Punjab Technical Education funds
TEVTA surrenders Rs 500m over non-utilisation of funds
Lahore, Feb 23: The Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) has
surrendered Rs 500 million over the non-utilisation of development funds in the
first half of the financial year.
The authority is likely to surrender
Rs 500 million more in the second phase during the first week of March, a senior
official of Planning and Development (P&D) told Daily Times. The Punjab
government had earmarked Rs 2.3 billion in the Annual Development Programme
(ADP) 2009-10 for 101 development schemes under TEVTA.
Out of the
total allocated funds, Rs 1.75 billion was for the execution of 59 on-going
schemes whereas Rs 550 million was allocated to initiate 42 new development
schemes by the authority, sources said. The Finance Department on the request of
TEVTA released Rs 2.1 billion by the end of January to initiate and execute 101
development schemes in the province during 2009-10. These funds were at the
disposal of TEVTA.
The authority utilised only Rs 53 million, 2.5 percent
of the total released amount, until the end of the first half of the financial
year. Whereas in a briefing in the first week of February to Shahbaz Sharif on
the utilisation of development funds, the officials of TEVTA maintained that the
authority had utilised Rs 178 millions out of the total released funds, which
amounts to 9 percent.
After the briefing, the chief minister expressed
'his displeasure' over the non-utilisation of funds by the authority. As a
result, the authority surrendered Rs 500 million to the national exchequer and
talks are in progress to surrender more funds, the P&D told Daily Times.
TEVTA Chairman Saeed Alvi said talks were in progress to surrender Rs 450
million, however he denied that Shahbaz had showed his 'displeasure'
over non-utilisation of the development funds. Daily times
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Action against education board employees
Lahore: The Punjab higher education department has served show-cause
notices on around 85 employees of the eight education boards in the province,
who are on strike demanding release of funds in compensation for the abolition
of examination fee charged from matriculation students of public schools.
The board employees under the banner of Employees Federation Boards of
Intermediate and Secondary Education Punjab, are on strike for last 13 days
demanding release of grant to the boards to meet the expenses of the forthcoming
matriculation annual examination for 2010.
These employees held massive
protest demonstrations, including on Lahore board premises.
the higher education department has engaged staff including officials of
different universities and schoolteachers, who had already worked as external
tabulators, to conduct the examinations on time.
however, claim that it was impossible to hold the matriculation examination as
Punjab higher education secretary Ahad Khan Cheema said
the universities and schools' staff had been sent to the boards, who would soon
start dispatching roll number slips to the candidates. He claimed that
examination centres were already identified and the staff was required to stamp
serial numbers on answer-scripts. "Only packing and dispatch work is left in
connection with the holding of the matriculation examination," he added.
Mr Cheema said the staff sent to boards would also hold training
workshops for the superintendents and invigilators.
BISE, Lahore, Employees Welfare Association president Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam
Gujjar said the education department should realise that it was a misconception
that staff from universities, colleges or schools could hold the matriculation
examination, which he said was highly technical and sensitive job.
said the board employees had expertise in checking candidates' eligibility,
setting up examination centres, issue roll number slips, provide answer-sheets
and above all printing of question-papers.
Gujjar said it was imperative
to release grant to meet the forthcoming matriculation examination's expenses.
He said some boards were so fund-starved that they would not be able to give
salaries to their staff members. Dawn
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Inquiry tribunal confirms anomalies in KC admissions
Lahore: An inquiry tribunal formed by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif
has confirmed anomalies in admissions on self finance basis at Kinnaird College
for Women and termed appointment of registrar wrong.
