Red tape behind lapse of funds for scholarships
KARACHI, July 20: While the government boasts of allocating substantial
funds for scholarships and bursaries, in reality financial constraints force
many deserving students to abandon any hopes of higher education. In most cases,
awards or financial grants are insufficiently advertised and even officials
within the education department are not up to the task of providing relevant
information or navigating the red tape.
This April, the Sindh department
of education created an Endowment Fund worth at least Rs100 million to be used
in financial aid. According to the provincial secretary for education, Sabhago
Khan Jatoi, "the Endowment Fund has over Rs100 million through which we support
meritorious students through scholarships in different fields."
He said that the government of Sindh has decided to initially award scholarships
worth Rs15 million, a sum that can be increased to keep pace with scope and
can pursue their studies in a number of prestigious institutions selected by the
government, including the Sindh University, Jamshoro, the Aga Khan Medical
University, the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi and Sukkur, the
Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute for Science and Technology (Szabist) in
Karachi and Larkana, the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology
(FUUAST), Karachi, Isra University, Hyderabad, and the Institute of Business
Management (IoBM), Karachi. "In addition, students from Sindh will also be sent
to quality academic institutions in the Punjab and the NWFP, such as the
National University of Science and Technology (Nust) and the Ghulam Ishaq Khan
Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology (GIK)," said Mr Jatoi.
However, the lack of publicity
about this ambitious programme means that the benefits are of no use to
uncountable brilliant minds. A case in point is that of Sadia Afreen, a
promising young Intermediate student at the Government Degree Science College,
Malir. The daughter of a daily-wage electrician, she secured 84 per cent marks
in the Grade 9 examination, 86 per cent in her Matriculation degree and 81 per
cent in the HSC-I examinations.
For the past two years, however, she has
been running from pillar to post in order to get a scholarship enabling her to
continue her studies.
"My poor father cannot afford to allow me to
continue my studies," she said. "Besides, in his view, an education up to
the Intermediate level is sufficient for girls."
In view of her father's
financial constraints, Ms Afreen has been trying to get a scholarship to go to
college but her efforts have yielded no fruit.
She said that she
first approached the ministries of education in Sindh and Islamabad but "as
usual, I got no reply since I'm only a poor and helpless student." After this,
she approached the provincial ombudsman who advised her to go to the regional
director (colleges), Karachi, who in turn informed her that no funds were
available with him and suggested that she consult the additional secretary of
the Sindh department of education.
"I have filed that application and can
only pray that Allah puts some mercy in the officials' hearts while they decide
my case," said Ms Afreen.
According to a top official of the government
of Sindh, the purpose of the endowment fund is to encourage talented students
who do not have the resources to pursue their studies. Ms Afreen is both, yet
the government has offered her little encouragement. Dawn
"asalamo alikom sir im seriving in paf as civilian watch man i did d.com now i want to take admission in b.com but i have no source toafford the expences of university pleas help me thank u."
Name: zakir hussain
City, Country: karachi, Pakistan
"good very good."
Name: imdad ali
City, Country: jamshoro, Pakistan
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