HEC has Conceded Depriving Balochistan of its Share in Scholarships: Saboor Kakar

Quetta: Higher Education Commission (HEC) has conceded that they have not provided the due share of Balochistan in its scholarships program, said Abdul Saboor Kakar, Secretary Education Balochistan, in an exclusive interview to Balochistan Voices.
Mr. Kakar who is also a member of HEC, said this issue has become very high profile because it has been taken up in senate and its standing committees.
Read also: Editorial: HEC Needs to Admit Wrongdoings with Balochistan
“Initially HEC did not agree to our demands but then we did some calculations and then they agreed and a committee was formed with Chairman HEC in chair to further probe the matter,” He added.
HEC chairman had requested Saboor Kakar to set a time for meeting with Governor, Chief Minister (CM) and Chief Secretary (CS) of Balochistan to finalize this matter and decide what needs to be done to compensate Balochistan.

We have made a case that students with 3rd division should be allowed to qualify for HEC scholarships – Saboor Kakar

“Now we are looking for an opportunity, based on the availability of CM, Governor and CS so that we can call HEC chairman for the meeting,” revealed Secretary Education.
Read also: HRCP Report Exposes HEC in Balochistan
He added that we have made a case that students with 3rd division should be allowed to qualify for HEC scholarships because the quality of education is not good in Balochistan.
Private Education Regulation bill
Abdul Saboor Kakar conceded that making Balochistan Education foundation (BEF) as the regulatory Authority of private schools was a technical mistake.
“We have conducted consultations on that bill with all those stakeholders and they have suggested numerous changes in that draft,” he said.

In new bill powers of controlling authority of Private regulation have been taken from BEF and given to Education Directorate – Saboor Kakar

In the newly proposed bill the powers of controlling authority of Private regulation have been taken from BEF and given to Education Directorate.
Draft is with Law department which is now vetting it and then it will be sent to cabinet for approval.
EMIS completion issue
Data collection under Education Management and Information System (EMIS) was supposed to be completed in July 2015 but it’s still not complete.
EMIS is the system adopted by the education department to collect authentic data from all 32 districts of Balochistan and to verify the existing data as well.
Read also: Editorial: Need to Fast Track EMIS Completion Process
Mr. Kakar explained that collecting all the data of Balochistan in one year including GPS, GIS, students and teachers profiles without any support is a daunting task. Electricity problems and capacity of teachers have caused the delay, he claimed.
Adnan Aamir (R) with Saboor Kakar
Adnan Aamir (R) with Saboor Kakar
He said the Education department has given a strong administrative message to all the officers because it’s important to complete the process. “Any District Education Officer (DEO) who fails to achieve the new deadline will face strict administrative action,” warned Mr. Kakar
School’s Enrollment Campaign
Discussing the claims of success of School Enrollment Campaign, Mr. Kakar said that we have enrolled more than 200,000 students in schools and this is a mega achievement.
He says that one of the reasons of the success of the campaigns was that it got full political ownership from almost all political parties.
“We are also planning to pay Rs. 500 for girls in backward areas upon entry in schools through the Balochistan Education Endowment Fund (BEEF). Subject to their attendance they will be paid Rs. 200 per month,” he announced.
He rejected the claim that 1.8 children are out of School in Balochistan.  “Based on our data out of school children in Balochistan are not more than 1 million,” he said.
“This can also be confirmed using the projected population and age bracket data,” concluded Mr. Kakar.
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Adnan Aamir is founder and Editor of Balochistan Voices. He also works as an independent journalist covering politics, economy, and development. He is Digital Security Fellow of Reporters Without Borders 2019. He has also completed Chevening South Asian Journalism fellowship from the University of Westminster in 2018.