PESHAWAR – The NWFP government plans to convert the recently established the girls campus of the Khyber Medical College (KMC) into a women’s medical college within a year after it fulfils the criteria of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).
“Those female medical students who do not want to study in mixed environment would be able to study in women’s medical college,” NWFP Health Minister Inayatullah Khan told Dawn.
The separate girls campus would be started as a branch of PMDC’s recognized medical college KMC as the campus itself doesn’t fulfil the criteria of the PMDC at the moment.
Later on, the campus would be converted into a separate women’s medical college when it fulfils PMDC’s criteria. The major requirements are a suitable site, a proper building and full-time teaching staff.
However, sources told Dawn that fulfilling the PMDC’s criteria within a year was a difficult job.
The acting principal of the KMC, Abdul Wadood, brushing aside the possibility, said that the girls campus would be provided with faculty members and other facilities of the KMC.
The provincial government has allocated Rs167 million for the girls campus to be housed in a rented building at Hayatabad where initially 50 female medical students would be admitted on their own option.
The female students who would not be able to be accommodated in the KMC would be inducted in the girls campus.
“Forty open seats have been reserved for the students and 10 seats were left for students seeking admission under the self-finance scheme or for the overseas applicants,” project director Prof Dr Zia-ul-Islam said.
“The girls campus has been opened in a hurry. The site and the building are not suitable to house a campus of a medical college,” opined a doctor presently teaching at the KMC.
“The girls and boys hostels, bus service and canteens were already separate at the KMC and they sat separately during their classes so it was useless to open a separate girls campus without making proper arrangements first. The girl medical students will have to go to mixed hospitals for their three year clinical work so it is of no use to open a separate campus,” another doctor from the teaching faculty of the KMC observed.
Dr Zia-ul-Islam informed that the government would appoint fresh faculty members for the separate girls campus.
He said that the girls campus would initially start working under the umbrella of the KMC so it wouldn’t need the NOC from the PMDC.
“Qualified professors and associate professors presently teaching anatomy, biochemistry and physiology in the KMC would teach in the girls campus and would be paid honoraria for these classes,” he said.
Doctors presently teaching in the KMC said that it was against the regulations to perform two government jobs at a time. There were already vacancies in medical and surgical staff at the KMC and the PMDC had directed the KMC to fulfil these vacancies to make available a full-time qualified staff, they said.
“Strength of the teaching staff will be increased but it will be difficult for us to make it sure that only female teachers are appointed in the girls campus because practically it is not possible,” said Mr Anayatullah Khan.
The girls campus of the KMC would admit female medical students only but the teaching faculty would comprise male and female teachers.
“There is no female specialist in biochemistry, no female associate professor of physiology disciplines taught in the first year at the KMC. It means male teachers will teach in the girls campus so the real problem of giving an exclusive Islamic environment to girls coming from religious background would still remain unresolved even in the girls campus,” said a faculty member of the KMC.