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Islamabad schools summer vacation likely to extend

School summer vacation in Islamabad may be extended
Islamabad, Aug 10: Taking notice of the concern expressed by parents and teachers regarding the reopening of schools in the hot and humid weather, the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) is likely to extend summer vacations till September 4.

According to sources, the notification regarding an extension in summer vacation would be issued on August 10. According to it, schools would reopen on September 4 after Eidul Fitr. Earlier, schools were to reopen on August 11 and students were directed to participate in the Independence Day celebrations on August 14.

"The pressure to extend summer vacation has been mounting and the FDE was left with no option but to extend the summer holidays," said sources. There was a strong demand by parents and teachers to extend the holidays till Eidul Fitr. A large number of people residing in the capital belong to other parts of the country who usually leave for their hometowns during the summer vacation and Eid holidays. In case of reopening of schools on August 11, these families would have to return so that children could go to schools and then would again have to go to their hometowns to celebrate Eid.

Your Comments
"i think its the right decision will be good for both the teachers and parents"
Name: khunsha
City, Country: rawalpindi

"it would be a good decision. weather is so hot and humid here in Punjab and other parts of the country. Punjab government should also extend summer vacation till 4th September. it would be difficult for both teachers and students to engage in curriculum activities in Ramzan."
Name: Zeeshan
City, Country:Lalamusa

"Mulk k haalat k paesh e nazar aur leaves honi chahiyein"
Name: Mohsin jahangir
City, Country:Mian channu

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1,200 students still waiting for SSC result
Rawalpindi: The future of around 1,200 students is at stake as they are still waiting for the result of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Annual Examination 2011 from the Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE).

The RBISE announced the result of the SSC examination on August 2. However, around result of around 1,200 students was not declared at that time due to fault in online system.

They fear that if the result is not announced in a couple of days they could lose their precious year as government colleges have already announced August 16 to be last date for submission of admission for intermediate.

A number of students said that they had been visiting the office of BISE Rawalpindi for last many days in hope of announcement of result, as they want to lose their precious year.

Most of the students belong to middle class families and could not afford the expenses of private colleges. They appealed to the government to take notice of this delay in the announcement of result.

One of the students told this scribe that he daily visits the board office, however, the officials claim that they were still looking for my answer sheets.

He said strict notice should be taken of the negligence of board officials for delaying results of around 1,200 students.

When contacted Director Colleges Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, who also has the addition charge of the chairman Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Rawalpindi said, "We are trying our best to announce all the late results as soon as possible."

Talking about the last date for submission of admission forms in government colleges, he said they would extend the date in colleges to facilitate the students who are still waiting for their results. The news

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Education: The road to deliverance
Imran Khan rightly pointed out on a private channel recently that our education system caters to the elite, the middle class and the poor on different planes. He has advocated the case of educational reform for over a decade now. Sadly, from among the mainstream politicians, he is the sole spokesman even today.

Education has never been our priority. Pakistan's public expenditure on education is among the lowest in the world. In the region, we are second only to Afghanistan. The problem is not just inadequate funds - problems only begin with it. At present, there are numerous streams of the education running side by side in our country. There are government schools, English medium and Urdu medium, madrassahs, elitist private schools and public schools.

With only 52 percent enrolment in schools, we can also boast of the second highest number of out-of-school children in the world. There are studies that show a correlation between conflict outbreak and low educational attainment. Countries with the lowest rates of primary school enrolment show a greater incidence of conflict. There is evidence to support this thesis as well. A lion's share of recruits for jihadist groups like Sipah-e-Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Taiba and the like come from more than 3,000 madrassahs.

Our madrassahs essentially cater to the underprivileged of the society. The education our children receive in these schools provides them with little or no hope for job opportunities in the market. The state patronised the rise of these madrassahs in the eighties and used their students in the Soviet Jihad. In 1971, we had only 900 registered madrassahs. In 1980, the number went up to 10,000 and had more than 2,50,000 students enrolled in them. While the generous Arabs donate handsomely in the Ivy leagues colleges, the same petro-dollars flood our madrassahs.

