After over sixty years of creation one would have expected things to have become slightly if not magnanimously better. We have, however, seen a paradoxical disintegration in the nation on all fronts. Be it our renowned irrigation system, or our profound nationalism (that made us a nation in the first place), be it our diverse culture or our hardworking people we have known just one change: deterioration. In a surprise move the government has laid a trail for the dissolution of the HEC, another major blow for the already suffering people of Pakistan. A country with soaring illiteracy levels might not be able to even stutter anymore, it might not be able to limp anymore. The HEC represents more than just an institution it represents economic growth, scientific development, exposure and if I dare go this far I may even suggest an educational revolution.
However, out of the very many naive decisions made by the current leadership the disintegration of HEC seems to have the worst repercussions in the years to follow. HEC has contributed alot to the country in the past eight years, however, most of the impacts made by HEC are far too early to be noticed. Over 5000 international scholarships have been provided for PhDs, over 4000 research papers have been credited to Pakistanis over the mere 8 year period and the university enrollment has tripled. These figures might seem humble in proportion to the population of the country but to be fair its an excellent start to put the country on a track for educational development.
The breaking up of HEC would have very severe consequences; if the power to grant funds is given to provinces we will see the same level of corruption as we see in the other fields. It would also be unfair to the people coming from more illiterate provinces since expectantly these provinces will be given a smaller cut from the money bag. We will see our politicians fight over educational funds and not water anymore. With a federal body of education gone we will see new policies spring up; policies that will be only in the favor of our illiterate politicians. How difficult would it be to forge a degree when the power to do so rests in your own hands? The breaking up of HEC is preposterous and would impact the lives of thousands.
This is right time to protest, this is the right time to stand for our rights and this is the right time to rebel against such policies that may alter the country on numerous fronts. Our myopic policy-makers must re-evaluate their policies before they plummet the nation into an educational catastrophe.
published on 7th April 2011