DHA KARACHI STRIVING FOR THE HIGHEST QUALITY OF EDUCATION

ATIF HASSAN
May 11 - 17, 2009

The Defence Housing Authority, Karachi, also known as the Pakistan Defence Officers Housing Authority, Karachi, or DHA, Karachi, is the foremost development in Pakistan with many exclusive projects to its credit. The biggest setup of its kind in Asia, today DHA is considered to be the first choice residential area for the affluent of Pakistan. The Authority came into existence through Presidential Order No.7 of 1980 and was later approved by the National Assembly of Pakistan.

The Authority is spread over 8,852 acres (35.82 km2) and provides civic facilities to millions of residents. The efforts to develop DHA have been fruitful, signified by growth oriented high-class living values. The housing projects are planned to cover every aspect of healthy living and contain beautiful parks, excellent educational institutions, and modern clubs. The organizational matters are well attended by Secretary, Chief Engineer, Directors, and a committed and dedicated work force to ensure smooth running of the organization.

Defence Housing Authority, renowned for its unparalleled commitment to education, has a network of 20 schools and colleges employing 1,800 staff and educating 17,000 students from pre-school to post-graduate levels. Defence Authority colleges and schools are preferred by students and parents for quality education, safety & security, state-of-the-art facilities, discipline, proximity, environment, development of a wholesome personality and above all a not-for-profit and service orientation ensuring unmatched affordability.

Mission of the Education Directorate, DHA is to ensure quality education in DHA's institutions in a congenial environment, under the guidance of a competent faculty to groom the students as good human beings and responsible citizens with emphasis on nurturing wholesome personality, developing creative thinking, imbibing true Islamic perception, profound patriotic sense, healthy team spirit, and high moral values. The Directorate is working with professional zeal and commitment, constantly striving to improve the educational environment and quality of education in DHA's institutions. Teachers' induction system has been improved to engage quality staff.

Syllabi up to primary level have been revised to achieve uniformity in DHA's schools. Teaching methodology has been improved to bring about quality in teaching. Structured lesson planning including time management has been introduced and stresses upon for effective coverage of subjects. Parents' feedback is done to keep them involved in the intellectual growth of their children. The Directorate is also making concerted efforts to keep pace with the developments taking place in the sphere of education. The emphasis is on implementation.

The DHA Degree College for Women, Phase-VII Campus is an embodiment of the DHA's response to the popular demand of its residents for more institutions where quality education is provided.

Imbued with the excellent success and outstanding performance in Board and University examination of its premiere College for Women in Phase-VIII, the DHA decided to establish yet another campus where students can achieve the highest standards of attainment across a board range of discipline in both curricular and co-curricular fields. Defence Housing Authority established the college in August 2007 and runs its affairs.

The idea to start business administration education in DHA was conceived in 1996 by the then Administrator. In 2000, erstwhile Defence School of Business Education (now Defence Authority College of Business) was established and University of Karachi affiliated it as its first professional college for higher education in business administration. The first batch of students in BBA program was inducted in January 2001. During the first two years, the college was housed in the building of Defence Authority Degree College.

In year 2002, it was relocated to the new (present) premises. MBA (2-Year) program was added in 2003. In year 2007, University of Karachi introduced BBA (4-Year) program (replacing the old two-year program). In November 2007, the college was renamed as Defence Authority College of Business (DACB). The college, one of the youngest educational institutions of DHA, has become one of the largest professional colleges affiliated with the

University of Karachi for higher education in business administration. It is at the early formative stage and yet to celebrate the first decade of existence. However, by the Grace of Allah Al-mighty, it has established quite well and progressing steadily. Today, its presence is felt in both academia and industry among the fairly long established degree awarding institutions and universities offering business and management education.

In order to broaden the access of internationally recognized higher business education to all talented candidates, regardless of income group and social class, the college recognizes their previous scholastic achievements and awards them merit scholarships covering full amount of tuition fee.

Around eight years ago, a charter was awarded to the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) for building a university. This charter, however, is yet to be utilized, even though the DHA is planning to set up its own university. The DHA had applied and received the charter based on its existing colleges imparting degree education whose facilities and buildings would have been initially utilized for building faculties of the proposed Suffa University.

Central Library (DHA) is one of the prime institutions of Defence Housing Authority Karachi.

It was established on 3rd November 1991. DCL has a beautifully designed and artistically decorated building with lush green lawns, fountains, and rockeries all around it. Like any modern library, DCL has a computerized book inventory, record of newspapers & periodicals being subscribed, members data and accounts. DCL website is periodically updated to provide library information service to the visitors. A detailed account of DCL facilities, list of new books, newspaper/periodicals, language programs, Auditorium activities as well as Rentals can also be seen on the web.

The aim of all DHA educational institutions is to provide quality education to its students with an emphasis on Islamic teaching, character building, curricular and co-curricular activities to imbibe a spirit of brotherhood, fraternity, tolerance and respect for each other. Intensive efforts are made to develop religious, social and moral values for the grooming of a balanced personality. The school is an extension of home, therefore the school environment should be such that fosters and sharpens the socio-environment attitudes of a student.

(Author of this article is the lecturer, Defence Authority College of Business, Karachi)