Education under attack 2010
UNSC's intervention proposed to stop attacks on education
Islamabad, Jan 13: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO), in a new report Friday, argued that attacks on education,
which have seen a steep rise in four countries, should be a trigger for
Security Council intervention in an effort to put an end to them.
four countries, where the attacks on schools, teachers and students
have increased dramatically, are: Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and
The report, 'Education under Attack 2010', said the
15-member council's involvement could come through its monitoring and
reporting mechanism on children in armed conflict, on par with action
now being taken to combat child soldiering.
The study recommended
that investigations be launched by the International Criminal Court
against high profile attackers as a deterrent, it said.
report's other findings, he said it contained descriptions of attacks
on students, such as the forced recruitment of child soldiers in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo. It also discussed instances of sexual
violence against children at school, or on their way to school.
UNESCO report said the motives for attacks varied widely, from
preventing the education of girls or knowledge of an alien culture,
philosophy or ethnic identity to undermining government power and
taking revenge for civilian killings.
"In some circumstances and in
some countries ... going to school is a life-threatening activity,"
Mark Richmond, a senior education official at UNESCO said at a news
conference launching the report. "It is not mindless violence. It is
calculated and deliberate violence. It is designed to stop education."
report found attacks on education in a greater number of countries than
the first global study in 2007 which named Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq,
Nepal, the Palestinian territories, Thailand and Zimbabwe as some of
"the worst-affected countries."
The latest report cited incidents in 32 countries and said "attacks
intensified dramatically in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Thailand."
thing is very clear - this problem is not going away," Richmond said.
"There are ups and downs in terms of which countries are affected, the
intensity of the attacks, the severity of the injuries and the damage
being done. But there are new examples and there are more countries."
to figures from the U.N. children's agency UNICEF cited in the report,
the number of attacks on schools, students and staff nearly tripled in
Afghanistan from 2007 to 2008, from 242 to 670.
In Pakistan's Swat
District, at the center of the battle between the army and the Taliban,
UNESCO said local officials reported that 356 schools were
In India, nearly 300 schools were reportedly
blown up by Maoist rebels between 2006 and 2009, according to the report.
in Thailand, it said the number of attacks on schools quadrupled
between 2006 and 2007 to 164, but fell back in 2008 though killings of
teachers, students and security escorts for teachers
Attacks on teachers and students continue
to be a matter of "grave concern," the report said.
example, in Iraq, 71 academics, two education officials and 37 students
were killed in assassinations and targeted bombings between 2007 and
2009, and in Colombia, 90 teachers were murdered from 2006 to 2008,
UNESCO said two short military operations also took a heavy toll. During
the Georgian-Russian war in South Ossetia in August 2008, it said 127
education institutions were destroyed or damaged, and during the
three-week deadly Israeli bombing in Gaza in 2008-2009, more than 300
kindergarten, school and university buildings were damaged.
UNESCO report said many attacks occurred "in conflict-affected
countries or under regimes with a poor record on human rights and
From 2007 to 2009, it said, "state forces or
state-backed forces have either beaten, arrested, tortured, threatened
with murder or shot dead students, teachers, and/or academics in
Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Honduras,
Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, Zambia
The 248-page report, "Education Under Attack 2010,"
calls for stepped up measures to prevent attacks including armed guards
at schools and armed escorts to and from school. It also calls for the
prosecution of those responsible for attacks and international action
to promote respect for all educational institutions "as sanctuaries and
zones of peace."
"Without education in safety and security,"
Richmond said, "the very possibility of building and rebuilding stable
socieities will be prevented - and that is happening."
future attacks hinges on understanding their motives, the report
stressed, even though analysis is impeded by factors including limited
quality monitoring and reporting and the suppression of information in
situations where perpetrators are repressive regimes.
called for involving communities in the running and defence of schools
and for renegotiating the re-opening of schools, based on research and
a successful program in Afghanistan.
Community initiatives have been
encouraged in the Asian nation since 2006 to mobilize people to deter
or resist attacks, with school protection shura, or councils, having
been set up.
The report also recommended protective measures such as
providing armed groups at schools or for aiding in transportation to or
from school and providing distance learning if schools were deemed
unsafe. The nation
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FDE teachers paying house rents from their pockets
Islamabad: Already overburdened by price-hike, teachers and administrative staff working
under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) were left with no
option but to pay monthly rent of hired houses from their pockets due
to non-availability of funds.
