KARACHI - Political flags and ‘welcoming’ banners fixed at the shaky gates of the Karachi University tell the ambitious newcomers that the varsity is not just an educational institution but also a political club indeed.

As the season of new admission approaches, the main entrance of the country’s largest university has been decorated with the party flags and banners by different student wings of political parties.

The welcoming banners suggest the students that they should not only choose a major university but also a political group as well as just being a ‘mere’ student of the university has no charm at all.

Conversely, Karachi University every year on the commencement of the new academic session issues a code of ethics for the students, which bars students from such activities, like pasting of posters and wall chalking in the campus. The university’s code of ethics also bars the students from possession of any fire-arms or any sharp-edged object, use of force or intimidation or interference in the university’s administrative affairs. According to the codes, “The smoking of cigarettes, chewing of ‘pan’ or betel nuts and spitting has been prohibited. Those involved in acts of indiscipline would be dealt with according to the law. The students would have to follow the code of the University as well as the academic rules and regulations and also complete 75 per cent of attendance in the classrooms. The pasting of posters and wall chalking on the campus has also been banned. The students have been asked to maintain regional and inter-faith harmony.” Although apparently, Rangers personals and members of KU Watch and Ward Department are deployed outside the main university gate but the decorated gates loudly speak for themselves that where the power lies. The picture of the Maskan Gate’ (KU’s main entrance) reveals that political students wings are getting momentum in the campus, which is a matter of concern for the administration of the varsity.

SINDH VARSITY, ILO SIGN PACT: The students of Mass Communication Department, University of Sindh will produce documentaries on child labour for International Labour Organization. The documentaries will be produced under an agreement signed between Dr Rizwana Change, Head of Mass Communication Department University of Sindh and Francisco d’Ovido, Country Director ILO.

For the execution of the project, an orientation by the ILO official was held for the students, at the university auditorium. During the orientation, Zaheer Arif, Programme Officer Media, ILO, Islamabad briefed the students about the salient features of the project. He said that under the agreement, combating abusive child labour 11-project, students would produce documentaries which would be completed within two months. The ILO official formed three groups of students. These three groups of students would make three different documentaries on diversified topic on child labour. The project is financed by the European Union, it is supported by government of Pakistan and it will be executed by ILO.

The purpose of this intervention is to raise interest, educate and attract the future generation of media personnel at universities to be part of the movement against child labour, particularly on its worst forms and to convert them as activists from the studentship who take proactive actions for change of perceptions and attitudinal behavior of society by utilizing the knowledge gained on the subject and the use of mass media tools and techniques.

For this purpose, the CACL-II Project will provide opportunities for the mass media students of selected universities to do research studies and to produce visual media products (video documentary, pictorial documentary etc)on various aspects of child labour including its causes, consequences, and impacts on development issues such as poverty, education, law enforcement, socio-economic development, cultural barriers and social norms.

These products should be of requisite standards in terms of changing the public perceptions and attitudinal behavior of the society so that people refrain from engaging children in work, particularly in hazardous activities before the employable age.