Islamabad students transport problems
Path to school too tough to tread
Islamabad, March 10: Students in the federal capital are facing transport problems as most of educational
institutions have no proper transport facilities. This misery is magnified for
those who come from suburbs in overflowing public transport vehicles suffering
from maltreatment by drivers and conductors.
An investigation team
finds that there are about public sector 415 educational institutions operating
in the city, accommodating over 210,000 students with a total of 162 buses, most
of them out of order, that are quite insufficient.
A large number of
students come from out of the city and reach their respective schools and
colleges on private transport, where conductors ill-treat them.
estimated that over 70 percent students are forced to rely on the mercy of
private transporters. Female staff and teachers are in a thick soap because
Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has failed to arrange separate buses for
Hashim Raza, a student, said school/college buses plied only on
specific routes while a majority of students lived off these routes. "Ultimately
they have to travel on public transport. It's one of the big problems for all
those who come from out station," he said.
Obaidur Rehman, a student,
said due to financial problems, he couldn't pay full bus fare while transporters
were reluctant to allow tickets to students on reduced rates.
Farooq, a student, said girl students particularly had to wait longer to find a
seat in public transport due to which they often got late from school or
college. She demanded of the authorities to provide sufficient buses for female
Parents complained of rash driving of school and college buses.
They said very few institutions cared for safety of children by closely
monitoring the attitude of bus drivers. A few institutions had pick and drop
facility for students and others had not, they said.
They said private
vans were charging Rs 2,000 per child whereas school buses took Rs 1,200 per
child. "If a family has three or four school going children, it will have to pay
Rs 6,000-7,000 transport charges in addition to already bulging school fees,
which is unjust," they said.
Masood Zaman, father of two college going
boys, said because of lack of transport facilities, a number of children opted
to hang onto rear or side grills of buses or travel on rooftops, which was a
constant threat to their lives. "Neither government nor private authorities have
taken any step to arrange for students to travel safely," Masood said, adding
scuffles between boy students and conductors had become a routine matter.
Zahoor Ahmed, driver of a private transport bus, said students had
annoyed them a lot. "They plainly refuse to pay fare or show any identity card
to prove they are students. Ultimately, it ends into brawls," he said. He
appealed to the government to arrange transport facilities for students. Daily times
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Students transport issue
Islamabad: A delegation of Islamabad and Rawalpindi
transporters, headed by Haji Akhtar Awan, called on Chief Commissioner
(Islamabad) Shahid Mahmood and apprised him of problems being faced by
The chief commissioner assured them that their problems would be
resolved immediately. The transporters informed that some students travel on
rooftops of buses which is quite dangerous. The chief commissioner directed ITA
Secretary Bashir Ahmed to coordinate with the Federal Directorate of Education
and Islamabad Traffic Police to ensure that nobody travels on rooftops of buses
and take action against those found violating traffic rules.
directed the ITA secretary to hold meetings with principals and parents and
brief them on safe travel.
He said that the local administration is
working on a transport scheme for students.
The transporters, including
Haji Ahktar Awan, Haji Nawab, Sultan Awan and Gulfam, thanked the chief
commissioner and called off the strike for March 10. The news
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Senate body okays proposed library act
Islamabad: The Senate Standing Committee on Education on Tuesday
unanimously approved the proposed national library act 2010 aimed at helping to
acquire, preserve and organise published literary heritage in printed and
non-printed format originated in Pakistan (under the Copyright Law) or produced
by Pakistanis abroad and published abroad related to the country.
approval came at a meeting of the committee held at the Parliament House.
Chairman of the committee, Senator S.M. Zafar, on the occasion observed
that the law was important to preserve the knowledge heritage of the nation and
it would also highlight the importance of libraries in dissemination of
knowledge and promotion of reading culture in the country.
He said the
National Library would consist of a main library and branch libraries in
Islamabad, and other branch libraries/offices and mobile libraries would be
established across the country with the approval of the federal government.
The committee members observed that efforts were needed to expand the
network of libraries, especially in rural and remote areas where general public
had limited access to other modes of knowledge.
The members also noted
that improving the quality of books in libraries would help promote reading
habits among the youth and modify extreme behaviour to help bring a healthy
change in attitudes, approach and outlook on life. Dawn
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QAU, ICWFS signed MoU
Islamabad: The Department of Earth Sciences (Quaid-i-Azam University) and International Centre of Water for Food Security
(ICWFS), Charles Sturt University, Australia, signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) to establish mechanisms for joint collaboration and faculty
and student exchange programmes.
The memorandum was signed keeping in
view its mandate to produce qualified and trained manpower in specialised areas
of geophysics, hydrogeology and geology. This was considered essential in view
of the expanding programmes of exploration of natural resources, particularly
for oil and gas, GIS and remote sensing, minerals and groundwater in Pakistan.
