Thursday, November 1, 2012

Islamabad : Girls college falls prey to ‘political point scoring’

The Islamabad Model College for Girls I-8/3 has been functioning without budget allocations, teaching and non-teaching staff and infrastructure since its inception. Insufficient and borrowed teaching and non-teaching staff has been running the college affairs. The then Federal Minister for Education Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani had inaugurated the college in August 2009 and, according to officials, it was indeed political point scoring and individual boost up and material self-benefits on the part of certain individuals who arranged inauguration of a girls degree college in hurry in the federal capital without even considering the provision of basic amenities. In spite of even mounting pressure from parents, the principal was compelled to drop the science subjects and launch intermediate and degree classes in humanities group only. “This is indeed mockery of education that only those subjects which have least fascination and little use in the job market are being taught,” remarked an official. A teacher who has been teaching in the college temporarily, while recalling the days when the classes were started, said, “the principal, Metlo Hamida Qais, used to run among different offices of the then Ministry of Education and the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) and even had been begging to meet the basic needs of the students. It makes big question mark on the face of performance of these bureaucratic offices and those political high ups.” Another teacher of the college telling about their problems said that until now, there is not even a single regular teacher in the college. The principal borrows teaching and non-teaching staff from other sister institutions under the FDE on request that is insufficient to meet the requirements of such a degree college. “Due to having no regular teachers to teach different classes, the academic work is suffering badly. It is also resulting mounting anxiety among both the parents as well as students and the principal does not find any way out to address the situation effectively,” he maintained. This is no less than a joke that a degree college has no head of accounts and no budget allocations from the government to meet miscellaneous expenditure. The utility bills of the college are paid from the little amount collected from the students’ fee. The Pak-Korea Trust had donated 20 computers to the college when the Principal approached the Trust in 2010 but the computers can be seen lying as a dead heap for lack of computer tables and chairs for the students to use them in a proper computer laboratory. Besides the absence of any infrastructure, the college does not have any auditorium to arrange any extra-curricular activities so the students have also been deprived of such activities, which play very important role in personality building of the young learners. Reportedly, the college was allotted an area of 6 acres and payment was made to the Capital Development Authority (CDA). However, it was fine jugglery of CDA that only 4 acres land was handed over to the college for construction of the campus. Rest of the two acres has been reportedly allotted to three CDA members. When the CDA was contacted by the college principal in this regard, it responded with the measurement of area, acknowledged the fact regarding handing over only four acres to the college. CDA authorities clearly stated verbally, if FDE takes up the issue officially with the Authority, they would compensate by adding almost 1.5 acres land adjacent to the college campus and will return the paid amount for the acres less than 0.5 acre. This is indeed indifference on the part of the FDE (Planning & Development section) that up till now, no proceeding has been witnessed in this regard. Spokesman for the Federal Government College Teachers Association, Prof. Tahir Mahmood said, “the present picture of the college, after three years, has raised a big question mark on the will power, intention and interest of the political leadership and bureaucratic machinery. It has proved that the inaugurators were interested only in political scoring and personal projection for material gains. The political and bureaucratic point scorers have escaped and the college administration is left to face the criticism of the parents and students’. FDE Spokesperson Waqar Ashraf could not be contacted despite repeated attempts made by this scribe to have his point of view on the subject.

No comments: