Pargat Singh emphasizes preparation of roadmap for boosting higher education
Proposes a committee and several sub committees to resolve issues confronting higher education sectorAuthor : Avneet Kaur
Asserting the importance of feedback from the ground level educationists working in the field of higher education, the Higher Education and Language Minister Pargat Singh has said that it comes in handy for preparing a blue print of road map for giving boost to Higher education. Hence a mechanism should be developed to have a regular interaction with the eminent names from the academic world.
It was in this light that first interactive session with prominent educationists was held at Punjab Bhawan Chandigarh. About 30 academicians including former and present Vice Chancellors, Pro Chancellor, Principals and teachers from all over the state shared their vision about the future of Higher Education and the steps needed to take Punjab to next level. The Secretary Higher Education Krishan Kumar, DPI (C) Paramjit Singh and Assistant Director (College education) Dr. Gurdarshan Brar were also present in the meeting.
In his opening remarks Higher Education Minister Pargat Singh stated that it is very significant to have a vibrant higher education sector. The college education system must meet the aspirations of the present youth and should be able to make them responsible citizens of the society as well as equipping them with requisite skills to make them employable.
He also said that there is dire need to have a short term and long term planning to achieve this goal. Adding further, the minister said that the State Government is very serious about the recruitment in the Government Colleges and will fill the vacant posts in very short span of time. He assured that he will continue to strive to push all concerned for increasing the spending on higher education and research.
In order to coordinate the development of a Roadmap for Higher Education Sector, the Minister proposed to set up a committee and a number of subcommittees to take care of different issues confronting the higher education. The gesture of interaction with the participants for well over three hours, was highly appreciated by one and all present in the meeting.
Former Vice Chancellor and an eminent educationist Dr. S.P. Singh highlighted the importance of having a satisfied cadre and apprised that at present the highly qualified teachers are being poorly paid and shabbily treated and as such teaching as a profession has become last resort. It is important that glory of teachers and teaching profession is first revived to make it first grade choice. The UGC pay scales should be immediately implement without any further delay, added the Ex Vice Chancellor.
Almost all the participants were very vocal in stating that the vacant posts in the Government colleges must be immediately filled in as transparent manner as possible. So that good quality regular teachers are recruited. The representatives of Aided colleges also requested the government to allow regular appointment of teachers in the aided colleges as per their needs. The portability of the sanctioned posts should be allowed from one college to another within a management and state as it would result in better management of human resources. At the same time review of the posts with respect to work load should be carried out regularly.
The participants also wanted that NCC should be introduced as a subject and education should be made skill oriented. In this direction the importance of industry academicia interaction was also highlighted. The introduction of short term certificate courses, exchange programs for teachers, carrier counseling, uniform curriculum/eligibility criteria across the state, formation of inter university coordination committees, resource pooling and formation of Sector Skill council were also advocated by the participants.
The malpractices being adopted by private colleges was also highlighted prominently. It was pointed out by participants that a large number of private colleges especially Education colleges are openly advertising about enrolling non attending students. The Minister asked Secretary to immediately bring to book such institutions.
On the occasion, the Secretary Higher Education, Mr. Krishan Kumar, while thanking the Minister for taking the bold initiative of holding discussions with educationists assured that all necessary steps will be taken to rejuvenate the higher education sector with cooperation of all stakeholders. He also said that many innovative ideas have come up in the meeting which would be duly considered. He also thanked the participants for sparing time and coming to Chandigarh from every nook and corner of the state for a noble cause.