Teachers, students protest plan to ‘privatise’ colleges in KP

Published September 3, 2021
A teacher holds a placard during a protest in front of KP Assembly building in Peshawar on Thursday. — White Star
A teacher holds a placard during a protest in front of KP Assembly building in Peshawar on Thursday. — White Star

CHARSADDA/BAJAUR/LAKKI MARWAT: The teachers and students on Thursday staged street protests in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against what they called the government’s plan to privatise its colleges.

The professors and lecturers of Charsadda’s Government College and Commerce College boycotted classes and demonstrated against the proposed privatisation of public sector educational institutions.

Holding placards and banners and shouting slogans against proposed board of governors in colleges, they marched on the roads before converging on the Farooq Azam Chowk.

Principal of Commerce College Prof Amanaullah, central vice-president of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Professors/Lecturers Association Sher Badshah, local president Mufti Mohammad Azam Sherpao, general secretary Jan Alam Durrani and other teacher leaders flayed the privatisation plan for the Jehanzeb College, Swat, and said the policy of giving the control of colleges to the private sector went against the cause of education and would make education unaffordable for poor students.

Threaten agitation saying govt move to make education unaffordable

They rejected the formation of BoGs for colleges and said the plan to govern educational institutions through autonomous bodies was unacceptable to both teachers and students.

The speakers said the teachers won’t allow bureaucrats to become the director (colleges) and director general (commerce colleges).

The teachers of government colleges in Bajaur tribal district on Thursday rejected the proposed introduction of board of governors to public sector educational institutions and warned that they would agitate if the government didn’t withdraw the ‘brutal, anti-education decision’ without delay.

The warning was issued during demonstrations staged in colleges on the call of the Bajaur Professors and Lecturers Association.

The colleges included the Government Postgraduate College Khar, Government Degree College Barkholozo, Government Degree College Nawagai and Government College of Management Sciences Khar. It was the second such protest in the district since August 16, 2021.

The protesters held placards and banners with slogans against the proposed BoGs and said they won’t accept the privatisation of colleges at all costs.

The students demonstrated in Lakki Marwat and Bannu on Thursday against the proposed privatisation of public sector colleges.

A rally was taken out in Lakki Marwat city from the main college to the press club through the Tajazai-Lakki and Old Kutcheri Road.

Local president of the Pakhtun Students Federation Farmanullah led the protesters, who carried banners and placards and shouted slogans against the proposed privatisation of colleges.

They said the government’s move would make education unaffordable for the people.

The speakers said high enrolment rates showed the people’s confidence in public sector colleges, so formation of boards of governors for them was unacceptable. The students affiliated with PkSF also demonstrated in front of the press club building in Bannu city on Thursday.

PkSF leaders Abdul Samad, Salman Khan, Faizan Khan, Atif and Luqman flayed the colleges’ privatisation plan and said on one hand, the government claimed to have declared education emergency in the country but on the other, it had endangered the future of students by announcing the privatisation of its educational institutions.

They feared that after a Swat college, the educational institutions in other parts of the province would also be handed over to the private sector.

The speakers warned that the teachers and students would agitate if the government didn’t withdraw its plan to privatise public sector colleges.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2021

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