KU remained open for just 151 days in 2010
Karachi, Jan 11: A distinct lack of security, armed clashes on campus, bad governance, political pressure and 214 holidays disrupted the education of students at the Karachi University, the largest varsity of Pakistan, in 2010.
Students hardly had the opportunity to attend their classes as a number of scheduled and unscheduled holidays badly interrupted the academic year. In 2010, the university remained closed for a whopping 214 days. This means that the students only attended university for about 5 months, the whole of last year.
Clashes between rival groups of students and the uncertain security situation on campus, coupled with the Sindh government finding every possible excuse to declare a holiday, forced KU officials to close the campus on several occasions.
Out of the 214 holidays in 2010, 20 were scheduled holidays, 45 were for summer vacation, 15 for the winter break and 104 for the weekends on Saturday and Sunday. In addition to this, the university remained closed for 30 days due to various reasons.
Although the school was not closed during Students' Week in late October this year, classes were only held up till 11:00am. It seems as though the festive mood of the students also rubbed off on the teachers as scheduled classes were seldom held during Students' Week.
The regular closures and interruptions are reflected in the fact that examinations scheduled to be held on December 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 have now been postponed till January and February of 2011. It still remains uncertain whether examinations will be held as per the delayed schedule. Moreover, the new academic year, which was all set to begin on New Year's Day, has been delayed till January 17.
On condition of anonymity, a senior official of Karachi University said that there are no set criteria for declaration of holidays. "The vice-chancellor simply bides his time and takes no real decision if some sort of a law and order situation arises on campus.
Meanwhile, calls from the electronic and print media continue to pour in, asking senior officials about whether the university is open or closed on that given day. There have been some days when the university was actually closed, but officially remained open. This causes a lot of frustration and confusion among students as well as their parents," said the official.
The administrative ability of senior officials was put to the test due to a complete lack of coordination between people representing the university to the media. On some occasions, the media officer and the Public Relations Office gave conflicting statements to the media regarding closures without informing the registrar. The newsYour Comments
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