A college in the Swat Valley is to be named after teenage peace icon Malala Yousafzai by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government. The Saidu Sharif Degree College will thus become the first college in the valley to be named after a woman.
Many girl students in the valley welcomed the decision and uttered many words of appreciation. “Finally the government has realised that a college should be named after a female. The move does not only honour Malala, but all the girls of K-P,” said Sumaira, a fourth year student at the college.
“Malala is the daughter of this land, an upholder of girls’ rights and an activist who fights for the education of girls. There is no joy greater than that of studying at the Malala Degree College,” said Neelam, a student of FSc, who was one of Malala’s school friends. Girls from Swat expressed great pride over the fact that Malala belonged to their land. However, happiness over the government’s decision to rename the college was mingled with surprise. “We never expected that the college will be named after Malala. We are now pleased to know are girls are being given due importance,” said Sunbal Ghafar, a student of B.A, while talking to The Express Tribune.
While a majority of the students were happy with the college’s renaming, others were apprehensive. “We feel that the change of name might provoke an attack by terrorists on the college,” said a student at the college.
Some felt that Malala’s name would help the college. “We have multiple issues in this college. There is a shortage of teachers and a lack of science and computer laboratories. We hope that once the college is named after Malala, it will win the government’s consistent attention.” said a group of students.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2012.