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PESHAWAR: Caretaker Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Former Justice Syed Arshad Hussain Shah has directed the concerned authorities to complete the composition of the concerned search committee on emergency basis, in order to start hiring against the vacant posts of the Vice Chancellors in the public sector universities of the province.

He issued these directives while presiding over a meeting regarding reforms in higher education sector held here at Chief Minister’s House the other day, said a press release issued here on Sunday.

Caretaker Provincial Minister for Higher Education Dr. Qasim Jan, caretaker Minister for ST&IT Dr. Najeeb Ullah and other relevant officials attended the meeting whereas Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Nadeem Aslam Chaudhry, Secretary higher education Arshad Khan and higher education expert Anwar Gilani also attended via video link.

Various matters related to reforms in higher education sector with special focus on the financial issues of the universities, quality of education and research projects, appointment of vice chancellors and improving examination mechanism came under discussion.

The chief minister underlined the need to give special consideration to the administrative skills of candidates along with merit and other legal requirements for the appointment of vice chancellors adding that it is imperative to improve the management and governance of universities in order to have all time solution to the administrative issues as well as financial crunches being faced by universities in the province.

The Chief Minister has emphasized the need to promote research activities in line with international standards and market requirements, and directed the quarters concerned to determine the research priorities for this purpose. He also directed them to review the financial problems faced by universities across the province and come up with a realistic report to this effect.

“We have to take concrete steps to make our higher educational institutions sustainable and self-reliant”, he remarked and added that we need to develop proper financial plans for this purpose; and implement in letter and spirit. He stressed the need to address all the factors causing financial crunches for these universities on urgent basis and said that no further delay and negligence is affordable in this regard.

The Chief Minister said that the future of our young generation depends on the quality of educational and research adding that we need to streamline our higher educational institutions keeping in mind the requirements of the modern age.

CM made it clear that it was the need of hour to encourage the research projects in priority areas and to gradually align our research system with globally compatible research; and we need to promote research projects keeping in view the supply and demand principles for this purpose.

The Chief Minister maintained that elementary and secondary educational institutions are playing an important role as feeders for higher educational institutions, and that’s why education system at this level also need to be aligned with the priorities of higher educational institutions.

The meeting agreed in principle with the proposal to improve the procedure for appointment of the chairmen and controllers of education boards in the province. However, the chief minister has directed the concerned authorities to come up with final proposal in consultation with all the stakeholders.

He also directed for necessary steps to market the research products and said that the initiative will not only encourage the research scholars but will also be helpful to address the financial issues of the respective educational institutions.

The participants also agreed in principle to the proposal regarding encouragement of the vice chancellor and allied staff for holding market-based research projects and decided that a cell already established at higher education department for the purpose will be strengthened.

It was also agreed in the meeting to have close contact with the relevant authorities in the embassies with the purpose to prepare human power in line with the demand of modern markets abroad.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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