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BISE stolen papers' issue | Punjab teachers, clerks strike

Stolen papers' issue: Cancellation of papers to cost BISE dearly
Faisalabad, April 24: Distribution of Class-IX stolen papers of physics and Islamiyat (optional) among the students will cost the Faisalabad Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education dearly as the Punjab government has cancelled the examination of both papers.

The government has asked the board officials to make arrangements for fresh examination of both papers. Thousands of students of group first would take the exam afresh.

A handout issued by the BISE read: "The exams of physics and Islamiyat (optional) would be held on May 20 and candidates would be issued new roll numbers.

The board would also allot new examination centres because intermediate students are appearing in exam these days."

Sources informed that the ill-intention of the BISE officials would incur financial burden on the board which had to spend hundreds of thousands of rupees on publication of question papers, their transportation to banks, and expenses of the examination centres. They said this time the board officials were being strictly monitored by the provincial government.

Although distributory inspector Munir Jehan had informed board acting chairman Khadim Hussain and controller Zafar Iqbal about the incident, those very papers were given to the candidates which had gone missing.

This paper published a story that the board officials had distributed 'stolen papers' among thousands of students on April 8.

Sources said the Punjab government had also ordered an inquiry into the matter and a team of the Anti-Corruption Establishment, Faisalabad, had visited the board office on Wednesday and grilled the employees of different departments.

They said some board officials would be taken to task for concealing the issue and using the stolen papers.

They said the officials questioned why the board chairman did not change the bank branch when he was informed that question papers had been stolen from the National Bank's Noorpur branch on April 8.

Meanwhile, an inquiry into the issue constituted by the board concluded that not a single member of the board was involved in the papers' stealing.

The inquiry team was formed by the board when second time unidentified people had taken away question papers of general science, mathematics and chemistry.

The committee, sources said, had obtained the statements of all examination centres' officials attached with the bank.

The centres (for boys) whose superintendents and the deputies were grilled included: the Madina College of Commerce, Millat Chowk; the Workers Welfare School, Johar Colony; the Sandal College, Millat Road; the MC High School, Hajiabad; and the MC High School, Gulistan Colony.

The girls' centres were: 122-JB Girls High School; the Gulistan Colony school; the College for Women, Gulistan Colony; the MC Girls High School, Hajiabad; and the Workers Welfare Girls High School. Dawn


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Teachers, clerks stage sit-in
Lahore: A massive protest sit-in was observed outside the Punjab Civil Secretariat on Thursday when a large number of college teachers and members of All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA) gathered regarding their long standing demands.

The APCA sit-in was part of its countrywide pen-down strike in connection with clerks' demand of increase in salaries while the college teachers, mostly contract lecturers, staged the sit-in and demanded the government to fulfil their long standing demands including those related to promotions, allowances and permanent appointments of contract lecturers etc.

The teachers had earlier taken out a protest rally organised by Tehrik-e-Asataza Punjab, which started from the Government Islamia College Civil Lines and culminated at a sit-in outside the Punjab Civil Secretariat.

The commuters had to face many troubles as the sit-in caused a mess not only on Lower Mall but also on The Mall. The traffic police had cordoned off the road from various sides which created a traffic mess on adjacent roads for more than two hours.

The protesting teachers while carrying banners and placards chanted slogans demanding of the government to solve their problems. Earlier, a convention was held at the Islamia College where teacher-leaders made speeches and criticised the government for ignoring the teachers' problems over the years.

The teachers ended their protest sit-in following a delegation comprising teacher representatives held a successful meeting with the Secretary Higher Education Punjab Azhar Hussain Shamim. They were informed that the department had already moved a summary regarding solution to their genuine problems.

It is pertinent to mention here that earlier on April 21, the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA) had staged a protest rally and sit-in outside the Punjab Assembly demanding of the government to solve problems being faced by the college teachers. The News


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Fatima Memorial Hospital College of Medicine and Dentistry second annual convocation
Lahore: Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer has said that the medical students are playing a vital role in the development of human capital and are the mainstay of the healthcare sector.

He was addressing the second annual convocation of the Fatima Memorial Hospital College of Medicine and Dentistry Lahore at Aiwan-e-Iqbal on Thursday. In his speech, he said the health sector determined how much a society was developed as a healthy nation only could guarantee the progress and advancement of the country. It was a like a yardstick, he remarked.

He told the students that they had deliver the service after choosing a great profession and hoped that they would prove themselves at national and international level with devotion and zeal.

