Karachi University: Job applications on hold as exams delayed

Fresh protests cause the varsity to shut down for another day.

Samia Saleem December 22, 2010

KARACHI: Dead beaten by the incessant delays in Karachi University’s semester examinations, students who have no political affiliation came to the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday to protest the deep-rooted politics on campus.

Arshad Ghauri, a BS Final student of Economics, was planning to sit his Lahore University of Management Sciences (Lums) test scheduled on January 7. He will now have to wait for another year to apply to the institute as his re-scheduled human resource management exam is on the same day and at the same time. He had also planned to sit the navy entrance test this month, but Ghauri feels his application will be weak without his results in hand.

Ahsan Raza, a final-year student of KU’s mass communication department, protested the yearly drama of postponing exams because of student-union forays. “I did not damage university property, I did not beat up anyone, I did not get involved in any disruptive actions on campus. Then why should I suffer?” he voiced his frustration.

Along with his studies, Ahsan is also working at a private television channel. He had taken off from work for five exams but these non-stop delays have disrupted both his work and studies.

Scheduled to have begun on November 25, most of the exams are still pending after the clash between two student political organisations that took place on December 9.

The new schedule for the exams is still undecided as teachers and staff of the public university are trying to grapple with the confrontational political bodies and the ensuing administrative action.

Students were disappointed as they were expecting to sit  their exams after the Karachi University Teachers Society protest ended.

However, they found out on Monday night that exams have been postponed for another two days.

Due to the protest, the KU administration decided to change the campus security officer, replacing Khalid Iraqi by Naveed Siddiqui — who is known to have political leanings towards a student organisation affiliated with a political party. The notification for this change was issued on Monday which sparked fresh protests on Tuesday as the student representatives of other political parties objected that this bias would adversely affect the university’s situation.

A representative of the Islami Jamiat-i-Tulaba (IJT) said they are now protesting along with the Peoples Student Federation, Punjabi Students Association and Imamia Students Organisation to remove “politically biased” people from administrative positions at the university.

Following these protests, some IJT members forcibly closed down the university’s administration department. KU registrar Prof Dr Kaleem Raza Khan announced that the university will further remain closed “due to security concerns” till they reach a conclusion in a meeting between the university’s vice-chancellor and members of the Students’ Alliance on Wednesday.

Futures on the line

“We know that there won’t be any exam on the December 25 holiday and there won’t be any on December 27 because of Benazir Bhutto’s death anniversary. How will they be able to finish the semester on time,” a student said. She explained that all the final-year students of the university are especially worried because they have to plan their career or their postgraduate study and need their results as soon as possible.

The situation has not just affected the semester system and the upcoming academic session, but has also foiled future preparations for many.

A student, requesting anonymity, told The Express Tribune that she is applying for a scholarship and her application timelines were seriously disturbed as the university and the classes are shut down. “Where will I get my forms attested from and how will I complete the academic documents required when no one is in the mood to work and I have limited time,” she said, almost in tears. Hira, Ahsan and Arshad were among the handful of students who were openly protesting. Others were too afraid to raise any voice against the ‘powerful’ student groups. They demanded that the university administration find a permanent solution for these clashes instead of just shutting the university down.

“There have never been any arrests or strong punishments, even after students have been murdered on campus,” Ahsan pointed out. Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan directed KU vice-chancellor Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui to ensure exams are not delayed anymore.

In a meeting at Governor House on Tuesday, he asked the vice-chancellor yet again to take strict measures against those who disturb the academic environment of the university.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2010.


Ahsan Raza Firdousi | 12 years ago | Reply The University of Karachi reopened days after staying in unrest, despite the interest taken by the Governor in the matter and issuing directives of restoring peace at campus the VC had to call a meeting with the student alliance before making any decision. In this regard there is something that has to be made clear , I have always failed to understand why the authorities sit with the trouble makers to stop the trouble ? This reflects the short sightedness and non serious attitude of the administration. This is an open fact that whenever an issue crops up at KU the source is the age old rivalry between different political student wings on campus. Their existence is as illegal as their conducts have no doubt in stating that it is they who have been responsible for all the mess created on campus which directly effects thousands of others who are also a part of K. Sitting with them and removing their reservations before opening the university is reflective of the fact that the admin of KU itself wants to these political student groups to stay. After every six months some or the other issue crops up and all what the admin does is suspends the classes and after some days off things resume the way they were. In my experience , unless and until the authorities do not wash the premises from campus politics no betterment will come, the students will keep fighting their supporters in the admin and will keep doing their biased decisions and neutral students like me and some of my friend who have no affiliation with any political party will keep writing letters ! It’s time the authorities realize the intricacy of the issue and do something concrete.
muhammad umair khan | 12 years ago | Reply assalam u alikum.... dear all students....being a student its really sad to hear and witness that one of the biggest university of Asia with numerous faculties and department hasn't overcome as yet with these acts of violence and clashes in the premises of university between students political unions and organizations. it has always been witnessed that the involvement of politics in any field in any department has caused only damage especially in pakistan... atleast government and the concerning authorities should take immediate and necessary steps to eradicate the involvement of political interference of students union in the educational sector because it only causes loss to those students who are very cautious about their studies... these sort of situations also put negative impact of our educational scope to foreigners who come across the continent to study. i hope the responsible's put their heads down to solve these issues for the betterment and bright future of students. tc.
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