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'We don't need no education'

The song spoke about the rigid education system
Karachi, July 05: We don't need no education

We don't need no thought control

No dark sarcasm in the classroom

Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!

When Roger Waters, bassist of the seminal English rock band Pink Floyd, wrote the band's magnum opus, 'Another Brick in the Wall', the song became an anthem for the rebellious youth.

The song spoke about the rigid education system prevalent at the time, which did not allow students to think out of the box, nor did it grant them any leeway to explore and research independently. In short, the song argued for education to be a thought process, rather than merely rote learning.

However, one could never fathom that three decades later, a young position holder from Karachi would actually voice this sentiment in the presence of her teachers and peers at a ceremony which was held to honour her achievement.

Asma, daughter of Altaf, secured joint-second position in the Secondary School Certificate-part II (SSC) examination, which is more or less a stepping stone for students in their academic careers. To hear her declare that "education is not worth the effort" despite scoring 88.23 per cent was quite a shock for everybody present at the awards ceremony.

This disclosure makes one consider the reasons why a bright student like Asma would express apathy and pessimism towards education, which is often labelled as the key to success. Sadly, however, upon scratching the surface it is easy to see the reasons for such disillusionment expressed by Asma and so many other students towards education; the disrespect for merit, honesty and hard work.

Many students feel helpless when they see that despite spending hours upon hours studying and preparing for exams, some of their peers get more rewards as they take their exams in especially sanctioned, illegal examination centres with the connivance of board officials and others. It is disheartening to see the culture of rampant cheating prevail across examination centres and complete indifference shown by authorities to curb the menace. It is just as de-motivating to see same incompetent cheaters getting fake degrees, lucrative jobs and above all, landing the coveted title of Member of Parliament.

The media has been trying to raise the issue of corruption which is prevalent in the education boards across Karachi for two years now, but despite clear evidence against those responsible, cosmetic measures have been taken to eradicate the menace of cheating.

Merit is flouted left right and centre, with utter disregard for any sense of ethics or morality and accountability. The curriculum taught is completely obsolete and which only cultivates rote learning, instead of developing skills for logic and rationality. Questioning in class rooms is often suppressed and discouraged. Above all, as mentioned earlier, corruption is rewarded far more than honesty.

Only a few months ago, this newspaper reported about a school in Jamshed Town holding an illegal Sunday Bachat Bazar on its premises. Last month, a school in Gulberg Town was razed by the land mafia. Another school in Orangi Town is a den of drug peddlers and heroin addicts. All of this clearly points out the absolute incompetence of the authorities who are only keen on filling their coffers instead of performing their duties with diligence and sincerity.

Education in Pakistan is grappling with wide ranging such as curriculum design, rampant cheating, and negligible budget for development programs but above all, corruption remains the biggest hurdle.

When the chief minister of the country's largest province states on record that a degree is a degree, whether fake or genuine, or when a member of the National Assembly is made to resign by courts for having a fake degree and yet he gets re-elected within two months, it only shows a complete lack of honesty and the kind of importance, or lack thereof, given to the education sector of this country. No wonder Asma chose to follow Roger Water's advice, albeit for more reasons than one. The news

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CAP future hangs in the balance
Karachi: The future of the decade-old Centralised Admissions Policy (CAP) for admissions to first-year classes in government colleges of the city has become uncertain, as the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) has refused to undertake the work of admission seekers' placement according to their grades.

Moreover, an inordinate delay in the setting up of the CAP committee for the next academic session has also created confusion whether admissions to first-year classes in government colleges will be given under the CAP policy.

The BSEK chairman, Syed Anzar Hussain Zaidi, has already announced that the board will not undertake the task of placing candidates in colleges on behalf of the CAP committee as such work not only hampers the board's work but also causes a delay in preparing the results of the Secondary School Certificates annual examinations.

Meanwhile, Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association secretary Prof Iftikhar Azmi, who remained associated with CAP committees in the past, said that although a meeting to help resolve the issue that had surfaced following the BSEK's refusal to undertake the candidates' placement work was scheduled for Friday under the chairmanship of Sindh governor's principal secretary Mumtaz-ur-Rehman, the meeting could not be held as the director-general (colleges), Prof Nasir Ansar, preferred to attend some other meeting.

He said that if the CAP committee and the work concerning printing of prospectuses/brochures was not initiated in a couple of days, it would not be possible for the would-be CAP committee to complete the process of admissions to first-year classes before the commencement of forthcoming academic session scheduled to begin from Sept 1.He said that although the Sindh education minister's coordinator, Naveed Zubairi, had assured him that the BSEK would be requested to undertake the task of placing candidates and verifying their marks statements, the director-general (colleges) was now saying that he would get the candidates' placement work done by the officials of the directorate despite knowing fully well that a mess had been created when the former DG (colleges) had got the work done through a private party in 2002.

He said that the BSEK alone could undertake the task of placing candidates in colleges according to their merit and verifying their mark-sheets in a much better way as they not only possessed a complete data of admission seekers but also got the facility to verify marks statements of candidates quickly.

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Quaid school register traced
Karachi: The missing general register of the Church Mission School that contained the name of Mohammad Ali Jinnah as a student of the CMS has been traced into the possession of a former district coordination officer and commissioner of Karachi.

Senior Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq disclosed to Dawn on Saturday that the mystery of the missing historic document had been resolved as it was in the private custody of Shafiqur Rehman Paracha, a retired bureaucrat who now heads the Lyari Town's development project.

"Mr Paracha informed me the other day that he took possession of the important document as he apprehended that it might be destroyed owing to the highly dilapidated condition of the school's buildings," the minister added.

