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ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training on Thursday lauded the efforts of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for resolving the issue of teachers’ protest as they resisted the government’s move to bring the Federal Directorate of Education under the administrative control of the Municipal Corporation.

Senator Irfan Siddiqui, who presided over the meeting, said that the issue of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) schools could not be overlooked as the committee will keep monitoring the issue off and on.

About scholarships to the students from erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Balochistan, the panel unanimously, recommended the HEC to extend the date, so that the students form the backward areas could fully avail the opportunity.

“Around 20,000 to 25,000 students have been deprived of admission due to the portal closure date,” regretted Siddiqui, while strongly recommending extending the date for the closure of the portal.

It was also recommended by the committee that the issue of the provision of scholarships to students at the provincial level should be resolved on a permanent basis by holding joint meetings with the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) in accordance with the committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, the Planning Commission, and the HEC, with the recommendation for the representation of provincial government as well.

The committee chairman also sought a briefing from the HEC about devising a mechanism for the resolution of the grant of scholarships at provincial level.

“The HEC changes criteria every year, it is unjust that the present seats as well as seats from last year remain unfilled due to perfunctory changes in the criteria,” said Siddiqui.

Siddiqui said that the students who could make it to the medical schools last year should be accommodated according to the criteria as per admission criteria applicable last year.

The committee recommended allowing availing the 36 seats for the students who fulfilled the apt criteria from previous year apart from the 265 seats allocated for the new academic year.

The bills were deferred due to absence of the education minister. The committee members regretted the absence of the minister, saying he should have been here as the committee was supposed to discuss important bills.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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