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University of Education's degrees issue

Nonacceptance of UoE degrees
Lahore, March 08: The nonacceptance of the University of Education's BA/BEd and BSc/BEd degrees by the Punjab University (PU) has emerged as a critical academic issue, exposing lack of coordination among the institutes of higher education.

It has also exposed the lethargic attitude on part of the authorities responsible for ensuring the equivalence of degrees to save students from any inconvenience.

The University of Education (UoE) students held a number of demonstrations last week to highlight the issue and make the authorities concerned realise the gravity of the situation. The issue surfaced recently when the PU refused to accept the UoE's BA/BEd degree which reportedly resulted in cancellation of a number of students' admission to various PU disciplines.

The PU refused to accept the UE degree on the plea that the university required two years for completion of BA/BEd together while the Punjab University required three years. On the other hand, the UE administration claims that the university has condensed the three-year programme into a two and a half year course.

A senior PU faculty member said the UoE graduates, having BA/BEd degree, were enrolled in various PU departments on a provisional basis.

"They had tendered an undertaking that they will provide equivalence certificate from the PU in due course of time," he said, adding: "Now, when they have failed to provide the same, their provisional admissions have been cancelled."

Seeking anonymity, he further said the incumbent UoE Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Munawar S Mirza, being director of the PU Institute of Education and Research, had herself opposed the double-degree programme when her predecessor introduced it a couple of years ago at the UoE. Dr Mirza said the UoE was not expecting non-acceptance of its double-degree programme, claiming that all the stakeholders were consulted before its launch. She said that being IER head she had opposed the UoE double-degree programme because there were issues related to its duration and credit-hours.

"There are no such issues now," she claimed, adding: "The programme is equal to other degree programmes, if not better."

The UoE VC said recommendations had been submitted to the PU and hopefully the issued would be resolved soon.

Academic circles are of the view that public sector institutions should be more careful and they should resolve all the issues related to equivalence and acceptance of degrees well in time so that the students might not suffer and continue their studies or professions without any doubts and fears. The news

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Education top priority of government
Lahore: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Saturday said that provision of quality education is the priority of the government.

"My government is also working to further improve the quality of education in the country", he said while addressing the annual reunion ceremony of the Formanite Alumni Association (FAA) at the Forman Christian College.About the quality education, the Prime Minister said that imparting world class education is important for Pakistan. He said Pakistani youth deserve the best educational opportunities and FC College is a leader in this noble task.

The prime minister lauded the services of Forman Christian College for the cause of education and said that the college has rendered outstanding service to Pakistan as a large number of Formanites have served the country as politicians, educationists, businessmen, doctors, jurists, intellectuals and scholars.

"In my own Cabinet, Formanites are holding important positions as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence. A number of your graduates have excelled in the civil and military services, Law, Education and business as well", the Prime Minister said.

He said FC College has a long and glorious tradition of producing leaders who have lived by the college motto "By love, serve one another". It is this spirit of service which is vital for the future of nations.

He said that education emancipates the minds of the people and FC College is rightly pursuing the tradition of liberal arts in higher education.

The prime minister said that education needs to produce useful workers in a global economy, prepare people as voters in a democratic process and inculcate core values of integrity, commitment to excellence, respect for the rights and dignity of each human being, discipline and accountability, justice and service to community.

"These values will contribute to a better Pakistan", he said.

Appreciating FC College's role in promoting religious harmony, he said FC College is a model of interfaith harmony. He said that by learning to live together in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust, people of all faiths can contribute to the solution of a major problem that faces our world today.

About the enrolment in colleges, he said the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan is striving to double the enrolment in colleges and universities within five years, and triple the enrolment within ten years time.

The Prime Minister said that the progress made by Forman Christian College during the last six years is the result of a strong partnership between USAID, the Government of the Punjab, and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The prime minister also expressed satisfaction that the Rs 500 million invested in Forman Christian College by the federal governemnt has been wisely spent in the service of improving the quality of higher education in Pakistan.

The Formanites Alumni Association annual reunion ceremony was attended by Federal Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, MNA Jehangir Khan Tarin, FAA President Ch.Ahmed Saeed, Co-Chairman Abu Dhabi Group Pervaiz Shahid and Rector FC Collge University Peter Armacost. APP

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LUMS training workshop
Lahore: A four-day workshop "Web Accessibility" was organised at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) last week.

According to a press statement, the workshop provided hands-on training on the development and evaluation of accessible websites. The workshop participants also learned about how persons with disabilities (PWDs) accessed the web and studied international guidelines and practices for accessible website development; following the guidelines of The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Silatul Rahim Bin Dehman, web accessibility specialist from Malaysia, was the instructor of the workshop who was assisted by Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department of LUMS Dr Asim Karim. The news

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