50pc kids can't read Urdu
16.1pc children out of school
Lahore, Feb 08: A sample survey shows that over 16.1 per cent
of school-going age children are not attending any school in Punjab and
those attending show poor learning competencies.
survey - Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) survey 2011 - by the
South Asia Forum for Education Development (SAFED), was launched at
Children's Library Complex on Tuesday.The citizen-led household survey
conducted in 28 districts in the province revealed that 16.1 per cent of
out-of-school children include seven per cent of dropouts. Up to 21.8
per cent of five years age children, when one expects children to be
enrolled in some schools, are also out of school.
The data shows that among 28 districts, Lahore ranked 15th with 15.1 per cent out-of-school children ratio.
sample survey shows that almost 84 per cent children in the 6-16 years
age cohort are enrolled in schools. Of these enrolled students, 40.8 per
cent are girls.
The assessment of students' learning levels does
not paint any encouraging situation as more than half of the tested
children could not even read a sentence in Urdu, while 66 per cent of
the children failed to read a sentence in English – of level Grade-II.
tests presented even a bleaker picture: 52 per cent of children could
not do two-digit subtraction sums with carry whereas substantial 70 per
cent of 5-16 years age children could not do three-digit division sums.
tests covering up to grade-III standard national curriculum, asked from
grade-V children, showed that 53.8 per cent of children could not do
three-digit division sums, while 21 per cent of Class-VIII students
could not do the same sums.
The arithmetic learning level of
grade-V private schools' students is better as 55 per cent of students
could do division sums, while their counterparts showing the skills in
public schools are 43.1 per cent.
Quite interestingly, some 9.7
per cent of the out-of-school children assessed at their homes proved
their mettle in solving division sums and 17.2 per cent children could
In the survey of children's learning outcomes in
reading Urdu or their mother tongue and English of grade-II, it was
gathered that 51.4 per cent of children could read sentences in Urdu or
their mother tongue, while 33.5 per cent of children could read
sentences in English.
While recording attendance level of
students, the ASER survey found that 84.7 per cent of children as per
register and 80.9 per cent according to headcount were present in
government schools. In private schools, these ratios stood at 89.2 per
cent and 86.6 per cent.
The teachers' attendance level in government and private schools was recorded at 85.4 per cent and 89.6 per cent.
survey showed that 80.1 per cent public primary schools and 92.4 per
cent private primary schools had useable water facility. While, 69.9 per
cent public and 88.1 per cent private schools had functional toilets.
at the launch, LUMS Pro-Chancellor Syed Babar Ali said private schools'
teachers were drawing less salary than their counterparts' in public
schools, still they were producing better results. At LUMS, he said, it
had been made mandatory that every student would teach at a public
school for one month as a part of his curriculum activity. He said that a
similar initiative should also be taken in public universities and
Punjab chief minister's adviser Zakia Shahnawaz, Justice
(retired) Nasira Iqbal, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi director programme
Baela Raza Jamil and MPA Asma Mamdot also spoke.
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Dawn Education Expo
Lahore: The ninth annual DAWN Education Expo 2012 will
open at the Pearl Continental Hotel here on Wednesday (today) at 11am.
The largest education expo to be held in Pakistan, it will assemble
over 150 leading international and local universities and colleges,
notably from Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malaysia, North
Cyprus, Turkey, UK, Australia, USA and the UAE.
The exhibition is
aimed at helping institutes of higher learning reach cross-section of
local students who have the qualifications and the means to pursue
further education in Pakistan or abroad, a press release says.
the exhibition, faculty, admission officers and career counselors from
participating institutes will interact with visiting students directly
on a one-on-one basis. The event has been scheduled at a time when most
participating institutions are enrolling students.
The exhibition will be open from 11am to 7pm on Feb 8 and 9 and there will be no entry fee.
similar exhibition was held at the Jinnah Convention Centre in
Islamabad on Feb 5 and 6. After Lahore, the concluding exhibition will
be held in Karachi on Feb 12. Dawn
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Lahore: Punjab University Examinations Department has announced results of BS Home
Economics, Part-I (First Year & Second Year), 2nd Annual Exam 2011,
and BSc Home Economics, Third Year & Final Year, Annual Exam 2011.
