The Punjab government has decided to issue teaching licences and a Teachers License Act would soon be tabled in Punjab Assembly, Provincial Education Minister Dr Murad Raas told the House on Friday.

Dr Murad Raas, speaking on the floor during a general discussion on education, said that like doctors and engineers, the government was also coming up with the Teachers License Act which would also enable the teachers to seek employment in foreign countries. He also told the House that the government would fulfil the shortage of educators in Punjab schools within a month whereas 60,000 private schools would be registered online after Eid ul Azha.

Dr Murad Raas also told the PA that the PTI government had recruited 250,000 educators and no one could question the transparency of the recruitment process. He also stated that the government was introducing the Private Schools Act which would also include a harassment clause.

UHS: University of Health Sciences (UHS) Syndicate, on Friday, approved the development of a Postgraduate Monitoring System (PGMS) to provide the ultimate comprehensive students’ data management and monitoring system for postgraduate trainees of clinical programmes, including MD, MS and MDS, in affiliated institutions.

The 59th meeting of the syndicate was held here with UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Javed Akram in the chair. Those who attended the meeting included Prof Talat Naseer Pasha, Prof Sajid Maqbool, Prof Abdul Nasir Shah, Prof Nadia Naseem, Dr Saqib Mehmood, Dr Asad Zaheer and the representative of Punjab Finance Department while Prof Humaira Akram participated through video link.

Prof Javed Akram apprised the members that the PGMS was being developed to track students’ progress towards graduation (e.g. data on registration, working title, supervisor(s), research proposal, progress to date, etc.).

He said the automated tracking system was believed to be effective in monitoring the postgraduate research students’ progress and in reducing the amount of time that students take to graduate.

“Such information made it possible to see if students are achieving their academic goals and supervisors could see, as soon as possible, if a student is not progressing,” he explained. He said that the dashboard would also be useful in helping the medical education departments to plan their educational activities and improve data communication between supervisors and the trainees. In this way, the students’ progress both in terms of research outputs and educational activities would be frequently monitored and measures such as counselling would be taken if progress was lacking, he explained.

UHS VC added that a mobile app for the system would also be launched. Prof Javed Akram said that MD, MS and MDS programmes were being offered in 27 affiliated institutions. He said that around 2,600 students were registered in these programmes while the number of trainees was increasing by 800 every year.

“We are trying to ensure quality education and training for these residents,” he said. This electronic database was needed to monitor the educational activities in all the institutions for standardisation. The members were apprised that PGMS was being developed in collaboration with Punjab Information Technology Board. Prof Javed Akram said that curriculum and training schedule of all courses would also be available in this database.

The meeting was told that a principal of a medical college had requested the university to conduct special supplementary examinations for those students who failed in the second and third professional MBBS supplementary examinations, pleading that these students had already suffered due to COVID-19 and if they were not given another chance to pass the exam they would lose two academic years.

The syndicate members were informed that according to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) regulations and keeping the apex court’s judgments in view, holding of special supplementary examinations was not permissible. On this, the syndicate directed the UHS to refer the matter to the PMDC.

The meeting approved the revised schedule of examinations earlier postponed due to Corona. However, all the examinations were made subject to government guidelines. On this occasion, the members were apprised of the threat posed by the mushroom growth of medical universities in the province. The members expressed their reservations saying that it could adversely affect the quality of medical education. The syndicate asked the varsity administration to write a detailed letter to the secretary specialised healthcare and medical education in this regard thus making the university’s stance clear on the matter. The meeting also reviewed the recommendations of the committees set up for affiliation of various institutions and approved eight BS-programmes to be launched in six institutes.

Originally published at : thenews