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Medical colleges teacher-student criteria

Private medical colleges not fulfilling criteria
Lahore, Dec 21: Young Doctors Association (YDA) has pointed out that private medical/dental colleges are not fulfilling the teacher-student criteria laid down by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), therefore, these private medical colleges are a fit case for closure.

The YDA office-bearers, including Dr Rana Sohail, Dr Salman Kazmi, Dr Aslam Rao and others, said that under PMDC regulations, there should be one demonstrator for teaching 25 medical students, one assistant professor for 50 medical students, one associate professor for 100 students and one professor for 200 students. They said that the classes in these private medical colleges comprised 200 students of MBBS and 100 students of BDS which implied that most of these 26 private medical colleges in Punjab didn't have the required number of medical teachers against the criteria of the PMDC. "These private medical colleges are earning 30 crore rupees per annum without fulfilling the criteria of the PMDC," they said. They stressed the government to immediately close down these private medical colleges which were imparting inferior quality of medical/dental education to the students who would then become bane rather than boon for the society.

They also urged the PMDC to conduct regular inspections of private medical/dental colleges in order to implement its regulations to maintain a standard of quality medical/dental education in the province.

Punjab Health Department has said that the promotion cases of doctors are being disposed of speedily for filling the vacant posts of professors, associate professors and assistant professors in the medical colleges of the province.

The Health Department spokesman said that the doctors, selected by the Punjab Public Service Commission for various vacancies, were being posted in the medical colleges according to the requirement so that besides Lahore the educational activities of the medical colleges established in other cities of the province might not affect and treatment facilities could be ensured to the patients.

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Private campuses open despite holidays
Lahore: abrupt announcement of annual winter holidays has exposed mismanagement on the part of the Punjab government besides it highlighted lethargic attitude of those at the helm and absence of coordination.

The eleventh-hour move has also emphasised the need of much-awaited regulatory body for private sector educational institutions as implementation of its decision in these institutes will not be less than a challenge for the government.

The Punjab government, through a notification on 19 December, announced annual winter holidays for public and private sector schools from December 21 to 31.

The unexpected announcement perturbed students of both public and private schools as majority of the institutions were holding examinations. Secondly, the schools where no such exercise was being carried out had not prepared any plan regarding home assignments for students for the winter break.

The parents of a number of students strongly reacted against the government's hasty decision, saying that along with their kids, they were also confused as the management of schools had not announced any closure owing to exams and other issues. A citizen, whose son goes to the Lahore Literati School, Shadman, said the government announced winter vacation for private and public schools, ignoring the fact that many private schools were conducting exams these days. "The school management has not announced any holidays yet, therefore, my son will be going to school on Monday (today)," he said. A spokesman for the Beaconhouse School System, Mr Tabraiz, said the school would be observing annual winter break from December 24 as assessment tests would be starting from December21. To a question, he said the government's notification had nothing to do with private schools.

"Its meant for public schools only," he concluded. Similarly, a number of other private schools, including the Lahore Grammar School (LGS) and The City School will open as per routine on Monday, December 21.

It is pertinent to mention here that like private schools, a number of government schools in different parts of the province were also holding winter tests these days so one can imagine the confusion and disturbance faced by the students and teachers.

Punjab Govt Schools Senior Staff Association (PGSSSA) President Hafiz Abdul Nasir also believes that the government took the decision in haste. "We were expecting there will be no winter break this year as educational institutions remained closed for weeks in the recent past owing to terrorism in the country," he said.

"How the academic loss faced by the students will be recovered," he questioned. The PGSSSA president also informed that many government schools were conducting tests these days.

"If it was necessary to have holidays this year too some time must have been given to prepare students as well as teachers for the break," he maintained.

Academic circles are of the view that by taking the decision in total isolation and haste the government has in fact invited strong criticism from the stakeholders. They say that taking private institutions on board has always been a challenge for the government as there is no body to regulate affairs of the private sector educational institutions. At the same time, the stakeholders are also critical of the Punjab government for its inability to establish a controlling authority for privately-managed schools despite the passage of almost a complete one year since establishment of a committee by Chief Minster

Shahbaz Sharif in this regard. Sources in the School Education Department said the task suffered a lot as Chairman of the Chief Minister's Task Force for Elementary Education Raja Muhammad Anwar, who was convener of the committee, was overburdened since he was also working as chairman of the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF).

The sources further said that since most of the elite schools were owned by families of political leaders, it was feared the government might have been facing extreme pressure from different quarters in establishing the regulatory body which was supposed to oversee fee structure, registration, quality assurance and other aspects of private sector schools.