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Book fair ends
Lahore: The 26th Lahore International Book Fair concluded at Expo Centre, Johar
Town, here on Tuesday night. The five-day book fair attracted many
people from different walks of life providing them an opportunity to
explore books on a various topics. Besides local, a number of foreign
publishers from India, USA, UK, Singapore, Turkey and Germany
participated in the event.
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NCVI named after Dr Atta
Islamabad: In order to pay tributes to Dr Atta-ur-Rahman's eminent services as
leading scholar and proficient scientist, renaming ceremony of NUST
Centre of Virology and Immunology (NCVI) as Atta-ur-Rahman School of
Applied Biosciences was held here on Tuesday.
The ceremony was
attended by Dr Anwar Naseem, members of NUST administration, principals
and deans of NUST Constituent Schools/Colleges and the faculty and
students of NCVI.
Professor Dr Muhammad Ashraf, Principal NCVI,
highlighted various accomplishments within the short span of time. He
specifically mentioned the centre's mission to contribute towards
eradication of animal and plant infectious and autoimmune diseases like
dengue, hepatitis B/C, cotton leaf curl virus, wheat rust, rheumatoid
arthritis, diabetes mellitus type II, etc.
He highlighted the
richness of NCVI faculty and their research interests. During the past
four years NCVI published 75 research articles in high Impact Factor
International Journals along with winning over 25 research grants from
various international agencies like US State Department, EU Commission,
Bill Gates Foundation, COMSTEC/TWAS, etc.
Rector NUST, Engineer
Muhammad Asghar while expressing his gratitude to the venerable
scientist on consenting to name the Centre after him graded Dr
Atta-ur-Rahman as an icon within the academic circles. He further added
that it was only through his extremely dedicated and committed
endeavours that Pakistan was able to achieve laurels in higher
Dr Atta-ur-Rahman extended his heartiest gratitude to
the rector NUST for conferring upon him this unique honour. The chief
guest valued the extremely efficient functioning of NUST within the
circles of sciences and technology and appreciated the way it meets the
research needs of the scholars.
The great scientist also asserted
that the scholars should realize the urgency of directing all their
energies towards personalised evolution of innovative sciences. He was
also of the view that Pakistan had never been victimised by the scarcity
of individual talent, potential and natural resources; the only need
was to exploit all those reservoirs.
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Polytechnic college for girls on the cards
Rawalpindi: A plan to convert the site of the old building of Rawalpindi Municipal
Corporation (RMC) at Jinnah Road into a polytechnic college for girls is
on the cards.
Credible sources said here on Tuesday
that the land of the old RMC building was taken into possession by the
Privatisation Commission of Pakistan. However, with the efforts of
Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, the property has been handed
back to the Punjab government. Initially, the Punjab government after
regaining the possession of the building had decided to auction it to
private firms. However, this plan did not click due to reportedly high
price fixed in the auction.
Non-utilisation of the RMC building
for many years made its condition dilapidated and at nighttime it was
used by drug addicts. The Rawalpindi Development Authority had decided
to build a parking lot at the building site, which was opposed by the
present Tehsil Administration, Rawal Town, on the grounds that the
property belongs to it.
Similarly, the previous government of
Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi had decided to compensate the affected people of
the Committee Chowk underpass in the RMC office, which was also not
enforced due to high demand made by the affected traders and
Moreover, according to sources, former federal
minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had decided to transform the building into a
degree college for girls but after change in the government this plan
However, present parliamentarians of the
PML-N including Malik Shakil Awan and MPA Sheharyar Riaz floated the
idea of constructing a polytechnic college for girls, which the Punjab
chief minister approved. An amount of Rs200 million would be allocated
for the purpose and the project would be funded by the Punjab
After completion of negotiation process, work on its
feasibility study would be initiated and the project would be kicked
off during the next fiscal year.
