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The lucrative tuition business

Private tutors and coaching centres charge thousands of rupees
Karachi, May 13: As tuition and coaching classes have become an integral part of the education system, a large number of students rely on these institutions apart from their respective schools.

Private tutors and coaching centres charge thousands of rupees, depending on whether students were enrolled in local or foreign boards, increasing the burden on parents.

According to students, parents and tutors themselves, there is a multitude of reasons why this dependency is increasing.

Prof Abdul Ghaffar Nazmi, taught Urdu at Adamjee Science College for 25 years until 2007, claimed he used to give lectures regularly throughout his college career. Additionally, he has been giving private tuitions for the past two decades, where he charges Rs 5,000 for a three-month period, covering the entire year's Urdu syllabus. According to Nazmi, students end up at tuition centres due to the deteriorated standard of education at public colleges. "There have been incidents where student wings of political parties have indulged in firing, calling classes off whenever they wished. So, students find other means to focus on their studies," he said.

A Physics teacher at Gulshan College, Professor Aijaz Hussain, who has also been giving tuitions for about two decades, charges Rs 12,000 for a year. Stating his opinion on the matter, he said, "Students take their SSC exams in April or May, and the results are announced in August. Moreover, college admissions take place even later, and classes start in late September or October. Due to this delayed process parents enrol their kids at tuition centres to utilise these months." Furthermore, he explained, "Having a hundred or so students in class, sometimes I even have to turn off the fans so I am audible to everyone. Naturally, students start pulling out of classes and gradually stop coming to college altogether, focusing only on tuition classes." At his tuition classes, Hussain accommodates about 30 students in each study group. He said since the fee at government colleges is as nominal as Rs 950 per year, "parents do not mind if their children don't attend college regularly, especially with the prevailing unsafe environment."

Shahida Zafar, a mother of three children, all of whom attended tuitions during their SSC and HSC years said, "The four years from ninth to twelfth are the most crucial for a student's future. Competition to score the highest and get into the best universities is mounting every day. In this situation, I cannot afford to let my children lose out on opportunities, even if I have to spend extra money."

The fee structure of the Cambridge system is considerably higher than that of the local educational boards. While an average, well-reputed coaching centre charges Rs 13,500 for an entire year of HSC coaching classes, an O-Level Islamiat tuition given by the author of the book commonly used in Cambridge schools, can cost up to Rs 5,500 per month. Similarly, Rs 5,000 per month can be charged for A-Level Math tuition while Rs 3,500 is the average cost of Economics tuition nowadays. The classroom strength at these tuitions ranges from 15 to 40 students per group. People's take on the issue varies. Faizan Alvi, who completed his A-Levels last year with three As and a B, said "I attended tuitions because I wanted to have fun at school with my friends. I used to study during tuition time really hard, but school was meant for enjoyment and nothing else!" Nazmi concluded, "If I have an ideal condition to teach at colleges, where students are regular and the environment is safe from disruptions, I can predict that apart from enjoying teaching myself, no student would ever want to take extra tuitions from me." -By Haya Fatima Iqbal (Daily times)

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"Mr. Uqaili is subleting all the contracts of STEVTA to his relative cousin in Thatta. And all the seminars and facilities he is providing to Thatta institute why not he is giving these facilities to others STEVTA institutions. Is he is the MD of STEVTA sindh or Thatta."
Name: Abdul Haq Palijo
City, Country:Hyderabad Pakistan

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Mismanagement, clashes mar exams at SU
Hyderabad: Notwithstanding the claim by the Sindh University authorities that the semester examinations in both the morning and evening shifts were held in a peaceful manner on Wednesday, impeccable sources, students and a professor of the university said in confidence that a large number of students boycotted the examinations in arts faculty building including mass communication department and the entire process remained disturbed because of a clash between the students and security guards.

It may be pointed out here that even on Tuesday, the semester examinations could not be held as a nationalist group did not allow the university point buses to ply between Hyderabad and Jamshoro.

The university had debarred some nationalist students from appearing in the examination due to their short attendance in the classes and they retaliated by stopping the university buses.

On Wednesday, some students were stopped at the gate for want of admit cards as a result of which a clash took place between the students and security guards in which one security guard was injured who was hospitalised. The incident led to a protest by the university employees as well as the students, majority of whom boycotted the examinations.

SU VERSION: A press release of the Sindh University, however, said that the ongoing first semester examination in the institutes and departments were held in a peaceful manner amidst strict security measures.

It said the acting vice chancellor, professor Dr Iqbal Ahmed Panhwar, deans of faculties and heads of institutes and departments monitored the examinations.

