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Gender relaxation marks for female teachers

Female teachers awarded 20 extra marks as "gender relaxation"
Karachi, Oct 28: Women who passed the tests for various posts of teachers will be awarded 20 extra marks as "gender relaxation" for the first time in the history of the education department, Executive District Officer (EDO) Education Ibrahim Qambar said.

The EDO, who has charge of 3,620 schools, including primary, secondary and higher secondary institutions, where 612,000 students are being taught, further said that the World Bank (WB) will soon release the long-awaited funds for the education department.

"I think it will take another month to get the funds, after which final touches will given to the new teachers who were recruited via tests which were conducted in July," he said.

Qambar said the WB had some reservations about the release of funds, which amounted to Rs7 billion. He said that Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq successfully removed the hurdles in release of the funds during a visit to New York.

Nine hundred candidates passed the tests for Higher Secondary Teachers (HST), against the available 300 vacancies; 1,200 candidates passed the tests for the 850 available posts of Junior School Teachers (JST); and 2,600 candidates passed the test for 600 available posts of Primary School Teachers (PST), the EDO siad.

He said that the provincial government will first verify the files of JST candidates, after which the documents of the candidates for HST posts would be checked. He said that the files of candidates for the posts of JST have been completely collected and were currently being scrutinised.

Qambar stated categorically that no fresh appointment of teachers has been made in any district of the province.

He said it will take around 20 days to verify the files of the candidates who passed the test for the posts of HST, and authorities concerned will start issuing appointment letters to successful candidates after permission from the provincial government.

He further said that steps were being taken to streamline affairs at government schools in Karachi where the number of staff exceeds the number of students.

Qambar said that he had ordered all the district officers (DO) concerned to submit their report in this regard, and he was optimistic that the process will be completed in 15 to 20 days.

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BIEK Commerce supple examination forms
Karachi: The Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) has announced that all eligible private candidates of Commerce group for the HSC Supplementary Examinations-2009 can submit their examination forms and fee in the United Bank, BIEK branch according to following schedule: Submission of exam forms can be made from October 29 to November 11 without late fine, after which a late fee of Rs200 from November 12 to November 18 will be charged. From November 19 to December 2, a late fee of Rs500 will be charged, and a late fee of Rs1000 from December 3 to December 9.

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Ammi told me that the Taliban can bomb the school
Karachi: Although schools have been opened after a lapse of one week, children are mostly tense, fearful and pretty confused as to what is going on in their surroundings.

Despite their tender ages, students of secondary classes have a better perception about the Taliban and terrorism and have plenty of opinions regarding this issue.

Shahzeb, 6, a student of Class-II at Beacon House, Gulistan-e-Jauhar Campus, said that the schools were closed because there was danger of a bomb blast.

"Ammi (mother) told me that the Taliban can bomb the school. We had a drill at the school and everyday we are sent out one by one," he said.

Obviously it's something new for him that after the school shift comes to an end, children do not move out in groups but are sent out one at time with the school guard calling out their names and informing them that their parents have arrived to pick them.

Shahzeb's elder brother Shehryar, 12, a student of Class-VI at City School, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Campus, is well aware about the looming threat.

"The schools were closed because the Taliban can strike at the schools. There is uncertainty in the city that has led to this. There was a suicide bombing at Islamic University, Islamabad, and there was a threat that something similar can happen in schools in Karachi as well," he explained.

"Children say that since the Taliban are illiterate, therefore, they want us to be illiterate too! They also say that elite schools are more vulnerable," he added as an after thought.

The awareness about terrorist threat amongst children is very much there despite the fact that teachers are doing their best to keep their minds and souls free from tension and anxiety.

"We don't talk to the children about any threats or terror attacks," said Tahira Riasat, a teacher of Class-II at Foundation Public School, Gulshan-e-Iqbal."However, we are being trained to cope with any emergency. During our drills, we take the kids out of backdoor staircases within two minutes," she said.

"If the children ask why they are being taken out from the backdoor staircases, we tell them there is a traffic jam," she added.

Meanwhile, psychiatrists say that children need parental guidance especially when it comes to watching or not watching what is being aired on TV channels. "Parents should switch off a channel or change it if they are viewing a terror act and children are sitting with them," said Dr Syed Ali Wasif, a senior psychiatrist in the city.

