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Private universities lack facilities | QAU clash

Students suffer as private universities lack facilities
Islamabad, May 24, 2008: Waiting for buses under tree shades in greenbelts during scorching summer season is certainly not a pleasant experience for students of private universities functioning in Blue Area.

Students, with a heavy load of books in their bags, wait at roadsides on green patches after attending their classes. Till the time their buses reach to pick them up, they have to brave sweltering heat.

"We are not allowed to sit in our classrooms as security guards get them locked till the start of evening classes. There is not enough space inside campuses where we can easily sit and wait for buses," said a group of students sitting in the greenbelt outside a private university.

Some university campuses set up in commercial plazas present the look of small offices with a number of classrooms made through temporary partitions using wood and transparent glass panels. Almost all of these private universities lack the basic facility of car parking for students who are compelled to park their vehicles at roadsides.

"We are being imparted high-level education that is why we ignore the state of facilities," said an MBA student.

High fee structure in almost all such universities may match the standard of education being imparted there but apparently it does not seem good that students up to M.Phil level study on small campuses that by no means look like universities.

"All our faculty members are highly qualified, so we do not feel any hesitation in paying large amounts of money as tuition fee," said Amina Syed, a telecommunication student at a university. "The standard and discipline in these universities are much better than that in public sector universities. But all is not good when students apply for jobs because most of employers do not have good impression about private universities."

The general criteria for establishment of a university in private sector formulated by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) stresses provision of minimum gross area measuring 10 acres with average 100 square feet built-in area for each student.

HEC Executive Director Dr. Sohail Naqvi said that the general criterion has been put in place only for main buildings of universities and it is not applicable to their city campuses.

"The cabinet committee has allowed city campuses of private universities to provide extra facilities like playgrounds on the outskirts of the cities and the HEC has been consistently monitoring whether or not these facilities are being provided to students," he said.

He said the condition of minimum 10 acres of gross area was only applicable to the main buildings and if there were more than one campuses of a private university in any city then total area of these campuses would be counted as a single entity.

Dr. Sohail Naqvi said that the HEC has divided all private universities into various categories keeping in view their financial and physical infrastructure. "The HEC has also issued directives to private universities to develop the required infrastructure in the given grace period." The News

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May 5 clash at QAU: 'Committee deliberately delaying action against troublemakers'
Islamabad: An internal committee formed to look into the May 5 clash among students on the main campus of Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) has failed to submit its findings to the varsity administration within the stipulated time of one week.

QAU officials told said that action against culpable persons was being delayed because it could stir unrest and violence on the campus. They also insisted that a certain group of senior teachers seemed determined to exploit the situation in case students were proceeded against. Some of these faculty members eye the vice chancellor's slot, expecting change at the top in the university with the inception of new government, they said.

The officials cited imminent varsity exams, scheduled to begin early next month, as a reason for the committee's delay in putting up its report to the administration. They said that the committee feared that any action against students could risk the holding of exams.

They said the rules promised Rs 5,000 worth of fine at minimum and rustication to troublemaking students.

Dr Mehmoodul Hassan Butt, a member of the inquiry committee, said that the committee members had yet to compile their findings because they had to take classes besides quizzing the students allegedly involved in the clash.

Vice Chancellor M Qasim Jan said that he was awaiting the findings and would take appropriate action against students found trying to create a law and order situation on the campus.

Meanwhile, the students, especially the boarders, criticised the inquiry committee for delaying recommending action against troublemakers.

They said that the varsity administration could restore peace at the varsity, especially in hostels, by penalising 'mischievous elements'. Daily Times

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Rootsians give lively performance
Islamabad: The Roots School System, Chaklala Campus, held its Annual Parents Day and Montessori Graduation Ceremony at the NAG Auditorium here on Thursday, says a press release issued on Friday.

Jordanian Ambassador Dr. Saleh A. Jawarneh, Roots School System Managing Director Colonel (r) Mushtaque Rasul Chaudhry, Roots School System Founder Director Riffat Mushtaq, Director (Academics) Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq, Director (Management & Planning) Chaudhry Walid Mushtaq and Director (External Programme) Khadija Omair were present on the occasion.

The programme started with the recitation of the Holy Qur'aan followed by its translation and a 'Hamd'.

Presentations by students started with a stunning performance by Play Group. Their beautifully-designed costumes and backdrop changed the ambience of the overall event. The audience was stunned to see the young performers acting and speaking with such confidence that was absolutely mesmerising.

Roots School System Director (Academics) Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq welcomed the guests and highlighted various methods of modern education given by the Roots School System with international standards specially designed to meet the requirements of children in their early, formative years. He said that bringing the children onto the stage has an objective - confidence building - and this is what the "Roots is known for".

The function was also in support of twenty-year celebrations of the Roots School System.

The Roots School System was founded by Riffat Mushtaq in twin cities of Rawalpindi-Islamabad in 1988.

Dr. Saleh A Jawarneh, in his keynote address, said "I am absolutely captivated and enchanted by the confidence and aesthetic displays of these toddlers. I salute their teachers and offer the Roots School System to open up their school in Jordan as well. Today's education has no boundaries, Roots is preparing leaders of Pakistan at this young age. I can say with wisdom that Pakistan has a very bright future with such talented teachers and students."

At the end of the ceremony, the young graduates of Montessori were awarded diplomas & other academic awards by the chief guest along with appreciation certificates & service excellence awards amongst teachers and administrative staff of the Roots School System. The News

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