SDGs: Student Developmental Goals

Gulzaib Tareen
Chaman is a border city situated at western border of Pakistan with Afghanistan, the place where I started my basic western education. It was called as education of infidels by our religious tuition mullah. Similarly, it was told that tie shall be snake around neck at dooms day. It was time when 9/11 took place. The streets of city used to be crowded with people from other side of the border. Jihad was the desire of every teenager being societal guaranteed qualification for paradise.
I was among the few blessed individuals of society with educated parents, among other siblings my previous educational achievements ensured my place to have quality education. I was sent to prepare myself in a school of Quetta, Ghazi Abdullah Khan Ilmi Markaz, for one of the prestigious institute of Balochistan; Balochistan Residential College (BRC), Loralai where I got admission. BRC was really a place of nurture without influence of extremism prevailing in society in general. BRC is a Mini-Balochistan with cream representation from every district of the province. It is the reason that Koharians (Students of BRC Loralai) are prominent in country and especially in province.
When intermediate was coming to an end, panic of future destination among students of pre-engineering and pre-medical increased, directly proportional to expectations of pressurizing society. Then I dared to ask from one of my teachers pertinent to issue of career counseling of students, the reply was genuine but astonishing at that time for me, because I was told students are clear in their mind but not their parents. So, career counseling of parents was pointed out as crucial for bright future of students being an act of adaptability with requirements of time. Among 80 students from 20th Entry of the college, I was among few individuals who got chance to study their field of interest still subject to much struggle, disappointment and criticism.
It was 2nd October 2014, when I started my LLB (Hons) degree in University of the Punjab, Punjab University Law College(PUCL). There were many students like me who faced or were facing the issue of career counseling like me at the hands of their families. In a class of 80 students in BRC Loralai, only 25 made it to be doctors and engineers involving many years struggle while the rest of students diverted to other fields. Many of my fellows after performing medical test attempts for three regular years joined other disciplines. One of my fellows of District Zhob from same college changed four universities, he even got admission in Gomal Medical College but he had to leave it as it did not suit according to his wishes of professionalism. Similar is the case with most of my Law class fellows of PULC being incidental lawyers.
Career counseling is one of the biggest problem for children of Balochistan especially who get opportunity of education. After realization of the fact, many students of Balochistan in universities of Punjab and other prestigious institutes of the country start to work for the said cause by creating student councils to help out students of intermediate or metric viz Pashtun Education Development Movement (PEDM) and Baloch Council (BC) Punjab University Lahore or student councils of Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.  Councils created on the bases of region or ethnicity are not effective alternatives to previously existing student unions but it is a mature structure in comparison to student wings of various political parties.
After spending five years in renowned Public sector university of Pakistan, I finally realized that there is a lot to be done in regards of students. After observation of Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations, the idea of Student Developmental Goals came to my mind. I discussed it with many of my friends and finally used my skills of Microsoft Word to design it. I have shared Student Developmental Goals with a student platform of My Province of Punjab University which propagated it to about Twelve Thousand followers of its social media account. Most of the audiences of platform are students.
Everything I have mentioned in the chart is something which I have done or tried to be done. It is something helpful to those who share same background with me.  Content of chart is designed keeping in view the situation of the students of our university. While it especially focuses new comers of the university from our province. It is mere a set of guidelines where an educated individual tries to mend his schedule according to requirements of education. I have told my juniors that everything suggested in chart is not ultimate. Every individual or organization of welfare can set its own set of principles as Student Developmental Goals. It is something which we lack on the behalf of educational institutions to equip students with requirements of society in terms of confidence, creativity, political awareness, opportunity consciousness, dynamic and rational personality development
The writer is a Student of LLB(Hons) at Punjab University, Lahore. He belongs to Pishin, Balochistan.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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