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Students suffer due to electricity problem

Students forced to suffer for second day running
Karachi, April 21: For the second day running, the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) failed to make proper arrangements for students taking their secondary school certificate (part-I and II) annual examinations, 2011, as a number of them were forced to suffer the indignity of taking their papers while sitting on the floor.

It was learnt that students from Class IX who appeared for their first paper of Pakistan Studies (Part I and II) had no other option but to sit uncomfortably on the floor due to the lack of furniture.

During the first shift of the day, female students filled the hallways of the Government Girls Higher Secondary School (GGHSS) which is located in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. The students could be seen sitting on the floor, solving question papers, while suffering in the heat due to the lack of electricity. The school was supposed to accommodate just 603 students, but some 1800 young females were taking their exams at this centre.

The Students who appeared at GGHSS also claimed that there were limited question papers which were not distributed on time. Despite the fact that the centre called the BSEK for more question papers, the authority did not send them across till 11:00am, which was an hour-and-a-half after the exam got underway.

Due to the shortage, between four and six students were seen sharing a question paper at the examination centre. Some of the candidates claimed that they had to use photocopies of the original question papers.

Students were also forced to share their multiple choice question papers with each other. After one student would solve the MCQs on his or her answer sheet, he or she would pass on the question paper to the next candidate. However, it was observed that some of the students had tick marked their answers on the question papers.

The candidates lamented the fact that the invigilators had failed to inform the students about the shortage of MCQ question papers. They also claimed that they were unaware that they would have to share the question paper and that is the reason why they were comfortable with tick-marking their answers on it.

The centre superintendent of the GGHSS, Mubeen Qureshi said that the school had to accommodate more students than the available seating capacity. "It is the board's fault that they assigned more students to this particular centre. I had informed the relevant officials that only 700 students could be accommodated, but despite this they sent hundreds more without any forewarning.

Similarly, at the Government Boys Secondary School No3, Shah Faisal Colony, around 467 candidates appeared, while the BSEK had earlier approved this centre for just 367 students. Almost 100 of the students, who were belatedly entitled to appear at this centre, were forced to sit on the floor and take their exams.

Furthermore, there were also reports from J.M.A Girls School located at A.M. 18, Sharea Liaquat that several students were sitting on the floor due to the shortage of furniture. However, the centre superintendent and the school's management did not allow the media to visit this school. "Bring an authority letter from the BSEK if you want to visit the school," said centre superintendent Saira Aijaz.

Meanwhile, the centre superintendent and authority of the Aim High Public School, which is located at A-2933, Gulshan-e-Hadeed Phase-II, also refused to entertain the media. As a result, a heated argument took place between the school's representatives and a local Sindhi language television channel.

According to other reports, students who appeared at the Government Boys Secondary School, KTS-11, S-Area Korangi No1, suffered a great deal as their question papers were handed to them two hours late and were taken back just an hour-and-a-half later, while the allotted time is 3 hours. However, the school denied this report and claimed to have given the students the fully allotted time.

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202 caught cheating
Karachi: The acting chairman Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK), Anwar Ahmed Zai, on Tuesday said that 202 candidates were caught red-handed using unfair mean during the first and second shifts of the examinations of class IX.

The students of the Science Group, Class IX appeared at 225 examination centres, while students of General Group appeared in the second shift at 75 examination centre, he further stated.

According to Zai, law enforcement agencies were not present and most of the examination centres, due to which the staff deployed at those centres felt insecure. There was a lack of availability of furniture at Waseem Government Girls Secondary School, Nazimabad during the first paper of Class X which was held on Monday.

However, the issue has been addressed and required furniture has been provided to the school, the acting chairman BSEK said. He claimed that the question papers were sent on time to all examination centres, except the Government Girls Higher Secondary School. The students and parents complained about loadshedding which were forwarded to the concerned authorities. The news

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Handing over of hospital to varsity raises questions
Hyderabad: The announcement by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan to hand over the Government Hospital Jamshoro to the Liaquat University of Medial and Health Sciences (LUMHS) has raised many questions.

The announcement that must have come with approval of Sindh health ministry, the provincial health department seems to be abdicating its authority on the pretext that it cannot efficiently run the biggest hospital of Sindh outside Karachi.

The governor made this announcement on April 17 at the dental symposium in LUMHS in presence of Sindh health minister Dr Saghir Ahmed and health secretary Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi.The LUMHS had long been campaigning for control of the Civil Hospital Hyderabad.

Earlier, under Jan Mohammad Memon's leadership, the university had tried to get the hospital's pathology laboratory closed in order to get maximum earning through its diagnostic research laboratory (DRL). But that scheme didn't work thanks to efforts of media.