Vice-Chancellor University of Health Sciences (UHS) Prof Dr Malik Hussain Mubashar termed the day as a occasion to commit future for securing the lives of the people, saying that all the professionals must concentrate to serve the humanity with consciousness, dignity and respect.

He advised the successful students to work without any discrimination of gender, race, colour or community.

Dr Malik said the highly trained professionals doctors had a responsibility to act like a model for others members of the society. Principal of the college Prof Dr Humayun Maqsood said the basic objective of the institute was to create professional medical personnel.

Associated Dean of Dentistry Prof Dr Yaqoob Baig Mirza, Chairperson Executive Committee Shahima Rehman besides others also spoke to a large number prospective students and parents who participated in the convocation.

Earlier, Governor Salmaan Taseer awarded medals to 14 position holders along with conferring degrees successful students including 60 MBBS and 22 BDS graduates. The Nation


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$350m okayed for Punjab Education Development
Lahore: The World Bank lauded the Punjab Education Development Programme introduced by the provincial government and agreed to US$ 350 million funding during the next three years.

According to a DGPR handout, this agreement was reached in a high level meeting between the representatives of the World Bank and the Punjab government comprising Secretary School Education Department Nadeem Ashraf, Special Secretary Finance and Member (SS) P&D Department.

During the meeting, the result-oriented initiatives taken by the Punjab government for the uplift of education sector were highlighted.

It was stated that in addition to the measures for the promotion of education, the Punjab government has also introduced a number of initiatives on the directions of the Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to ensure availability as well as quality of education.

These included provision of missing facilities, establishment of IT computer labs in high/higher secondary schools in the province, recruitment of 34,000 teachers on merit, grant of performance based allowance to teachers, comprehensive training programme for education managers, empowerment of school councils and school heads and capacity building of GCETs as well as a massive universal primary enrolment campaign.

The World Bank expressed satisfaction over the high priority being attached to the education sector by the Punjab government and agreed to lend its support.

The financial assistance will be utilised for the implementation of second-generation reforms in the education sector.

It is pertinent to mention that the proposed project is based on improved quality of education, improved access and equity, improved governance, management & monitoring and enhanced education sector expenditures as well as improved fiduciary environment.

DFID is expected to provide an additional support of US$ 120 million shortly. Final memorandum of understanding (MoU) is expected to be signed in this regard on June 5, 2009.


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PU Book Fair continues
Lahore: A large number of peopl, especially students, visited the Punjab University (PU) New Campus on second day of annual book fair on Thursday.

According to a press statement issued from PU Provincial Education Minister Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Amjad Islam Amjad, Zahoor Watto, Farid Paracha and other personalities along with Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran visited the book fair on Thursday. The guests expressed pleasure that publishers and booksellers of national and international repute were selling books on up to 50% discount prices.

Speaking on the occasion, VC Dr Mujahid Kamran said the importance of book in development of nations could not be denied. He urged the youth to develop book reading habits. On the occasion, renowned poet Amjad Islam Amjad and Farid Paracha also talked about the importance of developing book reading habits.

The VC constituted committees comprising deans of faculties, heads of departments, principals of colleges and senior faculty members to organize the event while students on merit had also been included in all the committees. The News


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PU issued MBBS datesheet
Punjab University Examination Department has issued the datesheets of MBBS (Re-Organized Scheme) and MBBS (New Re-Organized Scheme).

According to the datesheets, MBBS (Re-Organized Scheme), Final Professional, Supplementary Examination 2008 will commence from May 12 and will conclude on June 1 while MBBS (New Re-Organized Scheme), Final Professional, Supplementary Examination 2008 will start from May 12 and will conclude on May 29.


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Prosecutors' PPSC results details sought
Lahore: A full bench of the Lahore High Court Wednesday sought the details about the results of prosecutors who appeared in the examination held by the Punjab Public Service Commission while remaining in their service.

The bench comprising Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Hafiz Tariq Nasim adjourned hearing of hundreds of identical petitions filed by prosecutors challenging their termination till April 27.

Arguments of Dr Khalid Ranjha and Dr Abdul Basit who represented the petitioners-prosecutors were still going on and will continue on next day of hearing.

On previous date of hearing Punjab government had told the bench that 488 ad hoc prosecutors recruited by previous government throughout Punjab were failed to pass departmental examination taken for their confirmation, therefore, they were terminated.

Former Advocate General Punjab Khawaja Haris representing the government in private capacity had also pointed out that 453 of dismissed prosecutors approached the LHC that stayed their termination in July last year.

