Students seek Chitral-specific academic calendar
By Our Correspondent
CHITRAL: The three months winter vacation in Chitral has been adversely affecting the studies of students, especially those of colleges and universities.
According to local students and academicians, the introduction of a Chitral-specific academic calendar and establishment of a separate board of intermediate and secondary education for the region could effectively resolve the problem.
Zaman Shah, a government college lecturer, told Dawn on Monday that the existing academic calendar didn`t conform to the region`s weather conditions, especially the winter season, which lasted for five months.
He said colleges were closed for winter vacation at the end of November every year and reopened by the second week of March, while the intermediate examinations were held in April.
The lecturer said the intermediateclasses began at the end of August when the admission procedures were completed, while the degree classes began in September.
`Under the circumstances, the students of intermediate classes are left with only three months to finish course, which is actually not possible,` he said.
The lecturer added that the academic session was further curtailed by Eid holidays.
Arsalan Khan, a final year graduation student of a government college, said during his four years studies at the college, he`d never seen teachers finish course and that a lack of time was to blame for it and not the incompetence of or irregularity on the part of teachers.
He asked how Chitral students could compete with those from the plains, where colleges remained opened from September to the end of the academic session with a short break of only a week.
`The students can`t focus attention on studies during the winter vacation due to harsh weather and unavailability of electricity in most villages of the district,` he said.
Yar Mohammad Khan, the principal of a government degree college, said the examinations of both matric-ulation and intermediate classes should begin in December simultaneously so that their results could be compiled by the end of February.
He also suggested that admission to both first and third year classes should be completed in March, while classes should begin in April.
This, he said, will give ample time to students to bein schools.
The principal said if a drastic change was needed in the local education calendar, the district should have a separate board of intermediate and secondary education and that the current number of matriculation and intermediate students in the district was enough for the purpose.
He also said like Chitral, Upper Dir was also a mountainous region, so a separate board of intermediate and secondary education could be created for the two districts to introduce the requisite academic calendar.
`That new academic calendar will surely bring about a revolution in the field of secondary and higher secondary education in the region as it will give local students more than eight months to attend schools and thus, preparing well for examinations,` he said.