Punjab education boards employees protest
Police crack down on employees of boards
Lahore, Feb 24: Refusing to put up with prolonged protest by employees of the
education boards in Punjab any more, the provincial administration has ordered
crackdown on those taking to the street.
The police on Tuesday arrested
scores of board employees, in some cases their kin, at Lahore and other major
stations to stamp on the protests. Employees of the eight boards have been in a
protest mode for the last two weeks to press the government for releasing grant
equal to the examination fee waiver given to the matriculation
The police also registered FIRs against board employees in some
divisional headquarters. The higher education secretary tried to create an
impression that the federation had called off the strike, though board employees
federation leaders said the strike was very much there and that any decision
would be taken on Wednesday.
Khalid Javed Niazi, who heads the Employees
Federation Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Punjab, said hundreds
of boards' employees had themselves gone to police stations to court arrest. He
said some 200 employees had gone to court arrest in Multan, but the police
detained only 10 employees.
Similarly, he said, seven employees were
arrested in Dera Ghazi Khan, three in Gujranwala, two in Lahore and one in
Mr Niazi said that the strike was
continuing and they would take a decision on Wednesday morning.
Lahore, Employees Welfare Association President Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam Gujjar,
however, said the police had arrested 70 employees across Punjab. On Monday, the
Punjab government had issued show-cause notices to 85 boards' employees who were
leading the pen-down strike after suspending work, jeopardising the conduct of
matriculation examination scheduled for March 13.Meanwhile, the Higher Education
Department continued to ensure that the staff hired from universities, colleges
and schools should reach board offices and re-start the process to hold the
examination on time.
Punjab Higher Education Secretary Ahad Khan Cheema
claimed that the Rawalpindi, Sargodha and Bahawalpur board employees had resumed
their duties. He said the government would ensure that the examinations are held
Mr Cheema said the arrested employees would be released soon
after the federation would call off the strike.
Faisalabad: The Civil
Lines police of Faisalabad arrested Education Board Welfare Association
Vice-President Rana Asghar when he was protesting outside the board, along with
A heavy police contingent was deployed outside the Board
of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Faisalabad to prevent demonstration.
The police also stopped the board employees from entering their
Gujranwala: Law enforcers raided EBWA chairman Chaudhry Bashir
Ahmad Cheema's place for his arrest in connection with the Monday midnight
strike but found him missing. They, however, picked up his son Osama, a
ninth-class student, and locked him up at the police station.
apprehended association senior vice-president Hassan Muhammad Shahzad and former
information secretary Faheem Hassani. Reports said Osama was later released on
the intervention of an SP.
Meanwhile, the Gujranwala board employees
continued their strike on the 14th consecutive day outside the board complex.
They chanted slogans against the government and demanded that "all our genuine
demands should be met".
The board administration hired the services of
schoolteachers for sending the roll number slips to matric candidates for their
Bahawalpur: The police were in action also in
Bahawalpur as they stood alert outside the BISE campus. They asked the board
employees to call off the strike.
The administration locked the offices
as the protesting employees held a meeting at the nearby agriculture
department's nursery. Later, they disappeared to avert arrests.
press release, the employees association announced that they would continue
their strike. They alleged the board authorities had disconnected their water
connections at the residential quarters.
The association president, Sajid
Ijaz said show-cause notices had been served on 12 employees besides himself.
They include secretary-general Ijaz Hussain Akhtar, deputy finance secretary
Sajjad Randhawa, Muhammad Boota, Asim Khan, Abdul Rashid, Shahid Shaheen, Khalid
Ghafoor, Yaqoob Bhatti, Khalid Ayyaz, Muhammad Kashif and Abdul Rashid
Multan: The district police took into custody scores of BISE
employees. Board's union secretary-general Malik Nisar put the figure of those
arrested at 500.
He said the police tried to arrest the union
office-bearers, but all the board employees presented themselves to the police
for arrest. The government, he said, was employing mean tactics to harass the
board employees. The protesters would, however, not budge an inch from their
Gulgasht DSP Atiqur Rehman said 210 board employees had been
brought to the police station and the DCO ordered detention of 10 of them. If
the protesters would not give assurance of ending the strike, he said, the
police would institute a case under section 188 against the remaining ones as
well and send them behind the bars.
In the meantime, the clerical staff
of colleges and universities took charge at the board office for a short time
but later joined the board employees in their protest after denying work.
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LHC dismisses pleas of sacked college principals
Lahore: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday dismissed writ petitions of different
college principals, challenging their suspension over showing poor performance
in BA/BSc exams.
Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman held in his judgment that
the writ petitions were not maintainable being premature. The court also
observed that all the petitioners had admitted that they delivered poor
performance in exams.
Previously, the court had stayed the suspension of
more than three dozen principals, including MAO College Lahore and Government
Postgraduate College TT Singh. Petitioners Prof Zafar Mohsin Pirzada and others
submitted in their separate petitions that they were not responsible for the bad
results in the examinations. They pleaded that the decline in the performance
was the result of the Punjab University's policy because their colleges were
bound to complete the syllabus of two years within 10 months.
petitioners also pointed out that the shortage of staff was also a main reason
for the poor result. Against their suspension, they took a plea that they
neither committed any negligence nor violated any terms and conditions of the
profession. Later, the Lahore High Court reserved decision on
an appeal of International Islamic University seeking equivalent certificates
from Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) for its students having diploma in
A division bench of the LHC, comprising Justice
Asad Munir and Justice Ijaz Ahmed, reserved its verdict on the intra-court
appeal filed by IIUI though its lawyer Rehanud Din Golra after hearing arguments
from both sides.