The press release, however, said that the examination paper at the faculty of arts building started one hour late due to exchange of hot words between some students and employees during checking of admit cards at the main entrance of the faculty gate.It said that an employee Shabbir Buledi was injured who has been admitted in university hospital Jamshoro branch. It said that the employees staged protest demonstration outside the faculty of arts building.

It said that the registrar of the university, Mohammad Hussain, and other officials rushed to the arts faculty and held talks with the students and the employees and the matter was amicably settled, where after the students appeared in the paper, the press release said. Dawn

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KU library forced eviction
Karachi: Teachers and students of the University of Karachi (KU) busy studying at the Dr Mahmud Hussain Library were pressurised on Wednesday to leave the library premises by some employees claiming to be the Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) of KU.

The forced eviction from the library seemed to be part of a larger series of protests, which had started last week, against the alleged corruption of the director of Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre (SZIC) and his injustice to the employees. The action, however, came as a blow to students studying in the library, as the semester examinations begin from today (Thursday).

Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi had reservations over some demands of the employees, especially the appointment of one Pro Vice-Chancellor from the non-teaching staff. She referred to the University Code Book that clearly mentions the role of different cadres of employees.

She expressed surprise about the claim of the non-teaching staff that they numbered 3,000, while teachers were not more than 600. "It is strange that the non-teaching staff conveniently forgets that teachers are the main stakeholders of the university after the students. I am also surprised at the large number of non-teaching staff who are receiving their salaries but not performing well".

A senior professor of the university, not wanting to be identified said that it was a paradox that a large number of non-teaching staff was on the roll of the university, but functioning of the office was much to be desired. She especially mentioned the accounts section that fails to prepare cheques for the permanent and cooperative teachers for months. "The cooperative teachers in particular are badly affected by this delay".

Secretary Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) Dr Fayyaz Vaid severely criticised the KU administration. "As a matter of fact it is seen that the corrupt are being rewarded with additional posts that carry various fringe benefits, while the hard and sincere people are cornered. "As a matter of fact it is seen that the corrupt are being rewarded with additional posts that carry various fringe benefits, while the hard and sincere people are cornered. Vice Chancellor (VC) (Prof Pirzada Qasim) is playing with people. He is trying to please all the people all the time. That is preposterous. How can non-teaching staff play havoc with the functioning of the university? It is a university not Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works. We are in the business of teaching".

Dr Vaid disagreed with the policy of the VC who agrees to take action but never does. "There are rules and regulations. There is University Code Book, but it is seldom implemented", he explained.

Ghulam Nabi Gabol, Vice President United Group of KU Employees disagreed with the pressure tactics of the other group citing the fact that they were not the CBA as their two-year term had expired on June 16, 2008 and there were no elections. Gabol agreed that there are problems with the non-teaching staff and the administration, but expressed his reverence for the teachers who, according to him, were one of the most important parts of the university.

In the meantime, many students expressed their apprehension that the semester examinations beginning from today (Thursday) might be disturbed by the protesting employees. The teachers and the administration are sure that the examinations will be conducted as planned.

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16 students selected for Global Business Challenge
Karachi: Sixteen Pakistani students have been selected to compete in the national level final of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants' (CIMA's) 'Global Business Challenge', to be held at a local hotel in Karachi on May 15. Four winning students will participate in the international level final, to be held in Malaysia on August 05 and 06.

This was said by International Customer Marketing Manager of the CIMA, Salema Hafiz, while addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday.

She said that 220 students from 47 universities participated in the qualifying round, out of which sixteen have been selected for the national level final.

She further said that the four winning students would go on to compete in Malaysia against students from the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, India, China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, UAE and Australia.

Hafiz said that this was the first time the CIMA's 'Global Business Challenge' was being held in Pakistan, allowing local students to compete in an international competition and discover their potentials in business leadership.

She said that the competing students would be required to analyse and present a case study to local business leaders and a panel of experts. The winners would go on to compete in the Malaysian global final which would also require them to give presentations to a panel of high profile judges.

She said such international competitions provide students with a great opportunity to test the depth of their relevant knowledge, as well as try out their business management skills.

CIMA Pakistan Branch Representative Javaria Hassan said that since the formal launch of CIMA office in Pakistan in 2009, the institute has received an overwhelming response from business and finance students. She added that one Pakistani student, Hassan Siddiq, had even gained the highest score in Paper P7 (Financial Accounting and Tax Principles), come joint third in Paper P1 (Management Accounting Performance Evaluation) and achieved joint seventh in Paper P2 (Management Accounting Decision Management) out of 31,000 students who sat in the latest round of CIMA exams in 87 countries. The news

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Technical Education
Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority's managing director Abdul Wahid Uqaili has rejected reports about privatization of technical education and vocational training institutions in the province and said the authority has plans either to close down the non-performing institutions or privatizing them. Dawn

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