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Ayesha Areej

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The government has decided to further reduce the budget for Higher Education Commission (HEC) in the next fiscal year by 50 percent. The people of Pakistan were hoping for a constructive change in the field of education by PML-N after their condemning and criticizing statements against PTI’s policies. But this decision has taken everyone to further despair. PML-N has been speaking against the budget allocated to HEC by the PTI government which was 62.25 billion rupees. However, it has cut the budget by more than 50 percent making it Rs. 30 billion for the year 2022-23.

The circular was issued on Monday by the Finance Division stating the budget for the coming academic year. It asked the Higher Education Commission to prepare the budget statement according to what has been decided as the estimated budget for 2022-23 and submit it to the budget wing director of the Finance Division. However, HEC has clearly stated that the budget will never be sufficient for the running of universities and that it will paralyze higher education in the country. Also, it had demanded Rs. 100 billion for the smooth running of the public sector universities.  In the statement it said,

“The PTI government had already minimized the HEC budget due to which varsities across the country were facing severe financial crunch. Therefore, a further cut in the budget will monetarily paralyze higher education in the country as a majority of varsities have no capacity to generate funding for annual expenditures.” According to the statistics shared by HEC, there are 150 public universities in the country operating under this institute, 12 centers of excellence, 38 research entities, and many other centers. The funding that comes to HEC has to be used for all the research activities in the above-mentioned institutes and for other purposes.

This is such a huge crisis that under this budget HEC will not be able to fund universities. As a result, they might need to double their fees to meet the expenses according to some experts. The said budget is highly insufficient and might not be sufficient for even the proper functioning of the Higher Education Commission. Experts are of the view that the public universities will not be able to work on the development projects going on in different departments. It will also become difficult to hire new staff and carry out research activities.

If the decision persists and the HEC is forced to operate under the said budget, universities will have to stop offering new courses. This situation will not be less than a disaster for the education sector of Pakistan.

Related: VCs shocked over drastic budget cut for higher education

Millions of students in Punjab have been promoted to the next classes without receiving textbooks due to delays in the delivery of books because of the insufficient books printed by Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board (PCTB).

According to the reports, there have been management issues in PCTB due to which the printing of the books for grades six to nine has been affected. PCTB has given the time till August for the printing and delivery of books to the respective grades’ students.

Summer vacation is about to start and the teachers worry that giving the vacation homework without textbooks will not be possible. Likewise, parents have presented their concerns about the waste of their children’s time and lack of resources.

A representative of the Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) while talking about this issue said that the delays in the printing of books have happened due to the uncertain political atmosphere in Pakistan. Adding to the severity of the issue, the School Education Department (SED) and Higher Education Department (HED) of Punjab are functioning without regular ministers. This is directly affecting the education of students of all grades.

A senior official of the School Education Department while talking to a media house said, “There is a delay in the printing of books for classes six to nine and the books will not be available in the coming weeks. The reason is that there has been no meeting on printing the books due to the current political situation as we don’t know whether the books will be printed following the Single National Curriculum or the old curriculum.” He added that they have prepared most of the textbooks for compulsory subjects for primary grades and that they will be sent for distribution. Whereas for the classes sixth to ninth, they are waiting for the government’s instructions.

He also said that the current government should decide about the future of the Single National Curriculum but no meetings have been held for that purpose.

Related: Public schools in Lahore face a shortage of textbooks

The federal government has decided to remove the Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), Dr Tariq Banuri, from the post. The advertisement for the new chairman has also been issued by the government.

A new search committee has to be formed and the Federal Minister of Education, Rana Tanveer will lead it as the chairman. The vice-chancellors of some public universities will also be a part of the committee. They include Dr. Farooq Bazi, VC Balochistan University of Technology, Dr. Saima Hamid, VC Fatima Jinnah University Rawalpindi, and Dr. Zia-ul-Qayyum, Vice Chancellor Allama Iqbal Open University.

The new chairman is supposed to be hired under the new Amendment Act according to which their tenure will be two years.

