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All government, private schools opened in Sindh

Schools open
Karachi, Aug 03: All government and private schools had opened after the summer vacation on Saturday, the Sindh education secretary has said.

The secretary, Rizwan Memon said those schools which observed a two-day weekly holiday - Saturday and Sunday - would open on Monday (today).

There was some confusion about whether parents should send their children to school on Monday as reports in a section of the media had stated that schools would be closed on Monday due to an extension in the summer vacations. Dawn

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Catholic schools and colleges to remain closed for three days
Karachi: All schools and colleges which are part of the Catholic Board of Education will remain closed for three days, from Monday (today) to Wednesday. This was announced by Catholic Board of Education President Archbishop Evarist Pinto, while strongly condemning the barbaric atrocities on Christians in Gojra and surrounding areas.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Minorities Forum for Human Rights (PMFHR) has announced that it will not observe International Minority Day, which falls on August 11. Moreover, on Independence Day (August 14), they will tie black armbands and stay away from all activity associated with the day, All-Pakistan Minority Alliance Sindh Secretary general (PMFHR coordinator and former Sindh Assembly member) Michael Javed said on Sunday.

On behalf of the minority communities, he appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, and the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Muhammad Iftikhar Chaudhry, to take stern action against the people involved in this incident.

Javed was briefing the local media at the Karachi Press Club regarding the Gojra violence. Other members and representatives of religious minorities were present to express their solidarity with the Christians.

He lamented that none of the accused had been arrested yet, nor had a single MNA, MPA, civil society member or human rights group raised a voice against this incident. "The miscreants used dangerous chemicals possessed by the military and extremists only. They killed people and animals with it and the police failed to arrest anyone," he added.

He further said that it need to be investigated as to who provided them the deadly chemicals which ignited immediately, burning people and turning houses into ashes. Houses, cattle farms as well as water suctions pumps were turned into ashes and no serious efforts were made to save human lives or property. The mobs also looted valuables from homes, he added.

As many as seven people of a family were burnt alive and many injured by the assailants who belonged to nearby villages, Javed said, adding that the mob did not bother to investigate the matter and even attacked people at a wedding ceremony.

According to the PMFHR, 45 people initially attacked the Christian community and called others to help them. "The attackers accused the local Christians of having desecrated the Holy Quran, which was not true at all. We respect the Holy Quran in the same manner as we revere our Holy Books," Javed told journalists.

This was the third incident of its kind within a month in Punjab and unfortunately, no one has been arrested and produced in the courts yet, he said, adding that inaction on the part of the police and the local administration in the past had compounded the problem because certain elements thought that they could get away with such act.

Catholic Association General Secretary Sardar Iqbal also condemned the brutal act of killing six Christians living in Gojra and setting ablaze more than 50 houses in the Christian Colony.

"We salute our Prime Minister, the President of Pakistan who called on the Chief Minister of Punjab to take immediate action to protect the Christian colony at Gojra and bring the culprit to justice," he said.

Iqbal made a firm appeal to all Christians to remain peaceful and united, and hope that the government of Pakistan will protect Christian colonies scattered all over Pakistan.

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KU exam forms
Karachi: The University of Karachi (KU) has notified all candidates of the Chest Diseases Department, Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre, Karachi, that the examination forms and fee for the Post-Graduate Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (D.T.C.D.) for the annual examinations 2009 will be accepted from July 31 to August 10, 2009. A press statement issued here on Sunday has notified that the prescribed exams fee for PGD in D.T.C.D. is Rs.3050 including examination/marks certificate fee (Rs.3000) while the sports fee is (Rs.50). The Head of the Department of Chest diseases will receive the examination forms from eligible candidates while the schedule of examinations will be announced later on, it added.

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IJT version of KU clash
Karachi: IJT version of KU clash: Nazim Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), Noman Ahmed Burney, in a press release, has condemned the attack on the unarmed IJT workers by the workers of Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) on Saturday noon, in which four IJT workers were injured. ISO version: Imamia Students Organization (ISO) University of Karachi (KU) unit President Ali Wasif has condemned the recent attacks on ISO workers in the university, allegedly by activists of the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT). The News

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Educationist Reaz Ahmed to be long remembered
Karachi: There is no doubt that the real heroes and the men of crisis of Pakistani nation are mostly remained out-screened but played decisive role in building the nation and also to put it out of the crisis.

