A delegation comprising representatives of different boards of deeni madaris, led by Tanzeemul Madaris Ahle Sunnat President Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rahman, called on Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri, at the HEC Secretariat on Tuesday. Other delegates included Maulana Haneef Jallandhry, Maulana Abdul Malik, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman and Allama Afzal Haidri.

The meeting discussed the implications, for madrassah graduates, of the closure of two-year BA/BSc and MA/MSc programmes. Currently, HEC treats Shahadatul Alia fil Uloomal Arabia Wal Islamia and Shahadatul Almiya fil Uloomal Arabia Wal Islamia as equivalent to BA and MA, respectively.

However, HEC has now discontinued the certification of BA and MA degrees. Instead, a new four-year BS degree, as well as a two-year associate degree, has been introduced. The objective of the change is to ensure that graduates from Pakistani universities possess three types of competencies, namely general education, subject specialization, and practical skills for participating effectively in the economy. These competencies are just as relevant for madrassah graduates as for university graduates.

Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman appreciated HEC for strengthening the graduate programme and making much-needed changes. He said the representatives of the madrassahs were fully supportive of the central role of HEC in strengthening higher education, especially after the 18th Amendment. He also said they wanted to make sure that the recent changes in HEC policies will not adversely affect the future of madrassah students.

HEC Chairman appreciated the delegates for anticipating future changes and agreed to set up a joint committee with the representatives of madaris to assess how the equivalence system could be adapted to the changes.

Mufti Muneeb thanked the chairman for considering their request and for his resolve to improve and streamline the higher education sector of the country.

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