Chairman HEC Dr Tariq Banuri was removed from his post last year in March under the same act. He was removed with immediate effect but the Islamabad High Court (IHC) restored him in January 2022 after he pleaded against his unjustified removal.

The last date for the submission of applications is 26 May, which gave the applicants four days after the advertisement. This is not a fair timeline because collecting the documents and attaining NOC from the previous institute takes considerable time. Many have criticized it but the deadline has not been extended.

Some experts are saying that Dr Banuri will most probably get an extension for ten months after 28th May, which marks the day of the completion of his tenure, until the new chairman is selected.

Related: HEC Chairman visits Karachi University

The University of South Asia (the USA) already confuses a lot of people with its name. The campus is a relatively small area where a very interactive environment is established. Life on the campus is much more fun than anyone has ever thought. Taking to some brilliant and fun-loving students, here are the fun facts that we have come up with.

  1. The first-day orientation in the fanciest room of the campus is all the elite treatment you get

You will get orientation on the first day at the University of South Asia in the fanciest room on the campus. This will be about big promises about the faculty and the management. But, once your classes start, you are thrown into the old D or C block.

  1. The ablution place behind the admission block on the campus is used for smoking during Ramzan

You cannot smoke in the cantonment during Ramzan. But how does that matter? You still have the ablution place on the campus which is widely used for smoking both by students and the teachers.

  1. Fashion department is more about celebrations and shelter for lovers than study

If you want to see the colors of the campus, go to the fashion department. Every day is about decorations and celebrations there. Not just that, the FD is also famous for providing shelter to the lovers of the university.

  1. The resource center is widely known as the graveyard of computers among students

The resource center has all the dysfunctional computers and old, broken chairs of the world. So, students have named it more appropriately as the graveyard of computers.   

  1. The backside of the library is the real patch up point for lovers and a card-playing point for singles

If your partner is not talking to you, the back of the library is the point to talk to them. Well, if you are single, use that place for playing cards.

  1. If you want to confuse people, just tell them you study in the USA and move on

The name of the university confuses a lot of people. So, if some annoying relatives at weddings or family get-togethers ask you about your university, tell them you are studying in the USA and don’t give any explanation.

  1. The FYPs have to be about AI, machine learning, and all subjects that you are never taught in the classes

The teachers expect you to do projects on subjects like Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. This is great only if they have taught you any of these subjects in the classes.

  1. There are no secrets in the USA, thanks to the small campus

Thanks to the small campus, the whole university knows what is happening with a student in a corner of the campus. So, there are no secrets and maybe that’s the reason they are better bonded to each other.

  1. The girls will always score higher no matter what

God knows what is wrong with the boys but they never happen to score higher than girls. At the end of your degree, it will always be a girl who gets a gold medal.

  1. You will hear the sounds of guitars now and then to chill your mood

The sound of music will serve your ears every now and then on the campus. You can feel pleasant but the opposite can also happen.

  1. The university is full of characters; you will get to see a glimpse of Hitman in the HR executive

The human resource executive of the university is the doppelganger of the Hitman. Get ready to meet him and other characters on the campus.

  1. The best thing about the university is actually the fries and lemonade that you get outside of it

The best thing about the university is not something within the campus. The lemonade stall and the fries stall outside of the campus are students’ favorite things.

  1. The Mall of Lahore is the second home for the USA students

The Mall of Lahore would have closed if the USA was not near it. It is literally the second home for the students of the campus.

  1. You will find students of every age group on the campus

This is so interesting that the university of South Asia encourages people of every age to study and facilitates them if they have to take their kids with them. So, you may find the two-year-old kid and a forty-plus woman taking classes.  

  1. Every spot has a name in the USA like “Ratta point” and “lovers’ point”

The campus is famous for having named every spot. For instance, there is a ratta point where all the ‘thetas’ can be found during the exam session, a point where heartbroken students can be located, and a point where lovers are enjoying their lives.

  1. You will see everything happening in the library except for studies

If you are going to the library to study, you might have to find a place on the floor because the chairs are filled with couples and groups of friends who are doing anything but study.

