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Education budget 2008-09, Rs22b proposals

Education depts finalise Rs 22b budgetary proposals
Lahore, June 06, 2008: Various departments in the education sector have forwarded budgetary proposals worth Rs 22 billion in the Annual Development Plan (ADP) 2008-09 in the upcoming budget, it was learnt.

According to sources, a major chunk of proposed allocation - over Rs 20 billion - had been proposed by the Punjab School Education Department and the Higher Education Department while rest of the allocation in the budget has been proposed by other departments, including Punjab Special Education Department and Literacy and Non-Formal Basic Education Department.

The Punjab government had allocated Rs 21.480 billion for education sector in the ADP 2007-08, registering an increase of 72 per cent as compared to the budgetary allocation for 2006-07.

Sources in the Punjab Education Department, which has recently been bifurcated into the School Education department and the Higher Education department, have finalized budget proposals.

According to the sources, the School Education Department has proposed around Rs 10 billion budget adding almost similar allocations were being proposed by the Higher Education Department. Regular meetings were being held with the Planning and Development (PD) Department these days.

Sources in the Special Education Department said the department had proposed around Rs 1 billion allocations but the PD had imposed cuts on these proposals. It is also learnt that the Literacy Department had also proposed around Rs 1 billion budgetary allocation.

Senior officials of departments in the education sector, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the PD had been imposing cuts on the proposed allocations forwarded by various departments adding meetings to finalise the budgetary proposals were being held in this connection almost on a daily basis.

They said various schemes, introduced in the ADP 2007-08 which could not be initiated during the whole last year would be included in the upcoming annual development plan.

The sources revealed that various schemes for the higher education for the year 2007-08 including internal merit scholarships for professional colleges in Punjab, establishment of public library at Kamalia, Toba Tak Singh, college teachers training, establishment of Government Girls' Degree College Shahdra, Marghazar Colony Lahore, Khanewal, Sialkot and Chakwal and establishment of Boys Degree Colleges at Gujrat, Multan, Jhang and Shalimar Town Lahore could not be initiated and these schemes would be included in the ADP 2008-09.

When contacted, Higher Education Department's Deputy Director (Planning) Iftikhar Hassan Butt said some schemes regarding establishment of new colleges could not be initiated due to non availability of land. He said majority of the schemes had been approved and would be started soon. A scheme regarding college teachers training could not be started in 2007-08 and it would be included in 2008-09 ADP. He said around 85 percent of the previous budgetary allocation had been used so far.

According to the sources, a number of schemes from the school side could not be started during the previous fiscal year and would be included in the upcoming ADP. Prominent among these schemes are renovation of Government Central Model High School, Lower Mall and provision of building for the Punjab Examination Commission. They said both the schemes had been included in the ADP 2008-09.

It is learnt that a number of these schemes related to the Literacy and Non Formal Basic Education Department included in the ADP 2007-08 could not be started during the ongoing fiscal year about to end soon and these schemes had been included in the next ADP.

It is learnt that the Special Education Department had started almost all the schemes including nutrition programme for students of special education, provision of teaching aids to students, establishment of a computer lab and recourse and guidance center at Lahore, provision of first aid kits to the institutions of special education in Punjab, establishment of special home for destitute children at Lahore, implementation of special education institutions/ centers in Punjab and some other schemes.

The sources said a scheme regarding establishment of labs for the repair and maintenance of equipment/ teaching aids at district level in Punjab was dropped by the secretary of the Special Education Department. When contacted, Secretary Suhail Masood said the scheme was dropped after thorough deliberations. "It would have become a liability for ever because of which the scheme was dropped", he added. The News

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PMC expels 23 Ahmedi students for preaching religion
Faisalabad: The Punjab Medical College (PMC) Faisalabad on Thursday expelled 23 Ahmedi students accused of preaching religion in the university, following a recommendation by the college's disciplinary committee. Earlier, PMC students had staged a protest demanding the students' expulsion. The expelled students include Humaira Sadaf, Mansoora Samar, Mariam Mubarik, Sana Nisar, and Anas from the first year, Rubina Aslam, Kanwal Rehman, Hina Munnawar, Shamatul Amber, Kahsif and Haroon from the second year, Nosheen Zafar, Zubda Nasir, Hibatul Qadeer, Zakaullah, Dawood, Ihsan and Hassan from the third year, Zeeshan from the fourth year, and Rabia Shafique, Mansoora Ismail, Hibatul Hameed and Nabila Qudsia from the final year. Daily Times

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Punjab University art students to exhibit theses on 8th
Lahore: Punjab University art and design students will display their final theses at the College of Arts and Design on June 8. Art students say the theses will be executed in a more positive manner than previously because they have also designed the advertising and communication campaigns for the event.

Fine Arts student Muhammad Adil will be displaying his thesis on "the silent solicitors of the past". He claims that a strong design communication strategy can help silent solicitors shed light on their hidden stories.

Student Umar Aqil will be displaying his thesis on Iqbal, to stimulate debate in the nation. He has designed posters containing Iqbal's messages. He said that as an art student, he felt it was his duty to study the works of Iqbal and help his nation do the same. This will be the first time such a proposal will be presented at the Nazaria-e-Pakistan foundation.

Asif Javed has produced a thesis celebrating 25 years of Ajoka Theater, which is scheduled to be presented January 2009. He has designed a campaign focused on Ajoka plays based on society. Gathering inspiration from many of the play's characters, Javed has incorporated them in his work.

Benish Khan's thesis focuses on kite flying and the problems it causes such as deaths caused by sharp kite strings. She emphasises on the festivity of the kite flying season as well.

Javera Ali will be displaying her thesis on Indo-Pak peace to serve as an initiative to inculcate patience, brotherhood, tolerance and acceptance amongst the population. The borders between Pakistan and India have a negative connotation which she says she wants to erase. She focuses on the government for promote friendly behaviour between the people of both countries.

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