Basic Education Community Schools
Billions sunk in 8,000 ghost schools: official
Islamabad, July 18: A federal government education project worth over Rs8 billion, the Basic
Education Community Schools (BECS), is stinking badly and feeding more
than 8,000 ghost schools in the country, including the federal capital, a
member of the Planning Commission and Board of Directors of the
National Education Foundation (NEF) has revealed.
Commission Member Mohayyuddin Marri said that the funding of the
BECS project had been stopped in the current fiscal year as the Planning
Commission wanted its revision to check the irregularities and
When approached, NEF MD Nasir Hayat, who has
been recently given this assignment, said his organisation had
approached the Finance Ministry for the release of funds for recurring
expenditure of the project. He said he did not know that the funding for
the project had been stopped. Nasir Hayat, however, did not agree with
the figure of ghost schools as quoted by Mohayyuddin Marri, who is also a
member of the NEF BoD.Hayat said the figure of ghost schools was only
around 800. He said he himself was not satisfied the way the project was
being run in the past and for the same reasons, he recently issued a
show cause notice to all the four provincial directors for their utter
failure to effectively supervise the project.
Hayat said a
total of 13,094 schools all over Pakistan were run under this project,
whose two years extension was being sought by the NEF. According to
Mohayyuddin Marri, more than half of these schools are ghost schools and
the huge funds allocated for them go into the pockets of a few. Marri,
who hails from Balochistan, said on papers there are 750 schools in
Balochistan but on the ground one would hardly find 250.
about Balochistan, there are ghost schools even in the federal
capital," he asserted. He lamented there was no administrative check on
community schools as the NEF was dependent on non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) to ascertain whether the schools really existed and
doing the envisaged job.
He alleged most of these NGOs
were part of the problem as they too ate up the public money that was
going down the drain. He said in the name of education, irregular
appointments had been made and even persons appointed on contract
against this particular project were promoted. Even otherwise, he said,
the running of these schools was not in line with what was envisaged in
According to Marri, even the books purchased
from the project money had not been provided to students in many cases.
He said despite being a member of the NEF BoD, he was totally
dissatisfied with this project and its outcome, and for the same reasons
had got the projects funding stopped till the revision of the project
and its PC-I.
Nasir Hayat, who joined the NEF only two
months ago, claimed things had improved during his tenure as he had
taken action against all the provincial directors besides holding an
inquiry to find out the ghost schools.
Hayat said he would
not take any responsibility for anything that was done to the project
before his arrival but was ready to be held accountable for what had
been done during the last two months and under his tenure. He said he
was seeking the dismissal of all the provincial directors, including one
from the Punjab who got promotion to BS 19 from BS 16.
the BECS, community schools are set up by the community in their
houses. The BECS provides Rs3,000, Rs4,000 and Rs4,500 per month to
teachers who are matriculate, intermediate and graduate respectively
with Rs1,000 additional given per month to each of these schools for
Each of these community schools was
supposed to have a minimum of 30 students and were designed to impart
education from class I to V. In many schools, which were running for the
last four-five years, they do have students in class I, II and III but
not in IV and V, which means these schools were run on only official
According to Nasir Hayat, NGOs do the supervision
of these schools, but added that he was seeking restructuring of the
project to ensure that the desired results were achieved. He said a
number of BECS officials were removed on corruption charges.
NEF MD said Rs5.4 billion had already been spent on this project, which
required a little over Rs2 billion more for the next two years for
which the NEF had already sent the revised PC-I of the project. The news
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KU announces schedule of BEd supplementary exams
Karachi: University of Karachi (KU) has announced the schedule of BEd
Supplementary Examinations (Morning/Evening), which will commence from
July 19 to August 13 in the new classrooms near the Department of
International Relations, said a statement issued here on Tuesday. All
the papers will be conducted from 02:00pm till 05:00pm.
according to another announcement the KU in collaboration with the
Department of Youth Affairs, Government of Sindh, is organising a Career
Counseling Session on July 19 in the ICCBS Auditorium - HEJ Research
Institute of Chemistry. Justice (r) Rana Bhagwandas, Chairman Federal
Public Service Commission, will deliver the keynote address. Daily times
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MQM condemns teachers' sacking
Qaumi Movement (MQM) Minister of State Dr Nadeem Ehsan and Deputy
Parliamentary leader of the MQM in the National Assembly Haider Abbas
Rizvi have strongly condemned the termination of 1,613 teachers by the
District Coordination Officer (DCO) in Dera Ismail Khan on political
grounds. They termed the act of termination by one stroke of the pen as
utter violation of the rules and regulations and anti-education step of
They said that the service tribunal had
decided the case in favour of the teachers, but the act of disobeying
the decision on political pressure had darkened the future of the
teachers and their families.
