KEMU: what next? | Ravians dominates
The major problem is that KEMU tried to do too much too soon
Lahore, April 21: Fortunately, KEMU has bought some time to put its house in order. It also
seems that the present government of the Punjab is determined to improve public
sector medical care and also to upgrade and improve Mayo Hospital. These are
welcome initiatives and all of us that care for KEMU and Mayo Hospital must
King Edward Medical University (KEMU) has survived. The
battle to take away its university status and make it a constituent of the
University Of Health Sciences (UHS) is over, at least for now.
the charges levelled against KEMU are factually correct. It has not done as much
as was expected of it as a university. However, KEMU should be given a chance to
prove itself. And it deserves official support, both financial and
administrative, to achieve its goals.
As a supporter of KEMU, I believe
it is time to indulge in some clear-headed self-criticism. The major problem is
that KEMU tried to do too much too soon. There was a rapid expansion of its
postgraduate educational activities without the resources to make this expansion
But for the numbers involved, King Edward Medical College
(KEMC) offered many of the same programmes that it does now, but under the aegis
of Punjab University.
It educated hundreds of undergraduate students a
year, and along with its affiliated hospitals, besides training house
physicians, offered postgraduate diplomas and degrees in many medical
specialties and trained candidates for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of
Besides medical training, KEMC also was involved in training
nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and other ancillary support staff. Except
for the addition of a BSc programme in allied health sciences, not much has
The important point to make here is that even if KEMC had been
brought under UHS, it would still have had to do much of the same. Also, under
UHS, the KE faculty would have lost the autonomy to organise training
programmes, and worse, would have been forced to accept trainees without any
direct input into their selection.
Of course, UHS does not have a
faculty of its own that could properly select and supervise these trainees. As
such, the government would have been forced to create an entire duplicate
faculty for UHS, a body that does not have any direct educational
responsibilities but only has affiliated medical colleges.
professor of anaesthesia sitting in a remote campus without a department or
faculty or students or any clinical work trying to remotely supervise dozens of
anaesthesia trainees at Mayo Hospital: a sure recipe for disaster.
this seems pretty obvious. But then why the campaign to strip KEMU of its
university status and put it under UHS, and much of this coming from former KE
This opposition stems from two primary sources.
and most charitably is an abiding sense of nostalgia. Many KE graduates have
great affinity for the time they spent as students in KE and as such wish to
preserve some semblance of the environment they experienced as students
The second reason, considerably less charitable and probably
more factual, is that medical education and medical care have become big
business in the private sector. Some of these KEMU opponents own or are partners
in private medical enterprises that compete with public medical colleges and
Many that oppose KEMU therefore have an abiding interest in
preventing public institutions like KE and Mayo Hospital from becoming centres
of excellence. The worse these two institutions do, the better these people and
their privately owned facilities will do financially.
has bought some time to put its house in order. It also seems that the present
government of the Punjab is determined to improve public sector medical care and
also to upgrade and improve Mayo Hospital. These are welcome initiatives and all
of us that care for KEMU and Mayo Hospital must support them.
respect, I have a few suggestions. First, the number of new postgraduate
students enrolled in KEMU should be immediately curtailed so as not to overwhelm
the faculty and teaching resources available at this time. As these resources
expand and develop appropriate capabilities and capacity, further students can
Second, the present dichotomy between the university and
affiliated teaching hospitals must end. Unless the university is directly
involved in the improvement and expansion of existing hospital facilities,
appropriate and well-planned changes are not possible. An example is the ill
planned and unfinished 'surgical tower' that literally towers over Mayo
The surgical tower should be converted into a hybrid,
partially for its originally intended purpose but also to create space for the
teaching activities of the university and Mayo Hospital. After all, the two
institutions share its entire medical faculty.
