KC Situation ( the letter was published in Dawn on 19th Jan 2010)
Recently, Kinnaird College for Women has been in news. The purpose of this letter is neither to support the principal nor the teachers but to bring to light certain events that took place on 4th January during the teacher/student strike against the principal.
In every civilized society people have the right to peacefully protest. Yet two things were very disagreeable. Firstly the utilization of the media, particularly local TV channels to propagate sentiments against the college establishment was unwanted. The general public does not run the college, so why were the demands taken to them? It was probably an absurd attempt to topple the college administration through popular opinion. (Washing ones dirty linen in public?)
Secondly, the teachers should discourage students from involvement in establishment issues. If students are expelled on disciplinary charges, their career will be at stake. Even a five day expulsion can cost the students their grades, since in the semester system the attendance is included in grades. Student protest is disallowed in most colleges, including KC. If the students protested against some purely political matter, like the NRO or the Waziristan operation, will the college faculty allow such media hype? If not then why did they allow this protest to go on air? According to the college prospectus the protesting students can be suspended and the college faculty rightly advice them against protests. Students are just as vulnerable in college politics as they are in national politics. The strike was to reinstate the removed teacher but many students raised placards and slogans asking the principal to resign.Since when did students decide what the college principal should do? Who would benefit from this protest? Did the faculty use the students to oust their strict boss?
Some students blocked roads and came out to protest in front of the City42 office. In such dangerous times of terror who is responsible for enabling students to protest during college hours outside the college premise?
Perhaps the new principal needs more time. Hopefully Kinnaird won't mimick Pakistan's national politics, where no Government has survived a full-term and everyone has endured endless political perils and instability.
Few classes took place on 4th January. The strike should have been limited to one or two classes. The teachers, who already have very illustrious resumes, can find employment elsewhere. However, if even one day or student goes without education, it’s a loss for the country.
It was a response to the following video.