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Punjab University 118th Convocation in Faisal Auditorium

4 percent of GDP must for education'
Lahore, March 29: The only way to live honourably and achieve greatness for Pakistan at an international level is to ensure the utilisation of at least 4 percent of our GDP for educational promotion through the enactment of necessary legislation in parliament, Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran said on Saturday.

Addressing participants of the university's 118th Convocation in Faisal Auditorium, Kamran said that three convocations had been held under the present PU administration, a feat unprecedented for 40 years.

"The PU has signed an unprecedented number of memorandums of understanding with institutions from academically-advanced countries to promote cooperation in research and educational fields," he said, adding that the university's students had won a total of 218 individual prizes and 48 team trophies in national competitions. He said the university had also won 23 awards in the Model UN debates in Europe during the past two years.

He said the university had been declared the all-round champion in the inter-university competitions held in 2008-09, winning 49 gold, 41 silver and 24 bronze medals in men and women events.

Appointed:"A record number of 368 teachers were appointed during the period from January 15, 2008 to February 3 in 66 PU Selection Board meetings," he said.

The vice-chancellor urged the students to attain superiority in their respective specialisations. He advised them to regularly undertake their personal accountability before going to bed every night to achieve perfection in their lives. Earlier, the vice-chancellor gave away degrees to 143 PhD scholars, 297 Mphil and 310 prizes to 142 top position holders.

PU Vice-Chancellor Education Prof Dr Munawar S Mirza, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jamil Anwar Ch, Registrar Prof Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan, Controller Examination Prof Dr Zahid Karim Khan, deans of all faculties, principals, directors and heads of departments were also present on the occasion. Daily times

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Only 22pc of varsities faculty members PhDs: PU VC
Lahore: The University of Punjab has produced a record number of 126 PhDs in one year, the PU vice-chancellor has said.

Talking to a news agency on Sunday, PU VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran it was unfortunate that only 22 per cent faculty members of all universities in Pakistan were PhDs whereas hardly 33 per cent teachers in the PU were PhDs which was insufficient.

The VC said it was a practice the world over that any university or educational institution was only recognised on the basis of the quality of research.

He said he had put great emphasis on the quality of research and the Higher Education Commission during his tenure had so far approved 238 publication and research works of the PU teaching department, which was a step forward to better research.

Dr Mujahid Kamran said faculty members would be appointed assistant professors, associate professors and professors only after they fulfilled the mandatory criteria of internationally recognized excellent research and publications.

He said for the first time in its 128 year history, the PU within its own meagre resources, sent a large number of faculty members abroad on full scholarships for PhDs with special emphasis on science subjects.

He said the PU would continue to facilitate researchers. The VC said all deans, directors, principals, heads of the teaching departments and Chief Librarian Chaudhary Muhammad Hanif had been directed to upload research papers of their fellows on their websites so that other researcher could benefit from them.

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Parent-teacher interaction at government schools urged
Lahore: Besides many other factors responsible for people's preference to educate their children at private educational institutions is the opportunity of regular interaction between parents of the students and their teachers.

Unlike most of the government run educational institutions, the private schools regularly arrange parent-teacher meetings on campuses in order to encourage parents to discuss performance of their children in detail.

The event provides an opportunity to the parents to discuss academic issues faced by their children and thus mutual efforts are made to find out ways to solve these issues so that the students, the real stakeholders, can get maximum advantage of the whole system.

This also provides opportunity to the parents to question educational standards and any other move by management of private schools, which otherwise they could not because of hectic schedule of daily life.

In most of the cases, private schools declare it mandatory for parents to visit the institutions and talk to teachers of the students especially after examinations. But, unfortunately it is generally observed that the government schools are often shy of holding such important meetings. The lack of liaison affects the character building of the students as well who sometimes conceal issues which, if addressed, can prove helpful for them in their academic endeavours.

