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No money for education

Government neglecting education
Islamabad, Mar 10: A report by the Pakistan Education Task Force points out that the government is neglecting education, something visible in the fall of spending on education, from a low 2.5 percent of the GDP to an abysmal 1.5 percent. The report contains a lot of horrendous data about the state sector. No less than 26 countries poorer than Pakistan are sending more children to school. The complaint that government schools do not provide the requisite education must be considered with the fact that while only 35 percent of schoolchildren aged 6-16, can read a story, so can 24 percent of out-of-school children, showing how ineffective is schooling.

One problem is that the elected representatives do not seem to feel responsible for a system that their electorate does not demand, that the state fulfill the constitutional responsibility, mentioned in the report, to provide all citizens an education. The provision of education is no favour, but something which the state needs to do to ensure an educated workforce in the future. It should not be left to the private sector, for the profits to be got from education can only be made for some time, so that ultimately it will not be profitable, with only the state left to provide this social good. If it does not, the population will be left uneducated, and thus will not be of much service to the state. This is why the state has always been involved in the provision of education long before it got involved in providing other economic services. If the state in Pakistan does not fulfill this commitment it is because its politicians, whose personal commitment to education was recently shown by how many had fake degrees, do not make the funds available, using them up to maintain their luxurious lifestyles. It also means that the politicians do not want an educated electorate that will hold them accountable on the basis of its information. It wants them to continue to act as uneducated sheep and elect them as usual.

There are no real shortcuts to a good education sector, but providing it more state money is something that can and should be done. The report makes clear that the sector is somehow dragging itself along, but some of its information, that 30,000 schools are dangerous enough to be a threat to the children attending them, is as astounding as it is worrying. While there is no doubt that money alone cannot buy an education, there is equally no doubt that there can be no education without money. The state must be ready to put in as much as is needed. If that means curtailing the amounts frittered away on national leaders, then so be it. The nation

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Islamic varsity remains without president
Islamabad: A meeting of the Board of Trustees of the International Islamic University (IIU) called early this month to appoint its new president was postponed for lack of quorum, according to Dr Fateh Mohammad Malik, rector of the university.

But sources said that 13 trustees " five foreigners and eight Pakistanis " had consented to attend the meeting planned for March 2. Presently the quorum requires the presence of 11 trustees. This number, they said, could have risen as more responses were awaited.

Sources said 10 days before the meeting to appoint a replacement to Dr Anwar Hussain Siddiqui, who retired December last year, some top officials of the university manoeuvred a postponement by misleading the Presidency that no responses had been received from the invited trustees. President Asif Ali Zardari is the chancellor of the university.

"It is no news," Dr Zafar Ishaq Ansari, secretary of the board, brusquely said. "There were some reasons," he admitted after a pause but refused to reveal them. "Ask President Zardari because he is the chancellor," he advised.

Rejecting the allegations of manoeuvring a postponement, Prof Malik asserted that only four trustees had confirmed participation. There are 35 foreign trustees on the board and none of them had shown consent, he said. "Many could not be contacted due to the ongoing turmoil in the Arab World. Some excused for security reasons, two regretted saying the date did not suit them," the rector said.

He said he had regret letters from all the foreign members. "I took these letters to the Presidency and held a meeting and after which the president's secretariat postponed the board meeting."

The rector said even if all the ten members from Pakistan are available, the quorum is incomplete. He said another date would be fixed soon. "We want the meeting to take place as soon as possible. We are trying to fix a date convenient for the members and the president to attend," Prof Malik said.

According to papers available, the university's Board of Trustees has 45 members. The IIU Ordinance 1985 says that one-third of the total number " 15 " should be present to complete the quorum. But presently 13 seats are vacant as some members have passed away and the terms of others have expired.

With the board's existing strength at 32, it requires 11 members to complete the quorum. And that number was available, sources said. In his capacity as chancellor, President Zardari was to chair the board's meeting on March 2.

Sources said the trustees who had shown consent to attend the meeting included Prof Malik, rector IIU; Dr Mumtaz Ahmad, acting president of the university; Justice Agha Rafique Ahmad, chief justice Federal Shariat Court, Islamabad; Dr Javed Laghari, chairman Higher Education Commission; Mohammad Athar Tahir, secretary education; Salman Bashir, secretary Foreign Affairs; and Senator Prof Khursheed Ahmad.

Five foreign members who had confirmed participation are: Dr Abdullah bin Abdul Mohsin Al-Turki, secretary general Rabita Al-Alam Al-Islami, Saudi Arabia; Dr Sulaiman Ibn Abdullah Aba Al-Khail, rector Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Saudi Arabia; Prof Dr Mohammad Bin Ali Farraj Al-Uqla, president Islamic University of Madina, Saudi Arabia; Sheikh Yousuf Jasim al-Hijji, former chairman International Islamic Charitable Organisation, Kuwait; and Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali, president Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Arabia.

The last meeting of the trustees was held in 2006. Since then, no meeting had been held to nominate the president for the university and new trustees in place of those who have died or retired. Dawn

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FJWU celebrating Women's Week
Rawalpindi: The second day of Women's Week, an annual activity at the Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU), witnessed festive ambiance of the first day on Wednesday.

