By now, almost everyone must have been affected by the Ã¢â‚¬Å“universities fiascoÃ¢â‚¬Â in Pakistan, in one way or another. If you haven’t, then let me summarize the scenario for your convenience.
The higher education regulatory authority of Pakistan, generally known as HEC ( Higher Education Commission), allowed every Pakistani Citizen with heavy pockets to start his/her own university/Institution . This lax behavior of the HEC resulted in a frenzy in which many sub-standard institutions were established.The mushrooming of these so-called Universities has given a major blow to the Pakistani education system in the long run. The criminal negligence and lack of surveillance on part of HEC will prove a disastrous recipe for thousands of students of such institutions.
The major issue is definitely of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“dhabaÃ¢â‚¬Â universities and institutions of Pakistan. Having done a close examination of such institutions, I have found some extremely surprising facts. Most of such institutions are set up in tiny rented apartments. If you take a peek inside, you would find hordes of students packed inside tiny rooms, supposedly getting world class education. The faculty and laboratory facilities are another sad story to narrate. The circumstances under which such institutions have been set up are marred in controversy.
The so-called Ã¢â‚¬Å“standardÃ¢â‚¬Â universities (privately run) being ranked highly by the HEC are not much different. I know many of my friends, who rejoiced over getting admission in such universities, are now repenting their decisions. HEC allowed these universities to introduce many new programs of engineering while they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have any laboratory and faculty to meet the relevant criteria. Although they have built up the labs and developed the faculty gradually but the early batches missed the oh-so-necessary hands on training. The ever increasing academic charges also add to the miseries of the students. The examination and evaluation system is also flawed, thus forcing many brilliant students out of the institution.
As far as the Ã¢â‚¬Å“SarkariÃ¢â‚¬Â universities are concerned, the lesser said the better.
Coming back to the issue of Ã¢â‚¬Å“phonyÃ¢â‚¬Â universities, HEC published a list of institutions last year, which it said will be closed down by the end of 2006, if they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t improve their standards. The list of such institutes ran into hundreds and included many well-advertised ones. One wonders, was the HEC in deep slumber before, as it had not taken any rigid action in the beginning. The most amazing fact is that we’re almost in the mid of 2007 but many of the black listed institutes are still operational. People have found it an easy business to start a so-called university and earn millions by robbing students of their dreams and ambitions. They are also so well placed that no one can challenge their tyranny.
The major fear in my mind is that what will happen to the thousands of young students graduating from such universities. No one will prefer to hire students from institutions of dubious quality. They would be doing petty jobs after investing millions of rupees and most importantly the precious time in such institutions. Surely, HEC had published a list of such Ã¢â‚¬Å“fakeÃ¢â‚¬Â institutions in some newspapers but thousands have put in the hard earned money of their parents and their own future in such institutes. HEC is planning to close down these institutes, but where will these students go? ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a question thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really difficult to answer.