The DRL only conducts routine investigations and no research is so far shared with media. In recent crisis of dengue fever, the DRL failed to provide platelets count to patients. This job was successfully done by hospital's laboratory.

The DRL's tariff is almost equivalent to that of Aga Khan Hospital's tariff for different investigations and it doesn't offer a single test even to hospital's employees free of charge to the great chagrin of hospital staff. However, civil hospital's laboratory offers free tests to indoor patients and employees and even then meets its recurring cost with almost the same equipment that is available in the DRL.

An otherwise serious issue seems to have been handled quite casually perhaps without taking all repercussions and implications of the decision in question into consideration.

The LUMHS is an autonomous body that is generating its own funds and it has been trying to get sanction for a 500-bed hospital for itself, especially for its students to train them.

The hospital on the other hand is a provincial subject and even in the light of the proposed devolution of Higher Education Commission (HEC), which funds LUMHS, may again be transferred to province. Its devolution has been stayed for time being by the apex court.

The professors have been showing their reservations over working of different wards of civil hospital while the hospital administration was never happy with their way of working.

It is always seen complaining privately that professors or associate professors rarely attend outpatient department (OPD) which gets a huge rush of patients.

The professors say that hospital doesn't provide them required facilities while hospital administration's common complaint is that they don't reach hospital in emergency cases.

Secretary Health Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi couldn't be contacted as he was out of country. It is not known whether any paper work or proper consultation in this regard has been done.

But LUMHS vice-chancellor Professor Dr Noshad A. Shaikh said that health secretary has approached Sindh chief minister, seeking approval to hand over Jamshoro hospital to LUMHS.

LUMHS has recently established minimal invasive surgical unit (MISU) which has been declared a centre of excellence by professional health bodies. It wants to replicate it in other fields of medicine in university for which it needed space.

Professor Shaikh said: "We will get Jamshoro hospital with its budgetary allocations to make it a reliable institution and if we performed well only then we will get the civil hospital under our control".

He said that he would try to put such a system in place that may keep working even after he leaves the university. "When private sector hospitals can wok efficiently why not hospital in public sector," he asked.

He said that health department offered him to simultaneously take control of both the hospitals but he declined on the ground that the university lacked capacity.

"Both hospitals will be working as tertiary hospitals", he claimed.

A health department source said that how much difference the change of administrative authority would make is something premature to comment on.

But there is every likelihood that teaching staff of LUMHS would be concerned more about Jamshoro hospital and the civil hospital would be relegated to a district level hospital to be looked after by EDO health.

"The teaching staff will prefer Jamshoro branch over civil hospital", said a hospital source.

It is not as easy as it is being perceived and government would have to give a serious thought before it takes a final decision because university is an autonomous body and money is needed to run this hospital.

"Patients don't have financial capacity who approach civil hospital so how will they be treated in LUMHS-run Jamshoro hospital is a big question", he said.

Apart from teaching staff that works in two hospitals, the rest of the staff, including those working in operation theatre, laboratory, x-ray department, kitchen, wards and other sectors, comes from health department.

Then there is question of assets of the hospital including its building and equipment owned by Sindh government. LUMHS authorities are optimistic about qualitative working of hospital once it is brought under its control but apprehend that cost of treatment for poor patients from far flung areas of Sindh will increase after it is formally handed over to the university.

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Call to remove 'retired' VCs
Hyderabad: The Sindh chapter of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association at a meeting on Tuesday demanded appointment of in-service senior professors as vice-chancellors of public sector universities, instead of retired vice-chancellors.

The meeting demanded that on the pattern of other provinces, in Sindh also teachers of universities be promoted in hardship cases, PhD allowance be increased to Rs10,000 and vice-chancellors be given authority to issue NOCs for studies abroad.

The meeting also demanded housing schemes for teachers in all the universities.

The central general secretary of the association, Professor Dr Mohammad Zafar Noon, presided over the meeting held at the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology campus in Jamshoro. It was attended by the president of the association's Sindh chapter, Professor Badar Soomro, Professor Naimatullah Leghari of the Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, Professor Atta Mohammad Phull of the MUET and others. Dawn

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KU announces MA (Final) Regular results
Karachi: The University of Karachi (KU) has announced results of MA (Final) Regular, Annual Examination 2009 in Economics, Islamic History, Islamic Studies, Political Science, Education and Mass Communication, said a release issued on Tuesday. In Economics, 13 students were registered, 12 appeared and five of them passed the examination. In Islamic History, one student was registered, who failed. In Islamic Studies, six students were registered; all of them appeared and three passed the examination. In Political Science, 13 students were registered; all of them appeared and 10 passed the examination. In Education, only one student appeared in the exam and failed. In Mass Communication, two students were registered, both appeared and one of them passed the examination. ppi

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Education City to create about 200,000 jobs'
Karachi: The Education City project will create employment opportunities for as many as 192,530 people and ensure high-standard education to be imparted to over 150,000 students.

