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Development projects in health education sector

Foundation stone of Institute of Cardiology laid
Rawalpindi, Oct 8: Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif Wednesday laid the foundation stone of the Rs2.6 billion Institute of Cardiology at Rawalpindi Medical College Staff Colony along Rawal Road.

While laying the foundation stone, he directed the concerned authorities to complete the mega health project within one year. The cardiology institute, comprising 220 beds, would have all modern health facilities.

The institute will be completed under the supervision of Punjab Health Department. The provincial government has initially allocated Rs100 million for work on the institute. The remaining money for the project will be released in phases.

Talking to journalists after laying the foundation stone of the cardiology institute, Mian Shahbaz Sharif said that his government was trying to provide better health and education facilities to people all over Punjab.

"Projects like cardiology institute, Danish School in Takht Pari and different traffic projects are gifts for the people of Rawalpindi from the Punjab government."

Responding to a query, the chief minister said that the issue of award of NA-55 ticket would be resolved on the return of PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif from abroad.

To another query, he said that the Punjab government will construct underpasses at all intersections of Murree Road instead of the elevated expressway.

He said that the plan has been changed because of the increase in cost of the elevated expressway. According to him, the project was initially estimated to cost around Rs16 billion, but now the project cost has risen to Rs30 billion. Keeping in view the situation, the Punjab government has decided to construct underpasses instead of the elevated expressway.

He said that the government of Punjab has constituted a committee comprising members of the NLC, C&W and Nespak besides multinational companies. The committee has been directed to submit a report in this regard by October 18. After evaluation by consultants, the cost of underpasses would be estimated and allocated after approval.

Later, the Punjab chief minister paid a visit to the Benazir Bhutto Hospital where he laid the foundation stone of the new block of ICU Ward. It would be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.

He also inaugurated the new block of the Psychiatric Department at BBH and visited different sections of the hospital and listened to the problems of patients. He directed the medical superintendent and deputy medical superintendent to resolve grievances of patients and report to him.

After inaugurating mega health projects, the chief minister went to Mauza Takht Pari near Rawat where he laid the foundation of the Danish School, which would be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs200 million on 2,400-kanal land.

Mian Shahbaz Sharif said that 90 per cent quota of admissions would be allocated for poor children, while the remaining 10 per cent will be left for people who could afford to educate their children in the school.

He constituted a committee of board of governors for looking into the affairs of the institution. The chief minister directed the concerned authorities to complete construction work in the shortest possible time. Strict security measures were adopted during the visit of the chief minister. Dawn


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University of Peshawar registrar accused of nepotism
Peshawar: The registrar of University of Peshawar (UoP) has been accused of allegedly violating rules to appoint several close relatives in the largest public sector university of the province in recent years.

Shirinzada Khattak claimed that he had never extended any favour to his relatives. He said that his relatives or villagers recruited in the university were appointed on merit. Sources said his wife was recently appointed as teaching assistant at biotechnology department, where she served as lecturer (contractual) from March to June 2009. Subsequently, she resigned and joined the Seerat Studies department as visiting faculty member. She would continue to take Seerat Studies classes while serving as teaching assistant at biotechnology department.

According to sources, the registrar got his sister appointed as nursery teacher at the University Model School despite lacking qualification for the job. However, Mr Khattak insisted that his sister was qualified for the post, adding that her appointment took place in 1998-99 when Sher Bahadur or Shakeel Ahmad was the registrar.

Sources said that the registrar also enabled his cousins, nephews, nieces and other relatives to land jobs of teacher, assistant warden, clerk, attendant, mechanic, etc at the university. When confronted with the facts and told about every such case, Khattak denied that all of them were his relatives. He insisted that these people were appointed on merit. "Whenever any Khattak is recruited in the university, some elements start saying that he or she is my relative," he remarked. The news


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Registered madrassas fraction of total
Islamabad: The actual number of madrassas in the country is much greater than the registered 15,843, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Babar Awan told the Senate on Wednesday.

