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Sindh schools academic year | SSC admit cards

Academic year of schools began
Karachi, April 12: The new academic session for Class I to Class VIII students will begin on Tuesday across Sindh.

However, in some private schools where Class I to VIII annual examinations are still being held in violation of the Sindh education department's steering committee's decision the new academic session has been delayed.

These private schools will not be able to hold classes for the new academic session by the end of the current month as they will take another couple of weeks to compile results of their Class I to Class VIII students.

The steering committee in its meeting held on Feb 7 under the chairmanship of Senior Sindh Minister of Education Pir Mazharul Haq decided that the Secondary School Certificate (Class IX and X) and the Higher Secondary School Certificate (Class XI and XII) annual examinations-2011 throughout the province would begin on April 18 and May 16, respectively.

The steering committee had asked the schools to conduct Class I to Class VIII annual examinations from April 1 and announce the results by April 11 so that the new academic session must begin on April 12.

Besides, there are those private schools where Class I to Class VIII annual examinations are still continuing and they will not be able to hold classes for the new academic session before May 17 because they have been designated as centres for the ensuing Secondary School Certificate, Part-I and II (Class IX and X) annual examinations-2011 commencing on April 18 and will conclude on May 16.

The students of the private schools where Class I to Class VIII are still under way will suffer the most as the management of such institutions have announced that the remaining papers of their Class I to VIII will be held after May 16 owing to the selection of their schools as centres for the forthcoming SSC annual examinations.

Reacting to such an announcement made on behalf of the managements of the schools selected as centres for the SSC examinations, a number of parents criticised the schools managements for holding the exams in two spells with a gap of about one month.

They said that under such an arrangement not only their children would lose their concentration on studies, but their new academic session would also be delayed by more than a month.

"Our children would not have suffered, had the schools implemented the schedule of examinations fixed by the education department's steering committee in letter and spirit," they said, adding that such an indifferent attitude on the part of the private schools clearly indicated that they did not have any respect for the directives of the education department.

Meanwhile, a large number of parents complain that though the new academic session for Class I and Class VIII students was beginning on Tuesday, textbooks of the classes were not available at the market.

"What our children will be taught in their schools in the absence of textbooks," they remarked.

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Class I to VIII textbooks in short supply
Karachi: School textbooks for the students of Class I to VIII are not available in the market although their new academic session is scheduled to begin across Sindh on April 12.

Parents and guardians visiting Urdu Bazaar, the city's wholesale market for books, to buy new courses for their wards as per the lists provided by their schools were returning disappointed on being told that such books were yet to be published and hence they should wait for them till the end of the current month.

On the one hand, the students of Class I to VIII belonging to private schools of the province would remain deprived of their textbooks at least by the end of the current month and, on the other, those studying in government schools and who get their textbooks free of cost under the European Union's assistance programme might also be attending their schools without books for about a fortnight after the commencement of their new academic session as the Sindh Textbook Board (STB), which claimed to have printed textbooks meant for free distribution, had not yet started the process of their distribution in any of the 23 districts of the province.

Inquiries made in this regard revealed that though the textbooks for the Class I to VIII students of private schools should have been available in the market at least a fortnight before the commencement of their ensuing academic session, the process of publishing such books was expected to begin after April 15 and they might be available in the market not before the end of the current month.

Sources in the textbooks-publishing sector said that the process of publishing books for the Class I to VIII students of private schools had been delayed as the publishers registered with the STB had not yet been provided with paper owing to off-and-on closure of both the private sector paper mills of Punjab with which the Sindh education department/STB had an arrangement of buying the commodity.

"In fact, publishers of the books cannot purchase paper directly from any paper mills for publishing textbooks but the same is provided to register publishers by the education department/STB for publishing textbooks to cater to the needs of Class I and VIII students belonging to private schools," the sources said, adding that now the education department had made a commitment with the registered publishers that they would be supplied paper by April 15.Asked how much time the registered publishers would take in publishing the textbooks of Class I to VIII students of private sector schools, they said if they succeeded in getting paper by April 15, the process of publishing the textbooks would take another 10 days, which mean the books would be available in the market by the end of the current month.

Meanwhile, a visit to Urdu Bazaar also showed the stock of Class IX and X Book-II of Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Mathematics had also been exhausted.

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Issuance of SSC admit cards begins
Karachi: Over 320,000 candidates will appear in the secondary school certificate annual examinations-2011 of Class IX and X science and general groups, commencing under the aegis of the Board of Secondary Education Karachi on April 18 and 19, respectively.

The exams for both regular and private candidates of science group would be conducted from 9.30am to 12.30pm and those of general group from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.

Prof Anwar Ahmed Zai, who is holding the charge of BSEK chairman said that admit cards of private candidates belonging to general group had been dispatched on Saturday through urgent mail service at the addresses mentioned on their exam forms while the process of issuing admit cards to regular candidates of both the science and general groups would begin on Monday (today).

For the purpose of issuing admit cards to regular candidates of schools located in different towns, three zones - each comprising six towns - have been marked. The heads of schools situated in each zone have been given a date from April 11 to 13 to send their representatives to the board to collect the admit cards of students. On April 14, admit cards will be issued to remaining candidates.

About examination centres, Prof Zai said that with a view to managing the affairs of the SSC exams in an efficient manner the BSEK had reduced the number of centres from previous year's over 430 to just 225, ensuring that there must not be seated more than one candidate on each bench.

Referring to arrangements being made at the centres for holding the exams smoothly and in a transparent manner, he said that this year there would be two centre superintendents - one internal and the other external - at each centre having more than 1,000 candidates. He added that at other centres, having a capacity of 250 candidates, there would be a superintendent and an assistant superintendent on duty, who would be the head and the senior most teacher of the respective institution.

Another major change that has been made in the ensuing exams was that the question papers would not be sent through group leaders and it would now be the responsibility of centre coordinating officers (CCOs) not only to hand over the sealed question papers to centre superintendents after taking their signatures but also to remain present at the centres till the exams are over so that they themselves bring answer-sheets back to the board, he added. Dawn

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