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Schools poor security | FAPUASA black day

Only 28pc girl schools have proper security
Islamabad, Dec 18: Majority of the middle schools for girls in the country lack proper security arrangements, a survey conducted by a group of 30 civil society organisations showed.

Fafen Education Institution Monitor closely observed 106 girl middle schools across Pakistan during October 2010 and deplored that despite tall claims the government had not provided foolproof security to the educational institutions in the face of terrorist threats and attacks on girl schools.

During the survey it was found that 72 per cent of the girl schools – 100 per cent in Balochistan, 73 per cent in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and 63 per cent in the Punjab – were without security.

Fafen visited 43 girls' middle schools in 28 districts of Punjab, 26 schools in 17 districts of KP, nine schools in as many districts in Balochistan, 26 in 17 districts of Sindh and one school each in a Fata agency and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to monitor the state of physical infrastructure, attendance of teachers and students, staffing, facilities and funds.

It was found that though the schools were maintaining rudimentary physical infrastructure, a significant proportion of schools were without proper buildings, furniture, required facilities for staff and students and recreational services.

As many as 48 per cent schools had no staff room for teachers and 45 per cent schools lacked required furniture in classrooms. The facility of clean drinking water for the students was also not available in 38 per cent of the monitored schools across the country.

The survey findings said the situation was worst in Sindh where 54 per cent of the schools lacked clean drinking water, followed by 44 per cent schools in Balochistan.

Half of the schools were without playground–56 per cent schools in Balochistan, 54 per cent in KP, 50 per cent in Sindh and 47 per cent in the Punjab.

On average, 15 per cent of the teaching posts and 13 per cent non-teaching posts in the girls' middle schools were vacant.

The data suggested that one teacher was available for 27 students on average. However, lower ratio was seen in Balochistan, where a teacher was available for every 43 students. Nationwide, 68 per cent monitored schools reported maximum (76 to 100 per cent) teacher attendance on the day of monitoring. Around 71 per cent schools reported maximum student attendance.

Interestingly, more than 83 per cent of the girls' middle schools of the country declined to share budgetary details with Fafen.

No school in Balochistan, Fata and ICT shared budgetary information.

According to budgetary details provided by 18 observed schools nationwide, the government spends Rs3,943 on each student of the schools. In KP per student spending is Rs5,965, followed by Punjab and Sindh where Rs3,791 and Rs2,379 were available to be spent on each enrolled student, respectively. Dawn

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FAPUASA to observe black day on 21st
Islamabad: The Federation of All Pakistan Academic Staff Associations has decided to observe a black day in all the public-sector universities on Dec 21 across the country.

The announcement to observe black day was released after an executive committee meeting of FAPUASA held in the Law College Hall of University of Peshawar on Tuesday. Prof Mahr Saeed Akhtar, President of the Federation, was in the chair.

Prof Kaleemullah Breach, Secretary of FAPUASA, said that teachers would hang banners, posters, black buntings and wear black armbands. He said that a protest camp would be set up in the Peshawar University on the occasion. He said if the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government did not restore the 1974 University Act, the federation would launch a countrywide protest campaign.

Among others, Prof Zahid Majeed (Vice-President FAPUASA), Prof Kaleemullah Breach, Secretary FAPUASA, Prof Fida Muhammad (President Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter), Prof Badar Soomro (President, Sindh chapter) and Prof Zafar Noon (President Punjab chapter) attended the meeting.

Under the new law passed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, the number of six elected professors in syndicate of a university was reduced to zero and this executive organ of the universities was downgraded to a debating forum.

Most of the powers of existing syndicate stand shifted to a new 21-member Senate, which will have only two professors who will not be elected but nominated by the vice-chancellors of the respective universities. The law is operative for all universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The FAPUASA meeting took a strong exception to "anti-education Governor Owais Ghani" and rejecting all the amendments to the UoP Act of 1974 under MUO, demanded Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti to repeal all the amendments enacted by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on December 6.

