The Higher Education Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has left a disabled student in a state of shock after the suspension of her scholarship at the University of Peshawar.
Tanawish Maheen, a special student, recently released a heartfelt video message detailing her predicament. She proudly earned a BS degree in library science from the University of Peshawar, even receiving a gold medal during the convocation held in October 2022.
During this memorable event, Kamran Bangash, the former Minister of Higher Education, made a promising announcement. He declared a scholarship and assured Maheen of future employment to celebrate her achievements. Under the terms of the scholarship, she was supposed to receive a monthly stipend of 25,000 rupees for a year. However, her dreams were shattered when, after receiving payments for six months, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Higher Education Department abruptly halted the scholarship.
An emotionally distraught Maheen expressed her heartbreak at the sudden suspension of her scholarship. Upon contacting officials from the Higher Education Department regarding the abrupt halt in funding, she was informed that the department had run out of funds, resulting in the discontinuation of the remaining six months of her scholarship.
Maheen’s pleas reached the corridors of power, as she appealed to the Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Caretaker Chief Minister, the Provincial Minister of Education, and the Secretary of Higher Education to intervene. Her plea was simple: restore the scholarship that was essential for her education. She also called for the promised job announcement to be honored, securing her employment at Peshawar University. Faced with this bleak situation, she cautioned that without these critical measures, she would be forced to resort to begging in Peshawar, despite her hard-earned gold medal.
In response, the Higher Education Department clarified its stance. They asserted that Tanawish Maheen had been temporarily employed for six months as a Research Associate in the “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Center of Excellence on Countering Violent Extremism” under the announced incentives. According to department policy, the position of a Research Associate is not permanent. Therefore, her contract was extended for an additional six months, commencing on September 1.
The fate of Maheen’s scholarship and job prospects hangs in the balance as she awaits a resolution to this distressing situation.