LAHORE Civil society while condemning the governments decision to make the Higher Education Commission defunct and demanded its restoration at federal level for bright future of education in the country.
While addressing a press conference held at Lahore Press Club on Wednesday the office bearers of Association of Friends Kashif Murtaza Gondal Advocate and Dr Qaisar Rashid proposed that existence of HEC as federal institute is essential in order to create balance in the education system of the country.
The office bearers of Association of Friends demanded the government to make unanimous education policy for ensuring national integrity further demanding to establish quality education system in the country.
They, however, criticised the decision of the government regarding keeping HEC under the control of Council of Common Interest (CCI).
They said that UGC failed to achieve these two targets due to which World Bank and UNESCO expressed their regret in their report published in 2000 over poor education system and less research opportunities in Pakistan while HEC achieved both targets after its establishment in 2002 with upgrading education system in the country according to international standards.
HEC also introduced quality education system across the country equally and gave the equal status to degrees of all the universities of the country.
They said that before the establishment of HEC there were only 59 universities and other institutes which were awarding degrees while only 3000 PhD degree holders could be produced since the birth of the country while after the establishment of HEC, 73 new universities were established in the country which produced 3500 PhD degree holders only in eight years.
They said that HEC also promoted research culture in the country.
They proposed that CCI could remain away from HEC in case all the provinces agreed on the proposal.
They clarified that according to Federal Legislative list, HEC is relevant with CCI due to its functions and not because of its name.
They said that under Article 270-AA Constitution of Pakistan the status of HEC could be restored through act of parliament if MPs agreed.
They further proposed that HEC could be empowered through act of parliament to regulate or oversee education in the provinces through CCI.
HEC can be empowered through a presidential Ordinance instead of adopting this procedure through act of parliament.
While concluding they said that the performance of HEC revealed that the education system in the country flourished speedily and in case government let it work, the future of education in the country must be bright.
Meanwhile, Mustafi Students Movement also staged a protest demonstration in front of Lahore Press Club against the decision of government to transfer education powers to provinces by abolishing HEC.
Dozens students, carrying banners and placards were chanting slogans against government declaring such governments decision a conspiracy against the education system of the country.
They termed the decision of the government was based on revenge from HEC for exposing fake degree holder MPs.
They were of the view that such day in the history of education of the country would be remembered as black day.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 07-Apr-2011 here.