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Pakistani students in UK | Private schools security fees

Operation Pathway: Is this justice? No, it is not
April 29: Operation Pathway' was perhaps destined for failure the moment the UK's top counter-terrorism officer was photographed with files providing details of planned police raids on Pakistani students. The officer concerned was forced to resign and the police action, which had been in the works for months, was moved forward at short notice. The result: mass arrests but no solid evidence.

Even so, that did not stop UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown from crowing about how the police had foiled a major terrorist plot. What terrorist plot? There may have been one but we will never really know, will we, considering how badly the inquiry was bungled? Physical searches of flats and houses yielded nothing, and neither did scrutiny of seized computers. In the end, all charges were dropped but yet the students are not at liberty. They have been remanded to the custody of the UK Border Agency pending their deportation. Can Mr Brown, who was in Pakistan the other day, answer this one simple question: what is their crime? Every single student rounded up by the police was in the UK on a valid visa. Not one shred of evidence that could stand up in court could be produced against any of the young men now in custody. Is this justice? No, it is not.

Britain's civil liberties record is not spotless, particularly in its dealings with the IRA, but the country does stand out as a bastion of basic rights in the western world. Every country has the right to act decisively when it feels that its security interests are being threatened. The UK cannot be deprived of that privilege. But when it knows that it has made a mistake, the British government, and yes it's prime minister, should have the decency to show remorse and apologise for the incarceration of Pakistani citizens whose only fault perhaps was that they weren't white.

The UK needs to sort out its race issues. Racism in Britain is both institutional and in your face. Few middle-class persons of colour who spend any prolonged period of time in Great Britain can come away saying that they were not discriminated against in one way or another. This is an issue that Britain needs to address on an urgent basis. Meanwhile, teenagers of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin do not turn the other cheek at any given affront like their predecessors did. The race riots of 2001 showed once and for all that there is now a generation of South Asians in Britain that will not simply cower and simper. But there is a downside to this dubious empowerment as well. Alienated from the mainstream, many Muslim Britons are more than willing to lend an ear to the obscurantists. Dawn


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Private schools start charging 'security fees'
Rawalpindi: All reputed private schools in twin cities have started charging an extra amount of Rs200 to Rs300 per student under the head of security charges.

When contacted to Khadeeja Omair, director of the Roots School System, said "Keeping in view the security situation in the country, we have strengthened security by installing CCTV cameras, walkthrough scanners inside our campuses and deployed around 15 armed security guards. We have also raised the height of walls around our campuses to ensure security of children."

"We are charging Rs200 per student as security charges as we have to meet these expenses," she added.

Zaheer Ahmed, an official of the Froebel's School, said "We were already getting security charges from students. But now we have increased security charges in all branches of the school due to the current security situation in the country."

Muhammad Ahsan, security in-charge of the Beaconhouse School System, said "We held a high-level meeting with the government regarding the security situation in the country. The authorities had assured us of information sharing." He said "If we talk about security on our campuses then we are taking these measures by ourselves. We have raised walls around our campuses, installed CCTV cameras and deployed armed security guards."

Ahsan said "We are getting only Rs50 per head as security charges to meet these expenses."

On the other hand, some parents said that the Beaconhouse School System has increased Rs300 per head under the head of miscellaneous charges.

Nasreen Tariq, acting president of the Management and Staff of Private Educational Institutions and principal of the Silver Oaks School, while talking to us, said that private schools in twin cities are facing a hard time, as there is no concerned department to resolve our problems.

She said that many private schools are charging high fees as there in no check on them. "Many private schools, despite already charging heavy fees, are putting extra burden on parents in the form of security charges. It is totally unfair and putting extra burden on parents." "Parents should raise their voice against such schools," she added.

Nasreen said "We have invited all private schools to come under the Management and Staff of Private Educational Institutions for resolution all such issues. But many big schools are not willing to join us." "There should be a check and balance system of private schools by the government," she said.

Parents interviewed by us asked the concerned authorities to take action against school managements, which are charging security fees. According to them, all private schools increase their fees every year and now they have started charging extra amount as security fees.

They said that managements of private schools are looting them by printing their own notebooks and preparing school uniforms with the logos of their schools that are available at specific shops at alarmingly high rates.

New academic session starts with high fees
Rawalpindi: With the commencement of new academic session, the private schools have increased their fees creating difficulties for the parents.

Talking to Online here on Tuesday, parents complained that the administration of the private schools increased their fees with the start of new academic session.

"We are not in a position to afford this increase in fee because we are already compelled on buying costly uniform and shoes," they added.

They pointed out that the schools administration directed them to purchase the uniform from special shops, which, according to them, offer commission to them.

The parents said during the now-a-days high price hike, the purchase of uniform and shoes and the increase in fees have increased their difficulties to meet their needs.

