KARACHI: Despite a declaration of the so-called education emergency in the province, many reforms in the department have come to a standstill. Among these is the Sindh government’s promise to bear the educational expenses of students studying at public sector colleges.
A notification in this regard was issued by the education department in April, stating that the fee for registration, admission and examination for matriculation and intermediate will be borne by the government with immediate effect.
Unfortunately, many students in Karachi are facing issues with their second year admission fee. In many cases, students are confused whether or not to submit the fee.
“I went to the college, purchased a form for Rs60 and submitted the fee of Rs540 at Sindh Bank, as instructed by the college administration,” said a pre-medical student at the Government College for Women at Sharae Liaquat, showing the fee payment receipt.
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Some of her friends who are studying commerce at the same college have also submitted their fee. The last date to submit the admission forms is July 20, which is why all the students at the college are trying to complete the process before it is too late, said the student.
She also said that the college has previously charged the students for admit cards for their first year examinations. “The officials in the administration block charge paltry amounts that range from Rs10 to Rs50 when students go to collect their admit cards or mark sheets from them,” she claimed.
Another student from the DJ Science College who is also studying pre-medical, said that their college has also issued the form but would not let the students submit it on Thursday
“The admin officer asked us to come back on Monday as they were confused whether to charge the fee or not,” he said, adding that the officer said he would reconfirm the fee issue with the principal, who was not at the office at the time.
Meanwhile, College Education Secretary Parvez Ahmed Seehar told The Express Tribune that colleges are not permitted to charge any fee and if any college is charging a fee, action will be taken against them. He asked the regional director of colleges to take notice of the complaints and report back to him by Monday.
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“We will take strict action against colleges found charging fee from students,” he said. Seehar also said that they will identify the colleges that are not following the orders.
The notification was issued with the approval of Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, while the plan was proposed by Education Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar during a two-day workshop organised for college principals by the department in mid-April.
The move was meant to promote secondary and higher secondary education in the province and to reduce the number of students who drop out of school because they cannot bear the examination costs.
While announcing the plan, Dahar had said that no fee would be charged in the name of admission, examination or any additional charges from students in the future. He had also said that the decision to waive the fee was to increase enrolment. He said that colleges and examination boards would no longer be collecting the fee. The education minister also pointed out that college staff use different ways to mint money on the pretext of charges.