R.Y.Khan: Dubious IUB degree not without price tag
RAHIM YAR KHAN, March 1: The treatment of education as commodity is not new to the country but the lust for fees by premier institutions the degrees of which are not recognised by the regulatory authorities is alarming to say the least.
And the practice is not restricted to the private-sector institutions alone. The graduates of the Islamia University Bahawalpur`s sub-campus (Rahim Yar Khan) have been rudely awakened to non-recognition of their B.Com honours programme by the Higher Education Commission.
The IUB sub-campus offered four-year honours programme â€“ B.Com (hons) MS-IT (Management Sciences in Information Technology) — in September 2006 and 28 students got themselves enrolled (after going through the rigours of a written test and interview) for eight semesters costing Rs115,000.
Nineteen students passed out in October 2010, but their elation proved short-lived as when they applied for either jobs or higher degree programmes, business organisations as well as educational institutions refused to recognise their degrees. As one of the students, Ammar Zafar went to get his degree verified from the Higher Education Commission, the latter disappointed him by informing him that “this is a dual degree programme which requires a clarification from the IUB”.
The HEC informed him that there was no such discipline in any university of Pakistan. The students subsequently contacted their head of department, Hamid Khan who, instead of convincing them, asked them to knock on at door of the chief justice of Pakistan. He expressed his inability to help them.
Director Campus Dr Shakir Ghazali, while responding to their queries, told them the name of their programme was wrongly printed in the prospectuses and the anomaly would be removed on their result cards.
IUB Department of Commerce chairman Dr Javed also prevaricated on the issue, leaving the students in blind alley.
Some of the students told Dawn they had opted for the subjects related to management science and information technology in various semesters to be able to have better job prospects but the varsity administration kept them in the dark.
The IUB administration, they said, issued them result cards four times and there was a discrepancy or two every time.
Dr Ghazali told Dawn the IUB administration had printed the new result cards and put down the degree name as MS commerce and the students could collect these from the department within a few days.
Asked what`s the significance of the degree and how it could help students in the long run, he failed to even say what MS stood for.
As for the `anomaly` in prospectuses, he said the varsity`s main campus (Bahawalpur) was the right forum to ask this question.