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Ministry of Environment, Punjab has granted a research project worth Rs 1 million to the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) under its programme of providing financial assistance to develop environmental pollution control/monitoring technologies (water treatment). According to a press statement, Dr Muhammad Atiqur Rahman, assistant professor, Environmental Science Department, LCWU, is the principal investigator for this project. Before joining the LCWU, he was working as research scientist in Tokyo Institute of Technology (TITECH), Japan. Explaining the objectives of the project, Dr Atiq said that modern GIS technology would be used for groundwater quality monitoring and hazard identification mapping in Kasur city. "The project aims at engaging civil society network and local community organizations to get their cooperation for hazard identification in the city and to pave the way for solving the issue of the provision of cleaning drinking water in Kasur," he maintained.

The Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) has appointed Dr Arif Nazir Butt, associate professor of management, as acting dean of the university's Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB). According to a press release, Dr Butt took over from Dr Shaukat Ali Brah who served as dean SDSB for two and half years.

The City School Network on Sunday organised a conference to explore the new avenues to meet the challenges in education. The theme of the conference was "Rethinking Education' in which the speakers said the 21st century education challenges were diverse and needed robust plan of action.

The main focus was given to the areas, such as, online learning (class room/learning management system), leadership and change management skills, measuring the way to success, career development and image building with a special emphasis on A-Level Program. The speakers included Dr Farzana, Mrs Mathew, Prof Arshad, Dr Umza Qureshi, Maqool Babri, Zehra Shah, Dr Dania Qazi and Jenny Rosoa.

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PU PhD degree awarded
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) has awarded a PhD degree to a student in the subject of Molecular Biology after the approval of research thesis entitled "Search for Drought Tolerant Gene by Differential Display". Asma Maqbool completed her thesis under the supervision of PU National Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB) Prof Dr Tayyab Husnain.

Meanwhile the Punjab University (PU) students won the postgraduate level of the Chief Minister's Speech Competition for Lahore district held at the Government College for Women, Wahdat Road. According to a press release, PU students Fahad Ali Kazmi and Hina Naseem achieved first and third positions respectively while in Urdu speech contest PU's Mian Faraz won second position.

Meanwile Punjab University (PU) Affiliation Committee postponed its visits to the educational institutes of Faisalabad division due to winter vacation. In a press statement, the PU spokesman said that new schedule would be announced later. The news

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Danish schools education
Lahore: Modern and fully-equipped Danish schools are being set up in the province to provide quality education to students, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Sunday.

Speaking with assembly members at the Sheikh Zayed International Airport in Rahim Yar Khan, he said the schools' standard would be at par with other prestigious educational institutions of the province. "The facilities of higher education would be available for the children of poor families free of cost," he said. He said the students of remote and backward areas had as much right to a quality education as the children of the elite class, adding the Danish schools project would not only remove disparities in the education sector, but also result in polishing the talent of the students of remote areas enabling them to play their role in national development and prosperity.

Shahbaz said the promotion of quality education was essential to achieving the goal of progress in the country, adding the government had taken "revolutionary measures" for the uplift of the education sector. He said the provincial government had completed the project of setting up IT labs in more than four thousand schools at a cost of Rs 5 billion. The CM said the government had adopted a comprehensive strategy to promote vocational education, adding that TEVTA had been reorganised and made an autonomous institution.

He said a skilled workforce was being developed to serve the country in various sectors as well as earn foreign exchange. He said the best principals and teachers would be selected for the Danish schools, adding the government was also paying attention to the provision of healthcare facilities to the masses. APP

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Interschool art exhibition
Lahore: An interschool art exhibition of O and A-levels students from the leading schools of the city was held at Royal Palm Golf and Country Club last week.

Sponsored by London Metropolitan University (LMU), the event was arranged and organised by Bilal Mukhtar. Though most of the students who participated in this competition were from business and sciences groups, their aesthetic sense and natural talent was evident from their work.

LMU Regional Manager Faisal Hasan said the event was organised to give an opportunity to students to express themselves. "This event was a platform for students to come up with their innovative ideas and give them shape in form of an art piece," he said.

Eminent artist, and Beaconhouse National University (BNU) Dean Salima Hashmi was the guest of honour and judged the works. Fatima Rehman of Lahore Grammar School (LGS) won the first prize while Mariam Siddiqui from Lahore College of Arts and Sciences (LACAS) and Rafia Ali of Beaconhouse School System shared the second prize. The third prize was awarded to Ahsan, a student of the City School. Daily times

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Seminar on swine flu
Lahore: Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, will host a seminar on swine flu to be held at AIMC Auditorium on Monday (today) at 11am. Secretary Health Anwaar Ahmed Khan will be the chief guest while Director General Health Services, Punjab, Dr Muhammad Aslam Chaudhry along with EDOs (Health) will participate in the seminar.

Modalities from prevention to diagnosis and treatment will be comprehensively addressed at the forum. A large number of consultants and healthcare providers, nurses, students, members of media, prominent lawmakers and citizens are expected to attend the colloquium. The news


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