Students enrolled in recently introduced four-year bachelor honours program by the Higher Education Department (HED) at three boy colleges have been facing have been threatened and forced by student union members to join protests against the four-year programme.
HED recently introduced the four-year program at the three boys’ colleges including Government MAO College, Islamia College Civil Lines and Science College Wahdat Road. These incidents raise concern about the choice of colleges which are the hotbed of student politics to implement the new Bsc honours programme.
Tortured to attend protest:
A student of Civil Line College on anonymity alleged that union activists were forcing them to join protests against the new four year honours programme. He claimed were subjected to mental and physical torture if they failed to comply with the activists’ orders.
Another student regretted that the government was ‘helpless’ in this regard. The student citing his insecurity demanded government protection against the unionists’ since classes were about to begin and they had been receiving warnings to be ready to face dire consequences if they attended classes. “College administrations are helpless and remain subservient to student unions in their decision making processes.”
ACTIVISTS: Despite the student unions ban in educational institutions, student unions continue to exist and remain involved in using pressure tactics. Existing unions include Islami Jamiat e Taliba (IJT) and Muslim Student Federation (MSF).
Activists of both unions are spearheading a movement against the four-year programmes. Activists from the three institutes have also led criticism and protests against Board of Governors (BOG). The anti-BOG protests have been conducted by a united front by MSF and IJT despite a history of bad blood between them. At the MAO college a combination of past and present union leaders are actively opposing the 4-year programme.
A similar situation has been encountered at IJT strongholds Science College and Islamia College, Civil Lines. IJT activists are reported to have taken teachers hostage to stop the implementation of the four-year degree programme. Both continue to sponsor protests inside and outside the college. MSF President, MAO College, Sunni Prince said both the MSF and the IJT have a differing agenda but were united in opposition to the BS programme.
He claimed they have appreciation for the education policies of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif but adamantly opposed the four-year programme. Islamia College Civil Lines IJT Nazim Numair Aslam Wattoo promised continuing protests against the Board of Governors. Education Minister Mian Mujhtba Shuja-ur-rahman admitted that activists of the IJT were involved in the protests against four-year honours programs and said that the situation would improve in coming days.