GILGIT: A large number of students studying in various educational institutions across the country staged a protest demonstration outside the Hunza Press Club on Monday against the online classes and poor internet connectivity in the region.
The protesting students announced boycott of online classes till provision of internet services in the region.
The Karakoram Highway remained blocked during the course of the protest.
The protesters said thousands GB students enrolled in various educational institutions in the country had been protesting for last one month, demanding better Internet connectivity in the region to avail online classes, but to no avail.
They said the HEC policy of launching online classes had troubled the GB students as most parts of the region had no Internet facility.
They said that Internet facility provided by the Special Communication Organisation was poor. They pointed out that remote areas of the region had no Internet facility at all as the private phone companies were not allowed to provide 4G service.
Ajmal Hussain, a student of Qauid-i-Azam University Islamabad, told Dawn that majority of students had no access to Internet.
The future of students is at stake as the regional and the federal governments are not serious to address their concerns, he added.The protesters asked the region’s apex court to take notice of the situation and allow private service providers to operate 4G Internet in the region.
Sabir Hussain, a resident of Hoper valley of Nagar district, who teaches at the GC University Faisalabad, and had to shift to his home town after closure of the varsity, is unable to deliver online lectures.
‘’There is no internet facility in my village,’’ he said. “Some 200 students from GB, who are currently enrolled in the GC University Faisalabad, have either no Internet access at all or poor connectivity,’’ he added.
The students demanded of the HEC to cancel the online classes for GB students. Protest demonstrations were also held in Gilgit, Nagar, Astore, Diamer, Shigar, Ghanche and Ghizer.
Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2020