According to the Dawn news, a $200 million financing is likely to be approved by the World Bank for Higher Education Commission (HEC) to develop post-secondary education in Pakistan.

The HEC Vision 2025 pays significant attention to the tertiary education sector and is expected to cost around $1,180 million, $200 million of which is believed to be provided by the World Bank.

The World Bank program will also provide technical help to HEC in the provision of services to universities and colleges. The program foresees on preparing a Ph.D. faculty for higher education, phase out one and two-year bachelor programs, increase capacities of current universities and establish new ones.

Percentage of students taking Ph.D. education as a full-time assignment is tiny and there is a rise in fake Ph.D.’s in Pakistan. Student themselves take Ph.D. as a part-time task. They are not willing to leave their jobs and tasks to focus on researches due to no funding by HEC.

HEC plans to improve the quality of affiliated colleges and also focusing on distance learning, which is being neglected from ages. HEC also wants to increase collaborative research between universities and industries, increase investments in ICT services.

There is an acute shortage of qualified faculty, low quality of education with poor quality teaching and learning. Access to higher education is low with around 3.8% of the 17-23 age, receiving higher education. Girls only make up one-third of total enrolment, according to the World Bank report.

Skill gaps within the institution and the concentration of power within a very thin leadership layer mean that a lot of work remains to be done to institutionalize reforms.

We are continuously failing in proper utilization of the allocated funds, to the dismay of helpless people of Pakistan. Until HEC spend more wisely and on our most-valued human resources, we might never surface from the Dark Ages.

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