The discontinuation of the Associate Degree Programme (ADB) at Islamabad Model College for Boys, Sihala by the authorities is likely to deprive the students of the facility as well as spoil the untiring efforts and resources behind launching this programme.
The programme, as per the official source, has been discontinued on the directives of the Federal Directorate of Education due to low number of inspiring candidates. The college received only 11 admission applications, the source added.
Professor Farhan Azam, Senior Vice President of the Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA), said: “Since ADP is a new programme, it will take some time to increase the enrollment. Currently the number of applicants is low but this will increase in future.”
“Shutting down the programme is not a solution. Depriving the students of this facility who come from extremely poor families of villages nearby, whose meager incomes are not enough to allow them to send their sons to the colleges of the city downtown, is not fair. The residents (students) of the Sihala sector of Islamabad Capital Territory are not locally able to obtain associate degree, as this is the only boys’ college in this area which is offering AD Programme”, he said.He continued: “Currently the college is affiliated with the University of Gujrat and students of ADP pay around Rs10,000 annually. The colleges situated in the urban areas of Islamabad are affiliated with Quaid-i-Azam University and charge Rs 28,000 per semester (six months) fee which is five times more than the fee of Sihala College.”
“Paying the higher fee of urban area colleges is beyond the economic reach of students of this poor locality. Local students, particularly from rural areas of Sihala, are incredibly poor and they cannot afford to study in the main colleges of Islamabad. Equal access to education is an important idea, but it is not in case of poorer living in rural area of Sihala,” he said, adding, the students from a poor background had a hard time now.
President of FGCTA, Dr Rahima Rehman said, “Slogans regarding promotion of education are raised from every nook and corner but closure of the facility for students of Sihala is proof of the authority’s indifference towards cause of education.” This college was inaugurated in 2009 and started intermediate classes with the ambition to cater the educational need of rural population. Later on degree classes were started after getting affiliation with Gujrat University.—APP