The students from different tribal regions, including women, on Wednesday opposed the allocation of reserved seats in the professional colleges and asked the government to abolish the quota and give them admission on open merit.
They also urged the government to ensure early disbursement of annual scholarships to students irrespective of areas, political affiliations and gender, saying this will help them get education and thus, effectively contribute to the region’s development.Accompanied by other Fata Students Organisation (FSO) leaders, Zara Zaman told reporters at the Peshawar Press Club that most of the Fata educational institutions had been closed for long due to lawlessness and thus, leaving thousands of local children and youths without education.
She said teachers were reluctant to do duty in the region despite getting salary on regular basis and that the influential people had turned buildings of educational institutions into cattle pins.
Zara said one of the major problems of women students from tribal regions was unavailability of official transport vehicles to travel between educational institutions and home and therefore, many of them remained without formal education.
Say admission should be granted on the basis of open merit
Another FSO leader, Shaukat Aziz said the government had stopped award of scholarships to Fata students by and large, while some influential students managed to get them.
“The government should stop the discrimination and award scholarships to all tribal students,” he said, adding that there was also a need for the opening of new educational institutions in different regions.
Shaukat said reserved seats were given to undeserving people on the basis of fake domiciles and therefore, the deserving people remained without facilities.
He said FSO was opposed to reserved seats for admission to professional educational institutions.
“Fata is part of the country and we are Pakistanis. The government should give us admissions on the basis of open merit otherwise most tribal students won’t get education,” he said.
The FSO leader urged the government to fulfil its commitment on the establishment of a university and medial and engineering colleges in Fata.
He said the government should open vocational institutions and impart technical education to tribesmen so that they could earn livelihood for families.
Shaukat also called for the establishment of new hostels in the settled districts to accommodate the increasing number of students.
He warned if the government didn’t accept the demands, the Fata students would agitate.
Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2014