VALUE-ADDITION THROUGH HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION

A case from Pakistan

By PROF. DR. KHAWAJA AMJAD SAEED
Email: professor@puhcbf.edu.pk
Apr 25 - May 08, 2005

KEY TERMS

4GL

Fourth Generation Language

AMDISA

Association of Management Development Institutions of South Asia

CBO

Community Based Organization

CKO

Chief Knowledge Officer

DOS

Disk Operating System

GDP

Gross Domestic Product

GNP

Gross National Product

HDI

Human Development Index

HRD

Human Resource Development

HRM

Human Resource Management

IBA

Institute of Business Administration

IFAC

International Federation of Accountants

IT

Information Technology

MIS

Management Information System

NGO

Non Governmental Organization

SAARC

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

SAFA

South Asian Federation of Accountants

UNDP

United National Development Programme

UNESCO

United Nations Economic Sociological Cultural Organizations

PRELUDE

The era of globalization has given positive signals to be competitive. Several improvements are taking place. Every nation is trying to reposition herself to successfully face the challenges of globalization. There is a need for revitalizing medical and hospital services, pave the way for qualitative education to ensure value-addition, encourage voluntary services through a positive and productive role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs), ensure revolutionary changes in telecom sector, accelerate movement through efficient transportation, rendering hospitality services, and ensuring entertainment and recreation through innovative and creative efforts.

However, this article focuses attention on high quality education with special emphasis on higher education for forward linkages through value-addition.

CONSTITUENTS

It has been divided into the following parts:

PART

FOCUS

I

Education — a vehicle for development

II

SAARC Position

III

Education Structure in Pakistan: An overview

IV

Public Universities

V

Financial Allocation for Higher Education

VI

Chartered Universities/Degree Awarding Institutes in Public and Private Sector

VII

Qualitative Improvements in Higher Education

VIII

IT & HRD in Higher Education Institutions

EDUCATION — A VEHICLE FOR DEVELOPMENT

The positive relationship between education and economic development is now widely recognized. In fact, education and training are regarded as strategic variables in planning for economic development.

The contributions of education to economic growth take various forms and may be different with different stages in the evolution of a country's economy. Its role in development is now highlighted. Quantitatively speaking, an elementary education for the mass of the people in a society leads to great economic gains. The people can learn through the written words and transmit as well as record their ideas more exactly. It enables them to keep accounts and assess the profitableness of their business activities and alternative ways of allocating their resources. A literate population can be made to cooperate for beneficial economic activities more easily than an illiterate one. They can thus work more effectively under a plan as well as independently in the pursuit of their self-interest. The result is that an increase of expenditure of a moderate amount on education produces very high returns.

For the advancement of knowledge, education is a basic factor. Scientific knowledge itself is a basis for improvement of techniques of production in many industries in the contemporary world. Advanced education usually accompanied by research leads to the discovery of new frontiers of knowledge and opens up new possibilities of its application in the interest of economic development. Existing techniques can be adapted to new situations and new techniques can be discovered, thus leading to a more productive utilization of resources or even discovery of new resources.

"A sharp rise in quality of education", according to Benson "produces economic returns even when it is not possible to specify what skills and attributes would be created or precisely how they would be used". Thus a liberal education which sharpens the intellect and broadens human faculties, may be as productive as more narrowly specialized forms of skills imparted through scientific and technological training. This points toward the danger of neglecting human disciplines and unduly diverting resources towards instruction in scientific and technological fields.

The positive relation between education and economic development can be explained with the help of per capita income and the literacy rate of various countries. For instance, according to World Development Report 2005, various low income countries have very low literacy rates, e.g. Pakistan's literacy rate is 48% with per capita income of US $ 420 which is quite low. Similarly Nepal's (44%) and Chad's (46%) literacy rates are low with low per capita incomes.

If we take some of the middle income countries, their literacy rates will be relatively high and so will be per capita income, e.g. Malaysia and Brazil have literacy rates of 89% and 86% with per capita income of US $ 3,780 and US $ 7,480 respectively. The high income countries have literacy rates above 95% with per capita income of US $ 25,510 on an average. Thus a high literacy rate leads to a high per capita income and the role of education in economic development becomes very significant.

