LAHORE             -             Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) has decided to extend community college program to 27 institutions across the province, said PHEC Chairman Dr Fazal Ahmad while speaking at an interactive session with the principals of potential colleges on Monday.  Jahangir Ahmad, Director Public Instructions (DPI) Colleges and principals of 54 colleges attended the moot that was aimed at identifying 27 public sector colleges for launching the program.  Phasing out two-year BA/BSc degrees, community colleges program was piloted in nine public sector colleges at a cost of Rs96.228m. “Now the project is extended to 27 more public sector colleges”, the chairman said, adding, all colleges would be equipped with state-of-the-art smart classrooms. “A PC-I of worth Rs5.1m per college has been approved,” he said. Each of the 36 community colleges, nine existing and 27 new, would also be provided Rahnumai Marakaz for the career-related counseling of students, he said, adding, training workshops/refresher courses would also be organized for the principals, coordinators, and faculty of newly identified community colleges at PHEC Staff Development Academy.

“As already clarified by the Minister for Higher Education, no college will be privatized or handed over to Board of Governors. Only nomenclature is changed”, he said. Earlier, PHEC Chairman held a meeting with the principals of already established nine community colleges. Committee was constituted to oversee the process of procurement of furniture and other items.

“Principals, coordinators and 15 faculty members of the community colleges will be given an incentive of Rs50,000, Rs30,000 and Rs20,000 respectively”, Dr Fazal said.

He further added that 22 people would be sent to the United States of America (USA) for training in the current fiscal year. Principals were also told that the College Teaching Interns (CTIs) had also been hired for the colleges.