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Old Thursday, December 30, 2010
Majidurrehman Majidurrehman is offline
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Default Bachelors not Masters

All over the world bachelors is a stage of education where one finds a feel of completion in oneís studies and affords to give a stop or a pause to oneís studies. A good bachelor program imparts analytical skills in oneís specific graduating subject as well as in general. Almost everywhere in the world usually it is a degree earned after 16 years of education which can be followed by a further 2 years education to make it an 18 years Masters degree. In Pakistan we have strange scheme of 2 years bachelors programs which make one a graduate after 14 years of education and then studying further 2 years makes one a master. This practice is adversely affecting Pakistan in many ways.
In Pakistan the words BS and B.Sc are being used to differentiate 16 years bachelors from 14 years bachelor where BS stands for 16 years and B.Sc stands for 14 years. Same is the case with MS which holds for 18 years Master and M.Sc which holds for 16 years Master. This, I would say, is just a stupid attempt to hide our prevailed state of senselessness. All over the world BS and B.Sc stand for one same degree as well as MS and M.Sc.
Officer cadre jobs (BPS-17, SPS-8) in Pakistan are filled with people who have 16 years education minimum. In case of engineering jobs, we use the word bachelors of engineering and in case of other subjects we use the world masters in a specific subject. This does not make sense.
To be a Civil Servant in Pakistan, you must at least have 14 years of education. But On the contrary we observe that usually 16 years degree holders get selected like Engineers/ Doctors/ Masters (16 years) etc. Some persons with 14 year education also get selected particularly on provincial quotas and sometimes due to some backdoor channel. These officers could be a potential cause of corruption in the country. By discarding 14 year Bachelors we can close this back door.
There is a lack of Educational Compatibility within Armed Forces. Naval cadets are awarded with Graduation Degree after 16 years of education by pursuing 4 years bachelor programs (engineering/ management) while in PAF only Aeronautical engineers are 16 years graduate. But army cadets are graduated with typical Punjab Universityís 14 year bachelor degree. One can easily see the behavioral differences within forces. By discarding 14 years bachelors and introducing 4 years program in PMA Kakul, army can shut the mouths of their critics.
I donít want to marry, I want to do Masters! These are the words which are uttered by girls almost in every home after completing a 14 year graduation. As all over the world graduation is considered to be standard criteria of maturity and it is true, but in Pakistan additionally it also means that it is the time for a girl to get married. But in reality when a girl completes a 14 year graduation, she really does not feel sense of completeness and maturity which a 16 year graduate feels. If she decides to do Masters (a 16 years Bachelors indeed), it is thought that she is studying more than enough and it would be difficult to find an extra ordinary man for her. On the other hand if she completes her 16 years Master, she is a mere Graduate - a real graduate. By discarding 14 years bachelors, government can help those poor girls.
Am I an MBA? It is a question thought by, if not posed, by many MBA degree holders. If we look at MBAís which are currently being offered by our universities (excluding some sensible institutes), we see that both 14 year bachelors and 16 year bachelors are pursuing the same MBA course. This is wrong. 16 year MBA after completing his or her MBA keeps on thinking if he/ she is a Master or a Bachelor and a student pursuing the same MBA course having done 16 years bachelor keeps on thinking why he/ she is pursuing a same course which a 14 year graduate is pursuing. By discarding 14 years bachelors, government can help resolve this mystery.
There is a dilemma with international employers. Being a 16 year Masters degree holder, while applying for jobs in international market we are unable to write Master or Bachelor and donít know what to right on CV. When I write Master, they expect me to be as competitive as an 18 year Master which is internationally understood. When I write Bachelor, I find myself having a Master Degree in my hand and people wonder why I did not mention the word Master in the CV.
The 16 years Bachelors and 16 years Masters in SPS (Special Pay Scale) jobs scenario give uglier picture. Whenever there is an advertisement for jobs with Special Pay Scales (SPS) for 16 year degree holders, it is imposed that educational career of the potential candidate must be throughout 1st Class with permission of one second division in other than final degree. These job opportunities are open for everyone who possess at least 16 years of education whether they are Bachelors or Masters. The person who has done 16 years Bachelors has an uneven advantage over a person who has done 16 years Masters. There are only 3 degrees for a 16 year Graduate, i.e., SSC (Secondary School Certificate), HSC (Higher Secondary Certificate) and B.Sc (4 year Bachelor) to give the desired result from but for a 16 year Master there are 4 degrees, i.e., SSC, HSC, B.Sc (2 years Bachelors) and M.Sc which one has to manage. It is clearly observable that in this case a 16 year Master is getting cursed without any reason and has to produce desired result out of four degrees while a 16 year bachelor has to produce desired result out of only three degrees! Irony of the fact is that both people are given equal opportunities, equal rights, equal environments, equal pay scales and equal benefits and equal growth opportunities!
HEC was also having exactly the same requirement of producing certain no. of 1st divisions to grant scholarships. One day one of my friends told me that Dr. Atta Ur Rehman would reply to peopleís emails himself. It was not believable for me that chairman of HEC would reply to common man of Pakistan himself. I tried and he indeed replied to me. He acknowledged my arguments and promised to resolve this discrimination. He appointed Dr. Inayat (I donít remember the complete name now.) to resolve this issue. Later this cruel imposition was discarded from their Scholarship criteria. They changed it to ď1st division in terminating degree with no 3rd division in the entire education career.Ē But sadly just some days after removing this imposition from scholarship criteria, HEC foreign scholarship program abondoned.
If we look at the world around us, we can easily see that bachelor level education is equivalent for all subjects and disciplines whether itís engineering, science, management, linguistics, humanities, physical science or else. Our 16 years Masters is indeed Bachelors in standard terms and it is justified as the curriculum which has been designed by our universities for Masters classes (16 years) is based upon foreign books which are meant for undergraduate students rather than postgraduate . We can easily observe that the course which is followed by a 16 years BS Physics (for example) student in his/ her first two years is the same course which is followed by a 14 years B.Sc student in his/ her whole two years who want to pursue M.Sc in Physics and the course which is followed by 16 years BS Physics student in his/ her last two years is the same course which is followed by 16 years Masters student in his/ her two years of Masters!
We need to implement same 4 year bachelor for every subject. It would make our educational and employment system more harmonized, understandable and practicable. It will also create sensible understanding about our educational system inside and outside the country. We can introduce something like HNC (Higher National Certificate) for people who want to terminate their education at 14 years of education.
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Abdussamad Chaudhary (Thursday, December 30, 2010)