Govt Aims To Empower Tribal Youth with Ornament of Higher Education

Embarking upon a mission to empower tribal youth with an ornament of quality higher education, the Federal and Provincial governments have accelerated efforts to strengthen education infrastructure.

Govt Aims To Empower Tribal Youth with Ornament of Higher Education

Embarking upon a mission to empower tribal youth with an ornament of quality higher education, the Federal and Provincial governments have accelerated efforts to strengthen education infrastructure, establish new colleges, universities and libraries besides increasing stipends for male and female students of merged districts to bring them at par with the students of settled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Following the decades-long neglect in terms of educational facilities, the tribal districts have now been witnessing substantial growth in education sector where presently about Rs 20 billion development projects were in progress under the accelerated implementation program (AIP 2019-23), which upon completion would change the destiny of tribesmen.

The gigantic projects include establishing 12 new colleges, rehabilitation, provision of missing facilities to existing colleges, commencement of BS programme, scholarships to students, solarization of colleges and educational institutes, recruitment of teaching faculty and provision of transport facility to facilitate students especially girls in erstwhile Fata.

Muhammad islam Khan, Senior Planning Officer, Higher Education Department told APP that under three years’ AIP, a joint venture of the Federal and KP Governments started after KP-Fata merger, work on different mega projects amounting to Rs20 billion were underway to empower tribal youth in all seven merged tribal districts.

Besides construction of 12 new colleges, he said five government degree colleges for girls were being established in merged areas, adding classes in newly established government degree colleges for boys at Bara and Landi Kotal in Khyber tribal district and government boys degree college at Penk in former Frontier Region of Tank has also been started.

Out of these 12 new colleges, he said that four colleges were being established in Bajaur, two in Khyber, one each in Kurram and Bakakhel (former FR Bannu), three each in North Waziristan and South Waziristan.

“Today is the age of information technology, science and quality higher education vital for sustainable economic progress and development to achieve educational goals,” he said adding the universities and teaching faculty, including lecturers, assistant professors and others, play an important role in imparting knowledge to tribal youth.

For a knowledgeable based society and promoting research works in colleges and universities, he said one each library was being established in Khyber, Mohmand, Bajaur, Kurram, Orakzai, North Waziristan and South Waziristan.

Besides strengthening of Fata University near Dara Adamkhel, he said the government has decided to establish Bajaur University at Khar to empower tribal youth, with an estimated cost of Rs one billion under AIP.

He said Bajaur University would help save time and money of tribal students who mostly come to Peshawar for higher education.

Islam Khan said that 10 new colleges were completed in merged areas raising its total number to 55, adding 300 new lecturers and subject specialists were recruited for 45 colleges in tribal districts.

To address challenges of energy shortfall and improve literacy rate, he said work on solarization of colleges costing Rs1.6 billion has been started in erstwhile Fata. New vehicles were recently provided to the principals of 45 colleges including 24 boys, 15 girls and six commerce colleges of merged areas to provide pick and drop to all students.

The government would spend Rs1.18 on the transport project that would benefit around 25,000 tribal students. Similarly, 10 more transport vehicles and buses would be provided to the newly established colleges.

Medical colleges and Engineering universities are planned in all merged districts while work on an Education City in South Waziristan is underway. The government has also planned to establish campus of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University (SBBWU) in tribal areas to provide quality education to girls students at their doorsteps.

To encourage talented tribal students to continue their studies without facing financial constraints, Rs. 1.399 billion were earmarked to provide 5,500 internships to the tribal students.

Former Provincial Minister, Wajid Ali Khan said that PTI government was needing to focus on sustainability and economic empowerment of existing universities and avoid opening of new universities for political point scoring.

He suggested establishing campuses of different universities instead of separate universities of medical, engineering, agriculture, law etc to save the financial resources of KP that was already facing financial problems.

Wajid said internationally, many renowned universities have established their schools of medicine, engineering, business, and other disciples under one roof for better economic management and good governance.

The absence of quality research, outdated and conventional teaching methods and the divide between teachers’ tenure track and basic pay scale were adversely affecting quality of higher education in KP, he maintained.

He expressed the hope that financial issues of public sector universities in KP would be addressed on priority basis and focus should be made on research works.

Originally published at Urdupoint