Ayeshah Kamal Butt - Being a home economist I came across many misconceptions and false opinions of people about my professional degree. It is believed that a homec girl deals with just “Handi Roti”. That is a good image as well but I want to explain few professional facts behind this “Handi Roti” image.

Home economics is basically a professional education that basically deals with home, from home and to home. The graduation from the College of Home Economics is basically a journey of 6 years after Matriculation and is equivalent to Masters. The MS / MPhil programme leading to PhD is also offered here depending on the opportunity one can avail. To get admission at the college might be easy but to stay, learn and regenerate your professional skills is quite a tough job. Many may not be familiar with this programme. Here is the introduction in brief. There are 5 major areas of specialisation including: Food and Nutrition, Textiles and Clothing, Related Art/ Art and design, Home Management and interiors, Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS).

This is not the end; students may also study enormous science subjects including biology, computer sciences, chemistry, biochemistry physics, mathematics, statistics, research methodology, physiology, psychology, microbiology. The home economics programme touches almost all relevant areas of study to let the students be capable enough to compete with students of other professional disciplines. Now the home economics education has become so advanced, market oriented and demanding that the graduates are not only working in industrial sector but also running their own businesses. A number of famous fashion designers who are working internationally are the homec graduates. Then how one can say that home economics is just about “Handi Roti”.

Pakistan textiles industry is known as the backbone of country’s economy and the biggest revenue generator and foreign exchange earner. Who is running this industry? Fashion designers, textile designers, business managers, supervisors and fashion experts are all amongst Home Economists. The design you are wearing is not yours. You are not familiar with the importance of the design. A lot of people put in their energies to create a single design. The intellectual & physical resources, the time invested to create a design and produce it for market, cannot be calculated by the buyers. You just bought and wear it.

The furniture at your home is not designed by the MNA or MPA of your area. It’s our interior designers who created and crafted masterpieces for your drawing rooms. When you are obliged by your guests, you proudly say that “it’s my choice”. It might be your choice but it’s “our” creation.

Do you know the food you are getting from the market is Halal or haram? You have no idea? The food safety workers who are providing you quality food are not the software engineers or application developers, but food and nutrition graduates from Home Economics College Dietitians working at all local brands providing you quality products at your door step are Home Economic graduates.

I am not denying the importance of “Handi Roti”. I just want to clarify the misconceptions of the people about this professional programme. We the Home Economists are all-rounders. We are perfect cooks, professional trainers, result oriented demonstrator, organised wives, elegant home makers, obedient daughters, unbeatable fashion designers, innovative textile designers. We are consumer advisors, community health workers, family managers and food service managers. What a saying ‘Water makes its own way’ Home economics education is not restricted to Lahore only but Islamabad Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Karachi and many other cities across Pakistan. ‘Handi Roti’ itself cannot be that much important to be on a professional degree level. I am going to mention few facts to let you know the craze and advancement of this “Handi Roti” education. The Home Economics degree programme has also been started at: Lahore College and University for Women (LCUW), Queen Mery College, Lahore, Home Economics (Sadium Road Gulshan Town), College of Home Economics Peshawar, Bahaud Din Zakria University Multan (D.G. Khan Campus), University of Sindh (Jamsharo), Jinnah University for Women (Karachi), University of Karachi, College of Home Economics (Karachi), University of Peshawar, College of Home Economics (Peshawar), FG College of Home Economics and Management Sciences. F 7 2 Islamabad, Agriculture University, Faisalabad, Islamabad College of Home Economics and Management sciences and of course College of Home Economics Lahore is pioneer in this field.

The idea of Home Economics education is not local idea. It started in America and reached Pakistan after almost 6 decades of its formal acceptance in America. Those who introduced it, came up with their teaching materials, books, aids and other equipment in Pakistan. Afterwards in 1960s, this subject was given its true importance and prestigious place when a commission on National Education in Pakistan was established.