ISLAMABAD: Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman informed the Senate on Friday that out of 228 plagiarism cases in research publications – that have been received since 2007 – 182 were resolved through various actions against researchers.
During question hour in the House, the minister said 229 meeting of Higher Education Commission (HEC) Plagiarism Standing Committee were held to eradicate the menace of plagiarism from the research publication
“HEC provided the plagiarism detection electronic system ‘Turnitin’ to the universities to verify the originality of the document and any faculty member committing plagiarism is penalized as per policy,” he said.
He said that HEC has implemented comprehensive reforms since 2002-03 for improving quality standards of learning and research in all public and private sector universities and Higher Education Institutions (HEls) across the country.
“The reforms included intervention and projects in strategic areas of improving equitable access, human resource development in arts, science, and professions, excellence in academics and innovative research, quality assurances, good governance, IT infrastructure development, community engagements, leadership development and commercialization of research for catalyzing the development process,” the minister added.
Baligh-ur-Rehman said the government is providing free education to the students at the age of 5-16 years across the country which is responsibility of the government under the Constitution.
To another question, the minister said Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education was established under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the government and The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Headquarters in 2012.
“The Government of Pakistan has contributed US$ 10 million in the fund and decided that 70 per cent amount will be utilised in Pakistan and 30 per cent in the other countries to the education for girls,” the minister said.
He said that framework agreement between UNESCO and the government on the Malala Fund-In-Trust for Girls Right to Education was signed in 2014 and the purpose of the programme is to support government’s efforts in increasing access and improving the quality of girl’s education at primary level through capacity building and targeted interventions at both institutional and community level.
“The Steering Committee of the Programme approved nine projects in 2015 for implementation in the far-flung areas of all provinces and areas,” he added.
He said the projects are titled as Support to National Capacity Building to Realise Girls Right to Education (2015- 2018).
Baligh ur Rehman said the programme has succeeded to enroll, 6154 out of primary school girls in targeted areas and enhancing enrolment from 16,267 to 22,421 in 304 girls’ primary schools in the targeted areas.
He said that still, there are over 10,000 out of primary school girls in the girls’ right to education programme targeted areas who will be enrolled by the end of the programme, which is a major challenge besides retaining the existing 22,421 girls in schools and ensuring they learn better.
To another question, the minister said that MoU between Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was signed in 2014 for the quality of education in the country.
He said that under this agreement, both parties agreed to work together to improve the quality of education in the country through the USAID-funded Pakistan Reading Project (PRP).
The USAID funded Pakistan Reading Project (PRP) is supporting the provincial and regional education departments in the country to improve the quality of education with a focus on improving the reading skills of children at early grade level.
“The National Education Forum was created under the step of MoU to improve quality of education under the chairmanship of Secretary Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training,” he said.