Yesterday I noticed several windows with No Thanks and Yes banners, their vibrant colours poking through the fog.
Later that day, I overheard strongly worded arguments flying across the classroom, by my students who had almost arranged themselves in two camps.
As I turned to wipe the board, out came the carefully constructed, loaded question: “What do you think the outcome of the referendum should be?”
Fortunately, I was as ready for this, as they were with their artillery of counter-arguments.
First, I was quick to make them lower their guard with a disappointing response of not sharing with them my preference as per college policy.
But then I told them whatever the outcome, the referendum is a win. The reason is that I have seen my students becoming politically aware in a fashion I had not witnessed in the batches before them.
They were far more informed in matters that would not just affect them personally, but as a society. For engineering students caught up in calculating spur gears sizes this is a novelty. The referendum has been an education and a wake-up call for many.
At least for my students, it has helped them in their harmonic development and motivated them not just to think, but to participate in solving the problems of the wider society. No matter what the outcome, let’s celebrate these winds of change.
(Dr) Haroon Junaidi