Ghulam Rabbani Lodhi
The Malala Centre for Excellence in Gender Studies was started in 2011 at Government Postgraduate College, Haripur and a four years BS programme in the discipline of Gender Studies was launched immediately. This was the first such institution in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa which was named after the iconic Malala Yousafzai. The Centre got affiliation with Hazara University for academic degrees and around twenty five students are currently enrolled in the BS Programme.
Since its inception the Centre has been neglected by the government and the college administration. The Centre was started in a single class room without any permanent faculty. The faculty was hired on yearly basis. Although the Secretary of higher education KPK Farah Binmourya, initially took a personal interest in the successful functioning of the Centre but has not followed it up since then. It’s regrettable that the all-female staff of the Centre has not been paid salaries for more than six months due to petty bureaucratic hurdles despite many efforts by the principal of the college. It is feared that if timely intervention is not made for the release of salaries, the academic work at the Centre will be affected badly.
Earlier Ms. Jameela Gillani, (Ex-MNA, ANP) had granted Rs. 337500 out of her developmental funds for the construction of the Centre. The said amount was shifted to other projects on the instructions of the Prime Minister without giving any satisfactory reason. The decision to divert funds was taken after initial formalities had been finalized by the officials and engineers of Tehsil Municipal Administration, Haripur. The staff and students of Government Postgraduate College, Haripur have expressed deep resentment over federal government’s decision to withdraw funds for the construction of Malala Centre in the college campus.
It is demanded by students and the staff that the Centre should be given due attention and funds for the construction of a separate building should be released without any delay. The Centre is a great initiative but could go to waste if not rescued.
(Publish in The Laaltain – May 2013)