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5-day week in educational institutions

5-day week raises new questions
Islamabad, Apr 26: The government's decision to shorten the working week for offices and educational institutions to five days has raised questions in the minds of students and teachers grappling with heavy load of textbooks.

Talking to this news agency, a senior lecturer of a prominent government college said most of the private sector educational institutions were already observing two holidays in a week so these will be not be affected by the decision.

The real impact will be felt by the government schools and colleges with the five-day week, of which Friday is a half day. The lecturer is of the view that less days in colleges will make it difficult for students to complete their syllabus.

The teachers are already hard pressed because of the lengthy syllabus and they don't even have a choice to leave some of its portion as it could come in the examinations, she added. She said the government may take the decision to curtail the summer vacations. However, this decision will not be good for students as June and July are the hottest months and they face issues of dehydration and exhaustion due to the intense heat.

No air conditioners are used in the government run institutions except in the room of principal so their closure for a day will not cause any significant saving in power. The students of government institutions have their own perspective about the decision taken to save electricity. Their real concern will remain that they will get less time with their teachers and already they follow a tight schedule to cover all the subjects.

A student said come what may the examination boards will not accept the excuse that the syllabus could not be covered due to less schools days, security or any other untoward situation. The leading private institutions can even afford to launch web portals to offer courses to the students online to cope with such a situation. But such an idea has never come under discussion at the public sector institutions because of limited resources.

President Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA) Prof. Zahid Ali Shah told APP that students of FA/FSc have already taken their exams while those in BA/BSc are undergoing exams so the two holiday decision will not affect them. Although the students of third year who are attending classes will be affected. He was of the opinion that the government should take steps to increase power generation instead of closing down the educational institutions.

He said opening of schools and colleges would not make much impact on the consumption of electricity, as despite high temperatures air conditioners are not used. Teachers who work on daily wages have their own concerns.

A teacher Shagufta, who work on daily wages, said an additional day of closure would mean fewer wage for them which is not acceptable. She said the government should have taken this factor into account before taking the decision.

"We are not given wages when the schools are closed for vacations in the summer," she said adding the government should take steps to improve their plight. The government took the decision to lessen power shortages but the step will remain subject of debate, as its effects will be felt by various segments of society in coming days. The nation

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NCA graduates group exhibition continues at Nomad
Islamabad: Art is all about expressing one's own perception, and the way one anticipate meaning of what one comes across, and how it is seen and felt in certain circumstances and conditions.

The young artists, in the beginning of their journey to explore their aesthetics in different medium of art, have their own perceptions about what they see and feel. Naturally, their perspectives depict their perceptions as their creative statements in their art pieces done in the medium of their choice accordingly. The ongoing group exhibition of four young female artists, recently graduated from the National College of Arts (NCA) Rawalpindi campus, opens to us a new 'window of perceptions' till May 10 at Nomad Art Gallery, Saidpur Village.

The art pieces on display reflect the freshness of vision and visual and the creative pursuits of the budding and dynamic young talent. They bring forth, as explains director Nomad Art Gallery and the curator of the exhibition Nageen Hyat, their "respective expression which show their urge to explore from within and the passion to create art in spite of, and within the moods of, the challenging and changing tempo of our society as it exists today".

The art of the participating artists Amen Sardar, Rabia Ghazal, Manail Muneeb and Mahjabeen Mirza is contemporary and rich in language, scale, visual imagery and the concept is powerfully expressed in each exhibit, believes Nageen Hyat.

The art work of Mahjabeen Mirza is about celebrating fashion and it what inspires her always. She painted several fashion items of men and women jewellery in quite interesting forms with creative flare. "I'm interested in knowing how fashion has conquered people's hearts and minds, eventually changing their lifestyles and perception of their surroundings," she tells about the curiosity that is behind her paintings.

Mahjabeen says that she is still experiencing it herself and trying to explore within by experimenting with the backgrounds.
She is trying to relate fashion accessories to men and women feelings to explore deep meanings related to them.

