In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), the government has decided to introduce four-year Bachelor of Studies (BS) programs in all government colleges. Previously, only 123 out of 323 government colleges in the province were offering different BS programs. This decision will make BS programs available in all remaining government colleges, providing more educational opportunities for students.
This move is welcomed by local students, as public sector universities in KPK typically charge significantly higher fees compared to government colleges. As a result, this decision is expected to benefit students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
The decision to extend BS programs to all colleges also means that the two-year Associate Degree program will no longer be offered. However, students already enrolled in two-year programs will be allowed to complete their degrees.
According to Arshad Khan, the Secretary of the Higher Education Department, the decision was made because students with associate degrees have fewer opportunities for further education compared to those with BS degrees. He also mentioned that the department has the authority to hire ad hoc teachers until permanent teachers can be recruited through the Public Service Commission to meet the increased demand for educators as a result of the expansion of BS programs.
Furthermore, there have been issues with the recognition of associate degrees, as they are not on par with BA/BSc degrees due to the absence of established rules or laws equating the two.