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No funds allocated in KP budget for new colleges

June 29, 2013

PESHAWAR, June 28: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has not allocated any funds to building new colleges in the budget 2013-14 though the province is in dire need of more colleges, especially in city centres.

“Colleges in Peshawar and rest of the district headquarters are overburdened due to shortage of higher education institutions,” said an official of the Directorate of Higher Education Department.

He said that the construction of more colleges was need of the time to provide adequate opportunities to the students to continue their higher education. However, the successive governments failed to allocate funds for this purpose in the budgets for financial years 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Presently, colleges in big cities are overcrowded and environment there is not conducive to education that is why most of the government colleges fail to produce satisfactory results.

Colleges in the urban areas have accommodated students beyond their capacity, said an assistant professor of Government College Peshawar (GCP). For instance, he said, if a college had the capacity to accommodate 500 students, its administration was being forced by public pressure and more students qualifying secondary schools certificate to award admissions to 1,200 to 1300 students due to absence of colleges in the same area.

He said that in GCP many students used to stand in the classrooms during lectures because of shortage of chairs. In such a situation, the students could hardly take notes of the lectures of their teachers. At the end of the academic year such students rely on the already published notes of respective subjects for preparation of examinations.

The assistant professor said that it was virtually impossible for the teachers to properly deliver lectures to overcrowded classes, as the students standing at the last row inside classrooms couldn’t hear them.

The hours-long power outages have added to the miseries of the students and teachers.

Every year, thousands of students qualifying the secondary school certificate examinations are denied admission to the government colleges in part-I of the intermediate classes owing to unavailability of seats in the existing colleges, said an educationist.

The well-off students denied admission to such colleges take admission in private colleges while the poor students are left with no option but to stop getting further education, he said. “Unfortunately, workshops and factories become the next destination of such students,” he said.

Keeping in view the burgeoning population, only Peshawar needs to have 10 more colleges, an official of Higher Education Department said and added that unlike schools and universities, the successive governments had not paid much attention to the colleges.

When contacted, Higher Education Department secretary Ms Farah Hamid Khan told Dawn that many colleges had been constructed in the previous several years. “We need to improve and strengthen the existing colleges instead of constructing more buildings,” she said. Sh e said that the HED had suggested to the new government to construct colleges in big cities like Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, Abbottabad etc on need basis. She said that funds would mainly be spent on the human resource development and consolidation.