ISLAMABAD: Approximately 1,700 students of the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad, who are unable to pay their dues for spring semester, have appealed to the administration for fee waivers.
The university had previously assured these students that they would make a flood relief grant to help them pay their dues. However, later they did not do so and gave students a one week’s time (September 16 to September 23) to pay the fees.
“We were told that if we do not submit the dues within the given time, our names would be struck-off from the attendance list,” Shahjahan, an M.Phil student from Layyah, told The Express Tribune.
Majid Khan, another PhD student at QAU, said that he showed his Watan Card – an ATM card given by the government to flood-affected people – to the administration to demonstrate his financial crisis. “They refused to give me a fee waiver and said I had to submit my dues ‘at any cost’,” he said.
Majid added, “Being a PhD student, I cannot tell you how embarrassing it is for me to ask for money from others.”
Siddqullah, a student from Balochistan, also said that it was difficult for him and his other friends to arrange for money and he was unsatisfied by the university’s stance on the issue.
“How is it possible for me to pay my dues when we have lost everything,” he said.
An official at the Vice Chancellors office told The Express Tribune that a list of some 1,700 flood affected students has been submitted to the accounts department and these students would be compensated at a later date.
“We will refund these students later,” he said.
The official said that they were concerned about these students and recognised their plight. However, he added, the process of providing compensation to these students had not been completed as yet and the administration could not do anything about the matter.
Professor Amanat Ali, an Economic lecturer at the university, said there were many students at his department who had been unable to arrange for their dues.
“Even though the university administration has made its decision that all students will have to pay fees, I will take the matter up with Vice Chancellor Dr Masoon Yousafzai and see if anything can be done for [the flood-affected students],” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2010.
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