Education is a factor of considerable importance in economic growth. In the less developed countries including Pakistan, the expenditure on the expansion of education is quite small as compared to the other sectors of the economy. Pakistan's literacy rate of 48%, was one of the lowest in the world. Efforts have been made to design proper policies and programmes to raise the literacy rate and to improve the quality of education. Educational facilities for technical and for higher education have been marginally expanded. The total expenditure on education rose from 1.3% of GNP during 1972-73 to 2.2% of GNP during 1990-91. The target for this is 4% by 2010. There has been a considerable increase in the number of primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities. However, we are still far behind in the field of education as is evident from our low literacy rate and the government has been trying to improve the standard of education and to raise the literacy rate by formulating new educational policies. In 1997, the contribution to education was 2.4% of GNP. The government announced 3% for year 2000. This ratio was 2.1% in 2003.

Literacy rate is claimed to be around 50% in Pakistan. If criteria to calculate literacy rate is considered above Primary Education, real literacy in Pakistan is said to be around 10%. This is too low. Our suggestion is not to concentrate on increasing literacy but to accelerate "functional literacy" so that the results of functional literates are reflected in higher productivity in all walks of socio-economic development of our country.

Quality education is the crying need everywhere. The one item agenda of candidates for Presidential election of 2000 and 2004 of US was improvement in Public School Education in specific terms & in education in general terms.

Too much expectation from the Government may not be made for higher commitment of fund as this may not crystallize in reality due to Government's funds constraints. The community must rise to the occasion and productively contribute to quality revolution in educational development in Pakistan.

SAARC POSITION

Struggle is on for achieving higher literacy rates in SAARC. Maldives has the highest literacy rate but its population is too small — 275,000 persons. Sri Lankans have achieved above 90% literacy rates and rank No. 2 in SAARC. India, followed up by Bhuttan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan are struggling to push forward on literacy front.

Based on UNDP Human Development Report 2004 which had the theme of "Cultural Liberty in today's world", out of 177 countries ranking of "Human Development Index (HDI)", SAARC position is tabulated below:

Table 1

SAARC

HDI RANK

Country

Rank

Maldives

0.752

Sri Lanka

0.740

India

0.595

Bhutan

0.536

Bangladesh

0.509

Nepal

0.504

Pakistan

0.497

Source: Extracted from UNDP Human Development Report 2004, New York: Oxford University Press, published for UNDP, pp 143-48, 2004.

The first rank (1) was shared by Norway (0.956) and the last one (177) was earned by Siera Leone (0.273). Strategic moves must be unleashed to improve HDI for enabling the human resources to generate wealth and later share the same to achieve the wider goals of economic development.

EDUCATION STRUCTURE IN PAKISTAN: AN OVERVIEW

Pakistan has a four-tiered educational structure. Primary (grade I to V for ages five to nine); Secondary (grades VI to X for ages ten to fourteen); Colleges: Intermediate and Degree (grades XI to XIV for ages fifteen to eighteen); and University (grades XV to XVI and above for ages nineteen plus). Education upto primary level in middle schools has always been almost free.

Education is a provincial subject and, therefore, the management of almost all types of educational institutions is under the provincial governments. However, the Federal Government provides much of the development finance, policy formulation, and coordination in education. As of March 31, 2002, the important data relating to educational set up in Pakistan, as reported in the Economic Survey of Pakistan for 2003-2004 (Statistical Appendix, Table 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, pp 89 - 90) are as under:

TABLE 2
EDUCATION DATA: FROM PRIMARY TO UNIVERSITIES

PARTICULARS

NUMBER

STUDENTS

INSTITUTIONS

TEACHERS

Primary Stage (I - V) (000)

20 million

163

332

Middle Stage (VI - VIII) (000)

4 million

19

100

High Stage (IX - X) (000)

2 million

13

163

Secondary & Vocational Institutions (Number)

83,000

607

7,192

Arts & Science Colleges (Number)

751,000

939

26,494

Professional Colleges (Number)

161,349

374

9,358

Universities (Number)

117,863

29

5,160

Notes: (i) Figures are for 2000-2001 for 1, 2, 3 above
(ii) Figures are for 2001-2002 (p) from 4 to 7.

