To bow down to reason and commonsense is not a sign of weakness but a sign of maturity, magnanimity and decency in administration. Foroyaa had pointed out that it is a principle of justice that burdens on law or practice should not have retroactive application. In that respect the demand of the students for the increment in fees and the change in the grading system not to have retroactive application had some merit and needed a listening ear.
Now that reason has prevailed, the lesson should be drawn to avoid future problems. It is important for the administration to take note of two fundamental lessons.
The first lesson is to take note of the fact that a school is a community. The community could establish a relation of cooperation or domination. Under relations of cooperation contradictions are solved amicably through dialogue and conciliation. Under a relation based on domination contradictions lead to confrontation. It is important for the university to become a school for the propagation of democratic values. This is done by recognising the mandate of student representatives and giving them audience to bargain to resolve problems instead of closing doors and handing down dictums.
Student leaders must also be able to contain any unreasonable and unjustifiable reaction from students so as to earn the respect of the administration and give them more authority to amplify the concerns of the students with success. This is the first point.
Secondly, the University administration should enter into dialogue with the Government to find out how the executive reads the following provision of the constitution:
“30(c) higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular, by progressive introduction of free education;”
If this provision is adhered to in letter and spirit fees should be coming down and not increasing. It is the government which should guide the University and accept responsibility for the increment since it has capacity to subsidise education through the education levy.