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MPs fake degrees controversy | HEC master trainers development

Controversy over number of MPs holding fake degrees
Islamabad, Oct 07: With the Higher Education Commission (HEC) denying identification of 29 more fake or invalid degrees, some high-ups quoting the HEC Chairman Dr Javaid Laghari's claim that the number of MPs holding fake degrees had now increased from 57 to 86.

The sources said the HEC is quite careful in dealing with the case of fake or invalid degrees and it would re-verify the certificates of 29 elected members before issuing any official statement.

The controversy surfaced after claims by various sources that the HEC chairman said: "It is in my knowledge that degrees of 29 more elected representatives are fake or invalid."Some officials of the HEC were not ready to speak on the issue. "I can't say anything about it and if you insist then I would say it is just a rumour," said one of the senior HEC officials.

The HEC in its recent announcement said that the number of fake degree holders has reached 57 after inclusion of names of Makesh Kumar, Sindh minister, MNA Ameer Ali Shah, Sindh MPA Pitanbar Sehwani and Punjab MPAs Dewan Ashiq Hussain, Javed Latif and Iftikhar Ahmad.

It is pertinent to mention here that some 443 elected representatives have so far not submitted their degrees after introduction of new procedure for degree verification by the HEC that requires submission of degree supplementary form, copy of computerised national identity card and matriculation and intermediate certificates.

HEC's focal person Rahim Bux Channa said that the number of fake or invalid degrees was still 57 and "it is not correct to say that the number has gone up to 86". He said now it was up to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to secure the required academic certificates from those elected members who are still hesitating to submit copies of matriculation, intermediate and bachelor degrees.

Talking to this correspondent, HEC's Executive Director Dr. Sohail Naqvi said: "It is too early to say that the number of fake degree holders has risen to 86." He said HEC's focal person Rahim Bux Channa is the relevant person and if he (Channa) says that the number is 57, then "we should believe it".

Despite repeated attempts by this correspondent HEC Chairman Dr. Javaid Laghari could not be contacted to confirm whether the claim of 86 fake degrees being attributed to him by some quarters was correct.

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HEC launches programme for master trainers development
Islamabad: The Learning Innovation Division, Higher Education Commission (HEC), has launched the 14th batch of Master Trainers Faculty Professional Development Programme (FPDP).

The programme, which will continue till November 13, 2010, is being attended by 30 faculty members from 25 public and HEC funded private sector universities across Pakistan. This programme is designed specifically for freshly inducted in-service teachers, who learn the principles of teaching techniques through rigorous training. It aims to enable university teachers to use innovative teaching strategies and communication skills that blend academic concepts with workplace applications. So far, 386 faculty members have benefited from this programme.

In this regard, 11 exclusive modules will be covered by eminent resource persons. HEC (Quality Assurance and Learning Innovation) Advisor Dr. Syed Mahmood Raza was chief guest in the opening ceremony held at HEC Secretariat. HEC Noor Amna Malik (Learning Innovation) Director General and HEC (Learning Innovation) Director Muhammad Raza Chohan were also present on the occasion.

Dr. Syed Mahmood Raza stressed in-service capacity building of the university faculty. He shared his personal experiences with the course participants and briefed the relation of quality education with quality teachers. "It is highly imperative to improve the quality of teachers through continuous learning of innovative skills and requisite professional teaching tools and techniques," he said.

Chohan presented the major programme and activities of the division. Malik introduced the participants with the major aims of the Learning Innovation Division, which is a hub for empowering academic and administrative leaders of the universities towards sustained quality education.

To enrich the learning process, Learning Innovation Division engages experts of multi-disciplinary fields as resource persons, who share their experiences and knowledge gathered from latest academic content and research on 'Teaching as a Profession', 'Communication Skills', 'Assessment and Evaluation' and other modules. This programme also provides an excellent networking opportunity with faculty members from all over the country. The news

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Islamabad teachers to hear good news on 19th
Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday promised to announce a new incentives package for the teachers of Islamabad schools and colleges on October 19.

