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Private schools 20pc tuition fees increase

Parents slam 20pc rise; claim only 5pc increase allowed
Karachi, May 15: Despite that the private schools are only allowed to increase five per cent of the tuition fees, most of them have increased the tuition fees up to 20 per cent, and yet the DPIS had taken no action against those schools, parents of some students said.

The parents said that the DPIS should realise its responsibility and monitor the schools, which were collecting more money than the approved increment in tuition fee. It was observed that the monitoring teams of the directorate are least bothered to visit schools in this regard, they added.

On the other hand, the director of the DPIS, Mansoob Hussain Siddiqui, said that they needed complaints to take action against any such school and the parents were requested to co-operate with the directorate.

Moreover, leader of the Private Schools Management Associations (PSMA), Sharaf Uz Zaman said that the DPIS had failed to implement its rules and regulations on the private education institutes without any discrimination.

The DPIS was not providing shelter to the management of the schools and they were left alone to face the departments such as the Sindh Employees Social Security Institution and the EOBI as well as the tax department, he added. Zaman said the said departments have raided schools and demanded handsome amounts of money from the management of schools.

They have no authority to visit the schools, yet representatives of these bodies come to the schools and tell the managements that they were violating the laws, Zaman said. He added that these representatives use such tactics to earn money from the owners of the schools by threatening to lodge cases against them.

If the DPIS could not stop the said bodies from visiting the schools, it should permit the schools to charge some extra money to the parents in order to pay the schools taxes, he added. Zaman also said the Value Added Tax (VAT) is another problem faced by the school owners.

Representative of the All Private Schools Management Association Sindh, Syed Khalid Shah, he refused to pay VAT and that he would ask the parents to raise their voices against VAT.

Shah further said the management of schools are allowed to increase only five per cent in tuition fees and they have to pay 15 per cent in lieu of VAT, which is injustice with parents, students and the school managements. He suggested that schools should increase 10 per cent in tuition fees. Meanwhile, Shah said the DPIS wanted the schools operating in lower and middle class localities to follow the rules and regulations of the authority, while they kept silent regarding taking action against schools operating in posh areas of the city.

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Name: Fahim Khan
City, Country: Karachi, Pakistan

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27 private schools given
Karachi: A number of private schools have submitted applications at the Directorate of Private Institutions Sindh (DPIS) to seek permission for an increase in the monthly tuition fees. As many as 27 schools have been granted permission in this regard.

This was said by the director of the DPIS, Mansoob Hussain Siddiqui. He said that as per rules and regulations of the DPIS, private institutions could enhance five per cent in tuition fees for an academic year. However, parents of students claim that some schools have increased the tuition fees up to 20 per cent and yet the DPIS was not taking any action against them (see box).

Siddiqui said that permission of the DPIS after visits by its inspection committees and verifications of all the necessary documents and records were required to increase the tuition fees.

The managements of private educational institutes are requested to follow some terms and conditions if they wanted to enhance the tuition fees. Any school that wanted to increase the tuition fees should also increase the salaries of its teachers accordingly, the DPIS official said. He added that such schools should also provide additional facilities to the students apart from following other conditions mentioned in the 'Registration Certificate'. Similarly, the schools that have increased tuition fees were not allowed to enhance any other fund, he said. Moreover, the DPIS director pointed out that the order to increase the tuition fees was subject to modification and withdrawal if and when found necessary by the competent authority.

Meanwhile, Siddiqui said that permission for any increment in the fee structure should be taken before the beginning of an academic session, which generally starts from April 01 every year, he added. The director DPIS further said that students of Class-X would have to pay the fee up till March, whereas students of Class I to IX would have to pay the fee for the months of June and July. Meanwhile, if parents intend to take their children to another school they should submit applications to the concerned institution before the beginning of new academic year, he said, adding that such students would only have to pay the fees of March.

Siddiqui said that the DPIS had asked the registered schools to strictly follow the rules and regulations of the directorate.

Moreover, the management of schools are required to write the required fees on the schools' notice boards. Besides, the schools are instructed against charging any other fees unless approved by the DIPS rules and regulations, including annual charges and recreation fee. However, the admission fee should at least be equal to three months tuition fees.

