Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed all the provinces to reserve at least 2% of total number of seats in state-owned medical, engineering and other professional institutions and universities for students from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The move will open academic opportunities for the FATA students and help them come at par with the youth of other parts of the country. The PM issued these directions with the objective to bring FATA youth in the mainstream of national life so that they may serve in as agents of change.
“FATA are passing through extremely challenging circumstances and there is a dearth of quality education institutions,” the prime minister observed.
Federal Information Minister Pervez Rasheed while talking to The Express Tribune said the government is committed to developing FATA by restructuring its social and political life so as to make it a more efficient part of the country.
Previously,the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had decided to announce reserved seats in the fields of medical and engineering for the students of FATA on open merit and self-finance basis.
HEC has already awarded 2,000 scholarships under the project ‘Provision of Higher Education Opportunities for Balochistan and FATA’ during last four years.
FATA secretariat officials were found sceptical of the higher education opportunities offered for the tribal students. The government should first focus on primary education and basic healthcare that have been neglected in tribal territories by successive governments for decades.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2013.