HEC to seek uniform system in institutions
Islamabad – The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has decided to review the two parallel faculty service structures in the universities to find a solution for adopting a uniform system in the institutions, The Nation learned on Wednesday.
Currently, two kinds of faculty service structure systems including Basic Pay Scale (BPS) and Tenure Track System (TTS) are implemented in the universities.
The TTS considered as the performance-based system was launched nearly 12 years ago by the HEC to encourage scholars towards research through introduction of higher incentives.
However, the experts informed The Nation that the system failed in fulfilling the targets and a large number of scholars fell short of the criteria of international performance based system in the universities. Officials said that in 12 years only 10percent of the faculty remained successful in getting the TTS.
However, the HEC has now finally formed a committee to review the service structure of both systems.
According to the letter issued, the committee will review the service structure of TTS and BPS faculty, identify and compare strengths and weakness of each system vis –a-vis its effectiveness for building quality in learning and research.
The committee will also review the performance evaluation system for the TTS and BPS faculty members and propose suggestions for improving its effectiveness.
The committee will ascertain accomplishments and challenges in implementation of TTS and BPS systems, and suggest remedial measures to overcome the limitations.
The committee has been asked to submit its report within 60 days.
The 13 members committee include Convener Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar Acting Rector Comsats university, Prof. Dr. Farooq Bazai Vice Chancellor (VC) Baluchistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS), Quetta, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Asif Khan VC, University of Peshawar, Prof. Dr. Sarosh Hashmi Lodhi, VC NED UET Karachi, Prof. Dr. Tasawar hayat, Chairman Department of Mathematics (QAU), Prof. Dr. Abdus Salam Univeristy of the Punjab, Prof. Dr. Zahid Anwar Univeristy of Peshawar, Representative of establishment division, representative of ministry of finance, Dr. Faisal Bari Lums, Dr. Mehboob Hussain President Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA), Musharaf Zaidi CEO Tabadlab and Muhammad Ismail consultant Quality Assurance Division (QAD) HEC as secretary of the committee.
President FAPUASA, Dr. Mehboob Hussain, who is also the member of the 13-member committee, said that only 10percent faculty of the universities is working on TTS since its launch and a number of issues are being reported.
He said that notable incentives were introduced for the faculty on TTS, but now the scholars on BPS are also doing research and two systems are clashing with each other.
The committee, he assured, will look into a strong opinion regarding adopting a uniform system and incentives should be given to the scholars after their evaluation, instead of before the evaluation.
He said the faculty on BPS is facing difficulties since despite their research and experience, their promotions are neglected. However, former President FAPUASA, Islamabad chapter, Dr. Shehzad Ashraf viewed that TTS required a review but the committee formed to find the solution itself is controversial. It is comprised of a number of officials who failed to bring any positive chnage for the researchers in the universities.
He said the Comsats has 80percent faculty on TTS who are suffering there because of their uncertain future and the head of the university has been made the committee convener.
He said that in TTS the evaluation criteria for natural sciences and social sciences is same, while the research facilities and research journals are not same in both fields.
“Performance of a scholar on BPS is neglected, while the TTS researcher is lacking its service record,” he said.
The TTS was not according to the ground realities of the country where there were less research facilities available in the universities for the PhDs.
He also added that the committee formed to search the solution
Former chairman HEC Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman, who introduced the TTS in the HEC talking to The Nation, said that TTS was introduced to encourage best brains for research and the idea was to gradually phase out the BPS from higher education system. He said, however, the universities didn’t implement the system in letter and spirit and two systems kept running in parallel.
Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman added that the TTS was giving nearly 300% above incentives to the scholars when it was lunched, but now difference between TTS and BPS has remained on 25percent.
He added that TTS in an internationally adopted performance based and modern system in which the performance of the researcher is evaluated from outside the country.