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Cuban Scholarship Programme | Education problems in Pindi

1,000 Cuban Scholarship Programme reviewed
Islamabad, May 13, 2008: Fourth meeting of National Steering Committee (NSC) was held on Monday at Higher Education Commission (HEC) headquarters to review the implementation of 1,000 Cuban Scholarship Programme.

HEC Chairman Prof Dr Attaur Rehman chaired the meeting that was attended by Cuban Ambassador Gustavo Machin Gomez, HEC Executive Director Prof Dr Sohail H Naqvi, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) President Prof Dr Syed Sibitul Hasnain, Dow University of Health Sciences Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Masood Hameed Khan, PMDC Vice President Dr Zafarul Haq Lodhi and the deputy director general of Health Ministry.

The NSC was told that 1,000 Cuban Scholarship Programme was launched by the HEC in co-ordination with the Cuban Embassy and the relevant Pakistani state departments.

It was briefed on progress of the programme and told that at present 332 students of batch-I were pursuing medical education in Cuba. Dr Rehman commended the Cuban government for offering medical scholarships to the Pakistani students and pleaded the Cuban ambassador to convey compliments of the Pakistani nation to the Cuban government for offering such a great gift to it.

Gomez said 1,000 Cuban Scholarship Programme for the Pakistani students was a commitment of the Cuban people towards their Pakistani friends. Though Cuba is a developing country with a lot of economic sanctions, it is ready to provide all possible support and facilities to make this programme a success, the ambassador said.

He also appreciated efforts of the HEC and the Pakistani government for ensuring implementation of the programme. The Cuban authorities are ready to welcome second batch of the students, he said.

The NSC owed to implement the programme in true letter and spirit. It also decided that exact modalities to improve medical facilities for the Pakistani medical students would be worked out by the PMDC and the Health Ministry soon, which would be later communicated to the HEC and the Cuban government. Daily Times

Your Comments
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Name: m.inayatullah
Email: i_k911@yahoo.com
City, Country: peshawar, Pakistan

"how can i appear for the cuban scholer ship progrom."
Name: Ashhab Ali
Email: anokha-ladla19@yahoo.com
City, Country: Digree, Pakistan

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Name: Iftikhar
Email: iftikhar_ayoob@yahoo.com
City, Country: Shahdadpur, Pakistan

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Name: Raza Ullah
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City, Country: Pakistan





No room left for schools, colleges in Pindi cantonment
Rawalpindi: The mushroom growth of official and private housing schemes in Cantonment has left no room for establishment of any educational institution.

Towards the east of the cantonment, mammoth housing schemes are grabbing the land in a phased manner while dozens of official and private housing schemes in the west of the area have almost diminished scope of further opening educational facilities.

The situation inside the cantonment limits is even worse following the unchecked growth of apartments and housing complexes. There is neither any land available, nor the government is determined to make investment in the education sector.

With the start of academic session in schools and colleges every year, parents run from pillar to post seeking admission for their children.

The federal and provincial governments have virtually stopped opening new schools and colleges in the cantonment areas leaving the field open to the private sector to sell education at a higher cost. Moreover, the quality of education offered by most of the private institutions is not up to the required standards.

The cantonment area once used to have limited number of schools and colleges owned by the federal government. However, those institutions were taken over by the Army Education Directorate in 1977 on the directives of then military ruler General Ziaul Haq. Since then, opening of a couple of institutions proved inadequate for the growing population.

During the Zia rule, the cantonment area not only lost a polytechnic institute on Peshawar Road but also a vast land adjacent to the institute which could have been transformed into an educational city. The previous regime in the Punjab had promised to build a similar institute but seemingly the project demised with the departure of the regime.

The most unbelievable fact is that the cantonment area does not have a single postgraduate college for boys. F.G. Quaid-i- Azam College for Boys was the last built by the federal government after the F.G. Sir Syed College.

In terms of population growth, Rawalpindi is placed at number three in the province but it lags behind when educational facilities are taken into account. From the current state of affairs, it would not be wrong to say that Rawalpindi remains in the low priority of the federal as well as provincial governments. The federal capital fairs far better than Rawalpindi in terms of educational institutions. The Capital Development Authority has allocated one whole sector for educational institutions. Enough land was available in the cantonment areas to build an education city but regrettably establishment of housing schemes has been given preference, indicating that we need luxurious living standards, not quality education.

With the growth of population, the number of schools and colleges has proved totally inadequate. Despite the fact that the cantonment area in Rawalpindi is the largest in the country, the government continues to neglect the area. According to an estimate, the population of cantonment areas would soon touch the one million mark.

Army Education Directorate, after taking over the schools and colleges from the ministry of education opened army public schools and colleges, in which civilian population was being meagerly accommodated. After being hopeless, majority of brilliant students search for their future in private institutions. This is how human development is taking place in Pakistan in the 21st century. Dawn



Students endure worst living conditions
Rawalpindi: Worsening living conditions in private hostels has become a matter of grave concern for students who have to pay higher charges despite non-availability of basic facilities in these commercial accommodations.

Large number of colleges and universities in the twin cities attract students from all parts of the country, but these educational institutions do not have adequate facilities to accommodate all of them. So majority of students turn to private hostels where they have no other option but to pay higher charges and live in worst conditions.

Private hostels set up not only in every commercial area but also in the residential localities host thousands of students, mostly belonging to rural areas of the country. Layout plan of these hostels ensures large number of small rooms that benefit the owners who can accommodate enormous number of students. Mostly two to four students are accommodated in each room that often do not have bed facility, compelling them to use mattresses on the floors.

Monthly charges of these hostels ranges from Rs3,000 to Rs10,000 per head against mess, laundry and other facilities provided to students. But it is often seen that students face extreme difficulties in absence of adequate arrangements in most of these hostels. Lack of proper cleanliness system and provision of substandard food are basic problems that cause disturbance for students who face difficulties in fully concentrating on their studies.

"I visited five to eight hostels and succeeded in getting seat in only one of them. I am totally unsatisfied with the facilities being provided here but there is no other option because bachelors often cannot find out a living space in the residential areas," said Manzoor Ahmad, a student of local law college living in a private hostel in the Commercial Market.

Almost all the hostels do not have parking areas and students have to park their motorbikes and vehicles at petrol pumps or outside their hostels on roads where they are totally unsafe.

"I park my car at the CNG filling station adjacent to our hostel during night time and pay Rs300 to its security guard as there is no parking space even for motorbikes in the hostel," said Naseem Akhtar who lives in a hostel at the Saidpur Road near Siddique Chowk.

Most of these hostels are being run by contractors who have to pay handsome money to owners and also earn profit for them. These contractors allot rooms to the students and also have the authority to expel any one without prior notice because no written agreement is signed at the time of admission to these hostels.

Living conditions are also not so different in private girls' hostels who face comparatively more tough time than boys because they often do not have quick options to change their living places at a short notice.

Owners of some of these private hostels are of the view that keeping in view the increasing price hike it was not possible to provide up to the mark facilities in the hostels. "Students who pay three to five thousand rupees per month cannot be provided all the required facilities as it is not possible for us to maintain a balance between earning and expenditures," they said. The News
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