Owing to the last student’s March led by progressive students collective and other students organizations all over Pakistan for reanimation of student unions, 27th Nov is celebrated as students day in Pakistan. Student unions are wrongly associated with violence and are often seen as an obstacle for maintaining discipline and management. Decent activities are often associated with misleading concepts, in order to defame and then ultimately ban them. There is no voice to speak on the issue of campus harassment, fee hikes, campus hygiene, corruption, teacher’s irresponsibility and many other problems suffered silently by students.
Every year we see a fee increase in every educational institution for instance GCU, NUML,Lahore university, etc. These yearly fee hikes are a sign of snatching education from lower middle class and poor, trapping it in a vicious circle of bourgeois. Scholarship of students from Balochistan and FATA were cut and they had to march miles for restoration of their scholarships. These act from governments are so discouraging, forcing many students to abandon their degrees. Further more in this critical time of pandemic the universities went online without any framework or channel of online classes and done without taking consideration the peripheral areas where there is no internet. All students got from the government was false promises.
There is no platform for students to put their just demands. The ban imposed by dictator Zia ul haq in 1984 should have been vanished long but the ban still reminds us, we are living under a dictator regime. The student have the right to vote and right of politics which the great constitution of Pakistan allows. The ban on student union is the violation of humble constitution.
In Pakisan every group has a union but students are deliberately deprived of representation. Albeit PM khan asked for union restoration with some conditions applied. Students want free and independent union where their representative would speak on behalf of students and play a significant role in university reform whether it is fee, management or other student related issues but government is trying to impose same type of societies or committee by giving it name of union.
Although the left is trying its fullest and challenging the status quo, a problem that barely gets attention is government sponsored extremist students group such as Islami Jamayt e Tulba, which has a domination over all. They have strength on the ground, and how the liberal left such as progressive student collective will cope with it is a mute question.
A year has passed by and last student march many parliamentarians though debated over restoration but yet no policy was made. Thus upsetting it is the higher education commission has demonstrated opposition to the revival of student union in educational institutions and asked students to play, learn, and study while wasting time in this mud. though there were protests and March for restoration of student unions in past decade but such a huge mass never gathered before in 2019 the march was held more than 55 cities where a numerous student took part and chanted slogans for restoration of student union.
All over Pakistan students dream of the restoration of student unions. They are again gathering with even bigger enthusiasm on this 27 nov thus now the issue can not be rejected without a greater debate.