The tribunal was
formed in January by the CM following strong protests by KC teachers and
students after KC Principal Dr Bernadette L Dean sacked three faculty members
and repatriated four others to the Punjab Higher Education
The principal's action was seen as victimisation and KC
teachers moved an application against what they called unjustified appointment
of the college registrar. Teachers had also questioned admissions on self
According to the inquiry report submitted by the Inquiry
Tribunal to the CM, meetings were held to finalise the report and a number of
faculty members, the principal and the registrar also appeared before the
tribunal. The tribunal also called for the record related to admissions on self
finance and minorities' seats besides record of appointment of
As many as seven faculty members had appeared before the
tribunal who had complained that the principal was rude to the faculty,
particularly those from the Education Department. They alleged there were
financial irregularities in admissions under self-finance seats in Pre-Medical
and Pre-Engineering. They also complained that the principal had employed a
foreign citizen Lisa M Donald who did not have a work permit.
said the principal was asked to send ten senior most heads of the department for
interview by the tribunal. The report adds: "While some faculty members made
complaints similar to those brought to the notice of the tribunal in the first
meeting, others stated that they had no complaint against the principal and were
satisfied with her performance."
"Some senior members of the faculty were
critical of the appointment of the registrar and the manner in which she was
selected." The report adds: "It was also stressed that the principal was not
well oriented to the Kinnaird College culture which may be different from the
academic environment in Aga Khan University from where she had come."
per the inquiry report, the record provided by the principal regarding
admissions on self finance was computer generated and lacked some requisite
inputs for proper examination of the case therefore two of the tribunal's
members themselves visited the college and furnished their report on financial
administration and admission process. In its observations on admissions on self
finance basis, the tribunal observed that as per the report there were many
anomalies in the number of students admitted to the college under the self
"The factual position which had emerged is that the Board
of Governors allowed admissions under this scheme up to 10 percent of the
general seats totalling 30. In 2004, the BoG increased this number to 40. The
present principal admitted 67 students in FSc Pre Medical and Pre-Engineering
and 16 at the Bachelors level," the inquiry report reads.
discretion and prudence demanded that the principal should have sought
clarification/ approval of the BoG in this matter. Further, notification of the
merit lists was done in a shoddy and erratic manner. However, the total amount
collected was duly deposited in the account of Bank of Punjab which had been
verified from the bank. The allegation that in certain cases amounts exceeding
Rs 100,000 per candidate was received off the record was not
The findings of the report on financial administration
revealed the college was keeping 34 accounts with four banks for which no
explanation was offered. "Bank accounts are indicative of different heads but it
was not clear as to which expenditure was being charged to which account. The
budget of the college for year 2009-2010 was not in candid form."
the appointment of Dr Naima Khurshid as the KC registrar, the tribunal observed
that her appointment as registrar upset the faculty. It also observed that the
advertisement in the press laid down four-year experience as a registrar in a
university and a PhD degree but Dr Naima did not have that experience.
"A registrar's position is of considerable importance in an educational
institution and gross indiscretion has been shown in this appointment," the
inquiry report reads. The KC Principal had claimed that the college's BoG had
ratified the appointment of Dr Naima Khurshid as registrar.
according to the tribunal's inquiry report, the higher education secretary being
a member of KC BoG did not support the appointment while Dr Naima's appointment
as registrar was approved by a majority vote in which the BoG chairman chose not
About the foreign citizen, the tribunal observed: "Lisa M
Donald also worked in some undefined capacity in the college. A document
produced before the tribunal shows that she demanded Rs 40,000 as remuneration
for her work in admissions. Her employment was not in order as apparently she
did not have a work permit or permission from the competent
Interestingly in its recommendations the tribunal states:
"Admissions under the self-finance scheme should be placed before the BoG for
approval. Any other intervention at this stage will be counterproductive and
will not only cause unnecessary hardship to students already admitted but also
lead to unnecessary litigation."
Other recommendations include: "The
Board of Governor may be advised to re-advertise the post of the registrar and
select a suitable person with requisite qualification and experience. The BoG
should involve itself more effectively in affairs of the college. The principal
should involve senior faculty in policy matters and day to day administration
and create team spirit."
"The tribunal is of the considered view that the
CM may like to constitute another broad-based committee to examine rather
complicated issue pertaining to the viability of existing administrative and
institutional arrangement in the Kinnaird College and other such institutions,
as it has very intricate administrative, academic, financial and legal aspects.
