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Trained Graduate Teachers strike

Teachers go on indefinite strike
Islamabad, June 11: Hundreds of Trained Graduate Teachers (TGT) of federal government schools went on indefinite strike from Thursday against non up-gradation of their basic pay scale.

The trained graduate teachers of both male and female schools working under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) stared observing pen drop strike all over the federal capital and have announced to continue their protest till acceptance of their demands. Most of the protesting TGTs are those, who were appointed in BPS-16 in 1989 or after have not got promotion since then.

The students of 350 federal government schools went to their classes on Thursday, but no academic activity took place. The teachers tied black ribbons around their foreheads and arms to register their protest.

A representative of TGTs said that the federal government recently issued a notification for up-gradation of posts of teachers primary teachers from BPS-9 to 14 and Trained Undergraduate Teachers (TUGTs) from BPS-14 to 16, but no decision have taken for their promotion from BPS-16 to 17.

He said that most of TGTs who are demanding for up-gradation of their post were appointed in BPS-15 or 16 in 1989, 1990 and after and have not been able to reach BPS-17 due to faulty promotion policies of the government. "We are assets of the federal government educational institutions, but have ignored totally," he said.

Most of the TGTs who teach arts and science subjects of middle and secondary classes hold masters and BEd degrees, but instead promoting them, the government over the last 21 years had adopted direct recruitment policy in BPS-17 through Federal Public Service Commission. "It is great injustice to us that we are in the same pay scale for the last two decades," Ms. Saeeda, a TGT said.

An official of the FDE when contacted, said the directorate had sent a proposal to the Establishment of up-gradation of posts of different pay scales while the approval was only to up-gradation of primary teachers and TUGTs posts and response had been receive in case of TGTs up-gradation.

The sources said that Federal Teachers Union President Azhar Awan and President People's Teachers Union are in contact with Ministry of Education and Establishment Division for addressing the grievances of protesting teachers.

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UK to provide books to 3m kids
Islamabad: The UK Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell said that Britain would focus on education sector in Pakistan, especially girls' education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where more than three million children would be provided textbooks while 300,000 girls would get monthly stipend with the aim to encourage them to attend schools.

The UK secretary of state stated this while addressing a press conference here on Thursday.

He said that Pakistan is a highest priority for UK. "Pakistan is facing an education emergency. The facts are shocking. Half of the adult population and two-thirds of women are illiterate," he said, adding that DFID is committed to support Pakistan in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

He said, "We are confident that the Pakistan government would ensure availability of necessary resources to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the education system in the country."

"The children who will immediately benefit from the programme are enrolled in government primary and secondary schools, especially girls. It will also benefit children from the poorest families, who were unable to attend schools without such assistance," he added.

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Urdu speech contest held at AAUR
Rawalpindi: Directorate of Students Affairs of Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) organized the first inter-faculty level Urdu parliamentary style debate contest at the university here on Thursday.

The event was attended by faculty members and a large number of students of the university and thoroughly enjoyed the lively speeches presented both in favour and against the topics, which were given to the participants on the spot.

The teams participated in the competition were Faculty of Crop and Food Sciences (FC&FS), Faculty of Forestry and Range Management (FF&RM), Faculty of Science (FS), Faculty of Veterinary & Animal Sciences (FV&AS), University Institute of Information Technology (UIIT) and University Institute of Management Sciences (UIMS).

In the contest Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Science got first, while Faculty of Forestry & Range Management and University Institute of Information Technology got second and third positions, respectively.

Dean Faculty of Forestry and Range Management, Prof. Dr. Sarwat Naz Mirza who was the chief guest appreciated the high standard and quality of debates and said Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi is striving to focus on extra-curricular activities along with academics to prepare the youth to meet contemporary challenges.

He emphasized that students should participate in extra-curricular activities that made them aware and assertive.

Prof. Dr. Azher Naeem Director Students Affairs said that speech contest provides a healthy environment for the students to brighten and promote communication skills in critical thinking and under the directorate such type of events would be organized in future as well.

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Quality enhancement of higher education stressed
Rawalpindi: Quality Enhancement Cell at the Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) organized a workshop on higher education quality enhancement (HEQE) here.

Prof. Dr. Saeeda Asadullah Khan Vice Chancellor Fatima Jinnah Women University said, "Education is the best investment and the best source where one sows and the other harvests". She said that quality education is important for every individual in Pakistan, knowledge and learning plays important role in the strength of the country. This is a world where social, economic and demographic changes are taking place so we need a proactive approach towards quality enhancement of higher education.

The chief guest of technical session was Dr. Syed Mahnood Raza Director Quality Assurance HEC.

He emphasized on removing ambiguities and investing not only on education but also on quality education. The news

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