The recent move by Punjab Higher Education Department through which most of the government colleges informed parents about performance of their children in studies and attendance through postal notifications are being seen as a positive development by the stakeholders who demand that the government schools should also follow suit. Academic circles are of the view that the government should issue directions to school heads to arrange parent-teacher meetings on regular basis and even declare such meetings compulsory on quarterly basis. They are of the view that such move would certainly help in attracting people who are increasingly losing trust in public sector schools.

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Student Services Council of the University of Veterinary and Animal
Lahore: Sciences (UVAS) has announced a full week for student activities starting from 29th March to 3rd April, 2010.

The week will be dedicated to UVAS students and its festivities are being organized by the Proctorial Board, which is a vibrant student council of UVAS. Vice Chancellor of UVAS Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz has also approved programme of events during this week according to which Qirat and Naat competitions will be held on March 29, (Monday), bilingual declamation on March 30, Mushaaira and bait-bazi on March 31, drama and performing arts on April 1, quiz competition on April 02 and funfair day will be observed on 3rd April 2010.

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UHS employees to set up hunger strike camp
Lahore: The employees of the University of Health Sciences will set up a hunger strike camp on Monday (today) outside the university in protest against the varsity administration's act of banishing them since March 26.

The UHS administration has been closing gates to deny entry to the employees for the last three days (third day though a holiday on Sunday) for protesting for regularisation of all contract employees from grade 1 to 15 in compliance with the orders of the Punjab government. It suspended the official work of the university, which also created a great deal of difficulties for the varsity administration to dispose of work.

The employees, who are protesting under the banner of the UHS chapter of the All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA), claimed that all female employees of the university had also shown complete solidarity with their colleagues and decided not to attend the university.

The UHS employees also announced that they would hold a protest rally from the UHS to The Mall and stage a demonstration in front of Punjab Assembly on Tuesday (tomorrow) followed by Monday's hunger strike outside the university premises. During Tuesday's protest demonstration at Punjab Assembly Chowk, they informed, the APCA representatives under the leadership of its President Haji Irshad would also join their protest by organising a peaceful protest rally from the Punjab Livestock Department to Punjab Assembly to show solidarity with the UHS employees.

They condemned the UHS administration's 'anti-worker policies' under the patronisation of Vice Chancellor Prof Hussain Mubashar Malik, who had awarded five-year and six-month contracts to employees instead of regularisation in violation of the Punjab government's clear orders to abolish contract policy in the province.

They vowed to continue their protest till the acceptance of their demand for regularisation. They demanded Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif take notice of the UHS administration's blatant violation of the Punjab government's orders and regularise all contract non-gazetted employees of the university. The news

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PEF to pay fees of 128 private school students
Lahore: The Punjab Education Foundation has entered into an agreement with 128 new private schools of nine districts for providing Rs 23,040,000 as monthly fee of 64,000 students up to secondary level.

The schools, belonging to Lahore, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib, Narowal, Gujrat, Sargodha, Okara, Pakpattan and Mandi Bahauddin, have been selected after the holding of quality assurance test by a third party to ensure transparency and merit. A ceremony was arranged by the PEF at the Ali Institute of Education on Saturday to sign agreements with the new partner schools, said a handout.

In his address, PEF Chairman Raja Anwar said IT-based data of all the students of partner schools was being prepared to ensure complete transparency. He said the PEF's role was being extended to all the 36 districts of the province, adding that revision of the fee structure to make the FAS program more attractive for the partner schools was also being considered. He said the initial installment would be delivered to the new partner schools in the first week of April while free books would be given to them in the second week of the month, adding that the schools would also be provided free library books.

The PEF chairman said the students would be eligible to apply for the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) stipends from 90 percent share of the public sector schools. "Besides this, we are also arranging proper training for teachers and school administrators as it will help improve the general standard of education, and this is what the government is looking for." Raja Anwar said the PEF had already launched phase-6 of the FAS program in Rawalpindi and its six adjoining districts with an amount of Rs 37.8 lakh for 10,050 students of 90 partner schools while the same was being done in DG Khan, Layyah, Vehari and Rahimyar Khan in next few days. Dawn

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