This was observed at a presentation given to Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on 'Education City Act-2011 and progress of master planning' at the CM's House on Tuesday.

According to the facts presented at the meeting, the project is a prestigious project aimed at providing the latest, high-standard and quality education in various disciplines and sectors.

The chief minister said that the government would not only promote this project but would also make the necessary assistance and infrastructure available for the same in order to give a boost to educational activities.

He said there was an urgent need for prestigious institutions imparting high-standard education, adding that concerted efforts must be made to promote quality education right from the primary level to ensure development, progress and prosperity of the province.

Mr Shah observed that the previous government had initiated the Education City project and made initial allotment of lands but encroachers had grabbed many pieces of the land. These lands, he said, should be retrieved and utilised for the earmarked purpose. He held out the assurance that the necessary funds for the basic infrastructure would be provided, and hoped that this would attract more investors and promoters of education.

The chief minister was confident that the project would generate employment on a big scale and local people would be the main beneficiaries. The project would ultimately help alleviate poverty in the area, he said.

He called for constituting a four-member committee comprising the law minister, adviser to the chief minister on investment, the chief secretary and investment secretary to have an overall review of the master plan and prepare a draft for the law department for vetting.

Adviser to CM on investment Zubair Motiwala and investment secretary Mohammad Younis Dagha through a presentation informed the meeting that the Education City project was spread over an area of 8,921 acres. About 50 reputed institutions were being established there for about 150,000 students, they said.

The meeting was informed that planners of international standards had been engaged to prepare a structure for the project. The draft of the Education City Act-2011 had been prepared after a thorough discussion on all aspects of the education sector, it was further stated.

Law Minister Mohammad Ayaz Soomro, suggested that since promotion of education was an important objective of the provincial government, the project should be named 'Education Cities in Sindh' and the land be earmarked according to the actual requirement of the project. It should be made mandatory upon every allottee to utilise the land exclusively for education purpose and the allotment should be non-transferable, he added.

Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani suggested that elected members of the area should be taken as members of the board concerned and lands should be allotted on payment.

The meeting was informed that the purpose of establishing the Education City was to meet immediate educational needs of the province and establish such institutions that could ensure high-quality formal and vocational education on the basis of equal opportunity and merit, the other major objective being provision of quality health education, he added.

The meeting noted that an 'Education City Board' would be formed to set the strategic vision and policy guidelines for all matters pertaining to the project, control and monitor land allotment and usage, enact by-laws, chalk out guidelines to check encroachments and land-grabbing, prepare and oversee master plans, prepare standards and design guidelines, enforce quality and standards, settle disputes between allottees and utility providers, etc.

It was proposed that the chief minister should head the board as chairman and the advisor on investment should act as vice-chairman. Elected representatives and members from the institutions concerned, Higher Education Commission, corporate/business sector and academia should be the members of the board, it was further suggested.

The meeting was attended all the ministers and secretaries concerned as well as officials of the relevant departments. app

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'Libraries should be equipped with latest technology'
Karachi: There is a need for exploiting the latest technology in libraries to promote a culture of learning in these changing times.

This was stated by Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Karachi (KU), on Tuesday.

Dr Kazmi expressed her views on the importance of systemic distribution of knowledge through libraries. She was speaking at the inaugural session of the three-day workshop on 'Library and Information Management' organised by the Pakistan Scientific and Technological Information Centre (PASTIC), an information wing of the Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF), in collaboration with the Department of Library and Information Sciences (LIS), KU.

Dr Kazmi informed the audience that library sciences had become an important part of education as a huge quantity of information available has to be presented to the students, teachers and general reader in such a way that they do not have to go through unnecessary hassle to access the information. She also praised the active participation of the Department of Library Science of the university.

Nageen Ainuddin, Director PASTIC, Islamabad, informed the audience that the main objective of the workshop was to create awareness and provide training on library management softwares like WINISIS, ABCD, etc.

The software has been developed by Unesco and is available free of charge through PASTIC, which is the Unesco-designated official distributor for this package.

Earlier Prof. Malahat Kaleem Sherwani, Chairperson of LIS department welcomed all the guests and participants.

The workshop, which will continue till April 21, plans to help in capacity building, enabling the participants to manage their libraries better and serve their users in an improved manner.

PASTIC has been organising such workshops for several years and has succeeded in training hundreds of librarians. The news

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