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PU suicide incident | Karachi education jobs

Committee probes suicide incident at PU
Lahore, June 26: A three-member Punjab University (PU) committee is investigating the circumstances which led to suicide by a bright student of the varsity's College of Art & Design last week, it is learnt.

The committee was formed by PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran on June 22 after Syed Jalal, a third year student at the PU College of Art & Design's Department of Architecture, committed suicide by jumping from second floor of his house in Ahmed Block, Garden Town on June 20.

The vice-chancellor formed the three-member committee, comprising PUCAD Principal Prof Dr Rahat Naveed Masood, Chairperson Department of Applied Psychology Prof Dr Rukhsana Kausar and Muhammad Hamid Chaudhry lecturer at the PU College of Information & Technology (PUCIT), and directed the committee to furnish a comprehensive report within 10 days after listening to teachers, family members and class fellows of Syed Jalal.

Sources privy to the developments said the VC formed the committee following protests by students of the PUCAD Department of Architecture who claimed that the stressful environment at the department also contributed in death of a bright student like Jalal who was class representative (CR) in first and second years of the five-year Bachelor in Architecture (B. Arch.) programme.

It is reliably learnt that the department's students had locked the department on June 21 as a protest and no classes were held that day, forcing the VC to launch the probe. We talked to a number of current and former students, who seeking anonymity, said the administration had asked them to not interact with media as the issue could tarnish image of the college as well as the varsity.

"However we want a fair investigation as we believe hostile environment at the department and taunting attitude of some faculty members also contributed in suicide of Jalal", they said.One of the students said the inquiry committee had not listened to any of the students so far. The student said Jalal was a bright student and had been a high grader in first and second year. No one could imagine that such a student could commit suicide, they added. The students also said Jalal had written a letter before he committed suicide. In the letter, they added, he had also mentioned hostile environment and taunting attitude of some teachers at the department.

Most of the current students said that third year class had always some issues with faculty members as most of them used to mentally torture students without considering its negative impact which, they believed, had contributed in the unfortunate incident.

It is pertinent to mention that, over the last couple of weeks, a surge in suicides by students has been witnessed. Reportedly, Basharat Khan, an MPhil student at Air University, was found hanged from a ceiling fan in his hostel room in Islamabad on June 21. Earlier, in May, a 7th grader, Abdul Mubeen, 14, had committed suicide at home on return from a boarding school in Abbottabad.

According to, "a piece of paper found in his pocket, the child (Abdul Mubeen) he had decided to kill himself because he didn't want to go to the school for being harshly treated by English teacher".

According to experts, the increase in the rate of suicide among students is a result of examination stress, lack of teachers' competence to implement effective teaching methods and curriculum which is beyond the cognitive reach of children, besides parental pressure and aspirations.

When contacted, PUCAD Principal Prof Dr Rahat Naveed Masood confirmed that the committee had yet to talk to the students with regard to the probe. However, she added, she had been personally in touch with the students over the tragic incident.

To a question, she said she had heard of the letter written by the student, Jalal, but had not seen it personally. She said the letter was in police custody and the committee would ask the police to provide the same as it would helpful in probe assigned to the committee. Prof Rahat Naveed said the committee would also try to talk to parents of the student. She said the late Jalal was an extra intelligent student, terming the suicide "a big tragedy".

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'Education jobs for Karachi being given to other districts'
Karachi: Jobs allocated for the Karachi district in the Sindh education department are being given to people from other districts including, but not limited to, the districts of Thatta, Badin, Ghotki, Sanghar, Khairpur and Larkana, the Taleem Bachao Action Committee (TBAC) informed on Monday.

TBAC is a watchdog of the education department in Sindh and has some 13 education welfare organisations under its umbrella."Of the 36 vacant seats for Assistant Deputy Officer (A.D.O.), 18 for males and 18 for females, only 5 seats are occupied by people from the Karachi district," said Anees-ur-Rehman, Convener TBAC.

