PESHAWAR -  Instead of providing relief to the people, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led district government doubled fees of educational institutions it runs in the city.

The institutions, run by the district government, impart education in English medium to the children of the employees of the Municipal Corporation, Peshawar and other poor segments of the society.

Niamatullah, a resident of city, while talking to The Nation, said he had admitted his son in municipal public school due to reasonable fees but now the district government has started to close the doors of the schools on poor children. He informed that fees were increased by 100 per cent for every class of the school affiliated with Municipal Inter-College, Wazir Bagh.

He said he is a daily wager and admitted his children due to low fees as compared to other public schools but now the district government has doubled the fees so his children might not be able to continue their education in the said school.

Muhammad Javed, who has admitted his son in municipal school, said doubling the fees was total injustice to employees of the municipal corporation as these people are taking meagre salaries and it is hard for them to pay such huge amounts for their five or six children.

When contacted, Feroz Khan, public relations officer of the district administration, said these schools were being run on public-private partnership basis but for the last few years the schools were not able to meet their monthly expenses and teachers’ salaries.

He said low income and high expenses were main cause of increasing school fees, otherwise, he said, the administration could shut the schools due to lack of funds. 

Bakhtiar, a clerk in Municipal Inter-College Wazir Bagh, said the district government was planning to take back 50 per cent increase in the fees due to the pressure of municipal corporation employees’ union.

He said fees for prep to 4th class were increased to Rs650 from Rs350 previously. Similarly, fees for 5th class to 8th class were fixed at Rs1,060 instead of Rs720, and from 8th class to 10th class, new fees were listed as Rs1,160 instead of Rs820.

The district administration is running three schools and colleges, which include Municipal-Inter College for Boys, Wazir Bagh, Municipal Inter-College for Girls, Shahi Bagh and Woman Degree College, Peshawar.

Similar increase was also announced in the fee structure of inter classes. However, later the fees were revised and a 70 per cent increase as compared to the previous fee structure was put in place.

The incumbent PTI government claims to have increased education budget but contrary to their claims, the government is not subsidising these three schools.

The district administration is also collecting huge sums from locals under the head of various municipal services, building construction and others. However, little portion of the funds are spent for the welfare of the citizen.

UOP ALUMNI REUNION HELD

The alumni reunion of the University of Peshawar was held on Saturday in the lawn of Sheikh Muhammad Taimur Academic Block. It was well attended by a large number of professionals and former graduates of the university.

The event was made more colourful by the Pashto song “Pekhawar kho Pekhawar de kana” sung by former graduate, Irfan Khan, and enchanting melodies of Gulzar Alam.

Besides, Chitrali dance and traditional Pakhtun attan enthralled the audience.

University of Peshawar (UoP) Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Rasul Jan was the chief guest of the event.

Higher Education Department Additional Secretary Dr Khalid Khan, former vice chancellors Dr Qibla Ayaz and Dr Lutfullah Kakakhel were among over 400 participants of the ceremony.

In the event, it was decided to establish a student endowment fund in order to help the needy and poor students of varsity.

In this regard, Counter Terrorism Department Director Dr Ayaz announced a sum of Rs1 million for the fund from his pocket.

Certain other graduates also announced their contribution at the occasion.

Addressing the ceremony, the vice chancellor said that the former graduates were the guiding agents for the uplift of the university.

He added that all over the world, alumni provide adequate funds to the universities to meet its financial needs.

Dr Jan maintained that the huge number of audience in the gathering shows their love for their alma mater and vowed to take the journey further by giving more role to alumni in uplift strategies of this institute.

Dr Qibla in his speech said that what we are today is just because of this university, adding that the graduates of the university have been excellent ambassadors of the institution and were working in the public and private sectors on key positions within the country and abroad.

Earlier, coordinator of the alumni association said that they were in contact with 7,000 former graduates of the university, and the data bank was soon going to be enhanced to 35,000.

He agreed to the suggestion put forth in the ceremony regarding the appointment of focal persons in European countries.