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Schools Ashura holidays | KU teachers

Many schools to observe holiday today
Karachi, Dec 15: Indecisiveness on the part of the Sindh government whether schools of the city will remain closed or not on Wednesday has not only created confusion among parents but also forced the management of a number of private schools to keep their institutions closed on Wednesday in view of strict security measures taken by the law-enforcement agencies all around the route of main Ashura procession.

A large number of parents made frantic calls to newspaper offices to know whether the government had announced holiday for schools and colleges on Wednesday. However, when they were informed that no such announcement had been made, they asked as to how they would be able to send their wards to schools, particularly those located on either side of the M. A. Jinnah Road, as the law-enforcers had already started placing heavy containers at various intersections.

However, repeated attempts to contact senior officials of the education department, including Education Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, to know whether the educational institutions of the city in general and the former district South in particular, where strict security measures had been taken to ward off any untoward incident, would be closed did not bear fruits.

No decision about winter vacations

The Sindh government has so far failed to take any decision concerning forthcoming winter vacations although a summary whereby the provincial education department had recommended that the winter vacations, which are normally observed from Dec 22 to Dec 31, be curtailed from 10 days to three days, had been lying in the provincial chief secretary's secretariat for the last two months for approval.

The Sindh education department had recommended to the chief minister to curtail the number of winter vacations from 10 to three.

Meanwhile, sources in the education department said that if the summary whereby the education department had sought a cut in the number of winter vacations was not approved by the chief minister by Wednesday, the earlier decision of the department's steering committee, according to which the winter vacations are to be observed from Dec 22 to 31, would prevail.

If the winter vacations in the schools and colleges of the province are observed in the light of the steering committee's earlier decision, the number of winter holidays, this year, would not be 10 days but 12 days as Jan 1 and 2, 2011, are falling on Saturday and Sunday.

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KU teachers to continue exam boycott
Karachi: The Karachi University Teachers Society (Kuts) on Tuesday announced its decision to continue their boycott of exams until the university administration took measures to improve security on the campus.

Kuts executive council in a meeting held on Tuesday rejected the KU administration's 'unilateral decision' of resuming the semester exams from Dec 20 and demanded that the administration must take the society into confidence over security measures.

"How could the administration decide to resume exams when it hasn't taken any measures to improve the security situation on the campus?" members argued at the meeting, which was presided over by Kuts president Dr Abid Husnain.

A copy of the resolution passed by Kuts last month was produced at the meeting when members said that the society had already expressed their concerns over the situation before the start of the semester exams.

The resolution said: "Teachers on the campus are extremely concerned over their safety and dignity as the semester exams commence. The past incidents of harassment and exertion of political influence have made it amply clear that the university lacks a security system. Therefore, teachers have decided that they will not start any examination work till the administration ensures that they will not have to face any pressure from any quarters and that it will protect them from criminal activities. Teachers will stop working if any untoward incident occurred during the exams. It's the administration's responsibility to effectively warn students regarding the repercussions - which include expulsion from the university - of violating the campus discipline. The general body meeting also expresses its concern over the increasing incidents of thefts, robberies and hooliganism on the campus and urges the vice-chancellor to take personal interest in the matter and help improve the situation in the university."

It is worth-mentioning here that Kuts had announced an indefinite boycott of exams after violence involving student groups on the campus last week. Six students were injured and a teacher was slightly hurt during a clash between members of the People's Student Federation (PSF) and the Imamia Student Organisation (ISO).

The KU administration postponed the semester exams till Dec 19. Currently, external exams are going on with the cooperation of college teachers.

Student groups meet

According to a KU press release issued on Tuesday, PSF and ISO have regretted the last week's violent episode on the campus and promised not to become part of any conflict in the university in future.

It said that representatives of the two groups expressed the resolve at a meeting organised by the KU student adviser and members of the students' advisory council.

They held out the assurance that they would not let any 'personal dispute' to lead to a conflict between parties next time, and also pledged that they would submit their complaints, if any, in writing in the student adviser office and accept the decision taken by the student advisory council.

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Lecturers' list sought to detect fake appointments
Karachi: Sindh Director-General (Colleges) Prof Nasir Ansar has sought a complete list of lecturers appointed during the last three years from all the five regional directorate of colleges so as to detect fake appointments.

A spokesman for the provincial directorate-general (colleges), M Afzal said that the need for undertaking such an exercise was felt following the recent detection of 11 fake lecturers' appointments belonging to all the five regional directorates.

He said that all the regional directors (colleges) had been asked to send within a week a complete list of all those college teachers appointed in their respective regions to the office of the directorate-general so as to ascertain whether all these recruitments were made in the light of the Sindh Public Service Commission's recommendations or not.

About the 11 fake college teachers who were posted at different colleges and drawing salaries since September this year, he said that the department concerned had been asked to stop their salaries.

The issue was also brought into the notice of the Sindh education minister and the education secretary for initiating a legal action against all those who had managed to get themselves appointed as lecturers through fraudulent means but also against those officials responsible for such illegal induction.

According to him, the cases of 11 fake lecturers were detected when their names were not found among those recommended by the SPSC.

Of the 11 fake lecturers, five were posted in the colleges of Karachi region, two each in the colleges of Larkana and Sukkur regions and one each in the colleges of Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas regions.

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Disruption of SU semester exam slated
Hyderabad: The Sindh University authorities have expressed their concern over disruption of scheduled examinations, a few days ago, due to stopping of point buses by student wings of different political parties

A statement issued by the university on Tuesday revealed that some student wings of political parties disrupted the scheduled semester examinations by forcibly stopping point buses of different routes and held back students living in hostels, from appearing in the examinations. These students, it further stated, were demanding admissions on merit seats which university authorities are unable to fulfil as it was illegal.

It further clarified that the university can consider admissions on merit basis which has already been communicated to student wings. A transparent system for admissions is in vogue and result of pre-entry test were posted on the website the same day and also displayed on notice boards at the Main Campus and Old Campus.

The University authorities have appealed to friends of education, representatives of civil society, scholars, intellectuals and media to intervene and avoid loss to students.

Meanwhile, the ongoing semester examinations of the university were held in a peaceful manner on Tuesday. Dawn

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