It has been learnt that the
situation would get more serious in the months to come as the Finance
Division had also regretted to release a supplementary grant of Rs200
The FDE sources said that it currently
dealing with nearly 5,000 hiring cases to accommodate those a budget to
the tune of Rs540 million is required whereas only Rs193 million were
allocated for the ongoing financial year.
However, the FDE had
been able to pay monthly hiring to only 2,100 employees while nearly
2,800 are still on the waiting list. "We have also moved a case for
re-appropriation of Rs350 million to facilitate the pending hiring
cases," an official of FDE said. The official informed that all the
fresh hiring cases have been put on hold after placing those on the
waiting list. The number of applicants who want hiring facility has
also surged to over 1500.
The sources further said that around
1,800 teachers and administrative staff had received monthly hiring
till December 31, 2009 while over 300 teachers have not been release a
single penny for the last one and a half years.
A large number
of teachers who approached this correspondent said how they could teach
students with peace of mind when they have to pay whole rent of hired
houses from their pocket. "We have to avail short leave from schools
and colleges to follow their cases pending with Estate Wing of the
directorate," they said.
They threatened to hold protest in
front of FDE and Parliament House if their grievances were not removed.
"We will also go on indefinite strike," they said.
they are demonstrating patience only because annual examinations in
schools are approaching near and they think that students would suffer.
demanded of the government to pay their rental ceiling along with their
monthly salaries, which is the best solution of the problem. They also
quoted an example of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) where
employees from BPS-1 to 16 have started receiving rental ceiling with
their monthly salaries.
The sources said that some teachers have
also approached the Supreme Court of Pakistan for redressal of their
problems. Taking notice of the situation, the Human Rights Cell had
directed the FDE to submit reply.
"We have submitted reply to
the human rights cell telling them that the issue will be resolved once
the rental ceiling is paid along with salaries or required budget is
released to the directorate," an official said.
FDE Dr. Shahnaz Akhtar when contacted said the directorate has not been
able to entertain all the hiring cases because of large number of
employees. She said they have proposed the government to pay rental
ceiling along with their salaries.
The Estate Wing in FDE headed
by a director was created in 2005 following federal government's
decision to decentralise hiring facility from Estate Office of Ministry
of Housing and Works to the concerned departments. Since then the
directorate has been facing shortfall of funds to pay monthly ceiling
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IBMS teachers launch complete boycott of classes
Peshawar: The teachers of Institute of Business and Management
Sciences, NWFP Agricultural University Peshawar, started boycott of
classes and protest movement on Friday and pledged to continue it till
acceptance of their demands.
teachers started the protest drive three days back with two hours token
boycott of the classes daily and staging protests on the premises of
The administration of the university, however,
remained unmoved. The university administration claimed that it had
revised the salary package of the teachers. But the teachers were of
the opinion that minimum increase had been made in their salaries,
which they had already rejected before going on strike.
protesting teachers said that some 5,500 students were enrolled in the
institute with 104 teachers. They said wages being given to the
teachers were low. They said the institute was earning hefty revenues
for the university, but the teachers were not given proper salaries.
They demanded that they should be given salaries at par with those
drawn by the teachers of Institute of Management Sciences Hayatabad.
teachers said that before starting their protest movement, they held
talks with the university administration, but their demands were turned
They assailed the university administration for its
indifferent attitude. "The administration instead of accepting our
demands is threatening us with a severe action. It is due to the
threatening behaviour of the university administration that we are
launching our protest drive and boycotting classes," said an
office-bearer of IMBS teachers association.
He said the university
administration had also called police to pressure them to call off the
strike but it won't deter them. The news
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NUML 'resolved' issue
Islamabad: National Assembly's Standing Committee on Education is
likely to write a letter to President Zardari who is also the
Chancellor of National University of Modern Languages (NUML) to inquire
into the incident of thrashing of a lecturer by the university
The committee, which is likely to meet on February 25
after the current National Assembly session is prorogued, would discuss
the issue though, apparently, the issue is resolved after the
resignation of Brig (R) Obaidullah Ranjha yet the committee does not
think it sufficient and would pursue the matter further.
beating of a lecturer, Tahir Malik by NUML Registrar Brig (R)
Obaidullah Ranjha over a petty issue had sparked protests at the campus
which later compelled the registrar to resign. The committee has also
asked the university to present a report of the incident.
