Quality education only for urbanites
Fozia Bibi, a resident of Bharakahu has been trying to get her children enrolled at one of the 20 model colleges in Islamabad. However, each time she is told by the staff that there are no seats.
There are only 20 model colleges to serve the needs of Islamabad’s ever-burgeoning population and with these colleges concentrated in a few urban sectors, students from the rural and suburban areas of the capital are denied access. With the exception of one college for girls in Korang Town, all model colleges are located in the F, G and I sectors. According to the rules, residents of the area where a college is located, have the first right to any available seats at the college. The situation is made worse by the lack of capacity at each college.
Since 2011, all Federal Government (FG) schools have been renamed ‘model’ schools and colleges, so that the two could be brought at par. However, the move is now largely seen as eyewash, since no improvement was brought in the standards and facilities at the original FG institutions. The difference in standards means that most parents prefer sending their children to the original model schools, where teaching standards are better and facilities such as transport are available.
While old model schools only allow teachers who have completed their Bachelors and Masters degrees to teach, new model schools employ hundreds of teachers who have only completed FA and CT.
The conditions at two schools located in F-6/2 are reflective of the problem with a few hundred students studying at the Islamabad Model School for Girls F-6/2, which was originally an FG school and close to 7000 enrolled at Islamabad Model College for Girls F-6/2, which has been a model school since its establishment.
A senior FDE official said that there is dire need for the establishment of a few new model institutions. “Otherwise, these colleges will have to hold classes in the grounds. There are already hundreds of students studying in the evening shifts,” he said. The official said that thousands of students in rural areas travel to the city to study at model colleges and there is a need to set up similar institutions in areas such as Bharakahu, Tarlia and Shahzad Town.
Model Colleges Director Dr Tariq Masood said “Each day, the staff at model colleges have to deal with thousands of people seeking admissions. Three principals requested for transfers because they could not deal with the pressure from people trying to get their children admitted. We understand the problems faced by parents of prospective students but they must understand our predicament as well. There is simply not enough capacity,” he said.
Another FDE official said not enough model colleges have been set up over the last 20 years. “The solution is to establish some more or bring standards at all 423 institutions at par,” he said.
Students receive laptops
As many as 800 laptops were distributed among the students of Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, under the Prime Minister Youth Laptop Scheme here on Wednesday.
In a ceremony, 800 laptops and internet devices, provided by Higher Education Commission (HEC) were distributed among the students.
MNA Maiza Hameed was invited as the chief guest at the ceremony, which was also attended by Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad, HEC Information Technology DG Anwar Amjad and faculty members.
Addressing the participants of the ceremony, MNA Miaza Hameed said young people are the future of the nation and providing them with access to information technology is the need of the hour. Speaking at the occasion PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad said that the government’s efforts to equip students with information technology will improve the quality of research in the country.
Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2015
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