JUST before its tenure came to an end, the outgoing Sindh cabinet approved the establishment of a new seat of higher learning, the University of Larkana. The project will prove to be nothing but another white elephant for the government to manage.
Currently, there are several universities with numerous campuses in various cities of Sindh. These existing universities are going through financial issues, and seriously lack research facilities that is a part and parcel of university-level education.
At the Quaid-i-Awam University of Engineering, Sciences and Technology in Nawabshah, for instance, teachers are often on strike due to non-payment of salaries. At the Sindh University in Jamshoro, there is hardly any research facility for the students. Natural science students face a dearth of laboratories or research material in their departments.
Previously, the campuses were formed to recruit favourite individuals of the ruling party in Sindh. These campuses further increased unemployment. Several students have engineering degrees, but, owing to lack of jobs and competitiveness of their institutions, they now suffer from psychological issues.
The new university project will only end up as a tool to accommodate the blue-eyed in administrative and faculty positions. Once the university gets functional, it will become a platform to issue worthless degrees that will be no good for the job market.
It is perhaps too logical for the decision-makers to understand that they need to first streamline the existing universities before planning new ones.
Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2023