PESHAWAR - Nazim Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT) University Campus Peshawar Shafiq-ur-Rahman criticised the PTI gov­ernment for deviating from its promise regarding ed­ucation emergency and demanded of the Prime Min­ister Imran Khan to take practical steps for education sector reforms.

Addressing a press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Thursday, Shafiq-ur-Rahman said that due to cut in the annual budget of Higher Education Com­mission, all universities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were facing financial crisis and were not in position even to pay salaries of academic and non academic staff.

He said the cut in the budget of Higher Education Commission would ultimately cause increase in ad­mission fees. He said education budget in the finan­cial year 2018 was Rs 110 billion while in 2019 the PTI government had brought a 30% cut in this fund.

He said for the current financial year, the budget has been further slashed up to Rs 64 billion instead of the proposed figure of Rs 104 billion. This year, said, there was no allocation in the HEC budget for estab­lishing new university as after 18th Amendment all provinces have the right to spread a network of uni­versities for imparting quality education.

The IJT leader said that due to lack of internet fa­cilities in far flung areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the students were not able to attend online classes. He said that tribal areas also lack cellular networks in far flung areas. He asked the government to ensure availability of internet facilities in merged districts of the province.

He said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic in the country some universities have sent notices for fees to students. The government should immediately an­nounce a handsome education package for the stu­dents to exempt them from university and hostel fees.

The IJT Nazim also urged university administra­tion to extend the last date of Ph.D and M.phil theses as students were facing financial challenges to time­ly complete their research work. He also asked KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to appoint new Vice Chancellor for Peshawar University as the tenure of incumbent vice chancellor has expired.

He said that lack of a permanent vice chancellor for the university will create academic issues and will waste the valuable time of the students.