PESHAWAR: The higher education department has decided to declare seven government colleges at divisional level as degree awarding institutions to bring improvement in quality of education, according to officials.
“All the state-run colleges would be de-affiliated from the public sector universities once the process of declaring government colleges as degree awarding status is completed,” an official in higher education department told Dawn.
He said that some government colleges in each divisional headquarters of the province were selected for the purpose. The rest of the colleges in each administrative division would be constituent colleges of that college, which would be given degree awarding status, he added.
Sources said that currently 182 government colleges were affiliated with 19 public sector universities in different parts of the province. They said that the number of students in those government colleges was 190, 000. The private colleges would continue their affiliation with the government universities.
The public sector universities haven’t enough time to fulfil the responsibilities of ensuring the quality of academics and teaching in their affiliated colleges, according to sources.
Officials say the move is aimed at improving quality of education
With de-affiliation of all government colleges from the public sector universities, the right to award degrees and conduct examinations, currently being enjoyed by the universities, would be given to the selected colleges.
The administration of the universities, especially the old ones, deem de-affiliation of government colleges a financial loss to them because the universities earn considerable amount from the college students through different fees including fee for examinations, awarding degrees, detail marks certificates etc.
The higher education department has selected seven postgraduate colleges including Government Postgraduate College Peshawar, GPGC Mardan, GPGC Abbottabad No.1, GPGC Kohat, GPGC Dera Ismail Khan and Government Postgraduate Jahanzeb College, Mingora for the purpose.
Those colleges would conduct examinations up to bachelor level -- the 16 years degree programme -- of the constituent government colleges. Such colleges would establish their own examination system, sources said.
For providing legal cover to the move, the higher education department has proposed a law titled “The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government Degree Colleges Bill, 2015”.
Preamble of the law states: “It is expedient to reconstitute and reorganise government colleges to provide for affordable quality higher education and to further improve their governance and management by ensuring accountability and transparency by upgrading selected government colleges into degree awarding colleges as government colleges at Abbottabad, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Haripur, Kohat, Mardan, Mansehra and Peshawar with prominent government colleges of respective districts constituting the main campuses and to make provisions for matters connected therewith and ancillary thereto.”
The proposed law states that the contents of this Act shall apply to Government Jehanzeb College Saidu Sharif Swat and other government colleges in Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (Pata) only after the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa issues henceforth regulations to that effect under the Article 247 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973.
Under the proposed law, these colleges will get academic autonomy, however, they will be dependent financially on the government. Different bodies including higher education executive council, academic council, academic department, higher education executive council and government degree college executive council will be also established under the proposed bill.
Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2015