Related: 13 interesting fun facts about Kinnaird college

The Punjab govt has decided to cancel the land acquisition of 6500 kanal to Namal College in Mianwali. The chief Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Attaullah Tarar announced the decision on Tuesday.

He stated while addressing a press conference at 96-H Mannequin City that the former Prime Minister Imran Khan had acquired the shamlaat land in Mianwali forcefully and had not paid the charges to the locals, therefor govt has decided to cancel the acquisition of 6500 Kanals land to Namal Knowledge City. He also explained that Imran Khan misused his powers for attaining the land and wanted to use it for personal purposes.

Ataullah Tarar further said that since Imran Khan belongs to Minawali, he acquired this land for his personal use and the revenue that he attained from it has not been mentioned or registered anywhere.

Along with that, the chief PML-N stated that the former prime minister in the 90s acquired 8000 Kanal land for Shaukat Khanum Hospital from the then chief minister of Punjab, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. Moreover, he claimed that Imran Khan also applied for personal residence at Lahore Development Authority (LDA). According to Mr. Tarar, he submitted an application in the 80s asking the Director General LDA for a plot because he did not have a private residence in the country.

Tarar also answered certain questions about the current government’s position and its actions against the previous government. Answering a question, he stated that PML-N has submitted an application against former chief minister Sardar Usman Buzdar’s assets to Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE). Along with that, talking about Hamza Shehbaz, he said that he is the chief minister and will continue to serve.

Punjab University Law College (PULC) is one of the oldest departments of the university. It has produced countless graduates serving in different fields including the judiciary, bureaucracy, law, etc. Only the students who outperform in the entrance test are able to secure admission there. But what is it like to be a student of PULC? This is what the students say.

  1. Teachers are annoyed by you if you attend your classes daily

In the Law College of Punjab University, there is a trend of coming to the classes only once in a while. It is not only about students, everyone including staff members are so used to it that they get annoyed if they find a student coming to the college daily.

  1. If you find a girl in PULC, you are the luckiest person on Earth

PULC is like a boys’ college with two or three girls that you can easily spot in a class. So, it is very rare if you find the love of your life there. If you are a boy and get to be friends with a girl, you are the luckiest person on Earth.

  1. You will have to attend 7 am classes that you don’t want to miss

Yes, attending classes is not a trend in Law College. But sometimes, the classes are held early in the morning and you don’t want to miss them. Usually, these classes are conducted by professor emeritus and you will never find them coming late. So, it becomes an obligation to attend these classes.

  1. Get ready to be in an identity crisis after you graduate

After you graduate from Law College, you realize how tough the life of a lawyer can be. Most of the students reconsider their career choices and decide to appear in different exams. Whatever you decided at that stage, get ready to be in crisis.

  1. There are very few girls and Jamiat will not let you even sit with them

If you want to hang out with the two to three girls that you have in your class, know that it is no less than a challenge in PULC. Jamiat is the strongest moral police in the college and it will stop you from sitting with a girl even if it is a library.

  1. The dean of Law College is least interested in the college

The dean of law college is all good except that she is not interested in the college at all. There are a lot of problems that need to be addressed. Starting from old fans to the unavailability of air conditioners and renovation of certain rooms, the building needs a lot of improvements. Whenever you complain to her about the ACs, she will tell you that a new building is going to be constructed and that it will have air conditioners. Wait until your next generation comes to study here for this dream to come true.

  1. The teachers visit law college like a groom will visit his in-laws

This is what the students say about teachers. Like a groom only visits his in-laws on special occasions, the teachers of law college bother less to come to the college. That is the reason they don’t want to see students coming to attend classes every day.

  1. If you want to have all the students present in law college, one class would be enough

It is famous about law college that you could collect all the students of college present at a time in one class. What is the reason they don’t bother coming to the college? Well, if no one is bothered, why should they do. If you are considering joining Punjab University Law College, get ready to be a part of the boring yet chill department of the university.