However, when Mr Paracha was contacted by Dawn to know that since when the precious document had been in his possession, he said he had picked it up from the school when he was the commissioner of Karachi.

Asked why he had not handed over the register, a national heritage, to either the archives department or to the Quaid-i-Azam Academy, he said though he had once tried but somehow could not do so. "Now I intend to hand it over to the Sindh senior minister," he said.

The disappearance of the CMS's general register that contained the record of all its students, including that of M. A. Jinnah, had been a mystery for more than a decade.

CMS's exclusion from ADP

About the CMS building's restoration and renovation scheme which the Sindh planning and development department had dropped from the annual development programme in the 2010-11 budget, Pir Mazhar said the chief minister's adviser on finance, Kaiser Bengali, on being apprised of the importance of the scheme had agreed to adjust it in the current fiscal year's ADP in place of some less important scheme.

The minister who has been showing keen interest in the restoration of the school's almost ruined blocks said that he wanted to restore the status of the school as a national heritage because not only the Father of the Nation had studied in the school, but it was the first English-medium school of Sindh, established by the first collector of Karachi, Colonel Henry W. Preedy, in 1846.

Located on Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar Road (then Lawrence Road), the CMS was one of the best educational institutions of the city and its students often topped in the matriculation examinations. But its 1971 nationalisation not only eroded its standard of education, but all its three blocks suffered from neglect.

The school where Mr Jinnah had studied before taking admission to the Sindh Madressah-tul-Islam has also produced a number of cricketers of international repute.

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32 technical institutes closed, says minister
Hyderabad: Sindh Minister for Technical Education and Vocational Abdul Salam Thaheem has said that 32 of the 250 technical training institutions established in the province have been closed due to multiple reasons, including lack of teachers and facilities.

Talking to reporters during a visit to the Government Poly Technical College in Qasimabad, he expressed dissatisfaction over standard and output of technical training institutions.

H said that after introduction of devolution of power system in the country, district governments had damaged the system of technical education.

During the previous regime, this sector of education was ignored and isolated from meaningful progress.

He said that the PPP government, realising the importance of technical education for social and economic development, had established the Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority.

He said that a survey about the present status of technical training institutions in Sindh had been conducted and a comprehensive plan was being prepared to revamp and streamline technical education.

He said that priority was being given to introducing market-oriented courses for technical training of youth to minimise unemployment and poverty.

The minister stressed the need for close coordination, working relationship and trust building between management of technical training institutions and industrial sites for the employment of skilled manpower.

Sindh Minister for Fisheries Zahid Ali Bhurgari said that the provincial government was sincere to raise the standard of education and technical know-how among young generation.

The Sindh government, he said, would not bow before hooliganism in the educational institutions.

However, he said that security in education institutions was not up to the mark. He advised the management of educational institutions to submit their requirements about security to the government to help ensure security.

Mr Bhurgari referring to the drainage problem of the college directed the Water and Sanitation Agency management to resolve this problem on priority.

The regional director, Technical Education, Ghulam Mohammed Memon, briefed the ministers about the enrolment, standard of education, trades under study and performance of the college. Dawn

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Concern voiced over 'massive corruption' in Education Dept
Karachi: The culture of corruption and bribery is rampant in almost all government-run educational institutions, including the education boards.

Prof Dr Muhammad Ishaq Mansoori stated this while speaking at a first session of Tanzeem-e-Asatiza Sindh province administrative body here on Saturday.

Dr Mansoori said that the successive governments had failed to eradicate corruption and misappropriation from the education sector, as the corrupt ruling politicians were the first beneficiary of this menace.

He said that the rulers work on the basis on favouritism and create problems for the people.

He urged the teachers to play their due role for guidance of the people.

TAP Provincial President Abu Amir Aazmi, Mehmood Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Usman, Ajmal Waheed, Nasrullah Laghari and all district office-bearers were also present on the occasion. A large number of teachers participated in the event.

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SSUET meeting for next semester
Karachi: A meeting of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) has decided to take necessary measures to increase the strength of students to 100 per cent in classes, a press release issued here on Sunday said. The meeting emphasised to make sure that everything is in place for the new semester and students have access to the cutting-edge facilities.

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YLC runs into fourth day
Karachi: The participants of the Young Leaders' Conference (YLC), 2010, on Sunday learned about 'Entrepreneurial Leadership'. The day four of YLC was dedicated to encouraging youth to spread their wings to achieve success through conscious effort, careful planning, and relentless smart work.

The day started off with a keynote speech, "Thinking Big" by Asad Umar, CEO, Engro Corp, who inspired participants to gain confidence through internal inspiration and stay ahead of challenges by expressing one's self freely. He also highlighted the infinite choices the youth could explore and make a difference. Co-owner Gullak, Amara Gul, CEO, K-Bridals, Kashif Rashid, Moiz Kazmi from Fashion Bites and Umair Jaliawala, Chief Turning Officer, Torque addressed the youth in small groups on changing Pakistan's culture from employment to entrepreneurship. The participants were able to discover multiple ways of transforming an idea into reality to benefit multitudes in society, taking ownership of their work and being able to utilise resources effectively.

They attended a debate "Right time to make a move" between corporate sector representative and entrepreneurs. The session allowed the young audience to gain insights into the pros and cons of being a leader in the corporate sector versus entrepreneur of a self-managed business.

Participants attended issue exploration sessions in small groups with prominent experts on topics that included 'Owning the ethos: Changing Pakistan's culture from employment to entrepreneurship'; 'Resources versus Resourcefulness!', 'Employees as owners', 'Multiplying Markets' and 'Aisi ki Taisi - Let's lead from the front'. The news

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