Classes at Fata University to start on Oct 24
By Sadia Qasim Shah
PESHAWAR: The first-ever university set up in tribal areas to impart higher education to students from militancy and extremism affecte d region is going to commence classes by end of the month.
After failure of two vice-chancellors to kick-start the Fata University project previously over a tussle on their appointment, the former director of geology department at University of Peshawar, Dr Mohammad Tahir Shah, finally materialised the project as first vicechancellor of the first university in the tribal areas named as Fata University.
With a humble beginning from a Government Degree College Akhurwal in Darra Ademkhel, the Fata University is going to hold interviews on October 19 for admission in four disciplines, offering 30 seats each. Classes would commence on October 24.
`So far we have only received boys` application forms for admis-sion in four disciplines but we are going to follow merit. There is however, a little relaxation or preference for youth from Fata,` said Dr Tahir Shah. He said that not a single girl had so far submitted admission form but they encouraged both boy and girl students to apply for admission.
Initially admission in BBA or fouryear Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science of four-year BS programme in mathematics, political science and sociology has been started.
Teaching staff including one professor, three assistant professor and lecturers are enough to start with the classes. Other administrative staffers like registrar, treasurers and controller of examination and clerics have also been hired.
`It is initial stage and I have a good team. Soon our students would compete with students of already established universities in the province,` claimed the vice-chancellor of Fata University.
However, the first public sector university in Fata, which has started to function from a degree college in Akhurwal in the erstwhile weaponmaking town, was just recently repaired as it was also victim of conflict in the region.
It would require more land to construct more classrooms and other required buildings to adjust morestudents in other disciplines. More funds and land would be required to finally turn this college into a fullfledged university. The vice-chancellor is also aware of this challenge.
`At the moment there is no shortage of funds. However, we need more land,` said Dr Shah. The university has around 466 kanals of land and wants to buy around 200 kanals more. `Work on master plan would be completed by December this year,`headded.
The Fata University was announced through a presidential order in May 2013. However, work on the project could not move ahead. In 2015, Sardar Mahtab Ahmed Khan took charge as governor of the province and he took interest in the project and vice-chancellor and other staff was appointed. Work on PC-1 schemes continued and approved in May 2016 and funds were released to continue work on the project.
`Now we have hired faculty and administration staff. Some staff is working on deputation. Renovation work in Degree College Darra Ademkhel has just finished and would be handed over to us in a day or two. On October 19, we would hold interviews of the students, who have submitted admission forms.
We would commence classes on 24 of this month,` said the vice-chancellor.