Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza chaired a meeting on issues relating to veterinary education with the Vice Chancellors of public and private sector universities representing all provinces of Pakistan. The meeting was also attended by Federal Secretary IPC and senior officers of the ministry. In the meeting, existing state of affairs in veterinary education like accreditation of veterinary institutions, registration and other issues of students, updating of curriculum, availability of senior faculty, training of doctors and livestock related diseases were discussed.
Special focus was given to the potential to develop of vaccines for veterinary diseases specially the most common Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) within the country. The Federal Minister said support and technical expertise could be availed from China to cater to this issue under the umbrella of CPEC. Federal minister also highlighted the issues related to complaints made by students on PM Complaint Portal. She highlighted the government’s resolve to improve veterinary education by upgrading the curriculum of veterinary medicine as per international standards as Pakistan is far behind in latest technological developments in the veterinary and livestock sector.
The federal Minister further informed that government supports the elevation of Veterniary education and was serious in considering to introduce paid House jobs for veterinary students across the country as done in regular medical colleges. The Ministry shall be taking up the matter with all the provinces in this regard. The need for giving the veterinary education more priority in Ph.D programs, foreign scholarships and international trainings for career development of professionals and students is a key focus area for which Higher Education Commission will be approached. On the serious issue of quackery prevailing within the country, the importance of eradication of this menace at the earliest should be on top priority basis.
On issues of mainstreaming of those students who belong to institutions which are not recognized the federal minister highlighted the importance of timely relief to such students. The participants of the meeting also discussed the serious need of funding and grants to develop infrastructure and build institutional capacity of veterinary universities / institutions.
In the end, the federal minister asked all the participating VCs to communicate their need concerns and suggestions in writing to the Ministry of Inter Provincial Corporation so that they may be examined and added to the agenda of Inter- provincial Coordination Committee meetings for discussion and way forward.