The Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education, Professional Training, National History and Literary Heritage was told Wednesday that the government was looking to shifting the budget allocated for the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) from development to non-development to making it a permanent project.
This information was shared with the committee by Federal Minister for Education, Professional Training, National History and Literary Heritage Shafqat Mehmood, who assured the committee that the government was looking towards shifting the budget allocated for this programme from development to non-development thus making the project permanent. The Higher Education Commission was asked to ensure appointment of vice-chancellors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa universities on merit.
The committee, in its meeting held here at the Parliament House, discussed the details of appointment of vice chancellors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the proposed PSDP by the Ministry, the Dyslexia Special Measures Bill, 2019, hurdles being faced by the students of Balochistan and issues pertaining to NCHD teachers and the University of Islamabad Bill, 2020.
Chaired by Senator Rahila Magsi, the meeting was attended by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Senator Prof Dr Mehr Taj Roghani, Senator Samina Saeed, Senator Engr Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi, Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Senator Javed Abbasi and senior officers from the Ministry Federal Education, Professional Training, National History and Literary Heritage, HEC, NHCD along with all concerned.
The committee deliberated over on point of public importance raised in the Senate by Senator Javed Abbasi regarding appointment of vice chancellors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa universities, alleging irregularities in the process. The committee directed HEC to look into the matter and give clear cut directions that all appointments must be done on merit.
The forum also discussed the Dyslexia Special Measures Bill, 2019, which was moved by Senator Samina Saeed in the Senate sitting on 06 January, 2020. It was unanimously approved by the committee.
On the point of public importance regarding salaries of NCHD teachers, raised by Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar in the Senate on 06 January, 2020, the committee was informed that the NCHD had submitted the revised PC-1 to the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (Feeder Teacher Salary Component), which after completing the code formalities at their level forwarded the PC-1 to the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms in May 2019, for the period of July 2019 – December 2019.
It was told the programme is funded by the PDP since 2013 through PC-1 titled improving Human Development Indicators in Pakistan (Education related) with focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), run by NCHD.
The committee stressed the need for the project to be made permanent and increase the salaries of teachers working for the project.
University of Islamabad Bill, 2020 was discussed in the meeting while Senator Mehr Taj Roghani and Senator Rukhsana Zuberi stressed the need for allocation of seats for less developed areas and said that regulation must be put in place for this and to this, Minister Shafqat Mehmood assured the committee of compliance.
Scrutinising the PSDP proposed by the ministry, he formed the committee that the main objectives of development projects were to introduce a single curriculum all over the country, increase literacy rate and reduce out of school children, introduction of contemporary education in religious seminaries, introduce skills education, as a new stream for matriculation examination in IC, GB and AJK, introduction a system of uniform assessment of students at boards of Intermediate and Secondary of Education and enhance learning skills of students through introduction of technologies.
Senator Rukhsana Zuberi was of the opinion that more funds should be allocated for skills/technical education projects. Details of the Hunarmand Pakistan Program were shared with the forum, which directed the ministry for an exclusive meeting on the Programme in the next meeting.
The committee discussed the point of public importance raised by Senator Mir Kabeer Muhammad Ahmed Shahi, regarding problems faced by the students in Balochistan, who were awarded the PM Scholarship Programme from Balochistan’s 32 districts in 2011.
These students were admitted to well reputed institutions; however, their fees has been delayed due to which certificates of these students have been withheld. He emphasised that this programme must be continued for the next five years. The committee, directed the Minster, to look into the personally and have the fees waived so that students are facilitated.