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BIEK postponed papers new schedule

BIEK announces new date for postponed papers
Karachi, May 22: Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) Friday notified that the postponed papers of Mathematics-II, Meal Management and Food Preservation, Clinical Pathology and Serology-II and Health and Physical Education-I for the Higher Secondary Certificate Annual Examination 2010, which were earlier scheduled for May 20, would now be held on the same venue and time on Tuesday, May 25. ppi

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In pursuit of an actual 100% literate school
Karachi: It is a classroom of about 40 students, with the teacher helping her class to form basic sentences in English. The class reads aloud what is written on the blackboard and responds actively when the teacher asks questions. This could be the picture of any classroom in the world. The only thing that makes it different though is the fact that this classroom comprises 40 adults and is being held after school hours.

The school where these adults are being taught is Dawood Public School (DPS), and the student body in the classroom comprises the support staff working at the school as sweepers, maids, gardeners, watchmen, and security guards. They have been studying English, Maths and Urdu for the past two years now; since the time the school's current chief executive officer (CEO) initiated the project. DPS CEO Sabrina Dawood said, "Imagine what the world would be like if you didn't know how to read anything at all. Most of our support staff cannot read whatever is written on billboards, on the walls, on television and in the newspapers. What we want to do is to enable them to read so much so that they are at least able to know the world around them better. Our ultimate dream is to make the school hundred per cent literate in the true sense."

As Dildara, a worker at DPS recalls with a candid laugh, "We were initially invited to study under the project for a period of four weeks only, probably so that we wouldn't run away. But after those four weeks, we were ourselves so interested in learning new things that there has been no turning back since then."

At the school, it is mandatory for these 'students' to come to class everyday in order to study. If they do not do so, they can even risk losing their jobs. Esther, a maid at DPS and a mother of four children confesses that at first, she did not find studying interesting at all. "But now I am able to comprehend the difference between my former and new self. I can now find mistakes in my own children's homework and that gives me a sense of empowerment and achievement," said a smiling Esther.

On attending classes regularly, Elizabeth, who is also a maid at DPS said, "It makes me both happy and sad to get the opportunity to study at this stage in life. I am pleased because I have been given an opportunity to study for free by the school administration, but I am sad at the same time because now I have realised that had I been able to read and write earlier, my life would have been far more successful."

DPS Pre-Primary In-charge Nusrat Hilal volunteers to teach the school's support staff everyday for one hour. When asked what the most challenging part of the project is, she replied, "Teaching adults is far more demanding than teaching children because kids are fast learners. Plus, the adults we have here are already burdened by financial and work pressures so to make sure that their attention does not get diverted gets difficult at times." Daily times

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Student group sets out to turn
Karachi: It was a chilly evening in December 2003. Uzma Shah and her friends were on their way home from a tuition centre. Like always, their car echoed with laughter, songs, jokes and giggles.

A few minutes later, the joyful ride turned into a horrifying accident, leaving a long lasting mark on all the passengers. On the Baloch Colony expressway, the over speeding car flipped from the top road to the lower one and later was hit by a vehicle.

For Shah, the incident proved to be much more disastrous than the others. Her spinal cord was damaged and she was confined to a wheel chair for the rest of her life.

Now, it is a sunny afternoon in May 2010. Shah is putting final touches to her plan along with her teammates.

President of a taskforce named "Enable Pakistan", the taskforce members will make their way to one of the busiest streets of the city, Tariq Road on 23 May. Shovels on their back and cement sacks in their hands, the determined youngsters will set up ramps along the street, in a bid to help people with disabilities.

"Since the government has totally neglected the disabled people of the society, therefore we decided to take the matter into our own hands of building ramps so that people on wheelchairs can have access to shopping malls and other recreational places," says the 28-year-old Shah.

Despite writing several letters to the government, the group failed to get any kind of response regarding their initiative. Comprising around 50 university students, members of the group pooled their own money into setting up the ramps, each costing between Rs2,500 and Rs3,000.

"An architecture student from the University of Karachi is helping us to build the ramps. With the money we have collected from students and relatives, we would be able to set up around eight to 10 ramps on the road. If our budget allows, then we will construct ramps along Shahrea Faisal," said a volunteer, Zohair Makhani.

Prior to this, the group conducted a survey, interviewing around 60 university students regarding persons with disabilities (PWDs). "We wanted to find out how much are people aware of the issues that revolve around handicapped people. Sadly, majority of the people do not even know what a ramp is."

Meanwhile, the volunteers also visited shopping centres, restaurants and parks to see which of the places had a ramp. To their dismay, out of the malls, only Park Towers has a ramp for wheelchair people. Meanwhile, out of the eateries, only the five star hotels have a ramp.

"I rarely go out now as there is no facility for PWDs in the limited recreational places. Feeling the pain, now I have decided that instead of being dependent on others, we will do ourselves now," says Shah.

Meanwhile, the volunteers are ready to meet any hurdles they might face when constructing ramps. "We are ready to face any kind of threats, opposition coming as a result of our actions. PWDs are part of our society and now it's high time that they are given their due shares and their rights," said Hasan, a zealous volunteer.

