ISLAMABAD - Only three female students from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) were able to get scholarships during 2013-14 that shows a bleak future for tribal women intending to get higher education.

In a written reply Minister of Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education, on Thursday informed the National Assembly that out of the total 1780 scholarships, as many as 1171 male and 609 female students across the country were given the financial aid for higher education.

While 25 female students from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) got the scholarships, only three girl students from seven tribal agencies collectively known as FATA were awarded the aid for higher qualification.

The 2013-14 government-sponsored helped 57, 17, 435 and 39 female students in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab respectively. In Gilgit-Baltistan, where 37 male students got the scholarships, only two female emerged to be benefiting from the programme during the last year.

"In tribal culture, girls education is still something that is deemed as despicable by the society except for some progressive people that send their women abroad for higher education. It is unfortunate that only three girl students from FATA applied for the programme," Ayaz Wazir, former ambassador, told The Nation.

To another question, the minister said that over 2,600 students in International Islamic University (IIU) Islamabad had applied for hostel accommodation but could not be adjusted owing to shortage of rooms.

Questions put forward by lawmakers regarding the state of education in the country including shortage of rooms and infrastructure in educational institutions went unanswered in Thursday's session of National Assembly.