Senate body seeks HEC view point as it mulls revival of student unions in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD-The Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training has sought view point of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) as it deliberated upon the revival of the student unions in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
The Committee Wednesday deliberated at length upon the revival of student unions after half a century and maintained that it’s revival should be improvised according to new trends and mindset of the young generation.
The Committee met under the chairmanship of Senator Irfan ul Haq Siddiqui here at the Parliament House. 
The committee while taking up the Bill titled The Islamabad Capital Territory Student Union Bill 2023 introduced by Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi held that since long serious issues relating to discrimination and injustice to students obstructing their social and academic life remained unattended, leading to dire consequences such as abductions and killings. Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi said that these issues can only be resolved through collaboration of the management and the elected bodies and a ‘bridge’ between the administration and students. The committee was of the view that in order to address these issues and ensure democratic and inclusive atmosphere for healthy debate and culture intellect, a student union should be established in the Islamabad Capital Territory which will play its role as nurseries for training future leadership and to provide forums to students for constructive activities, civic obligations and their enforcement. 
The committee chair Senator Irfan Siddiqui emphasised that the revival of a student unions should be drafted in a way that it must not become a hub of politics and must be above party lines. He said that the revival must be improvised in a way which is trendy and facilitate the students at its maximum. The Committee discussed various procedures for elections in order to save the concept of union to be politicised.
The committee chair deferred the voting on the bill up till next meeting, giving time to the members to thoroughly deliberate on the bill and submit appropriate amendments. The committee chair also sought a comprehensive report from the Ministry on the same. The committee also directed the HEC to give its view point on the matter. 
The matter of regularisation of the services of the daily wages teachers were also discussed in the meeting. The chairman committee extended the time for report and implementation by two weeks with a hope that the matter will be resolved with special focus on all the teachers to be regularised as per the decision of the higher courts. 
It was also directed by the committee chair that the minimum daily wages given to the teachers be Rs 35000. The committee chair said that the matter is pending since 2018 and non-implementation of the court orders may be characterised as negligence, irresponsible behaviour and non seriousness of the Ministry and hoped that the matter may be solved at the earliest. 
On the matter of re-employment of contractual Montessori Teachers (BS-17), the committee was apprised that the ministry will accommodate contractual montessori teachers in upcoming projects under FDE as per feasibility with the posture that Ministry of Education and FDE stands by them in letter and spirit. 
The committee also discussed the procedure, criteria and practice for rechecking of papers of various boards examination under the FBISE. The chairman FBISE briefed the committee that once a paper is evaluated, it cannot be re-assessed. The chairman committee stressed whether this practice is in favour of students and further inquired on the international practice on this point. He said that the  right of re-assessment should not be taken away from the students.
The committee also discussed the matter of acquiring 225 kanals of land by the Capital Development Authority for the construction of Bhara Kahu Bypass. The committee chair commended the CDA for taking up a prompt action and resolving the matter. 
Earlier in the meeting, the committee offered Fateha for the late Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed and held his services in high esteem.

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