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HEC website puzzle | FDE teachers shortage

Website puzzle for HEC

Islamabad, April 26: Already fighting for its survival, the officials of Higher Education Commission (HEC) were on Monday left dazed by the discovery of a website with uncanny resemblance to its www.hec.gov.pk.

Visited daily the www.hec.edu.pk also offers services similar to those highlighted on the commission's website, which is browsed by thousands of visitors across the globe.

The 'edu' domain is mostly used by educational institutions across Pakistan.

"I am amazed the website is running. Moreover, it also has ads," a senior official of the commission, who requested not to be named said. "We will take up the matter with our information technology officials on Tuesday."

Admitting that the HEC did not know about the website, the official insisted on distancing the commission from it.

"The HEC is not associated with the domain. We have our official website running on the gov.pk server hosted by a federal telecom organisation. It is managed by the Electronic Government Directorate," he said. "A team of IT officials at the commission manages and regularly updates the website."

About the hec.edu.pk also offering links to scholarships, admission to universities, and announcing exams and results related

to getting admissions in the US and UK universities, he said: "We don't own it and it's a news for us."

The official browsed the website and was 'amazed' it has advertisement links powered by the Google search engine.

According to an IT expert, if traffic (per day visitors) of a website crosses a certain number of hits, Google search engine often places its online advertisements on it, becoming a source of revenue for the website.

The website has also caught the attention of Federal Investigation Agency's Cyber Crime Wing despite the fact that the commission has not registered any complaint with it. "The website cannot be uploaded on until it clears certain registration procedures mandatory for getting edu domain," an official of the wing, requesting anonymity, said. He added that for getting an edu domain, the individual must be linked to a degree awarding education.

"We have to check the domain registration process and who owns it. Once we go through it, we will be in a better position to comment."

The official said HEC has to register a complaint with the wing "if they want to take action against the owner of the 'parallel'

website."

He added that the wing was already probing 'parallel websites' after receiving complaints from different institutions. "We don't share details until we nab individuals behind them."

When a message was sent on the cellphone of Dr Sohail Naqvi, executive director of HEC, to get his comments, he answered back: "Watching a play". Dawn

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HEC devolution termed illegal
Lahore: The devolution of Higher Education Commission (HEC) under the 18th Amendment is not only an unwise decision but also an unconstitutional step because HEC can only be devolved with another constitutional amendment.

These views were expressed by Gujrat University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin while talking to this scribe on Monday. He said that the government adopted HEC as an agenda in a very odd manner because it was not in the concurrent list. He said there were some misperceptions that the supporters of HEC were against the decentralisation system of education.

"The higher education ratio in Pakistan is already at the lowest level as compare to the other countries of the world because only four percent students are studying in universities and according to a recent study ratio of higher education in our neighbouring country India is about 15 percent and 28 percent in Egypt", the VC added.

Regarding successful central educational system, he referred India where the higher education was regulating under the central setup. He further said HEC had done a great job in the past eight years in order to promote education in the country and set various examples for maintaining standards of higher education in the country. He also appreciated the HEC's administrative performance. He further opined that the HEC could not be influenced politically despite great pressure on the HEC authorities for getting their desired results. He said the higher education would suffer, if the commission would be devolved.

"The provinces have not sufficient resources to promote higher education and our provincial establishments are not capable enough to supervise the higher education qualitatively", the VC said and questioned that "what would be expected from the provinces while they are even unable to maintain standards of college level education". The provinces, he said, should establish autonomous structure on higher education as we had needed a parallel body to look after the state of higher education.

The VC said only 22 percent students passed the college examination and the maximum number relay upon private tuition centres, adding that colleges were practicing annul system in which students did not care the class study and teachers also merely visited the colleges. He further said the HEC had introduced the semester system which resulted good presence of students in the classes. The quality performance of the HEC in the last decade was satisfactory, he said adding that the HEC had played a role of think tank in Pakistan.

Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin said if there were some deficiencies in the HEC, they must be pointed out and resolved but it should not be devolved at any cast. He said the higher education was integral for the national development of the country. The nation

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FDE served notice over shortage of teachers in FG school
Islamabad: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judge Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan on Monday issued notice to the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) after a petitioner Ch. Waqar Ahmed elected President of the Parents and Teachers Association for FG Girls Secondary School, Shahdara Khurd moved the court against vacant positions in the school.

The petitioner while nominating Secretary Education and FDE as respondents stated that eight out of eleven posts of teachers are lying vacant in the school affecting education of the children. He stated that no trained graduate teacher is available while the school is being run without the principal. He stated that there is no science teacher adding the strength of the teachers at adjacent schools is enough. The court has asked the FDE to submit its reply within two weeks time.

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FDE teachers stage rally for regularisation
Islamabad: Contractual and daily wage lecturers working in Islamabad model institutions held a protest here on Monday, demanding regularisation of their services. The teachers gathered outside the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans regarding their demand of regularisation. They announced to continue protest till the regularisation of their services. Seeking regularisation of their jobs, teachers shouted slogans and criticised the FDE for not paying heed to their voice. They appealed to the concerned quarters to regularise the services of 630 teachers. Shujauddin, a lecturer at IMCB, said he deserved regularisation as he has been working on contract basis for the last 18 years.

