ISLAMABAD-The Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training (FE&PT) has sought briefing by the Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood on single national curriculum, The Nation learnt on Wednesday.

The standing committee had put the matter on agenda and sought a detailed briefing by the minister himself on the issue.

The meeting of the committee was chaired by Senator Rukhsana Zuberi and discussed multiple agenda items including briefing by Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood, consideration of opening of Balochistan University in Qalat, problems faced by Balochistan students in availing scholarships and establishment of Live Stock University in Musakhel Balochistan. 

Secretary FE&PT informed the committee that the minister himself wants to brief the committee about single national curriculum. Secretary informed that the minister will invite the Senate body in the meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on FE&PT and brief both forums.

The committee decided to adjourn the matter till next meeting.

Senator Dr. Jahanzeb Jamaldini raised the matter of hurdles faced by students of Balochistan in availing scholarships specifically from the backward areas. He asked the committee to seek the detailed scholarships provided to students in the country.

 He also asked the committee to seek details from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) regarding implementation of merit while awarding the scholarships to the students. He also asked HEC to provide quota details allocated for the students from Balochistan and other provinces. The Senator also demanded the verification of lists of the students awarded the scholarships.

Senator Usman Kakar remarked that the rights of Baloch students are harmed when the people make forged domicile of the province and avail scholarships on Balochistan quota.

He demanded from HEC to facilitate the Balochistan students in availing the scholarships and help them take admissions in top 500 universities of the world.

The meeting also discussed the public importance matter raised by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed regarding including inappropriate remarks in the curriculum about specific communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Officials informed the committee that the matter was brought to the notice of the KP government and it will take action on it soon. Officials said that such books were also banned in Punjab province.

Chairperson Senator Rukhsana Zuberi remarked that all text book boards must be sent notices and negative material regarding communities should be eliminated from the course.

Senator Usman Kakar discussing the matter of establishing Livestock University in Musa Khel said that the provincial government has provided land for the establishing of university in Musa Khel but the work has not started because of non-availability of funds.

He said that the matter was being raised for the last three years as establishing the university will upgrade the living standards of the local community and bring employment as well.

Officials informed the committee that the provincial government still has to provide the charter of the institution as it will not proceed without it.

The committee recommended to expedite the process and also to increase the education budget to 4 per cent of the GDP.

The committee also discussed the matter of problems faced by B-Tech diploma holders in verification and acceptance of their degree. The standing committee formed a sub-committee comprising chairperson committee Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Beharamand Tangi and Senator Gul Bushra to discuss the matter and prepare a comprehensive report on it.