PESHAWAR, June 18: Students belonging to South Waziristan Agency have demanded of the government to waive off tuition fees, allocate special quota in public and private sector educational institutions in the province and increase the annual scholarship from Rs3,000 to 30,000.
Speaking at a press conference at Peshawar press club on Friday Mehsud Students Education Forum (MSEF), South Waziristan, Chairman Mustaqeem Khan Mehsud said that the students were worst affected due to the ongoing military operation in the agency and needed proper support from the government.
Flanked by Irfanullah, Qaddafi, Mohabbat Khan, and Arif, he said that tribal areas remained backward in all sectors, including education and if the government did not support them the people would be unable to lead life with honour.
The students` forum, Mr Mustaqeem said, had been formed to highlight growing challenges and problems being faced by the tribal students.
Mr Mustaqeem said that the government had waived off tuition fees for students affected by militancy in Malakand Division. He, however, said that the government had neglected the South Waziristan students in this regard.
He said that the South Waziristan was the worst affected due to militancy as compared to Malakand Division, but even then the government had adopted the step-motherly attitude with the tribesmen.
He said that about 90 per cent education, business, health and other facilities had been closed down in the wake of prolonged military operation in South Waziristan.
The tribal students, he said, were not in a position to deposit tuition fees due to poor economic condition.
He said that the National Internship Programme (NIP) should be based on BA/BSc instead of master degree and that age limit should be increased from 24 to 30 years.Mr Mustaqeem demanded provision of free residential facility to tribal students in different parts of the province.Dawn.