Over-Qualified PhDs?: Shaista Baloch
University is believed to be the most important educational sector where great minds are produced and young generation is trained to be future scientists. It is internationally acknowledged that PhDs should be appointed for teaching at universities because the development of the countries are totally dependent the quality of Higher education.
The modern world is going toward knowledge economy and knowledge economy is produce by qualified young generations who graduated from the universities. The teaching faculties of universities are always believed to be qualified and critical PhD scholars. All universities of Pakistan are regulated by High Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan from admission process to recruitment process to bring uniqueness and to providing quality higher education. The most of the universities are strictly following the procedures and guidelines of HEC but the case is different in Balochistan.
Individuals within the universities are powerful in Balochistan. The influential professors and external political pressures damaged the higher education of Balochistan. The universities are violating the rules of recruitment processes and HEC is paying no attention. The actual reason of silence is exactly political and this silence has completely damaged the education system of Balochistan. The influential faculty members and administrators would decide who should be recruited and who should not be despite taking considering qualification, experiences and research publications.
This act is clearly seen in the recent recruitment process of Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine sciences (LUAWMS), Balochistan. The most important and fascinating story was considering a PhDs over qualified for the post of lecturer.
A PhD. in sociology with highest score in NTS test was disqualified by considering him over qualification for the post of lecturer of sociology during the interview by a well reputed Vice Chancellor and appointed an M.Phil. in social work for the post of sociology.
Another fascinating story was not selecting PhD in political science. There were two vacant posts for lecturer in political science. One candidate was selected and other post was left vacant because the desired candidate could not complete his degree and not shortlisted by scrutiny committee. A PhD candidate with highest NTS score in political science screening test was not appointed by considering him over qualified.
If PhDs are over qualified, it should be written on advertisements during the announcement of posts so that they could not waste their time, money and energy.
Another post became viral on social media that sister of Zakir Ibrahim, Assistant Professor at Lasbela University, got 22 marks while result was announced on NTS website. But people became very shocked when she was seen in interview. When they visited NTS website, she had got 53 and both result cards were shared on Facebook but no action was taken by responsible authorities. Such activity makes NTS questionable as well.
Though HEC has given clear policies and guidelines for recruitment of faculty members, they have not been implemented by the universities in Balochistan.
The government policies for recruitment clearly depicts that a person cannot interview or set in interview panel while interviewee is from his/her family member. But the case is different in Lasbela University. In 2017 a lecturer of sociology was selected and her subject specialist was her sister. Similarly, in recent interview, a person was selected for lecturer in economics whose cousin was subject specialist and interviewer. Despite these all, neither government of Balochistan nor HEC is taking serious actions.
Similarly situation is happening in University of Balochistan. Recently, it has shortlisted Masters (16 years education) candidates for lecturer and M.Phil. for assistant Professors. HEC has clearly provided its guidelines in 2017 that M.Phil. and PhD for Lecturer and Assistant Professor respectively.
In such actions would affect the quality of higher education in Balochistan and HEC and government of Balochistan are equally responsible.