Online Classes: Baloch students continue protests

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Protests have been held by Baloch Students Allaince against the HEC’s decision of online classes in Balochistan, Karachi and Islamabad.

Baloch Students Alliance had launched a hunger strike camp in front of HEC (Higher Education Commision) in Islamabad, which ended on Friday.

The protesters said, that the unavailability of internet in Balochistan and The HEC’s decision for beginning online classes is one sided and prejudiced, which completely ignores the ground realities. The HEC’s decision makes it clear that the students of Balochistan are not the part of this education system. Which is an attempt to keep away the Baloch students from education.

On the first day of the three-day strike camp, on June 17, 2020, a campaign was also launched on social media against the HEC’s decision.

On the second day of the protest camp, representatives of various student organizations including Progressive Students Federation Islamabad, Revolution Students and Sindhi students also participated in the camp to express solidarity.

After being repeatedly ignored by the HEC, the Baloch students presented their charter of demand to the HEC in protest.

Students have demanded that university hostels should be opened in Balochistan and areas where basic facilities are not available for attending online classes should be facilitated so that students can continue their education.

“To formulate a favorable policy for students of Balochistan and Dera Ghazi Khan tribal areas, the Higher Education Commission should negotiate with the Students Alliance.” Students said

The protestors demanded that the HEC approach the government for providing internet facility in the tribal areas of Balochistan and Dera Ghazi Khan until a comprehensive and favorable policy is formulated by the HEC.  During this time, the Higher Education Commission should issue a letter to all educational institutions to close classes and cancel examinations.

In the proposed charter, the students added that if the Higher Education Commission is unable to issue a comprehensive and impartial policy conducive to the continuation of academic courses, the cancellation of online classes should be announced altogether.

On the 3rd day of hunger strike camp on 19 June 2020 the protest ended. According to Baloch Students, on the last day of hunger strike camp a protest was held at 03:00 PM in front of HEC office.


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