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Seminar on teachers training assessment held
Islamabad: The Learning Innovation Division, Higher Education Commission (HEC), organised a one-day seminar on 'Impact of Various Assessment Tools on Teacher's Training Assessment' at its secretariat.

The seminar was a part of the impact assessment module development process for semester examination system. More than 70 participants, including examination staff and faculty members of public sector universities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, attended the seminar. Professor Dr. Norman of the Reid University of Glasgow, UK, was the keynote speaker.

The HEC has approved the policy guidelines on semester examination system and the same had been circulated to higher education institutions on December 4, 2008 for implementation.

It was emphasised that there is a need to revitalise the existing examination system by implementation of innovative techniques of assessment learnt by quality forums. Dr. Riaz Hussain Qureshi, Adviser (HRD) HEC presented a shield and a certificate to Dr. Reid.

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IIU students bag first position on video documentary
Islamabad: The video documentary titled 'Pass Roti Na Ho To Khilonay Se Kia' prepared by the students of International Islamic University (IIU) got first position in a conference on media students' research on child labour.

The conference was organised under the project 'Activating Media to Combat Worst Forms of Child Labour'. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in collaboration with Government of Norway is implementing the project through International Labour Organisation (ILO). Norwegian Ambassador Terje Barstad was the chief guest on the occasion.

Students from Mass Communication departments of three universities of the twin cities participated in the conference where they screened their documentaries before a five-member panel of experts, headed by Jamal Shah - an artist, actor and founder of Huner Kada Institute. Other members included Usman Khalid, Anam Abbas, Shehryar Mufti and Saifullah Chaudhry. As many as 34 students under the supervision of their respective faculty of three universities including Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU), International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) and Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) participated in the project. The students produced eight documentaries depicting the miseries of the children who are engaged in different forms of labour.

Country Director, ILO Pakistan, Donglin Li, Director General Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Muhammad Azam, Joint Secretary Ministry of Labour and Manpower Mustafain Kazmi, Deputy Managing Director Pakistan Television Corporation Shahid Nadeem and Senior Programme Officer, ILO Pakistan Muhammad Saifullah Chaudhry also attended the event along with the students and faculty members.

The Norwegian Ambassador Terje Barstad said the constitution of Pakistan prohibits child labour and the country has ratified ILO Conventions 138 and 182 on child labour and has also enacted legislations. "However, social transformation is needed to wipe out the problem of child labour from the country. In this regard the role of print and electronic media in Pakistan is of extreme importance".

Talking about the project, he said it is now completing its second phase on December 31. He appreciated the ILO participation in engaging mass communication students to highlight the issue of Worst Forms of Child Labour.

Country Director ILO Donglin Li said that globally there are various conventions available that highlight the need to protect the rights of children. The convention on the Rights of Children was unanimously adopted by the forty-fourth UN General Embassy in 1989. The ILO convention 138th on Minimum Age has been ratified by 154 member countries. He said ILO technical support to the government has resulted in the formulation of National Policy on Child Labour. And due to recent technical inputs into the newly developed national education policy 2009, it now articulates the need to initiate large-scale education programme to rehabilitate child labourers, both boys and girls, through the introduction of special education in government schools.

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Commemorative tickets on IIU silver jubilee issued
Islamabad: After approval of the Prime Minister, Pakistan Post (PP) has issued commemorative tickets on the occasion of silver jubilee of International Islamic University (IIU).

Pakistan Post (PP) Additional Director General (ADG Operation) Fazli Sattar and President IIU, Dr. Anwar Hassan Saddique also inaugurated the sale counter here at the university campus. Fazli Sattar addressing on the occasion said that it is a great occasion for Pakistan Post to issue commemorative tickets on completion of 25 years of the university successfully.

He said that this ticket is like a mobile ambassador, which will project the message of services to the nation by the university within the country and abroad. He said that basically Pakistan Post issue the tickets on 50 or 100 years completion but for great educational institutions, the PP issued the tickets on the completion 25 years.

