UAE urged to help resolve Sheikh Zayed University problems
KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): Mohammad Rasool Bawari, the chancellor of Sheikh Zayed University (SZU) in southeastern Khost province, says the institution is making progress but needs donor assistance for further fast-track improvement.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Bawari said the university was facing with number of problems, specifically in academic, administrative and construction areas.
If international organisations did not take action to resolve the problems, the Afghan government would not be able to tackle the challenges on its own, he remarked.
He urged the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Gulf country that funded construction of the building, to adopt measures to address the problems being faced by the SZU.
The university has 16 teaching facilities and dormitory buildings, he said, adding that it was donated by the UEA as a gift for people of this strategic province. The buildings cost $15 million, he added.
The UAE support is vital to turn SZU one of the leading institutions not on Afghanistan but on regional level, Bawari hoped.
Development and facilities:
Bawari said SZU has been drastically improved and now considered one of the leading educational institutions of Afghanistan. For capacity building of faculty members and administrative staff, he noted academic seminars, conferences, workshops and other trainings have been conducted, which were still underway.
He added that faculty members of Medical, Engineering, Economics, Agriculture, and Journalism have been sent to foreign countries for obtaining Masters and PhD degrees. "Ten lecturers from Afghanistan, 28 from Japan, Thailand, India, Malaysia, China, Uzbekistan, Turkey and Germany are pursuing their MA while another one is doing his PhD degree in Tajikistan,” he noted.
The chancellor said his administration has been getting assistances from various donor organizations and now the university is being equipped with Internet and other facilities. "Laboratories, computer labs, libraries, FM radio station, research farm, green houses have helped resolve university’s problems to great extend,” he added.
The university, he said has a public library which has more than 50,000 books on different topics, which helped students and lecturers to multiply their knowledge.
Challenges and requirements:
The SZU has 16 faculties being run in three shifts, he said, adding that more than 9,000 students were taught by 235 lecturers but still the university was facing with shortage of faculty members.
In a move to meet growing demands, he said the university plans to have 410 academic cadres in five years in the future. The university is facing power supply shortage which leaves negative impact on students, teachers and the entire learning process. "The university needs uninterrupted power supply,” he added.
The chancellor informed the institution was being run under three shifts while its eight teaching buildings were not enough to accommodate 8,000 students. The institute needs eight more teaching buildings to facilitate students with standard education.
Sprawling meeting hall, gym, guest-house equipped with all facilities are main problems which needed to be resolved, he said, adding that another problem was that to make the university hospital operational. The hospital, he said was built four years ago but yet to be equipped with medical equipments.
Relations with international universities:
He informed Business and Administration, Journalism and Agriculture Faculties had linkages with Bochum of Germany, Ball State of the USA, Seoul of South Korea universities respectively. He said it was of immense importance for capacity building of lecturers to have partnership and cooperation with international universities.
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