Siddiqui said that the DPIS has constituted a team to monitor the schools and give their reports about the institution. Any educational centre deviating from the rules could face suspension or cancellation of its registration. According to the Sindh Private Education Institutions (Regulation and Control) Ordinance, 2001 (Amended Act-2003 and Rule-2005), the DPIS has the authority to take strict action against schools that do not follow the directorate's regulations, he added.

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KU announces special exam for old students
Karachi: Deputy Controller, KU, semester examination section, has announced that all the old students (from 1973 onwards) whose enrolment/re-enrolment have expired and they have not yet completed their degree programmes due to declaration as failed in one or more courses, will be allowed to take a One-Time Special Chance Examination which will begin from June 30, 2010. The examination form and the prescribed fee of Rs.2000/- could be submitted from June 08 to June 14 and after that with late fee of Rs.500 till June 21.

According to an announcement of the Directorate of Evening Programme, University of Karachi, the students of all the departments and centers in the Evening Program who have so far not cleared their dues, are directed to immediately pay their dues. Deans, chairpersons, directors and in-charges have been requested by the Director of Evening Program to ensure that defaulter students do clear their dues without further delay. The students not complying with the instructions may not be allowed to appear in the current semester examinations. The news

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NED girl student dies in accident
Karachi: A student of the NED University of Engineering and Technology was killed while she was crossing the road in a hit-and-run accident near the NIPA Chowrangi on Friday.

Gulshan-e-Iqbal police station SHO Salman Waheed said the victim Javeria, 22, daughter of Moiz Ahmed, was a resident of North Nazimabad and a 2nd year student at the Chemical Engineering Department.

The officer added that due to the government's announcement of Saturdays as holiday, the university administration had changed the point service timings to 4:30 pm only on Friday, therefore the deceased left the university on a passenger bus at her normal time.

The victim while trying to take a bus at NIPA Chowrangi received a head injury due to a collision between a rickshaw and Mehsud Coach, he said.

She was immediately taken to a hospital where she succumbed to her injuries during treatment, the officer added.

Waheed further said that both the coach and rickshaw drivers managed to escape from the scene, adding that investigations were underway. It is pertinent to mention that an NED student died in an accident at the Silver Jubilee Gate of the Karachi University in April last year when she slipped and was crushed under the wheels of the bus she was disembarking from. Daily times

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FUUAST extends form submission date
Karachi: Controller Examination Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science & Technology (FUUAST) on Friday announced that date of submitting registration forms for BA and B.Com Part I and II and combined, MA (private) new and old candidates and seminaries candidates for academic year 2009 has been extended from 17th to 31st May 2010.

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'Decline in arts education worrisome'
Karachi: Forty five-year-old Harji Mal, an arts teacher in the Government Drawing Teachers Training Center, Hyderabad, thinks that the trend of teaching drawing as a subject in schools across the province is facing a decline.

"Gone are the days when teachers used to encourage the students to make clay models and do creative work with pencil, especially during their annual examinations at primary schools," says Harji, who has 23 years of experience as an arts teacher. "In the past, the students would be given marks for there ability in creating works of art," he said, adding that the students would start working on their projects weeks before the exams, which would often be an exciting exercise.

The drawings and other works by the students would be displayed in classrooms. "Drawings (by the students) were hung on the walls and clay models put on the tables, hoping to win recognition as an artist," the drawing teacher said.

But now, only few teachers come for admission in the drawing training center, he regretted. Earlier, the subject of drawing was compulsory in primary and secondary schools. However, now in most of the government schools the subject is not taught, mostly due to lack of qualified drawing teachers, Harji added.

Harji thinks every child loves music and colours. "Let them choose the colours to identify whatever they imagine," he says, adding however that priority is not given to drawing and arts, which results in disappointment of the talented children who could show their creativity through simple pencil work, colours and sculptures.