Tragically, such characters are unanimous among the majority, while the nation comes to know them when they are no more in this mortal world. One such is the case of Reaz, a great educationist and social reformer of his era, who died last week due to cardiac arrest.

The history was not the same with Reaz Ahmed, as people belonging to literary circles had always saluted his meritorious services and visionary ability regarding his mission to brighten the education as best part for the development of society. He continued his struggle and planning to introduce something extraordinary in the education sector, beneficiary for the children of poor masses and downtrodden people.

It may be noted that Reaz Ahmed had also worked with the founder of Orangi Pilot Project, Akhtar Hameed Khan who was a great development activist and a social star, who worked always for the betterment of people regardless of their cast and creed.

Reaz Ahmed born on October 27, 1951, in District Darbhanga (BIHAR) in India. He completed his primary and secondary education in former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and did his BSc (hons) from Dhaka University. During his educational tenure, he was very active in promoting social and educational activities. When he was a BSc student, he wrote a mathematics book named "Sets and Elements" for university students.

During and after the riots of 1971, he established a tuition centre for poor and needy students. He was very much active in civil defence during the 1971 war. In early 70's, he migrated to West Pakistan (Pakistan) for further education. In 1974, he with his family, shifted to a very remote and underprivileged area, Orangi Town, where he realised the need of an educational institute in that area. So, he established a coaching centre naming 'Reaz Coaching Centre'.

Later on, with the help of his friends, he established a pilot school in Orangi Town with a name of Aziz-e-Millat High School (Faran High School) in 1978. Unfortunately, the Kachhi Aabadi of Orangi Town was totally neglected by the government in establishing schools for literacy and education promotion. His efforts resulted a network of more than 773 schools.

He believed in 'changes which come through joint efforts and through the approach of facilitation', which resulted to achieve highest literacy rate, 70 per cent, in Kachhi Aabadi.

In 1994, after achieving highest literacy rate in Orangi Town, he initiated quality education aspects and approached British Council. British Council commissioned a consultant John Keleher to promote his well-versed approaches for the education sector. As per his recommendation, teachers' and school managers' training had been started and more than 1,000 teachers were benefited from it. Teachers' trainers were developed by involving AKU-IED.

In 1994-95, he also pioneered computer education in Orangi Town with the help of TVO, that later resulted in providing computers and training to 40 schools. In 1997, through his efforts, two VSO volunteers Lisa Bruinwin and Julian Carnell were commissioned for quality education for two years. In 1999, he debated and approved the Multiple Choice of textbooks and wrote a series of mathematics books for classes 1 to 8 (Get Ahead Mathematics), and also facilitated to develop 'Get Ahead Science', class 1 to 8. Both books were approved by the Federal Ministry of Education and published by Oxford University Press.

Reaz debated on many documents in educational conferences and seminars. His recognised papers are LSMC (conference held at PC, jointly organised by the Department of Education, Government of Sindh and the British Council), "Private School for low income group" in National Seminar on Education organised by Director Army Education in 2000. He organised many seminars and conferences on major educational issues.

He visited USA two times in 2000 and 2002 as a part of NGO management (USIV) and CRI respectively.

Since 2003, he was involved in advocacy towards ESR and public school reforms. He was the founder member of the CMIS-Committee for Monitoring and Improvement of CDGK schools. The committee was formed as a result of a public private partnership between the biggest business body of Pakistan, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and City District Government Karachi (FPCCI-CDGK).

The ideology of sustainable development at the public school through empowering the school management committee and empowerment at local level was his best subject and he was one the activist advocate of community and strong school relationship.

He also presented a School Management System to DCO and Educational Secretary, modifying the current one and highlighting the gaps. His proposal is under consideration. He was also involved in ILO and IWPR projects in his last days.

On Friday, the CMIS had organised a condolence gathering at its office, in which Quran Khawani was held and his friends, family members and others expressed their views about his personality and struggle.

They paid rich tribute to Reaz Ahmed's services and endeavours at grass root level in education sector as his books on maths and science are an important part of curriculum and are being delivered to educate the children.

May Allah rest his soul in peace in Heaven and let the nation follow his steps towards his dreams of an educated nation. The Nation

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