STRATEGY FOR INNOVATIVE FRONTIER

The following strategic directions are needed to usher in an era of educational enrichment and high educational standards:

TABLE 3
SUGGESTED STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS FOR EDUCATION AT ALL TIERS

FOCUS

STRATEGIC DIRECTION

1. Primary Education

i) Rural Areas: Staggered time tables need to be offered for education at times suited to the potential customers.
ii) Functional literacy courses be offered.

2. Middle Education

i) Middle-tech approach to be operationalized.
ii) 1(i) above to be implemented.

3. High Stage Education

Matric Tech. Strategy be introduced for generating self-employment.

4.Secondary/Vocational Education

Practical emphasis is needed. On the job training must be made compulsory with modern curriculum backed up by computerization approach.

5. Arts & Science Education

Inter-disciplinary approach with smart work orientation be followed.

6. Professional Education

Strategy at (4) above be given favorable consideration.

Universities

Synergy be implemented through gown-town relationship.

PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES

Historically, public universities registered a steady growth. At the birth of Pakistan, we inherited one University namely University of the Punjab which was set up in 1882. Later, Universities were established in various provinces of Pakistan. Subsequently specialized Universities were established in Engineering, Agriculture and Medicine.

Later on Agha Khan Medical University was established in Karachi and subsequently Lahore University of Management Sciences was approved. Afterward the following trends were seen:

1) Some Institutes in public sector like IBA Karachi were given degree granting status.

2) Some Institutes and universities in private sector were granted degree awarding status.

3) Some affiliated colleges of public universities branched out and were granted degree awarding status as universities, e..g. Government College Lahore, Lahore College for Women, etc.

4) Several institutions are publicly claiming to be associated/affiliated with some foreign Universities.

5) Some are behaving like self-styled universities without approval with a notation "Envisioned as University" or "Proposed University".

Table No. 4 presents a 10-year growth of public universities in Pakistan in respect of the following aspects:

a) Number of Universities
b) Enrolment in Universities in number
c) Number of teachers

TABLE 4
GROWTH IN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES

YEAR

UNIVERSITIES
(NUMBER)

ENROLMENT IN UNIVERSITIES
(NUMBER)

TEACHERS
(NUMBER)

2001-02 (p)

29

117,863

5,160

2000-01

26

124,944

5,988

1999-00

26

114,010

5,914

1998-99

26

91,637

4,911

1997-98

26

93,780

5,515

1996-97

26

91,883

5,162

1995-96

25

82,955

5,417

1994-95

25

80,651

5,316

1993-94

25

77,119

5,217

1992-93

23

68,301

5,728

1991-92

23

65,944

4,926

1990-91

22

61,857

4,744

Source: Economic Survey 2003-04, Islamabad, Government of Pakistan, Economic Advisor's Wing, Finance Division, Statistical Appendix, Tables 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 pp 89-90.

Based on analysis, some comments on the above are as under:

a) Number of Universities: Progress of growth of public universities has been very slow. In 1990-1991 this number was 22 and this became 29 in 2001-2002 — an increase of 7 in 10 years.

During this period several universities/institutes were granted the status of degree awarding and some constituent colleges of public universities branched off and were granted degree awarding status.

Universities in public sector showed new trends in offering new, demand driven and innovative courses. Coal technology, Hydro Management, Environment Management, Legal Environment, Banking & Finance, IT based Management Systems are some of the new disciplines started by the University of the Punjab, Lahore. Other public universities are also following the lead provided the University of the Punjab, Lahore.

b) The enrolment has registered 19% annual growth during the last twelve years.

c) However, the number of teachers grew by 10.88% during the last twelve years.

FINANCIAL ALLOCATION FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

1) UNESCO has recommended 5% to 7% of GDP to be allocated for higher education. This data for the last seven years is given in Table 5. The financial allocation from 1995-96 to 2001-2002 is static at 2%. The forecast for 2010 is 4%.

