UoP Persian department on the verge of closure

The department established in 1956 has been reduced to a single faculty member.

Sher Alam Shinwari

PESHAWAR: As the world was celebrating International Mother Languages (IMLD) Day on February 22, 2022, Persian department at the University of Peshawar was on the verge of closure.

The once flourishing department’s affairs are currently being ran by a single faculty member.

The Persian language department has been facing stark choices for over the last two years, struggling for its survival owing to delayed decisions of the university authorities, sources privy to the matter told TNN.

Persian department was founded in 1956 in the Peshawar university currently suffering from several issues including lack of teaching and non-teaching staff and financial constraints. Besides, a senior professor ran the faculty for the last over two years , revealed , the sources.

This department has rendered valuable services in promoting Persian Language and Literature. Apart from the importance of Persian language in strengthening cultural, linguistic and spiritual links with Iran, Afghanistan and other Central Asian Republics, the department has been instrumental in preserving the cultural spiritual values of our country but unfortunately, the once flourishing faculty is now losing its luster and in dire need of a helping hand.

“No new teachers were recruited after senior teachers retired in 2018. Besides, authorities also withdrawn the clerical staff working at the department, which has forced a senior faculty member to ran the entire show including teaching to master level students.

Not a single vacancy had been created for Persian language at public sector colleges in the entire province nor it was being taught at school level, even Islamic seminaries had no incentive for Persian language, said Rahmat Hussain a language expert of Persian in Peshawar. He stated that Persian language had better job prospects in online interpretation and Central Asian States business concerns.

Since 2014, one by one senior teacher got superannuation during the last six years and the university administration failed to recruit new lecturers and even the entire academic session went vacant as no student turned up for masters admission, the source went on to add.

“If due steps were not taken in time, Persian department would find it hard to survive on campus and learning prospect of a precious language will get minimized and language experts fear ‘Persian is getting near to lose ground on Peshawar University,” said Mohammad Haleem, an old student of Persian department told.

“If visiting teachers are hired and non- teaching staff provided, the Persian department could be revived and functional,” said Dr Professor Yousaf Hussain.

He said that presently ran department single -highhandedly with six master students on the campus. However, he said that if the University administration arranges to hire teaching faculty members along clerical staff , BS Persian will attract more students. He said that a three-moth short Persian language course is still functional but full-fledged Persian language classes could then put be on the track.