Ministries flouting rules in awarding scholarships
KABUL (Pajhwok): The acting minister of higher education on Sunday accused authorities of awarding scholarships to sons and relatives of influential people on basis of personal relations and in violation of established rules and regulations.
Muhammad Usman Babari, who was summoned by the Meshrano Jirga (Senate) to update lawmakers on the recent university entry test and award of scholarships, blasted several ministries for flouting rules.
Stressing the need for complete transparency in the entry test to uphold merit at all levels, Babari told the upper house that lawmakers and government officials should not interfere in the affairs of his ministry.
A number of parliamentarians, expressing their concerns at vague the criterion for awarding scholarship, alleged the candidates appearing in entry tests faced unspeakable problems because of certain anomalies. Some senators asked the Ministry of Higher Education to facilitate female candidates in entry tests.
Babari informed the MPs his ministry was working out a plan to award scholarships in line with provincial quotas. Ex-president Hamid Karzai had directed ministries to shift the power of giving scholarships to the Ministry of Higher Education, but the orders were not fully complied with..
The Higher Education Ministry, he said, was in contact with embassies of India, Pakistan and Russian in Kabul but had not yet received a positive response. He urged officials to respect the rules of his ministry and avoid interferring in its affairs.
“Everyone should demonstrate seriousness in dealing with educational issues for the sake of a better future for our children,” he remarked, saying the ministry had conducted the university entry test in 38 different cities.
According to his information, 219,000 students appeared in the test, including 54,000 for higher studies and 24,000 for admission to semi-higher government educational institutions. Some 7,983 were found cheating and many others could not reach the target.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.