HEC anti-smoking lectures in universities
Universities still waiting on HEC's 'anti-smoking lectures'
Lahore, June 07: Universities in the provincial metropolis are still deprived of
lectures on the risks of smoking, which were promised to be conducted
by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), in collaboration with WHO and
the Health Ministry, starting from 2008, it is learnt.
plan was devised to spread awareness on the risks of smoking and
discourage the act in the country's institutions. Although the HEC has
conducted such lectures in Karachi and Islamabad's institutions, Lahore
– where the trend of smoking sheeshas and drugs has significantly
increased among students – has so far been completely ignored and
various varsities are still waiting for the HEC to initiate its
However, HEC Learning Innovation Director Noor Amina
Malik said that the commission would soon conduct lectures
in institutions in the provincial metropolis.
details, the HEC, WHO and the Health Ministry, in early 2008, jointly
decided to hold anti-smoking lectures in institutions across the
province. According to the plan, the HEC made a list of institutions in
Lahore where the said lectures would be conducted and announced that
their campaign would begin soon.
According to sources in the
HEC, it was decided that the lectures would be held at the National
College of Arts (NCA), Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS),
Fast-National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences
(Fast-NUCES), Beaconhouse National University (BNU), Government College
University (GCU), Kinnaird College (KC), Forman Christian College
University (FCCU), Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) and the
Punjab University (PU). The sources said that it had come to the
knowledge of the HEC that students at these institutions indulged in
smoking cigarettes and sheeshas, adding that the HEC was concerned
about the increasing number of students who were getting addicted to
An HEC official, seeking anonymity said that according to plan, universities would be instructed to implement
the Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non Smokers Health
Ordinance 2002, which would declare all educational institutions
It is worth noting that the HEC held
anti-smoking lectures in Karachi some month ago and also conducted
lectures in a number of institutions in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
"According to the plan, the HEC is focusing on the elite private
institutions of the country," the official said.
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HEC, FAPUSA at loggerheads over appointment issue
Lahore: A dispute has erupted between the
Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Federation of All-Pakistan
Universities Academic Associations (FAPUSA) on the issue of the
appointment of professors and associate professors (AP) and on the
requirements of research articles for both these posts, it is learnt.
The HEC is going to implement a new required formula for
the position of professor and APs from June 31. However, the FAPUSA has
shown concerns about the said formula and announced to launch a
countywide movement against the HEC in case the formulae was
According to the new eligibility formula that will
be implemented from June 31, 15 research articles are required for the
post of professor and 12 research articles are required for the post of
associate professors and these research articles should be published in
the HEC as recognised research journals.
After June 31, the
HEC will only consider those research publications and research
articles that have been published by it as recognised research journals
and the research articles published in other research journals will not
be recognised at the time of selections for these posts. FAPUSA
President Dr Maher Saeed Akhtar said that thousands of teachers in
public sector universities would be deprived of promotions, adding that
the association will resist against the HEC and will launch countrywide
protests. Dr Maher asked the HEC to postpone its plans of rejecting
pre-PhD teaching experience for appointments of professors and
associate professors in public sector universities after June 30 for 10
years and not reject publications in non-HEC approved journals.
is worth noting that the HEC wanted to implement its new formula five
years ago, but it received stiff criticism from educational quarters.
The FAPUSA president said that the association would hold press
conferences in all major cities against the HEC's decision. HEC
Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi said that the
commission believes that FAPUSA's stance is based on logic and that
their concerns would be discussed in an upcoming meeting in July. Daily times
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Summer vacation controversies and more
Like every year issues related to summer vacation in educational
institutions remained controversial among stakeholders -- school
education department, teachers, private schools' managements and
parents – as the government allowed summer camps in private as well as
public sector schools after announcing an unprecedented over 100-day
As the weather grew hotter by the end of May
and it became harder for schoolchildren to stay in their classrooms,
the demand for announcing summer vacation swelled.
With a view
to open schools and colleges after the fasting month of Ramazan, the
Punjab government unilaterally decided to announce summer vacation from
June 1 till August 15. The decision drew a strong reaction from public
as well as private sector for the longer duration of vacation.
the wake of two weekly holidays and other vacation, the critics
deplored the drastic reduction in academic year, saying it would have a
negative bearing on students' learning. The private sector out-rightly
refused to follow the government's schedule and announced they would go
for vacation from June 15.
Realising that the study days had
been reduced considerably, the government in an unprecedented move,
allowed all private as well as public sector schools to hold "free"
summer camps. The government also instructed the schools to hold summer
camps for students of Class-V, VIII, IX and X, who would be going for
The permission for holding summer camps
added to problems of the parents who were sending their children to
schools by private vans. In many cases, the van owners, who charge full
fee during summer vacation as well, have simply refused to continue the
service for the summer camps. Most parents say they would not be able
send their children to schools for the purpose. But at the same time
they feel their children will miss the extra studies and other
activities to be held at these summer camps. Dawn
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Teachers boycott English classes
Lahore: The Joint Action Committee Asatza Punjab (JACAP) has
boycotted spoken English classes by demanding extra perks and
privileges for teachers for services at summer camps.
JACAP leadership, including Rana Mohammad Arshad, Alam Khan, Rana
Liaqat, Ashiq Rahmani, Aslam Ghumman and Sajjad Kazmi among others,
declared its stance after a meeting of the committee. The JACAP
maintained that the government's sudden shift of stance to allow summer
camps had unsettled the lives of the teachers who had streamlined their
routine for the coming months.
They also demanded that if the
teachers' services at summer camps were rendered compulsory then they
should also be entitled to 48 paid leaves in a year. The JACAP demanded
that all the teachers over the age of 58 years should be exempted from
summer camp coaching. The JACAP said the boycott of the spoken English
classes would start from June 7. The news
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