Partner: Heinrich Boll Foundation
In 2008 the new democratic government announced its intention of restoring unions; a debate ensued on the possible merits and demerits of such a revival. The Higher Education Commission set up a task force, which advised caution, yet it prepared draft legislation for restoration. Based on this, the Ministry of Education prepared its own draft legislation for the cabinet. In the meantime, Bargad, a public interest organization, conducted a survey among students to elicit their opinion. The Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) held several consultations to gather broad opinions on the issue.
SDPI took the discussion beyond the above developments. The project sought to contribute to the debate-taking place in educational circles on a possible restoration of students unions.
SDPI gathered opinions of stakeholders, students, teachers and university administrators on the draft prepared by the Ministry of Education in consultations conducted on various campuses. This resulted in a set of recommendations that tried to accommodate serious concerns and apprehensions as well as the genuine rights of students.
A report ‘The Challenge of Restoring Students Unions: Issues, Expectations, Apprehensions and Possible Solutions’ was published and presented to the State Minister Ms. Shahnaz Wazir Ali, the Chairperson of Higher Education Commission (HEC). The Minister, while promising to have the HEC and the Ministry of Education seriously consider the report, informed SDPI that the federal cabinet had for the time being shelved the plan to restore unions.