Govt’s decision to devolve HEC an act of disloyalty: Atta

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ISLAMABAD – Renowned educationist and former Higher Education Commission chairman Dr Attaur Rahman on Friday called the government’s decision to devolve the HEC to the provinces an act of disloyalty to Pakistan.
Addressing a press conference Rahman, who is also the chairman of the Council of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, said devolving the HEC to the provinces would be an attack on Pakistan’s educational structure. “In order to destabilise any country, you don’t need to directly attack it militarily. You just have to attack its educational system as the educational system is more important than the nuclear programme of that country,” he said.
He said that devolution of the HEC would take Pakistan 40 years back. Rahman said it seemed the government was going to devolve the HEC to teach a lesson to senior officials of the HEC over their bold stance on the verifications of the degrees of parliamentarian. He said the HEC existed in the Federal Legislative List (FLL) and under the 18th Amendment, only concurrent list was supposed to be devolved, but the government was ignoring the fact by devolving it.
He said the HEC had deep and multidimensional links to the national policy and planning, economic growth, defence production, industrial growth and in scientific and technical research. The performance of HEC could be gagged by the fact that it had produced more than 3,000 PhD scholars during the last 10 years while the country could only get 3,281 PhD scholars from 1947 to 2003, he said.
He said that India’s The Hindustan Times newspaper also wrote two articles on the HEC, giving message to the Indian government to monitor Pakistan’s HEC performance after 2000. Rehman quoted the article, “Pakistan may soon join China in giving India serious competition in science. Science is a lucrative profession in Pakistan.”
He demanded the government not devolve the HEC in the greater interest of the country. “Soon I will take up this matter with the Implementation Commission chairman and in case of failure of talks I will go to the court,” he added.
Meanwhile, a source in HEC said in order to save money in the upcoming budget, the government was going to devolve the commission, adding that if the HEC was devolved, there was a chance that the World Bank not release $400 million that it had approved for supporting education at all levels in Pakistan.

1 COMMENT

  1. Excellent. We should all support Dr A Rehman's stance. Education is the backbone of a country. Only disloyal to their country can do so.

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