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SWABI: Hundreds of students who have passed the secondary school certificate (SSC) examinations are confronting problems to get admission in the government colleges due to limited number of seats in the institutions, adding to the worries of their parents who cannot afford the hefty fee of private colleges.

In Swabi district, there are 10 public sector colleges for boys and six for girls. In addition, 26 schools and colleges in the private sector also offer admission to the boy and girl students.

About 8,000 students in the district have passed the SSC examinations from the government schools and with the inclusion of students of private colleges their number increased further. However, the total capacity of admission in the local government colleges is about 3,000.

During interaction with some students, parents and college managements it was revealed that those who could afford fee of private colleges prefer to study there. Also, those who obtain good marks get admission in the leading colleges of the province. However, the girls face serious problems in getting admission because of some cultural restrictions.

Fewer seats in govt colleges, big fee in private ones cited as reasons

Sources in the colleges told Dawn that in each college more students applied for admission in both science and humanities groups than the available number of the seats.

A female lecturer said that the big problem was that the brilliant and affluent students were lured by private colleges and only those who could not afford the fee or face some other problems showed interest in the government colleges. She noted that the government had not provided facilities and increased the number of colleges according to the steep rise in population of the district.

“The gap between the established colleges and population has widened in the last one decade,” she said.

Academic staff in the government boys postgraduate college, Swabi, and degree college, Chota Lahor, said that they could not cater to the increasing number of students. A professor, who was a member of the admission committee in a Swabi college, said that they got a huge number of applications, but could not adjust all the students.

“It is true that I could not get good marks, I still want to continue my education. However, the doors of education have been closed on me because of less marks,” said Yasir Khan of Yar Hussain. It is feared that many students who failed to get admission in government colleges might discontinue their studies.

“Obviously, I would send my son to a government college where expenditures for the whole year are around Rs30,000 but the same amount is needed for only admission in a private college,” said Abdul Wali of Maneri Bala.

Other parents said that there was an urgent need for opening more government colleges to absorb the growing number of students. They said that the private colleges in the district were providing an opportunity to the students, but not everyone could afford their huge fee.

“If we really want to build a society by promoting education we should provide opportunities to the youth to acquire contemporary knowledge,” said a retired principal, Prof Mohammad Sabir.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2015

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