The graduated students belonged to courses of MBBS, BDS, Nursing and other Health Sciences programmes. The graduation ceremony was being held on Saturday, December 1. The ceremony was attended by president of Aga Khan University and Kashf Foundation Founder and Managing Director Roshaneh Zafar. The president of AKU referred this convocation ceremony as historic because its marks 3th anniversary of AKU’s establishment in Pakistan.
The President of Aga Khan University, MR. Firoz Rasul, while addressing the graduating 441 students and other attendants, said, ‘This year’s ceremony is especially significant as it marks 35 years since the university was founded, So far, 15,000 students, including 10,000 women, have graduated from AKUH in the fields of education, nursing, medicine and others, he further added, the AKUH has contributed $1 billion annually to Pakistan’s economy and has made researches in various disciplines of medicine’.
Students Solidarity Rally Being Held in Major Cities of Pakistan.
The rallies were held on 30th November, 2018, in eight major cities of Pakistan. The rallies were themed under title,’ Students Solidarity March’, which took place at Lahore, Karachi, Jamshoro, Multan, Quetta, Gilgit and Islamabad. The students demanded restoration of student unions, established of Universities in deprived areas, constitution of harassment laws and implementing committees, affordable tuition and admissions fee for all and declaring April 13th as Mashal Khan day.
The protestors walked peacefully and were holding banners reading,” Educated People are Forced to Do Labor Work’, ‘Provide Basic Right to Hostelries’ and ‘Dark Future of Students’. In Lahore, the march started from Istanbul Chowk to Faisal Chowk. The rallies were called by Progressive Students Collective organization. The PSC volunteers stated to the media that, ‘Harassment, dropouts due to rising fee, suicides, discrimination and other issues are like a growing disease in the universities across the country with no solution in sight, It [the charter of demands] is aimed mainly at the relief of students from minority ethnicities and the lower-middle economic strata’.
The students belonging to Punjab complained that the quota for admissions is higher for students who belong outside Punjab. Because of this quota students belonging to Punjab have to attend private Universities which are not affordable. Moreover, the students demanded increase of educational budget so that equal and uniform facilities should be availed by every student despite poor financial background. Allocation of improved and un-discriminatory syllabus was also one of their demands.
A student of Punjab University shared the problems faced by students out of Punjab with the media, he said, ‘Out of a class of 200, the quota set aside for us is 15, and this too is a favor to us as we only had 4 seats until last year. We do not have options, there are not any Universities which offer the same level of education and credentials that universities in Punjab do. If a student desires to take up a subject like engineering then it is understood that he or she will have to study in Punjab, or maybe even Sindh, but the quota system ensures that hundreds of talented students are not being awarded with degrees each year’.
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