Sharp increase in textbooks & notebooks prices
Prices of textbooks and notebooks register sharp increase
Islamabad, April 11: A great rush of students and parents was seen at bookshops in the city with
start of a new session in government and private academic institutions.
Parents said that booksellers were getting huge margin
by selling notebooks and textbooks at almost double prices. Naveed Aslam, a
grade 8 student, said that booksellers were charging almost double prices of
notebooks and registers. "They have pasted new price labels on their own," he
said. He added that some textbooks were short in the market.
Muhammad Riaz said that he came to the market to buy new textbooks and
notebooks for his children. According to him, prices of textbooks have increased
like items of daily use. "It has become difficult for the poor to give good
education to their children." He said that he purchased grade six textbooks and
notebooks for his son for Rs2,100. "It is a very big amount for me as I earn
only Rs12,000 per month and bearing the expenses of my five-member family," he
Nasreen Bibi said that her monthly budget has disturbed after purchasing new
textbooks and notebooks for her two children. "I used to purchase old books from
bookshops but many teachers in schools are forcing students to bring new books,"
Malik Nawaz, a bookseller at Urdu Bazaar, Rawalpindi, said that
they were purchasing textbooks and notebooks at high rates. "We cannot bear
losses. We are selling books and notebooks keeping in mind our profit margin as
we have to feed our families too."
He said many people were blaming booksellers for high prices, but it was not
their fault as prices of all items have been increased, including textbooks and
notebooks. The news
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Teachers protest non-payment of hiring allowance
Islamabad: School and college teachers here on Tuesday held
a protest demonstration against the delay in payment of ceiling/hiring allowance
to them and the ban on further hiring of houses.
The protest was organised by Tanzeem-i-Asataza Pakistan (TAP)'s Islamabad
chapter outside the National Press Club.
President of TAP Aziz Wahid said out of the over 13,000
employees in the educational institutions of the federal capital, less than 50
per cent were availing the facility of hiring. And those who have hired houses
are waiting for the release of payment but the Federal Directorate of Education
(FDE) seems least bothered to resolve the issue.
He added: "I have borrowed money and paid the house rent of two years to the
owner. It is just a symbolic protest and if the problem is not resolved within
10 days, we will consider boycotting classes and paper marking."
He said there were so many vacant houses in the federal capital but the
property dealers were not ready to rent them to teachers.
Meanwhile, talking to this reporter, the secretary general of the Federal
Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA), Prof Tahir Mahmood, said
teaching and non-teaching staff in the capital had not been paid hiring/ceiling
allowance for the last over two years.
According to sources in the FDE, the backlog of payment for hiring houses ran
into Rs1.06 billion. There are 13,854 teaching and non-teaching employees out of
whom 5,401 have hired accommodation through the FDE. Moreover, 1,280 employees
are on the waiting list for the last about four years. Due to shortage of funds,
newly-recruited teachers are not allowed even to apply for the facility.
It has become impossible for the teachers to keep their families with them in
the city because they cannot pay the house rent out of their meagre resources.
The teachers' representative said owners were asking teachers to either clear
their outstanding rent or vacate the houses.
An official of the FDE said other departments like PIA and the Pakistan
Atomic Energy Commission had also decentralised system of hiring but they never
faced such an issue. However, it is regrettable that teachers in the capital
have been facing problem in getting the hiring allowance.
"This issue is leaving adverse effects on the performance of teachers. How
can a teacher carry out his/her responsibility in such a situation?
The FDE and Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) have
failed in resolving the issue," said Professor Yasmeen Bokhari, the
vice-president of FGCTA.
Sources said the mechanism evolved by FDE and supervised by CADD had failed
to ensure release of funds from the finance division and disburse it among the
teachers on time. This is the reason the backlog of payment has been increasing
ever since the house renting system was decentralised by abolishing the estate
office in 2006.
Mr Mahmood said there was an urgent need for a supplementary grant so that
the backlog of Rs1061.28 million can be cleared. He said the FDE had failed to
draw funds from the finance division.
"Why it has not demanded annual budget according to the need? It shows the
inefficiency of the FDE," he added.
Professor Khalida Makhdoom said: "Housing schemes for teachers should be
launched on a priority basis and new housing units be
constructed as early as
possible. New housing units can also be constructed within the premises of
colleges and schools."
