PESHAWAR: Hundreds of students of the University of Peshawar and other affiliated educational institutions, the Engineering University and the Agricultural University are facing difficulties after the administrations directed them to vacate hostels due to the Covid-19.

The students said that earlier the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government notified that one-third of universities hostels’ students, from the far-flung areas, can stay in hostels to attend the online classes, but now in violation of the order, the hostels administrations of the universities have directed students to vacate hostels immediately. The students lamented that since there is no internet facilities available in their area, they should be allowed to stay in the hostels to attend online classes.

The policy of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has caused severe distress among students from remote areas of the province. Students from Chitral told the media that it is very ‘unfavourable’ weather conditions in Chitral and forget about the internet facility, there is no electricity available.

“There is no internet facility in our area to continue the online classes,” Shazia, a BS student from Chitral district told the media. “Staying in the hostel in Peshawar was the only way for us to continue the education.” She added that most of the students cannot afford to live in private hostels and guest houses and are going back to their villages living their studies in the middle.

Shazia and other students from Chitral and other areas appealed to Chief Minister Mehmood Khan and Chief Minister’s Adviser on Higher Education Kamran Khan Bangash to allow them to stay in hostels so that their precious time may not be wasted. They said that most of the student have their final semesters and it is very important for them to stay in touch with their teachers and colleagues in the hostels for their preparation.

On the other hand, the students of seven tribal districts have once again started protests against the lack of internet access in their areas. The demonstrators, on Friday, lamented that since there is no internet facility in the tribal districts, they will not be able to continue their classes online. The protestors said that thousands of students have already been badly affected by the six months long lockdown and now, once again, the government has announced to start online classes. The protestors demanded the government to allow them to stay in hostels within strict Covid-19 SOPs to continue their education.

The protestors also demanded the government to immediately start work to restore internet facility in tribal districts as earlier announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The protestors warned that for the sake of their education, they will launch countrywide protests if the government failed to take concrete steps to resolve the issue.

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