Swat, 7000 students disappeared after enrollment

Each year, thousands of students miss out on intermediate admissions due to high earnings and lack of places in educational institutions across the province, including the Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Some students move to other counties or provinces, while most drop out after matriculation. Despite the introduction of second-shift classes in colleges, 7,476 students were not admitted to a state or private college in Swat that year.

Even after 760 marks no approval

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Sulaiman Khan, who belongs to Mingora, the capital of Swat, got 760 points in the latest matriculation exams, but he could not get admission to any state college in Swat. Sulaiman Khan said during the interview that he applied for admission to many colleges but was not admitted due to high merits.

“I have no money to enroll in private educational institutions including nursing and technical colleges and my financial situation is not good enough, it is difficult for my family to support my education costs.” He added

According to Sulaiman Khan, I started working in a shop in the city of Mingora because I couldn’t get a license. I’m trying to get private admissions just to take the exam, but I’m having a hard time studying in a private educational institution with high fees.

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Where have more than seven thousand students gone?

Thousands of students sat the last matriculation exams in Swat. According to the Swat Education Board, which consists of the three districts of Swat, Buner and Shangla, a total of 44714 students sat the 2022 matriculation exams, in which 39658 were declared successful.

According to the Swat Education Board, a total of 32,182 undergraduates were admitted this year in the first year, in which 19,928 state colleges, 7,689 private colleges and 4,565 private students took the admissions test.

When Swat Education Board data is checked, out of 39658 students who passed matriculation, 32182 entered middle first year, while 7476 students passed matriculation examination but could not get admission in first year in any educational institution of Swat.

When examining the non-admissions of these seven thousand students, it was found that about ten percent of these seven thousand students are those who enrolled in educational institutions of other counties or other cities, while about four hundred students are admitted to technical and nursing schools every year. Most students drop out of their studies due to lack of admission.

A race for numbers in education

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As in other districts of the province, there is a grade race in Swat’s educational institutions, and students try to achieve good grades in order to gain admission to good colleges. According to the results of the Swat Education Board in 2022, the top score on the matriculation exams was 1080, while the second position was 1079 and the third was 1078 points.

7689 male and female students were admitted to private colleges due to high merit and lack of capacity in state colleges.

Mah Noor, a student at a private college who received 970 marks, says she was not admitted to a state all-girls college due to a lack of space in the educational institutions, so she was forced to enroll in a private college.

“Now I’m trying to get the maximum score in junior high so I can reapply for the MDCAT test,” she added

In this regard, educationalist and social activist Arif Siddiqui says that there should be no capacity in state colleges, and on the other hand, students will not get admission to colleges because they don’t appear in merit, because now not only Swat but also students from Buner, Shangla , Dir and Malakand are admitted to Swat colleges.

“The government has modernized schools, started the second shift, built new colleges, but still many students are missing out on admission to state colleges,” he added

PTI government initiatives

In order to solve the problem of thousands of students not being admitted in Swat, the previous Tehreek-e-Insaf government took many steps, the biggest thing that was done was that the high schools were granted the status of higher secondary education.

District Deputy Education Officer Fazal Khaliq Khan said during his speech that forty schools had been given higher secondary status in the previous government, and they had also introduced second-tier classes.

Former MPA and Ddac Chairman Fazal Hakeem Khan says that Wali Swat did most of the work for education in Swat while no government paid attention to education after that. During the nine-year reign of Tehreek-e-Insaaf, revolutionary measures were taken in the field of education.

According to Fazal Hakeem Khan, seven new colleges were built throughout the district, higher secondary status was given to Shagai, Wadudia and other schools, new schools were built in different areas, buildings of Mingora Degree College and Jahanzeb College were rebuilt, and more classes were built . Construction of a new graduate college in Akhun Baba is underway, a girls college has started in Shagai and BS colleges for boys and girls have opened in the college colony.

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“Schools that lacked space have been remodeled and more space created,” he added

What will the solution be?

Education experts believe that high earnings are jeopardizing the future of thousands of students, but population growth has made it difficult to accommodate students in colleges.

“But according to experts, there is a solution to this problem.”

Arif Siddiqui, writer and educator says the whole world is now connected with virtual education and online systems and thousands of students can also be accommodated in the same model. If a college takes in a hundred students, it takes in three hundred. Classes of 100 students in the morning, 100 in the afternoon and 100 students can be taught online.

Jahanzeb College and Degree College Mingora are the oldest and largest educational institutions in Swat which have proven that students can be accommodated even without merit.

According to Jehanzeb College administrator Jannat Gul, all students who applied in the first year were admitted, one shift is in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

What was the strategy of the two big universities this year?

Jahanzeb College Admission Superintendent Students Affairs Jannat Gul says that in the first year this year, a total of 10,000 217 students applied, of which 1,536 students were admitted.

818 students were placed on the morning shift while 718 students were placed on the afternoon shift.

Jannat Gul said all students who had applied locally to the jurisdiction and Swat were accommodated, while about fifty students were admitted outside the jurisdiction and Swat.

“Merit for non-natives was kept very low, students up to 770 points were admitted in the first year”. He added

A second shift was also introduced in the graduate school to accommodate students.

Former MPA Fazal Hakeem Khan says that we started the second shift in upper secondary schools including colleges, which largely solved the problem and the children who were denied admission were allowed access to colleges and their precious year was saved from wasting .

According to DDO Fazal Khaliq Khan, each secondary school housed up to two hundred students and the government did revolutionary work by introducing a second shift.

“There are about fifteen to twenty schools in Mingora, Charbagh and Islampur where the first grade classes are also admitted in the second shift, while the second shift has also started in the schools up to the elementary level.” He added

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Reduction of earnings and implementation of a percentile system

DDO Swat Fazal Khaliq Khan says that it is very important to have merit, if the history of merit is eliminated then the institutions cannot achieve position, nor can they perform. Rather, the race for good grades among students will also end.

“In my view, the solution to the problem is to start teaching second shifts in more colleges and organize online courses in parallel,” he said.

Fazal Rabi, the private college’s principal, says the percentile system allows students with poor grades to be placed in state colleges.

“In the percentile system, performance is calculated by percentage, it’s not like students who score 900 get admission and students who get 899 lose admission, it’s percentage admissions, z admitted.” He added

He said this will ensure that many students who miss admission by a mark or two are placed in colleges.

Online teaching with Second Shift can bring about a revolution

For this problem as well, the virtual college model to promote online education in Pakistan can offer the best solution.

In the virtual university, students are provided with a good education through weekly live sessions and LMS, videotaped lectures.

According to Junaid Khan, Administrator of Virtual University Swat Campus, BS and MS students are enrolled in their university. If the government launches online courses for advanced students, it may save thousands of students from a dark future.

“Our services can also be rented, we can launch real-time online classes at state colleges for advanced students in a class where a hundred students sit and listen to lectures, and we can show the same lecture online to over a hundred students. ” He added

Due to the lack of colleges in Swat, the increase in population and the influx of students from other districts to Swat, most colleges have started offering afternoon classes, but thousands of students remain uneducated.

Education experts insist that the only solution to this problem is to reduce the merits at other colleges such as Jahanzeb College and Degree College and introduce a percentile system. Second and third shifts should be started, and the most important and necessary thing is to start online courses so that thousands of students who are denied admission every year can continue their education.