As it is, there is a plan
on the books to build another monstrosity behind the existing university
building for faculty and students. Surely much of the intended purpose of that
building can be achieved by modifying a part of the surgical tower.
far as the university is concerned, there was an initiative a few years ago that
must now be pursued aggressively. This was to augment the existing teaching
faculty with a cadre of 'visiting' staff. KE graduates the world over, and also
within Pakistan, hold important positions in the academic world. Many of them
would be quite willing to come to KEMU on a sabbatical, stretching from a few
weeks to as long as a year.
This would be of great help to the present
faculty and will augment and add a new dimension to the quality of medical
education offered by KEMU and its affiliated hospitals.
For this to
happen, the present faculty will have to put the interest of the university
above their egos. But the university must also consult and collaborate with them
before inviting foreign faculty.
KEMU has a great future, but it has to
be built on existing foundations. -By Syed Mansoor Hussain. He has practised
and taught medicine in the US. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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'Ravians dominate all walks of life'
Lahore: There is no doubt about the
fact that Ravians are dominating in every walk of life, Government College
University (GCU) Vice Chancellor Dr Khalid Aftab said on Monday.
addressing the annual dinner of the Old Ravians Union at the Oval Ground of the
university. He said the GCU's School of Mathematical Sciences was an integral
part of the university's academic programmes to convey knowledge. He said the
school would soon meet the expectations of the academic community. He said the
school had initiated the largest PhD Programme of South Asia, adding that over
100 PhD scholars were pursuing their research at the school.
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Governor approves construction of Science Block at Aitchison College
Lahore: Governor Salmaan Taseer approved the construction of a Science Block while presiding over the 72nd Aitchison College Board of Governors meeting at
the Governor's House on Monday.
The meeting discussed the working
conditions of newly appointed Principal Fakir Syed Ijazuddin, approved the
appointment of Syed Amer Hussain as Senior School headmaster and looked into the
recommendations regarding the construction of a separate Science Block.
Perks: The meeting gave the Management Committee the task to make new
rules and regulations for Aitchison College's staff. The meeting also decided
that the new principal would be provided all perks and privileges that were
given to the former principal. The meeting was told that after every three
months, 25 teachers of Aitchison College would be sent on a course to the
Beaconhouse National University (BNU). It was said that French and German were
being taught at the college and in the 2009-10 session Persian and Chinese would
be taught at the Prep School and Senior School. The Science Block was also
approved in the meeting at an amount of Rs 470 million. The block would be
equipped with four new laboratories, demonstration rooms, a machine shop and a
storage facility. Governor Taseer said the number of students to be enrolled
would increase by 40 percent from the next year. Syed Baber Ali, Faisal Saleh
Hayat, Chaudhry Moeen Afzal, Raza Quli Khan Khatak, Abu Bakar Chandrigar, Ali
Aziz Sethi, Syed Jarar Ali, Nauman Ahmed Khan, Farooq Subhan and Mrs Dr Mateen
Malik attended the meeting. General Officer (10 Division) Major General Shafqaat
Ahmed, Finance Special Secretary Naveed Alauddin, Education Additional Secretary
Farah Zahra Gilani and Aitchison College's Prep School, Junior School and Senior
School's head masters also attended the meeting in their official capacity.
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Two-day workshop on quality assessment of education
Lahore: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with the University of
Management and Technology (UMT) organised a two-day workshop on 'Programme
Assessment and Continuous Improvement of Quality' for public sector
The workshop started on April 15 at the UMT. It was
conducted by HEC QAC Chairman Dr Abdul Rauf, UMT Adviser Salman Saeed Qureshi
and the UMT registrar. Representatives of 30 universities from across the
country attended the workshop. Quality Assurance Agency Managing Director Dr
Azam Ali Khawaja and Quality Assurance and Learning Innovation Adviser Dr Riaz
Hussain Qureshi represented the HEC during the event.