He said that 0.5 million tickets were issued and he hoped that every student must buy the ticket and keep it by those who have a hobby of collecting commemorative tickets. Fazli Sattar further said that Pakistan Post will further extend the network of services for their customers in the country.

He said that Pakistan Post will also establish their branch in IIUI soon. The University has promised to buy more than 200,000 tickets monthly.

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Beaconhouse team wins trophy
Islamabad: The Beaconhouse Robotics Society at Margalla Campus A Level Branch organised an exciting Robo-Wars 10, a tech-fest blend of scientific creativity and intellectually simulating entertainment, says a press release issued here Wednesday.

The winning team from Beaconhouse Margalla, A Level Branch, comprised Anam Zain, Ammad Khalid, Danish bin Khalid and Abdur Rehman ,who together built a robot, which lifted its competitors off the ground. After an exhilarating semi-final and eliminating 7 other robots, their robot succeeded in emerging as the victor.

The purpose of the event was to encourage students to come up with the best possible solutions and application of scientific knowledge gained inside their classrooms. It was an exhilarating exhibition of talent on the students' part and an exhibition of strength on the robots.

Riffat Arif, Headmistress of Beaconhouse Margalla Campus, A Level, Branch said that she was proud of all students, who had displayed their technical expertise and understanding of Physics, Math and knowledge in such a practically invigorating manner.

She said that it was part of the essential Beaconhouse experience to allow students to experience the leadership skills and organisational management through these events as all activities and events are planned, implemented, managed and conducted by students with guidance and supervision by teachers.

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Beaconites raise funds for flood victims
Islamabad: A 'Bake Sale' was organised by the Community Service Society at the Beaconhouse All Girls A Level Branch in Sector F-10/3 to raise funds for flood victims, says a press release.

The event was largely attended by students of the AGAL as well as neighbouring schools including Beaconhouse, F-11 Campus, Elite International School and Westminster College.

AGAL is a part of the Beaconhouse School System. It is an exclusive all girls programme, which provides high standard education and allow girls immense freedom and ample opportunities to excel. Currently, 104 girls are getting education on the campus.

The event was a conscientious effort on part of young girls, which not only raised a generous amount for winter clothing for the flood-affected people but also created awareness among their peers. 'International Cuisine' was the theme of the event in which food stalls for different countries were set up. Students worked tirelessly to raise funds for the noble cause, which will be donated to flood victims in cash and kind.

The Beaconhouse All Girls A Level Branch's Community Service Society is working tirelessly for the cause since the calamity hit Pakistan earlier this year.

Nida Amin, head of the Community Service Society, along with the head girl, Aleena Umair, were responsible for organising the event. They were wholeheartedly supported by the entire student body to help the flood-affected population of Pakistan.

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SLS Montessori and School holds open house
Rawalpindi: An Open House was organised at the Lalkurti branch of SLS Montessori and School, showcasing the lessons learnt by the Junior and Senior Montessori students, in the form of a stage show.

The school walls displayed the art and handwork that the students have been doing throughout the term, with fine examples of vegetable printing; paper cutting and freehand drawings and along with colourful balloons hanging all over, the atmosphere was quite festive. The stage had been set up under a shamiana and it is creditable that the programme began in time - a good example to set as it is a vital lesson children must learn from an early age! Parents who came late missed out on some items that were performed in the beginning and if their children were 'acting' in them then they must have been disappointed.

Poems and nursery rhymes both in English and Urdu were sung or recited. There were a couple of dress shows with the little boys and girls proudly showing their costumes - Cinderella; the wicked witch; a clown and other nursery rhyme characters in the first lot; doctors, soldiers, pilots workmen and other working people in the second group.

The outfits showcased the gamut of the different people who live and work to make up a society. The children had learnt their lessons well and were confident while delivering their roles which must have made their parents proud. The news

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