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Karachi private schools low-priced education

Private schools in low-income
Karachi, Aug 12: The government should provide standard and low-priced education to all if it is serious about improving the quality of education across the province, particularly in Karachi, Sharaf Uz Zaman, Senior Vice Chairman, Private Schools Management Association (PSMA) said on Tuesday.

Zaman to journalists at a local hotel during a media briefing called to highlight recommendations by the PSMA as well cash distribution to position holders of class 10, science group, annual examination 2009.

The PSMA demanded the provision of quality education in city's suburbs. All private schools operating in middle and lower middle income areas, that are charging Rs500 or less as tuition fee, should be declared tax free immediately.

It further demanded the imposition of heavy taxes on schools that increase tuition fees for no good reason. The PSMA is also against paying EOBI, Social Security and other industrial taxes. The Board of Secondary Education (BSEK), said Zaman, should reduce its fees by 50 per cent.

Zaman added that the BSEK should eliminate the trend of collecting late fees. "Also, the federal and provincial government should provide Rs5,000 each to students who bagged A-one grades in exams so that they can continue with their studies," he explained.

The Governor or Chief Minister should announce a fund programme for the position holders and send them to foreign countries for exposure, said Zaman. The government should provide conveyance to students going to colleges or universities as well. Furthermore, students with financial problems should be assisted, he added.

However, the PSMA came under fire during the question-and-answer session, particularly when the Chairman was asked why the association remains silent over the system through which parents are forced to buy books, copies and uniforms from certain places only. Also, the PSMA was accused of not taking measures to give raises to teachers.

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"agar is solution pr diyanatdari sy amal ho to ye solution bohot acha hy.mera beta class 5 mai ladybird school mai parhta hy ,mai us ki fee afford nhi kr pa rhi hn,mery bety ka A.1 grade ata hy,kia us ko scoholership mil sakti hy,or is silsilay ma kis sy contact kro.?"
Name: sabahat zehra
City, Country:karachi,pakistan

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Pre-Medical mark sheets available
Karachi: Assistant Secretary (Coordination), Abdul Haris Farooqi, Board of Intermediate Education Karachi, announced on Tuesday that mark sheets of Higher Secondary Schools (Class XII) Pre-Medical Group are available now. He said that authorised representatives of the higher schools or colleges affiliated to the board could come and take the mark sheets.

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Teachers still working in administrative positions
Karachi: As many as 13 male and two female teachers the latter belonging to the College and and Special Subject (SS) cadres - are working as Assistant District Officers (ADOs), sources in the Sindh Education Department said. This is an open violation of the Recruitment Rules, 1989, as well as the Chief Minister, Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah's orders. The latter had instructed the department not to employ teachers on administrative posts.

According to sources, Sadaruddin Ujjan in Orangi Town, Amer Lal (New Karachi Town), Lutfullah Khoso (Lyari Town), Ali Nawaz Baloch (Bin Qasim Town), Ghulam Rasool Bhundh (Gadap Town), Bashir Ahmed Abbasi (Keamari Town), Chaman Lal (Landhi Town), Qurban Dahar (Malir Town), Azizullah Odho (Baldia Town), Zahid Abbas (Gulshan Town), Imtiaz Bhugio (Saddar Town), Muzaffar Channa (Korangi Town) and Ahmed Buksh Bhutto, a lecturer in Shah Faisal Town are all employed as ADOs despite the fact that all they belong to the teaching cadre.

Similarly, Ishrat Bugum (Liaquatabad Town) and Zahida Bhugio (Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town) are also working as ADOs along with Sanobar Gul (Lyari Town) and Shaista Shaikh (Jamshed Town), who belong to the College cadre. Shaista Shaikh is working on an adhoc basis and was promoted to ADO owing to nepotism, sources claimed. Meanwhile, Farnaz Riaz, District Officer, Education (Elementary), also belongs to the S.S. cadre. The ADO post is that of grade 18 but most people employed in this capacity belong to grade 17, yet another violation of the Recruitment Rules of 1989.

It has also been learnt that officers of the low grade are working in superior positions but no action has been taken against them. In the past, the Sindh Cabinet decided that the 'Own Pay-in Scale' (OPS) system that facilitates employees of lower grade to work in other grades, should be removed immediately. These orders were implemented and several staff members were removed. However, there are many who are still working in higher grades.

When contacted Waqar Mehdi, Special Assistant to Chief Minister, Sindh, he said the OPS system has been banned and the CM would take serious action against those involved in it.

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Unutilised' youth hope for participation in decision-making
Karachi: Youth in Pakistan seem to be alienated from policy and decision making matters. In 2002, the then government took an interest in youth affairs, which resulted in the preparation of a draft 'National Youth Policy' by the Ministry of Youth Affairs. However, the draft was formulated without the involvement of youth, and thus later became the target of immense criticism.

A young man, R. Bhojwani said: "It's all about a show run by a few men, as policy-makers are least bothered about our input. Youth in Pakistan, despite being so well-equipped, remains unutilised."

In Pakistan, youth is defined as the population between the age group of 15 to 29 unlike by the United Nation which is 15 to 24 years of age. Youth covers the one sixth of the total human population, whereas in Pakistan, youth makes up around half of its total population.

The major beef that most youngsters have with powers-that-be is that their voices remain unheard. Sindh Minister for Youth Affairs Faisal Sabzwari agreed to the notion that Pakistani youth have no say in decision-making, but maintained that the ministry is working on this. "The Ministry is planning to form a Youth Development Board, which will only be comprised of experts but youth representation will be at a maximum."

When asked as what are the easily accessible channels accessible for the youth to promote their ideas, Sabzwari replied that the Ministry is soon going to launch a website, where youth could participate and initiate their ideas and concern as well.

In the national consultation on the draft Youth Policy of Pakistan presented in 2003, among the other the viable suggested strategies by the youth, the major ones were that there should be equal chance for them to participate in decision-making, and that youngsters should be given ample chance to attend meetings of Senate and National Assembly as observers.

Sabzwari said that although youth-related policies and their concerns still need proper modes of operation, today's youth at least have hope that youth participation and empowerment are one of the most-discussed topics in recent times. The Minister also assured that the Ministry is working on several up-coming youth related projects which will be announced shortly.

If the ministry does indeed manage to achieve its stated objectives, it will inevitably translate into a sense of empowerment for the youth. "In our society, the youth is either too marginalized to become part of policy-making institutions, or is not exposed to critical issues and analytical thinking. This in return, results in making the youth one of the most vulnerable social groups, who does not even know how policies affecting them are being planned, and who are behind them," said Farrukh Zaman, a university student.

While suggesting constructive measures to overcome the dearth of youth participation, another young voice Ali Rizvi said: "Individuals should take up activism concerning their dear issues. Like minded youth could come together on a platform using social-networking. All these activities should have a positive goal, thus establishing a credible vote-bank for the youth. Besides, the government should facilitate us by facilitating the private sector and establishing viable education institutions for all."

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What is SS cadre?
Karachi: The SS cadre is not an administrative post. Teachers from this cadre are supposed to teach their specialised course at schools but this is not happening in several places so the post(s) is vacant, Founder Chairman, Pakistan Educational Forum (PEF), Anis-ur-Rehman said. This is why Muneer Alam at the Karachi Secondary School, North Nazimabad, and Babu Khan of Government Boys Secondary School are working on other posts, General Secretary of PEF, Abdul Rehman said. The news

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