Closure of Peshawar educational institutions
Private schools closed in Peshawar for three days
Peshawar: The NWFP government resolved not to close the public sector
educational institutions as the private institutions and those run by
the Peshawar University administration were shut on Monday for three
days because of terror threats in the wake of the military operation in
The commissioner of Kohat officially announced closure of schools and
colleges in the division till October 24. The administration of the
Peshawar University had ordered closure of all the boys and girls
schools on the campus after reports that a teenage bomber in a white
car was to hit target in the area. The colleges and different
departments of the four universities on the campus, however, will
Barricades were erected to block all the routes
leading to the departments and boys and girls hostels of the four
public sector universities after a tip-off about the terror bid was
received. "We have made adequate arrangements to secure the departments
and hostels," said Inspector Waqar Ahmad, station house officer of the
University Campus Police Station.
The official made it clear
that only schools on the campus had been closed while the colleges and
the remaining institutions would continue working as per routine. A
missionary school on the campus has been closed till October 25 while
the rest of the institutes will reopen on October 22. The news
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Alarm in Pakistan educational institutions
Islamabad: Truth is one casualty of militancy and the resultant war that Pakistan
is besieged with. The other is education. It started in Swat where the
Taliban launched their campaign against female education three years
ago by torching and bombing schools. Now schools all over the country
are under threat - perhaps not so much from attacks by militants as
panic, fear and mass confusion.
What happened on Monday was a classic
case of this situation. With the start of the army operation in South
Waziristan, it was feared - and not unrealistically - that the Taliban
would retaliate by stepping up attacks on civilians. But as is the
government's wont, this eventuality had not been anticipated and no
feasible strategy for security was in place. As a result, when the
authorities received intelligence reports of schools in some regions
being potential targets their knee-jerk reaction was to shut down
educational institutions in Islamabad. Schools in Peshawar and Lahore
also decided to close while in Sindh there has been confusion with some
schools announcing a holiday.
is no doubt a tricky situation. On the one hand, one cannot take risks
and expose children to unnecessary dangers. On the other, it will
devastate the psyche of the people if a climate of panic is created
when it may not really be warranted. The authorities have to strike a
balance between the two. These are not normal times and a sensible
approach would be for the education authorities in each province to
work out security guidelines with the help of the security and
law-enforcement agencies. All institutions should be formally notified
about them and where needed offered assistance and cooperation.
all it should be ensured that heightened security measures such as
drills are actually implemented. If schools are in a state of
preparedness it would be possible for them to follow the prescribed
procedures smoothly if an emergency arises. There are two basic
principles that must be strictly followed. First, panic should not be
spread among children. Second, parents must be kept informed at all
times as that is their right.
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UK degree-holders found gross inequalities
London: Britian is becoming increasingly divided along educational lines with
degree black spots springing up in the poorest areas of the country as
graduates flock to the capital.
analysis of the number of degree-holders in every constituency in
Britain finds gross inequalities with more than 60 per cent of working
adults having graduated in some areas compared with less than 10 per
cent in others. The gap has grown significantly in three years despite
government spending of £1.9bn trying to widen the university
participation since 2005.
The research reveals that in the
poorest areas the proportion of the working-age population with a
degree is falling while in the richest it rose dramatically between
2005 and 2008.
While disproportionately high numbers of people
achieve degrees in wealthy areas, those who graduate from poorer
postcodes are very unlikely to ever return to their hometown after
leaving university, creating vast areas of the country with a severe
lack of highly skilled people, the research suggests. It also
illustrates the mass migration of graduates to London each year which
experts said now outweighs migration to the capital from outside the
The research, an analysis of the number of people of
working age with degrees in every parliamentary constituency conducted
by the lecturers' union UCU, finds that the proportion of graduates
rose from 26.6 per cent in 2005 to 29 per cent in 2008, reflecting the
government's rapid expansion of universities over previous years. But
that proportion ranged from 63.61 per cent in Richmond Park, London - a
12 percentage point increase over three years - to just 9.91 per cent
in Birmingham, Hodge Hill.
Together, the 20 constituencies
with the highest rates of graduates saw the proportion rise to 57.2 per
cent - an eight percentage point increase over the three years. In the
20 areas with the lowest proportion of degree holders, the figure was
12.1 per cent - a 0.5 percentage point decrease on 2003 suggesting the
gap is getting wider.
Sally Hunt, the general secretary of the
lecturers' union the UCU, said: "Education holds the key to improving
social mobility, tackling poverty and extending opportunity for all.
Those with the greatest access to qualifications tend to be healthier,
wealthier and more active citizens. Yet, as this report shows, the
current divide between the haves and have-nots is growing with where
you live largely determining your chance to educational success."
The report documents stark regional differences. Of the 20
constituencies with the lowest rate of graduates, eight are in the West
Midlands, including the bottom four spots. The region has been among
the worst hit by job losses and the recession. Meanwhile, 11 of the top
20 are in London. They include the most well-to-do corners of the
capital - including Richmond, Hampstead and Kensington. But they also
include areas such as Wood Green, Hackney and Battersea, which are
increasingly attracting new graduates moving to the capital.
Dorling, professor of human geography at Sheffield University, said:
"We are seeing higher and higher numbers of graduates moving to London.
There is an amazing effect in London where increasing numbers of people
are getting degrees but there is also an influx of people with degrees
looking for jobs.
"It is creating a widening polarisation in
the country where some areas are depressed and kept poor because
graduates don't return once they've got a degree while in other areas
house prices are forced up because so many higher earning graduates
want to live there. It's a very sad polarisation of the country that
just hasn't happened in other parts of the world."
research finds intense contrasts locally: in Sheffield Hallam, the
constituency of the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, 60 per cent of
adults have a degree compared with just 15 per cent in David Blunkett's
neighbouring Sheffield Brightside.
The data was derived
from the Annual Population Survey as well as data from the Office for National Statistics .
spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said:
"The government has worked hard to widen participation with the overall
number of students from lower socio-economic groups going to university
at its highest point in seven years. With investment at record levels,
real progress is being made across England with marked growth." -The Guardian (Dawn)
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