A provincial level policy-dialogue was held here at the GC University Lahore among students, policy makers and academicians on the topic of ‘Youth Leadership on Campuses’.
The day-long dialogue, organized in collaboration with the Bargad Organization, discussed and identified the development challenges faced by young people in Pakistan and less participation of female students in the working of student societies on campuses.
The young students gave their input to the stakeholders on how to increase the engagement of youth in policymaking.
The panelists included members Punjab Assembly (MPAs) Ms Sadia Sohail and Ms Bushra Anjum Butt, vice-chancellors Prof. Dr. Asghar Zaidi and Prof. Dr. Kanwal Ameen and Bargad Executive Director Ms. Sabiha Shaheen, while around 230 representatives of student societies and students from different universities of Punjab also participated in the dialogue.
In his opening address, GCU Vice-Chancellor Dr. Asghar Zaidi presented the model of students-societies which has been operational at GCU for the last 150 years. However, he said, now other universities of Pakistan are importing this youth leadership system from GCU.
He announced holding a week-long All Pakistan Summit for Students Societies in the last week of August 2021 in which student societies from 30 universities across Pakistan would participate.
Talking about the leadership qualities, University of Home Economics Vice Chancellor Prof. Kanwal Ameen said that communication, patience and listening, and reading are essential for the youth to become leaders.
Bargad Advisor Mr. Iqbal Haider Butt shared key findings of a study done by Bargad on student societies, saying that “about 90 percent of the student societies in Pakistani universities have been formed between the years 2010 to 2018. He said girls are part of the student societies in 39 percent cases, but they generally don’t hold offices
MPA Sadia Sohail Rana attributed her political success to participation in her university’s student societies. She also shared that in her political organization work she appointed 12 district presidents of PTI women wing who are now part of the Parliament.
MPA Bushra Anjum Butt called upon youth to remain positive and confident, and focus on their own strengths to become leaders.
Ms. Sabiha Shaheen believed that grooming and personality development of youth was more critical than teaching.
Earlier, the trainees of Youth Leadership on Campuses (YLOC) Program Namra Batool and Muntaha Akram presented a Charter of Demands for promotion of meaningful participation of youth in policy making. Fatima Rehman gave a presentation about youth-led social action projects that the trainees organized after getting training.
Students asked questions about strengthening the student societies and clubs in universities of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KP). They also asked questions about personality development, curriculum, student unions and youth policies. The parliamentarians promised to highlights students’ concerns on floor of the Assembly floor.