Chairman of Prime Minister’s Task Force on Science and Technology Dr Atta-ur-Rahman has recommended an increase in educational funds by allocating 0.5% of the national GDP to the educational sector over the next five years.
Addressing a live webinar entitled “Budget 2021-22: Needs & Expectations of Higher Education Sector“, the chief scientific adviser said that a focus on national education is the need of the hour.
The webinar was organized by Association of Private Sector Universities Pakistan (APSUP), Superior University, Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences Pakistan (IUCPSS), University of Lahore, Government College University Lahore, and FPCCI Central CSR Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology.
Dr Atta said that 33% of the educational funds should go to higher education, while the remaining 67% should be directed towards schools, colleges and technical education.
He suggested at least 5% of all colleges should be converted to high-level technical colleges with foreign collaboration to ensure production of high-quality skilled workers, and a total of 5,000 students should be sent on scholarships for PhD to the top 200 universities abroad annually to pursue careers and research opportunities in emerging technologies.
He further recommended major national programmes for the establishment of technology parks and the promotion of innovation/entrepreneurship, funding for knowledge economy task force projects in emerging areas of industrial and agricultural importance, and promotion of high-tech manufacturing/value added exports through appropriate policies and incentives.
He was of the view that the tenure track system of appointment of faculty members in universities should be revised to attract top foreign faculty to Pakistan.
He recommended the expansion of matric-tech program in schools across Pakistan to provide technical training at Matric level.