Bannu Medical College poor facilities
Bannu Medical College
Peshawar, June 04: For three days recently, more than 70 male and female
students of Bannu Medical College stayed in the provincial metropolis
to stage protests and interact with whoever could help them in seeking
resolution of their problems.
This was a desperate attempt to
invite attention of the authorities to the sorry state of affairs at
their college, which was established in 2006 by the then chief minister
Akram Durrani as he tried to bring every conceivable project to his
native Bannu. Four years later, it is still lacking in many respects.
students were hoping that their protests in Peshawar and better media
coverage would prompt the provincial government to take measures to
upgrade facilities at the college for meeting the standards required
for its recognition by the Pakistan Medical and Dental College (PMDC).
protests made an impact as Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti convened a
high-level meeting on June 2 to discuss the needs of Bannu Medical
College. If properly implemented, some of the decisions that were taken
would help resolve the problems highlighted by the students. The
Khalifa Gul Nawaz Teaching Hospital, named after a freedom-fighter,
would be made fully operational by the end of the year, an endowment
fund would be set up to offer incentives and hire the needed teaching
staff and request would be made to the federal government and PMDC for
provisionally recognizing the college.
The students, though,
are sceptical as in the past also promises were made and forgotten
following their earlier protests. However, they are determined to
pursue the matter as the first batch at the college is now in the
fourth year and non-recognition of Bannu Medical College by the PMDC
would render them ineligible to appear in the MBBS examination.
500 students of the college had earlier organised demonstrations in
Bannu and set up camps selling pakoras and sewing clothes as a mark of
protest against the government's apathy to solution of their problems.
group of students narrated their woes as they sat down with this writer
while camping in Peshawar recently as part of their protest campaign.
They had been on strike since May 13, refusing to take classes and
instead agitating on the streets. Their major concern was
non-recognition of their college by the PMDC due to its various
Initially, 50 students yearly were being
admitted, then the number was raised to 100 without providing the
requisuite facilities. The intake of students is now 153 and the
college strength would rise to 653 later in the autumn when new
admissions are given. This has led to overcrowding in the classes,
laboratories and hostels, which in case of male students were set up in
rented buildings and lack basic services. There are more than 200
female medical students belonging to places all over the province and
they too are suffering due to the plethora of problems at the college.
Khalifa Gul Nawaz Teaching Hospital is not yet fully functional. Work
on its construction started in 2004 but only six out of the 11 planned
blocks have been built until now. Shortage of teachers is a serious
issue. Ninety sanctioned posts of the teaching faculty are still
vacant. The PMDC in its last report following a visit by its designated
inspection team noted that the college was being run with 20 percent of
the required teaching staff only.
According to the students,
the problems at Bannu Medical College kept piling from the tenure of
its first principal, Dr Omar Ali Khan, who was followed by Dr
Shafiullah and was recently replaced by Dr Khan Nawaz. The college
principal was normally entrusted with four posts, making it difficult
for him to concentrate on his job.
The Ittehad-e-Talaba, the
united platform of the protesting students, highlighted many other
problems concerning their inadequate library, the non-operational Self
Learning Resource Centre, the poorly maintained laboratories, security
The Bannu Medical College is the third biggest
college in terms of students' strength after the Khyber Medical
College, Peshawar and Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad. However, it is
fifth in order of merit primarily due to its many inadequacies on
account of the government's inability to meet its needs. The college
could slip further in ranking if remedial measures weren't taken to
resolve its many problems.
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No girls college in Katlang
Mardan: Imagine a higher secondary school with 1,700 students against
its capacity of 1,200 and 120 to 130 of them crowding a class.
is the state of affairs in the Government Girls Centennial Higher
Secondary School in Katlang in Mardan district. The sad part of the
situation is that it is the only school of its kind in Katlang, where
no girls college exists despite having a population of more than
Katlang is a rural area 20 kilometres north of Mardan
city. It was declared a tehsil by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister
Ameer Haider Hoti during his visit to Katlang on March 6. Katlang has
fertile agricultural land and is located in an area containing
archaeological sites dating back to the Gandhara civilisation.
higher secondary school for girls is in Katlang town, which is
centrally located in an area containing more than 25 villages. Teaching
staff at the school complain that it is overburdened due to absence of
a similar institution or girls college in the area.
of the school Mrs Naseem said that there were only 13 teachers in
the school, meaning that the ratio was one teacher per 130 students.
She lamented that the ratio of teacher per student was three times more
than the educational policy of the government, which is one teacher for
"We have requested several times verbally and in
writing the high-ups of the Education Department for the provision of
more teachers at our school but to no avail," she said. According to
the principal, the school administration often refuses admission to
students, as the school cannot accommodate more because of
overcrowding. She said it was a routine that desperate parents from the
surrounding villages visit the school to seek admission for their
"When we deny them admission, the parents lament
that they will stop sending their daughters to school as there is no
other educational institution run by the government for girls in the
area. The parents tell us they cannot afford to educate their daughters
in the expensive private schools," she explained.
remarked that the teachers ask four girls to share a single desk, as
all classes are overcrowded. "There are about 120 to 130 students in a
class. How can a single teacher concentrate while teaching so many
students in a class?" she asked.
