Teachers to start drive for four-year degree programmes

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Staff Reporter

Teachers of the colleges affiliated with the University of Karachi (KU) have hinted at launching a campaign this month to bring back four-year degree programmes and revise outdated degree courses.

The Sindh Professors & Lecturers Association (SPLA) says the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has banned two-year degree programmes at all colleges and universities, with clear instructions that the commission will not recognise or verify two-year degrees issued to students enrolled after the academic year 2018.

The SPLA says that apart from KU, majority of the colleges and universities across Pakistan have implemented the HEC’s policy.

Even the Sindh College Education Department announced last month that two-year degree programmes will be considered unauthorised.

Thousands of students in Karachi, however, are still unable to get an admission in degree programmes at over 150 KU-affiliated colleges.

The SPLA says when the HEC announced its policy on two-year degrees last year, KU disagreed with it. Their conflict resulted in delayed admissions for the academic year 2021.

Three months have already lapsed. However, KU’s Academic Council formed a five-member committee during its April 10 meeting to seek legal opinion on a provincial government advertisement about two-year bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes.

Jamia Millia Government Degree College Principal Muhammad Zakaullah, who is also an elected member of the KU Senate, highlights many issues and benefits of the HEC’s policy.

He says some 150 colleges in Karachi are imparting degree-level education, but they do not offer admissions in BS professional degree programmes.

Therefore, he adds, college graduates do not get good jobs by studying outdated programmes, and graduates of the two-year BA/BSc programmes hardly find any jobs.

However, he points out, revising degree courses of colleges will make it easier for college students to pursue higher education abroad and secure foreign scholarships like university students.

Similarly, says Zakaullah, one of the main reasons behind the constant decline in the number of admissions in colleges is the slow process of admissions.

Students take their intermediate examinations in May, and their results are announced in the first week of August, he adds.