Looking for more? Read interesting fun facts about Kinnared College

Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) has been serving for more than a century in higher education and has produced several qualified women in different fields. The institute has many departments and is still expanding. Well, life at LCWU is not very easy. Here are a few fun facts that show how it is to be a student of LC.

  1. The fancy hostel life of LC is the biggest lie

You will hear from many people that the hostels of Lahore College are the most comfortable and fancy. But the truth is, they are worse than any government institutes’ hostels. So, be ready to live in a place where you never want to eat their food if you are considering LC’s hostels.

  1. You might need to go to the dentist after eating the hostel’s bread

The breakfast of the Lahore College’s hostels is the only one of its kind. It is the most boring thing about LC because the bread they serve you is so hard you might need to see a dentist after some time. Well, be cautious and never eat it. The same is the case with other meals. You just wish you never had eaten it.

  1. You keep getting promoted but do not get the results of the previous semesters

The administration at LCWU is rather slow. After you are done with your exams, wait for a lifetime to get the results of the semester. The amazing thing is you keep getting promoted to the next semesters without having the results of many previous semesters. So, don’t think you will be evaluating yourself along with every passing exam, there’s a long time for it because teachers are not very serious about showing you your marks.

  1. At the hostel they will take the maintenance charges but all the maintenance is on you

Just like the administration of the university, the hostel administration never wants to facilitate you. They will take the charges for maintenance in the beginning and then make you pay for every little thing whether it is about fixing a light in the room or asking to install a new hanger.  

  1. They might not want to give you your funds back if they don’t want to

You get your library funds and registration funds back at the end of the session. However, LC is not very careful about it. You might never get the charges that students of other institutes take to party at the end of their degrees. Well, if you are lucky enough and the clerks don’t hate you, they might give you the funds but that’s a rare case.

  1. If the teacher has left, you might have to wait for the new teacher until the end of the semester

If the teacher has left the institute in the middle of the semester, never worry about the next teacher because they might not come until the end of the semester. Yes, it takes a long time for the next teacher to come and until then, you might not need them anymore.

  1. The hostel warden will interfere in your lives more than your mother

If you think you will be living an independent life away from your family and your parents will not be stopping you from going out or taking long calls, you are mistaken. The warden of the hostel is stricter than your mother and she will be asking more questions than your mom ever did. Wherever you go, you have to give complete details and answer every question.

  1. Get ready to see the lines of boys outside of the college

Girls’ college is like a mystery to boys maybe. That’s why they keep waiting outside of the colleges for hours. The same is the case with Lahore College for Women University. If you have called someone to pick you up, you will see many others waiting for you there.

A security alert has been issued by the Punjab government for all the private and public schools in the A and A Plus category in Punjab.

There are almost 16000 schools in the A and A plus categories in the province that have been directed to take specific security measures. Out of these schools, the ones that have more than 1500 students been particularly asked to take strict security measures. All others have also been told to follow security standard operating procedures (SOPs).

There will be a check and balance over the implementation of these security measures. According to the reports, teams will be formulated to visit these schools and see if they have perfectly followed the instructions or not.

Moreover, the schools have been instructed to stay in contact with the security agencies and keep them informed about the security measures and any threats they receive.

Considering the history, the schools and other educational institutes of Pakistan are not safe from threats and terrorist activities. Such security measures are keeping everyone in confusion. However, prevention is better in any case. Schools should take them seriously and implement the said security measures in accordance.

Kinnaird College for Women University is a beautiful place with quality education and world-class faculty. Life on the campus is more fun and interesting than it looks. Talking to a few brilliant students, here are some interesting fun facts that we have come up with about Kinnaird.

  1. You will never find the right room in the right sequence in the new block, it is definitely very new

The sequence with which the rooms are numbered in the new block is very strange. In fact, there is no sequence. If you have number 34 on the ground floor, you will have number 28 on the first floor and number 31 on the second floor.

  1. The moody café staff will serve you only when they are in the right mood

You do not have a lot of items in the café. The staff will keep the stuff according to their choice and mood. You want the white sauce for your fries? You will get it if you are lucky and the staff member is in the right mood. Otherwise, eat your fries dry.

