Collision course in private school textbook
Collision course in biology textbook
Aug 29: Politics, education, religion and culture have all collided on the campus of a
private school in Karachi. The cause of the collision is a textbook used in the
teaching of biology to class seven students which includes several pages of text
and graphics detailing the human reproductive process, internal and external
organs, basic factual information about contraception and the dangers of
sexually transmitted diseases. The textbook is imported from Singapore and is
published by a company of international repute. The books we use to educate our
children and the curriculum they are taught within have been the subject of
bitter conflict for decades. Attempts to modernise or revise the national
curriculum have been either half-hearted or frustrated by conservatives who
resist any kind of change. State schools today offer a poor basic education
which turns the increasingly affluent middle-class to the private sector, with
many of the better private schools affiliated to foreign examination boards such
as Oxford and Cambridge and teaching their students to GCE O- and A-level
The discussion about this particular school has quickly turned
both ugly and violent, with parents urged on by men with who-knows-what agenda
breaking in to the school and demanding that the offending texts be removed –
they have been – and that the teaching of music be optional rather than
compulsory. Once again extremism trumps modernist thinking and practice and the
controversy has the capacity to spread like wildfire. There are those –
including an ever-energetic religious party – who are trying to mobilise the
populace against modern methods of education and international curricular
standards. The private schools are caught in the dilemma of being linked to a
world outside where the educational environment is constantly evolving (and
secular) – unlike the world where they operate which isn't. Our culture is
naturally conservative, but this does not mean that we have to cut ourselves off
from the wider world. There is a desperate need for quality education, and if we
do not educate our children better than we do currently then we deserve nothing
less than a place at the bottom of every pile we are part of. This particular
school controversy exemplifies everything that holds us back from being a part
of the modern world. We need not ditch our values for those of the west, but we
do need to find a middle-ground that allows the responsible and culturally
appropriate teaching of human biology.
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Buying back-to-school shoes
Back-to-school time means lots of preparation for parents, including the
prospect of buying shoes for their children.
The American Podiatric
Medical Association offers these shoe-buying tips:
* Always have your child's feet measured before you buy shoes.
Children's feet grow quickly, so you shouldn't rely on a previous measurement.
* Opt for new shoes instead of accepting hand-me-downs. That will help
ensure a better fit and avoid spreading germs, such as the fungus that causes
* Inspect the heels of your child's shoes to check for
uneven wear, which may indicate a foot problem.
* If feet aren't the
same size, buy larger so as not to squeeze the bigger foot.
* Don't buy
shoes that aren't comfortable. There should be no reason to "break in" a new
pair of shoes.
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Dir college closed after clash
DIR: The Government Degree College, Dir, was closed for an indefinite period
after a clash between two student groups, college officials said
The clash took place between the president of People's Students
Federation, Adil Murad, and president, Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba, Mohsin, over some
The students said that after the scuffle, the brothers and
relatives of Moshin rushed to the college and thrashed Adil and his friends on
the premises of the college. The college administration decided to close the
institution for an indefinite period.
"Yes, we have closed the college
for an indefinite time. It will not be reopened until three former students of
the college are arrested," the principal of the college said. He added that
police were investigating the clash and would soon reach a conclusion.
The principal, however, said the college administration had registered
an FIR against Adil Murad, Israr and Tehseen, all PSF affiliated students. "We
tried to resolve the issue peacefully and ward off any untoward incident. The
chief proctor had summoned Moshin's relatives to the office to convince them not
to retaliate and keep the college environment peaceful but to no avail," he
The PSF staged a demonstration soon after the clash to protest
over the thrashing of their colleagues by outsiders. They blocked the road
outside the DCO office and chanted slogans against the IJT. The news
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Youth urged to go for skill development
Islamabad: Chairman, Skill Development Council (SDC), Imtiaz Rastgar has urged the youth to go for
skill development as it would help reduce unemployment in the country.
Speaking at a closing
ceremony of AutoCAD course organized by SDC here the chairman said that skill
development was necessary not only for up-gradation of industrial base but also
improvement in economic health of the country.
He said that the industries in the
region have great potentials to enhance exports through focusing on
value-addition, which could not be achieved without skilled manpower.
He appreciated the role of private
sector in helping the government to improve skill level of labour force and said
the industry was spending its resources on skill development.
The Chairman said the Council has
adopted effective strategies to expand the opportunities of getting the right
skill for the youth, middle level professional and housewives.
He added that the Council was also
focusing on multi-lateral skills and has enhanced its facilities manifolds by
offering demand based, tailor made courses.
Later, he distributed certificates
among the participants of the course. Three Bangladeshi nationals also
participated in the course. App
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