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Pakistan's medium of instruction | PU hostel

Medium of instruction a riddle
Lahore, Dec 17: Pakistan is, perhaps, the only country on the face of the earth where those at the helm are still "striving" to solve the riddle whether English or Urdu should be the medium of instruction (MoI) at the public schools.

The same seems to be solved by the private schools especially those run by few powerful families and thus they are successful in winning individuals, who despite being "fleeced" prefer private schools over those (mis)managed by the government.

It seems it suddenly dawned on the PML-N government of Punjab in 2009 that English was the best medium of instruction for schoolchildren. Consequently, kingly orders were passed to introduce English as MoI in government schools in a phased manner.

In the first phase with the start of the new academic session in April 2010, all the government schools of three districts, Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan, followed English as MoI for the subjects of Science and Mathematics only. Today every government school in the province is following this MoI policy with increased number of subjects from grade-1 onwards. But now, all of a sudden, as a major policy shift, the same government has decided (of course, in the best interest of the nation!) to adopt Urdu as a medium of instruction from grade-1 to grade-3 with English as a compulsory subject side by side. God knows where this policy shift was discussed and who the "well-wishers" of the masses are but this decision was announced by Punjab Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan in a meeting with the Chief Executive of the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), Michael O'Sullivan last week.

This is entirely a separate debate that, experts however, always recommend schooling especially at primary level in the mother tongue, or at least national language, while terming it quite helpful in the learning process of children. The government is always criticised for not taking stakeholders onboard and this seems quite true this time as well. There is growing perception among the stakeholders that such unilateral policies are introduced by the big heads in government while keeping in mind the donor agencies or in other words, the donor agencies shape our policies! According to this perception, the bureaucracy once sure of available foreign funding, shapes the policies accordingly no matter what the common people need or demand. By taking stock of the situation in the education sector, this seems true to some extent as well. Over the years, general public has been demanding the government to introduce a regulatory body with a mandate to regulate and monitor affairs of the private schools. This demand is the need of the hour especially keeping in view the mushroom growth and the unbridled working of the private schools, but to no avail. One wonders as to why those at the helm are shy of addressing this very serious and genuine concern of the masses. This apathy on the part of the government raises doubts and that's why many believe that government would always be reluctant to regulate private schools since major players in private sector are either politicians or their family members.

Academic circles are of the view the government should refrain from introducing policies without input of stakeholders and should take decisions which are truly in the best interest of the masses. They also suggest consistency in the policies and their effective implementation. The news

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'2,000 doctors doing FCPS to be posted at new teaching hospitals'
Lahore: Adviser to the Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique said that a decision has been made to post 2,000 recently selected doctors who are doing their FCPS at hospitals affiliated with new medical colleges.

The new teaching hospitals are district headquarters (DHQ) hospitals of Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Sargodha, DG Khan, Sahiwal and Rahim Yar Khan. These hospitals have been given a status of teaching institutions and attached to the newly established medical colleges.

Salman Rafique was talking to a joint delegation of the office-bearers of the Pakistan Medical Association (Punjab), the General Cadre Doctors and the Young Doctors Association.

Health Special Secretary Babar Hayat Tarar, who was also present at the meeting, informed the participants that the next two months would be spent only on the promotion cases of doctors to the next grade. He said that during the period from December 21 to December 31, Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) meetings would be held on a daily basis, except on holidays, for the promotion of doctors.

The meeting decided that doctors who were regularised in 2009-10 should be directed to submit their complete ACRs to the Health Department by December 20 so that they could be promoted to the next grade. The meeting also decided that such doctors who had completed 12 years of regular service in grade 17/18 should be also directed to provide their ACRs to the Health Department by December 20 for promotion to BS-19.

Salman Rafique said the government was resolving the problems of doctors on a priority basis and complete implementation on the agreements made with doctors' associations was being ensured. app

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JI activists evicted from PU hostel
Lahore: Punjab University's Hall Council administration on Monday morning inspected varsity's Hostel No. 1 and got vacated rooms illegally possessed by activists of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT).

According to a PU spokesperson, the administration got vacated IJT's two offices set up at Master Box and Study Room of the hostel. The administration recovered flags of a religious political party, IJT literature, fax machine, cables and other office material. The administration also nabbed three students residing illegally under the shelter of IJT.

The administration has allotted the rooms to 15 students. The spokesman said the incident had again brought out the hypocrisy of Jamiat which was illegally occupying some rooms and confiscating the right of genuine allottees.

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13 IJT activists set free in bus torching case
Lahore: An anti-terrorism court on Monday acquitted thirteen students of Punjab University affiliated with Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) allegedly involved in setting a bus on fire.

The court has acquitted students after their identification parade. The identification parade held in jail where bus driver and conductor recorded their statements stating that arrested students were not involved in setting the bus on fire.

Punjab police had arrested 21 Punjab University students affiliated with IJT for thrashing a university teacher. These arrests had sparked violent protests by IJT activists.

As many as 21 students belonging to the IJT accused of creating ruckus were arrested during the raid on the hostel. According to police and university administration, bottles of alcohol, Bhang (drink made from cannabis leaves) and bullets were recovered from Room 345 which was allotted to Rao Adnan, Nazim of the student organization. The students were accused of interfering with state affairs and setting a bus on fire and were booked in nine different cases.

Meanwhile, Punjab University's Hall Council administration on Monday morning inspected varsity's Hostel No. 1 and got vacated rooms illegally possessed by activists of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT).

According to a PU spokesperson, the administration got vacated IJT's two offices set up at Master Box and Study Room of the hostel. The administration recovered flags of a religious political party, IJT literature, fax machine, cables and other office material.

The administration also nabbed three students residing illegally under the shelter of IJT. The administration has allotted the rooms to 15 students.

The spokesman said the incident had again brought out the hypocrisy of Jamiat which was illegally occupying some rooms and confiscating the right of genuine allottees.

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PU date-sheets
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) has issued written date sheets for the BS four-year programme fourth and sixth semester examinations 2013. The details are available at the university website www.pu.edu.pk. The news

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Teachers hired without merit behind PU problems: VC
Lahore: Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has said that the teachers who were recruited on the basis of their affiliation with a specific group and a political party were the core reason behind all the problems being faced by the university.

He was addressing certificate distribution ceremony of fourth batch of Staff Development Training Programme at Centre for Clinical Psychology's (CCP) new building. CCP Director Prof Dr Rukhsana Kausar, Director Planning and Development Tariq Majeed Qureshi, Shazia Khalid, faculty members and a large number of administrative officers were present on the occasion.

Dr Mujahid Kamran said there was a monopoly of a political party in university affairs and resultantly some people who could not be admitted even as student on merit were recruited as teachers and got promotions and important slots.

Highlighting the need to improve skills of administrative staff, he said that the incumbent PU administration realised for the first time the importance of training of administrative staff and organised training courses for them. He advised the officers to find pleasure and happiness in resolving others' problems. The administrative officers thanked PU VC for providing them with an opportunity to improve their skills. Daily times

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