Saba, a Grade 9 student said that she aspired to continue her studies but feared that her dream
of receiving higher education would not be fulfilled as there was not a
single college for girls in the Katlang area and her parents could not
afford to send her to the college in Mardan city.
"I know that
many girls in my neighbourhood have given up their studies after
passing the intermediate examination because of absence of a girls
college in Katlang," she said. Another student of Grade 9, Lubna said
her father was a peon in a high school and his salary was just Rs6,000
which was hardly enough for making both ends meet. "How can he bear
expenses of my education?" she innocently asked.
to the government to award scholarships for the needy girl students to
enable them complete their education and become useful citizens.
Shah-i-Sultan, father of a girl student, said that there were girls
colleges in Mardan city but it was not possible for poor parents to
bear the expenses of sending their daughters there for higher
"The government should set up a girls college in
Katlang and also open another higher secondary school in our area to
meet the demand for female education and save the future of the girls,"
he stressed. The news
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Agri varsity students for semester restoration
Faisalabad: More than 400 students of the University of
Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF), staged a protest demonstration on
Thursday and blocked Jail and Kutchery roads for about five hours,
demanding restoration of the summer semester and a solution to frequent
Students of different departments gathered in front of the faculty of agriculture and marched towards the main gate.
The protesting students, carrying banners, chanted slogans against the
university administration and blocked the main Jail Road by placing
barriers, throwing traffic out of gear at the roundabout in front of
the university entrance.
Later, the university administration locked the main gate reportedly to stop more students from joining the protest.
Student leader Waqar Tareen said the university
administration had withdrawn the facility of summer semester that would
land students in a difficult situation and they would not be able to
improve their grades. He said university officials had been requested
time and again to restore the facility, but to no avail.
He said scholars had also been facing problems owing to unscheduled loadshedding.
Some three days ago, the students had also protested in front of the
office of the students' affairs director, but they were told that the
issue would be resolved after the return of Vice-Chancellor Dr Iqrar
Ahmad from France. The VC is on a two-week tour of France.
When the students refused to budge from their position without an
assurance regarding acceptance of their demands, acting vice-chancellor
Dr Ishfaq Ahmad called them for a dialogue.
A group of seven
students -- Waqar Tareen, Ali Gujjar, Majid, Hasan Rasheed, Mian
Haroon, Akram and Amjad Bhatti -- met the acting vice-chancellor who
assured them that a notification for the summer semester would be
issued on June 12 when Dr Iqrar returned to Pakistan.
Dr Ahmad was quoted as saying that the potable water issue would also be resolved soon.
Students claimed that the acting VC had also given an assurance that no
midterm examinations of doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) would be
The students dispersed peacefully when they came to know that their demands had been accepted.
However, Waqar said they would be again on the road if the
administration failed to issue a notification regarding their demands
on June 12.
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Lahore: The PU on Thursday declared the results of MSc
Seismology (morning programme), semester system, session 2006-08. Dawn
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PU COAD begins thesis display
Lahore: University of the Punjab (Old Campus) College of Art and Design
(COAD) has inaugurated its five-day long thesis display of 38 Masters
in Fine Arts students, a private TV channel reported on Thursday.
fine arts students highlighted the social and environmental issues in
their theses using the means of graphic designing, painting,
sculpturing and textile techniques. The students said that they had
depicted social issues in a very attractive manner, as the thesis held
due importance for their carrier.
A large number of students
participated in the display, which revealed the keen observation of the
students on issues depicted in the thesis. The display will continue
until June 5, the channel reported. Daily times
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College teachers to be promoted: minister
Lahore: Punjab Minister for Education Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman has
said promotion cases of college teachers are being processed speedily
and eligible college teachers will be promoted to next grades by the
end of June, 2010.
He said this at the oath-taking ceremony of
office-bearers of the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association
(PPLA), Lahore and Bahawalpur divisions, at the Government Islamia
College, Railway Road, here on Thursday.
The minister claimed
the Punjab government was addressing college teachers' issues on
priority basis, saying that no society could progress without ensuring
due status to teachers.
He said the government also expected that the teachers would perform their duties with commitment.
Asataza President Nazim Hasnain Shah, PPLA Lahore Division President
Prof Majid Wazir, Bahawalpur Division President Rao Inam ul Haq also
spoke on the occasion and demanded unconditional regularisation of all
The PPLA office-bearers on the occasion also
passed a number of resolutions, demanding one-step upgrade on pattern
of university teachers, elimination of contract policy, ending of
biometric system for attendance at colleges, withdrawal of proposed
idea regarding establishment of board of directors at colleges for
autonomy and implementation on recommendations of the Pay and Public
Commission. The news
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Students delegation meets CM
Lahore: A 15-member student delegation of Lahore Grammar School
selected for the International Space Settlement Design competition at
Johnson Space Centre, Texas, America, called on Punjab Chief Minister
Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday.
Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Provincial
Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, MPAs Shahzadi Umerzadi
Tiwana, Saba Sadiq, Secretary Higher Education, Chairman Taskforce Raja
Anwar and Vice Chairman Punjab Educational Endowment Fund, Dr Amjad
Saqib were also present.
The CM while talking to the delegation
said that Pakistani students are talented and the nation has high
expectations of them. He said the selection of Lahore Grammar School
students for the International Space Settlement Design competition in
America is a matter of pride for Pakistan and it is hoped that they
will come up with good results and enhance the prestige of the country. The nation
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