CSS 2017 Solved Pakistan Affairs Past Papers | Enumerate the Measures adopted by HEC for Promotion of Higher Education and Qualitative Research in Pakistan.
The following question of CSS Pakistan Affairs 2017 is solved by Anum Bajwa under the supervision of Miss Nirmal Hasni. She learnt how to attempt 20 marks question and essay writing from Sir Syed Kazim Ali, Pakistan’s best CSS and PMS English essay and precis teacher with the highest success rate of his students. This solved past paper question is attempted on the pattern taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory and optional subjects for years, and uploaded to help aspirants understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.
2- An overview of the role of the Higher Education Commission (HEC)
3- Measures adopted by HEC for the promotion of higher education and qualitative research in Pakistan
- ✓ Vision 2025
- ✓ The higher education development in Pakistan project
- ✓ The Research Grant Framework
- ✓ The Higher Education Management Information System
- ✓ Quality assurance agency (QAA)
4- Problems of higher education in Pakistan
5- Future course of action
Answer to the Question
The burgeoning history of the educational system of Pakistan echoes an ambivalent image of educational practices as well as vague policies at every stage. In 2002, the University Grants Commission (UGC) was replaced with the Higher Education Commission (HEC), and the focus of the government of Pakistan pivoted towards providing higher education. HEC has come forward with a pragmatic and conclusive approach to eradicate education-related concerns. The prospective goal is the achievement of a high-quality educational system to progress along the global educational framework. HEC, therefore, has introduced a variety of plans, programs, and projects in order to attain its goals. For example, designing of curriculum in accordance with the global perspective, admitting foreign academicians, underpinning, funding, and supporting arts, humanities, social sciences, IT, and their research domains, and domestic as well as foreign scholarship scheming are among the major roles contributed by HEC in promoting higher education in global perspective. However, there are a number of challenges faced by higher education in Pakistan, including a lack of professional training and funds allocation, impeding the country’s path towards achievement of its goal. Thus, it is high time that a more integrated and scientific approach must be deployed to overcome the challenges faced by the education sector in Pakistan in order to make the country reach the zenith of glory.
An overview of the role of the Higher Education Commission (HEC)
HEC is an independent and autonomous institution which was established in 2002 through an amendment to the constitution. Its role is mentioned below.
- Establish strategies, basic principles and goals for the enhancement of the socio-economic growth of universities
- Recommend terms and conditions through which institutions can be established and governed, even those not within the government education system.
- Promote the progress, in a research-enhancing way, of interconnections between universities, industries and international and domestic associations.
- Evaluate the selection and distribution of degrees, certificates, and diplomas issued by national and international institutions.
- Promote accessibility for faculties through national and foreign interactions, develop initiatives including the distribution of funding to create scholarships and financial aid, as well as visiting professorship programs or other similar programs.
- Support systematic affiliations between public institutions to use the expertise and advanced facilities most effectively and to foster regional and international relations in the areas of information sharing, strategic analysis, resource exchange, and cost-sharing.
Measures adopted by HEC for the promotion of higher education and qualitative research in Pakistan
1- Vision 2025
The government has formulated a long-term roadmap as Vision 2025 for a developed and prosperous Pakistan addressing key sectors of the country. The Vision 2025 stands on 7 Pillars. Pillar-I emphasized developing human and social capital. It seeks to bring human resource development to the top of the national agenda by substantial expansion in levels of education as well as improvements in the quality of education. A larger share of the GDP, at least four per cent, to education would have to be allocated. Key goals under this pillar are
- Universal primary education with 100 per cent net primary enrolment
- Increase higher education coverage from seven per cent to 12 per cent
- Increase the number of PhDs from 7,000 to 15,000
2- The higher education development in Pakistan project
HEDP is a World Bank-supported project (USD. 400 Million). It is assisting HEC in key strategic areas of research and development, improving the quality of higher education and support to affiliated colleges, leveraging technological resources and capacity building of faculty/ staff through the National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE).