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KU Syndicate approves Rs1.969bn budget
Karachi: The University of Karachi (KU) held the meeting of its syndicate on Friday under the chairmanship of the KU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dr Pirzada Qasim Siddiqui. The actual annual expenditure of Rs1.969 billion for 2010-2011 was approved by the meeting.

It is pertinent to mention here that the said budget has been arrived at after taking into consideration the requirements of each faculty and department.

Haseeb Ahmed Khan and MPA Muzaffar Ali Shujra endorsed the budget and said it was realistic and that it should be approved and provided to the University because the University had to face the deficit in the last few years because of the shortfall in the proposed budget. They added that education, especially universities, should be given priority in the annual budget.

In addition to this, Saba Masood, Lecturer, Department of Economics, has once again been nominated representative member of the Board of Secondary Education, Karachi, for the period of two years.

On this occasion, new chairpersons of various departments were also nominated for a period of three years. These include, Prof. Dr. Zaheer Hussain, Department of Physiology; Prof. Dr. Sheikh Sirajuddin Nizami, Department of Chemistry; Dr. Abdur Rehman Zaki, Department of Business Administration; Prof. Dr. Uzma Farman, Department of Urdu; Dr. Obaid Yousuf Khan, Department of Genetics; Prof. Dr. Majeed Ullah Qadri, Department of Petroleum Technology; Prof. Dr. Jahan Ara, Department of Food Sciences and Technology; Prof. Dr Shaista Tabbassum, Department of International Relations.

Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Shahana Urooj Kazmi directed the committee of Syndicate that was created to monitor matters related to the regularisation of the employees of BCC&T, to report the matters as early as possible. Moreover, the proposed seats for initiation of teaching session at the Department of Teacher's Education have also been approved. The meeting approved the proceedings of the meeting of the Sindh Abdul Latif Bhittai Chair, which was held on May 14, 2010. The news

HEC refuses to commit uplift grant to KU
Karachi: The Higher Education Commission refused to commit any development grant to Karachi University for the next financial year in a syndicate meeting held to present the university's budget on Friday.

The KU syndicate was told about this by Dr Riaz Qureshi, who represented the HEC on the KU syndicate. The budget meeting was presided over by KU Vice Chancellor Dr Pirzada Qasim.

It is worth mentioning here that public sector universities in the country are facing a serious crisis following a government decision to stop release of over Rs7 billion committed for developing the higher education sector of the country in the current year.

This is yet another setback for higher education as the government has so far released only Rs10 billion out of the Rs22.5 billion initially committed amount under this year's public sector development programme.

Expressing regret over the government's refusal to release the committed amount, the syndicate members said a resolution be presented at the top government level in order to highlight the pressures the institutions of higher learning were facing.The stoppage of development funds would affect a number of projects on the campus as the university had already suffered a loss of Rs639 million last year when the HEC failed to deliver the allocated amount to the university, they said.

Earlier, the university suffered a loss of Rs140 million and Rs150 million in 2007-08 and 2008-09, respectively, on account of non-payment by the HEC.

According to the budget document, the university has proposed an annual development grant of Rs780.660 million for the next financial year. Of this amount, Rs297.110 million is allocated for capacity enhancement of faculty of pharmacy, Rs221.221 million for departments of economics, business administration, commerce and economics and Institute of Applied Economics, Rs253.258 million for the establishment of a power generation system and Rs9.071 million for a project meant for using indigenous resources in modern science industries and environmental protection.

No allocation for research
The syndicate approved a total budget of Rs2,640.721 million, of which Rs1,969.280 million has been proposed to be requested from the HEC. The requested amount also includes a Rs51.120 million grant for the tenure track facility and Rs51.271 million for the Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilisation.

No research grant has been proposed for 2010-11 under a separate head as has been a practice over the past years. The impact of revision of pay scale is stated to be Rs78 million.

An increase in student fees is likely as revenue from the university's own sources has been proposed to be Rs566.350 million, which was proposed to be Rs490 million in 2009-10.

The university income was Rs1,476.665 million in 2008-09 that included a government grant of Rs790.038 million. The rest was earned from tuition, enrolment fees and recoveries under different heads. The KU expenditures in the same period was precisely the same: Rs1,476.665m.

The budget document makes no mention of the income from the evening programme.

The syndicate members criticised out-of-way promotions and vowed that such practices would not be tolerated in future. It was decided that the statutes committee would decide the status of the computer science department, which is currently being run at the Umer Basha Institute of Technology.

The syndicate rejected the case of deputy registrar (legal) Asif Mukhtar who was recommended to be promoted to grade 20.

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SPSC test result
Hyderabad: Sindh Public Service Commission has announced the result of pre-interview written test held in October 2009 for the posts of lecturers (male/female) in different subjects in education and literacy department, government of Sindh.

LUMHS EXAM: The Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences Jamshoro has announced the results of M. Phil Physiology and MSc Operative Dentistry examinations held in October 2009. Dawn

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