LAHORE Sep 9 (TNS): Higher Education Department, (HED) is responsible for education, learning and related services for students, as well as Faculty/ teaching & non-teaching staff, serving in Public and Private Institutions in the province of Punjab.
Its aim is to achieve a highly educated society; where educational opportunities are equally available for all young people in Pakistan, no matter what their social, ethnic, and cultural background or family circumstances are.
The vision of Higher Education is to promote development of an enlightened and prospering Punjab by reinforcing knowledge economy along with a focus on equitable and quality learning. The realization of the higher education department’s vision of “enlightened and prospering Punjab by reinforcing knowledge economy” rests on the shift from access to quality which is evident from the key initiatives it has taken in recent past.
The department of Higher Education Punjab has administrative and financial control of the multi-tier Higher Education sector in the Punjab. It manages 517 colleges with general as well as specific programs in 37 districts of the province. It also supervises 09 Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education, 17 Public Sector Universities and 26 Autonomous Educational Professional Institutions of Higher Education, Commerce Colleges.
Punjab Higher Education Department has taken great initiatives for the improvement of educational system in all provinces. In the recent years 11000 lecturers who were waiting for their promotion for last 25 years were promoted to 18 grades. Trip to the educational institutes of England, Iran and Germany was arranged for the students who got top positions in exams. Another trip to Punjab was arranged for the students from Sind, Baluchistan and KPK who got positions in exams.
22 new colleges were established in the whole province, 17 colleges were upgraded and facilities were improved and new four year degree programs were initiated in 26 colleges. Rs163.500 million cash prizes were distributed among the position holders in Secondary School (SSC) and Higher Secondary School (HSSC) examinations throughout Punjab.
Youth Commission was established to make sure the participation of students in the government policies and other initiatives.
For the first time in the whole country, Punjab Board exams were conducted under computerized system. Under this system 3.5 million students were registered online and all examination records of all board were computerized throughout Punjab.
Counsels were established in every college leading by a representative chosen by parents and a public leader of the respective area. 2024 teachers were hired at various graded in colleges and to hire further 1839 male and 1253 female lecturers, recommendations were sent to Punjab Public Service Commission.
Temporary lecturers were hired to overcome the lack of teachers in colleges. For providing transport facilities for students 161 buses were purchased by the government. 37 news schemes of worth Rs931.314 million were announced for the establishment of new colleges. New women universities were established in Sialkot, Bahawalpur, Multan and Faisalabad and another new university was founded in DI Khan for both male and female students.
To make familiar outstanding student with the modern technology Punjab government has started laptop scheme in 2011-2012. Under this revolutionary program Medical students with 60% marks and other students above 70% were considered eligible for getting laptops. Under this scheme laptops were distributed among 310,000 students on the base of merit. In 2016-2017, 100,000 laptops were distributed at the cost of Rs4 billion.
Under the Punjab Youth Internship program 50,000 youngsters were given internship in various institutions of the province. Rs10000 stipend per month was given to each internee under the scheme and 50% quota was assigned for female students.
Pakistan Educational Endowment fund was established in February 2009 under Company Ordinance 1984, section 42. The core purpose of this fund is facilitating the intellectual students in getting education. The fund was initiated at the cost of Rs2 billion and the amount raised to Rs17 billion.
Around one lakh and 75 thousand students who are getting education in national and international institutions were given funds. Further 2 lakh students were distributed funds of worth Rs11.50 million. 28000 scholarships were given to the needy and deserving students by Punjab endowment fund with the cooperation of DFID.
In October 2010 Shehbaz Sharif Merit Scholarship scheme was initiated for the exceptional students under Punjab endowment fund, the scholarship was categorized according to the subjects. Under this scheme 30 PhD and one thousand local scholarships were distributed. Under Chief Minister Chinese Language scholarship program scholarships are given to the students learning Chinese language.
For the establishment of Knowledge Park Rs2 billion have been assigned. 850 acre land was allocated for this unique style park in the whole South Asia. Registered company was established to act upon the scheme.
In the provincial capital Lahore Rs1 billion are allocated for the establishment of the sub campuses of the international universities for improvement of the quality education related to Information and Technology (IT), Engineering and Biotechnology. The park is facilitated with residential housing, shopping malls, recreational areas and other facilities plus educational facilities for the international students.