Punjab Higher Education and Language Minister Pargat Singh on Tuesday stressed on developing a mechanism to have a regular interaction with the eminent names from the academic world so that their feedback can be used to prepare a blue print of road map for giving boost to higher education.
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 the next level.
Pargat Singh, in his opening remarks, 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.
“There’s dire need to have a short term and long term planning to achieve this goal. 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 said while assuring that he will continue to strive to push all concerned for increasing the spending on higher education and research.
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.
Former Vice-Chancellor and an eminent educationist Dr SP 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 the glory of teachers and the teaching profession is first revived to make it a 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 a manner as possible. 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 counselling, uniform curriculum or 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 the 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.