Educating girls of Nathiagali
Who's responsible for educating girls of Nathiagali?
Nathiagali, July 06: Last week, I escaped from the hectic city life to Nathiagali, situated in
Abbottabad district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Some Pakistani families have been
frequenting the Galiyat for five decades and own properties and lodges there.
These summer residents have formed the Nathiagali Residents Committee (NRC) to
solve a host of problems faced by the community. During my stay, I went with
some NRC members to visit the Keiri Reki Girls Secondary School, five kilometres
from Kalabagh. This is the only government school for girls within 15 kilometres
and has been targeted as a key area for sustainable development by the NRC.
Over the past decade, the government has striven to introduce a series
of measures addressing female education and improving girls' enrolments and
literacy rates, but these efforts do not seem sufficient. Socio-cultural and
economic forces have hindered the expansion of female education.
government has formulated the Perspective Development Plan (PDP) for 2010-2011
to visualise long-term macroeconomic and sectoral growth strategies, implemented
through operational strategies in a series of three-year rolling plans. So,
progress in female education is to be determined by the level of implementation
of the PDP, which makes a serious effort to reflect gender concerns.
major handicap this region faces is the number of teachers and teaching
standards. Teacher-training institutions have not been expanded and practice of
the rote system still continues. The development of syllabi has also been
restricted to arts and minimal effort is given towards science and mathematics.
Infrastructure development has also shown slow progress, with a place like
Nathiagali having only one government school for girls.
My visit to the
Keiri Reki School revealed that the earthquake of 2005 severely affected the
toilets and washing facilities there, virtually destroying the toilets. It has
been five years since then and the government has yet to fund the school's
needed repair. The NRC is one of the few organisations that have invested in the
community, with funds generated by donations from the residents to sustain local
My family and I have taken keen interest in the uplift of this
school. My cousin, currently studying abroad, has, in collaboration with an NGO
at her university, raised enough money to construct new bathrooms at the school.
While experienced collaborators manage construction and school logistics
locally, a core operations team of college students raises funds and spreads
awareness in their home countries.
Reconstruction of this school is
their second project. The renovation will include installation of new bathrooms,
a new septic tank, two water tanks and a computer lab.
As I was driving
down to the school, I was stunned to find several telecom towers. Ironically,
just down the road, 500 girls do not have toilets and water-drinking facilities.
With less than 25 percent of girls across Pakistan currently attending secondary
school – within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – 56 percent of girls' schools lack bathrooms
and an additional 45 percent are without drinking water. Some of the girls told
me that they do not go to the bathroom until they reach home in the evening.
I also found out that more than 50 percent of the girls had to walk for
around two hours to reach the school. The teachers had further complaints – some
of them are coming in from Abbotabad, 40 kilometres from the school. This
tedious commuting takes place daily due to a lack of teachers and infrastructure
facilities within their areas.
As this joint effort by the residents, my
family members, and NGOs is finally materialising, we are forming a model
school, which the government can follow when building more schools here, and use
to restructure the currently functioning schools. Girls' education is a priority
for the Education Ministry and the provincial education departments. If NGOs and
residents work closely with the federal government, the future of girls'
education can be improved remarkably. Daily times
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KU set to accommodate hearing-impaired students
Karachi: A researcher in the Department of Computer Science, University of
Karachi (KU) has developed a methodology to help accomodate the hearing-impaired
in regular classes.
The methodology was developed under a project titled
"Roshni" (light) in Information Technology and Artificial Intelligence by senior
lecturer of the department, Syed Asif Ali, who has been engaged in research in
this field for the last 12 years.
As per the methodology, special
students will be now be able to attend classes with normal students in the same
Named the "Uniform Educational System by Information
Technology," the research project aims at using IT speech and vision matching on
mathematical and statistical basis.
The project is in its phase of
completion. This research has been published in ISI Index and proceedings of
IEEE Conference 2010 in China.
It has also been marked as the important
research work in the International Conference for Computers and in the Special
Conference 2010, University of Vienna, Austria.
Given the fact that
there was an absence of a comprehensive system which allowed special students
and normal students to acquire education in the same classroom, KU
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr Pirzada Qasim showed interest in the project, and the
university allowed PhD level research on the topic.
Chairman Prof. Dr
Aqil Burney has been overseeing the process from its initial phase, and has also
supervised the research work.
With the implementation of this project,
KU will become the pioneer of using latest technology for special students.
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Inter classes at Home Economics College from 2011
Peshawar: College of Home Economics, University of Peshawar, will start
intermediate classes from the upcoming session, principal of the college Ghazala
Nizam said in a statement here Monday.
She said the college was one of
the four institutes in the country devoted to the study of home economics for
developing complete educational programmes to meet the challenges faced by the
The institution, she said, equipped young women with the
specialized knowledge of subjects related to home economics. "The college has
acquired a special significance in moulding the female generation to study a
unique blend of both science and art subjects," she said.
is launching a new programme in the evening shift for the academic classes of
higher secondary educational level for the girl students in FSc pre-medical,
pre-engineering and general science including computer science, statistics and
economics," she added. The principal said the existing syllabus of Board of
Intermediate and Secondary Education Peshawar would be followed. The news
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PMDC decides to display results on website
Islamabad: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council while talking action on the
news item published in TheNation has decided to upload result of the Registered
Medical Practitioner (RMP) exam on its website.
Earlier, depriving the
students of their due rights, the Council was reluctant to provide the marks
sheet to the candidates who had failed in the recent Registered Medical
Practitioner (RMP) exam, creating further suspicion about the transparency of
This unjustified step on part of the PMDC has further intensified
the ongoing controversy that surfaced after PMDC had failed 489 out of 507
students who had taken the aforementioned exam on June 20.
It may be
mentioned here that the passing percentage is the lowest in the history of RMP
exams in Pakistan. The students have requested Chief Justice of Pakistan,
Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to intervene into the matter.
While talking to
TheNation, Registrar PMDC, Dr Ahmad Nadeem Akbar ensured that the result would
be available on its website.
He said the PMDC was showing no hesitation in
issuing the result cards. "I was not approached by any of the student regarding
the marks sheet issue", he maintained.
He was of the view that the PMDC
cannot compromise on its standard and said due to the high medical education
standard, Pakistan ranks in top ten countries. The nation
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MoU signed with UK varsity to enhance teachers' capacity
Mardan: Leicester University of UK and Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan
singed a MoU for teachers exchange and advanced research in academic programmes
a few days back during a ceremony held in the UK, the AWKU sources said on
The sources disclosed that Professor Dr Ihsan Ali,
vice-chancellor of the Abdul Wali Khan University, during his recent trip to UK
had singed the MoU with a representative of Leicester University regarding
student teacher exchange programmes as well as research and academic advanced
programmes including teacher training and admissions into MS/PhD programmes.
After singing the MoU the University of Leicester would offer admission
to the students of AWKU in different programmes on discounted rates.
sources hoped that the agreement would not only help in imparting higher
education but would also provide a golden opportunity to the concerned teachers
and students to learn the advanced and modern ways of research and academic
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