ISLAMABAD, July 30: The Senate Standing Committee on Education and Training has expressed its displeasure over the Higher Education Commission (HEC) authorities’ written refusal to attend a scheduled meeting. They argued that the HEC’s case has already reached the court.

A meeting is scheduled to take place Monday, at the Parliament House, with Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash to review the status of the commission. But, the HEC authorities have replied that they regret their unwillingness to attend the meeting, saying the matter on the agenda is too ‘sub judice’.

Nabi Bangash, the chair, came down hard on the commission saying:

“The behaviour adopted by the HEC was not only against parliamentary norms and practices, but also showed an egoistic approach. The committee holds the HEC authorities in high esteem, especially because it comprises of highly educated and respectable people, but the committee also expected a broadminded and appropriate attitude from them.”

He further said: “It was the standing committee who had recommended strongly to the government for the release of Rs6 billion for the commission, however, it released only Rs2 billion to meet the commission’s salary needs.”

“The role of the committee is both of a facilitator and a regulator, but now we will have to redefine how we deal with the HEC in the future,” he warned.

Secretary of the ministry informed the committee that the government wanted neither to devolve the HEC, nor interfere with the functioning of the commission’s affairs, and added that the commission was doing a good job of promoting education at higher level.

Later, officials of the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) held a briefing with the committee on their efficiency, and explained that the education board was meeting all its budgetary requirements through student fees without accepting aid from the government or any other organisations. This not only won applause from the committee members, but also stabilised their temper.

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