Students & power outages | Edu sector funds
Students protest power outages
Lahore, March 20: Dozens of students, staging a demonstration, strongly protested
the ever increasing loadshedding during the ongoing matriculation examinations.
The demo was organised by Mustafvi Students Movement (MSM) outside the
Lahore Press Club on Friday in which protesting students, carrying banners and
placards, chanted slogans.
They said the excessive and frequent
loadshedding was badly affecting students, as they could not prepare well for
the exams. They said thousands of students were appearing in the ongoing
matriculation exams across the province, adding the worst ever power crisis had
made their lives miserable.
The students demanded the authorities
concerned take steps to ensure uninterrupted power supply at least during the
exams period so that students might not suffer and sit in the exams with ease of
mind and full preparation.
It is pertinent to mention here that the
matriculation annual examination 2010 had commenced simultaneously across the
province on March 13. The news
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Edu sector fails to utilise funds of millions
Lahore: Due to cumbersome procedures in Punjab finance department, millions of
rupees of college and school funds are lying rotten in the banks since years.
The public sector schools and colleges receive funds in the form of fine for
absence of students, security, cycle stand, uniform, ID card, library and
laboratory funds etc from the students which are deposited in the respective
school, college accounts in the banks. Over the years, these funds have been
multiplied into millions and are virtually abandoned, as neither the principal
nor the headmaster is competent to utilise these funds without the consent of
the Secretary Education and Secretary Finance thus the amount remain unspent.
To refer a few cases, the Central Model School Lower Mall have 2.50 million
in its account, Central Model School Rattigan Road 2 million and an amount of
Rs0.5 million to 2 million in different schools having 4,000 to 6,000 students
strength. Islamia College, MAO College and almost all women colleges maintain
their own accounts of millions of rupees.
The provision of missing
facilities, like class rooms, boundary walls, electricity, furniture, drinking
water facilities etc were the responsibility of the government which spent a sum
of Rs21 billion under the Punjab Education Sector Reform Programme during the
past few years while school, college funds were not allowed to be spent on any
infrastructure development or improvement of facilities.
The colleges also fetch millions of rupees revenue from the second shift tuition
fee etc which are also at the disposal of principals but they can't spent any
amount by virtue of their grade and status. What could be the utilisation, it is
a matter to be pondered over by the policy makers in the education department.
The education department, however, conceived a plan to utilise the college,
school funds by empowering the respective principals, headmasters to utilise the
funds up to certain amount under intimation to the secretaries of education and
A committee was formed to deliberate the modalities and areas where
the heads of institutions can spend amount on necessities like shortage of
teaching and non-teaching staff, improvement of library and lab facilities,
provision and repair of furniture and spending on extra curricular activities
like sports, debates and study tours.
A six-member committee headed by the
then principal, Science College and comprising principals of leading city
colleges deliberated the issue and prepared a draft recommendations for
implementation. However, with the passage of time government failed to implement
the recommendations and with the change of government, the issue was driven to
cold storage. The nation
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PU employees continue protest
Lahore: Some employees of the Punjab University (PU) continued protest
against the varsity administration under the PU Administrative & Technical
Staff Association (PUATSA) on New Campus on Friday.
They also set up a
hunger strike camp outside the office of the Vice Chancellor and criticised the
administration for issuing show cause notices to four protesting PUATSA members.
PUATSA has been protesting against the administration, demanding upgrade
of posts, increase in different allowances and issues related to promotions.
However, a PU spokesman said the Punjab University Administrative &
Technical Staff Association was operating illegally.
He further said the
self-styled union and its constitution had already been set aside and declared
unlawful by a Civil Court of Lahore on February 25 last.
He further said
the unlawful association was involved in unauthorised political and group
In a press statement issued a couple of days ago, the Punjab
University administration had directed all the administrative sectional heads to
ensure that none of their subordinate staff member participated in any rally or
agitation of the said association.
They had also been cautioned that
those elements found disrupting official business of university and creating
hindrance in smooth provision of essential services to students, teachers and
visitors would be proceeded against as per varsity rules and service
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Lahore: Punjab University (PU) Vice
Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has said that our honourable existence in the
world and rise to the level of development achieved by the educated nations
depends on our firm resolve and focused attention on the spread of literacy and
education in the country. He was addressing participants in a dinner reception
hosted in honour of nine Professors Emeritus appointed by the university
recently. The news
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Lahore: A Reunion gala of the
Old Ravians is going to be held at Oval Ground of the Government College
University Lahore on Saturday (today). Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khawaja
Sharif will be the chief guest while GCU Vice Chancellor Dr Khalid Aftab will
also be present on the occasion. Meanwhile, the 15th Government College
University (GCU) annual parliamentary debates kicked off on the varsity campus
on Friday. As many as 200 orators and adjudicators from all over Pakistan will
participate in the eight rounds spread over four days.
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Govt unable to accomodate Masjid Maktib students in public schools
Lahore: The future of the students of 3,985 Masjid Maktib
Schools (MMS) hangs in a limbo, as the Punjab government appears unable to meet
the deadline it had set for shifting them to other government schools.
The reason cited by Punjab government officials for making the shift is
"to protect the students from being influenced towards extremists by learning
under the guidance of potential hardliners as a majority of the MMS' are
situated in Southern Punjab". The MMS were officially launched under Gen Ziaul
Haq. The programme aimed at the children being taught mainstream primary and
secondary education subjects such as English, Maths and Science at the mosques
themselves. During former president Pervez Musharraf's regime, a move was
initiated to merge these schools into mainstream educational institutions, but
the target was not met due to pressure from religious elements in the
government. Most of these schools lack proper infrastructures and facilities,
including playgrounds, benches, blackboards, toilets and drinking water.
Failing to meet: The government had set March 31 as the deadline for
shifting all MMS students to other public sector schools, but that deadline will
probably be missed due to the "bureaucracy's inefficiency" and influence of
religious clerics, sources said on the condition of anonymity.
Protection: Parliamentary Secretary for Punjab (Education) Mushtaq Ahmed
Jaja confirmed the move was being made "to protect the students from the
influence of any radicalised clerics". He said that 65 percent of MMS exist in
Southern Punjab and that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif wanted to bring
the students in the education mainstream. However, he said it was not possible
for education department officials to meet the deadline "because the process of
merging the MMS' to other public sector schools was still in its preliminary
stages and so far only initial surveys have been worked on". Jaja said he could
not give a final date for when the task would be completed, but assured that the
officers concerned were making all efforts to complete the task as soon as
Sources in the Punjab Education Department on Wednesday said that the executive district officer's (EDO) Education in 37
districts were facing issues in merging MMS' in developed schools of their
areas. They said that committees across the province were surveying the MMS' and
that according to initial reports it would not be possible for the provincial
government to complete its task by March 31.
EDO (Education) Lahore Dr
Muhammad Arshad said that he was working on following the
government's instructions, however, a source in the EDO Education Lahore office
said that out of the 48 MMS' in Lahore, only eight had been selected to be
merged before the government's deadline. Hafiz Qasim, a religious cleric and
teacher at the Jamia Naqshbandia Narowal, said that he was not in
favour of the merger.
He said that thousands of poor students were being
educated at MMS' across the province, adding that the teachers provided
religious education to the students, but never "brainwashed them according to
specific radical ideologies". Razaul Mustafa, a cleric from Bahawalnagar, said
there were around a 100 students being educated in his MMS.
act: He said the teachers condemned the government for targeting MMS' "and
failing to act against those schools that were actually fanning extremism". Daily times
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