LAHORE, Dec 8: Punjab Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman has said he can “foresee” that the College of Home Economics will soon be upgraded as the first home economics university in the country.

The minister said the Punjab higher education department had already considered the proposal on the college upgrade and decided the institution should first be granted autonomy to experience administrative affairs’ handling at the institutional level.

Speaking at the 43rd convocation of the college on Saturday, the minister acknowledged that it was meeting new challenges upfront. He said the MPhil programme at the college would be a great boost to learning for the students. He hoped the CHE graduates would make a difference in the fields of their choice in practical life.

He also acknowledged that the college administration and faculty fully supported the government in holding seminars and workshops, including those on dengue awareness and hosting Punjab Youth Festival activities.

The minister said the chief minister kept his cabinet short to save administrative expenditures and allocated 26 per cent of the total Punjab budget for education. He said the investment in education would not only bring down the rate of unemployment but also help check extremism and terrorism in society.

He said he would seriously consider the proposals and demands of the college and ensure appropriate funding for the purpose.

Earlier, Principal Dr Samia Kulsoom said the college was imparting quality education to its students with a curriculum that was far more substantiated than those of most of other colleges. She said the college was providing students a broad base so that they could have ample choices for selecting a career.

Dr Kulsoom said the college had achieved its goal of successfully running its MPhil leading to PhD programme. For the first time, she said, one PhD and three MPhil scholars had been awarded HEC Fellowship to pursue their studies.

She said the college had established a Special Education Centre as a teaching laboratory, where special children were being imparted quality education.

The principal said the college would appreciate if the Punjab government could provide five scholarships annually for the position holders of graduate, postgraduate and M.Phil programmes for reputable foreign institutions.

She demanded the government should give a grant of Rs5 million for the repair and maintenance of the college building and construction of a shed for buses.

Earlier, the position holders in different disciplines were awarded medals and certificates, while some students were awarded rolls of honour. The degrees were awarded to 17 MPhil graduates, 139 MSc, 307 BSc and seven diploma holders.

College’s senior faculty members and employees were also presented shields and certificates as a token of appreciation for their services for the institution.

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