Tight deadlines risk excluding eligible students


Abdul Manan August 08, 2010

LAHORE: Hundreds of students from flood-hit areas across the province may be unable to meet the application deadlines of public universities and colleges. The submission deadline for most of these is August 13. Most of the flood hit areas are still cut off from the rest of the country. As a result, prospective students from these areas may find it hard to submit their completed applications in time.

According to the Higher Education Department (HED), it is mandatory for them to complete the 470 public sector colleges to complete their admission process by September 1, and start first-year classes from September 5.

According to the Flood Relief and Crisis Management Department (FRCMD), 9 districts of the province have been affected and millions of people have become homeless. The worst affected areas include Mianwali, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur and Layyah. Recently, flood in the Chenab river has affected Sialkot, Multan, Pakpattan, and Sargodha districts.

The large number of students who were seeking admission in Lahore’s colleges have expressed their concerns regarding the application deadlines and demanded that the Punjab government extend it. Several students from Makarwal and many from Dajal (Jampur), Rojhan, Rajanpur, Sanawan, Gurmani and Layyah told The Express Tribune they feared that despite getting good marks in their matriculation exam, they not being going to be able to submit their admission forms in time to even public colleges situated in Dera Ghazi Khan and Multan. They said the floods have isolated their areas from the rest of the province. Some students in the Bajwat area of Sialkot too claimed similar difficulties.

Jameel Najam, who is a retired public instruction director, said that government should review the admission schedule in view of the calamity that has hit the country. He said it would be tragic if good students from across the country are denied admissions to the best public colleges, since most of the students could not afford the private colleges fees. He said the facility of online applications offered by some public colleges was irrelevant to such cases.

Amin Khan, a student from Charsadda, told The Express Tribune that he wanted to get admission in GCU because he had scored one of the top positions in the Peshawar board, but floods had washed away his house which was located near the riverbank. Therefore, he had been unable to submit his forms at the provincial secretariat in time. He said that his entire province had been severely affected, and so the Punjab government needed to extend the deadline.

Ahad Khan Cheema, the HED secretary, was not available for comment.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2010.

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