  1. The guy at the tuck shop will never have the change

Never make the mistake of going to the tuck shop without having a change. Whether you are the first customer or the last customer of the day, he will never have the change.

  1. The vans for 8 am classes will be coming at 8.30 am

Are you a lazy student? The van drivers of Kinnaird are even lazier. It is the only college where students are late not because they took extra minutes of sleep but because their van drivers did.

  1. The students are more attached to the ‘Big Tree’ than the campus itself

Everyone has a different kind of affiliation with the Big Tree. It is an ancient tree in the middle of the ground that is named after it. It gets decorated beautifully in the spring and you can share all your worries with it.

  1. Dr. David and her sarees are always the talk of the town in Kinnaird

What do you like the most about your VC or the principal? Well, there can be nothing more charming than Dr. David’s, Kinnaird’s principal, friendly personality and her fashionable sarees. Once, she was visiting the campus group sitting behind a student on a scooty. Tell me anything cooler than that.

  1. You are not a student of KC if you don’t have a picture before the green wall

You doubt someone is a student of Kinnaird? Ask them to show their picture before the green wall. The green wall, all covered with leaves, before Haladia Hall is where you cannot avoid taking a picture.

  1. The chairs in the café are never enough to accommodate students

Never think of going to the café and sitting comfortably there. There are always fewer chairs than actually needed in the café. So, you either adjust with someone on a chair or eat while standing.

  1. In the spring you will find Kinnaird giving a real women’s college vibe

Kinnaird in spring presents the most beautiful sight for the eyes. There are so many flowers and plants all across the campus, you could tell at first glance that this is a women’s college. Students doubt they might start keeping flower pots in the washrooms. Well, who knows!

  1. MPhil classes will be filled with students in Kinnaird unlike any other MPhil class

Usually, MPhil classes have very few students in most universities. But in Kinnaird’s English Literature department, you will find small box-like rooms filled with students and you doubt if it is an MPhil class.

  1. Farrukh Baba and Rizwan Sahb are more famous than even the principal of Kinnaird

Farrukh baba from the administration and Rizwan Sahb from the photocopy shop are the most famous personalities of Kinnaird. They are so important that you will find students calling their names vehemently when they are in trouble.

  1. The girls of KC are beautiful but all they want is to have at least one cute guy on the campus

It is famous that the girls of Kinnaird college are very beautiful. They sure are. But some cute guys could really do good on the campus, they think.

  1. The events of Kinnaird are incomplete without Kaleem Sahb, the photographer

At the events in Kinnaird, it is not the girls in beautiful dresses who are in the limelight. Instead, Kaleem Sahib, the photographer, is the main character. You will find everyone asking for him and requesting to take pictures.

The Women University Swabi has banned the usage of mobile phones or tablets on the premises of the campus announcing a fine of Rs. 5000 and disciplinary action in case of violation.

The administration says that the decision will be strictly implemented and the students will have to follow the instructions. Digital technology like tablets or smartphones is used not only for fun but also has a huge role in the education of the students but the university administration is of the view that the use of mobile phones affects the academic performance of students.

The notice issued in this regard says, ‘it is notified for information of all the students that smartphones/touch screen mobiles or tablets will not be allowed on the premises of Women University Swabi with immediate effect.’ The university made excessive use of social media apps, which was the reason for this decision. The circular further said, ‘it has been observed that students extensively use social media applications during university timings, which affects their education, behavior, and performance.’

The heads of the different departments have been instructed to spread this information among the students and make sure the implication of the said decision.

The university staff agreed with the decision taken by the administration of Swabi University and said that it was in the best interest of students while talking to media channels.

It has also been notified by the administration that mobile phones will be confiscated if anyone is seen using them. Not just that, strict disciplinary action will be taken against the student and they will be charged with a fine of Rs. 5000.

The world is moving forward and many institutes have started using digital modes of education in the classrooms. But this institute sounds to be moving backward in comparison. What do you think about this decision? Will you like to be a part of such an institute?