Upholding Student Safety

The recent arrest of two Ghazi University professors in connection with a student rape case highlights a disturbing trend that has been plaguing our educational institutions. It is undeniable that students are facing a disconcerting lack of safety within these establishments, exacerbated by an administration that often appears complicit in such matters.
In a time when the sanctity of educational institutions should be upheld, the responsibility falls on the education ministry and relevant government authorities to take decisive action. This alarming issue strikes at the heart of student safety, demanding immediate intervention to safeguard lives and futures. It is evident that mere cosmetic measures are insufficient; it is time for systemic changes that foster an environment where students can learn without fear.
One potential solution lies in the revival of strong and independent student unions. These unions, if empowered and equipped with the tools to hold university administrations accountable, can play a pivotal role in addressing the power imbalances that facilitate such heinous incidents. However, with the current rise in Religious Fundamentalism, there are few safeguards against the unions being co-opted.
The absence of a functioning syndicate committee within Ghazi University and the alleged indifference of its administration to sexual harassment allegations have cast a shadow over its credibility. In the face of such challenges, it is imperative that educational institutions prioritise sensitivity and impartiality when addressing complaints of this nature. By establishing comprehensive investigation procedures and ensuring transparency, universities can restore faith in their ability to handle such matters justly.
To underscore the gravity of this issue, the recent resignation of 19 professors from Ghazi University in protest against the victimisation of whistleblowers is telling. It reflects the urgent need for a collective stance against such reprehensible behaviour. Administrators must realise that sweeping these matters under the rug for the sake of reputation only exacerbates the problem, further eroding the institution’s standing in the long run.
It is a call for an education system that stands as a beacon of integrity, where the pursuit of knowledge is safeguarded against all forms of predation. By championing accountability, supporting victimised individuals, and embracing proactive measures, we can ensure that such cases become an unfortunate footnote in history rather than a recurring headline.

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