Rauf, a pioneer of quality assurance of higher education in Pakistan, stressed
the need for programme assessment and its contribution to the quality of
education. Earlier, he highlighted the importance of quality assessment of
education programmes. Dr Qureshi said quality assurance was vital and discussed
the latest trends of quality education. The participants discussed in detail the
means to achieve quality education. Government College University's (GCU)
representative Uzma Waseem shed light on the varsity's working.
representative Dr Azam Ali Khawaja said quality should be visible at all levels
of education, adding that quality assessment should be maintained. He said
Quality Enhancement Cells (QECs) were necessary for Internal Quality Assessment
(IQA). UMT Registrar Salman Saeed Qureshi chaired the second half of the moot.
He highlighted the need for self-assessment to improve the quality of education.
The workshop concluded at a unanimous note that all-out efforts should be made
to improve quality education. Daily Times
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BISE completes arrangements for intermediate examination
Lahore: The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) has completed all arrangements to
hold the annual intermediate examination starting from April
Examination Controller Manzoorul Hassan Niazi said on Saturday all
arrangements had been finalised to hold the examination in a peaceful and
transparent manner. He said 529 examination centres had been established in all
the five districts which come under the jurisdiction of BISE. He said 129,948
male and female candidates were to appear in the annual
Transparency: Niazi said 3,000 officials had been appointed
to conduct the examination. He said 248 examination centres had been set up for
female candidates and 278 for male candidates.
He said the BISE also
constituted monitoring teams to check the transparency at the examination
centres. Workshops were organised in the BISE's affiliated districts to impart
special training to examination staff to ensure transparency, he
He said a complaint cell had been set up at the BISE office which
would remain open for 24 hours even on Sunday. He said the board had requested
the Punjab government to provide the necessary security arrangements at the
sensitive centres to avoid any untoward incident. It also requested the LESCO to
ensure uninterrupted power supply to the examination centres during exam hours,
he added. App
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Humourous plays preferred over serious: Audience roll off seats at LUMS SkiTamasha
Lahore: Plays of various genres were performed at the annual SkiTamasha – an
annual skit festival organised by Dramaline, an organisation run by the students
of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). The serious plays
revolved around social issues facing teenagers but the audience preferred the
The three-day festival that included several short skits
(20-30 minutes each) concluded on Sunday. It was arranged in the LUMS Central
Courtyard, where the administration had carpeted the floor and provided floor
cushions for the audience. The open-air theatre also added to the festival's
appeal as the star-studded sky provided a very calm and soothing
Favourites: One skit depicted the grim situation in Palestine
and the atrocities meted out to the Palestinians. The audience also appreciated
performances such as 'Daira' and 'Niqab'. The viewers believed that serious
plays were good, but the comic plays provided them more entertainment. The
audience especially appreciated a play, Bhool Bhullayan, by Abid Imran. The
story was of several LUMS students who were preparing for a skit to perform at
the festival. One of the performers got electrocuted which resulted in the
others also getting electric shocks while trying to save him. They started
suffering from amnesia and rehearsing for random skits (without remembering the
lines). They called the director insane and eventually walked off the stage
while laughing. The play was extremely well written and had the audience roaring
with laughter. It also included several dances that were well timed and
thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. The audience loved the performances by the
lead actor and actress, Nouman Noor and Marzia Lotia, respectively.
Abid, the director, said he had not added the dances in the initial
script, but decided to add them during the rehearsals. "Our director did a great
thing by deciding to add dances to the performances. I also had a great time
rehearsing and performing for the play," said Lotia. Nouman said arranging the
play had been a great experience as the performers were all friends.
'PCO Mein Miley Ga Umeed Sey Dugna' (by Hamza Tariq) was another comedy
that enthralled the audience. PCO stood for Piar Coordination Office in the
play. Students from LUMS were attempting to find the solutions to their love
problems. It also included dances and several jokes about some students that
were well taken by them. The director and the lead role, Tariq, said such
activities were beneficial for the students as it provided them a chance to work
on their creative skills. He said he had an amazing time while preparing the
skit. The audience and performers praised Dramaline President Aun Ansari and
Vice President Ali Chaudhary for their efforts in organising the festival. Daily Times
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