They demanded of the Punjab chief minister to take notice of this increase in fees and issue code of conduct for these schools. The News


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University of Balochistan (UoB) 9th Convocation tomorrow
Quetta: Ninth convocation of University of Balochistan would be held here Thursday. Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi who is also Chancellor would be chief guest and confer degrees among 250 students passed out from this university. Of these 7 would get PhD Award, 7 M Phil award and 25 girls and boys gold medals. Ppi

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Gilani promises Balochistan two medical colleges
Islamabad: The government will set up two medical colleges in Lora Lai and Khuzdar districts in Balochistan, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told a Balochistan delegation at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Tuesday.

He also approved Rs 70 million for the electrification of Bagh in Balochistan during the meeting.

Chief Minister Aslam Raisani headed the delegation. The prime minister said the federal government would make a special Quetta development package in consultation with the Balochistan government. He said the proposed package would focus on better education, health services, infrastructure development and provision of clean drinking water for the people of Quetta and adjoining areas. He said the government would double the strength of lady health workers in Balochistan to improve health facilities for women. Federal Livestock Minister Humayun Kurd, Balochistan Health Minister Ainullah Shamsi and Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Ruqiyya Hashmi also attended the meeting. Daily Times


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Pindi BISE chairman removed
Rawalpindi: The Higher Education Department on Tuesday removed the Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education (BISE), Rawalpindi, Chairman Prof Dr Iftikhar Baig for his alleged failure in maintaining secrecy in the ongoing intermediate exam. According to official sources, Baig was removed for not being able to maintain secrecy of Islamiat (Elective) question paper of Intermediate Part-II at a centre in Murree on April 23, 2009. The envelope containing Islamiat Group-II (evening) question paper was opened in the morning by the centre superintendent despite the fact that the morning and evening papers were packed in 'Green and Red' packets for easy identification. Earlier, the matter was brought to the notice of Punjab chief minister by Hanif Abbasi MNA during a high level meeting in Lahore. The CM directed Secretary Prosecution Sharif Sheghan Malik to immediately leave for Rawalpindi and inquire into the matter. The inquiry officer probed the matter and held the centre's superintendent responsible for the leakage. However, the chairman was removed on Tuesday. Government College, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi, Principal Riaz Akhtar has been given the charge of BISE chairman till formal appointment of the chairman. app


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33 schools functioning in dilapidated rented buildings
Rawalpindi: Despite claims by successive governments to ensure provision of all missing facilities in educational institutions, 33 schools are functioning in dilapidated rented buildings in Rawalpindi alone, it was learnt.

The previous Punjab government doled out billions of rupees and harped on "Parha Likha Punjab" but there are still places where light of education has still not reached. The present government also seems ignorant of the plight of government schools.

The Government Girls Primary School Dhoke Kashmirian, Government Girls Primary School Sadiqabad, Rehmania Government Girls School, Government Nusrat Girls Elementary School Shakrial and Government Boys High School, Tench Bhatta, etc., are among such institutions which neither have their own buildings nor anyone to finance their rents.

The primary school at Dhoke Kashmirian was built in 1962 and at present it has 250 students. The school has no building of its own and is running in a dilapidated building consisting of only three rooms at a rent of Rs6,000 per month.

The rent of the building is being paid by the teachers and students. The students of nursery, class one and two are forced to sit on the ground in the open both in summer and winter. The school is also without furniture and even the chairs for the staff are in a ramshackle condition. There is only one toilet for both the teachers and students.

The girls' primary school at Sadiqabad was established before partition. The decaying rented building of the school comprised two tiny rooms, where 90 students are crammed together.

Neither clean drinking water nor any lavatory facility is available in the school. The rent of the building is Rs4,000 which is being paid by staff and students jointly.

Similarly, the Rehmania Government Girls Primary School set up in 1971 is also running in a decrepit one-room rented building. The school with an enrolment of 79 students has no electricity.

Likewise, Government Nusrat Girls Elementary School Shakrial is functioning in a two-room building with 400 students. Set up in 1952, the institution neither has drinking water nor toilet facility.

The Government Boys High School, Tench Bhata, is educating 250 students in a dilapidated rented building. Since its establishment in 1965, it has been running in different rented buildings and the current building was hired some 20 years back. The rent of the building is also paid by students and their teachers. The staff of these schools said, "Many complaints were registered with the authorities concerned but to no avail. Neither have they provided us official building nor finance the rent."

District Education Officer (women) Naseem Akhtar said there were 33 schools in the city functioning in rented buildings since 1972. She said the government provided Rs20,000 to every primary school; Rs50,000 to middle school and Rs100,000 to every high school per annum for renovation of buildings.

