ISLAMABAD: Owing to the non-appointment of heads of various departments, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) is facing severe management and policy issues, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.
The HEC is an independent, autonomous, and constitutionally established institution for primary funding, overseeing, regulating, and accrediting the higher education efforts in Pakistan.
Sources privy to the development told Pakistan Today that various departments are functioning without heads due to which the commission is facing severe management and policy issues. They said that Information Technology DG, Research and Development DG, Services DG, and Quality Assurance Agency DG are among the few important posts which are lying vacant.
The sources said that since other officials were assigned additional charges, that not only caused frustration among these officials but also badly disturbed the working of the commission. They added that the commission is receiving complaints from the people on a regular basis mainly due to non-appointment of heads of various departments, but of no good.
The HEC is responsible for formulating higher education policy and quality assurance to meet international standards, as well as accrediting academic degrees, development of new institutions, and uplift of existing institutions in Pakistan, therefore, the vacant posts should have been filled long ago.
A senior official said that the HEC launched a number of good initiatives, such as online degree attestation system through which the applicants can apply to have their degrees attested, for which the commission created a new portal to be used by the applicants. He added that the system was designed to facilitate degree-holders to save them from waiting in long queues to have their documents attested.
However, the official said that the students pass through a great ordeal because the link of the portal is not working most of the times and despite receiving complaints on a daily basis, no action has been taken to fix the problem.
He also said that the HEC has started another good initiative called Education Testing Council which conducts free of cost tests for various posts, but all such good moves prove counter-productive due to ill-planning and non-filling of the concerned posts.
The official lamented that the situation is similar in all departments which are without a head, hence there are resentments among officials because some undeserving officials were given additional charges.
When contacted, HEC Director (Media) Ayesha Ikram simply replied that the posts have been advertised.