"However, adopting an ostrich-like approach will be equally counter productive as it induces helplessness and more fear. Ultimately, it transforms into terror psychosis (post traumatic stress disorder) that is capable of breaking down an individual and the targeted community," he explained.

Talking about the important steps that need to be taken, he said that first aid training should be imparted to teachers and senior school students. "People need to be taught not to panic because it will generate anxiety, impair attention, concentration and hamper cognitive functioning and decision-making," he added.

There are tens of thousands of schools in Karachi catering to the needs of every strata of society but all children are equally prone to continuous visual bombardment of gory news by the electronic media.

"Despite the fact that children play war games in their leisure time, their personality is damaged when they view grotesque incidents of terrorism on their TV screens," Dr Wasif said. The news

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Teaching hospitals lack mammography facilities
Karachi: No government-run teaching hospital in rural Sindh has got the facility of mammography, to help detect breast cancer, which is rising with an alarming rate in women of both rural and urban areas. A few government teaching hospitals in Karachi have got the mammography facility and rural patients have to incur heavy expenses to travel and stay in Karachi to get their disease detected and treated.

Various medical studies have indicated that cases of breast cancer among women and young girls in the country are on the rise and if this issue were not tackled on war-footing basis, the situation might go out of control in near future.

Special Secretary Public Health, Government of Sindh, Dr Captain (retd) Abdul Majid, when contacted said the government is trying its best to provide healthcare facilities to citizens in both rural and urban areas. He said breast cancer is a serious issue and Sindh health department is working on a plan to train medical staff in this regard so that free of cost mammography facilities could be provided in all teaching hospitals of the Sindh.

He said that the machines used in mammography tests to detect breast cancer are costly and the government is trying to buy more machines for this purpose. He said presently the facility of mammography is present in a few government-run hospitals of Karachi, while efforts are being made to provide this facility to all other teaching hospitals.

It may be noted that major teaching hospitals of rural Sindh are affiliated to Liaquat Medical College Jamshro, Peoples Medical College Nawabshah, Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College Sukkur and Chandka Medical College Larkana. These hospitals badly need mammography testing facilities to detect breast cancer. In past the government had announced to upgrade all district headquarters hospitals as teaching hospitals; however, like other numerous decisions and announcements the upgrading of district hospitals still awaits implementation. Women, almost 50percent of total population could be greatly facilitated if mammography facilities provided in the district headquarters hospitals.

Dr Shaista Masood Khan, consultant surgeon at Aga Khan Hospital Karachi said that 35 percent of the all cancer cases registered in the country belong to breast cancer. She said not all breast cancer cases are registered with hospitals, and the actual number of such cases might be much higher.

The reasons behind breast cancer could be genetic and hereditary in nature. Late marriages of girls may also cause breast cancer. She said there in no dedicated medical centre is the country to help controlling the increasing cases of breast cancer or where people from poor families could also be examined and treated.

She said that WHO has informed all developing countries to tackle with breast cancer seriously, otherwise there are strong chances that prevalence of breast cancer could be doubled by 2020.

Breast consultant surgeon at Liaquat National Hospital Dr Rufina Soomro informed that exact reasons behind the rising rate of breast cancer could not be ascertained as yet; however, women having history of this disease in their family are highly vulnerable to it.

The women not breast-feeding their babies could also at high risk.

She emphasised that every women should go for self-examination of breasts in order to detect any abnormal change in them. She said if any change, growth and lump is found in breasts, a qualified medical practitioner should be contacted without further loss of time. The government should establish Mammography centres in hospitals, especially in rural areas, so that women could be checked by qualified doctors in case of any problem Many liberate and poor women do not know about the breast cancer, so a robust awareness compliant should be launched through mass media, Dr Rufina suggested.

She said that some 500 breast cancer cases are registered in Liaquat National Hospital every year. The majority of patients visit the hospital when the disease is in final and critical condition and cancer already spread in whole body. She said as per reports every year 40, 000 women die of breast cancer all over the world Dr Rufina said mortality rate of breast cancer is higher in Pakistan as compared to other parts of the world, because in out country there are no proper diagnostic and cure centers of breast cancer.

