PESHAWAR: The Government Technical and Vocational Centre (GTVC) for Boys at Samar Bagh in Lower Dir has been closed for 10 years. This has compelled students to travel to other districts of the province to obtain training.
The institute is the only training college in both Lower and Upper Dir. It was established during the tenure of the Muttahida Majlis–e–Amal (MMA)-led provincial government.
It is widely believed that the institute was established with a cost of Rs5 million. However, it could not be reopened for the youth of Upper and Lower Dir due to a cycle of neglect shown by successive governments.
While speaking to The Express Tribune, locals voiced their concern over the situation. They said the region has remained the stronghold of Jamaat-e-Islami for a long time. However, it has failed to reopen the already established college.
Imtiaz Khan, a resident of Samar Bagh tehsil, told The Express Tribune over the telephone the college was established 10 years during the MMA government but its doors are closed for students.
According to Imtiaz, students belonging to this region travel to Swat and Peshawar to get technical education.
“However, the government has failed to reopen the college to help the students,” he said. “Most people in the tehsil are poor and cannot afford to send their children to costly institutes to get an education.”
Imtiaz maintained that previous governments hired people on different posts but they all failed to reopen the college.
Rashid Lateef, another resident, said JI is the leading political party of this constituency but their focus is on madrassas and they do not take interest in technical education.
He urged JI leaders to take an initiative to reopen the college for the betterment of the youth.
When contacted, JI’s Izazul Mulk Afkari said this college was disputed from the day it was established.
“In March, I raised questions over the closure of the college but the K-P Assembly has not responded to it,” he said.
Afkari added they would commence work on the college and open it for the people of the area when the relevant department provides details in this regard.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, an official said most of the staff in GTVC Samar Bagh was hired on “a political basis” by JI and ANP and many of them did not make an effort to teach students. He said the college building has been damaged by the prolonged stay of displaced families from Bajaur and the flood-affected population.