After the education ministry of Pakistan announced the reopening of higher education institutions on February 1st, several protests have been organized all over the country against on-campus examinations amid the surge in coronavirus cases. On Monday, 18 January a large number of students of the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) staged a protest against the university’s administration and demanded that exams should be held online.
Students gathered outside Governor House in Lahore observing a protest sit-in for a while and demanded the Governor/Chancellor to intervene and direct universities to conduct online exams, as, since the closure of the universities, online classes were conducted and now instead of conducting online exams the universities announced on-campus exams. The students questioned that if classes could be conducted online why can’t universities conduct exams online as well.
Students also criticised the universities for charging full fee during the closure and demanded the government to direct universities to offer fee concession to the students for the closure period. Police were deployed for the protest however, one of the protestors in Islamabad Jamil bin Iqbal was subjected to police brutality and was arrested. Iqbal’s peers continue to demand his release on social media.
Many also turned to social media as the hashtags #StudentsDemandOnlineExams and #OnlineExamsorWeProtest became trending on Twitter.