Talking to this reporter, Director General FDE Atif Kiyani expressed the hope
that they would get Rs430 million this year. He said a request sent to the prime
minister for special grant would be considered during the preparation of the
Joint Secretary CADD Rafique Tahir said a summery for a grant of Rs1,200
million had been sent to the ministry of finance which returned it with some
objections. The summary will be sent again to the ministry in the current week,
he added. Dawn
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RSS celebrates 24th anniversary
Islamabad: Students of the Roots School System (RSS) celebrated its 24th birth
anniversary in a bond of love, joy, happiness, pride and respect for their alma
mater here on Tuesday.
The schools wore a festive look filled with thrilled and enthusiastic
Rootsians. All directors were present amidst this happy occasion; Colonel (r)
Mushtaque Rasul Chaudhry, CEO of the Roots School System; Riffat Mushtaq,
founder director of the Roots School System; Khadija Mushtaq, executive director
of the RSS; Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq, executive director of the RSS; and Walid
Mushtaq executive director of the RSS. Heads of all RSS branches were also
present on the occasion.
Aesthetically crafted greeting cards strewn with shining beads, crystals and
fabric flowers were presented to Riffat Mushtaq for her selflessness, love and
passion for children. All branches were decorated with balloons, cards, banners,
steamers and birthday songs were sung by students. Students were dressed up in
colourful dresses, carrying buntings, balloons, wearing birthday caps spreading
confetti poppers everywhere in surroundings.
A group of preparatory students showed their affection with the institution
through their performance on a song with pompoms. Beautifully dressed Montessori
students gave enthralling performances along with the mesmerising speech given
by a 6th grader. Roots vans were decorated to mark the 24 years with balloons
and confetti adding to the aura. Cake cutting ceremony was a moment reminding
everyone how Roots has progressed.
Speaking on the occasion, RSS Founder Director Riffat Mushtaq said that every
individual's efforts are recognisable and contribution can't be ignored.
"Management has taken a lot of steps with time like new curriculum enforcement,
ICT has been integrated into curriculum and training of staff. The achievements
of students in extracurricular activities and in academics is a proof of
involvement of RSS staff with full devotion," she added.
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School for special children facing closure
Islamabad: The Angels School exclusively meant for special children, situated on Range Road in Rawalpindi Cantonment, is facing hardships to continue its free services to its students because of lack of funds.
According to the school administration the school is free of charge and is
being run entirely on funds and donations. The school provides education as well
as free transportation to its 25 students that are categorised into mental and
The Angels School founder Nadeem K. Joseph said
the school was established in 2008, but now they were facing financial
constraints in running the school properly. "Since we give salary to the
teachers and have to meet expenses ourselves because we rely entirely on
donations and charity funds.
Philanthropists and affluent people are requested to support us so that these
special children can continue with their studies in the school," he added.
He said that Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal Managing Director Zamurrud Khan visited the
school and donated Rs10,000 each for the students in 2009, but now they were
running out of funds to run the school smoothly. "Earlier, we had two pick up
vans, but now we have one van to pick the kids from home.
There are many students who are coming to our school from broken homes and it
is necessary for us to support them," he added. The news
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Riphah youth festival begins in twin cities
Islamabad: Riphah Youth Festival 2012,
organised by Riphah International University (RIU), began at the university's
Rawalpindi and Islamabad campuses on Tuesday, bringing together students,
teachers, parents, corporate sector, multinational companies and general
This is the second youth festival organised by Riphah
International University. The first was held from March 21 to 25 last
The students of various faculties of RIU and other educational
institutions of Rawalpindi, Islamabad and other cities are taking part in games
and contests, including debates and Qirat and Naat competitions.
Chancellor Hassan Muhammad Khan formally opened the festival in a ceremony,
which was held at the main campus in the I-14 sector on Tuesday. The games and
competitions for female students are being held at Al-Mizan campus in
Rawalpindi, while games for male students are being held at the main campus in
the capital's I-14 sector.
In Qirat competition, Qaisar Muhammad of
International Islamic University got the first position while Hafiz Arsalan of
RIU obtained the first position the Naat competition.
participants, Maira Hassan Kiyani of RIU got first the prize in
Zikra of RIU got the first position in Naat competition
while Mubashira Yaseen of the same university got the first position in Qirat
competition. The youth festival will conclude on Saturday with a special evening
event and a gala dinner. Daily times
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