Who is to blame for the examination mess?
Unfortunately in Karachi several mafias seem to be more powerful
Karachi, Mar 31: When one peruses the manifestoes of each political party,
'education' is listed among their top priorities. However, one wonders about the
tangible improvement to the education sector that these parties can bring, given
that they cannot curb irregularities in examination boards and exams.
education departments of city and provincial governments, as well as all
examination boards play a crucial role in the development of education.
Unfortunately in Karachi several mafias seem to be more powerful than those in
power. Those in Sindh Governor House are well aware of the mafia, and are the
competent authorities for taking departmental action against the offenders.
However, despite evidence being shared and information being conveyed to them,
they have been unable to stop irregularities in the examination of secondary
education in the city. They have also failed to conduct transparent and cheating
free tests in several examination centres across the city.
The Board of
Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) is an examination board which is supposed to
function independently, however officers at the BSEK are pressurised by
political parties. Additionally, there are some officers on key posts at the
board who have been committing several irregularities over the years, but have
never been held accountable.
If one asks the Sindh education department
for taking action against the mafias in the examination boards and the corrupt
officers at the same, they express their helplessness saying that the
examination boards come into the Governor's jurisdiction, not of the education
minister's. Meanwhile, the Sindh education department gets away with all kinds
of allegations saying that they have passed a resolution in the Sindh Assembly
to transfer examination boards to the Sindh education department. Though they
claim that the resolution has been sent to the Governor, but the latter returned
the same for reconsideration. The provincial education department also insists
that like the other three provinces, the examination boards of Sindh should also
be given to the education department.
On the one hand, the education
department places the entire responsibility on the Governor house, which doesn't
seem able to control the mass irregularities in the examination boards. If the
same situation continues, the examination board which has already lost its
credibility would soon fail to produce competent people for professional
We have been receiving huge aids for education sector for a long
time, which have hardly yielded any fruits. Some one has to come up and take the
responsibility of improving the examination systems and reforming the
functioning of examination boards. To answer all critics and ease pressure of
his department, the Sindh Governor should immediately take necessary measures
for mass reformation in the functioning of examination boards and transparency
of exams, even if it requires him to sack incompetent and corrupt staff in his
own secretariat. -By Farooq Baloch, email@example.com (The News)
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Ghalib Library in need of water, repair
Karachi: Ghalib Library, one of the few specialised libraries in the
country mainly dedicated to the promotion of Urdu literature, is in need of
A visit to the library showed that parts of its eaves had fallen
from many places in recent months, posing a serious threat to passers-by. A
large collection of valuable periodicals, stocked in a room on the first floor,
was damaged sometime ago by rainwater due to the broken ceiling. Moreover, water
supply to the library was suspended two months ago.
the Idara-i-Yaadgaar-i-Ghalib by renowned literati such as Faiz Ahmed Faiz,
Mirza Zafrul Hasan, Begum Majeed Malik and Sibte Hasan, the library has been
functioning since 1971.
Honorary secretary of the library Rana Farooqui
said that the suspension of water supply had adversely affected the
library's working. The number of visitors had reduced. "How can anybody work at
any place without water? The suspension of water supply has aggravated our
problems in recent months," she said.
She added that the authorities
concerned had so far not responded to the letters sent to them for the
provision/ resumption of water supply to the library.
The library has
been facing a financial crisis for many years. Neither the Sindh government nor
the city district government of Karachi gives any financial support to the
library at present.
The little assistance it was getting from the former
Karachi Metropolitan Corporation came to an end in 1997. Though support from the
previous city government, Infaq Foundation, and its own members helped it
continue functioning, the library at present is getting a paltry annual sum of
Rs50,000 from the Academy of Letters. That, too, is bound with the publication
of some material by the library.
Ms Farooqui said: "It's only through
the determination of the people associated with the library that it is still
working. Their dedication stems from the love and respect they have for the
great learned people who established the library as well as from their interest
in Urdu literature," she added.
The library boasts more than 35,000
books, some of them rare, and 50,000 issues of around 600 journals. It also has
a rare copy of a book in Arabic, printed in 1847 and titled 'Faraiz-ud-Dahr',
which is perhaps the only copy available at present. Some 19th century and early
20th century journals are the valued treasure of the library. One can find rare
magazines, such as Hasan (Hyderabad Deccan), Music Gazette (Faizabad),
Rafiq-ul-Atibba (Lahore), Doctor (a homeopathy magazine from Lahore), Al-Mualij
(Amritsar), Ghar Ka Ved (Amritsar) and Oudh Punch (Lucknow). Hundreds of college
magazines also adorn the shelves of the library. About 2,000 special issues of
literary journals are stocked here. In addition, letters written by authors and
intellectuals are preserved in the library.