He was speaking at a seminar on Role of Teachers held at the Pakistan National Council of the Auditorium (PNCA).

Minister of Education Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali, Prime Minister's Adviser on social welfare Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Unesco representative Dr Warren Mellor also attended the seminar held to commemorate the World Teachers Day.

The prime minister paid high tributes to the teachers who, he said, played vital role in building a nation. He also shared memories of his student years with the audience.

On this occasion he also announced other measures for the development of education which include changes in training pattern of BA and Matriculation teachers.

Furthermore, he said, government schools and colleges in capital would be converted into model schools and colleges.

Several other issues such as recognition of services of teachers, role of teachers' union were also discussed at the seminar.

The Quaid-i-Azam University vice-chancellor Dr Masoom Yasinzai also spoke on the occasion.

APP adds: Minister for Education Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali speaking at the function said the package for Islamabad teachers would help improve service conditions of teachers and remove their grievances that they had demanded from time to time.

The minister said the package was prepared after holding extensive consultations with the stakeholders.

He said the US administration had been asked to provide funds for building 600 classrooms in the Islamabad territory.

He described the teachers the custodians of the future generations.

National Commission on Human Development (NCHD) Chairperson Nafeesa Shah asked the federal government to fund its project for setting up 17,000 literacy centres in the country.

She said teachers should be consulted while preparing a policy for the education sector.

Special assistant to the prime minister on social sector Shehnaz Wazir Ali paid tribute to teachers for working hard to build a strong and healthy society.

Awards and cash prizes were also announced for the teachers by the organizers of the event. Dawn

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Compulsory language teaching
Peshawar: The Gandhara Hindko Board has said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government cabinet committee recommendations on the compulsory teaching of various languages are flawed, incomplete and deficient in several respects and warranted a review.

In a press release here on Wednesday, it said while formulating recommendations the cabinet committee had ignored the mixed population factor that was common in certain districts of the province.

The board said Hindko was the sixth main language of the country and second largely spoken language in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but the cabinet committee had tried to confine it to only three districts of Hazara division including Haripur, Abbottabad and Mansehra and the urban areas of the provincial metropolis Peshawar to teach this language as compulsory subject. The board, which is a literary, cultural and social welfare organisation, felt this was deplorable.

The board said apart from Peshawar city, Hindko was also spoken together with Pashto, in a number of villages in the Peshawar district situated along the Grand Trunk Road. "But the cabinet committee recommended compulsory Pashto teaching from Class 1 to XII in the rural areas of Peshawar which would create problems for children speaking Hindko," it argued.

Also, the board said Hindko was one of the two major languages in Nowshera and Kohat districts, but the cabinet committee on mother languages had recommended that Pashto should be taught as compulsory subject from Class 1 to XII in Nowshera and Kohat. It said this again would create problems in these bilingual districts if the recommendations were implemented.

In order to make suggestions on mother language teachings acceptable and practicable, the board demanded that mother language formula should be applied to entire Peshawar district along with Nowshera and Kohat where both Pashto and Hindko should be taught as compulsory subjects.

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FAPUASA demands release of Rs6 billion announced by PM
Islamabad: Professor Kaleemullah Breach, General-Secretary of Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA), has demanded release of Rs6 billion announced by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on September 24, otherwise the federation will be constrained to launch a more vigorous campaign including strike for longer period next week.

He said that we are giving a week to the government and HEC and will wait till Oct 12 and decide the future course of action in a meeting on the following day. He said that classes boycott could last for more days. He said that our strength is much higher than that of lawyers and we can motivate the people as well.

Before we come out on street, the government should release the Rs6 billion promised amount, he warned.

He said that the prime minister did not give anything to teachers or students from primary to higher education. He did not mention and left the function on Salam Teachers Day after narrating jokes. He said it was pathetic to note that education had been at the lowest ebb in the successive governments' priority list.

