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Karachi schools security, emergency response plan

Karachi schools security, emergency response plan ready
Karachi, Oct 30: A comprehensive security and emergency response plan has been chalked out for private schools in view of the threat of terrorist attacks on educational institutions.

Under the plan, which has been prepared by the education department's directorate of private educational institutions with the consultation of the home department, schools have been advised to stagger opening and closing time of different classes/ sections to reduce congestion.

The heads of private educational institutions have also been asked to ensure deployment of armed guards at an elevated place on the school premises for a safe and effective monitoring of all entry/exit points and installation of CCTV cameras on gates. Also, schools watchmen should be kept free from all extra duties.

Besides, schools have been directed to arrange emergency drills for students during different times of the day to prepare them to deal with any untoward situation. Schools will also invite the area superintendent of police and station house officers to address schoolchildren and brief security guards.

According to Sindh director for private institutions Mansoob Hussain Siddiqui, the heads of private schools have been asked to ensure that boundary walls of their schools are properly raised and a sufficient number of fire extinguishers are available on each floor of multi-storey schools.

The plan suggests strict restrictions on parking of vehicles on school premises and vendor or stallholders in close vicinity of schools.

The school heads have also been advised to ensure that students, teaching and non-teaching staffers are not allowed to enter into schools if their identity cards are not properly displayed on their dress.

The parents of schoolchildren and visitors must seek prior appointment to visit the schools during the specified hours and days. Besides, visitors must be properly identified and thoroughly frisked before being allowed to enter. The directorate has asked them to intimate parents about such a protocol through circulars in view of the prevailing security situation.

The plan further suggests appropriate arrangement for handicapped persons and lamination of window-panes preferably with PVC film to prevent splinters in case of a blast. Besides, a separate exit gate at the rear side of schools for emergency has also been advised.

The schools' administrations have been asked to get a floor-wise map of school buildings prepared and ensure availability of its copies at different locations within and outside the institutions.

A number of measures described as 'pre-requisites' include the installation of an emergency alarm bell and telephone sets with caller identity facility, pasting of emergency exit plan on each floor of the building, availability of first aid kits, marking of emergency assembly points for each section and setting up of a chain of command for proper coordination.The comprehensive security plan is an outcome of the Oct 22 meeting organised by the Sindh home department and attended by representatives of private schools, law-enforcement agencies and senior officials of education department.

Meanwhile, the president of All-Pakistan Private Schools Management Association's Sindh chapter, Khalid Shah, met Sindh Home Secretary Syed Arif Shah and showed reservations regarding the survey forms sent to different private schools by the capital city police.

The police had sent the survey forms to various schools in order to get appropriate and detailed information about these educational institutions.

In his meeting with the home secretary, Mr Shah assured him of full cooperation to the police for the security of schools.

However, he said that some unnecessary/ irrelevant details were being sought through the survey forms.

The APPSMA provincial chief also showed a specimen of the survey form to the home secretary, saying that the details of teachers' salaries and school budgets were irrelevant as far as security of the schools was concerned.

The home secretary asked school administrations to put a cross mark on all such columns having these questions.

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"would like to have names of schools in karachi for handicapped children.My son is suffering from a rare disease unknown to medical history."
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Policy of plagiarism at Karachi university
Karachi: In the age of the Internet, photocopier and offset printing, when book piracy and plagiarism have gained ascendancy, it is intriguing that the Karachi University has not deemed it necessary to formulate a policy on the subject. This is a case of oversight that is difficult to condone given that the Higher Education Commission drew up a policy on plagiarism in 2007 and universities were expected to make their own rules within its framework. Not surprisingly, the KU does not know how to handle the cases of some teachers accused of plagiarism. It appointed two retired judges of sound reputation to look into the charges, which were found to be true. Meanwhile, the Sindh ombudsman has directed the university administration to draw up a policy on plagiarism and frame rules for a procedure to deal with cases relating to it. Now the university syndicate has decided to seek legal advice on disciplinary action.

