Rawalpindi:Professor Naazish Ata-Ullah, principal of the National College of Arts (NCA), Rawalpindi Campus, has revealed in an exclusive interview with ‘The News’ that the institution could not expand its upcoming departments because of space unavailability.
She was speaking after NCA Rawalpindi’s ‘First Degree Show 2009’ in which 13 students of the college’s first batch of Fine Arts Department presented their final work for public viewing. Professor Naazish expressed her delight that after four years of rigorous hardship, the NCA Fine Arts Department came up with such wonderful creations.
“The students at the show were judged by external examiners, in which four of our students — Tahreem Zahra, Abeera Zahid, Fatima Shakeel and Mohammad Ayub — received distinctions while another four passed with honours. We have produced 100 per cent result but now the current space available is not sufficient for setting up new departments in the college,” she said adding that the College is already teaching Architecture and Fine Arts, with the Theatre Department in its initial stages in the existing blocks, due to which it would need a lot of room to commence other departments like Multimedia Arts, Communication design, Textile Design and a full-fledged department of Cultural Studies including art history, communication, etc.
“We intend to start the departments of product design, music studies and a department of film & television. All these subject areas are already being taught at NCA Lahore and we need to start the same here in Rawalpindi, so that the students living in close proximity can avail the opportunity,” she said.
The NCA principal said they have been granted permission by the prime minister to acquire 30 acres of land in Kuri Village in Zone IV of Islamabad to build the college. “In addition to this, we will not only need the funding to acquire the land, but also to build the campus, complete with hostels for students from far flung areas.”
She was of the view that simply two or three departments could not make a campus and more departments are needed to justify it as a full-fledged campus, saying that being a national college of this calibre, students from all over the country come to study here and the hostels become an integral part of the institution. “One of the strengths of our institution is cultural diversity and we are proud of it. We need to have a hostel facility, which is purpose built. Currently, we are paying expensive rentals of hired premises for students, which is a burden for the institution, whereas the same valuable money can be utilised for the development of the college,” she said. “In Lahore, hostels for male and female students are located very close to the college on subsidised rates that enables them to utilise the facility of studio and library for longer hours,” she said.
The faculty and the administration of NCA Rawalpindi Campus are perturbed over the fact that there are no permanent posts and everyone there is working on contractual basis. “Creation of permanent posts is crucial in this regard,” she said.
Another problem that the faculty and students face is the access to their campus, which is located on main Murree Road with its slow moving and jam-packed traffic. The NCA principal suggested that access to the campus be made easier, so that the visiting faculty living in the capital could reach the Rawalpindi campus in minutes and not in hours.The news