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Dow medical college house officers complain

DUHS house officers complain of injustice
Karachi, Aug 25: After working tirelessly for two months at their house jobs, Dr Samiha Aleem and all other house officers, were told that they will not be receiving any pay for the work that they spent time over. They should have received Rs12,000 per month.

Dr Aleem's circumstances, in particular, are most unenviable. She was seven months pregnant and was forced to go to work, because her house job had started three months earlier than expected.

According to Dr Aleem, her batch at the Dow Medical College (DMC) was told by Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) Vice-Chancellor (VC) Dr Masood Hameed that they will be starting their house jobs three months earlier than the original date.

"Dr Hameed told us that we should not 'waste three months' and should start our house jobs in May. We found, however, that our duties were overlapping with the house officers belonging to the previous year's batch. At least 30 officers ended up working in the same ward," she said.

Another graduate, Dr Ali Omair, also part of the students' protest concerning this issue, said that the VC had assured the students that they will be paid by the DUHS if not by the Sindh government for the three months extra that they put in.

"The pay usually always arrives late for house officers anyway," said Dr Ali. "This, however, was different. It developed into a crisis after three months when we discovered that no one was willing to pay us. The government said that the DUHS administration should have upheld their promise, and meanwhile, the VC refused to take the matter seriously. They keep blaming each other."

Dr Ali says that Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) Medical Superintendent (MS) Dr Saeed Qureshy had also confirmed earlier that the disbursement of the salaries should have been properly managed by the DUHS administration and the entire blame should not simply be laid at the doorstep of the Sindh health department, because this was entirely the DUHS administration's decision.

"The CM has currently approved the flow of salaries, but I always knew that this problem would arise," Dr Qureshy said. "You know that these things proceed at a slow pace. I told DMC Principal Dr Salahuddin that the Sindh government could not release funds for both batches at the same time. They have budget constraints. Now the students will get their pay by September but in two parts."

However, the Sindh health department, on the other hand, has claimed that the money has already been released. Health Secretary Hashim Raza said that the money had been released "around two weeks ago," and that it had reached the Dow finance managers by now.

"We released around Rs18million for 521 students a while ago," Raza said. "The DUHS has probably received the money by now and I am sure that the students will get it soon. Health Minister Sagheer Ahmed had drawn the chief minister's attention to the matter and the resolution was moved in the Assembly. The money cannot be used anywhere else either because it has been sanctioned for this purpose only."

The affected students have protested against their immense difficulties. House Officers' Committee head Dr Sohaib said that there were students coming in from all segments of society and they could not afford to work without pay. "This is not a college for the elite," he said. "There are poor people who pay Rs10,000 for a year and they cannot even afford to buy course books. Then there are others who come in from Interior Sindh and they stay in hostels. Our parents expect us to earn at least a minimal amount of money in order to pay for our basic requirements. The VC has been taking the matter lightly and in fact even banned us from the premises, by saying that we were not the responsibility of Dow anymore."

"We did not even protest in the beginning. We only started speaking up at the end of July when we could not put up with the financial crisis anymore. Some of us have families to support," another student said.

"It's not just that we want the money because it is our right," Dr Aleem clarified. "I had to work at the Gynecology Ward of the Lyari General Hospital (LGH) and the place was insecure; it was dirty; the restrooms and the drains were clogged; there was no privacy for female doctors, and security guards would saunter in and out without warning all the time. We need this money to build our confidence and our motivation. Why should we go to work every day for this?"

Other students also complained that after the promises made by not just the VC, but also by the Principal and the Pro-VC, the students had still not received anything in writing saying that they would receive their due pay. "It is sad but as much as we respected our seniors during our years with them as students, we just cannot trust them anymore," said a student who wanted to remain anonymous. The news

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MI School opening delayed due to water, power unavailability
Karachi: The Majlis-e-Ilmi (MI School), a noted educational project of the country, could not be opened for the last several years just due to the apathetic attitude of the KESC, KWSB and few other civic amenities, which are using delaying tactics for provision of utilities connections to the institution, it was learnt.

Sources in the school administration said that the construction work of the school's building has been completed since long. But ironically, water connection by KWSB, telephone connection by PTCL and power connection by the KESC have not been provided to the school yet, they added.

The sources said that each and every house in the surrounding area of the school has been provided with the power, telephone and water connections. On the contrary, the KWSB, KESC and PTCL did not provide the connection to the country's one of the biggest educational projects, source in the school administration said.

It is to be noted that the school was established at a mountainous belt in Gulistan-e-Johar, scheme 36, just in front of Karachi University (KU). It is under the patronage of Al Majlis Al Ilmi, funded by Arab states.

The Board of Directors of this school comprises, Azhar Abbas Hashmi, who is also the General Secretary of the Board and VC Karachi University, Pirzada Qasim Siddiqui and former Federal Minister Safwanullah.

The vision behind this project was to establish an institution that will meet the European standard of education but having Eastern look, Mr Hashmi said.

About the aims of the institution, he said, the objectives of AI Majlis AI Ilmi is the establishment of an effective educational institution.

In fact, it should be an ideal institution, capable of imparting education with dedication and involvement to our youngsters from the very start, and moulding them in such a way that they are fully equipped to enter the practical life. The institute is designed according to the modern concepts of the psychology of young mind, he added.

He further explained that the primary and secondary school will be housed in a separate and exclusive building having spacious and airy classrooms and corridors. Highly qualified and trained staff will impart education and training. Extra curricular and co-curricular activities will be compulsory.

For the students guidance during the academic pursuance the students and their aptitude towards different subjects will be judged.

They would be guided for choosing most appropriate careers for themselves at the later stage.
He explained that practical training will be provided in Engineering, Aeronautics, Biotechnology, Environmental Science, Computers, Agriculture, Farming and Information Sciences. The students will be acquainted with the popular languages spoken around the world and will be taught Arabic, German, French, Japanese and Persian languages.

The students will meet well-known personalities in the field of Arts, Crafts, Science, Education and Sports to develop interest of students in that field.

On the question about sports facility, he explained that the sports complex is also constructed which includes spacious playgrounds and gymnasium. All kind of games and athletics will be available for the students of the school as well as for citizens. Coaching facilities for game, horse riding, athletics and material arts will be available.

He said that adviser to Chief Minister Sindh, Sharmila Farooqui also visited the MI School and appreciated the whole project.

According to him, she regretted that the school could not be opened due to lethargic attitude of the civic intuitions. Sharmilla issued directives for providing all the civic facilities so that the school to be opened as soon as possible. But no implementation was made on her directives yet. The nation

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Student missing
Nawabshah: A student of Class-IV, who left home for his school, is missing for the last four days. Abdul Aziz, 10, went to his school some four days back, but did not return. Abdul Ghani, the elder brother of Aziz, had suspected that Aziz had been kidnapped. The family has not yet informed the police about the incident. The news

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