PROF. MOHAMMAD NASIR UDDIN KHAN, is a senior
educationist and associated with the Department of Chemistry, University
of Karachi since 1988. He did his Masters from Sindh University,
Jamshoro, Hyderabad and joined University of Karachi as lecturer. Nasir
completed his M. Phil in 1995. He is about to submit his thesis of Ph.D.
on "Heavy Metals" with the theme of new methods of analysis. Mohammed
Nasir, besides discharging his professional responsibilities takes keen
interest in the welfare of students' affairs. He also served as the
student's adviser and Secretary for Transport Committee of the
University of Karachi for many years. His devotion for the cause of
education is reflected in his research papers and articles, frequently
published in local and international media.
PAGE: You are associated with Pakistan's one
of the most prestigious organization i.e. University of Karachi. How do
you see the quality of education in Pakistan both in terms of the
faculty as well as the crop of graduates passing out every year from
your organization, which stated to be the center of excellence?
To tell you the truth, there is always a room for improvement in
everything and the University of Karachi is also not an exception to
this. Actually, a strong faculty is of vital importance for imparting
quality education compatible to the market demand. Unfortunately, the
University lagging far behind to meet this requirement as almost half of
the total strength of the teachers is working on ad-hoc terms. Out of
the ad-hoc teachers most have been retained after retirement as
cooperative teachers or fresh graduates are hired as cooperative
teachers at nominal salaries. This is no way to run such a huge
organization engaged in producing our future leaders. Since these
cooperative teachers are not paid accordingly they work half heatedly.
There is an immediate need to rectify the system of hiring teachers and
vacant seats should be published in the newspapers.
PAGE: What criterion you would suggest
to make it a transparent system for hiring teachers at various
liking and disliking of the respective Chairman also matters a lot in
hiring the fresh graduates. Instead of announcing the vacant positions
in the newspapers, the chairman hires out of the fresh graduates of his
own choice on ad-hoc basis. These ad-hoc teachers are working for last
many years. The salary structure is so unattractive that hardly attracts
the teachers of high caliber. Most of the existing staff has to devote
their time and energy in part time business activity to meet the two
ends, which ultimately affects the quality of education. In order to
improve quality of education, besides upward revision of the salary
structure, teachers from different departments should be sent abroad for
an exposure and on job training for development of their teaching
techniques and qualities.
PAGE: The students are excessively involved in
political activities rather than focusing their attention on their
syllabus to get better results. What is your opinion?
NASIR: This is
highly important that there should be some screening of the teachers as
well in the educational organizations. Involvement of the teachers in
active politics is not in the interest of the organization as well as
for overall growth of education. Hence activists from various political
parties should not be allowed in the fold of the teachers.
PAGE: There are talks about revival of
the old system at secondary level and changes at the higher education
level. What would you suggest about the change in the education policy?
Education system at the Primary and Secondary level is of vital
importance for producing quality graduates at the higher level. Hence it
would be extremely significant for bring improvement in education that
instead of the existing dual system, the Cambridge system be adopted
with necessary modifications in accordance with our local requirement.
This would greatly help in forging uniformity among the younger
generation for matching education qualities with the international
standards. While making policies for higher education, the policy makers
should also consult with the experienced and seasoned teachers so that
the system could be evolved to cater to the needs of the demand of the
PAGE: University of Karachi has become the
kingdom of women as the girl's students occupying majority of the seats.
If it is true what is the reason behind increasing the number of girl's
students as compared to the male students?
NASIR: This is
a general pattern all over the country that girls are out numbering to
the boys. Whether it is the University of Punjab, Peshawar, Sindh or
Karachi the girls have an edge over boys. As far as Karachi University
was concerned, the girls are around 70 per cent, which give a look that
it is a university of the girls. One of the reasons behinds this drastic
change is the shift of the interest of the males towards short-term
technical diploma or other technical course due to economic pressures.
While boys also do not devote their efforts and energies to get higher
marks to become eligible for admissions in various faculties at the
university level which also deprives them of the higher education.