Though Malik Shakil Awan,
commenting over it, agreed that a polytechnic institute would be built
at the site of the old RMC building, but Commissioner Rawalpindi Zahid
Iqbal gave a negative response. According to him, the land is still in
possession of the Privatisation Commission and not given back to the
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Roundtable on Human development at NUST
Islamabad: Pakistan has been lagging behind in many areas for achieving Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) as the country's 28 per cent population is
facing malnutrition against envisaged target to bring it down to 13 per
cent by 2015. It will be unlikely to achieve this goal within the
envisaged deadline, said UNDP's Country head Toshihiro Tanaka.
a roundtable on Human Development organised by National University of
Sciences and Technology (NUST) in collaboration with the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) here at NUST Campus on Tuesday, he said:
"The purchasing power declined by 30 per cent because of increase in
prices of wheat in last few years in Pakistan."
was organised to sensitise the government, policy makers, academics,
development partners and others as to the importance of human
The roundtable was attended by the deputy chairman,
Planning Commission, the secretaries of the Planning & Development
Division and Ministry of Human Rights, the resident representative of
the UNDP and Director of the Human Development Report Office of the UNDP
in New York. The roundtable was also attended by the representatives of
various UN bodies, international financial institutions, academics,
researcher, former federal ministers, Rector NUST and students of the
Business School of the NUST.
Federal Secretary Saeed Alvi
criticised the massive spending on military budget and said that the
priorities in the country have always been to fight wars, prepares for
wars and enmities with neighbours. " Pakistan has been turned into a
security state and we are wrongly aligning our priorities," he said.
stressed the need for the change in mindsets, cultural practices and
unnecessary intrude of religion in the state. "Civil servants are
usually considered as the agents of change, but in our country civil
servants are clueless about the solution of the existing problems," he
Toshihiro Tanaka, the Resident Representative of the UNDP
talked about reducing poverty, improving upon the MDGs and measuring
progress. He argued that in some cases, Pakistan is ahead of others in
indicators, but that it is lagging behind in many indicators. Hence,
Pakistan must redouble its efforts to achieve the MDG targets. "Pakistan
is lagging behind in 26 indicators while progressing in only six
indicators," he said.
He also highlighted the gender disparity in
the country and said that there are a total of seven million out of
children school in Pakistan among which 60 per cent are girls. He said
that growth rates of real GDP have been more synchronised than ever.
Development Report Office Khalid Malik presented various human
development indicators of South Asia and emphasised that Pakistan should
give importance in improving these indicators as it has taken behind in
He pointed out that social policies are as good as
economic policies. "While we give importance to economic policies to
promote growth, what is important is the quality of growth. Growth
should benefit the largest segment of society. In other words, there
should be democratisation of growth," he said adding that poverty and
inequality should be at the centre of economic policy in Pakistan.
also stressed the need for the increased literacy rate in the country.
"Literacy not only transforms a person but the whole society," he
remarked. He said that there were many things that matters in human
development, which mainly include budget, leadership and appropriate
action besides the provision of basic facilities.
Muhammad Asghar highlighted the role of higher education in economic
development. He argued that innovation requires knowledge and knowledge
can be provided by the universities, therefore, investment in education
including higher education is the key to our success. "According to
vision 2030, five Pakistani universities should be top 200 universities
of the world and two universities should be in top five," he said.
Ashfaque H. Khan, the Principal & Dean of NUST Business School
emphasised upon investing in people. He argued that given the age
structure of Pakistan's population where 50 per cent are below the age
of 20 years, Pakistan has no option, but to invest in people,
particularly the young population to make them productive citizen of the
country and reap the benefits of demographic transition for five
Dr. M. Akram Sheikh, the former deputy chairman,
Planning Commission, while summarising the discussion announced that the
NUST and the UNDP, along with the HDR office, New York have agreed in
principle to set up the NUST Human Development Studies, based in its
Business School. "The purpose for setting up this centre at NUST is to
conduct quality research on various aspects of human development," he
He said that an advisory board would be set up under the
chairmanship of NUST rector with persons of international repute working
in the areas of human development brought in as members. "An annual
conference will be held on human development under the auspicious of the
newly established NUST Human Development Studies Centre where scholars
will be presenting their papers on human development. It has been
further agreed that Annual Human Development Awards will be given to
those scholars who have contributed to the fields of human development,"
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Certificates awarded to 19 teachers
Islamabad: The Faculty Development Academy (FDA) of Comsats Institute of Information Technology
(CIIT), Islamabad, in collaboration with the Learning & Innovation
Division and Higher Education Commission distributed certificates among
the nineteen teachers of public
sector colleges and universities in Islamabad on completing a one-month training workshop on 'English for Specific Purpose'.
to a press release issued here on Tuesday, the workshop was conducted
from January 2 to February 3. The overall goal of the training workshop
was to help raise the quality of knowledge that the trained teachers
impart. The news
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