RAHIM YAR KHAN: The girl students of the government associate colleges of the rural areas of Rahim Yar Khan are facing difficulties in continuing their education due to shortage of lecturers and vacant seats in the colleges near their homes.
There are seven such colleges in small towns, namely Manthar, Kotsamaba, Mianwali Qureshian, Zahirpir, Khanbele, Taranda Muhammad Pannah and village 103-1/L. Each college has 19 gazetted seats and 21 non-gazetted seats of lecturers. The number of students in each college is between 200 to 600 in classes of intermediate and graduation.
According to sources in the College Education Department, out of seven lecturers in Manthar college, six have been transferred to other tehsil or district level colleges.
Similarly, out of four lecturers in village 103-1/L, only one is serving while the same is the case with Kotsamaba college. In Miawali Qureshian and Zahirpir colleges, only one teacher is working while the colleges have six seats each. There are five lecture seats at Khanbela college while only one lecturer is working while Taranda Muhammad Pannah college has one teacher against three vacancies.
The shortage is so acute that a lecturer who joined the associate college Khanbele on Dec 8, 2022 was given the charge of the principal as there was nobody else to take the position.
An officer of the college education department, requesting anonymity, says that despite the arrival of 33 new busses for these colleges, the number of students is decreasing. After their posting, most teachers get themselves transferred from the secretary higher education office in Lahore. He says that for the last many years, the government has been inducting the college teaching interns (CTIs) against Rs45,000 per month.
For the year 2023, the interviews of the CTIs were completed on Jan 9, 2023, but still appointments have not been made. He says the higher-ups in the higher education department don’t care about the student-teacher ratio due to which most lecturers in associate colleges get transferred to the colleges in cities.
Bahawalpur Director Colleges Muhammad Ibrahim admits that there is an issue of lecturers’ shortage but he has taken up the matter with the higher-ups in the department.
He says he has asked for new appointments in all these colleges and 125 new lecturers will soon be appointed in the district. He says that the delay in the matter was due to change in the governments at the provincial level.