LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Higher Education Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfaraz on Wednesday said there should be no age limit for students aspiring to enrol in courses in universities and colleges.
He was chairing a consultative meeting on developing a road map for community colleges in Punjab at Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) secretariat at Arfa Kareem Software Technology Park..
PHEC Director General (QA & A) Zia Batool, Higher Education Department (HED) Special Secretary Sajid Zafar Dall, vicechancellors from Quaid-i Azam University Islamabad, University of Sahiwal, Home Economics University, Lahore, Khwaja Fareed University of Engineering and Technology, Rahim Yar Khan, principals from Government College Township, Lahore, Government College Marghzar, Lahore, Skills Development Council (SDC), Islamabad, and representatives of Wright Education Consultants also attended the session.
Mr Sarfraz said the government was focusing on strengthening the knowledge economy of the country by facilitating the access to avenues of education. `Skill-based education is the fundamental factor of this knowledge-intensiveeconomy and community colleges in Punjab are going to be the hub of skill-based education as the government lays special attention on it,` he said.
Sarfraz said there was a huge gap in the industry and academia which needed to be bridged by engaging the local chambers of commerce and industry in the development of curriculum.
The minister said community colleges project of the government was a step towards imparting demand-based education and it would equip the students with twoyear Associate Bachelor Degree in market-driven subjects, allowing them to enter into the job market soon aftertheirgraduation.
He said the government wouldset up 50 community colleges in all nine divisions of the province.He said colleges in Punjab would be affiliated with and overseen by universities in their concerned district/division.
He said they were conducting the consultative meeting to define the future road map of the community colleges.
Other participants also shared their views on the possible contours of the road map.Home Economics University VC Dr Kanwal Ameen said more focus should be given on life and communication skills of the students.
`Life and communication skills must be embedded in the curriculum of community colleges,` she said.