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Centralized Admission Policy(CAP), Colleges admission to class-XI

'No change to be allowed once admission finalised'
Karachi, Aug 12, 2008: The admission committee formed under the Centralized Admission Policy-2008 (CAP) has impressed upon all candidates seeking admission to class-XI to fill in their placement forms very carefully keeping in mind that no change in their faculty or the order of their preferred colleges will be allowed once the placement lists are issued.

A senior member of the committee said here on Monday that a claim form of a candidate seeking such a change after issuance of the lists will be declared invalid and ultimately rejected.

Dispelling the impression that the claim form facility could be misused by those who would fail to get admission to the colleges of their choice or, for that matter, any of the city colleges, sources in the directorate-general of colleges, Sindh, made it clear that all claim forms for admission to a college where the cut-off marks would be higher than the candidate's marks would be considered as invalid and thus rejected.

"Even the claims for a replacement on the grounds of change of address will not be entertained at all," they added.

Reiterating that the education department has not increased admission or tuition fee for class-XI, the sources said that the fee structure this year would remain the same at all faculties.

Giving a breakup of the faculty-wise fee structure, officials of the directorate-general said that the total fee for Science and Home Economics groups students was fixed at Rs950, which included admission fee (Rs50), tuition fee (Rs480) and college management committee fund (Rs100). The total fee for Commerce and Humanities groups was fixed at Rs770, which included admission fee (Rs30), tuition fee (Rs360) and CMC fund (Rs100).

Forms in short supply
The process of admission to class-XI in the city's 123 government colleges will be completed by the end of current month and the new academic session will commence in the first week of September, it is learnt.

Though the process began on Aug 5, it is still confined to the issuance of brochures/placement forms through the designated bank branches because most of the admission seekers cannot submit the forms for want of marks sheets of their matriculation examinations which are yet to be delivered to them.

It has also been gathered that the forms for the placement of candidates in government colleges are in short supply. People in large numbers have been contacting newspaper offices to complain that several designated bank branches in various localities of the city were running short of the forms.

While most of the complainants came from the city's suburban areas, some others appeared to be residing in the Federal B' Area's localities of Shahrah-i-Pakistan and Yousuf Plaza.

An official of the directorate-general of colleges, Sindh, however, explained that the admission had made elaborate arrangements to ensure availability of the forms along with brochures in every nook and corner of the city.

"The committee has designated as many as 42 branches of HBL to cover all 18 towns of the metropolis for the purpose," he said.

He also pointed out that the CAP committee had set up 12 claim centres - five for male and seven for female students - for the removal of technical errors that could arise in the process of the placement process.

The claim centres for male candidates have been set up at the Govt College for Men, Nazimabad; Jinnah College, near the BSEK office; DJ Science College; Adamjee Science College and Superior Science College, Shah Faisal Colony.

For female candidates, the centres have been set up at the Govt College for Women, Nazimabad; Karachi College for Women, Chand Bibi Road; Abdullah College for Women, North Nazimabad; Degree Science and Commerce College, Gulshan-i-Iqbal; Khursheed Girls College, Shah Faisal Colony; Govt College for Women, Korangi No.4 and Shaheed-i-Millat Girls College, Azizabad. Dawn

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CBF seals scores of private schools in Gulistan-e-Jauhar
Karachi: The Cantonment Board Faisal (CBF) sealed more than 50 private schools in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. The CBF had initially issued notices to private schools in Gulistan-e-Jauhar in which the schools were told to either register their buildings as commercial properties with the CBF or face closure. A one week warning period was allotted to them, after which the CBF sealed these schools on Saturday evening.

Sindh Private Schools Management Association Chairman Khalid Shah condemned the action and said that the CBF was trying to make money off of schools. The CBF has also got some schools to submit an undertaking according to which the schools concerned would shift to other places within three months or register their current buildings as commercial property, Shah said, adding that the Sindh Government should intervene in the matter.

"When we were told about the issue we immediately sent letters to the CBF and asked them to consult with us in this regard. They, however, went ahead and took action regardless," Mansoob Hussain Siddiq from the Sindh Private Schools Directorate said. He further said that they were trying to contact their heads to resolve the issue. CBF officials could not be contacted for comments. The News

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New academic year brings in a host of problems
Karachi: With the beginning of the new academic year, people who are already perturbed by sky-rocketing prices of essential commodities are facing a host of problems ranging from shortage of textbooks, increased prices of books and stationery items to a hike in schools' tuition fees and other relevant expenditures.

According to a representative of the publishers' body, the prices of textbooks published by the Sindh Textbook Board have reportedly increased by Rs5 to Rs8 while prices of those used in schools belonging to the private sector have become costlier by Rs20 to Rs25 as compared with the prices of last year.

However, many parents visiting the markets disagree with the claim made by the publishers and say the prices of books have increased substantially as compared with the last academic year.

Apart from the increase in the prices of textbooks, the unavailability of books in the market is another problem confronting the masses.

