By AZAM KHAN
ISLAMABAD – HEC is at the brink of collapse. After shelving the scholarship scheme, the Commission is likely to close some more operations due to stoppage of funds, well-placed sources told TheNation.
“Survival of HEC at stake, as its second quarter of operational expanses, amounting to Rs 3 billion, are also yet to be released,” sources added.
Earlier, the present government has approved a massive cut in the HEC funds, which resulted in halt of many developmental projects of the Commission across the county, including cancellation of scholarship scheme.
It is merit mentioning here that HEC nowadays has become a hot issue in the eyes of media.
The HEC’s operations included the provision of scholarships to fresh graduates and faculty members for MPhil and PhD, foreign faculty hiring scheme, research & development scheme, which provide grants to researchers, IT division, digital library to link universities with each other across the county, learning innovation scheme for skill development, linguistics and computer skill, establishment of new universities project in collaboration with foreign countries.
“Besides halting these operations, the non-cooperating attitude of the incumbent government would further badly damage the projects of newly-established universities like Karokoram, Hazara, Sargodha and many other universities in Sindh and Balochistan provinces,” sources disclosed.
However, they said that Attestation and Recognition Department, Quality Assurance, Curriculum Department of HEC would be working. Members Operational and Planning Department Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, when contacted confirmed that second quarter of HEC grants could not be released to the Commission yet.
He further said; “Yes HEC is facing severe financial crunch,” adding if prevailing situation persists, then HEC would not able to run its ongoing projects.
To a quarry, he said; “We have no other option but to cancel more operations running under HEC, across the county.”
Another HEC official told TheNation that criticising the HEC was an irrational approach, as to run its operations was responsibility of the government by providing resources to the Commission.
He said that if HEC would close its operations then certainly government itself would be responsible for loss of resources and decline in quality of education in the county.
He claimed that performance of HEC has been commended internationally, as currently many other countries were cooperating with the Commission.
“Under HEC Human Resource Development Scheme, more than 6,000 students have got MPhil- PhD scholarships. But if government is not ready to give importance to enhance quality of education then foreign countries would also stop cooperation with HEC,” he regretted.
Owing to lack of funds, now it is difficult for us to pay the salaries to foreign faculty members serving in different universities of the country. He said that under this programme, Foreign Faculty Hiring students of different universities were benefiting from the international experts, especially in science subjects.
“However, if HEC operations will be closed than certainly it would be unbearable loss for the education sector,” he warned.