The saga of online education vs. protesting students has recently turned ugly after Capital University of Science & Technology (CUST) rusticated a student for raising voice against the botched online education process amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to details, Usman Mehmood, a student at CUST, had urged his fellow students on social media platforms to protest against the ongoing online classes.
Usman’s act, in the view of CUST’s discipline committee (DC), was found against the rules of CUST’s discipline. As a result, CUST permanently rusticated Usman for only asking his fellow students to raise their voice against the online education process.
It is pertinent to mention that assembling peacefully and exercising freedom of speech are inalienable rights of every Pakistani citizen enshrined under Article 16 and Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan respectively, a fact which the CUST’s DC seems to have completely overlooked.
While the meeting of CUST’s DC was called on 20 May, Usman was notified about his expulsion on a letter dated 5 June.
Yesterday, Usman took to twitter to share the CUST DC’s notification and bring the matter to light.
— Usman Mehmood (@UsmanMe24444327) June 9, 2020
PPP Senator and Chairman Senate Committee on Human Rights, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, has taken notice of the matter and assured Usman to share his case with the HEC. Khokhar has also ensured to call CUST’s Vice-Chancellor before the committee to explain the university’s stance on the matter.
Your case will be shared with #HEC and if not reinstated, whoever is VC of ur university, he/she will b called to the committee. You were well within ur constitutional right to protest and raise ur voice https://t.co/64bV2mpNN7
— Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar (@Mustafa_PPP) June 9, 2020
Last week, university students waged protests against HEC and demanded promotion to the next semester without examinations, suspension of online classes, and semester fees to be waived off.
Online education during the Coronavirus pandemic has proven to be a scourge for students as they are facing all sorts of issues ranging from lack of Smartphones and laptops to poor or no internet coverage in remote areas and from the mediocre quality of online lectures being delivered to a state of confusion regarding the announcement of online exams.
However, HEC rejected the demand for promoting university students without examination. HEC said it is working with all universities and PTA to fix the connectivity issues being faced by students. HEC also ensured the students that it will take up the issue of fee waiver with the universities in the coming days.