2) There is a greater need to substantially increase the total educational budget (recurring and development). Indications are positive for future in respect of financial allocation. Special allocations have been made for IT specific activities and public sector universities have been provided with special funds.

3) It would be advisable to sanction matching grants in respect of development budget. This will incentivise public sector Universities to mobilize their internal resources and accelerate development activities.

TABLE 5
NATIONAL EDUCATION BUDGETS: 1995-1996 TO 2001-2002

YEAR

RATIO OF GDP (%)

TOTAL EDUCATION BUDGET
 (RS. B)

RECURRING BUDGET
(RS. B)

DEVELOPMENT BUDGET
(RS. B)

2001-02

2.0

74

65

9

2000-01

1.6

56

54

2

1999-00

1.7

54

52

2

1998-99

2.4

49

47

2

1997-98

2.3

49

46

3

1996-97

2.6

43

41

2

1995-96

2.0

42

40

3

Source: Computed from Economic Survey 2001-02, Islamabad, Government of Pakistan, Economic Advisor's Wing, Finance Division, June 12, 2002, Table 11.4, p 151.

There is a growing trend for greater allocation of funds to education sector by provincial and federal government in the last few years.

CHARTERED UNIVERSITIES/DEGREE AWARDING INSTITUTES IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTORS

As of December 11, 2004, there were 55 universities and degree awarding institutes in public sector. This number was 51 in respect of private sector.

QUALITATIVE IMPROVEMENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

A debate is needed in respect of above aspect on national basis. It is suggested that Higher Education Commission may take initiative and undertake steps to develop a "Code of Qualitative Improvement in Higher Education". The University of the Punjab, Lahore took a bold initiative in respect of above suggestion and have submitted a working paper to the Honorable Chancellor of the above University. This effort needs to be well appreciated. Similar efforts are suggested to be unleashed by other Universities in Pakistan. This should be started with "Kaisan" spirit.

Based on accumulated experience, a framework for debate to develop suggestions for qualitative improvements in Higher Education is tabulated below:

TABLE 6
FRAMEWORK FOR QUALITATIVE IMPROVEMENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

PARTICULARS

STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS

I: Legislation

1. Improvements in the existing legislation
2. Adopting Model University Ordinance after debate of stakeholders.

II: Vision & Mission Statements

To be developed with consensus.

III: Objectives

Primary and Secondary objectives be clearly spelled out.

IV: Educational Policies

Strategic directions for formulating the following policies be developed:

1. Teaching
2. Creation of new knowledge
3. Publications
4. Research
5. Community Service
6. National Service
7. Global Linkages
8. Other related activities

V: Functional Policies

Major directions in respect of the following functional areas of management be identified and operating procedures be developed:

1. Procurement
2. Finance
3. Marketing
4. Personnel
5. Operations
6. Innovations

VI: Teachers

1. Induction
2. Training
•Orientation
•Pre-Service
•During Service
3. Retention
4. Remuneration
5. Productivity Evaluation
6. Logistics - Inbound
7. Career Path
8. Evaluation
9. Financial Support
•Quality Teaching
•Quality Research
•Quality Services/Counseling
•For Innovation
10. Environment of work
11. Motivation
12. Other aspects

VII: Students

1. Admission
2. Orientation
3. Teaching-cum-Learning approach
4. Strategy of development
•Intellectual
•Physical
•Moral
•Social
•Spiritual
5. Financial incentives for needy-cum-meritorious
6. Code of Conduct
7. Participation in involvement of activities
8. Dress Code
9. Depoliticisation
10. Field Orientation
11. Role in national development
12. Other Aspects

VIII: Curriculum

1. Process of development
2. Relevance of needs
3. Market driven ability
4. Revision
5. Course outline
6. Balance
7. Interdisciplinary approach
8. Stakeholders involvement
9. Institutional arrangements
10. Pedagogy
11. Use of Text books, cases, journals, library material, internet, etc.
12. Other Aspects

