UoP sexual harassment factual report
UoP sexual harassment issue being blown out of proportion
Peshawar, June 10: The metaphor of "making a mountain out of a molehill" proved exactly true when the issue of
sexual harassment at the University of Peshawar (UoP) echoed in the Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and prompted the provincial government and the varsity
administration to form two different committees to probe the issue and submit
factual reports to the quarters concerned.
Both the committees failed to
come up with concrete evidence to prove the issue raised by Nighat Yasmeen
Orakzai, the Pakistan Muslim League-Q legislator in the assembly. The issue that
hit the headlines and became a hot topic of discussion and was even highlighted
in the foreign media carried little truth.
The two committees
interrogated six out of the 650 teachers of the oldest and most prestigious seat
of higher education in the province and among them only one was found guilty.
The committee under Provincial Minister for Social Welfare Sitara Ayaz had to
find facts about five professors who had been accused of sexually harassing
students or colleagues.
Sitara Ayaz said the
committee had almost finalised the report. She said the body was waiting for the
input of the lawmaker who had raised the issue in the provincial assembly and as
soon as her viewpoint is received, the committee would submit the report to the
The minister said the committee failed to lay hand on any
concrete evidence against any of the accused professors or other teachers of the
university as nobody turned up to testify that he or she was a victim or had
valid proofs about the involvement of those people in harassment.
allegations were based on anonymous letters and hearsay and no action can be
taken on the basis of such invalid documents and statements, she said. "The
accused professors too were summoned by the committee and they recorded their
statements," she added.
She said the committee also got letters from some
female MPhil and PhD students, who disclosed their identity as well, refuting
the reports about the alleged harassment. These students were of the opinion
that since they were doing research work they have to remain with their
respective supervisors for hours, but they have not felt anything wrong so far.
And even if such situation arises at all, the students said they were mature
enough to deal it properly. Sitara said these letters too were made part of the
inquiry report that would be submitted to the chief minister.
university administration had formed another committee to look into the alleged
sexual harassment committed by a History Department lecturer Zahid Ali, who had
already been suspended by the university on the same charge. The committee under
Prof Dr Sara Safdar submitted its report to Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Azmat Hayat
Khan, who would present it to the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and chancellor of
the university Masood Kausar in a meeting today (Friday).
found the lecturer guilty of sexual harassment. It noted that almost all the
faculty members and students interviewed by the committee claimed the he was
involved in such activities.
Some senior professors interviewed by this
correspondent expressed strong reaction to the issue. They acknowledged there
were problems with some faculty members due to which the issue was taken up in
the provincial assembly and found space in the media.
One of the
professors said the issue was not a new one. In the past, several senior faculty
members and some officials in the university administration had been accused of
similar practices and most of them later even married the women they were
involved with. He pointed out some famous cases of such nature in the
university. Unfortunately, he added that most of those faculty members were
assigned key posts including the post of vice chancellors in different
universities in the province. "This means that those at the helm of affairs
themselves were patronising this thing," he maintained.
He remarked that
those responsible for making appointments against key positions should assess
the character of the people being appointed as well as it brought a band name to
the teaching profession.
Another senior professor said the issue should
be dealt with seriously as this had alerted the parents to think hundred times
before sending daughters to the university. He said this would also force the
parents to make demands for more women universities in the province.
professor said the issue should be probed by a judicial committee headed by a
judge of the high court. "If anyone is found involved in this heinous practice,
he should be awarded exemplary punishment. And if there is no truth in the
allegation, those who have raised the issue should be sued in a court of law,"
he stressed. The news
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Varsity officials suspended for leaking paper
Mardan: Authorities of the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan (AWKUM) have suspended two
employees and handed them over to city police for leaking the English paper of
BA (third year) scheduled for Thursday, sources said.
However, they added that the paper was held as scheduled as a new paper was
set overnight Thursday.
The sources said that on a tip-off Vice Chancellor Dr Ihsan Ali and registrar
Prof Sher Ali raided a place outside the university around midnight on Wednesday
and recovered the English paper of BA (third year).
"After this the officials raided the university's examination block and
according to their preliminary investigation they suspected that two key punch
operators (KPOs) of the university, identified as Murad and Waheed, were
responsible for the leak," said the sources.
They said that during probe the KPOs admitted before the VC and other
university officials that they had received Rs50,000 for leaking the English
"Both the officials have been suspended and handed over to police for further
investigations," said Prof Sher Ali, when contacted. He, however, said that the
university had also constituted an inquiry committee to find out other members
of the gang.
Prof Ali said that the university officials cancelled the 'out' paper and
prepared a new English paper on the same night, which was held as scheduled on
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Provinces asked to utilise maximum budget for education
Islamabad: In Pakistan, education department is not structured enough to integrate all
educational, nutritional and health related indicators together. Provinces are
on driving seats now and they can decide on which measures they want to take in
delivering education, said Shahnaz Wazir Ali.
Addressing the participants
of the World Food Programme (WFP) National School Feeding Plenary Session, She
said the provinces need advocacy for improving educational facilities and
utilising maximum budget towards education, enrolling more and more children in
She said that the government has provided Rs400 billion
to the provinces to design and implement good education infrastructure. "It was
discussed in Wednesday's meeting with UNESCO and other counterparts that there
would be free compulsory and quality education from grade 1-5 especially in KPK.