Born in Mirpur Bathoro Town, Thatta district, Harji is proud to be the son of a traditional shoemaker, who was famous for his work in the entire area. It was his dream since childhood to become an educated person. He says as a child he was interested in colours. He was studying in class III when he built a crane (Digging Machine) with mud and a small plant, for which his teacher appreciated him a lot. This was a big achievement for him and he started giving full time to pencil work and depicting different scenes through matching colours.

After completing his primary education in Jungshahi, he got admission in the Teachers Training College Mirpur Bathoro, and did a diploma in drawing. He also studied in the Fine Arts department at University of Sindh. However, his days at the University of Sindh did not prove to be much of an inspiration for him. He complains that certain teachers used to discourage the talented students.

Unlike him, his son Aneel Harji, who is studying arts at the National College of Art (NCA), Lahore, experiences a more encouraging environment than his father. Two of his children also take interest in arts. Harji says he is happy seeing his children having a keen interest in his profession.

Harji believes that the students of rural areas are perhaps more creative because they observe the nature more closely. "Singing birds, butterflies and streaming watercourses provide them a chance to live close to the nature and see its beauty at a very early age," the arts teacher says.

Harji mostly portrays nature, romance and struggle for peace in his works. Women, especially those belonging to poor families, attract him, and through colours he tries to tell the world about their lives. He depicts women, their ornaments, and faces, in order to tell the meaning of earthen jars and colours. He has taken part in group exhibitions held in Karachi, Lahore and Hyderabad.

The drawing center where Harji is teaching has been dedicated to renowned artist Abdullah Qadir Shaikh (popularly known as Ain Qaf Shaikh), who was one of the founding members of the center, then being run in the premises of the Teachers Training College established by British government in 1865. The present building of the college was built in 1887.

At the center that looks like a congested gallery-also called art museum-a large number of works of art can be seen hanging on the walls and muddy items scattered on the floor.

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'Occupants of land behind BBMC not encroachers'
Karachi: The land behind the Benazir Bhutto Medical College (BBMC) is not occupied illegally but rather the 'encroachers' are the rightful owners of this property, said a senior official from the Revenue Department on the condition of anonymity.

He said that the on going feud about the demolition of the godowns behind BBMC to pave way for the development work of the college will be expedited soon. "As it is for the general welfare of the people we won't take much time to expedite the whole process but to call the rightful land owners 'encroachers' is not justified."

For the past few months, a dispute between the management at BBMC and godown owners at the back of the college is going on. The management claims that the land occupied by the godown owners is meant for the college whereas the owners say that their land is leased. Presently, a case pertaining to the dispute is being heard in the court.

Meanwhile, Land Inspector of the City District Government Karachi (CDGK), Abdul Quyyum also agreed with the comments of the Revenue Department official and said, "The development work of the BBMC is being held up due to some administrative issues of the college and not because of the encroachment issue."

However, the project director and Dean BBMC, Hassan Dost Afridi, has another story to tell and refutes the claim that the issues befalling the BBMC are managerial in nature. Rather he says that in a recently held meeting with the finance secretary, he pointed out the fact that the land behind the college is "not allotted in anyone's name" and the supposed lease the owners claim to have has expired a very long ago. He said that there are four godowns and around 35-40 small quarters that come under the land which the godown owners claim to be theirs.

"The one person who claims the land as his own got it in an auction and this is not in his name even," explained the dean. He says that the building constructed at present is a temporary area for the medical college, "because understandably a medical college needs a bigger space than the one it is provided at the time being."

Explaining the amount of work that is being held up because of the land occupied by the encroachers, he said that till now, only the classrooms and sitting area for the students has been made. Apart from that administration block, laboratories for anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, forensic medicine and pathology and hygiene are waiting to be constructed for the past four months, for which he says the college will have to wait more. "Our efforts of the past few months are all in vain as the encroachers have refused to budge which is adding to our problems," says Afridi.

The medical college which was a part of the big plan of the Lyari Development Project has been mired with problems from day one. From the beginning the project was held up either due to held up payments or the meager salary offered to the professors or the absence of a proper admission policy.

Afridi says that the issues and problems are piling up for their ambitious project, adding, "What keeps us going is that the people of Lyari are supporting the development work in the area rather than opposing. This is a plus point and one which will get us through." The news

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