The names change but the regime’s remain

We are at the cross roads of change. Are we really beginning to see and feel the much touted change as envisioned by our head honcho?

The social problems that beset our people dont seem to lessen. Are we destined to weather storms as it is, or with some saner elements who come as a reprieve in these seemingly difficult times will put their arm to the wheel in the unmitigating circumstance?

One needs the eye to actually entrust people who have practical knowledge and whose sayings consort with their actions. Men of substance so to speak.

Amidst other problems we now face more challenges as regards to education in private and public sectors. The constant pestering of the HEC (Higher education comission) is nothing but adding salt to the wounds of owners of the private universities and other educational foundations. Everyday we have a litany of complaints by the students in the courts for rederessal of their academic issues. This legal recourse is tedious and vexatious. Have we ever seen any student taking any legal recourse while studying abroad? I guess little to none.
Why here then? It is only that we have inherent flaws which would deepen a students problem. Let alone the time and energy thus wasted in fruitless struggle.

There is no uniformity in education standards. It’s a tough job no less than a Herculean task to do so. It could be done provided certain parameters are maintained and rules set that are adhered to. Equal opportunities to all is the basic right of every boy or a girl, despite all socio-economic constraints. Undoubtedly the government finds it difficult to pursue this dream of every child born in this land of the pure.

There is so much that we owe to our private educational bodies which have over the years helped bring the educational standards to a reasonably good level.They have been the ones who bridge this unrealistic gap which otherwise would have been catastrophic.

HEC is a resourceful body which has its peculiar role to follow. This is an overseeing regulatory authority having its presence in Punjab and in Islamabad. I think we could benefit on the whole. The idea is to spread education across the length and breadth of Pakistan.

I sincerely believe they have colossal amounts to dish out. I do not doubt their intention at all. In Turkey they are inviting even foreigners to come invest. The resident will comit his land the foreign partner would invest, build and the booty will he shared equally. There will be a rapid development thus taking place and all shall reap dividends.

My point remains the HEC should not go witchhunting, it should rather pave way, in a more sympathetic manner and render invaluable contributions. Their personal control vis a vis private universities has been there from times immemorial. My observation is that the university owners become euchred because of the arm twisting methods employed by the HEC. This is purely from the owners point of view.

Remember we must act as soft passionate bodies to realize the objectives of a more congenial arrangement only to recreate a better understanding between the giver and the receiver. The HEC strikes once the horse is stolen away. It should rather come in contact once a university or any other faculty which comes under them is in its embryonic stage.

The present selection of Imran Masood as spokesperson of the association of private universities is timely and rewarding for those who are from the world of academia. For he has remained the educational minister formerly. He had, through his ingenious means convinced the head of the world bank who funneled 100 million dollars for a wide ranging educational programme in education. This was an uphill task but where there is a will there is a way.

Presently, he is a vice chancellor, a member of Punjab HEC and now the spokesperson for the private universities in Punjab. This is coincidental but surely he could pave way for rederessal of many problems that universities are confronted with.

Imran Khan must avail himself of this opportunilty to get around Imran Masood, make him do whatever is required. Seek his advice, or maybe Imran Masood could be asked to liaise between the Federal and Punjab government. A sort of conduit perhaps.

Remember once the erstwhile President General Musharraf, had some misunderstanding over certain privileges which were being denied to Agha Khan University by Ministry of Education, which was headed by Imran Masood then? Imran was the only person who faced Musharraf and he put before him the interest of Punjab and its socio-cultural values. He had a tête-à-tête with Musharaf.

Agha Khan is coming up with their way too modern curriculum which was very open and not in keeping with our norms and values. Imran had convinced General Musharraf who comprehended the problem completely. The curriculum was therefore, done away with. Better sense prevailed. Thus, the Punjab Government and the Ministry sailed through those turbulent times because of a man who was forthright and downright persuasive.

You have to have the right people to deliver without having any of their own axes to grind. Well done Imran Masood. Our support with you for your new undertaking. We know you will do your best and put your heart and soul into it. We require you to resolve all pending issues between the conflicting parties, which may consequently ease pressure on the owners of the schools, colleges and univetsities.

After all we love our country, the people, most of all the educators who have done a commendable job. Imran has been part and parcel for according charter to many universities now operating as very successful ones. Your presence now must fully remove all irritants for forging alliances between the government and the private entities who operate in their spheres.

Good luck!


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