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Ziauddin University convocation | Private schools business

PM awards 138 degrees at ZU convocation
Karachi, Aug 30, 2008: As many as 138 students were conferred degrees at the sixth convocation of Ziauddin University at Bahria Auditorium here on Friday.

A total of 64 graduated in MBBS, two in B.Sc Medical Technology (Batch 6 honours), three (Batch 7 Honours), 20 (Batch 8 B.Sc Medical technology), four (Batch 7 Lab Medicine), 10 (Batch 8 M.D./MS Honorary Degrees), six MD (Oncology), one Master in Clinical Laboratory , 22 Bachelor in Physical Therapy and six M.Phil students.

Speaking as the chief guest the Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani said that Pakistan Peoples Party led governments made health a high priority, believing that the welfare of the people flows from investing in their health. The principles of our Health Policy as per our manifesto have been firstly, the guarantee of access to a doctor for every citizen through a National Health Service, secondly, the prevention of disease and thirdly, the guarantee that affordable medicines are available to all the sick and needy; and finally, the provision of good medical education and training at various levels for health education policy.

A medical school must ensure that its students complete the degree programme, competent not only in technical skills but equally competent in the art of medicine. "You must also remember that your professional lives are a trust to humanity, every minute of it thus is accountable and under scrutiny", he told the passing out graduates.

Pointing to the graduates, the Prime Minister advised them not to ever consider themselves 'Learned people'. "Now that you have an impressive degree of MBBS, you rather see yourselves as 'Learning people' as, like any other discipline, the field of Medicine is a 'living' field, he emphasised. He told them that they must strike a good balance between Medicine as a business and Medicine as a profession and said there is a very strong debate going on in the international arena whether medicine is an economic good or a social good.

"You need to be professionals rather than just sellers of a service. It will be your ethical duty to ensure that care is available to patients; be available when you are expected to be." Concluding, the Prime Minister was happy to note that Ziauddin University is moving from strength to strength and has now entered into the second decade of its existence.

Earlier in his address Chancellor Ziauddin University, Dr Asim Hussain said with the blessings of Allah the university, after successfully completing its first decade is now entering a new phase of advancement in the field of education. He said the varsity's development programme envisages shifting of the college of Pharmacy to the education city. He said the colleges of engineering, business management, physical sciences, mathematics, social sciences and liberal arts, law and mass communication have also been planned in different phases. Congratulating the students on their graduation, the Chancellor wished them and their families a happy future.

In his welcome address, Vice Chancellor Dr Anwar Ejaz Beg expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani for his presence in the convocation. He said the past year has brought much intellectual and administrative satisfaction for the university. The PMDC upgraded the Medical College from provisional to comprehensive and recognised status. The Higher Education Commission also improved the standing of the university from `X' to `W' status, which implies that it now fulfils all the conditions laid down by the Federal Cabinet. The News

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Private schools lend books to 'fleece' students
Karachi: It appears as if the privately-managed schools, both registered and unregistered, want to leave no stone unturned to mint more and more money on one pretext or the other.

Most of these schools have been fleecing parents in various manners like their demand for the illegal fee called 'annual charges' and the list goes on. This time, however, a number of schools have come up with yet another novel idea to mint money by providing students with textbooks on an annual rental basis.

According to circulars issued by various private schools, all books with a black rental stamp inside will be issued to students for an academic year and the students will be required to return the books in good condition and without any marks at the end of the session, otherwise parents will be charged double the amount of the original price of the book.

Though the system apparently sounds good, the conditions set for the provision of books on a rental basis is so harassing for the students that they are reluctant to avail the facility merely because of fear that in case the books are lost or damaged, their parents will have to pay double the amount of the original price.

A number of parents asked as to how any school could compel its students to get the books on a rental basis. They were of the view that it would not be possible for their children to maintain those books in order throughout the year without leaving even a single mark.

According to them, the circular through which the system has been introduced has mentioned the following conditions:

a) if any book is lost or damaged, replacement has to be done or double the amount of the original price will have to be paid,

b) if the child is discontinuing with the school, he/she has to return all the rental books in order for receiving a school-leaving certificate,

c) no marks should be made by the students on any part of the book,

d) any mark on the books will be taken as damage to the books, for which the student will be liable to be penalised,

e) and students should write their names and class only on the paper pasted on the book's cover and not on the books.

Most of the parents expressing their reservations over the system said that it was very difficult for their children to keep their books intact the entire year. They said that above all no school had the right to compel its students to obtain books on a rental basis.

"Isn't it too much to expect from our children that they must keep the books in a good condition and that too without any mark on them for one year," remarked another parent.

Most of the parents criticised the relevant officials of the Sindh education department's directorate of private institutions. They were of the view that based on their earlier experiences; it would be useless to expect any assistance in this regard from the relevant officials.

A perturbed parent said that beyond any shadow of doubt this newly-imposed system was nothing but another way to fleece the masses but there was no one to pay heed to public complaints. Dawn

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Quaid-e-Azam Public School: educating the poor
Karachi: Quaid-e-Azam Public School is an institute in the suburbs catering to children from families with meagre financial resources. It is situated on the link road between the Super Highway and the National highways in the midst of the Sindh government's proposed Education City, where various other institutes of higher education, healthcare, and research have also acquired land. The school is run by the Sindh Madressah Board (SMB) and launched a College of Medical Sciences this year after being successfully upgraded to teach at higher education level.

In 1985, the SMB unfolded its plan to construct a school for children of the underprivileged sections of the society, keeping intact the guiding principles behind the foundation of Sindh Madressat-ul-Islam (SMI). Patrons of the SMI formally announced their wish to build such a school at SMI's centennial celebrations, which were attended by the then President Gen Ziaul Haq, Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo, and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Ghous Ali Shah.

"The then Sindh chief minister offered us 200 acres of land free of cost, although we requested him to determine the market value to determine the property first," said Effendi, great grandson of SMI founder Hassan Ally Effendi. He said that it is up to the patrons and management of the Quaid-e-Azam Public School how to best use the government grant, which is given to meet the financial deficit in running the schools. The school caters to over 600 pupils, and also runs a boarding house for pupils who have to come from outside, such as the remote areas of Balochistan. The News

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