BATTAGRAM: The local residents have demanded establishment of a campus of the Hazara University in Battagram.

Talking to Dawn, they said they had to send their children to other districts for getting higher education due to absence of a university campus in the district, bearing hostel, food and tuition expenses.

They lamented that despite the government’s claim of enforcing education emergency in the province, the people of this backward district were deprived of higher education facilities.

The locals said Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, during his visit to the district, had announced setting up a university campus in Battagram, but the promise was not fulfilled. They said it seemed the incumbent provincial government wanted to only gain political mileage by such hollow slogans.

Adnan Khan, a fourth year student, told this correspondent that he was currently studying in Government Degree College, Battagram, but after completing his graduation, he had no hope of continuing higher education because there was no such facility in the district. “It is not possible for me to move to other cities for the purpose because my father is poor,” he said, demanding of the government to establish a university in Battagram.

Mohammad Asghar said he was worried about his son’s future after he completed his graduation.

Shad Mohammad said in the information era the people of Battagram had no varsity.

Fazal Rehman lamented that government representatives had totally failed to execute public welfare projects.

Javed Iqbal Ulasyar, a social activist, said Battagram was a backward area where education and health facilities were next to nil. “The political leaders do not want common people to get education or become prosperous, that’s why they show zero interest in public sector education,” he regretted.

Gulfam Sabir, a private schoolteacher, said from the past eight years they were hearing that a university campus for Battagram had been approved by the government, but they did not see the project on the ground.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2017