Dr. Zulfiqar Ahmad, chairman of the Department of Earth Sciences, and
Dr. Mohsin Hafeez, director of the ICWFS, signed the MoU on behalf of their
respective institutions. The MoU will remain effective for three years.
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Education, top priority
Islamabad: The government is giving top priority to education and is determined to enhance allocations for
education upto seven per cent of the budget by the year 2015, said Minister of
State for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Mehreen Anwar Raja.
said this while addressing the students of Jinnah Institute of Informatics and
Commerce (JIIC) Rawalpindi at their annual Sport Gala-2010.
She said that
the government announced the national education policy after intensive
consultations with all stakeholders including provincial governments and huge
amount has been allocated for education during the current financial year to
translate the policy in to reality. She was of the view that illiteracy is the
basic cause of terrorism and the government is making all out efforts to promote
education, as it would help eliminating the menace of terrorism and
She said, "We have to excel in the field of education to join
the rank of developed countries and the private sector is also supplementing
government's efforts in the promotion of education." Mehreen Raja said that the
government is establishing Mohtarma Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University at Karachi
and one of its campuses will also be set up at Malakand.
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Karak: Different educational institutions of Karak district received threatening
letters from suspected militants on Tuesday, asking the administration to end
co-education or else face the consequences, sources said.
pasted the letters written in Pashto language on the main gates of Government
Postgraduate College and Polytechnic Institute Karak at night, threatening the
authorities to close the ongoing co-education system in the district.
letter claimed co-education was against the teachings of the religion and
therefore it should be banned forthwith. The sources said a week ago some
unidentified armed persons had forced their entry into Centennial Modal School
Chokara at night and warned the school to end co-education or face the music.
Later, they opened fire at the main gate of the school.
The principal of
the school called a meeting of the parents the next day and apprised them about
the threats. The parents decided to take a bold stand and showed determination
to defy the threats. They said the militants wanted to disrupt educational
activities in the district, which would not be allowed.
The parents said
that these elements did not want Khattak tribe to develop by depriving their
children of education, adding it was a conspiracy hatched against the tribe. The
school administration also brought the issue into the notice of the district
administration and district police officer of Karak Sajid Ahmad Khan Mohmand who
provided security to the school.
It was learnt that threatening letters
had also been sent to private educational institutions situated in Chokara and
other parts of the district.
A lecturer of a private educational
institution in Chokara, Nisar Ahmad, informed that after receiving the
letters, their college administration called a staff and parents meeting which
decided to instruct the students to wear shuttlecock veils as a part of uniform
in the college. Nisar said they didn't receive any letter after changing the
uniform, but the tension prevailed as the letters had affected the educational
environment in the district. The news
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Book on refugees
Islamabad: A book portraying the plight of 32,000 refugees driven from
their homes in the Indian-held Kashmir may propel the world conscience to
resolve the problem.
The book "Life in the Migrant Camps" jointly
authored by two young ladies, Marjan Lucas from the Netherlands and Amna Farooq
Shah from Azad Kashmir was launched Tuesday at a well-attended round-table
A number of perspectives were offered by members of the
first, second and third generation migrants.
President of Azad Jammu and
Kashmir Raja Zulqarnain Khan, chief guest at the book launch, lauded the
authors, especially Ms Marcan, for drawing world attention these luckless
migrants who the humanity had forgotten.
The AJK President said the
problem had lingering on for 62 years. But the UN did find a solution to the
problem which was plebiscite, the only way to resolve it.
He said the
plebiscite resolution did not come through and this festering and unresolved
problem has taken India and Pakistan to three wars.
Raja Sahib was not
hopeful of talks 'Plebiscite cannot come through talks,' he said in his
presidential remarks, just before leaving the venue for some other
Journalist Maryana Babar was critical at Raja Sahib suddenly
leaving the roundtable without hearing the views of others. She said, if the
President of Azad Jammu Kashmir had no time to listen to people's views on the
core issue of Kashmir, perhaps the world might adopt similar attitude and gloss
Marjan Lucas said the problem was overwhelming in the context of
world peace; the peace of the region hinged on its solution.
book before the gathering she read extracts from the chapter on
She recalled her observation that members of the second, third
and fourth generation of migrants [from Indian occupied Kashmir] had a fixed
idea to remain in the camps because they wanted to be a part of the struggle for
winning back their homeland, the sentiment beautifully expressed in the song:
Meray Vatan, tere jannat mainham ayenge ek din.
Analysts Farooq Rehman
contended that the migrants who had been pushed into Pakistan did not get any
assistance or relief from the world because these migrants had relocated from
one part to another of one country, and this offended the definition of
migration.Freelance journalist Ershad Mahmud was critical also that the Azad
Jammu and Kashmir government had overlooked the problem and had not conducted
serious research on the subject. Dawn
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