UHE in collaboration with Bargad held VC Conference on Equity and Inclusion of Marginalized Communities in Higher Education.
The conference was attended by the Provincial Minister of Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Department, Mr. Ejaz Alam Augustine; vice-chancellors of public sector universities and youth from marginalized communities including minorities, differently-abled persons and transgenders.
Honorable Minister Mr. Ejaz Alam Augustine announced that the government is introducing a bill to protect the rights of transgenders in the Punjab Province. He also emphasised of inculcating mutual respect, ethical behavious and manners among youth.
Prof. Dr. Fazal Ahmad Khalid, Chairman PHEC, said that the commission would work through the recommendations of the VCs’ conference as we need the universities to develop quality human resources and inclusive environment in the institution of higher educations.
Prof. Dr. Kanwal Ameen Vice-Chancellor, UHE, emphasized that we need to nurture inclusive social and cultural environment on campuses to provide equal opportunities of quality education to the marginalized communities. She further pointed out that the inclusive and equitable norms must be introduced from early education institutions.
Firstly, the representatives from marginalised communities shared the challenges they have faced during high education. The representative belonging to a religious minority Ms.Amber bajwa suggested revisions in the curriculum and it should be minority friendly. The physically challenged student Ms.Tanzila Khan emphasised on ensuring accessibility on campuses. The transgender Ms.Maya Zaman shared how difficult it has been for her to emotionally survive during education and still she was struggling.
Then, all the participating Vice-Chancellors shared their views on the subject and appreciated this much-needed initiative. Prof. Dr. Asghar Zaidi, Prof. Dr. Javed Akram, Prof. Dr. Bushra Mirza, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Afzal, Prof. Dr. Rukhsana Kausar, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zakria Zakar, Prof. Dr. Nasim Ahmad, Prof. Dr. Robina Farooq, Prof. Dr. Sarfraz Khurshid, Prof. Dr. Saiqa Imtiaz Asif, Prof. Dr. Talat Naseer Pasha and Dr. Robeena Zakir addressed the conference and participated in a round table discussion. The participants fully ensured the final recommendations of the conference and suggested continued efforts in this regard to meet the SDGs (4, 5, 10 & 16) which aim at Quality Education; Gender Equality; Reduced Inequality and Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions.
In the end Prof. Dr. Kanwal Ameen concluded the discussion with a note of thanks to all. Ms. Sabiha Shaheen, Executive Director Bargad closed the conference emphasizing the need for equitable and inclusive culture in institution of higher education to stay aligned with Pakistan’s Constitution of equal right to all citizens.