PESHAWAR, The University of Peshawar (UoP) affiliated postgraduate colleges have expressed serious concern over the strict admission criteria for the admission seekers of master's in English programme and demanded of the Education Department high-ups and university administration to relax the rules.

The UoP, the biggest public sector general university of the province, has made it mandatory for the regular students of master's in English to have at least 45 per cent marks in English elective subject in graduation.

"For a university this may be a right criterion, but it can never be termed as logical for postgraduate colleges, as no student with 45 per cent and above marks in his English elective subject -- the toughest among all the subjects -- would turn up to a college for admission," said a senior professor of Government Postgraduate College, Charsadda, while talking to 'The News'. He said his college was upgraded to postgraduate level in 1998 and ever since it has the department of English. He added that they started offering admission to the students with marks below 45 per cent in the absence of those having more marks. All this was done in the larger interest of the students and area, he added.

The university, too, ignored this 'so-called' violation by the college till 2005-06 when the first warning was issued to the institution.The management of the college, when approached, said they did not receive that warning and continued offering admission the same way.

In 2008-09, a second warning was given to the college with a fine to the tune of Rs23,000 at the rate of Rs1,000 per student.This was certainly an unpleasant development for the students at least, said an administrative official of the college.

Some professors said no such criterion was in vogue in any of the public sector universities in the province other than Peshawar. The UoP, too, allows students with fewer marks and even those who have not studied English as optional subject in their graduation to appear in examination of master's in English as private candidates. But at the same time it was discouraging those who have properly studied English as additional subject.

This criterion, if implemented strictly, would result in closure of the English departments in all the postgraduate colleges affiliated with the UoP.Besides educational loss, this step would also inflict serious financial losses on these colleges as the costly buildings constructed for English departments would also be deserted, a faculty member said. He said the BA/BSc exam was in progress and the students would face the problem after their results are announced.

The minister for higher education, other high-ups and the management of the UoP should take notice of the issue and reconsider the criterion.If they can't do so, the aforesaid colleges should be de-affiliated with the UoP and affiliated with any other university of the province so that students of the Peshawar valley could not be deprived of getting education in their desired subjects.

When contacted, UoP Director Admission Muhammad Islam said that under the university statutes a regular student of the institution must have at least 45 per cent marks. "We are bound to follow these rules, which cannot be changed whatsoever," he said, when approached for comments. As far as the matter of the private students is concerned, the university is mulling criteria for them as well, he added.


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