Punjab Schoolteachers black day
Teachers to observe 'black day' on 30th
Lahore, Nov 22: The Joint Action Committee of Schoolteachers has announced
observing November 30 as a 'black day' which will be followed by
besieging of the Punjab Assembly building on December 8 against the
apathetic attitude of the government towards problems of the education
According to a press statement on Sunday, the decision was
taken during a meeting of the committee which decided that the second
phase of the ėRabta Saaz Campaignķ will start from Jhelum and
The meeting stressed that the government was not showing
any interest in educational welfare and reforms. They said rallies and
demonstrations would be conducted on the black day and the protests
would not stop until the government took concrete steps in the education
The meeting was presided over by Chairman Prof Dr Zahid
Ahmed Sheikh and it was attended by Hafiz Abdul Nasir, Prof Tanvir
Hussain, Hafiz Ghulam Mohiyyuddin, Rana Sultan Mahmood Akhtar, Iftikhar
Ahmed Hashmi, Zarar Ahmed, Atiqurahman Kiyani and others.
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Private schools foil govt bid for regulatory body
Lahore: The powerful private schools mafia has failed the Punjab
government's much-hyped policy of establishing a regulatory body for
them despite the lapse of two years.
A high-powered committee,
comprising educationists, MPAs and private schools representatives, was
formed by Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif in late 2008.
reviewing the existing Punjab Private Educational Institutions
(Promotion and Regulation) Ordinance 1984, the committee was given the
mandate to propose suitable amendments to the ordinance with the view to
establishing a standard for infrastructure, teaching staff and syllabi,
curriculum and examination system of the private sector schools.
was also tasked with establishing fee structure of private schools
linked to the standard of service and facilities offered by the
The committee, though after a delay, had given its
recommendations. Afterwards, on various occasions, different government
officials claimed that the draft regarding the proposed watchdog had
been sent to the Law Department. However, nothing more was heard later
on and people are still waiting for the regulatory body.
genuine public concerns, the absence of a regulatory body has also been
causing problems for the government as at times it seems unable to
implement its policies in private sector schools.
Almost every year,
private schools across the province lock horns with the government over
the schedule of summer vacation while accepting or rejecting grade-5 and
grade-8 uniform examinations by the Punjab Examination Commission (PEC)
is another issue.
The failure in enforcement of policies is quite
evident from the unbridled working of private schools where people are
fleeced as much as a private institute can.
The most recent
notification of the Schools Education Department, Punjab, regarding
resumption of six working days is likely to meet a similar fate of
"defiance" as many elite schools generally observe a holiday on
It is important to mention here that on the instructions of
the federal government, the Punjab government had announced functioning
of schools five days a week instead of six days a week as part of the
save energy drive. However, the Punjab government has now announced to
resume old weekly schedule according to which Saturday will be
considered as a working day.
The notification issued by the Schools
Department clearly reads: "All public and private schools will remain
open for six days in a week from November 22, 2010 and only Sunday will
be the weekly holiday."
The stakeholders argue that if the
government cannot ensure implementation of its policies and rules in
private sector schools why they are made part of notifications.
is also pertinent to mention here that the Punjab government during the
tenure of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi as chief minister of the province was
quite ambitious to introduce a regulatory body for private sector
schools. However, this could not happen.
The current Chief Minister
Mian Shahbaz Sharif also took up the issue quite ambitiously and formed a
committee to introduce a regulatory body for private sector schools.
Almost two years have passed since the formation of the committee but
the proposed controlling authority is still not in sight.
of Chief Minister's Taskforce on Elementary Education Raja Anwar was
quite vocal and active regarding the establishment of the regulatory
body for private schools in the beginning. However, it seems he has run
out of steam now.
Sources claim that the CM's taskforce chairman has
completely focused the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) ever since he
became its chairman.
According to the sources, the issue of great
public interest had been put on the backburner as the Punjab government
was facing immense pressure from politicians who own big private
The public has been quite critical of unbridled working of
private schools over the years. People have been complaining about the
absence of government's authority in determining fee structure of
private schools, heavy registration fee, mandatory purchase of uniform
and stationery from the prescribed stores, annual charges and many other
When contacted, Secretary Schools Aslam Kamboh
said he could not tell anything offhand about the proposed regulatory
body for private schools. However, he said that any policy which seemed
to be disputed could not be introduced at a time when academic session
was at the peak.
Answering a question, he said mentioning private
sector in notifications was important as almost 96 percent of such
institutes followed government policies and academic calendar.
The News could not reach Chairman Taskforce for Elementary Education Raja Anwar for his comments.
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'PEF committed to child rights'
Lahore: Punjab Education Foundation Chairman Raja Muhammad Anwar said
his organisation was committed to implementing principles of
International Convention on Rights of the Child (ICRC) including the
provision of education to all children who could not afford it.
a function held in connection with Universal Children's Day at a PEF
partner school at Bhagbanpura, he said education was the most important
fundamental right of every child.
"The PEF is committed to ensuring
that every child gets best education free of cost. The PEF has emerged
as the best model of public-private partnership in the education sector
which was also lauded by the World Bank as a role model project in the
South Asian", he claimed.
The function was also addressed by
students and teachers who highlighted various dimensions of education
with reference to Universal Children's Day. The news
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Iqbal study centre at Mashhad university
Lahore: An Iqbal Study Centre has been set up at the
Firdausi University, Mashhad, Iran, to mark 133rd birthday of Allama
Muhammad Iqbal, says a press release issued by the Iranian Consulate
here on Sunday.
It was formally opened by Pakistan's consular in Mashhad, Qazi Habibur
Rehman, in the presence of a large number of faculty members and
students. The Firdausi University and the Punjab University had signed
an MoU for setting up the centre. Dawn
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