Private schools vacation controversy resurfaces
Vacation controversy resurfaces
Karachi, Aug 03: While most private schools reopened on
Wednesday after the summer vacation, several others decided to resume
academic activities on Monday.
Just like the chaos and confusion that took place at the start of the
vacation, a lack of uniformity is witnessed in the reopening of private
schools as some have already resumed their academic activities and some
others will reopen on Sept 1.
Talking about the situation, Sindh Senior Minister for Education and
Literacy Pir Mazharul Haq said this was to happen because all schools
didn't close for the summer vacation at the same time. "The government
had decided to start the vacation this year later to carry the students
and their families through Ramazan, Eid and expected rains. Many
understood this and agreed with us even though we had announced our
decision rather late. However, elitist private schools had their own
plans, which they were reluctant to change, he said.
"What do they know about the hardships families, and especially
mothers, face every year sending their children to school during
Ramazan, and when it is raining as well? Then there will also be the Eid
holidays to observe soon. We had taken all this into consideration." he
The minister said that action might be taken against the schools
which were reopening now in violation of the government's directive. "We
will serve notices on the schools which are registered with us asking
them to explain their action. Then we will see if we should suspend
their registration or not," he said.
Director of Private Schools Dr Mansoob A. Siddiqui said that the
ministry of education and literacy had already been informed during a
meeting of the standing committee for education ahead of the vacation
that they could not change their (vacation) plans at such short notice.
"We had already spoken of our plans, which we were not going to
change, so there should have been no fuss regarding the matter. Those
private schools that have both Matric and O level sections had chosen to
go on leave for June and July while those having only Matric system
opted for the July-August vacation," he explained.
Asked about the senior minister's intention to take action against
certain private schools, Dr Siddiqui said, "Well, he did agree with us
at that time that the notification had been issued late and he also
seemed rather understanding of our point of view. The minister never
said that he would take action over it."
About the different dates being followed by them, Dr Siddiqui said it was up to the managements of schools to decide a date.
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Demand for removal of VC reiterated
Hyderabad: President Sindh University Teachers
Association (SUTA) Azhar Ali Shah has urged President Asif Ali Zardari
and the Chancellor of the University of Sindh, Dr. Irshatul Ibad, to
remove Vice Chancellor of the Sindh University, Dr.Nazir Mughal, and
order an independent inquiry against him.
In his letter he traced history of crisis surrounding the campus and
said that it was because of VC's maladministration, mismanagement and
corruption that sparked violence at the campus.
Overwhelming majority of Suta members, he said, had expressed lack of
confidence in him and demanded his resignation after murder of Prof
Bashir A Channar on January 2 in the campus. When he declined, teachers
observed indefinite strike and this demand was endorsed by Sindh Chapter
of Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association
He said that Nazir Mughal was sent on forced leave on Feb 21 which
was appreciated by FAPUASA and academic activities were restored.
But, he said, Mr Nazir Mughal rejoined on June 4 after four months,
along with guards and forcefully entered into the administration block
and occupied VC's seat.
He accused the VC of spreading disinformation aimed at character
assassination of SUTA leadership and went on to such an extent that
three female leaders and activists were harassed with murderous attack
while returning from Karachi.
Suta, he said, was continuing peaceful protests against Mr Mughal and
demanding his removal. Strangely, after release of Suta's white paper
against the VC, Pir Mazharul Haq issued threats to SUTA leadership which
showed that the protest could take a different turn once vacation is over. Dawn
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Funds for 8,000 ghost schools stopped
Islamabad: The lifeline for the highly controversial federal government education
project worth over Rs8 billion, the Basic Education Community Schools
(BECS), which feeds more than 8,000 ghost schools, is being cut as the
Planning Commission has linked further funding with the condition that
only real schools and actual teachers will be paid from the public
An office memorandum issued by the Planning
Commission on July 26, 2012 sets the following three conditions for the
release of Rs1 billion for the project component such as salaries,
operational and administrative expenses up to June 2013: (i) The
ministry of professional & technical training may ensure that
payment is made on basis of actual/existing schools and staff; (ii)
Implementation of recommendations of the inquiry report prepared by the
member (Infra), Planning Commission may be ensured; and (iii) A
fact-finding/scrutiny committee may be established to probe the reports
of gross financial irregularities appearing in the national press
regarding payment to ghost teachers. The News recently unearthed the
scam of 8000 ghost schools following which the government has now sprung
into action to pre-empt further wastage of public money in the name of
education for the poor.
Member Planning Commission,
Mohayyuddin Marri, whose inquiry report had contributed to expose the
serious corruption in the project, told this correspondent on Wednesday
that if the authorities want to run the project then they would have to
carry out third party validation to ensure that public money is not
wasted on ghost schools anymore.
Of total almost 13,000
schools all over Pakistan more than half are feared to be the ghost
schools as the authorities admit that 2,000 ghost schools were
identified only when Nadra could not verify the ID cards of 2,000 ghost
teachers of these schools.
Under BECS community schools
are set up by the community in their houses. The BECS provides Rs3000,
Rs4000 and Rs4500 per month to teachers who are matriculate,
intermediate and graduate respectively with Rs1,000 additional given to
each of these school for electricity charges.
these community schools was supposed to have a minimum of 30 students
and were designed to impart education from class I to V. In many
schools, which were running for the last four five years, they do have
students in class I, II and III but not in IV and V, which means these
schools were run on only official files.
There has been
no reliable monitoring system to assess the working of these schools as
some NGOs were asked to do the supervision of these schools.
like many in the government, insists that such NGOs also pocketed money
instead of doing the work assigned to them. A sum of Rs5.4 billion has
already been spent on this project, which requires a little over Rs2
billion more for the next two years for which the National Education
Foundation is seeking more funds but the Planning Commission has now
awakened to secure, at least for the future, the public money going down
the drain. The news
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