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SAHIWAL: The Lodhran district administration’s move to hand over half building of the Government Degree College to Bahaduudin Zakariya University (BZU) for its sub-campus has sent a wave of concern among students and teachers of the college.

The Lodhran college has more than 1,300 students on its rolls with 20 teachers. The only public college in the city caters to the need of students.

Teachers’ professional bodies and traders are opposing the establishment of the sub-campus on the college premises and demand that some alternative arrangements be made for the sub-campus.

The 20-room college was established on 20 acres in 1989 as an intermediate college. In 1994, the college was upgraded to the degree level without any additional rooms.

College teachers say admissions to the third year classes were going on and with that the college strength would reach 1,500 by the end of November. Most of the classes are held on the lawns because of the shortage of classrooms.

Dawn learnt the college administration had demanded in a letter in October last that the authorities construct additional rooms and post more teachers.

About three months ago, officials from the Higher Education Department (HED), the Higher Education Commission, and BZU visited the college and suggested the building be used for the BZU sub-campus to raise higher education status in the district.

The district administration had started working on a proposal to allocate half of the college building to the sub-campus. Students say the inception of the sub-campus will create the shortage of classrooms and playgrounds for them.

The Lodhran chapter of the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA) demanded that the college building not be allocated for the sub-campus.

Dawn learnt that PPLA representatives met HED Secretary Ihsanullah Bhutta in Lahore and opposed the move.

Local traders leader Saleem Kambhoo told Dawn the university must build its sub-campus at a separate place.

PPLA Multan division president Dr Tariq Baloch said such move would spoil the education standard of enrolled students.

Dawn learnt from sources that there are two government buildings laying vacant in Lodhran city, which could be used for the sub-campus, of them one is the Educational Complex and the other is Old DC Office.

PPLA president Muhammad Hasan said the college teachers were planning to lobby in the PML-N circles and lawyers to get the move scrapped.

Dawn learnt up to six sanctioned posts of the college teachers had yet to be filled.

PML-N MPA Zubair Baloch told Dawn they would ensure that the venue for the sub-campus consent could accommodate the students and that all stakeholders had no issue with the venue.

Saeed Ahmed Khan, president of the District Income Tax Bar, said that grabbing the college land for a university sub-campus was not justified.

Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2017