According to Rehman, there are four district officers posted under the Director Schools: two each for secondary and higher secondary and elementary schools. Rehman maintains that massive amounts of corruption occur under these district officers, who supervise 36 Assistant Deputy Officers (A.D.O).

"According to the rules, an A.D.O should be a grade-18 officer who is not a subject specialist, but has an administrative background. The current assistant deputy officers are all subject specialists who do not belong to Karachi District."

"As a regular practice, fake domiciles are made days before the appointment; showing their place of birth as Karachi, even though their national identity cards state a different birthplace," said Abdur Rehman Khan, Chairman Heads and Teachers Welfare Association Alliance and General Secretary Pakistan Education Forum

Khan further alleged that when hiring of Sindhi teachers (SLP B9) began in schools, appointment letters were issued to applicants from interior Sindh, who had "applied directly to the education minister".

"We have Sindhi medium schools in Karachi, the first priority for any vacant post for Sindhi teachers should be given to these pass-outs," he said.On June 20, Tahir Qureshi, an M.P.A from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) raised the issue in the parliament about the posting of teachers from interior Sindh to Karachi after a project for constructing a college in Ghora Bari, a town in Sindh, was made defunct.

According to a source in the education department, the project was called off because of protests by the locals of Ghora Bari.Yet, appointments were made and the source alleged that the teachers for the Ghora Bari College were posted to two colleges in S.I.T.E area in Karachi. "The teachers never came to the colleges. They lived in their village in interior Sindh and got their pay without ever conducting a class," the source. The source also claimed that 29 employees posted in Karachi were from Sindh.

The source further shared, "At least 12 people who were previously posted in Daulatpur were transferred to a college in Gadap Town. All 12 are waiters at the Al-habib Restaurant, and paid salaries despite not conducting classes."

When contacted, Director General Colleges Dr Nasir Ansar maintained that the Ghora Bari Government College was, in fact, functional. "The college is running, though it has very few students. If a college is running then the point of transferring its teachers to Karachi is automatically out of question," he said. When approached, Director Schools Niaz Leghari refused to comment on the issue. The news

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KU semester results
Karachi: University of Karachi (KU)'s Vice Chancellor Prof Muhammad Qaiser has said that the university is promoting standard education by implementing upon all necessary steps.

He expressed these views in Semester Examination 2012 result announcing ceremony, presided over by Prof Dr Haider Abbas Rizvi here on Monday.

Prof Qaiser said that timely result announcement boosts the students' morale and that conducting a ceremony for the announcement of semester examination result after 20 years was an evidence of varsity's progress. On the occasion, Dr Rizvi informed that the university announced semester result of 16 departments which was also uploaded on the official KU website. He said that the role played by teachers and professors in this regard was vital.

Dr Rizvi said that the university had announced results of 16 departments, including Commerce, Genetics, Islamic History, Islamic Learning, Philosophy, Physiology, Psychology, Quran wa Sunnah, Sindhi, Special Education, Statistics, Social Work, Urdu and Usool-e-Din. It is pertinent to mention here that the announcement of KU semester examination result was an old ritual now revived after 20 years. Daily times

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New academic block being constructed at FUUAST
Karachi: A new academic block would be constructed at the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Campus of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST). This was announced by the spokesperson of the institution here on Monday. Vice-Chancellor FUUAST Prof Dr Muhammad Qaiser will lay the foundation stone of the building.

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'Urdu University made rapid headway'
Karachi: The Urdu University has made a rapid headway. This was stated by president Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu Aftab Ahmed Khan here on Monday. He was speaking at the oath-taking of the newly elected office-bearers of Anjuman Asatiza of Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST), Gulshan-e-Iqbal Campus. Khan pointed out that Urdu was not a hurdle in the way of progress. General secretary of the teachers' society Dr Iftikhar Ahmed Tahiri said that the FUUAST has made progress in the realms of research. He vowed to serve the University, its teachers and work for the academic advancement. app

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