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UK Higher Education Links programme

'UK to strengthen education sector'
Islamabad, May 11: British High Commissioner Adam Thomson said on Monday that his country would extend every possible support to strengthen linkages between education sectors of the two countries.

Speaking at an event to celebrate Higher Education Commission-British Council (HEC-BC) Joint Higher Education Links programme, he said no country could flourish without developing its educational system. He hoped that Pakistan-UK partnership would result in the promotion of education sector.

Mr Thomson said his country was the largest investor in Pakistan and "we want top Pakistani students to study in UK".

"The challenge to provide better educational facilities to Pakistani students is not smaller one and UK will continue this partnership to develop the better relations," he said, adding that Britain provided more opportunities to Pakistani students than the previous year.

The high commissioner inaugurated the exhibition where 35 HEC-BC Joint Higher Education Links and other projects displayed their work.

On the occasion, HEC Chairman Dr Javaid R. Laghari said the joint linkages programme had resulted in close collaboration between Pakistani and the British universities.

"Major objective of this collaborative programme was to provide opportunities to the Pakistani universities to enhance the research and training capabilities of their researchers by linking up with partner higher education institutions in the UK," he said.

The HEC-BC linkage programme has resulted in the establishment of 50 links, he said.

"This joint collaborative endeavour between Pakistani and the British universities has brought the research community of both the countries closer to each other through joint supervision of research scholars, exchange of faculty members, development of new academic courses and programmes, convening of workshops for training of faculty and for initiation research in the field of mutual interest," he added.

The programme started in 2006 to enhance the research and training capacity of Pakistani higher education institutions so that they could contribute to the institutional capacity building of the higher education sector of the country.
The programme is funded by the HEC and managed by the British Council in Pakistan. The council has built 50 research and capacity building links between Pakistani and UK institutions under the phase 1 and 2 of the programme.

The programme is in line with the British Council's objective to increase UK's contribution to international co-operation in research and innovation.

The council in collaboration with the HEC also launched INSPIRE (International Strategic Partnerships in Research and Education) - Pakistan Strategic Partnerships 2010.

According to Nishat Riaz, BC head of programmes, the aim of INSPIRE - Strategic Partnerships is to promote sustainable academic and international research partnerships at institutional level between Pakistan and the UK. App

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New school monitoring system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Monday notified a new system of monitoring public sector educational institutes.

Under the new system, administrative heads of high and higher secondary schools will supervise primary and middle schools in their respective areas.

A notification issued here by the elementary and secondary education department said: "Following the decision taken by the provincial cabinet, salaries of PST shall be disbursed through clusters of schools placed under principals/headmasters/headmistresses of high/higher secondary schools."

The administrative power, under the cluster school system, has been transferred to heads of high and higher secondary schools.

The department has ordered formation of clusters of primary and middle schools in this regard.

It also directed executive district officers (education) across the province to notify establishment of clusters in their respective districts.

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Private schools protest killing of girl students
Mansehra: Private schools remained closed in Oghi on Monday in protest against the killing of two school-going sisters.

"It is an inhuman act carried out by beasts against two innocent sisters. If police do not arrest the culprits within a week, the scope of protests will be spread to the district and then to the province," Gul Mohammad, president of the All Private Schools Association of Oghi, said while speaking at a gathering of teachers, traders and people from all walks of life.

Gul Mohammad and others said police had failed to protect the life and property of citizens, adding criminals were out against people.

They called for immediate arrest of the killers to bring them to justice.

They said the double murder had created a sense of insecurity among parents and if police did not apprehend the culprits they would confine their children to home.

The gathered people wanted to take out a protest procession, but police authorities arrived at the scene and persuaded them not to do so by assuring early arrest of the killers. Dawn

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QAU workshop titled 'Indo-Asian Continental Collision'
Islamabad: With an aim to provide a platform for local and foreign experts to dilate upon various sensitive issues related to earth and earthquakes, a two-day workshop titled 'Indo-Asian Continental Collision' started on Monday at Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), organised by the Department of Earth Sciences in collaboration with National Science Foundation (NSF).

On first day, renowned foreign and national speakers shared their knowledge in four academic sessions of the workshop discussing earthquake hazards, Indo-Asian Collision, Lithospheric deformation, climate and tectonics.

