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Imran Khan's PU visit | Reforming the curriculum

Imran to visit PU
Lahore, May 03, 2008: A delegation of Insaf Students Federation (ISF) called on Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) chief here on Friday and during the meeting it was decided that Imran Khan would soon visit the Punjab University to address varsity students.

PTI chief lauded the working of ISF saying in a very short span of time the PTI student wing had attracted a large number of students. He urged the ISF students to play their role in movement for solidarity of the country.

Meanwhile according to a press statement Imran Khan lauded the efforts of ISF saying it had stood on strong foundations in a very short period which was appreciable. Speaking on the occasion PTI central vice president Ijaz Ahmed Ch said "We want end of monopoly in educational institutions" adding "It is hoped that ISF students will win hearts of other students".

ISF convener Ahmed Muaz said PTI student wing had established new traditions of tolerance and respect for teachers adding the same would continue in future as well. The Punjab University (PU) chapter ISF convener Muhammad Kamran, Lahore chapter convener Muhammad Madani and PU organising committee's general secretary Hafiz Farhat also spoke on the occasion.

Attendance in MAO College remains thin
Lahore: A thin attendance was recorded at the Government MAO College after it reopened after three days on Friday.

A few number of students showed up as parents of most of the students were reluctant to send their children to the college fearing any untoward situation after the Monday's incident.

Meanwhile, college administration granted entry to the students after strict checking so that non-student elements and outsiders could be stopped form entering the campus building.

A number of students demanded the government to ensure a peaceful academic atmosphere in the college on permanent basis by kicking out all the non student elements.

They said it was responsibility of the government to provide peaceful academic environment for the students, adding that a permanent check should be kept on any kind of non student activities inside the college.

They also demanded the government to permanently purge the college from non-student elements of any student group so that students could continue their studies with a peace of mind.

A college teacher said most of the students did not turn up because they were not allowed by their parents. However, the situation would improve with the passage of time, he added.

The college administration also closed down one of the college gates leading to Liaqatabad, an adjacent locality, to stop entry of the outsiders from that side.

On Monday, dozens of armed men pretending to be representatives of a student group had tried to take possession of the college creating panic among the students, teachers and staff alike.

Meanwhile, a large number of students associated with MAO College's student group staged a protest demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club and criticized the acting principal for his alleged involvement in the Monday's incident. It is pertinent to mention here that Prof Khan had, however, been denying any links with the student groups.

He said that those who were protesting against him had been exploiting the situation for some ulterior motives. The News

Reforming the curriculum
At long last the new coalition government has found time to address some basic issues which have been crying for attention. The other day the federal education minister presided over a meeting of all the provincial textbook boards to review the development of textbooks under the new curriculum. He also used the occasion to ask all the participants to give their expert opinion within three weeks on the draft of the education policy prepared by the Shaukat Aziz government. One hopes that our education planners will show seriousness of purpose and the commitment to reform the education system in such a way that academic standards are raised and education becomes accessible to every child in Pakistan. One also hopes that the policies which are formulated are implemented in good faith and do not remain on paper only. This calls for an effective monitoring system to ensure that public sector educational institutions actually function and the money earmarked for them is used judiciously and is not embezzled.

An issue that came up for discussion at the meeting in Islamabad was the curriculum that always emerges as a matter of profound concern for every new government that assumes office in Pakistan. This is not strange considering that policymakers have treated education as a political tool to promote the interest of the government and not of the country. Thus the curricula under Ziaul Haq's and Nawaz Sharif's governments were loaded with a heavy ideological content seeking to inculcate 'Islamic beliefs' in the students and to make 'good Muslims' out of them, leading to the growth of religious extremism. After 9/11, there was a lot of rethinking on the issue and the policy draft that is under consideration speaks of the curriculum being objective-driven and focusing on learning outcomes rather than content. The main aim is defined as developing the capacity for self-directed learning, the spirit of enquiry, critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork, none of which is questionable. Also to be lauded is the suggestion to ensure the creation of awareness and knowledge of citizens' rights, the environment and reproductive health. These guidelines are a vast improvement over the earlier curricula, so long as emphasis is added on cognitive, emotional and social development as had been envisaged in a concept paper on the national curriculum prepared eight years ago by some experts for the ministry of education. Of course a lot would depend on how these principles are translated into the syllabus and the textbooks. Dawn

CPSP inter exams to be held in Peshawar
Peshawar: To provide a respite to the candidates, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (CPSP) has decided to conduct Intermediate Module Examination in Peshawar, being conducted in other cities of the country earlier.

This was decided at a meeting of the president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, Professor Zafarullah Chaudhry, with trainee medical officers (TMOs), supervisors and faculty members here on Friday.

The clinical examination of Intermediate Module would now be held in Peshawar. Earlier, the examination was conducted in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad that caused numerous problems to the candidates. The meeting also decided to upgrade regional centre of the CPSP. It was also decided that registration, training and monitoring cell would also be upgraded. The problems of the TMOs, including registration, training slot and supervisory problems were also discussed at length.

Prof Zafrullah assured the TMOs that all their problems would be addressed accordingly. Vice president Prof Daud Khan, regional director CPSP, Prof Attaullah Jan, council members and large number of TMOs attended the meeting. The News
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