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Swat students protest denial of admission

Swat students protest denial of admission

MINGORA: Hundreds of boy students who have passed their Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations recently staged a protest against the government and said that despite obtaining good marks they have been denied admission to the government colleges.

According to the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Swat, 64,639 students appeared in the SSC examinations this year and 48,198 of them were declared successful.

However, with few government colleges in Swat district over 13,000 students were denied admission due to lack of space in the colleges. The students were chanting slogans “We want education, we want education” and gathered in front of Swat Press Club where they recorded their protest and demanded of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to provide them colleges so that they could get further education.

“I have obtained over 800 marks in my SSC exams, but I was denied admission in both the colleges in Mingora. My father can’t afford high fees of the private colleges. Now I don’t know where to go and find admission as I want to get further education,” said Ibrar Ali, a resident of Mingora. He said that the government must hire an additional building and staff for the students where they could get education.

Ghulam Ali, president of Pakhtun Student Federation in Swat district who was leading the protest, said that last year about 11,000 boys were denied admission to the government colleges and after their protest the elected representatives had promised to resolve the matter. However, he said that the issue still existed as this year 13,000 boys were being denied admission.

Mr Ali said that if the students were not offered admission the PTI’s claims of education emergency and revolution would stand exposed.

Gohar Ali, a resident of Matta, said that 3,300 students applied for admission in Matta college, but only 500 were given admission.

“Our area was badly affected by militancy and if these young people are deprived of education they could go into the hands of militants,” he said.

There is one degree college for boys in Matta tehsil which was constructed in 1970s. “We demand of the government to establish two more colleges so that future of thousands of students could be secured,” he said.

For about two million population of seven tehsils of Swat district there are five colleges for boys and as many for girls.

“The population of Mingora town has exceeded 600,000, but there are only two boys colleges and one girls college,” said Iqbal Ahmad, an educationist in Mingora.

When contacted, MPA Fazal Hakim Khan said that he was in contact with the managements of different secondary schools and colleges to begin second shift and accommodate the students.

“I hope the students would be accommodated in different colleges and higher secondary schools while the issue has been conveyed to the chief minister to approve new colleges in the district,” he said.

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2016

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