Malik Baloch appreciates contribution of Inter University Consortium for Balochistan

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has appreciated the contribution of Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences (IUCPSS) and its partner organizations for undertaking collaborative efforts and practical steps for promotion of higher education in Balochistan.

A detailed report highlighting the 30 months’ achievements of coalition government of Balochistan stated that, for the first time in history of Balochistan, the government invited 26 vice chancellors through University of Turbat on the platform of the Inter University consortium at Gwadar and evolved a concrete strategy for promotion of higher education in the province. Over the request of the government of Balochistan, the Vice Chancellors announced admission quota and scholarships for the youth of Balochistan.

As a follow up of Gwadar declaration, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Islamabad has already announced 50 PhD annual scholarships for Balochistan‘s youth. The document also mentions other steps undertaken by the government of Balochistan in the field of education during last 30 months which includes; increase of education budget from 4 % to 26%, establishment of 6 new universities, 3 medical colleges & cadet colleges in various districts of the province, merit based and transparent appointment of more than five thousand teachers through National Testing Service (NTS), award of scholarships and laptops to deserving students, introduction of bio-metric attendance system in schools, compulsory mother languages at primary level, encouraging participation of youth in healthy and constructive activities through district level sport/cultural festivals etc.

In April 2015 at Gwadar, the government of Balochistan through University of Turbat hosted special two days meeting of the Inter-University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences (IUCPSS) which was ever largest gathering of vice chancellors in Balochistan. After detailed deliberations, Gwadar Declaration was issued which called for increasing allocation of funds for socials sciences, establishment of a national academy of social sciences, strengthening of existing social sciences research journals and promotion of inter-provincial collaboration and sharing of expertise in the higher education sector. The Gwadar Declaration stated that the consortium would extend cooperation for preservation of archaeological sites, establishment of museums and promotion of tourism in Balochistan through a group of archaeologists led by Prof Dr Ihsan Ali (SI), vice chancellor of the University of Abdul Wali Khan, Mardan.

On the request of the Balochistan chief minister, the consortium’s member universities also agreed to offer admissions and scholarships to youths from Balochistan in those disciplines which are not being offered at higher education institutions of Balochistan. It was decided that effective representation of university faculty from Balochistan would be ensured in all ongoing joint programmes: dissertation writing workshops for doctoral candidates, thematic workshops for faculty mentoring and social science faculty placements at foreign universities. Being partner organization, National Testing Service (NTS) also agreed teachers training of 30 English Language Teacher, faculty development of 90 teachers of Baluchistan public sector universities, provision of scholarships and computers software training to faculty members and establishment of library corner in all public sector universities of the province.

Lauding achievements of coalition government in the field of education, chairman IUCPSS Dr. Nasser Ali Khan assured that the consortium member universities and its partner organizations would continue to contribute for promotion of higher education in far flung areas especially in Balochistan.