20th Council Meeting
AIC Visit to The Islamia University of Bahawalpur
Accreditation Visit of Agriculture Degree Programs The Islamia University Bahawalpur
AIC's Visit to Karakoram International University, Gilgit
AIC's Visit to University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
Prof. Dr. Ishtiaq A. Rajwana
The National Agriculture Education Accreditation Council (NAEAC) was established by the Higher Education Commission, Govt. of Pakistan in 2008 to implement a comprehensive program of accreditation of agriculture and allied education degree programs based on policies, procedures, and criteria set up by HEC to assure high quality and standards of education. The council isresponsible for publishing a list of ranking of agriculture and allied qualifications/programs and promotes intellectual development and understanding of subject areas that impact accreditation activities in the agriculture and allied profession. Besides,the NAEAC is mandated to provide guidance for the improvement of the existing educational programs and the development of future programs leading to the agriculture and allied profession.
Currently, there are around 50 institutions in the country offering Agriculture and allied related degree programs. One of the challenging tasks for the council is to ensure that the prevailing standards of education are met in both established and newly founded universities/DAIs which lack in available resources, infrastructure, labs, tools, equipment, and professional human resource so that their graduates are equally trained and equipped with the same standard of scientific knowledge. Also, constant challenges have been observed in the universities on compromised practical training of agri and allied graduates and developing industrial linkages. The council will ensure that due emphasis is given to students getting hands-on experience of practical work in the field and the industry. Again, I expect more industrial cooperation for accommodating agri and allied graduates for practical training for the development of entrepreneurial culture and support for entrepreneurs and job creation in the agricultural and allied sector.
It is also notable that the commercialization of professional education, particularly agriculture and allied education, is a threatening factor that is damaging the underlying spirit of acquiring agriculture and allied degree for sustainability and prosperity of the sector and food security. Instead, the institutions focus on increasing enrollment every year without considering the key factors of compromised quality of graduates and employability by their possible employers. In order to ensure that quality human resource is available to serve the industry, the council is in the process of developing a mechanism for registration of agri and allied graduates, in line with other councils like PEC, PMC, etc.
To ensure best practices in agricultural and allied education and training, continuous commitment to quality assurance is inevitable. As Chairperson, I will make an endeavor to ensure that agriculture and allied graduates are equipped with the right knowledge and skills through maintaining standards of professional ethics, ensuring that national and international benchmarks are met, stimulating a culture of entrepreneurship and providing opportunities for continuous development. I expect that the mandate granted to NAEAC will be respected by all stakeholders and together we would be able to achieve our goals better and deliver on our core objective of stimulating the improvement of agriculture and allied education and research in Pakistan.
Developing a dynamic and evolving mechanism of quality assurance of agriculture and allied education to meet the current and emerging challenges of knowledge economy.