ISLAMABAD – More than 70 faculty members of Balochistan universities having PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degrees left the province and shifted to other parts of the country in 2015 due to financial woes and security issues, says a rights watchdog.
The federal and provincial governments as well as regulator of the higher education have so far failed to pay salaries to them.
As many as 100 PhD faculty members are imparting education to students at various Balochistan universities.
In its annual report for 2015 launched recently, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), commenting on the state of higher education in Balochistan, said the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had constituted a special task force for Balochistan over a year ago, to evaluate and promote higher education in the province, but it failed to pay even a single visit to the province.
The report says that the federal and provincial governments as well as the HEC failed to give salaries to the faculty, what to talk of setting up a provincial HEC.
In July 2013, a special task force comprising eminent educationists was constituted by the HEC to evaluate and promote higher education in Balochistan. The idea to form a special body for the Balochistan was presented by the former Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch on July 25, 2013 during his visit to the HEC.
Following his meeting with the former HEC chairman Javaid Laghari, it was agreed to constitute a special task force, which would work to evaluate and promote higher education in the province.
The main task of the special task force was to evaluate and promote higher education in Balochistan so that it could keep pace with national standards. A task force, chaired by the HEC’s chairperson, was expected to assess the violence-hit province’s higher educational needs and to enhance the current infrastructure of its educational institutions. But later on this task force was made dysfunctional and could not visit Balochistan.
There is also an impression that Balochistan is a most deprived province in receiving HEC share but the commission officials deny the fact saying that the regulatory body allocates budget and makes policies on national level without any discrimination against any province.
According to the report, Balochistan was the worst performing province in most if not all areas of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well. As available data shows, Balochistan’s performance was dismal in health and education indicators. In MDG 2, in all three indicators net primary enrolment ratio, completion/survival rate and literacy rate, performance was lower than the national average and considerably behind the targets.
Published in The Nation newspaper on 14-Apr-2016