PESHAWAR: The Frontier Education Foundation (FEF) has decided to integrate its colleges across the province with government institutes.
FEF Managing Director Hafizur Rehman told The Express Tribune the decision has been taken because most of these institutes have low enrolment rates.
“So far, three FEF colleges have been merged with government colleges,” he added.
Earlier, on November 14, ANP K-P General Secretary Sardar Hussain Babak announced the provincial government has closed down 15 girls colleges run by FEF. He said the closure of these institutes will leave thousands of students in the lurch and render hundreds of teachers jobless.
However, Rehman said not a single college had been closed down.
“On the contrary, FEF colleges are being merged with government-run colleges,” he added.
A matter of integration
According to the managing director, there are 16 FEF colleges for girls across the province and currently 2,500 students are enrolled in them.
“However, the government has established girls colleges as well,” he said. “This has led students to opt for government colleges.”
Rehman said they have only merged FEF colleges with other institutes in areas where government colleges have been established.
“This was done because the number of students at FEF colleges had decreased,” he said. “Meanwhile, in Swabi district we have closed down a girls college as it had a limited number of students. The college has been merged with a government college nearby. Employees of the college have been given jobs in other educational institutes.”
Rehman said an FEF college in Haripur had also faced challenges in enrolment.
“The institute’s building had 37 rooms but few students,” he said. “In order to make effective use of the excess space, the government decided to establish a college in its place. Similarly, in Nothia, Peshawar, a FEF college was closed down and its students and employees were adjusted at a government college.”
However, Rehman said there is an FEF college in Chakdara which has a large number of students.
“We will never close the institute,” he said. “Other FEF colleges which have a high enrolment rate will not be merged.”
According to the managing director, tuition fees at FEF colleges are higher than that of government colleges.
“This is also a reason why few students enrol at these colleges,” he added.
The other view
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Babak maintained his stance on the closure of colleges.
“The rate of female education in the province is very low,” he said. “The government should establish more schools and colleges.”
FEF was established as a corporate body in 1992 under a legislation passed by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
The foundation’s basic function was to promote education in the private sector across the province. All the administrative and management powers of FEF lie with the board of directors.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2015.