No Silver Lining for Students?

Hopes shatter, skyrocketing zeal dashes to the ground and expectations breathe last when a student at the end of every semester during his university life—despite topping the class— has to beseech to The Heavens that his university dues be arranged in some way or the other. This is the story of every second person belonging to the compromised sections of society in Pakistan.

People say, university gives you some years of life which a person throughout his later life keeps on craving for. That’s true to a great extent, but in the case of a few fortunate people. It’s a routine matter for the less fortunate ones that they have to struggle with a plethora of fiscal issues during their university life. If you are blessed with a discerning eye, you are requested to take a round of any public University these days. You will feel like someone has stolen the ever-present smile from the faces of young men that would reign supreme a few years ago. I am not deliberately mentioning girls here, for a majority of them does not have the fiscal issues as it’s still a norm in Pakistan that the girls of only elite or middle class families go for university education. In case a girl from a poor background comes to university, there are more than 80% chances that she will opt for dropping out owing to financial issues. I speak from experience.

This coronavirus pandemic as well as the ever surging inflation has proven to be a final nail in the coffin. Every public university is striving to fill the seats of the programmes they offered this year. A friend of mine told me that the International Relations (IR) department of a well -known public university uploaded its first merit list on their website in which thirty-six (36) students were declared to be selected .And you can assume the situation very well from this fact that not a single student came to the University’s premises to gain fee vouchers or verify their documents.

Meanwhile, I have had an opportunity to submit my own semester dues in the bank nearby to my house where I chanced upon my university fellows who were also there for the same purpose. However, that was also the last day to submit the dues. I inquired about their being in the bank on the last date. Their answer was—as could be expected— that they were struggling to amass the required amount. Luckily, they had been successful in doing so. But what about the rest of students who never visited the universities since they opened their gates for Students after months long lockdown?

As the things stand, I can say without a modicum of doubt that parents are somehow finding themselves unable to provide their children with two times meal properly, let alone bearing the latter’s educational expenditures. Anything valuable Government of Pakistan can do at the moment is that it should restore the merit based scholarships that must be given to hardworking students and half the dues of every student during this very tough educational year. It may provide a sigh of relief to the students. We are all in this together and we shall together come out of these crises. Sympathy and cooperation are all that are badly needed for the time being . I hope, my voice will be heard.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.

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