ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Standing Committee on Education was informed on Tuesday that all universities have been asked to defer fee collection of students belonging to a flood-affected area and ensure their uninterrupted education.

A meeting of the committee was held here with MNA Makhdoom Syed Samiul Hassan Gillani, besides getting a briefing from chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Mukhtar Ahmed. In his briefing to the committee, chairman of HEC said that all universities in flood-hit areas of the country have re-started operations and students of affected areas, who are pursuing their education in any university of the country have been asked not to be worried about their fee and continue their education.

The HEC chairman told the committee that all universities have been asked to defer fee collection for two semesters and no student of affected areas should be forced to deposit tuition and hostel fee. HEC and other universities are working with close coordination to help out students and people of affected areas of the country. The committee was told that various committees comprising of vice chancellors of universities such as the committee on agriculture/crops, engineering, health and so on have already been working.

Talking to Dawn, the HEC chairman asked universities to defer fee collection from students of affected areas at least for two semesters and meanwhile, HEC is exploring various options to secure funding to help students.

HEC coordinating with several committees to help people

Separately, he said that all major universities of the country, that were all set to hold exams, have been asked to defer their exams for one month so that students of affected areas could get some time for preparation. Earlier, during the committee meeting, he also briefed the committee about matter of establishing nine engineering universities in the country through HEC’s multi-billion dollar project. The committee was told that this project was started in 2005 and later on it was shelved on the direction of the then cabinet.

The meeting also discussed the matter of establishing a university in Gwadar as a member of the committee stated that there is urgent need of setting up this university in the greater interest of students.

They said that many students of Balochistan have been pursuing their education in universities outside Balochistan and there is need for more universities in this province.

Earlier, to a question regarding students of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), the chairman of HEC told the committee that free education was being given to students of the area by universities on their own pattern.

The meeting also discussed the issue of teachers working in Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) on deputation and under wedlock policy and decided to take up this issue again in the next meeting.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2022

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