Minister seeks proposals to make ‘forgotten’ college in Islamabad functional

Published September 24, 2021
Mera Begwal Technical College — built in 1989 — was renovated in 2013 but classes have still not been started. — File photo
Mera Begwal Technical College — built in 1989 — was renovated in 2013 but classes have still not been started. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday said the ‘forgotten’ public college in Islamabad, which has been waiting for its opening for over 32 years, would be made functional as soon as possible.

At a meeting called to discuss the issue, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood directed the ministry officials and the director general of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to finalise viable proposals within a week.

The minister chaired the meeting held to discuss the one-point agenda of Mera Bagwal Technical College and directed the ministry staff and the FDE director general to finalise proposals as to what type of education should be offered in the college.

The meeting was also attended by local MNAs Raja Khurram Shahzad Nawaz, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on CDA Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan and Parliamentary Secretary Education Wajiha Qamar.

Speaking to Dawn after the meeting, the minister said: “We have decided that this college will be made functional as soon as possible. Today we discussed several options like if a degree college should be started or we should go for setting up of university there. Finally, I directed for finalisation of viable proposals.”

Says the college built in 1989 will soon be opened

The minister made it clear that the building will be utilised for education purpose and his ministry had been pursuing the case vigorously. He said the Ghulam Isaq Khan Institute (GIKI) had also shown its interest in the building while there were also discussions for starting a degree college on the premises.

The minister said next week he will chair another meeting to resolve this chronic issue.

MNA Khurram Nawaz said the meeting remained very positive and he was hopeful that soon the college will be made functional. He said that it is unfortunate that the college, which was built in 1989, could not be made functional yet.

“Today’s meeting remained very positive as the education minister has been taking keen interest in this project and after one week we will meet again to finalise things,” he said.

The college is located in Bhara Kahu’s Mera Bagwal area. During the last 32 years, the building saw only one development that was its renovation in 2013-14 by a public sector university.

Recently, the local MNA had written a letter to minister Mahmood requesting for the start of classes in the college.

The letter dated Sept 9, available with Dawn, stated: “Your attention is invited to the restoration of building of Mera Begwal, which was built for offering technical education to the community, but the building remains abandoned and hopes of community could not be materialised.”

It said on the demand of the community, a meeting was held on August 31 to resolve the issue. It was decided in the meeting that the building will be made operational as a degree and technical college for boys.The FDE would ensure provision of teaching and other staff, equipment and minor repair and maintenance of the building.

“As the land donated by the community is 232 kanals, the extra land will be utilised for provision of health services for the community. For this purpose, a hospital of 200 beds will be constructed.”

The letter said it was decided that regular classes in the college would be started from March 2022 and August 2022.

“In this scenario, it is requested to please direct your team to expedite the process of repair and maintenance of the building and complete other necessary requirements as soon as possible so that admissions could be started according to the given times,” read the letter.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2021

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