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Wednesday, September 10, 2003


Ministry should act immediately against politically active students

The comments made by one, Ashraf Abdullah, in the NST make interesting reading. It appears that he is not happy with the manner our Education Minister is handling the issue of politically active university students. Ashraf writes :: "The fact that an academician who has no experience in politics was made Education Minister goes to show the importance that the Prime Minister has placed on education. It is to ensure that education remains free from political influences which may poison the minds of the young, who are inheritors of the country's future." "But what is happening at universities these days raises the question of whether the ministry has been successful." Well he does seem pretty unhappy with our Musa, who is a career academician and not a seasoned politico, implying that Musa is not up to the mark. If the students are recognised as the inheritors of the country's future, they definitely have a reason to be politically involved.
Suggesting that if the students do below par in their first or second year simply because they are only interested in non-academic related activities (read pro-opposition political activities), these students should immediately be removed to save public funds. Doesn't this appear, oh so very drastic, try a little kindness, give some understanding, maybe somebrainwashing sessi, instead first. I supposed if they were involved in pro-government politics, it's A-OK.
"Why is it that only when students in some of the universities vote proOpposition candidates in their respective campuses, that they are immature?" asks the writer. Presumably, those who voted pro-government candidates, must be matured.
Students are said to lack the sense of gratitude to the government, so much public funds are spent on them. Why thank the government, shouldn't the students be thanking the public tax payers or the nation?
Concluding his comments, the writer says :: A number of lecturers and students openly support the opposition. The ministry must admit this and act accordingly, not simply because the students and lecturers are supporting the opposition but because their activities are blatantly illegal.
Why the ministry and the universities are slow in taking action against these students and lecturers, is mind-boggling. I would certainly agree that it is mind boggling, but it is so because the government expects these students not to be politically active and politically minded. A lot of them are of and above the voting age, shouldn't they be so concerned? It wasn't too long ago when someone suggested that those above 16 years of age should be allowed to join political parties!



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