The proposed Committee may include besides others eminent educationists, P&D
Board Chairman, the higher education secretary, the finance secretary and the
The inquiry tribunal was headed by AZK Sherdil while Rab
Nawaz, Ms Fauzia Salman, the Lahore assistant postmaster general, Cassian
Rozario, the senior vice-president Bank of Punjab, Dr Liaquat Masih Qaiser and
Dr Arifa Syeda were tribunal members.
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Punjab varsity projects
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) vice chancellor, Prof Dr Mujahid
Kamran, inspected a number of ongoing developmental projects to assess their
current status in order to chalk out a financial strategy to make them
operational as early as possible.
According to a press statement, the PU
VC was accompanied by IT College Principal Dr Mansoor Sarwar, P&D Director
Tariq Majeed Qureshi, Additional Treasurer Rao Muhammad Sharif, Chief Engineer
Ch Muhammad Yasin and Head of Statistics Department Prof Dr Shahid Kamal. Dr
Mujahid Kamran inspected the under-construction multi-purpose gymnasium, cricket
stadium, textile processing centre, geographical information system and IT
centre and operation research centre of the varsity.
He directed that in
order to make the gymnasium operational, the work on provision of external
services like roads, water supply and sewerage should be completed within the
next two months, in addition to increasing the number of existing four bathrooms
to seven there.
The VC said a feasibility report to let the gymnasium on
commercial basis might also be prepared for generating revenue for the varsity.
During his visit to the under-construction centre for textile processing, he
stressed for accelerating efforts to make the centre operational by utilising
minimum possible additional funds.
He also directed that a meeting might be
convened sometime during the current week to review the funding requirements of
all the ongoing projects. The news
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Special allowance demanded
Lahore: Officials of the Punjab Agriculture Research Scientists Association
(PARSA) have demanded grant of special allowance to them equivalent to that
provided to the provincial government officials holding PhD, MPhil and LLM
degrees, sources said.
In a letter to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz
Sharif, the scientists holding a degree in MSc (hons) requested for a monthly
special allowance – 50 percent of the basic pay – already granted to other
government officials in civil and teaching departments in the province. They
pointed out that the Punjab government awarded special allowances to PhD and LLM
degree holders working in the judiciary, law and prosecution wing in the
province since March 1991.
The scientists said such allowance was awarded every
month to generalist officers of All Pakistan Unified Group, Provincial Civil
Services and Provincial Secretariat Services working in the province since
September 1991. The government also awarded the allowance to the officials of
the higher education department holding PhD and MPhil degrees.
maintained that the government had fixed minimum qualification of BSc (hons) in
Agriculture for recruitments to BPS-17 for agriculture scientists in Punjab.
PARSA officials said a degree in MSc (hons) in Agricultural Sciences had been
declared academically equivalent to an MPhil degree by the Higher Education
Commission in January 1986, hence their demand for the special allowance.
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English-medium govt schools
Lahore: The Punjab government has given a go-ahead to make all public sector
schools English-medium in accordance with the federal government's education
policy, provincial Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman said on
Addressing a function to mark World Thinking Day for girl guides,
Mujtaba said subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Social Studies would also
be taught in English.
He said the Punjab School Education Department had
ordered the implementation of this decision, which would be carried out in
He said only a few primary, middle and high schools had been selected to
teach the aforementioned subjects in English in the first phase, adding the
number of schools would be increased in the next academic year.
said, all schools would be made English medium from April 1, 2011. Daily times
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BISE employees rally
Gujarnwala: Employees of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary
Education, Gujranwala, took out a rally and staged a sit-in at Gondlanwala Chowk
on GT Road on Monday to press the government for the acceptance of their
Board Employees Welfare Association Chairman Chaudhry Bashir
Ahmad Cheema led the rally which marched through GT Road.
banners and placards, they chanted slogans against the government and also set
fire to an effigy of a senior officer of the education department. Dawn
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