Making secretary ministry of education and secretary
IBCC as respondents the head of the Iqra Centre for Technical Education, an
affiliate institute of IIUI maintained that the LHC in its earlier decision
could not appreciate certain facts.
The university maintained that the
IBBC had decided in November 2007 to recognise the diploma in associate
engineering as equivalent to FSc pre-engineering after getting comments from
National Institute of Science and Technology and National Vocat-ional and
Technical Education Commission but withdrew its decision in July 2009.
In his argument the lawyer maintained that since the university was
authorised to introduce technical courses after thorough inspection of its
curricula and laboratories, the IBBC under the law should recognise the diploma
equivalent to certificates. If it was not recognized, 2,000 students of the
university would suffer as they could not be able to either get further
admission or jobs in other countries.
On the other hand, the IBBC
contended that the university should first get its institute affiliated with any
examination board and the examination should be conducted by the board instead
of the university. The DAE students can be given equivalence only if their
examination was conducted by a board. Dawn
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Fake UET notification
Lahore: Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, taking serious notice of the fake
notification regarding appointment of acting vice-chancellor of the University
of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore, has directed the IG Police, Punjab,
to investigate the matter and take strict action against the person
According to a handout issued on Tuesday, the governor took
notice of the issuance of a fake notification by an anonymous person having
emblem of the Governor's Secretariat to the media.
The spokesman for the
Governor's House also requested the media to verify the facts before publishing
or telecasting any misleading news.
According to the fake notification,
a UET faculty member Prof Dr Yousaf Awan was appointed the acting VC for a
period of six months.
It is pertinent to mention here that tenure of the
incumbent UET VC Lt Gen (r) Muhammad Akram Khan is going to expire on February
28, 2010. As per the tradition in practice, an acting VC is appointed till the
time the VC Search Committee finds a suitable candidate and a permanent VC is
The officials of the Punjab Higher Education Department are of the
view that appointment of the acting VC is made on advice of the chief minister
while a notification is issued by the department.
The Monday's notification had
also created unrest among the officials of the department who had termed it
illegal. The news
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PILAC Urdu speaking officer
Lahore: The Punjab government has appointed an Urdu speaking
officer – who is not at all familiar with the Punjabi language – as the head of
the Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture (PILAC), sources
Dr Liaquat Ali Niazi, the director general of PILAC, retired from
active duty last week. Although Niazi was a District Management Group (DMG)
officer in BS-20, he was known to have considerable knowledge of the Punjabi
language, art and culture.
Sources said he could fluently speak and write
Punjabi. On his retirement, the Services and General Administration Department
(S&GAD) assigned the additional charge of PILAC director general to Punjab
Archeology Director General Haroon Ahmed – a DMG officer hailing from Karachi.
"Haroon cannot speak or write Punjabi," the sources said, adding that the new
director general was also unaware of the province's art and culture.
S&GAD official said the PILAC director general handled administrative issues
and had no concerns with the promotion of the Punjabi language, art and culture.
However, the sources said the Punjab government had established PILAC and
entrusted it with promoting and developing the Punjabi language and art and
culture in the province.
It was also responsible for advising the government on
all policy matters related to promoting Punjabi, art and culture in the
province. Daily times
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UAF international conference
Faisalabad: Deficiency of micronutrient malnutrition is one of the major
causes of deaths among children and women in Pakistan.
claimed in a report jointly launched by the World Health Organization, World
Bank, Unicef, USAID and Micronutrient Initiative Pakistan (MIP), at the second
day of the three-day international conference on "Recent advances in human
nutrition with special reference to vulnerable groups," at the University of
Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) on Tuesday. The report titled "Investing in the
future: A united call to action on vitamin and mineral deficiencies".
Addressing the gathering, MIP director Dr Noor Ahmad said iodine
deficiency disorders were the most pressing micronutrient deficiencies facing
Pakistan today. He said almost two-thirds of school-going children were iodine
deficient, resulting in their Intelligence Quotient (IQ) scores being 13 IQ
points lower as compared to children living without iodine deficiency. He said
these disorders were entirely preventable.
deficiencies in Pakistan include iron-deficiency anaemia in more than half of
school-age children, leading to reduced learning capacity and poor school
performance, and iron-deficiency anaemia in almost a third of pregnant women,
putting them at greater risk of mortality during childbirth," he added.
He said vitamin A and zinc deficiencies were also considered major
nutritional and public health problems that affected millions of under-five
children and women.
UAF's National Institute of Food Sciences and
Technology (NIFST) director-general Dr Faqir Muhammad emphasised the importance
of vitamins and minerals in addressing micronutrient malnutrition. He said
continued support and commitment of all partners, including the government, food
industry leaders and health and development agencies were needed for the control
of micronutrient deficiencies in the country.
The report drew attention
to the urgent need for action from all levels of government, health and
development agencies and the Pakistan community to demonstrate their commitment
to children and women in the country by increasing investment in life-saving
vitamins and minerals.
Deputy-director (general nutrition) Dr Baseer
Achakzai said: "Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are having a profound effect on
our country's people, communities and the economy."
He appreciated the
efforts of all partners in contributing towards the improved health status of
the population and he assured that the health ministry would make best use of
Representatives of the organisations which produced the
report were also present. Dawn
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