Saturday, August 20, 2022

Lecturers pursuing govt-funded scholarships ‘go missing’ abroad


KARACHI: Several lecturers of the public educational institutions who were sent abroad on foreign scholarships have reportedly gone missing, causing a loss of more than Rs1 billion to the national exchequer, ARY NEWS reported quoting a former Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman.

According to the HEC statistics, 68 lecturers from the public educational institutes of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) went abroad on scholarship for higher studies but none of them returned to join their institute.

On the other hand, 42 of the lecturers remained unsuccessful in clearing the exams abroad.

The HEC and the concerned universities have launched action against such individuals which included a 25 percent fine on the education expense, which is over Rs 10 million on an individual, bore by the government.

Former HEC chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed while giving an insight into the matter during ARY NEWS programme, Bakhabar Savera, said that there is a proper procedure for availing a government-funded scholarship as any lecturer had to submit a surety bond along with an agreement, duly attested by a close relative of the candidate.

“If any lecturer does not return after completing his scholarship, then the HEC issues a show-cause notice to him reminding that he had to continue teaching at his institute for five more years,” he said adding that in case of violation of the agreement, the lecturer had to pay the expense bore by the government on his scholarship besides also paying a 25 percent fine on it.

He further claimed that around eight percent of lecturers go missing after being sent abroad on government-funded scholarships across the country and start teaching at private institutes.

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“The HEC and concerned institution could easily bring back such individuals through concentrated and serious efforts,” the former chairman said.

While sharing one such example of how these lecturers could be brought back easily, he narrated that one such lecturer went missing in Germany during his scholarship and the officials responsible to keep an eye on him expressed their ignorance regarding his whereabouts.

“I googled his name and found that he was teaching at a US university,” he said adding that he approached the varsity narrating the fraud committed by their faculty member, leading to his immediate deportation from the United States.


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