National Book Day : Without books, history is silent
Love books as source of wisdom, lifelong friend
Islamabad, April 22: The first 'National Book Day' will be celebrated
throughout the country on Thursday (April 22) to highlight the
importance of books that, according to American historian and writer
Barbara W. Tuchman, are the carriers of civilisation. Without books,
history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled."
Organised by the National Book Foundation (NBF) the day-long
celebrations will start with the hoisting of 'book flag' at the
National Institute of Banking and Finance (NIBAF), and other cities
including Karachi, Peshawar and Lahore, followed by oath-taking of
readers who will promise to devote their leisure time to book reading.
Other organisations that are collaborating with the NBF in celebrating
the day include Pakistan Academy of Letters, National Language
Auth-ority, Iqbal Academy, Federal Directorate of Education, Federal
Board of Intermediate and Secon-dary Education, Islamabad College for
Girls F-6/2, literary organisations, Imkan, Zavia, Halqa Arbab-e-Zauq,
Idara Adab-o-Saqafat, Danish, and Pakistan Libraries Association.
"It is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that a day in the
life of the nation would be dedicated to book to highlight the
importance of reading in the economic, cultural and intellectual
advancement of the country," NBF Managing-Director Mazharul Islam said here Wednesday.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on
Education Assef Ahmed Ali will inaugurate the programme at the National
Institute of Banking and Finance (NIBAF).
Mr Islam, a noted
short-story writer, author said at the book festival scholars,
intellectuals, literati, artists, popular personalities from showbiz as
well as book ambassadors, including Iftikhar Arif, Mansha Yad, Shabnam
Shakeel, Senator Maula Bakhsh Chandio, film star Reema Khan, Rana
Seerat and Anwar Jahangir will read out excerpts from their favourite
Children will recite the theme song Kitabon ki dunya
salamt rahay; Roshni dosti ki alamat rahay composed for the occasion
and read stories from books.
Books will be distributed as
gifts among patients in hospitals, prisoners in selected jails and
children in katchi abadis of the federal capital, he said.
Islam, who has received accolade from public as well as media for his
unique ideas and work for the promotion of reading culture, expressed
his concern for the gradual decline of literature and scholarship in
society and urged the book lovers to revive and popularize the
tradition of giving books as gifts on special occasions like birthdays,
mothers', fathers' days, weddings, and other religious and cultural
festivals as token of love to loved ones.
"Let us all love,
cherish and celebrate books not just as sources of knowledge and wisdom
but for their own sake too, as man's lifelong friend and loyal
companion of solitude," he said.
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Extra marks proposed for students teaching adults
Peshawar: A lawmaker in the provincial assembly has suggested
through a bill that students should teach at least two persons of their
localities and get additional marks in the examinations to increase
adult literacy in the province.
MPA Saqibullah Khan Chamkani
of the ruling Awami National Party has recently submitted the private
bill -- Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province Adult Literacy (Principles) Bill,
2010 -- in the assembly secretariat, it is learnt.
doesn't involve any financial implication for the provincial kitty,
however, it envisage an innovative idea of engaging students in
increasing adult literacy.
The said bill includes provisions
regarding adult literacy. It states that the government, within a
period of one year, shall: ensure the right to education of all
citizens, regardless of age; address the education needs of adults
alike; make and maintain an adult education delivery system; and
appropriate reasonable budgetary allocation to support adult education
The interim arrangement proposes that a
student of 10th and 12th grades shall be given 10 and 15 extra marks
respectively if the student teaches at least one illiterate adult
person how to read and write his or her name, read and write numeric
from zero to 10, and Urdu/Pashto alphabets.
It also suggests
that a student seeking a bachelor degree shall be given 20 extra marks
if he/she teaches two illiterate adult persons read and writ his or her
name, read and write numeric from zero to 10 and Urdu/Pashto alphabets.
Under the proposed law it would be binding on the government
to prepare and lay annual report before the assembly every year in the
month of May. The report would be comprised on the overall activities
carried out by the government in the execution of adult literacy in the
province, the number of adults got literate, expenditures of adult
literacy system, appropriate budgetary allocation for the current
financial year and proposed plan for the coming year.
bill sates that the standing committee of assembly shall have exclusive
power to monitor the adult education delivery system and submit special
reports to the assembly evaluating activities of government delivering
The proposed bill defines the literacy as:
reading newspaper in local/national language; writing a simple letter;
and ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide up to three figures.
The preamble of the bill states that as the state is duty bound by the
Constitution to remove illiteracy and provide for free education; and
whereas right to education is a fundamental right of every citizen,
therefore, it is expedient to provide for broad principles of adult
literacy in the province.
MPA Chamkani, when contacted, said
that assemblies should focus on the long term policies. "Here people
get education for certificates and government jobs which is a burden on
the government," he said.
He said that in the proposed law
the students of grade 10th and intermediate would get 15 marks while
the students of bachelor degree would get 20 marks for teaching at
least one illiterate adult person.
"This way, thousands of
people would get literate across the province without spending a single
penny from the national exchequer as each year thousands of students
qualify examinations," he said.
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USAID withholds funds for 10 schools
Mansehra: The United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) has withheld funds for reconstruction of 10 schools
in the district.
An official document shows the USAID had
sanctioned $120 million for reconstruction of 75 schools -- 44 in Azad
Kashmir and 31 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa -- destroyed in the 2005
Sources said that of the total amount, $30 million had been allocated for the Mansehra schools.
The contract of the 31 schools of Mansehra had been awarded to a US
construction company, Camp Dresser and McKee (CDM). So far, 10 schools
have been rebuilt and up to 50 per cent work has been completed on 11
However, work on the remaining 10 schools, including
the Govt High School (GHS) No. 1, Mansehra, GHS, Jabory, GHS, Parhana,
Govt Girls High School, Kaghan, Govt Primary School, Kaghan, GHS,
Kaghan, GHS, Naran, GHS, Purhana, Govt Primary School, Naran, and the
Govt Higher Secondary School, Jarad, could not be started as yet,
leading to protest demonstrations by students and their parents.
sources said the CDM had informed the executive district officer
(education) about their inability to reconstruct the remaining 10
schools since the USAID had stopped funding.
They said the
USAID had withheld funds and stopped the payment as some black sheep in
Erra created hurdles in execution of the projects because USAID
directly transferred money to the CDM account.
by telephone, chief of party of CDM Tariq Suliman said that 10
schools were excluded from the reconstruction schedule after the USAID
wished so and stopped the funding. Dawn
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