If one could spare a minute to ponder on the problems we face in government schools, it will help us get a hang of what the expanding universe could mean to a physicist or a cosmologist. Our schools are understaffed - let's not get into the faculty's merits and qualifications. There is an absence of basic facilities such as electricity, water, libraries, boundary walls and at times even the buildings. Then, there are many ghost schools. And many more have now become unsafe or referred to as sanctuaries. In government schools, rather poor effort is made to enable children learn the English language - a requirement, unfortunately, for most of the white collar jobs. It is a secondary language for almost all the students. Linguists believe that an efficacious learning comes in an internalised language. The focus, however, in our schools, and here is when I generalise our attitude, has never been on learning but simply on English.

Even an Aitchisonian friend admits that the school is not the same as it was in the sixties and early seventies. Progressive decay, a trend not unique to Aitchison College only! Another premier school Burn Hall - in comparison to its glorious past is in shambles today. In Burn Hall's case, it was the military coup of 1976 that catapulted its flight to rock bottom. These schools once had foreign students from Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, Malaysia, UK and USA. In Achebe's words, the Umuofia has now changed. Things, we know, are less promising elsewhere. Ironically though, no one questions the very existence of these anglophile elite schools. These colonial schools are the legacy of the British Raj. It is good enough for many. It's hardly a surprise, since we still suffer from the post-colonial complexes.

The British realised that in order to break the backbone of India, our spiritual and cultural heritage, they needed to replace our ancient education system and our culture. "For if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they would become what we want them: A truly dominated nation" - Lord Macaulay's address to the British Parliament on February 2, 1885. The idea of societal transformation by education was not new at the time. We can trace back its origins to the Macedonian conqueror Alexander. The starting point of any education system is to develop in a child an understanding of himself, his culture and his values. Even after 64 years, these colonial schools train our children to essentially ape the English and their manners.

The awe of these schools inspired a mushroom growth in modern tuition academies or mildly put private schools. These schools are elitist in nature, driven by profit motives. The problem with this rat race is, even if you win it, you are still a rat. Students who pass out from these schools are as alien to Pakistani culture as are foreigners. Incidentally, most of them have affected accents as well - the cherry on the cake! No abstracted notion on nationalism, no big ideas - everyone who is born in Pakistan is a Pakistani. That said, a Pakistani student should be as acquainted with Manto as with PG Woodhouse - if not more.

Education is not a pure public good. However, the state must do the bare minimum and oversee the standardisation of the education, possibly through public-private partnership. Firstly, these different school systems should be abolished. Even if they have to coexist, there has to be a degree of proximity in the provision of opportunities to all Pakistanis - regardless of the system they are enrolled in or the background they come from. We are the sixth most populous and one of the youngest nations in the world. There are more persons aged 14 and below in Pakistan than in the US. Pakistan's only hope is plainly her youth. The potential is huge, no doubt. Before most of this wealth is laid waste or lured by militants, the state needs to wake up.

Ummar Ziauddin - The writer is a freelance columnist and A-levels student. (The nation)

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Arid University Produces Off Season Vegetables
Islamabad: The Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi Tuesday completed Higher Education Commission (HEC) sponsored research project on commercial viability of hydroponic vegetable production and its marketing at international level.

The research project has been completed by faculty members and students of the University, which is now capable of exporting about one ton of high quality off season vegetables to Middle East on daily basis, said a press release issued here today.

This ongoing activity is generating valuable foreign exchange through export promotion for the already foreign exchange deficit country.

Major products include tomato on vine, cherry tomato and coloured bell pepper (orange, yellow and red).

Previously, Pakistan was importing beef tomato, coloured bell pepper and cherry tomato from international market.

With the success of this project, the University is now able to substitute these imports saving valuable foreign exchange for the country.

These products are also available in Pakistan in major cities on superstores.

The University is also conducting research on production of different vegetables under the same hydroponics system including tomato on vine, beef tomato, cherry tomato, strawberry tomato, cucumber, bitter gourd, egg plant and white onion.

This hydroponics system ensures disease and pesticide free vegetables in the country. These products are recognized for their taste, shape, colour and quality. app

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