mechanism of reward and punishment devised by the HEC. Moreover, its claim of quality assessment is merely a charade as most of the representatives of HEC that conduct annual performance evaluation have informal friendships with the management and the faculty. Hence, they turn a blind eye to inefficiency and shortcomings in these institutions. There are many concrete allegations of under the table dealing between the supervisors and students to provide ready made data for the research. The supervisors allotted to the students are on the discretion of these faculty members and students’ opinion of choosing his supervisor is not entertained and often struck out of the park. They demand a standard from their students but on the other hand do not take a pain to properly vet the research proposals and theses. Moreover, internal supervisors abnormally delay the editing of theses submitted to them as there is no check and balance system of provision over the teachers. The university management is also refraining from follow-up action for the timely vetting and return of the theses. In addition to this, the external supervisors always postpone thesis defense of the student. As a result, students complete their degrees of 2 years and 4 years in 4 years and 6 years, respectively.

The students who peruse their PhD in their home country are completely at the mercy of their supervisors and they do not timely send the thesis to the external evaluators. The students are also confronted with acute problem of publishing their research in international journals because they out rightly dismiss their articles purely due to Pakistani background. In case a student research paper is accepted by the international journal, the HEC does not provide financial assistance in this matter. Last but not the least, the young brain-child of digital library constructed by the HEC only contains open-access and low impact factor research publications. If they are really interested in elevating the quality of research, they must remove the barriers of finance, research technologies, open correspondence and access to premium quality research articles by acquiring subscriptions. As 21st century is the century of knowledge explosion and new inventions are taking place within a split second, so it is mandatory for HEC to perform its due role in the promotion of modern education rather than verbally stating the obvious.