Imran Ismail, Governor of Sindh, signed the Sindh Students Union Restoration Bill 2019, which was recently adopted by the provincial parliament, on Wednesday.
“Students’ unions have been entrusted with the role of working for their social and academic welfare, as well as ensuring the preservation of all students’ rights and interests,” he stated in a statement released from the Governor House.
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According to the Governor, these unions would assist the organizing of cultural, intellectual, and other extracurricular activities to help students become responsible citizens, in addition to encouraging and strengthening relationships between students and educational institutions.
“With the return of the students’ union, students will be able to play a good role in assisting educational institutions in maintaining discipline and ensuring respect for teachers and staff,” he added.
The ordinance was signed just weeks after the Sindh Assembly unanimously passed the Sindh Students Union Bill 2019, clearing the door for the first time in 38 years for students’ organisations to be reinstated in educational institutions.
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During the reign of Gen Zia-ul-Haq, student unions were outlawed in 1984. The restriction was repealed during the first government of Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in 1989, but the Supreme Court imposed a sweeping ban on political activities by students on universities in 1993.
Sindh will now be the first province to resurrect the students’ union following the passage of the bill.