The pure and fragile petals of flowers whisper about the agony and pain in the paintings of Amen Sardar. "It is their vulnerability that haunts me to paint them", says Amen adding "once a poetess said: I would rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck". It shows the emotional attachment of humane feelings to the roses and their petal which I have painted with different human parts to show the extent of vulnerability, Amen noted while describing the subject of her art.

There are times when Rabia Ghazal feels so numb as if she is lacking the sensation and she paints whatever comes into her mind.

All the emotions she feels but cannot talk about to anyone take form on the canvas in oil to become art pieces. "My work is very personal and I don't feel very comfortable stretching on its details, besides I want my work to speak for itself of the viewer to figure it out," she says.

Manail Muneeb has created a unique style 'book art' by creating wonderful design of books in different designs, colours, and themes and with different objects to communicate different moods, aesthetics and scale of informational and knowledge.

"You can't judge the book by its cover, so my work too. It is a pictorial story unfolding into layers and depths in visual rather than verbal form," she says. The nation

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City School students present lively show
Rawalpindi: The City School, Nursery Branch, Sector I-8/2, held 'Little Gems on Show' as part of its annual day celebrations at the Rawalpindi Arts Council.

Chief Commissioner (Islamabad) Tariq Pirzada attended the function as chief guest. He was touched by the performance of young children on the peace song 'Yeh Hum Nahin' and appreciated their confidence in the enactment of 'Snow White' and 'Enormous Turnip'.

The costumes brought out the best in every presentation. The KG students wore traditional costumes of various countries as part of the theme 'The World has become a Global Village'. Other themes included 'Animals,' 'Colours' and 'Seasons'. The kids also presented nursery rhymes, which were appreciated by the audience, mostly parents.

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Headstart students donate money for disabled children
Islamabad: Recognising their social responsibilities at such young age, grade six students of Headstart Elementary Branch visited St. Thomas Community Based Rehabilitation Centre and presented a draft for Rs36,860 to Project Director Sholmeat Robin.

They mingled with the mentally and physically challenged children and got involved in their daily activities. The event not only proved to be a unique and motivating experience for the Headstart children, but also brought smiles at the faces of their age fellows at the rehabilitation centre. The rehabilitation centre has been working in the urban squatter settlements since 1982. Generating the money for the centre was completely an endeavour of grade six students. They collected the money through a bake sale, they had organised at the school. They also took along goodies for the 'differently able' children and shared these with them, as they talked and mingled with them.

It all started when the students of grade six read, 'Water- excerpt from Helen Keller's autobiography' in their literature book and felt deeply motivated and inspired to do something for the 'differently able' children. They came up with the idea of organising a bake sale to generate funds for them. The students, teachers and parents went all out to make the bake sale a huge success thus generating a handsome amount. Another parent donated hearing aids and leg braces for the children at the centre. For the students, it was an eye-opening experience and they were moved to tears seeing the little angels, who in spite of being mentally and physically challenged were working very hard, against all odds, with an objective to enter the vocational and mainstream educational institutions.

Equally impressive for them was the dedication of teachers as, with their love and warmth, the teachers were trying their level best to make up for the lack of basic facilities that all children are entitled to have. In the words of one of the Headstart students, Daniyal Masood, "I marvel at the kindness of the people who run the facility." The children in this centre came from the adjoining slum, which is home to people from the lowest income group. The parents of these children are mostly incognisant of the kind of help their handicapped children need and have to be coaxed to send their children to the rehabilitation centre. Sometimes, the staff members themselves go and bring the children to the centre, from their homes. Such endeavours on part of students, especially from the rather privileged class, must be encouraged, so that they do not remain oblivious and indifferent to the harsh realities inflicting their country and emerge as more conscientious and responsible citizens and future leaders, always ready to extend a helping hand wherever needed.

For Raymal Mumtaz, it was an extraordinary trip and moved her to tears. All the students who went on this visit came back with the realization as to how blessed they are and how much they can do to make a difference in the lives of the less privileged. Suleman Qamar, another visiting student, shared his experience with his class fellows saying, "When I saw them, I wanted to do everything possible to help them. I promise if you see them, you would want to do the same." The news

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Updated: 14 Oct, 2014
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