Internet is a crucial facility in today’s modern world and has become a basic need for all of us. Sadly, for last five years, the students of Baluchistan’s districts are deprived of basic internet facility. Meanwhile HEC (Higher Education Commission) announced to initiate online classes in the universities owing to outbreak of covid-19 pandemic. Universities of numerous district has failed to conduct online classes because of weak or almost no internet facility.
To address this issue students of Baluchistan took a rally and demonstrated for restoration of internet in every districts of Baluchistan which is their constitutional right. But how police and state reacted to these protest was highly condemnable. Quetta Police brutally and viciously attacked on peaceful rally, beat and humiliated the students and eventually arrested them. Dr. Mahrang and other female students were drag to the police van. The whole scenario was outrageous.
Students hoisted their voice for their fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19 and 19-A constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973. The only crime they committed was to utilize their democratic rights to record peaceful protest while following the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) provided by the government. We learned from this protest and the reaction of government that people in the higher office are not interested to even listen to our problems.
Some universities initiated online classes without even realizing that all the students do not have internet facilities across the country. Some of the available options either to promote the students of Baluchistan to next semester according to previous GPA (Grade Point Average) or extend the summer break.
HEC (Higher Education Commission should review on its policy of online classes in Baluchistan because it was a thoughtless decision. HEC has promoted online classes without any proper training of faculty which has just more problems for the students. Most of the major cities have internet facilities but the students of Baluchistan cannot go to Quetta, Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad because all hostels are closed during lockdown.
Students have always been considered the backbone of a nation but unfortunately student of Baluchistan are still fighting for their fundamental rights as a citizen.
A student activist Abid Umer Baloch said that ” demanding your own state about basic rights as a citizen should not be labeled as a criminal offence.
Many students, social organizations and political parties did demonstration across the country but sadly our state is indifferent to our demands.
I request the Federal and Provincial government to take our demands serious, we can’t risk our future over this faulty system of education.
The writer is a student of Law Department University of Turbat and can be reached at email@example.com