The Chief Guest for the event was Shahid Nadeem, PTV Academy director. The judges for Drama Competition were Faheem Azam, Nayyar Rizvi, and Dr Maryam Rub, FJWU registrar. Different universities from all over Pakisatan participated in the event. The skits were based on the central theme of Women's Week 'Traditions: Colours of Life'.

FJWU was the triumphant winner of first position. Being the host institution. FJWU withdrew in favour of Quaid-e-Azam University. Second position went to Gomal University, while IQRA University got third position. The judges appreciated the performance of the participants.

Shahid Nadeem while speaking on the occasion appreciated the talent of the young students and applauded the efforts of the university administration for conducting the event in a healthy and competitive environment. Vice Chancellor FJWU, Prof Dr Saeeda Asadullah Khan also attended the event.

She presented university souvenirs to the judges as a token of appreciation. A riveting Bilingual Contest started off the proceedings on the second day. Bilingual Declamation Contest is a regular segment of women week at FJWU. This year Bilingual Declamation Contest was held on March 9th, 2011 in the NewAuditorium of Academic Block II of Fatima Jinnah Women University.

The Chief Guest for the program was Prof Dr Saeeda Asadullah Khan. Seven teams from different educational institutions participated in the contest. The titles for declamation in English were: I am tied to traditions, I cannot fly; I was born intelligent but now I am traditional. Titles for declamation in Urdu were: "Mangay huay sooraj se sawera nai krty; Badalta Hai Rang Asman kesy kesy. Six judges were invited for the event –three for English Declamation and three for Urdu Declamation.

The Judges for English Declamation were: Dr Fouzia Janjua, Departmrnt of English, Islamic International University, Dr. Umer Farooq, College of Liberal Arts, Foundation University New Lalazar, RWP, Fareena Iqbal from FJWU.The Judges for Urdu Declamation were: Ms Saeeda Rizvi from FJWU, Dr. Safia Ibad and Mrs Farhat Nawaz from F.GPost Graduate College for Women Kashmir Road, RWP.

In English declamation, Ms. Warda Salam, PAF Academy, secured the first position. Ms. Umber Malik, Islamic International Universty Islambad, got the second position. Ms. Anum Mansha, FJWU , secured the third position. FJWU withdrew in favour of Faiqa Ali, Islamia Universty Bhawalpur. In the declamation in Urdu the first position went toSyed Gulam Mohiuddin, Pnjab University Lahore. Mr. Tanveer Ahmed, Gomal University, secured the second position.

Third position was secured by Nishat Fatima, FJWU but being from the host university she withdrew the prize to Mr. Waseem Khan from Bahuddin Zakria University for third Prize.University souvenirs and logos were presented to the judges by the Vice Chancellor FJWU Professor Dr. Saeeda Asadullah Khan. She encouraged the participants to carry forward the same enthusiasm, confidence and healthy competition in their professional lives.Fascinating shorts Films & Documentary Competition based on the theme of "Traditions: Colours of Life" held on second day.

The chief guest of the event was Nsir Malik, Director National College of the Arts, Rawalpindi. The panel of honorable Judges comprised of Mr. Sajid Munir, Dy. Director, Lok Virsa, Mr. Shahid Mansoor, Executive Producer, PTV, and Ms. Nargis Hashmi, Executive Producer, PTV. The proud winners of the competition as per the decision of the judges were as follows: First prize went to the participants of FJWU. Being the host institution FJWU withdrew in favor of Punjab University, Lahore.

Second prize was secured by the participants of Gomal University DI Khan, while third prize went to the participants of International Islamic University, Islamabad. The Photography Competition showcases the creative and artistic skills of the amateur talent. The chief guest of the event was Prof Dr. Saeeda Asadullah Khan, Vice chancellor of FJWU. The judges for the event included Mr. SajjadMunir and Mr. Asad Ali. The judges appreciated the exemplary art work of the students.

There were two themes for photography competitions; Tradition of culture and Old Masters. In the category of colour Photography M. Shafiq from International Islamic Universty, Bhawalpur got first position. Second position went to Ms Maria Shakeel from FJWU. Ms Maria Shakeel withdrew in favour of Ms Seher Arif of Punjab University Lahore. Third position was secured by Ms Fatima Khalid from International Islamic University, Islambad. Daily times

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Rootsians adopt another govt school
Rawalpindi: The students of the Roots School System, DHA Phase 1 Campus launched the pilot project of a Model Classroom at the Government Elementary School, Kothan Kalan, Morgah here on Wednesday.

The ceremony was planned in line with the theme of International Women's Day as the girls pledged educating a man is educating an individual and educating a woman is educating a generation.

The MPA and assistant to Chief Minister Punjab, Chaudary Sarfraz Afzal, was the chief guest on the occasion. Roots School System, Chief Executive Mushtaq Rasul Chaudary and Roots School System, Founder Director Mrs. Mushtaq were also present on the occasion.

The young students of Roots launched a project under their president Neha Omair and gave it the title of LGCF (Liberating the Girl Child Foundation).

The members of LGCF are working tirelessly to reform, renovate and to re-structure these 'sister schools'. These volunteers raised funds to improve the general ambiance of the Government School, Kothan Kalan, Morgah. Through their untiring efforts they prepared a 'Model Classroom'. It was decorated with colourful furniture and fixtures. The news

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