They said that the prevailing
double standards of the educational system were already creating
hurdles in the spread of education in the country. They said that the
forced termination of the teachers, who were imparting knowledge and
awareness in the students belonging to the poor and the middle class,
would in no way prove to be fruitful for the country.
expressed their solidarity with the teachers and said that the MQM
leadership would continue to raise its voice for their rights. The news
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Higher education in dire straits
Islamabad: Non-release of funds amounting to Rs9
billion from the budget of 2011-12 and Rs10 billion deduction from
budget of 2012-13 (overall Rs19 billion) for Higher Education Commission
(HEC) will seriously impact the higher education sector in the country.
Besides, 20 per cent increase in salaries and pensions for 2012-13
could lead universities towards bankruptcy. Universities have been
borrowing to pay salaries with no hope in sight.
According to sources, the estimated deficit of Rs19 billion, in the
current fiscal year, will not allow new enrollment, faculty hiring and
Returning scholars (from abroad) who expect higher salaries which are
used as an incentive for attracting international academics may
consider other opportunities rather than returning home and it will be a
loss for the entire country, sources said.
A faculty member of the university requesting anonymity said: "Just
eight per cent of the population in the age group of 17 – 23 years has
access to higher education.
"The Education Policy 2009 says it will rise to 10 per cent by 2015
and 15 per cent by 2020. Reduced funding will not help in achieving this
target which is also a broader indicator for the World Bank loan to the
federal government in the form of budgetary support."
"Over 10,000 scholars studying in the country and abroad are in dire
straits. Funding in the form of stipend and tuition fees have not been
paid to foreign and local scholars for the last six months," he said.
"The human resource development component itself is Rs9 billion which
covers tuition and stipends of these scholars who are studying in
reputed universities of academically advanced countries across the
world," he added.
Another officer of HEC on condition of anonymity said lack of
research facilities particularly lab facilities was the key barrier for
students, researchers and faculties at higher education institutions
The ongoing academic programmes of some faculties at universities are
at stake as accreditations requirements for enhancement of
laboratories, infrastructure, faculty etc. are not being fulfilled.
"More than 4,000 approved PhD scholarships (both HEC and HEIs) are
delayed due to financial constraints. Eight newly established
universities have not been awarded even a single development project so
far and majority of these universities are located in remote areas of
Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab," he said. "The newly established
sub campuses in the deprived areas require immediate support for
academic activities to take off and no development funding has been made
to the majority of these sub campuses so far," he said.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Balochistan Prof Dr Rasool
Bakhsh Raisani, said big universities have
resources but Balochistan University cannot survive without funding.
"We have requested HEC to give us funds on priority basis and also
appealed to government of Balochistan to help us. Even increase in fees
will not resolve our issue, so I can not say anything about the future
strategy," he said.
Dr Nizamuddin, chairman development committee on social sciences and
vice-chancellor, University of Gujrat, said Prime Minister Raja Pervez
Ashraf initially assured that funds would be given for higher education
but later bureaucracy became a hurdle.
"Government of Punjab helped us in development projects but refused
to give funds to hire new faculty due to which classrooms are useless,"
he said. Adviser to HEC Dr Riaz Qureshi said the commission was in touch
with the relevant departments and time and again informed them about
"We have been hoping positively but let's see what happens," he said.
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PhD degree awarded
Peshawar: The University of Peshawar has awarded a
PhD degree to Salman Bangash, who is serving as lecturer in the
department of history.
Defence of his thesis was held on June 21, 2012. External supervisor
was Prof Iqbal Chawla, department of history, University of the Punjab,
while internal examiner was Prof Sarfraz Khan, director of the Area
Study Centre (Russia, China & Central Asia), University of Peshawar.
Dr Salman Bangash was enrolled as a PhD scholar in 2004-05. He has
successfully completed his thesis on "Tribal Belt on the Anglo-Afghan
Border: Its Genesis and Purpose during the British Rule in India". Late
scholar Dr Mohammad Anwar Khan, who died in February 2012, was his
supervisor. Dr Bangash has appealed to the HEC to meet his expenditures
to be incurred on travel to the United Kingdom to get access to research
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