The only positive dimension of this episode is that it has left no doubt in one's mind that the university recognises the gravity of plagiarism. This in itself is something to be thankful about. Many people are not even aware that plagiarism constitutes intellectual theft. Others do not consider it a crime - legally or morally. But simply recognising plagiarism as a crime is not enough. One has to have rules and procedures to address any wrongdoing if justice is to be done, both to the accused and the victim, and the law is not to be misused to hurt an innocent person. While a plagiarism policy is being prepared - hopefully it will soon see the light of day - the university would do well to instruct the students in the virtues of honesty in intellectual pursuits. As for the academics, it would help if the final policy is publicised extensively. Dawn

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MBBS supplementary results announced
Karachi: The Controller of Examinations, University of Karachi has announced the results of MBBS Third Professional, Supplementary Examination 2009.

As per the result statistics, 95 candidates registered for the examination while 82 candidates appeared in the examination. Overall 61 candidates were declared successful with the passing out percentage being 74.39 percent.

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FUUAST announced various results
Karachi: The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) on Thursday announced the results of BS (Chemistry) sixth semester 2006, 1st batch (morning) and BS (Zoology) first semester, 2nd batch (morning).

According to a press release issued on Thursday, a total of 25 students appeared in the chemistry paper and all the students cleared the exam with a pass percentage of 100. In the zoology paper, 56 students out of 57 registered students appeared and 40 were declared pass in the exam with a pass percentage of 71.43. The news

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Govt working to promote education
Karachi: Sindh Senior Minister for Education and Literacy, Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, on Thursday has said that enrolment of students in public sector schools has increased owing to the release of funds by the government.

He said this while responding to public complaints being received at his office. He said that the positive outcomes were being received from the education sector after revolutionary steps being taken by the government for education. He said that the government was providing better education facilities in the public sector schools with the cooperation of the World Bank.

Mazhar said that the government intended to raise the literacy rate by promoting women's education, primary and informal education. "Such initiatives would encourage parents to enrol their children in schools. Also, schools are also being opened in many areas in collaboration with the communities," he said while further apprising that the Montessori government schools would also be opened in rural areas.

The minister took strict notice of the reports published in sections of the press about the fragile condition of furniture and equipment at schools.

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A newly formed troupe
Karachi: Improvisation is the new addition to the scant theatre performances in Karachi. A newly-formed troupe, known as "Aisa Karoge To Kaun Aayega", plans to underscore this new trend. The group comprises five students from arts schools - Ali Gul Pir, Saqib Sameer, Imraan, Afraaz and Rameez - and their coach, Zeeshan Haider.

Unlike traditional theatre, rehearsal and preparation are not necessary in "improve". Spontaneity is the chief ingredient, and performances generally lean towards the comedic side of the divide.

The troupe has performed at popular venues, including Head Lion Cafe, Base Rock Café and a few others, and has already started to build its following in the city. Haider said: "Making people laugh in a depressed environment such as Karachi's, where everyone is insecure about the coming few seconds of their lives, is a very difficult job". He added that they avoid slapstick humour, and present a style that a person could watch while sitting with their family members.

Haider explained that improvisational theatre is very different from traditional theatre: this form is not just done for performing to amuse people, but it is used across the world for engineering solutions and public speaking training.

"When we performed the first time, the audience was surprised to see humour being so easily accessible. Apart from that, Urdu humour is what every Pakistani could relate to, and that is why it is more entertaining," said Pir.

Pir believed that their team is not concentrating to one specific location of Karachi, adding that their work has been appreciated because they are students who are studying film and video, and know their job. Some are NAPA graduates, while others are just students of bachelors in different parts of Karachi, he said.

Haider meanwhile argued that improvisation theatre should perhaps only be pursued as an alternative career. "Pursuing a carrier in improvisation theatre will not give you enough money to earn bread and butter, but it will definitely provide a financial cushion. Those who have the passion for theatre and comedy should pursue it, if not as a main stream carrier, but as an alternative carrier"

The group plans to take this form of theatre to different schools and colleges of Karachi, and once they have a certain element acceptability in society, then they plan to train those interested in this form of theatre. The news

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