Responding to a query from Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro on behalf of the federal education minister, he said Punjab topped the list with 11,332 madrassas. He said the Ministry of Education had provided financial assistance to 507 madrassas under the Madrassa Reforms Project between 2005-06 and 2008-09.

Senators from NWFP and Balochistan, including Ismail Buledi, Ilyas Bilour and Lashkari Raisani, also criticised the Education Ministry for awarding scholarships to fewer students from their provinces in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In response, Dr Awan said that the ministry was strictly adhering to the quota system with no discrimination against any province.

No plans: Social Welfare and Special Education Minister Samina Khalid Ghurki, replying to a question raised by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, told the House there was no proposal under consideration to register senior citizens. "The Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal has decided to establish senior citizen homes in phases for people of 60 years and above across the country," she said, adding five homes - one each at provincial headquarters and Islamabad would be established.

Also on Wednesday, Federal Education Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani informed the House through a written reply that the number of children receiving primary education during 2006-07 and 2007-08 was 17.041 and 17.233 million, respectively. He said this reflected an increase of 1.12 percent in primary school enrolment. Daily times


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Experts for integrated medical syllabus
Islamabad: Experts here on Wednesday stressed the need for introduction of integrated system-based syllabi for medical education in the country.

Speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day workshop on medical curriculum development, they also highlighted the need for advance teaching methodologies including multiple strategies of curriculum delivery; the significance of community-oriented medical education with special focus on clinical training and adoption of a uniform standard in medical education for quality assurance.

The workshop was organised by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) aimed at developing a uniform and integrated curriculum for both public and private medical colleges.

The academicians also highlighted the importance of family medicine which so far remains an ignored discipline as very few students are opting for it. They said more general practitioners were needed to meet the challenges, which was only possible with counseling of the students.

They suggested student counseling at a very early stage, so that they could learn the importance of family medicine and consequently take up the discipline.

Dr Musadaq Khan, Principal Allied Hospitals Rawalpindi, pointed out that faculty was not ready to accept the sudden changes in teaching methodologies.

Prof Abdul Majeed, Principal Fatima Jinnah Medical College, told this reporter that the formation of the curriculum committee was a step towards reforms in medical education as heads of various institutions were involved in the process.

"We intend to learn from each other's experiences which would help us in developing advance modules for medical education," he added.

Registrar PMDC Dr Nadeem said, "We will analysis all the suggestions we have received during the first session that would help us in developing a uniform a standard which does not exist at present."

To a question, he said changing methodologies was a lengthy process which not only required time but also careful assessment. Dawn


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Tarlai to get computer centre, library soon
Islamabad: The ICT administration with public and private partnership would set up more libraries and computer centres in the rural areas, said Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Assistant Commissioner (AC) Sadar Fariduddin Mustafa on Wednesday while addressing an open kutchery at Tarlai.

He also announced that a library and a computer centre would be set up at Tarlai very soon. According to a press release, Mustafa listened to the problems of locals and assured them of their resolution on priority.

He said ICT had launched a number of development projects for the rural areas including construction of roads, clean drinking water supply schemes, pavement of streets, up-gradation of school buildings and up-gradation of health facilities.

The locals demanded that the ICT administration set up a sasta bazaar at Tarlai. Mustafa assured them that he would take up the issue with the high authorities. Daily times


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Bid to blow school foiled
Peshawar: The bomb disposable squad on Wednesday claimed to have foiled an attempt to blow a government girls school located at the Nowshera-Mardan road, disposing off a five kilogram bomb, reported by a private TV channel. The DSP Bomb Disposable Squad, Tanveer told that the officials of the squad were informed about the plantation of a 5-kg bomb near a government girls primary school, which they disposed off taking swift action on the information. The bomb was placed in a plastic shopping bag while they also found a warning letter kept with the bomb inside bag, he said. There was a warning written on the letter to close down girls school, failing which, some anonymous elements threatened to blow off school, he added. F.P Report


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