I have been at NTC for over two years now. Our performance for 24 months has been, well, a mixed bag. While there have been successes which we are happy about, there are still tall administrative and legal mountains to climb before we can say” we have arrived”. With each passing day, however, there is clarity about issues that were obfuscated for long in a toxic mix of undefined roles, confused interpretation of laws and adversarial positions held by stakeholders, i.e., engineers and technologists. Today we are ready to chart a new direction that bolsters technology, strengthens technologists, and benefits Pakistan. The government’s sharp pivot towards technology -- and technologists as professionals -- is now showing results. It has generated a rational discussion at multiple levels and is in sync with a major global shift from pure knowledge to usable skills.
Today, even laymen understand that engineering practice includes engineers, technologists and technicians who complement each other with unique skill sets to achieve desired results. Engineers cannot perform their functions without technologists, and technologists without technicians are incomplete. These professionals have different skills sets that are not replaceable, but for employment and upward mobility, they must have equitable opportunities.
HEC and NTC are working closely with the government for a sustainable policy framework that 1) Creates an autonomous National Technology Council through an Act pf Parliament, and 2) separates career paths for engineers and technologists in sectors where both are employed. It is our earnest endeavor to define a career path for technologists with the same entry-point-pay-scale as their colleagues, and similar promotions, albeit in a parallel service track.
To enhance skill sets of technologists, HEC has offered 200 overseas scholarships for MTech. and Ph. D programs. In the first round 34 scholars were selected and their placement in universities is in progress. NTC is working with universities running accredited B. Tech programs to start M. Tech and Ph.D. (Tech) programs after meeting HEC criteria. We are trying to create space for cross-fertilization where a technologist can move laterally into an engineering slot after going through an assessment process. Similarly, we are encouraging engineering universities to allow B. Tech graduates for admissions in M. Eng. programs after assessment.
I am happy that more and more institutions running bachelor’s in technology programs are applying for accreditation, and graduates are registering themselves in increasing numbers. Only with a robust regulatory framework and stringent quality assurance protocols can we wash the societal stigma that is often attached to these professional. Universities are “factories” where skilled manpower is produced under the regulatory framework set by HEC and NTC. Success of our endeavors is measured on the touchstone of quality of graduates.
To raise standards, NTC has undertaken a major exercise to develop curriculum for engineering technology programs based on OBE and OBA models that are in substantial compliance with the Sydney Accord. We have finalized curriculum for 10 (ten) streams, and the next ten are work-in-process.
NTC’s singular purpose is to strengthen the technology sector with robust quality assurance protocols that helps produce skilled graduates to become powerful factors of production in Pakistan’s development. It is heartening to note that technologists have acted professionally and given NTC strength to address their concerns in different forums more effectively. We are a family. Pulling in unison we can achieve great results. Together we shall clear the historic debris and afford you fair opportunities to excel in your areas of expertise. For this I need your continuous support!
I would like to thank HEC, Ministry of Education and Professional Training and Planning Commission of Pakistan for their support in our efforts. And finally, I thank technologists for the trust and support they have given NTC.
Thank you and God bless you all!
MESSAGE FROM CHAIRMAN Imtiaz H. Gilani
NTC is four years old and still in institutional infancy. However, the initial birth-pangs and teething problems have abated, and we can now chart a clear direction that bolsters technology, strengthens technologists, and benefits Pakistan. It is fortunate that over the last 5 years there is a sudden pivot towards technology as a trade, and technologists as professionals. The sharper focus has brought to surface many festering issues and generated a rational discussion at multiple levels that shall be the harbinger of much needed reforms and course-correction.
Currently engineers and technologists (now recognized as ‘Engineering Technologists’ by International Engineering Alliance) are vying for the same higher BPS posts, often becoming confrontational and adversarial. With the boost new “technology” universities will give this field, it is essential that policies iron out areas of conflict so that engineers and engineering technologists can work seamlessly as essential, and necessary, parts of the engineering profession. Engineers, engineering technologists and engineering technicians are 3 parts of a whole -- albeit with different skills-sets – and become effective when working in tandem. Engineers cannot perform their functions without engineering technologists, and engineering technologists without engineering technicians are incomplete.
Engineers and engineering technologists have different skills-sets that are not replaceable, but as far as employment and upward mobility are concerned, they must have “equivalent” opportunities. A clearly defined career path needs to be developed for engineering technologists, with the same entry-point scale, and similar promotions in a parallel service structure. To actualize this HEC and NTC are working closely with the government for a sustainable policy framework.
For engineering technologists already in the field, we shall endeavor to create a mechanism where their skills-sets are enhanced. Similarly, HEC and NTC shall try to create opportunities for engineering technologists for higher education, after filtering them through an assessment protocol. NTC is working with HEC to offers 200 overseas scholarships for MS and PhD programs in Engineering Technology. Simultaneously, we shall work closely with universities running undergraduate Engineering Technology programs to start MS and PhD Engineering Technology programs after meeting HEC and NTC criteria.
Universities are “factories” where skilled manpower is produced under the vigilant regulatory framework set by HEC and NTC. Touchstone of our success is measured by the quality of the graduates. NTC is focusing on developing curriculum that is in close conformity with standards set by the Sydney Accord, an international regulatory framework for engineering technologists. Becoming a signatory member of the Sydney Accord will take time, but we can benefit from good practices of member countries in designing our programs so that the engineering technologists we produce are of international standards.
And finally, to the engineering technologists, let me say this: NTC was created by HEC for the express purpose of strengthening the engineering technology sector, and look after the welfare of engineering technologists. Together we shall work our way through the historic debris and, by the grace of God, clear the path that puts you -- and socio-economic development of Pakistan -- on a desirable and sustainable upward trajectory. For this I need your support.
To Accredit Higher Education Institutions Programs for graduate technologists; stimulate quality, innovation in teaching and training, self-evaluation & accountability in Higher Education. Help Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) to realize their academic objectives to produce high quality professional technologists for the benefit of society.
Why accreditation is important
Accreditation ensures that quality Technology education programs, comparable to international
standards, are run in all universities of the country. The Accreditation process gives the Institute an
opportunity to conduct in-depth analysis of its strengths and weaknesses in its internal and external
environments. Besides, it protects and promotes the quality of Technology programs and the interest of