Against Odds, A University In Balochistan Is A Role Model For Other Pakistani Universities To Follow
It is quite an unfortunate state of affairs that Pakistan’s education system and environment are largely crippled due to political instability, paralysed social mindset, devastated economic situation and, above all, nepotism. The establishment of a system that can deliver quality education and research-oriented institutions in Pakistan seems more and more like a futile dream that is driving our generations away from the country.
To make matters worse, universities that attempt to pursue a more organised and far-sighted policy find themselves at the receiving end of vicious criticism and opposition. Two purposes seem to drive the culture of criticism among us: increasing pressure on the administration and getting something done for personal interests. The result of this is substandard educational and weak administrative systems, which, put more simply, means failure of the universities.
Financial irregularities are another source of leading our universities to complete failure. Due to a lack of proper management, most universities in Pakistan are facing alarming levels of financial deficits. Some of these universities’ financial deficits are in the billions and are still escalating. Due to conventional bureaucratic wisdom and outdated strategies, these universities have no choice, but to be privatised.
A cursory glance at Pakistani public universities reveals that almost every university, except Loralai University, is facing a financial deficit. Universities like BUITEMS (Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering & Management Sciences), University of Turbat, Balochistan University, Punjab University and Bahadur Khan Women’s University Quetta, all have financial deficits in billions. The University of Peshawar does not even have the money to pay salaries to its employees. Some universities are even using security amounts deposited by contractors for security purposes to cover the salaries of their employees.
One of the main reasons for the financial deficit of the above universities is the provision of unnecessary packages to their employees. Deviating from the policy set by the HEC, and adopting the principles of discretion, most of the universities are heading towards the worst financial crisis which will direly impact the quality of education and ongoing research projects in the long run.
In these difficult times, the University of Loralai is probably the only university that is free from financial crisis as it manages its financial affairs under a brilliant strategy. This is, of course, quite an inspirational exception to the norm.
Despite being a newly established institution, the University of Loralai is also successfully involving extremely creative people at all levels. It is promoting nationally compatible levels of excellence through development and engagement of highly qualified faculty members, researchers, supportive administration, and appropriate research facilities. Moreover, to protect Pakistan’s ideology, the university is also empowering students to intellectually challenge the fierce and modern but defective concepts which threaten our ideological fabric.
The example of the University of Loralai is like a breath of fresh air in an environment clogged with inefficiency, nepotism and generally dwindling academic excellence. The Higher Education Commission should pay special attention to the needs and development of a university like Loralai University, located in a remote and underdeveloped area. It is the HEC’s job to equip universities with all kinds of modern requirements to ensure innovative and productive scholarship.
Undoubtedly, malfunctioning and fiascos do result due to inefficiency and incompetence rooted in any kind of institution, and these need to be picked out without any discrimination. Transparency and strict measurement are the pre-requisites for educational development and fostering a research-oriented environment. We can achieve the dream of an educated, civilised and prosperous Pakistan, but only if we put our heart and our best resources into it.