In a significant move towards enhancing higher education in the region, all government colleges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) have now started offering four-year Bachelor of Studies (BS) programs. This decision was made by the Higher Education Department and has been hailed as a major step forward for students in the province.
Previously, only 123 out of 323 government colleges in KPK were offering different BS programs. However, with this new directive, all remaining colleges will now introduce these programs, thereby expanding the opportunities for students to pursue higher education.
This decision is particularly beneficial for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Public sector universities in KPK typically charge significantly higher fees compared to government colleges. Therefore, the introduction of BS programs in all government colleges will make higher education more accessible and affordable for these students.
However, this decision also means that the two-year Associate Degree program will no longer be offered in these colleges. Despite this, students who are currently enrolled in these two-year programs will be allowed to continue their studies until they complete their degrees.
The discontinuation of the Associate Degree program was justified by the fact that those with associate degrees often face fewer opportunities to continue their higher education compared to BS degree holders. Furthermore, there were issues regarding the recognition of the Associate Degree program as equivalent to BA/BSc, as no rules or laws had been framed to establish this equivalence.
To accommodate the increased need for teachers following the introduction of BS programs in all colleges, the Higher Education Department has been empowered to hire ad hoc teachers until permanent teachers can be recruited by the Public Service Commission.
This decision marks a significant milestone in the educational landscape of KPK, opening up new avenues for students to pursue their academic aspirations. It is hoped that this initiative will contribute to the overall development of the province by fostering a more educated and skilled workforce.