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TIMERGARA: Over 200 students of the Timergara campus of the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan on Tuesday demonstrated here on Tuesday to demand laptops for the deserving students under the prime minister’s laptop scheme.

Raising slogans, the students also demanded that the Higher Education Commission recognise the campus.

Later, talking to reporters the students’ leaders said future of 483 students of sociology, computer science and management sciences’ departments was at stake as their degrees won’t be recognised. The students complained that despite their names in the HEC list the deserving students were not yet provided laptops.

They also complained about facing shortage of specialist teachers, equipped classrooms and laboratories. They said there was no arrangement for clean water and the students had to use tanker water brought from a nearby stream.

The students also complained about non-availability of transport facility. “Though the campus has its own buses but these have been parked on the premises,” a student said, adding the federal government had directed all the universities to reimburse fee to students of militancy hit areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata, but students of Timergara campus didn’t get the facility. He said the campus also lacked internet and multimedia facilities and students had no opportunity to do research work.

“Majority of teachers are visiting professors because the varsity has not appointed permanent teachers,” they said.

Meanwhile, the campus coordinator, Muhibullah, rejected the students’ allegations and said the campus authorities had submitted Rs100,000 registration fee with the HEC for its recognition. Talking to reporters, he said the prime minister’s secretariat had banned distribution of laptops to the students of the campuses which started functioning through a presidential order issued by former president Asif Ali Zardari. He said 100 laptops meant for Timergara campus students were lying at a bank and would be distributed among the deserving students once a go ahead was given by the prime minister’s secretariat.

He said all classrooms were well equipped and there was no shortage of computers or multimedia appliances. He said the campus had its own internet facility. He said the varsity had spent a lot of money on digging wells but the effort didn’t produce results.

However, he said the campus had made a temporary arrangement for supplying drinking water to students. The campus coordinator said AWKU vice chancellor Professor Ihsan Ali Khan had assured to resolve the laptop and campus recognition issues.

He said the varsity would appoint permanent teachers in the upcoming session, adding the visiting teachers would not be available after August.

SEMINAR: Speakers at a seminar at Chakdara on Tuesday urged well off people and educated youth to provide the much-needed social services to people. NGOs, Movement for Rural Development Organisation and Shaur Foundation jointly organised the seminar.

The speakers said no government was able to solve public problems on its own, and asked wealthy people and educated youth to come forward to provide social services to common citizens. The speakers said citizens should be made aware of their rights and duties so that a balance society could be created.

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2015

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