Lahore: Cabinet Committee for educational reforms in Punjab has formulated an action plan comprising policy statement and a strategic document having long term recommendations to revamp the school education as well as higher education on permanent basis to actualize the educational vision of Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif in the days to come.
The document finalized by the cabinet committee headed by Senior Advisor to CM, Senator Sirdar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, is aimed at making the education policy more cohesive and integrated in compliance with the futuristic development in the field of education. The cabinet committee has emphasized the need for setting up of Punjab Higher Education Commission as a permanent forum for serious dialogue on higher educational institutions modernization and reforms. The government will amend the cumbersome bureaucratic mechanism for the release of funding to simplify it up to every possible extend.
It has been recommended that community colleges be established at district level, the Boards of Management of the autonomous colleges be made functional while the management of ordinary colleges and schools in public sector would be coordinated in a more efficient manner through merger of schools education and higher education wings of the provincial education department. The committee has focused on consolidation of the existing universities rather than opening new ones with periodic evaluation of academic programmes. It has been narrated in the policy statement document that government of Punjab, under the dynamic leadership of Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, is committed to making education at all levels a lifelong learning experience for the students, improving quality of teaching, research and innovation, enhancing creativity and entrepreneurship and promoting equity, access, women empowerment, employability, social cohesion and responsible citizenship.
The cabinet committee has recommended to maintain the national language Urdu as medium of instructions at primary and elementary school level because of its significance as a tool of national integration while English should be a compulsory subject instead of medium of instruction at primary and elementary level. The cabinet committee has recommended to extend more remuneration to the teachers serving in public sector colleges where postgraduate classes are taught and to rationalize funds allocation for difference sub-sectors of higher education. It has also recommended to create curriculum review department in each and every university and establishment of subject specific committees to periodic review of curriculum of schools and colleges in the education department at provincial level.
It has been also recommended to designate three weeks mandatory training in a year for teaching staff to attain the goal of continuous faculty development. Each and every higher education institution would submit annual performance report according to eight quality assurance standards and will prepare three to five years strategic plan to improve the quality of education. The cabinet committee has emphasized to focus on strengthening the linkage of universities with industry so that solid research projects yielding beneficial results to the society could be accomplished. It has also been recommended that tuition fee may not be increased beyond a certain limit.
Instead of this, more number of needy students should be facilitated through scholarship from educational endowment fund and the universities should collaborate with corporate sector to become financially independent. The cabinet committee headed by Senior Advisor to CM, Senator Sirdar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa included Provincial Minister for Education Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Special Assistant to CM for Higher Education Syed Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Secretary Higher Education Punjab, Secretary School Education, Chairman Punjab Examination Commission, Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board and the Vice Chancellors of all the public sector universities besides various other eminent educationists.