South Punjab students from pillar to post


Abdul Manan July 30, 2010

LAHORE: Many students from the flood-hit southern districts of Punjab have been unable so far to submit their application forms for the engineering universities’ entry test to be held on August 8.

Dozens of hopefuls, who had rushed to the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) campus in Lahore on July 30 to submit their forms, were directed by the university administration to submit the forms at the Faisalabad centre by 5pm. “The students from Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur and Layyah said they were told by the UET representatives in Multan on July 29 that they could only submit their applications in Lahore,” Najma Shaheen, a Layyah resident who had arrived in Lahore for the purpose, told The Express Tribune.

She claimed that the students had managed to reach the UET centre in Multan ‘before the deadline’ on July 28 but could not get registered for the test because officials refused to accept the forms after 8pm. “They asked us to come again the next day or contact the UET administration. We weren’t sure if they would accept our forms the next day so a couple of students approached the administration, which directed us to submit the forms by 10pm in Bahawalpur.”

She said that the students immediately boarded taxis and reached Bahawalpur at around 10pm only to be sent back to Multan. On July 29, she said, the candidates were told to go to Lahore.

Prof. Ejaz Chaudhry, a UET admission committee member, said that such problems are reported every year. He said that Multan centre had already reached its full capacity – 6,100 students – and therefore could not accommodate more candidates. Muhammad Arshad and Muhammad Shoaib, who had came from Bhakkar, told The Express Tribune that a large number of students from South Punjab had unable to submit their applications. “Despite heavy rains and flood, we managed to reach the Multan centre on July 28,” Arshad said, “but the university is not helping us.”

The students were not confident of being able to get registered in Faisalabad either.  They complained that the time within which they had to reach Faisalabad was very short.

Prof. Chaudhry said that the only chance these students had was to rush to Faisalabad and submit their forms before 5pm. “They can’t be accommodated in Lahore, the centre has already been filled.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2010.

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