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Schoolbags causing postural problems in kids
Rawalpindi: The children aged between 4 and 10 years, carry heavy school bags and due to it they are likely to suffer from postural scoliosis and backbone related problems. According to some health experts, heavy school bags are one of the main causes of postural scoliosis but it also depends on what type of bag it is and how they wear it.

So, if the backpack is down low on their back it will force them to lean forward to balance it out and if they are wearing a one shoulder bag then it will cause them to lean to the side. They said that the best way to wear a bag is in the middle of the back, not too high but yet not too low. Heavy burden doesn't harm kids, but adult person as well. As long as the bags is too heavy that the bone of kid can carry it would have bad impact to the kids, it could bend the body structure.

If a child's position is not correct at the desk while writing or reading, or in front of a PC, he would have had scoliosis as a kid and it takes hours and hours of special gymnastics to ameliorate it.

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Textile design exhibition opens in capital
Islamabad: An exhibition of textile design opened at the Hunerkada on Monday showcasing the works by graduates of the Centre of Excellence in Art and Design, Jamshoro. Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Masoom Yasinzai inaugurated the exhibition.

The group show includes a diverse display of works done by the graduating students - Asmara, Fariha, Fatima, Marium, Rabia, Samina, Sheza and Zafar. Depicting imaginative, intellectual, technical and industrial demands of textile design and printing based on their personal creative achievements, the exhibition depicts ideas of the students inspired by wide-ranging visual studies from the personal environment to the nature.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Masoom Yasinzai appreciated the creative thoughts of the students. He said that they have made a refined use of their knowledge to incorporate individual expression of contemporary textile and fashion design concepts. He said that given proper encouragement and opportunities, the students would be able to set a high standard in textile design.

Sharing his thoughts and views on the works displayed at the exhibition, Jamal Shah, director of Hunerkada College of Visual and Performing Arts, said that the young generation of textile designers has achieved greater success through exploring new techniques and a refined blend of traditional and contemporary aesthetic concepts. Stressing on the need for evolving greater opportunities for students by facilitating modern technical know-how, Jamal Shah said that Hunerkada remains dedicated to providing best technical knowledge to its students facing dearth of proper institutions in the capital city. He urged the government to facilitate and strengthen the existing institutions to make creative media more vibrant in achieving result-oriented force benefiting the country.

He said that around this part of the world, the textile industry is constantly changing and dependent upon wide-ranging issues related to culture, politics and the economy. The inter-related cycles of these three areas present innumerable issues that determine both the perceptions and the products of textile design in Pakistan that needs to be addressed. It is important to mention here that Hunerkada was the first such institution established by Jamal Shah in Islamabad decades back, and still working for the promotion of visual arts without any assistance and support from the government.

Designing for Textile designs displayed at the exhibition covers a wide range of activities from traditional and contemporary craftsmanship to fashion and furnishing collection for interior design following a thorough research in to the development and use of new and old materials that can be applied within these disciplines. These issues need to be addressed to find ways of providing an institutional forum that is capable of providing broad-based training for textiles practitioners who can place themselves anywhere within the wide sphere of textile or alternatively, create a niche for themselves in the yet developing market of this country.

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Students block road to protest drone strikes
Peshawar: The tribal students from different educational institutions on Monday staged protest and blocked the Sher Shah Road outside the Peshawar Press Club against the US drone attacks.

Led by the Central Fata Students Federation, Haroon Lucman Afridi, the protesters were holding placards and banners demanding reopening of educational institutions and restoration of lasting peace in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

The students gathered at the Government College Chowk and marched towards the Peshawar Press Club where they staged protest. Haroon Afridi said the revival of the education sector was imperative for the establishment of durable peace and development in the tribal areas. He said the development was the only way to pull the tribal areas out of the prevailing crisis. He demanded immediate reopening of educational institutions in Fata, saying that the students' precious time was being wasted.

"We want educated tribal society instead of a culture of weapons," he said while calling for the establishment of a university and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure of educational institution in Fata.

Haroon Afridi condemned the growing US drone strikes and called upon the government to clear its stance about it. The presidents of tribal students' federation from the seven agencies including Kurram, Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, South Waziristan and North Waziristan participated in the protest. The news

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Performances at GIKI festival win applause
Swabi: Keeping its tradition alive, the Cultural, Dramatics and Entertainment Society (CDES) of Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Science and Technology organised a three-day arts festival, which concluded here on Monday.

Osama Qazi, a theatre director, judged the performances and gave away prizes and shields to young performers and comedians on the final day of festival.

Besides several other dramas, a GIKI production "The Great Al-Houdini" dazzled the crowd with the use of innovative effects and mesmerising gimmicks on stage backed by strong performances.

A CDES member said that their main purpose was to motivate the youngsters. "We tried to convey to the youth not to remain idle, as there are numerous ways to express themselves. Also, the festival provided an opportunity to the participants to share some light moments," he said.

Both participants and actors said that it was the love for drama that brought them together. "We are proud of this culture and the government should support such festivals," said one of the performers. Dawn

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