Educational institutions serve as a backbone in the development of the nation. They play a crucial role to inculcate academic and cognitive abilities among learners. Furthermore, they not only polish academic and cognitive abilities among students yet instill good social and moral values so that they can be turned into effective members of the society. Educational infrastructure in Pakistan is already facing many serious issues which include lack of uniformity in education system, corruption, poor performance and negligence, politics and the political student organizations and many more. The sole purpose of the educational institutions is the promotion of education not business, but it is so unfortunate that the situation is different in our country. There is no check and balance on the performance of public and private sector institutions. Its one example is the advertisements of a cellular company’s “Youth Brand” in University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, which is one of the leading educational institutions of the country and is famous for its quality education and research.
The display of Ufone’s “Uth Pack On Kar” can easily be seen everywhere in the university. Ufone is Pakistan’s leading telecommunication network and “Uth Pack” is a youth brand which has been tailored especially for the youth. The package includes voice, SMS, mobile internet and offers and promos. Now the question arises that being a part of one of the prestigious institutions; what is the logic to advertise Uth Pack on different departmental and random sign boards inside the premises of UET. An education institution must be considerate about such things. It seems ridiculous as if we see a sign board representing the building of a department along with the slogan and logo of Uth Pack: Life On Kar!
Advertising as a major social event expresses a key change in values, beliefs, behavior and buying patterns of the general public which influences the lifestyles of people. Pakistan is considered as an emerging market; due to trends of globalization and establishment of multi-national companies. Advertisement in Pakistan has undergone drastic changes in the recent years, which has a great impact on the attitudes and beliefs of the consumer. Youngsters in the society are influenced by the advertising and it affects their lifestyle. Almost 80% of youngsters have cell phones. Moreover, they have their own language and social groups and most of the times it is confidential from their parents. The use of mobile phone is like an addiction for them. All night packages, SMS packages and many other attractive offers are changing the lives of the students. This is one of the major reasons which keep them away from their goals and objectives. In this scenario, it does not seem appropriate that a university itself is promoting the innovative packages offered by a cellular company.
The tele-brands specifically target the young minds as they are immature and the promotion of such ads is like a slow poison for them. According to a survey, such promotional phone packages have developed a trend of long calls and misuse of SMS among students. Furthermore, the internet packages facilitate the use of social websites like facebook etc. everywhere; even in the classrooms. For teenagers, proper training and restrictions are required in order to minimize the adverse effects of mobile phones. In many countries of the world, SMS is restricted to a certain extent and SMS limit is determined for teenagers mobile users. Furthermore, teachers and civil society are playing an efficient role to educate the students about the harmful effects of mobile phone and phone packages. However, the situation seems opposite in Pakistan where the prestigious educational institution itself is promoting “Akheer Texting- SMS”
In Pakistan, everything is rushing towards commercialism, and it seems that public universities are also in the race. It is healthy if educational institutions promote advertisements keeping in view students’ educational exposures and career developments. For example, promotions of soft-tech, IEEE and other educational advertisements will help students to take more interest in their studies. The trend of globalization, internet and some other factors are already adversely affecting the culture and traditions of our society and there is a severe need to revise policies and practices of state educational system. Therefore, public and private educational institutions should not make profits by compromising on the interests of the young generation. They must be conscious about such things as youth of our country is helpful in its prosperity and development. Last but not the least, it is the responsibility of the government to monitor educational institutions and such advertisements must be banned at least inside the educational institutions.