Published in Pakistan Observer (13 April 2011)
ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of students and scholars took to the streets on Tuesday to protest against the devolution of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and vowed to continue protests till the government shelved the plan of devolving the HEC.
The protesters gathered at Press Club Islamabad and marched to the parliament building near D-chowk waving hundreds of national flags, holding banners and placards while chanting the slogans ‘Save HEC, Save Education, Save the Pakistan’ and ‘Don’t send us back to stone age’.
The students of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Bahria University, National University Of Modern Languages (NUML), International Islamic University (IIU), Foundation for Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST), COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) took part in ‘Defending HEC – Taleem March’ (Education march).
It is important to note that Pakistan had made remarkable progress during 2001-2008 in higher education and there was a 600 per cent increase in scientific publications in international journals and a 1,000 per cent increase in citations in this period. The speakers at the protest warned of disastrous impacts on research growth of the country if HEC is devolved to the provinces.