Despite public complaints, the publishers' body insists that 30 per cent textbooks pertaining to private schools are still short in the market, while almost all the books of the Sindh Textbook Board are easily available.

On the other hand, with the beginning of the new academic year most of the private schools have announced an increase in monthly tuition fees and annual charges for newcomers, a move getting even tougher on the wallets of many.

Problems are not likely to end here as the school van operators have also increased the transportation charges following a persistent increase in the prices of petroleum products.

The role of what could be described as the uniform mafia cannot be ignored because they always come out with new enhanced prices every year without improving the quality of clothes.

Apparently, the makers of schools shoes, branded of course, did not want to be left behind in this brutal game of rip-off as they have also pushed the rates of school shoes up by Rs100 as compared with the last year's rates. School bags imported mainly from China and other countries have also become costlier reportedly owing to costlier imports as a result of the falling strength of Pakistan rupee against the US dollar.

It is worth mentioning that this situation has become an annual ritual but the powers that be appear to be least bothered about the ordeal of the common man. Despite protests lodged with the relevant authorities almost every year, no steps have so far been taken to prevent the recurrence of the situation.

Perhaps, the only relief for the already-burdened people is the stability in the prices of stationery items. As per the claims of the makers of the stationery items, the prices of their products have remained unchanged for the last two years.

The vice-chairman of Writing Instruments Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (WIMAP), Riazuddin, claimed that the price of pencils and pens had been unchanged for the last two years due to the abolition of sales tax two years back.

However, the share of Chinese pens and pencils has been increasing which currently stands between 50-60 per cent, while the local industry holds 30-40 per cent of the market's share. Chinese items are arriving through smuggling and under-invoicing, he said.

Interestingly, as far as notebooks are concerned divergent views are aired in the market. A notebooks seller in Urdu Bazar told this writer it was true that the prices of these items had not been increased. But the producers had reduced the weight of the notebooks to maintain the prices 'stable', he said.

He said that the price of 55-gram paper, which was Rs42 per kilo in March/April this year, had now surged to Rs71 per kilo while the market was abuzz with reports of a further increase by Rs2 a kilo.

Meanwhile, a book retailer said that the price of a 160-page notebook was Rs28 only three months back but now the same was available at Rs35.

He said that during the last one year the prices of notebooks of various sizes had surged by at least Rs10.

The retailer said that the price of books of private publishers had increased by Rs15 to Rs17 in the last three months. However, he added, overall the prices had surged by Rs20 to Rs25 in a year only.

Publishers' view
The chairman of the Pakistan Publisher's and Booksellers Association (PPBA), Aziz Khalid, blamed the cartel of paper producers for creating an artificial shortage due to which the paper meant for printing books and copies was being black marketed. Besides the shortage of paper, the manufacturers had also failed to maintain the quality, he said.

Mr Khalid said that the consumers were facing problems in getting all the textbooks in one go due to a shortage of paper in the market. He, however, hoped that the problem of non-availability of textbooks of private publishers would be resolved by the end of this month.

Mr Khalid deplored that successive governments had always treated education as a secondary subject in the allocation of funds in the budget.

He urged the relevant authorities to make efforts to bring down the price of paper, without which, he said the situation would continue to prevail and things would get uglier every year. He also said that the local mills had failed to meet the demand and supply gap.

"To bring down the prices and meet the rising demand of books, the government should allow duty-free import of paper," said Mr Khalid, adding that the total impact of duties and taxes on paper imports came to around 44 per cent.

He said in case the duty-free import was not allowed then the government at least could slash sales tax to 10 per cent from the current 16 per cent besides bringing customs duty to 10 from 20 per cent.

"There is also a need to abolish 3.5 per cent additional tax on imports," he said.

He said that the main beneficiary of this proposal would be the 80 per cent children attending government and semi-private schools. They use the books of various textbook boards in all the four provinces. The four boards procure paper worth Rs1 to Rs1.5 billion every year from the local mills.

In case, the government fails to check the price of locally-produced paper, then the price of books for the STTB would shoot up by 15-20 per cent followed by a 40 per cent rise in the prices of books of private publishers in 2009, he speculated.

Paper makers' rebuttal
The chairman of the Pakistan Pulp Paper and Board Mills (PPPBM), Kamran Khan, however, rejected the claim made by the office-bearer of the PPBA regarding any shortage of paper.

"Those who are speaking about any shortage are black sheep of the markets and have their vested interests," he said from Lahore on Monday.

He said that the price of writing and printing paper had surged by Rs5,000 to Rs6,000 per ton as compared with last year after rising input cost relating to soaring utility charges, salaries of employees, increase in wood and pulp prices in the international market to $780 per ton from $440 per ton last year and the local pulp prices.

Every year there has been an increase in the production of writing and printing paper of 55 grams to 72 grams. The 12 local mills produce around 400,000-500,000 tons per annum. Dawn

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