Saturday, September 18

4-year BS (Honours) irks teachers, students

Though government has gone ahead with the recently launched 4-year BS (Honours) programme, but it has generated strong reaction among teachers and students alike since they consider it discriminatory and riddled with problems, as it has been implemented in 26 colleges while neglecting the rest.
Now, these colleges have virtually closed admissions of students seeking admission in 2-year programme since the 4-year BS (Honours) programme has been initiated from academic year 2010-11. This has been done so after a letter from the Secretary Higher Education as per which these colleges have been directed to stop admission in the 2-year programme, and instructing them to give admissions to students in 4-year programme only.
Seeing this, teachers and students have resorted to protests, demanding that the old system should continue since the government was ill-prepared to carryout the programme. Secondly, they also see that the number of admissions would be drastically reduced though these colleges’ administrators negate it.
About the impending affiliation from seven universities, the administrators are optimistic that they would get nod for this, which is being deemed impossible by adversaries, who think that these universities – especially when PPP’s governor is the Chancellor of these institutions – will hesitate in extending affiliations. It is also doubt that colleges’ administrators were in contact with the universities in this regard.
“Since these colleges are in the process of giving admissions to these students, and if the universities slack in granting affiliations, then there will be another crisis,” opined a teacher, who sees blatant contradictions in the government’s claims of revolutionising the education sector where an equal opportunity is available to all, especially in the higher education sector. “This is like bifurcating the public sector education, and creating elite among the educated from these institutes, who will get 4-year degrees, while the rest will be the same old ones,” averred the teacher.
He also pointed out for the 4-year programme the government is yet to develop an infrastructure, including labs, hostels and rooms. “Already these colleges are facing dearth of classrooms, and when these students will be there for four years and more following them, then these colleges will not have space to accommodate them,” he observed.
In the same vein, he pointed out the colleges do not have enough strength of teachers to cater to the ever-growing number of students. “So far, the government has not recruited educationists despite the fact that a large number of vacancies are lying vacant,” he maintained.
Moreover, ahead of the launch of the programme, the Education Department has already notified Boards of Governors – comprise nine official members and seven non-official members – in all 26 colleges selected for the ambitious plan of imparting quality education. “This also problematic area considering that fact that quite a few members have less to do with education. Consequently, they will their own means and issues to deal instead of contributing to the education sector,” opined the educationist.
The BoGs will now prepare rules and regulations for the programme. However, for their convenience, the Education Department has already drafted a document while improving the already available rules and regulations of the autonomous institutes.

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