Now, it is time to provide citizen advocacy to the provinces so that they can
build the required and exceptional infrastructure of education in the country,"
She said that WFP has recognised the critical situation of
education in Pakistan and came forth to assist in building education capacity of
the country. "It has not only participated in the flood disaster and earthquake
but also in the insecurity aspects of Pakistan," she
Representative of FATA Directorate for Education Fazle Mannan said
that federal list has been abolished and now 18th Amendment miraculous
achievement can be seen as provinces are given more authority to implement their
He said that FATA has lowest literacy rate of 32% (3 % girls
and 29% boys), according to the 1998 population census. "FATA is 30 years behind
rest of the provinces of the country because of internal and external issues
especially law and order situation," he added.
Representative Mohammad Ayub said that national nutritional survey and other
relevant data of six months period shows that we are facing nutritional problems
emerging with double pace and capacity day by day. "1,600 calories are consumed
across the boundaries within each household while the data indicates that intake
of food has declined from 2,000 calories to 1,600 calories during past few
years," he said.
He said that decline in food indicates has led to the
increase in the dropout at school level. "Nutritional deficiency and dropout
from schools are co-related. We have 30% malnourished children in Pakistan who
cannot attend schools because of this deficiency," he added.
Representative Arshad Saeed, in his presentation titled 'Constitutional
Amendment No. 18 - Prospects and Issues for Education Sector in Pakistan,' said
the insertion of Article 25-A in the Constitution is a tremendous achievement,
however, concerted efforts are needed to implement it.
He said further
legislation is needed to implement this article along with passage of education
act and framing of rules. Seven million children aged 5-9 are out of school and
the provinces have to increase spending on education sector, he
Unesco Country Director Dr. Kozue Kay Nagata said that the rise in
oil and food prices has negative impact on the communities. The high demand on
UN economies has negative impact on poor population who cannot prioritise their
"In 18th amendment, we have to work for all the children including
poor, government and private etc. Our beneficiary must be most disadvantaged and
challenging, suffering from nutrition," he said.
He said that Pakistan
government has made a new programme of benefits for disabled today. "We have to
give incentives and look at the demand side so that supply of education and
nutrition should equally be provided. To reach most disadvantaged groups Unicef,
Unesco and Pakistan government are working together," he added.
Country Director in Pakistan Wolfgang Herbinger said there is one-third dropout
in schools in Pakistan while nutritional deficiency as micronutrient is not even
satisfactory. "For past three years, the situation of Pakistan has been
deteriorating and environment is difficult. No doubt, there are new
opportunities for the humanitarian actors as provinces who always take lead,
need to be partnered with," he said.
He said that this is the time to set
our priorities as we have just come out of the biggest flood in the history of
Pakistan. He believes that it is an opportunity for us, now to assist these
schools and provide required facilities.
"It is important to inform
teachers that they should create awareness among students about what they should
do in the case of any disaster. WFP's DRM is serving this purpose as it is
expanding geographically to create the awareness of disaster risk management
that should be taken care of by everyone in a society," he said.
that now, we have education atlas that visualises the progress and whole
information about WFPs school feeding programme. It is a web-based version that
can be accessed by anyone who needs information on education developmental
programme of WFP.
Chief of Education (Unicef) Bart Vrolijk said
devolution of education has fixed responsibility on the provinces to educate the
children without discrimination.
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Lively show by IGSC students
Islamabad: The Kindergarten Section of the International Grammar School and College (IGSC)
celebrated its 21st Annual Graduation Day for Pre-Nursery, Nursery and
Kindergarten Classes of 2011 here on Wednesday.
Prior to the formal
graduation ceremony, the Pre-Nursery and Nursery students along with the
Kindergarten students put up impressive performances of skits and rhymes. The
well-known classics 'Little Red Riding Hood' and 'Goldilocks and the Three
Bears' were performed by the students of Kindergarten.
The students of
Nursery performed enthusiastically on the popular nursery rhymes 'Old Mac Donald
had a farm' and 'The Farmer in the Den'. Their costumes truly replicated the
animals present on a farm, specially the cow, the sheep, the hen and the
The youngest performers of the day were the Pre-Nursery students
who put up an act from a contemporary everyone's favourite 'Barney Show' .The
scene was of a party and the students looked adorable in their outfits, singing
and dancing excitedly to the catchy Barney songs. They had their very own
Barney, the friendly purple dinosaur, whose costumes were imported to entertain
the children. The confidence with which the young Grammarians acted out their
roles and their perfect delivery in English at this tender age from 3 to 5 years
took every one's by surprise.
Another memorable moment for both parents
and teachers was to see the youngest Grammarians being awarded their first-ever
certificates of promotion to the next senior class. The principal announced that
every great journey begins with a single step as she congratulated the Class of
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SBBU campus in Chitral demanded
Peshawar: Zainul Abideen, a former member of the provincial assembly and erstwhile district president of the
Pakistan People's Party, has underscored the need for establishment of
sub-campus of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University (SBBU) in Chitral.
statement, he said the federal government had approved establishment of the
SBBU, Sheringal, Dir Upper sub-campus in Chitral but the decision had not been
implemented for the last two years.
The former lawmaker said the
government could establish the sub-campus even in a rented building if there was
no state land for constructing a building. He deplored silence of the high-ups
over this important issue, adding that the delay in implementing the project was
a source of concern for Chitralis, who were already suffering because of the
locational disadvantage. Zainul Abideen said: "It is strange that a district
with 14,850 square kilometres area has been deprived of the university
sub-campus," he added. The news
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