Previously it was not allowed to spend this amount on rented buildings. However, now such schools have also been permitted to utilise the funds for renovation purposes, she added.

"We have plans to merge some schools depending upon their location; however, this can cerate problems for some students," she said.

The area MPA, Raja Hanif, said he had received Rs10.2 million funds for the educational sector during the current year. "We exhausted this grant for the educational institutions of UC 28 and UC 29," he said. Dawn


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37th convocation of Govt Postgraduate College for Women, Satellite Town
Rawalpindi: Vice Chancellor Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi (FJWU) Dr Saeeda Asad Ullah Khan has underlined the need for exploring new avenues of excellence in education by promoting research oriented activities, so that young students could excel in different disciplines.

She stated this while addressing the 37th convocation of Govt Postgraduate College for Women, Satellite Town here Tuesday, says a press release.

Principal of the College Prof Sikandar Waseem, Secretary Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education, Rawalpindi Professor Humayun Iqbal, heads of various educational institutions, faculty members, students and parents attended the function.

The Fatima Jinnah Women University VC appreciated the College's record of achievements and stated that it is an evidence of persistence, grit and diligence of the faculty, staff, parents and students of this institution.

She said that students are the custodians of Pakistan's future and should uphold the vision of solidarity, disseminate it to compatriots and pass it on the next generation.

Prof Sikandar Waseem in her address on the occasion said the College has created history in achieving excellence awards in various disciplines and Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif awarded cash prizes and certificates to its students on their outstanding performances in academic and co-curricular activities.

She also presented a detailed report of the achievements of the College.

Later, medals, certificates and degrees were awarded to students.


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22nd convocation ceremony of the Federal Government Postgraduate College for Women, Kashmir Road
Islamabad: As many as 281 degrees were awarded to students here Tuesday at the 22nd convocation ceremony of the Federal Government Postgraduate College for Women, Kashmir Road.

During the ceremony, 195 degrees were conferred to the students of Bachelors of Arts (BA), 66 to Bachelors of Science (BSc), 10 to Masters in English (MA) and 10 to Masters in other subjects.

Besides degrees, the roll of honour, merit certificates, gold medals and cash awards were also distributed among those students who excelled in the board and university examinations.

The students rewarded for their meritorious performance included Faiza Saleem (MA Urdu), Reena Zaidi (MA Urdu), Bela Akhtar Hasan Khan (BSc Botany, Zoology, Chemistry/Physics), Asma Mehmood (BSc Maths, Stats, Physics/Economics) and Amna Abid (BA), while 13 students in BA and 20 students in BSc secured merit certificates for their brilliant performance. Sehrish Ejaz was awarded gold medal for securing the highest marks in History in 2007 Punjab University BA examination while two awards had already been conferred upon her by the Punjab governor.

Two students were the recipients of Begum Salma Masud Award namely Zeenat Malik for her best performance in academics and Aaiza Masood for her best performance in co-curricular activities. The Golden Jubilee Award for Mrs Salma Masud and the college insignia was presented to her husband Professor emeritus Khawaja Masud by Brig Muhammad Asif.

On the occasion, Professor Khawaja Masud shared his nostalgic moments with the students of the college and said that various capable women were the production of this college. "I know many of the renowned women, who have been my students here, and now are serving the nation in a constructive manner," he said.

He delivered his lecture on 'Peace, Democracy & Culture' on the occasion and urged the students to play their role in nation building. "Working for the welfare of the country must be the top priority for all students," he said adding that the youngsters should forget about their own vested interests and put their efforts in areas, which need to be dealt immediately for the safety and security of the country.

He said peace is the most important and vital ingredient in the progress and stability of any country. "Mankind always yearns for peace," he said adding that every religion, culture and civilisation preaches peace and no one permits violence and destruction," he said.

Professor Masud said that culture could not be confined to art galleries or literature but it is something ingrained in a nation. "Peace should be a necessary part of every culture, as it promotes tolerance, which ultimately leads to global harmony," he said

Earlier in her welcome address, Principal Mrs Shaista Zaid presented a brief synopsis of the curricular and co-curricular activities of the college and extended her heartfelt felicitations to the students and their parents, wishing them a radiant future as proud Pakistanis. The News


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Teachers' problems to be highlighted
Peshawar: Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA), NWFP to hold a joint press conference today in order to highlight the problems faced by the university teachers. President FAPUASA (NWFP), Dr. Arbab Khan Afridi and General Secretary, Muhmmad Zubair Khan, President Engineering University Teachers Association, Engineer Sadiq Akbar, General Secretary Agricultural University Teachers Association, Dr. Sajad Ahmad, President Islamia College University Teachers Association and General Secretary, Dr Shida Muhammad and President Islamia Collegiate School Teachers Association would address the press conference. F.P Report


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Updated: 14 Oct, 2014
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