LAHORE - The four-year BS (Hons) programme, started with great fanfare in 26 autonomous colleges of Punjab, is now facing extinction, as 80 to 90 percent students of different disciplines have left the colleges due to uncertainty and lack of sufficient infrastructure, it is learnt.
A teacher, who is coaching a BS (Hons) class at MAO College, said that about 90 percent students, enrolled in different disciplines including science, arts, commerce and information technology had left the programme . He said the college had no ability to run the semester system programme . Moreover, he said, the semester system which was being practised in the colleges was not really semester system at all. “The semester system is supposed to be a teacher-oriented while the system, run by colleges, is university oriented as the university conducts the examination and the teacher has only 20 marks out of 100 in his hand,” he said. He further said the Punjab University delayed almost all examinations due to which students had become disappointed and left the college. He said the university had failed number of students in second semester due to which a huge number of students left the college and opted for the two-year BA degree instead of four-year BS (Hons).
The teacher said that the MAO College had admitted about 1,200 students in four-year BS (Hons) programme last years and more than 900 students had left the programme . He said the college lacked sufficient faculty to teach the students. “Mass Communication Department of MAO College does not have a single permanent faculty member and even the does not have a head of the department. The students of the department are being taught by young contractual teachers who do not have any experience in teaching. The department had enrolled about 90 male and female students last year but now merely 20 are studying,” he said.
An official of Punjab Higher education Department, seeking anonymity, said that the programme had started without proper homework and planning. “There was need to uplift the colleges first and then start the semester system,” he said.
The educationists said if the Punjab Higher education department did not take immediate measures to save the BS (Hons) programme, being run by 26 autonomous colleges, the experience may fail in recent academic year. They said the department should ask the colleges to enhance the capacity and infrastructure and appoint more teachers in order to meet the requirement of semester system. And, they said, the universities should conduct examination and declare results on time also.