Posted on 2021-04-17

GCU introduces zero-semester policy

The academic departments of Government College University Lahore have formally adopted the policy of zero-semester and non-credit mandatory courses/training for students who require extra-attention. The policy is approved by the Academic Council.
According to the policy, the admission committees and students' academic advisors will identify courses for students. Non-credit courses will be of foreign languages such as Persian, Arabic, Chinese, French, communication skills, and basic courses related to a discipline.
Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi said: This initiative is part of the recent drive to improve the quality of education at GCU. Top-ranked universities offer zero-semester and non-credit courses to equip students with skills necessary to be highly competitive in the job market.
Unfortunately, the Vice Chancellor said, Pakistani Universities were reluctant to adopt this strategy due to limited financial and human resources. Despite these tangible problems, GCU is committed to going to any extent to make its students distinguished. We will not charge our students any additional amount, he said.
A chairperson of an academic department told the media that even sometimes toppers of boards and other universities could not secure decent grades at GCU because they lacked basic skills. "Now the University has taken this much needed initiative to help our talented lot," he said.
An undergraduate student, who is provisionally admitted to a humanities department, told: "I have been informed by my department to learn Arabic and Persian languages. They will offer these courses as well. This has increased burden on me but I am happy that I will be having the same skillset which an undergraduate from a top-notched department in the same discipline might have".
An MPhil scholar, who was asked to get registered for a workshop on conversation skills, added: Graduates of good western universities are returning [to Pakistan] with added skills. If we do not acquire additional skills, we will become irrelevant and unemployed. Most of Pakistani students have this issue. Our University is doing what should be done.

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