He said that FAPUASA condemns the speech and gives one week deadline as PM himself had announced to release Rs6 billion immediately as part of the Rs15 billion sanction. He regretted that the PM sanctioned only of Rs1.1 billion. He said it is a joke with the institutions of higher education.

FAPUASA President Mahr Saeed Akhtar said that the formula indicated that we have to observe 15 strikes to get promised Rs15 billion. He said that we are fighting for the cause of higher education.

Meanwhile, Academic Staff Associations of Quaid-i-Azam University and Allama Iqbal Open University observed complete strike on the Black Day here on Tuesday.

Carrying placards and banners and chanting slogans, teachers of QAU gathered in large number at the Social Sciences Block, from where they made a round of the Campus including the old Administration Block. The 90-minute rally peacefully ended at the Social Sciences Block.

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Orientation ceremony for newcomers held at FJWU
Rawalpindi: The orientation ceremony of newly-admitted undergraduate students (academic session 2010-14) was held at the Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) here on Tuesday.

All deans and department incharges were present on the occasion. The ceremony was held to welcome newcomers and enlighten them about rules and regulations of the institution. The ceremony started with the recitation of verses from the Holy Qu'aan and welcome address by registrar Dr. Maryam Rab. She congratulated the students for becoming a part of the FJWU. All chairpersons and department incharges were introduced to the students to make them familiar with the mechanism of the university.

Professor Dr. Samina Amin Qadir, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, while speaking on the occasion, said that being the future leaders of the country their collective duty is to make the country progress and excel in all fields. She said that the university provides an ideal environment to its students to develop their potentials. She advised the students to work hard and stress upon developing strong commitment and full devotion towards their studies.

Professor Dr. Naheed Zia Khan, dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology and Faculty of Law, Commerce and Social Sciences, while emphasising on the university's commitment to ensure quality higher education, briefed the newly-enrolled students on the university's environment and its activities.

Dr. Mussarat A. Sheikh, incharge of the Education Department and controller examination, briefed the audience on the university's examination system.

Nighat Raza told the students regarding different scholarships and financial assistance available at the university.

Dr. Shamim M. Zaidi, chairperson of the Department of Communication and Media Studies and incharge of the Campus Radio VOW (FM 96.9 Mhz) briefed the students on the university FM channel and encouraged them to join it to polish their hidden talents.

Dr. Surriya J. Mehmood, director sports and chairperson of the Mathematics Department, briefed the students on the importance of sports in our life and encouraged students to actively participate. Dr. Huma Jahangir, medical officer at the FJWU, told the new students about the medical facility and daycare centre.

In the end, all department coordinators were introduced to the students and they escorted them for a visit to all departments and offices of the university.

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Honour for IIU president
Islamabad: International Islamic University (IIU) President Professor Dr. Anwar Hussain Siddiqui has been named amongst the 500 most influential Muslims of the year 2010 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.

The Centre is an independent research entity affiliated with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, an international Islamic non-governmental, independent institute headquartered in Amman, Jordan.

The Centre has published the third edition of this book entitled "The 500 most influential Muslims 2010". This publication provides a window into the movers and shakers of the Muslim world. It highlights people who are influential as Muslims, i.e. people whose influence is derived from their practice of Islam or from the fact that they are Muslim.

The citation of the president of the IIU reads as follows: "Siddiqui is the president of the International Islamic University in Islamabad, a school aiming to produce scholars and practitioners able to use their Islamic learning to meet the economic, social, political, and intellectual needs of the Ummah.

This is a singular honour not only for the president, but the University itself as it feels proud that it is led by a renowned personality of the Muslim world. Dr. Siddiqui's association with the IIU dates back to its founding years as he has been entrusted with several important and strategic assignments from time to time during the past 25 year because of which the IIU has expanded in many directions. The news

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