Ali of PML-N, the Chairman of the committee informed "The committee has
also summoned the Interior Minister Rehman Malik as he has played a
role in the matter. All the people concerned would be required to give
their opinion of the issue and the president in his capacity as
Chancellor is also answerable to the committee for all the illegalities
going on at the campus."
Besides the NUML issue, the committee would
discuss the compulsory school attendance bill to make primary level
education compulsory in all the provinces as currently, three provinces
have been following the bill but in Balochistan it is not being
The committee would also review the role of Private
Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA), which regulates
private schools and issues of teachers working there. The nation
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Islamabad: All 'madrassa' students are not suicide bombers but every suicide bomber
hails from a 'madrassa', said Dr. Fouzia Saeed, head of Mehargarh.
was speaking at a discussion on 'Women's perspective on militancy,
security and fundamental rights and role of women in peace-building'
organised by the Insani Haqooq Ittehad at the Sustainable Development
Policy Institute here on Friday. The discussion was arranged in
connection with National Women's Day.
National Women's Day is
observed to commemorate the brutal and violent attack against a
peaceful demonstration organised by Women's Action Forum at Regal
Chowk, Lahore, by state agencies on February 12, 1983, injuring dozens
of participants, including Habib Jalib, Bushra Aitzaz, Aitzaz Ahsan,
Nasreen Azhar, Asma Jahangir and Hina Jilani.
Talking about the
role of 'madrassas' in terrorism, Dr. Fouzia Saeed said that Islamabad
has 305 'madrassas'. She said that keeping in view the economic
background of the capital residents, the city does not have so many
parents who would be forced to send their children to seminaries due to
She said that people from far-flung areas like Kohat and Bannu join 'madrassas'.
said that the ideology of militancy uses 'madrassas' as breeding
grounds for extremists, militants and suicide bombers. She called for
an in-depth analysis of the role of 'madrassas' in spreading violence.
She observed that seminaries are established at any place found unused,
including greenbelts. She referred to Islamabad's master plan, which
envisaged only one mosque in a sub-sector and one at the 'markaz' of a
sector but religious institutions were violating the master plan openly
right under the nose of civic bodies and law enforcement agencies.
Bari said that 'madrassas' were being built along highways, including
GT Road, and seminary students could take over roads whenever they
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Riphah TiE seminar
Islamabad: Riphah International University (RIU) in collaboration with the Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE)
would hold a seminar on 'Creating a Culture of Innovation in Companies'
here today (Saturday).
The seminar is aimed at providing a roadmap for
the organisations operating here including academia and corporations to
create culture of innovation with an entrepreneurial mind-set. The
seminar would discuss the education of the knowledge workers and the
academia's role in this regard.
Advisor to the Prime Minister on
Information Technology and Telecom Latif Khan Khosa would be the chief
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UoP post appointment
Peshawar: A local court here Friday stayed appointment against the post
of assistant professor at the Institute of Education and Research
(IER), University of Peshawar (UoP) till further orders in the case.
court of civil judge Faryal Zia Mufti directed the defendants including
the University of Peshawar not to place recommendations of the
selection board for the post before the university syndicate.
the court issued notices to all the defendants including the selection
board and university syndicate to explain their position in the case.
The court was taking up a suit filed by a lecturer of IER, Muhammad
Rauf, through Barrister Adnan Saboor Rohaila, wherein he contended that
he joined the University of Peshawar in 1995 and as per old criterion
he attained eligibility to become an assistant professor in 2001.
However, he said the posts were advertised in August 2008. He said that
being eligible for the post, he applied for the job, adding that while
the interview was yet to be conducted, he came to know in January 2010
the scrutiny committee declared another candidate Dr Aqal Zaman, a PhD
in Botany, eligible for the post against the normal practice
The plaintiff said he filed an objection
petition/review on January 25 against the
of scrutiny committee. He said that instead of reviewing the
eligibility or deciding the application, call letters were issued on
January 30 asking the aspirants to attend the interview on February 10.
petitioner prayed for an order to maintain status quo "as the selection
board has conducted interview associating an ineligible candidate."
Besides, he requested the court that any recommendation shall be stayed
to be tabled before the University of Peshawar syndicate which was due
to meet on February 13 (today). The news
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