She said though the facility of mammography is available in a few big hospitals of the country, but the vast rural area lacked this facility. She urged the government to open free breast clinics in all major towns of the country in order to facilitate the poor women.

In-charge Cancer Ward of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Dr Ahmed Usman said a through and sophisticated research on increasing rate of breast cancer was yet to be done in Pakistan. He said the JPMC register some 200-cancer cases every week, including some 40 breast cancer cases. He said all the cancer patients are treated free of cost at the JPMC.

Dr Usman showed deep concern over the rapid increase in breast cancer among the young women. He said that awareness should be created among the people regarding this disease so that to control it.

In-charge Cancer Ward at the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) Dr Noor Soomro said that 36 percent of breast cancer cases are found in young girls and women, which is a matter of great concern. He said that majority of women suffering from this disease try to hide their ailment till it is too late.

He mentioned that the CHK is the first hospital of the province which is working under public-private partnership, where medicine and other facilities are provided free of cost to the patients, in collaboration with Pakistan Cancer Patients Welfare Society.

He said that about 800 to 900 cancer patients visit the CHK annually, besides 13000-16000 follow-up cases. He said ratio of breast cancer in males is one percent as compared to 42pc prevalence in females.

Late marriage, early periods and other genetic reasons could be behind this disease, he said adding; however, patients should consult medical expert as soon as possible.

Senior family physician at Sindh Government Services Hospital, Dr Akhtiar A Sheikh said that breast cancer is the second most dangerous disease among the women and thousands of women die annually of it in Pakistan.

He said if diagnosed in early stages, the breast cancer could be easily treated. He said women should immediately consult a doctor in case of any knot or lump or change of color and texture on either breast.

President Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Dr Aziz Khan Tank showed deep concern over the increase in reported cases of breast cancer in Pakistan. He said that thousands of mothers in Pakistan don't breast-feed their children. He said it is a proved fact that breast-feeding mothers are less prone to the breast cancer.

He told that women and girls should immediately consult physician in case of any symptoms of the disease. He was with the view that there is less awareness among the people regarding the breast cancer.

He said treatment of breast cancer is very costly in Pakistan. He said about 50percent population of Pakistan live beneath the poverty line. He said families of millions of poor women suffering from breast cancer could not afford treatment in costly private hospitals.

Dr Tank said the PMA has repeatedly demanded the government to provide the facility of mammography in all the district hospitals of the country to facilitate the poor masses. The nation

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Role of occupational therapy highlighted at Dow seminar
Karachi: Occupational Therapy is a healthcare profession which provides services to people whose ability of everyday functions is disrupted by some disability, developmental problems, aging process, mental illness or emotional problems.

This was stated by Dr Nabeela Soomro, Director, Institute of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), while speaking at a seminar held at the Dow Medical College, here on Tuesday.

The seminar was organised by the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, DUHS, to mark the "WFOT International Occupational Therapy Day" and was held at the Arag Auditorium, Dow Medical College. The theme of the seminar was "Difference between life and living".

Dr Soomro said that occupational therapists assisted in daily living activities at home like feeding, grooming, bathing, toilet, in return for work and resuming community activities. "It becomes important to refer children to an occupational therapist as soon as it is evident that they have or are at risk of developing limitations in their development or independent functioning," she added.

Brigitte Kamran, through her presentation "Community-Based Rehabilitation" revealed that the prevalence of disabilities in developing and industrialised countries ranged between 7 and 10 percent.

She said that Occupational Therapy had the potential to contribute significantly to the prevention and management of childhood disability in Pakistan. It is estimated that more 100 million people with disabilities could benefit from rehabilitation services.

Najma Adam, speaking on "Role of Occupational Therapy in Stroke" informed the gathering that the stroke rehabilitation is a process by which a stroke survivor goes through motions with a team of healthcare providers with the aim of regaining functions lost as much as possible after a stroke.

Mariam Bilal said that occupational therapy was a treatment that focused on helping cerebral palsy patients achieve independence in all areas of their lives. "Occupational therapy for cerebral palsy patients could provide them with positive, fun activities to enhance their cognitive, physical, and fine motor skills and increase their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. The goal of occupational therapy for cerebral palsy patients is to help them live as independently as possible," she added. The news

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Updated: 14 Oct, 2014
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