HEC Sparks Controversy: Pakistan Studies No Longer Compulsory in Undergraduate Programs

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has stirred controversy by eliminating Pakistan Studies as a mandatory subject in undergraduate programs. Set to be implemented in the 2023 scheme of studies, this decision has triggered diverse reactions within academic circles. Representatives from academic staff associations, such as the Federation of All Pakistan Academic Staff Association and the Punjab University Academic Staff Association, have expressed concerns. They argue that removing Pakistan Studies, a longstanding component of the graduate-level curriculum, could raise sensitive issues related to national sentiments.

On the contrary, a spokesperson for the HEC clarified that individual universities are not bound by this policy. The inclusion or exclusion of Pakistan Studies from the curriculum is left to the discretion of each institution, providing flexibility across universities. While some advocate for the reinstatement of Pakistan Studies as a mandatory subject, the HEC defends its decision by emphasizing the autonomy of universities in shaping their undergraduate programs. This move not only reflects a shift in educational policy but also opens up discussions about the balance between national identity, academic flexibility, and the role of mandatory subjects in higher education. The debate continues as stakeholders weigh the implications of this significant alteration to the undergraduate academic landscape in Pakistan.

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