LAHORE - The misinterpretation of Punjab chief minister's orders to abolish self-finance scheme which was primarily meant for medical colleges, was wrongly implemented in polytechnic institutes and colleges of technology depriving thousands of poor students of admission in various disciplines of technical education. The worst hit were the government polytechnic institutes (GPIs) and government colleges of technology (GCTs) in the province which bear the brunt of admission to matriculates for average two years diploma courses in technical education. The chief minister was concerned over the highly inflated fee in medical colleges in the name of self-finance under which the students with poor merit are accommodated rendering colossal loss to the much needed quality education in medicines. However, this policy was wrongly applied on technical education which is the back bone of our development and progress. Due to fear of loss of opportunity to thousands of matriculates, the chairman Technical and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) which is controlling authority of polytechnic institutes and colleges sent a summary calling for restoration of second shift to accommodate as many students as were taken last year. The parents have also urged the chief minister to allow admission to their children in second shifts. In this connection the last date for admission can be increased to August 31. Thousands of matriculates will not be able to get admission in GPIs and GCTs this year if the second shift on self-supporting basis is not restored immediately while majority of candidates belong to poor strata of population. They cannot secure admission for higher education in general education or in professional educational institutions. The trend formulated towards acquisition of technical education for progress of the country will also receive a great set back if the admission seekers are not accommodated in GPIs and GCTs. The government in its education policy review 1998 formulations gave higher priority to technical education but the step to deny admission itself will prove counter productive to this claim. The polytechnic institutes impart Diploma of Associate Engineers (DAE), two years programme in civil engineering, mechanical, electronics and other disciplines in addition to other regular courses. The GCTs impart B Tech. B Com and similar other job oriented and demand driven programmes. More than 100,000 matriculates take admission in 23 polytechnics and similar number in 12 GCTs in Punjab, thus reducing burden on colleges of general education and higher secondary schools. The number of GPIs and GCTs must have been double the present strength but this area was grossly neglected by the previous government. However, to accommodate more students the double shift was the only answer under the present circumstances like all other general education colleges and institutes in the province as well as in the universities. This provided ample chance of students to secure admission as usually the morning shift strength is not more than 450 students in an institute. The second shift on little higher fee is run by hiring faculty from outside on per lecture basis. The second shift fee in polytechnic institutes is within the affordable limit of the poor students. It also brings the building of the institution in use after the morning shift.