The recent report of at least 23 campuses of private universities operating in contravention of the rules is just the tip of the iceberg. What is more ironic is the government’s inability to act against these universities because of the political influence of the owners of these institutions. The fact that these sub-campuses are not even fulfilling the minimum criteria of the federal and provincial higher education commissions is just astonishing and upsetting at the same time.

What else can one expect other than a compromise on the quality of education and required facilities on the campuses when education goes in private hands? The surfacing of the news report also exposes the validity of the claims that privatisation ensures quality. It is unfortunate to note that none of the private educational institutes in the country is among the top 1000 universities in the world. Besides, the irony of all ironies is that these few institutions are playing with the future of thousands of students when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is the ruling party.

We still remember the tall claims of our Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan regarding the imposition of an education emergency. But the depressing fact is that the quality of education is declining with every passing day. And the ruling party it seems does not think of education any more relevant for the progress of the nation.

Unfortunately, the few quality institutions in the private sector mask the reality of the poor quality of education offered by the vast majority of private sector institutions. There are grave social implications for this state of affairs as the large numbers of youth, despite spending years of their life and a huge amount of money, lack job skills in the very area in which they are trained. It is about time for the government to look into the matter and take all corrective measures in this regard.