IX: Examination

1. Objectives
2. System:
•Internal Evaluation
•External Evaluation
•Hybrid
3. Approach:
•Open book
•MCQs
•Essay type
•Cases
•Projects
•Presentations
4. Learning Log
5. Comprehension testing:
•Through papers
•Through comprehensive examination
•Oral
•Written
6. Periodicity:
•Frequency
•Continuous
7. Examiners Selection
8. Examination Hall arrangements
9. Unfair mean cases
10. Question Papers quality
11. Pass Marks & Feedback
12. Other Aspects

X: Administrative Structure

1. Chief Executive Selection
2. Administrative Bodies
3. Meetings:
•Frequency
•Discipline
4. Autonomy
5. Performance of Bodies
6. Appointment of Staff Mechanism
7. Post Appointment training
8. Training of administrative staff
9. Influences:
•Internal
•External
10. Decision
11. Implementation
12. Evaluations

XI: Financial Aspects

1. Double Entry Book-Keeping
2. Balance Sheet and Income & Expenditure Statement
3. Budgeting System
4. Financial Controls
5. Resource Mobilization
6. Expenditure rationalization
7. Training to Staff
8. Variance Analysis
9. Protection of Assets
10. Minimization of risks
11. Maximization of returns
12. Other Aspects

XII: Ideological & related Aspects

1. Islamic Values
2. Pakistan's Orientation
3. Political Influences
4. Modern Values
5. Globalization
6. Gown-Town relationship
7. Societal norms
8. Counseling
9. Seminars/Workshops
10. Behavioral Improvement
11. Expected learning outcomes
12. Other Aspects

IT & HRD IN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

For rapid IT education to equip human resources to accept the challenges of 21st Century, aims, programs and outputs must be comprehended with clarity. Some thoughts in this respect are shared below:

AIMS

1. Equip IT users with broad knowledge and understanding of basic concepts of computers.

2. Potential areas where IT can be used.

3. Planning for IT projects and managing their development.

4. Managing their development and implementation.

PROGRAMS

Suggested programs to achieve above four aims are identified below:

1. Systems Analysis & Designs

2. Programming Languages

3. Micro-Computer Applications

4. Office Automation

5. Operating Systems (DOS, UNIX, Windows)

6. Software Packages

7. 4 GLs

8. MIS

EXPECTED OUTPUTS

The expected outputs of the above programs are visualized below:

1. Design of IT-based system

2. Preparation of plans for implementation of IT projects

3. Software development techniques

4. Programming languages and operation systems

HRM/HRD — SUGGESTED MODEL

Suggested model for HRM/HRD for Higher Educational Sector Institutions is suggested below:

1. Strategic HRM

2. Human Resource Planning

3. Staff Acquisitions and Retention

4. Training & Development

5. Performance Management & Appraisal

6. Compensation Design & Administration

7. Transformational Leadership

8. International HRM

9. Organization Communication

Operational details need to be developed for obtaining productive results to increase wealth and share the same with the stakeholders to enable them to enjoy high standard of living with an enriched quality of life.

CKO - A NEW POSITION

CKO (Chief Knowledge Officer) is a new position created in various enterprises abroad. The Canadians have taken up this initiative. CKO is a talented person who generates new knowledge and later disseminates it to other persons of the same organization. Thus, through this initiative, favorable and supportive environment is being created for innovative approach. This is a positive logistic to improving productivity and creating wealth. The institutions of higher learning may consider appointing CKOs after defining their role.

CONCLUSION

It is high time that education in general is given high priority and higher education in particular is given top priority. Major issues have been identified in this paper and now debate on national level be initiated for developing a framework to ensure qualitative improvement in higher education in our Country. This will help in improving productivity in agriculture, in ensuring breakthrough in industrialization with particular emphasis on entrepreneurial revolution through development of Small and Medium Enterprises and in improvement of infrastructural facilities in the Country. Indeed there is a shining light at the end of the tunnel and the days of wider prosperity are now going to be on the doorsteps of the teeming millions of Pakistan. Let us get committed and deliver the goods.