THE ‘controversial’ four-year BS (Honours) programme launched in 26 public colleges in Punjab has reached the first semester’s final term examination, while the Punjab University is delaying it to come up with a credible and uniform examination system.
The University of Gujrat has conducted first semester final term examinations in the second week of this month, while the Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, and Government College University, Faisalabad, have started examinations for the candidates in their attached colleges from Saturday. The Lahore College for Women’s University is holding examinations from Monday (today) and Islamia University, Bahawalpur, from Feb 28.
The Punjab University is likely to begin examinations in the first week of March as its examination department is developing papers for the affiliated colleges’ students separately as they follow different syllabi, though the other varsities’ attached colleges students studied courses prepared by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
PU officials say the Honours programme was launched without proper planning of affiliation, developing uniform curricula and ensuring proper teaching.
The university also faced problems because its departments, institutes and constituent colleges were not following HEC approved courses in letter and spirit. The academic departments had also developed their own nomenclature of each subject as well as issuing their own transcripts.
Consequently, the PU examination department, which was supposed to take semester system examination for the first time, had to go for development of courses through a board of studies of academic departments concerned.
“The PU examination department still not has documented syllabi for each discipline being offered by the respective colleges attached for BS (Honours) programme,” a senior official said.
For this reason, the PU examination department called officials from its attached colleges and asked them to provide model papers based on the curriculum taught. The examination department’s nightmare did not end here because it found that it would be required to prepare 110 papers for all disciplines being offered in colleges. The department then tried to reduce it to 86 papers.
The PU examination department is now busy in finalising nomenclature of respective papers, their coding and other formalities that needed to be completed before examinations. “The PU examination department still needs two weeks to hold the semester system examination,” an official said.
The varsity’s administration officials still complain that such a big initiative should have been launched with a proper ground work.
In order to meet the second semester examination in advance, the PU has constituted a committee.
Joint Action Committee (JAC) chairman Dr Zahid Ahmad Sheikh said the Punjab higher education department had finalised the BS (Honours) first semester curricula after the mid-term examinations. He said the department could not set up state-of-the-art laboratories and libraries in these colleges and recruit qualified faculty to teach modern disciplines. He also apprehends that dropouts would increase in the BS Honours programme.
He says that the JAC had given a charter of demands to the Higher Education Department that included the recruitment of faculty members against around 5,000 vacant teaching posts in public colleges across the province through Punjab Public Service Commission. The JAC plans to show its strength on roads in Lahore on March 30, if their demands are not be accepted.Dawn