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Students not warming to school as vacations end

Psychologists advise parents to allay kids' fears and communicate with them attentively
Islamabad, Aug 03: All public and private schools are re-opening putting an end to long summer vacations but majority of kids are not warm to the idea of going back to school for many reasons. Some feel difficulty getting up early in the morning, dislike travelling in school van, dread tests, homework and assignments while for others class is a bully.

It all now depends on the parents to allay fears of their kids telling them that the end of summer means going back to school. Though it is often a welcome change for many parents to send their kids school after a long summer, some are a little sad at the thought of not having their kids with them in mornings.

Ayesah Rahim Ghazi, a Grade II student said that she was overy joyed going back to school, whih she had missed during vacations. "I felt bored as I missed all my classmates, teachers and enviroenment of school," she said.

Hashim Raza, a Grade III student, said it was hard for him to go to school as he had developed a habit of getting up late during vacations. "I want to go to school after August 14. I sleep late so I get up late too. I am trying to alter my sleeping schedule," he said.

"I am quite nervous because of school atmosphere; teachers are rude to me and they beat me up quite often. I am not willing to go back to school," said Waqar Hassan, a Grade II student.

"If your child is reluctant to go to school, discuss with him/her various school activities such as exciting school trips, swimming, painting, music lessons, funfairs, arts and craft classes etc. Remind your child of all old friends," Dr Sarkar, a psychologist at PIMS, said.

She said parents would have to communicate with their kids attentively. "If your child is unusually tearful and tense, talk to him gently and try to discover root of the problem. If he is afraid of anything of if he lags behind in school lessons, take steps to ensure his safety and dignity. Make sure all his homework is done. Talk to teachers, school principal and van driver if they can be of any help," she explained.

Dr Rizwan Taj, dean of Psychology Department at PIMS, advised parents to get their kids to wake up early at least two weeks before the end of vacations. He said some children took more time to adapt to routine than others. "In a week or two, all of their fears and reluctance will be gone and they'll be comfortable and happy in school," he said.

Sumaira Kanwal, a schoolteacher, said it was responsibility of parents to get their children involved in study. "Shifting from vacations to school routine is less troublsome for those kids who have been kept busy in studies during vavations," she said. Daily Times

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Schools reopen in Swat, Lower Dir
Mingora/Timegara: Schools reopened in Swat and Lower Districts on Saturday after nearly three months of being closed owing to fighting between the military and militants.

However, attendance on the first day was low because of the closure of roads and shortage of transport. Classes in several schools of Mingora were held in tents because their buildings had been damaged in the operation.

Residents said that Mingora was the only town in Swat where schools were reopened. Majority of the schools were being used as IDP camps, they added.

A large number of schools in upper and lower parts of Swat have either been blown up or set on fire by the Taliban. The rest are being used by security forces.

Private Schools Management Association president Ziauddin Yousafzai has announced waiver of fees for the past three months.

Schools in Lower Dir, except the Maidan tehsil, also reopened on Saturday. Some of the MINGORA: School and happiness go together.-AP

schools in the district remained closed because of the presence of IDPs there.

An elderly member of a displaced family living in a government girls' school in Talash said that he was worried about the future of his children.

"We had a good time living in the school. We can neither go back to our home nor has the government made any alternative arrangement for us. Where will we go now?" he wondered.

AFP adds: NWFP Education Minister Qazi Asad said that all schools in Malakand division were open. He said that about 356 schools had been damaged during the Taliban insurgency and the authorities were working on an emergency plan to rebuild or hire private buildings.

"Tents have been provided to hold classes temporarily," he said.

Fazal Aziz, the principal a government school in Mingora, said: "There is no electricity, water and other facilities and it is hard to keep students in tents for a long time in hot weather."

Khan Mohammad, a ninth grade student, said he was glad to return to lessons despite his school having been reduced to a pile of rubble. "I am happy, at least I can study again even it is in a tent." Dawn

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Papers on Fiqah presented in IRI seminar
Islamabad: Scholars from Pakistan and India presented papers on Fiqah in the subcontinent on the second day of the Islamic Research Institute (IRI), Islamabad's seminar on 'Islamic Legal Thought and Institutions in South Asia.

Former chairman of Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Dr SM Zaman highlighted the role of Fiqah in the lives of Muslims.

Prominent among the speakers were Dr Zafarul Islam and Professor Ziauddin Falahi from India, and Dr Mahfooz Akhtar, Dr Munir Ahmad, Dr Safir Akhtar, Dr Sajida Hussain, Maulana Ishaq Bhatti, Maulana Ikramul Haq Yasin, Muhammad Mushtaq and Shagufta Umar from Pakistan.

DHQ Hospital: The emergency ward of District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital has been shifted to a new air-conditioned building equipped with all necessary facilities, DHQ Hospital Medical Superintendent (MS) Iqbal Malik told reporters on Sunday.

He said CT scanner, dialysis machines and other modern machinery had been installed at the new emergency ward. Daily Times

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Five students killed by raging torrent
Muzaffarabad: Five students of a religious seminary were killed after a mosque they took refuge in was swept away along with other buildings by a raging torrent in a Neelum valley village on Saturday evening.

The victims, aged between eight and 12, had just crossed a stream running through Dawarian Bala village, some 100 kms northeast of here, and entered a mosque for Magrib prayers when suddenly a cloudburst unloaded vast amount of water which wiped out the mosque, SP Neelum Raja Shafqat Tanvir said that by telephone on Sunday.

As a result all five boys, who were students of Madressah Anwaarul Aloom, were killed. They were identified as Mohammad Sadaqat, Khalid Rana, Akram Mir, Qasim Deen and Akhtar Javed. Another student, Tahir Rana, who was still on the other side of water channel managed to escape but was injured, the SP said.

"Had the vast amount of water reached Dawarian only after 10 minutes the physical loss would have been colossal as nearly 40 other seminary students and their teachers were on their way to the mosque for prayers," he said.

Apart from the mosque, four shops and a 10-kilowatt hydropower station were also knocked down while the water channels of three micro powerhouses were badly damaged, he said.

The torrent also swept away a private jeep moments after its fearful inmates jumped out and climbed the mountainside to save their lives, the SP said. River Neelum flows hardly 50 yards away from the site of tragic incident.

Since the span of the water channel had also widened due to the cloudburst, traffic on main Neelum valley road which passes through it in Dawarian village remained suspended until the earth removing machines filled the gaps on Sunday. So far no bodies had been recovered. Dawn

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