Ragging in Sri Lankan Universities – ‘Chinese Perspective’
Posted on September 28th, 2009

Dr.P.A.Samaraweera, China

In a letter to an English Daily on 26th Sept., titled ‘Ragging in universities’, a subscriber observes, “…Ragging in universities must stop. The perverts must be punished severely…Get the military to give protection to the new comers. Our forces defeated the ruthless LTTE… Tackle these poisonous snakes…”

 A few weeks ago it was reported that 2 university students were on remand custody because of ragging while the victim had to undergo surgery. A couple of years ago another student’s life ended on a wheel-chair. The writer’s comments and these incidents show the seriousness of ragging in universities in Sri Lanka. This type of extremism is alien in countries like the UK, Australia, NZ, US etc. Here is China’s strategy.

 Last week was the beginning of the academic year in Chinese universities. Because of the publicity given to ‘ university ragging’ and as I was in China, out of curiosity I visited two universities, Sun Yat Sun and Xinhua universities in the Guangzhou Province to see how students react.

 During the first week, the new students have no scheduled lectures. Instead they do a programme conducted by the Educational Instructors of the Army. On the 1st day they are welcomed, treated with refreshments, shown around the university, introduce themselves to the seniors, divided into groups and so on. The rest of the week they are involved in the program.

 The programme is angled on Chinese cultural issues and related to drama, playing musical instruments, singing, dancing, presenting comical/entertaining episodes, debating etc. Thus students are given an opportunity to display any special skills they have. They are also given training in marching and during this week they have to wear army combat uniforms.

 On the last day of the week they have to perform to the whole university, which includes the academic staff, at the open-air theatre and they consider it a ‘fun evening’ as groups compete against each other. All universities had been following the same format since the Revolution.

 The Chinese style appears more ‘civilized’ than the brutal methods adopted by some of the seniors to the new comers in Sri Lankan universities and causing them undue stress to both parents and students.

One Response to “Ragging in Sri Lankan Universities – ‘Chinese Perspective’”

  1. Nihal Fernando Says:

    What is the whole purpose of this mental and physical torture, endurance and vulgarity called ragging? A student at that level should have an educated brain as well as an educated heart othewise he/she will finally end up as a useless person to the society. Why can’t the authorities to prevent this menace from happening?

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