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National politics preys on newcomers at colleges

July 10, 2012

PESHAWAR, July 10: Setting up ‘guidance camps’ outside public sector colleges by student wings of different political parties is a common trend as activities of these organisations want to attract the newcomers, seeking admission in the intermediate classes.

The administrations of colleges are of the view that apparently student organisations set up camps to guide admission seekers but actually they want to influence the newcomers by extending help to them in the admission process.

The organisers of the camps established outside Government College of Technology Peshawar (GCTP), told Dawn that they had been sitting in the guidance camps for the last few days to help the newcomers in submitting admission forms as many of them didn’t know about the process.

The guidance camps established in front of Government Superior Science College Peshawar and Government College Peshawar were wound up a few days ago after expiry of the last date for submission of admission forms.

These camps are usually established by activists of Pakhtun Students Federation, Islami Jamiat Tulba, People’s Students Federation, Muslim Students Federation, Insaf Students Federation and several other regional unions. Big banners with pictures of their leaders and party flags are displayed at the camps.

An educationist, wishing not to be named, linked the downfall of standard of education in government colleges with the activities of student unions. “Political interference in shape of student unions has destroyed academic activities and discipline in public sector colleges,” he said. On the other hand the private collages where no student unions existed were running smoothly, he added.

“A student attached with any union wastes his precious time throughout the year by indulging in political activities and showing no interest in academic activities,” he said, adding at the end of the academic year, the result of such students was definitely failure.

A student present at a guidance camp outside GCTP said that those camps worked from morning till 2pm. He said that they had so far helped 250 students in submitting their admission forms. “We will continue till the last date for submission of forms,” he added.

The chairman admission committee of GCTP, Eng Inayatur Rehman, said that all documents required to be attached with the admission forms were clearly mentioned in the prospectus. “There is no confusion in the prospectus,” he said.

Besides, two officials were present there to guide the students if they had any confusion, he added. Pointing towards a big banner displayed on the wall inside the college, Mr Rehman said that all information regarding the admission were also available in Urdu language inscribed on the banner.

However, the students were of the view that many newcomers couldn’t understand the prospectus. Several of the students said that helping the newcomers would improve their image among them.

GCTP Principal Sartaj Gul said that it was a political activity and nothing else. A few years ago those camps used to be established inside the college, he said, adding for the last three years he didn’t allow them to set up camps inside the college.

He said that he had no power to remove the camps established outside the college. It was the responsibility of district government, he added. “Actually these student unions convince the newcomers to join their organisations,” he said.

Higher Education Director Ghulam Qasim Marwat, when contacted, said that removal of student camps was the responsibility of the college administration and district government.

District Coordination Officer Javed Marwat could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.