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Government colleges teachers boycott in Sindh

Lecturers to boycott classes
Karachi, March 31: Teachers of government colleges across the province will boycott classes on Wednesday (today) and will observe a complete strike to protest the police brutality against members of the Sindh Professors and Lecturers' Association (SPLA) - the representative body of government college teachers - at the DJ Science College on Tuesday.

A large number of college teachers from different cities and towns of the province had arrived in Karachi to attend the SPLA general body meeting. The summit, chaired by the association's provincial president, Prof. Ather Hussain Mirza, took serious note of the undue delay in promotions, upgrading grades, and raises in salaries of government college teachers.

The college teachers have been demanding that a time-scale based system should be introduced for promotions of college teachers, as had been imposed in Balochistan, and teachers' salaries should be increased as was the commitment made by the provincial government when the last budget was presented.

The participants of the meeting resolved to stage a protest rally from DJ College till Sindh Chief Minister House to register their demands and grievances before the provincial chief executive. Around 2pm, the protesting college teachers took to the street in front of DJ College, but they were met by armed police personnel, who severely baton-charged the protesting teachers.

Dozens of government college teachers, including women, were arrested by the police, who were fully equipped with riot gear. The police also resorted to indiscriminate baton-charging and manhandling protesting college teachers, before preventing the rally from taking place altogether. Female college teachers faced the wrath of the law-enforcers in equal measure, as there was no special deployment of women's police at the spot, witnesses and participants of the rally said.

Earlier, the director-general and additional secretary of Sindh colleges (subordinate body of Sindh education department) rushed to the DJ Science College, and attempted to soothe the sentiments of college teachers assembled at the venue. The aggrieved college teachers ignored the persuasions of the two relevant education officials, and persisted with their decision to hold their protest march. The college teachers, in turn, were warned that they would not be allowed to stage the rally, and severe action would be taken against them in case they did not reverse their decision.

Later in the evening, police officials said that around 40 college teachers lodged at Preedy Police Station had been released. Those arrested by police included the SPLA presidents of Karachi and Sukkur regions, but according to the police, college teachers were arrested as a "preventive measure," but interestingly, no case was registered against them.

The SPLA has also demanded the dismissal of Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq following the incident. Prof. Iftikhar Aazmi, an SPLA leader, said that around 100 college teachers, including key office-bearers of the association, were manhandled and arrested by the police. He said that the police were fully equipped with riot gear, and water cannons were also deployed for use. Several of the senior teachers courted their arrest after they saw many of their colleagues being hauled up, but even such a voluntary action also invited manhandling by law-enforcers, he said.

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Govt officials, media raid SSC exam centres
Karachi: On the directives of Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, a joint team of government officials and media persons raided various examination centres, where the Secondary School Certificate examinations are being held. During the raid, use of unfair means and presence of irrelevant persons were witnessed at various centres.

Additional Secretary to Governor on Education Kamran Shamshad and Bari Jilani and District Officer (Headquarter), Education Department of the City District Government, Ahmed Nawaz Niazi, visited several examination centres in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town along with the local media persons to inspect the conditions during the exams.

The local media pointed out the presence of youngsters and other people, probably the cheating mafia, outside as well as on the premises of the examination centres. During a joint raid at the Government Boys Secondary School, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Block-6, many cases were witnessed where unfair means were being used while the centre superintendent failed to answer the queries of the raiding team.

M Akber Masood Khan, Centre Superintendent, made lots of excuses rather than giving any proper justification of the illegal practices that were witnessed at his centre. Special rooms were arranged by the school management while the invigilators and candidates were both from the same school. Also, the centre superintendent could not show the necessary documents to prove their presence at the examination centre. Also pointed out the presence of an outsider in a class room.

However, Khan said that the person, named Abdul Mateen s/o Sher Ali, came to assist him as he was facing pressure from external elements.

"Mateen was my student and he is helping me to keep the cheating mafia outside the school building," Khan told the media. Meanwhile, Mateen said that he completed his studies from a private school. "I came here to visit as I had studied in the primary level classes at this school," he added.

At least 500 students of 13 schools appeared at the said centre while there were 26 rooms, in which the candidates appeared for the paper of English, Class X, Secondary School Certificate (SSC). It is necessary to mention here that most of the teachers (invigilators) present at the school were from another school and while quite a few were not even teachers at all.

The teachers at the Government Girls Secondary School, University Campus, located at main University Road, were also seen helping the candidates in solving the paper without any fear. During the joint raid, it was witnessed that a Junior School Teacher, named Ayesha Soomro had a list of favourite candidates and she was monitoring the whole episode.

As observed, Soomro had a personal diary, in which the names and roll numbers of the candidates were written. However, she tore the papers and flushed them in the washroom.

Another female, Rizwana Mangi, who introduced herself as the younger sister of the headmistress of the school, was also assisting the favourite students. When the media asked the reason of her presence in the centre, she replied that she was a cousin of the headmistress. However, later Mangi refused to say the same in front of the media.

There were over 600 students from 38 schools but only 17 teachers were available in 26 classrooms. Like the latter government school, most of the teachers do not belonged to the same school. Later, Shamshad said that the purpose of the visit was to boost the moral of the students, who were not a part of cheating mafia.

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KU appoints two pro-vice chancellors
Karachi: Chancellor of the University of Karachi (KU) Dr Ishratul Ebad has appointed Dean Faculty of Science Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi and Adviser to the VC on Examinations Dr Nasiruddin Khan as the two pro vice chancellors of the university with immediate effect.