The petitioners Sarfraz Ahmed and hundreds of others deputy, assistant and deputy prosecutor generals had sought court's indulgence to get them restored.

After the assembling of new government in Punjab, the prosecutors were dismissed after judging their ability.

The terminated prosecutors after the court hearing on Monday gathered at GPO Chowk and held a protest demonstration against their termination.

They demanded the government to protect their jobs from political victimization. The Nation


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BZU trees 'fall like autumn leaves'
Multan: The Bahauddin Zakariya University campus is being exposed to environmental degradation with the large-scale tree cutting which has caused concern among the teachers and the taught.

Criticising the BZU administration's move, a number of students demand an immediate ban on cutting of trees on the university campus to save them from the effects of harsh weather. The practice, they say, is being carried out for the last two years.

The university administration has cut down trees which were even more than 30 years old on the pretext of removing eucalyptus trees and introducing local varieties to avoid "a lot of problems".

Director State Management and In-charge Arboriculture Dr Altaf Dasti said eucalyptus trees were eradicated from the campus on the direction of the Punjab government as the eucalyptus reduces the underground water level and is not useful compared to most indigenous trees.

"Birds do not build nests in the eucalyptus as it is a straight tree and they do not feel secure under it and, thus, do not allow other indigenous trees to grow," he said.

The felling of hundreds of trees over two years worried the teachers and the students who said the administration should stop planting eucalyptus rather than cutting a large number of trees at a time when there was no replacement. "The campus is giving an ugly look without trees," they said.

According to a student, trees absorb heat and carbon dioxide and play a crucial role in climate regulation. Besides oxygen, they release moisture that returns to the earth in the form of rain. He said it was being observed that mass cutting of trees in the university had led to higher temperatures since last year and it also leads to less rain.

He said the trees were being chopped off in the name of the construction of two new hostels, one each for boys and girls. "Tree-felling is absolutely not necessary to build hostels as there is enough space to construct such facilities."

"It is outrageous that the university which boasts of being environment-friendly is actually chopping the trees off," Imran Gabool, an activist of PSF, said.

"We condemn cutting of trees. We are planning to protest against the massive killing of trees and will ensure that the practice is stopped forthwith," he added.

Islami Jamiat Tulaba Nazim Mulazim Husain said they would contact the administration to stop the cutting of trees. He said: "The administration usually sows seeds of discord among the student organisations so that these are unable to take stand jointly on any issue."

Academic Staff Association ex-president Mian Ghulam Yasin said the eucalyptus trees should be removed, but cutting them in such a way was not a right decision. He said the place of hostels could be changed.

Sources informed that hundreds of trees worth millions had been cut down and they were not auctioned properly. "The record of trees planted in the university has gone missing," he said.

Dr Altaf Dasti said, "according to the forest department procedure, numbers can be put only on those trees that are planted at roadsides and the administration has the record of only those trees."

He denied cutting of trees other than eucalyptus, and said the hostels were being constructed at the place earmarked in the university's master plan.

District Officer (Forest) Shaukat Muddasir, however, said the department put numbers at each and every tree.

In-charge Soiling Agriculture Research Center, Faisalabad, Dr Javed Akhtar said it was a misconception that eucalyptus reduced the underground water level.

"Water pumps and agricultural tubewells are main reasons for the reduction in the water level, and not eucalyptus trees" he said. Eucalyptus trees should not be chopped off as the country was already facing shortage of forest, he added.


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Work on new GCU campus next month
Faisalabad: The government has released funds for the construction of a new campus of the Government College University (GCU) at Sahianwala and work on the campus will begin next month, says a university official.

Haq Nawaz, GCU director on planning and development, told vice-chancellor Dr Shahid Mehboob and other faculty members during a briefing at the campus site here on Thursday that construction of the new campus would be completed in 15 years in three phases. He said academic and admin blocks, two boys hostels, roads and outer wall of the campus would be raised in the first phase at the cost of Rs478 million.

Dr Mehboob said contemporary facilities would be provided at the new campus. He said the university would run a bus for students and faculty members between the new and old campuses.

Mass Communication Department Director Dr AR Khalid, Examinations Controller Javed Aslam Bajwa, Admin Director Abbas Shah, Mass Communication Department In-charge Salma Umber, Academic Staff Association President Dr Mudassir, United Teachers Forum President Sibghatullah, Pharmacy Department Chairman Dr Farzana, Pakistan Studies Department Chairman Dr Mughis, Engineering and Computer Sciences Department Chairman Anwar Sipra and Student Affairs Deputy Director Zeeshan Ahmed were also present. Dawn


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