Apart from its valuable
collection of books and periodicals on Ghalib, the library has published many
books on some great poets of Urdu. It also has original scripts of some TV and
radio dramas. "With this large collection of valuable reading material, the
library needs to be renovated, expanded and made a fully-fledged reading
facility so that more and more people can benefit. At the moment, it opens for
only three hours in the evening and, therefore, visited by a limited number of
people," said a PhD student of Karachi University visiting the library to
prepare her thesis.
LUMHS signs MoU with UK varsity
Hyderabad: The Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences and
the University of Bradford have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for
internationalization of higher education and cultural cooperation between
Pakistan and the UK.
Vice Chancellor, LUMHS, Prof Dr Noshad Ahmed Shaikh
and his counterpart from the University of Bradford Prof Mark Cleary signed the
The accord seeks developing and strengthening bonds
between the two academic communities and in the process generate understanding,
cooperation and communication between their cultures.
The MoU would also
provide a basis on which formal agreements may be drawn for regulating academic,
financial, administrative and practical systems in faculty development and
further in exchanging curriculum, doctoral Programme including split PhDs,
capacity building, training and joint research programmes. Dawn
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Adabi Board's grant raised
Badin: Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq has said that keeping
in view the paucity of funds being faced by the Sindhi Adabi Board, the
provincial government has raised annual allocation for the literary organisation
to Rs50 million.
Speaking at a book fair organised by the Sindhi Adabi
Board here on Monday, he said that the board was an important institution which
was promoting Sindhi language and literature.
He said that in the past,
the board was not properly looked after and corrupt practices had been rampant
in board. Giving an example, he said that complementary copies of the books
published by the board worth Rs700,000 were given away every year and added that
such illegalities had been stopped.
He said that the board was going to
launch an FM radio service which would be the voice of Sindh. He said that
directives had been issued to the board authorities to hold book fairs in
different parts of Sindh to provide people with books on 50 per cent discount.
Mr Mazhar said that a $100 million master plan had been prepared with
the collaboration of World Bank to provide facilities in educational institutes
of the province.
He said that the three-year master plan envisaged
recruitment of teachers, renovation of shelterless schools and construction of
water supply tanks, boundary walls and toilets and provision of other missing
facilities in educational institutes.
The minister said that to achieve
the vision of Ms Benazir Bhutto, more attention was being paid to technical and
computer education and Rs140 million would be spent on computer training to
The secretary of the board, Professor Zawar Naqvi, Professor
Abdullah Mallah and others also spoke.
Earlier, the minister purchased
some books from a stall. He also visited matric examination centres and ordered
arrest of students involved in copying and teachers helping them.
Govt advised to ensure good salary for teachers: Private schools
Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday
recommended that the government should register all private schools at district
level and ensure payment of adequate salary to their teachers.
chamber's president Shafique Ahmed Qureshi said at the first meeting of
chamber's newly-formed educational subcommittee that the members of the chamber
had complained that private schools underpaid teachers and charged heavy fees
but not provided quality education.
He said that after decline in the
standard of education in the government schools the parents who could afford
high fees started getting their children admitted to the private schools to
ensure better future for their children.
He stressed the need for
evolving a policy to ensure adequate compensation to teachers and improvement in
the standard of education in private schools.
The meeting was informed
that at present seven categories of schools were running in Hyderabad and the
rest of the country and the parents had to pay fees between Rs400 to Rs5,000 per
The private schools established in the lanes and streets of less
developed areas charged the students monthly fees of Rs150, the meeting
The meeting noted that in some private schools, teachers were
not being paid minimum salary of Rs6,000 per month as announced by the
government nor were they being provided facilities under the EOBI.
Qureshi said that quality education was a prerequisite for building a healthy
society and primary education was the cornerstone of the edifice of higher
He said the HCCI was acting like a bridge between the
business community and the government and the body was striving hard not only to
solve the problems of traders and industrialists but was also working to solve
collective problems of society.
The chamber had appointed the
subcommittee to solve problems of students, teachers, parents and private
schools in order to serve the cause of education, he said.
of the subcommittee, Nazar Mohammad Qureshi said that the basic purpose of the
subcommittee was to encourage registration of private schools, improve standard
of education, ensure adequate salaries to teachers and build a relationship
between parents and teachers. Dawn
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