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Varsity students in insecure provinces seek migration

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Haunted by fear of being abducted or killed, dozens of students of different universities sought migration to the varsities located in relatively peaceful provinces.

The students alleged the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) of adopting a dual policy—support the elite class and ignore the rest. However, the students who were around 100 in numbers on Saturday emphasized on migration to universities that are not far from their hometowns. The demand raised many eye-brows and concerns among students who secured high marks in the entrance exams to seek admission in the top universities.

The protesting students from the remote provinces gathered near the parliament and said the MoHE has approved migration of only those students who had links with high-ranking officials.

Chanting slogans against the ministry, they said that they want to study in their native provinces instead of attending universities in insecure parts where the Taliban are posing threats to civilians.

Barakatullah, a second-year student of the engineering faculty at the University of Helmand, said that he could not continue his studies in the university due to security reasons. “I am afraid of the Taliban. What will happen if they abduct me or kill me on the highway as they did in the past?” he asked the government.

Ahmad Shah, a student of the Baghlan University, said that is difficult for him to travel to Baghlan from Herat. He said that he could not afford the travel and accommodation expenses.

He accused the ministry of favoritism and nepotism and said that those students who scored 25 in the entrance exam qualify for migration.

Member of the Cultural, Religious and Higher Education Committee of the Wolesi Jirga, Khalil Ahmad Shahidzadah, asked the government to resolve problems of the protesting students and allow them to migrate to the universities that are not far from their hometown.

However, the high education ministry’s spokesman Akhtar Muhammad Abir rejected the allegations and told Afghanistan Times that students should complete the new semester before submitting application for migration certificate.

“The students failed to apply for migration from December 2014 to January 2015. The students have not obtained the required score in order to migrate to their favorite universities, based on the rules,” he said, adding that according to the rules those who fear for their lives due to insecurity should provide certificates obtained from the university and police chief.

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