Model school to open in abandoned college building
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By Kashif Abbasi | 8/28/2017 12:00:00 AM
ISLAMABAD: After 28 years, the Merabagwal Technical College may open its doors to students not for technical but formal education.

The Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) has been trying to start a first ever model college-cum school under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE)in the building of the college.

Sources said recently a team of officers from CADD and the FDE visited the building of the technical college to discuss ways to use it for a model college to ease the burden of admissions on the Islamabad-based model colleges.

In 1989, the 200-room building of the Polytechnic Institute Merabagwal was completed. The foundation of the building was jointly laid by the then Foreign Minister Sahibzada Yaqub Khan and Federal Minister KhaganAbbas1.

But no practical steps could be taken to start classes in the building.

A couple of years ago, CADD initiated a joint venture with the Allama Iqbal Open University(AIOU) whose then vice chancellor, Dr Nazir Sangi, after spending millions of rupees on the renovation of the building pledged to commence classes in the institute within a few months. However, that promise also could notbefulhlled.

CADD had hande d over the building to the A IOU on a 33-year lease. It was decided that the institute would be run by a management committee, comprising officials of CADD and the AIOU.

When contacted, FDE Director General Hasnat Qureshi confirmed to Dawn that ef forts were being made for setting up a model college in the building.

`Minister for CADD Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry is keen to utilise the building for education purposes.

Since there is no model college in the rural area, the minister is of the view that a model college should be opened in the building,` he said.

Asked about the AIOU lease of 33 years, the DG said the university could be asked to hand over the building.

`I think there would be no issue of getting the building from the AIOU,` he maintained.

An of ficial in CADD said there was a polytechnic institute on Peshawar Road Rawalpindi which was closed in 1977 as it had become a venue for routine protests staged by students, teachers and political activists.

He said in order to get rid of the protests on the main road, the military rulers of that time shut down the college and later converted it into the EME College.

However, as an alternative, the Zia regime promised to establish a new polytechnic college in Islamabad.

In 1985, the government decided to establish the institute in Merabagwal for which the locals donated 232 kanals of land.

Though building of the college was completed in 1989, classes could not be started there.