In his welcome address, Dr Masoom Yasinzai, the QAU vice chancellor, said plate tectonics is such an important issue for Pakistan which sits at the foothill of lesser Himalayas; an area prone to earthquakes and major plate boundaries, along with about 44 active faults. The field of seismology has almost been dormant since October 8, 2005, earthquake.

Yasinzai emphasized that oil and gas data comprising of seismic reflection time section should be used to study the stereography of earth and identify locations of blind faults, pop-up structure, and areas prone to earthquakes.

He said that QAU with the sponsorship of HEC is committed to support these kinds of studies and it is expected that this year a large amount of funding would be provided by the HEC for ongoing research activities, new endeavors, and research at MPhil and PhD levels through indigenous fellowships.

While addressing the workshop, HEC Chairman Dr Javaid Laghari said that HEC has been focusing on building institutions and in this process the priority is given to quality teaching, particularly in public sector universities of Pakistan. He said universities couldn't just fuscous on teaching; research should be their important component.

He said currently only 20 percent faculty in Pakistani universities has PHD degrees therefore human resource development is a prime concern for the HEC. Laghari lauded QAU's efforts for hosting such a wonderful event and providing researchers a platform to share their views.

Roger Bilham from Department of Geological Sciences at University of Colorado in his presentation on 'earthquakes and geodesy: an emerging GPS view of Pakistan Tectonics' said it has been five years since the devastating 2005 earthquake saw widespread application of GPS measurements in Pakistan.

He said at a few places along the western boundary in Balochistan, there is evidence that the zone of deformation is focused on single fault that may be slipping seismically close to the surface.

Dr Martin Flower from University of Illinois gave presentation on 'Plate Collision End-games: A Possible Role for Collision-Induced Mantle Extrusion' and said his current work focuses on ophiolites in the complex NW India-Asia syntaxis where a collage of accreted micro-continents is associated with a complex sequence of neo-Tethyan basin closure, in many cases post-dating those associated with the 'hard' of India.

He said the Cenozoic Makran Complex represents a unique sub parallel sequence of

southward-convex ophiolites, perhaps reflecting rapid episodes of basin opening, and closure, early quaternary volcanism of Afghanistan, and Pleistocene calcalkaline activity in Koh-i-Sultan.

Dr Zulfiqar Ahmad, of Department of Earth Sciences, described the purpose and structure of workshop. The seminar was well attended by faculty members Researchers, foreign delegates, Geoscientists, Students, and Scholars.

Dr Akhtar Kassi, University of Balochistan; Dr Irshad Ahmad, University of Peshawar; Dr Kahlid Mahmood, University of Sargodha; Dr Sajjad Ahmad, Department of Geology, University of Peshawar; Dr Mohammad Sayab, University of Peshawar; Dr Ali Tabrez, National Institute for Oceanography, Karachi; Dr M Rushtam Khan, Institute of Geology, University of AJK, Muzzafarabad and Dr Mahmood Raza, HEC, also participated the workshop. Daily times

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Training of TV, Video Script writing vital for distant learning
Islamabad: The teaching material to be transcribed into television scripts by Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) would be helpful for the students getting education in the far flung areas of the country. Dean Faculty of Sciences AIOU, Prof Dr. Faqir Muhammad said that while addressing the participant on the inauguration of 7-day workshop on "Television, Video Script Writing for Science Faculty" here Monday.

The greatness is concealed in knowledge not in power and one can fulfill his responsibilities in a better way if he/she is well aware of it, he said.

Faqir said that the students can get help from print as well as electronic media in non-formal education system for that professor, engineers with assistance of academic staff of the university will prepare educational television programmes.

He urged the participants in the said workshop to take full attention for changing the teaching material into television scripts.

"Human beings was sent by Allah Almighty to the deserted and uninhabited earth with wealth of knowledge for finding out ways for its betterment and make it a place to pass lavish life," he added.

Resource person of the workshop, Iqbal Fahim Jozi said that the keen interest in teaching practice of script writing will make it beneficial for participants.

Director, Institute of Educational Technology, Qasim Haider also addressed the participants and thanked Dr Faqir for arranging the workshop. App

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