Students display street power again to protest HEC devolution | Pakistan Today

Students display street power again to protest HEC devolution

KARACHI – University students continued their protest on Monday against the devolution of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the transfer of the Education Ministry to provinces. Hundreds of students of the Dawood College of Engineering and Technology (DCE&T) gathered outside the DCE&T campus near People’s Secretariat Roundabout and later marched towards the Numaish Chowrangi, where they staged a sit-in, suspending vehicular traffic for two hours. They chanted slogans against the transfer of federally-governed educational institutions to the provinces and demanded that the government should reverse the decision.
The students – under the banner of Student Action Committee (SAC), in alliance with Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), People’s Student Federation (PSF), Punjabi Students Association (PSA), Imamia Students Organisation (ISO), Baloch Student Organisation (BSO) and Jeay Sindh Students Federation (JSSF) – boycotted classes and locked the campus, suspending educational activities. The protesting students demanded that the government should restore the federal status of the DCE&T. They also passed a resolution to oppose the college’s transfer to the Sindh government. “The federal government has formed the inter-provincial cabinet (IPC) and included around 21 of its favourite educational institutions in its list and that is a great injustice,” said one of the protesters.
They asked the federal government that the DCE&T be included in the IPC list similar to the case of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST).
Fearing abolition of quota system in admissions and blockade of funds by the centre, the protesters said that students from Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan are studying at federally-administered institutions and after the devolution of the Education Ministry, the provinces may remove the quota system from the admission policy in the near future. The students claimed that educational activities in the DCE&T have been suspended since the announcement regarding the transfer to provinces, adding that the laboratory work has stopped and classrooms locked for the last 10 days.
“Due to the closure of the college, we are suffering badly,” they added. The DEC&T students under the auspices of SAC had staged a demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club on April 6 and blocked the MA Jinnah Road on April 7 but the government decided not to pay attention to their demands. The students gathered again on Monday to remind the government of the issues. “If the government does not pay heed to our demands, soon the college students would launch a protest march from Karachi to Islamabad for the restoration of the status of DCE&T,” they warned.

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