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Chandka nurses protest against superintendent
Larkana: Staff nurses of the Chandka Medical College and Teaching Hospital here protested against the Medical Superintendent, Dr Zulfiqar Ali Siyal, chanting slogans and demanding his suspension.

The staff nurses staged a sit-in outside the office of the MS. Staff nurses -- Kiran, Samina, Rubina among others -- said that they were performing their duties earnestly and honestly. They, however, alleged that the superintendent was trying to use them for immoral activities and issued termination orders to those who were not complying with his illegal orders .

On the occasion, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) activists Mehmood Chandio and Abdul Sattar supported the nurses. The protest ended when Adviser to CM Sindh Jameel Soomro assured the nurses of justice and legal action against the MS.

Meanwhile, at the Jinnah Bagh Chowk here, a sit-in was staged by members of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) over 'false and baseless' cases against the JSQM Chairman Bashir Khan Qureshi.

Hundreds of members also burnt tyres and chanted slogans against the state and rulers. Qureshi told this correspondent that if the government does not take strict action against the killers of Rangers officials of Sindh, they will protest across the province.

Dr Safdar Sarki said that the Sindh government and home minister should protect the rights of Sindh instead of the Punjab. If the government behaviour remains the same, then the JSQM will protect Sindh and its people, he said. The Punjabi Front leader, Tahir Randhwa, was killed over his personal dispute while the government raided the houses of Sindhis, which was open terrorism, he said. The news

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Symposium begins at CMC
Larkana: Over 100 papers were presented at three sessions on the first day of the 10th annual symposium of Chandka Medical College here on Tuesday.

Professionals from all over the country shared their experiences in different fields.

In his lecture, Professor Tahir Shamsi extensively dealt with the subject of bone marrow transplant, which he said was successfully carried out in Karachi. He said that with the help of such symposiums the technology could be introduced in the interior of Sindh. Surgeon Ghulam Asghar Channa spoke on laparoscopic surgery and also performed a surgery for local surgeons.

Professor Faiz Mohammed Halepoto deliberated upon the ophthalmic disorder, glaucoma.

At another session restricted to gynaecological and obstetrics problems, Professor Pushpa, head of the department of Gynaecology, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Dr Nighat Shah of Dow Medical University, Professor Rafia Baloch of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Medical University, Dr Azra Ahsan from the national committee on maternal health and Dr Shahida Shaikh shared their experiences in dealing with the cases of hole in the birth canal.

They said it was curable but the only hindrance was that victims were shy contacting doctors. Dr Nighat Shah supported abortion for those women who become pregnant as a result of criminal assault to save them from the social stigma because they had no other way out. Making it legal would save lives of many women, she said.

Dr Azra Ahsan called for treating cases of post-delivery bleeding disorders with medicines.

Dr Shahida Shaikh said domestic violence on women, karo-kari and discriminatory trends in society were major problems for women. More often women were prone to violence from close relatives, she said.

Dr Rafia Baloch covered the causes of women's death during delivery.

A large number of lady doctors from Larkana, Sukkur, Shikarpur, Gambat and post-graduate students attended the symposium.

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Students from Balochistan visit SU
Hyderabad: Fifty-seven students from various universities and colleges of Balochistan visited the University of Sindh on Tuesday under the Inter-Provincial Youth Exchange Programme.

The government of Sindh initiated the programme with the objective of promoting academic liaison among students of different universities and colleges.

Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Dr Mohammad Qasim Bughio, faculty members, students and officials greeted the delegation led by Muhammad Afzal Sulheri and Director Youth Affairs Sindh Khursheed Ali Shaikh. The students are on a six-day visit.

They visited the library, museum, galleries, corners for prominent personalities, Benazir Bhutto gallery, music gallery and others sections of the Institute of Sindhology besides various teaching institutes and departments, including the Institute of English Language and Literature, Institute of Art and Design.

The Institute of Art and Design arranged a presentation on academic programmes, history, facilities, number of students, faculty and institutes and departments.

Dr Bughio said that the university always encouraged freedom of expression among students and faculty members and urged the students to learn as many languages as possible for exchange of views and understanding the issues.

Mr Shaikh said that Inter-Provincial Youth Exchange Programme was aimed at developing understanding, academic learning, awareness and brotherhood among people. Dawn

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Students and artists join in the anti-smoking drive
Karachi: Pfizer Pakistan, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Pakistan, concluded a poster competition on the theme of - A World without Smoking - at the Indus Valley Art Gallery. In this exhibit, winning entries and some of the best submissions from participating schools were put on a display, which will continue till March 29.

Prominent figures from the realm of art Marjorie Hussain, Tapu Javeri and Naheed Raza comprised the panel of judges for the competition. Hosted by television personality Ayesha Toor, the exhibition was preceded by an award distribution ceremony, where winners and runners-up were awarded gold medals and certificates, respectively. Delighted by the overwhelming response of school children, Iqbal Bengali, Pfizer Pakistan's Country Manager, who was also present on the occasion, along with the Jury members, students, art teachers and parents, congratulated the young contestants for producing artworks, which, he stated, 'beautifully illustrated their vision and perception of a world without tobacco,' and their strong emotions about smoking, which has become an important health challenge in the developing countries. I am impressed by the way these children have expressed their thoughts, this shows the commitment they have for a healthier world which is a motto we live by everybody, he said.

Bengali also mentioned that the poster competition is part of Pfizer Pakistan's anti-smoking campaign, the prime purpose of which was to raise public awareness by way of engaging children in imparting a strong message to smokers in a country where the percentage of adult and teenage smokers is steadily rising. The news

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