The HEDP project has the following key development objectives
- To support research excellence in strategic sectors of the economy
- To improve teaching and learning
- To strengthen IT/governance in the higher education sector
3- The Research Grant Framework
The Research Grant Framework, an initiative of HEC, offers research grants to creative researchers to assist them in research pursuits. The funds included the Grand Challenge Fund (GCF), Local Challenge Fund (LCF), Technology Transfer Support Fund (TTSF), Innovative & Collaborative Research Grant (ICRG), National Research Programmed for Universities (NRPU) and Technology Development Fund. The HEC has revamped of National Research Framework for the promotion of academic as well as applied research culture in higher education institutions to address significant societal issues and boost internationally compatible research for a sustainable and progressive research ecosystem in the country.
4- The Higher Education Management Information System
The Higher Education Management Information System has been also established with the purpose of automating all the manual processes and business of the department for high information among sections/offices of the department and hence for timely decision-making by the administration.
5- Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)
In order to promote, enhance and assure the quality of higher education across higher education institutions – HEIs- in Pakistan. Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) was established in 2005 by the Government of Pakistan through the Higher Education Commission (HEC). It is a policy-making and monitoring organization for the enhancement and assurance of quality in Higher Education Institutions. It is also involved in the systematic implementation of quality enhancement procedures/criteria to attain improved levels of international compatibility and competitiveness at institutional and program levels. HEC is providing funding and logistical support for making QAA fully functional. QAA manages the affairs in collaboration with the Quality Assurance Division of HEC, whereas the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC), comprising eminent educationists, serves as its Advisory board. QAA is working to safeguard the public interest by enforcing good practices in education and encouraging continuous improvement in quality in higher education.
Problems with the higher education in Pakistan
The first and foremost issue with higher education in Pakistan is less qualified teachers and lack of professional training. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, at the primary, secondary, and higher secondary levels, the profession of teaching is adopted by people who do not qualify for any other occupation. Moreover, the government of Pakistan has been allocating less than 4 per cent of the GDP to education, which is even below the ratio recommended by UNESCO for education and literacy. In addition, educational institutions were politicized partially, particularly in graduate and post-graduate institutions. This led to the perversion of the education system to its very roots. The intake of students, the appointment of teachers and administrative staff has been politicized. Educational institutions have been converted into political hubs and breeding grounds for narrow, subnational vested interest politicization. Last but not least, lack of educational motivation, counselling and guidance is one of the key problems in the Pakistani education system. No matter how qualified the teachers are, their training in educational counselling and guidance is needed as an important input.
The future course of action
- For the improvement of education at a higher level globally, faculty of colleges, as well as universities, must devise a strategy subject to delineating fair and equitable methods and unbiased techniques of culpability.
- The Higher Education Commission must possess an external advisory committee for the guidelines of decision-making procedures and to ensure the transparency of such decisions.
- The external committee of HEC must find out the suitable methods and programs to be implemented to guarantee success.
- The bodies of national accreditation should seek to investigate the educational sectors in accordance with the international criteria and also endorse the educational sectors more meticulously.
- Research must be planned for the whole state.
- Educational costs for every understudy must be computed prudently so that the students can manage the funds in accordance with them.
- The funds of the Higher Education Commission for educational institutions must be established in relevance to the degree programs as well as the ranks of faculty.
In a nutshell, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in Pakistan has implemented various measures to promote higher education in the country, including Vision 2025, the Higher Education Development project, and the higher education management information system for the promotion of academic as well as research culture in the country. However, there are still many challenges faced by the HEC owing to the lack of professional training of teachers and the politicization of the education sector. Thus, as there is no doubt that the future of nations rests with the potential of skilled and educated youth, HEC as a legitimate body should focus on strengthening the prevailing system by aligning higher education with the needs technologically driven world in the 21st century demands, making the land of pure to flourish in all realms.
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