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Primary and secondary schools timing extension

School timing extension proposal criticised
Karachi, Oct 14: The proposal by the Education Ministry's Steering Committee to increase daily classroom timing of primary and secondary schools for compensating educational losses due to closure of schools during flood has been strongly criticised by teachers and parents claiming it would create more problems.

Last Friday, a meeting of the Education Steering Committee chaired by Sindh Education and Literacy Minister Pir Mazharul Haq recommended the reduction of winter vacations and cancellation of Saturday's holiday to compensate for the loss of education.

Moreover, it was proposed that morning shift classes at primary schools would start from 8am and end at 2pm, while in secondary schools classes would be held from 8am till 2:30pm.

The recommendations of the steering committee have been sent to the federal government for approval.

However, the proposal of enhanced classroom timings has met opposition from teachers, who claim that increase in timings was not an appropriate way to make up the loss of time of students and would rather increase problems of students, parents and teachers.

Senior educationist and psychologist Rizwana Munir said that long classroom hours would not be beneficial for students.

A human brain cannot concentrate on an activity for more than 45 minutes and needs a break of 10 minutes to prepare itself for further work, she added.

She explained that students of primary and secondary classes in government schools attended classes from 7:45am to 1:30pm, meaning that a student attends a classroom for six hours daily with a break of only half an hour. Any further increase in duration might not be helpful for student, she claimed.

Citing the example of a neighboring country where schools timings are longer but students are provided food, playtime and other recreational activities, she said proper breaks, rest and recreation for students is must to help them in learning.

Just increasing the classroom time without proper breaks and playtime is a sure recipe to disaster, she added.

She suggested curtailing the school syllabus or prolonging the educational year by four to six months.

Saima, a local schoolteacher, said female teachers would face problems if classroom duration was lengthened.

They have to prepare lunch and feed their children after their duty, she added. Women give priority to the education sector, as they feel secure and can take care of their household responsibilities while discharging official duties, she said, regretting that increased classroom timings would make all this very difficult.

Government school headmistress Majedan Begum said if the school timings were increased, the majority of female teachers would lose interest in teaching. The new schedule would harm the educational process instead of bringing any improvement, she claimed.

The students would lose concentration and fall prey to stress and fatigue if forced to remain in classrooms for more hours, she said, adding that it was against a child's nature to engage continuously without extra playtime and food.

Requesting anonymity, a mother of school going children said that everyone knows people belonging to low income families send their children to government schools.

"We cannot afford giving Parathas or heavy breakfasts to our children on daily basis as a kilogramme of ghee costs Rs 130," she said.

The majority of government school students can only afford a cup of tea and a few rusk in breakfast, and go hungry within a few hours, she said, stressing that forcing children to study for prolonged hours with empty stomachs is an atrocity and no mother would approve it.

Government and Nationalised School Teachers Association (GNSTA) Karachi leader Tariq Qaisrani said the female teachers would suffer due to the changed school timings.

He said the teachers serving in the second shift particularly would face many problems because they would reach home after sunset.

The prevailing public transport system and ongoing situation of law and order in the city would create unimaginable trouble.

"The GNSTA Karachi demands the government to review classroom timings particularly for Karachi and Hyderabad and the restoration of past school timings so students and teachers can concentrate on education," he said. ppi

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BIEK notification on HSC enrolment forms
Karachi: The Secretary, Board of Intermediate Karachi (BIEK), Professor Haider Ali Novien, has directed the principles of all recognised, affiliated intermediate colleges, and higher secondary schools that the enrolment forms for Higher Secondary School Certificate, annual exam 2011 which will be filled by the students of first years (Class XI), could be obtained from the Store of the Board. These forms would be available faculty-wise, at the cost of Rs35 per form, he also said.

Duly filled enrolment form, including powder copy of marks sheet of Secondary School Certificate, may be deposited in the Board Office against a payment of Rs600 per candidate as per the described schedule. The Board would receive enrolment forms and fee for science, commerce, home economics, humanities, diploma in physical education and medical technology without late fee from October 15 to Nov 5, 2010. However, a late fee Rs100 will be charged from Nov 6 to 23, 2010, he added. The news

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LLM results declared
Karachi: The University of Karachi on Wednesday announced the result of LLM annual examination 2010.

According to the university, 161 candidates appeared in the exam. Of them, 107 candidates were declared successful. app

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Minister has forged certificates: BISE
Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education has officially confirmed to the University of Sindh that no person by the name of Mukesh Kumar Chawla, who is PPP's provincial minister for excise and taxation, has passed class X and XII examinations held by the board.

The board said in response to the university's queries about Mr Chawla's certificates that one Mukesh Kumar Bansari did appear in matriculation and intermediate examinations and Mr Chawla's particulars sent for verification matched with his.

"We've verified that Mr Chawla did not pass the two examinations and (his certificates) are bogus and fake," said a senior board official who requested not to be named.

The official showed this correspondent the letter (No 89/Aug 19) for perusal sent by the board to the university, insisting he could not share its copy.

The verification was set into motion after one Jai Kumar challenged Mukesh Kumar Chawla's election as member of provincial assembly and sent a formal complaint to the Supreme Court, requesting it to take suo motu action.

Mr Jai Kumar argued that Chawla's matriculation, intermediate and BA degree certificates were fake, forged and tampered with. Mr Chawla was elected MPA on a reserved seat for minorities on a PPP ticket.

According to his case whose record was made available to Dawn, Mr Chawla, son of Bhagwan Das Chawla, was born in 1974 in Jacobabad district. His CNIC No is 42301-22854115.

He submitted documents of one Mukesh Kumar Bansari, son of Bhagwan Das Bansari, born in 1980 in Thatta and having CNIC No 44108-4608480-3.

The record shows that Mr Bansari passed his matriculation (seat number 134515) in 1996 from the Government High School, Sujawal, and intermediate examination (seat number 103851) in 1998 from the Government Boys College, Sujawal, held by the BISE, Hyderabad.

The record of the school and the college shows that the said certificates belonged to Mr Bansari whose general register number was 5084. After getting fake class X and XII certificates the MPA also managed to obtain fake degree of BA of the same Mr Bansari, said Jai Kumar.

"He obtained a fake letter No: BISE/HSC/CONDUCT/2390/3976 dated 03.09.2004 for correction of name by the BISE that was purportedly addressed to Sindh University and got surname Bansari replaced with Chawla in certificates of Bansari, who is a grade-II officer in a private bank in Karachi," he said.

The controller of examination of the BISE had declared in Sindh High Court on Dec 14, 2007 in an election appeal (62/2007) case that the letter (for surname change) was fake, forged and not issued.

The commissioner appointed by the SHC on Dec 10, 2007 submitted a similar report, he said, adding that the high court referred to the controller's statement that he had declared the said letter as forged because the letter's number pertained to some other correspondence.

Mr Jai Kumar alleged that Mr Chawla, in connivance with university staff, got Mr Bansari's examination form of BA-II replaced.

Mr Chawla's case about forged certificates first went to court when one Malik Atta Mohammad and Sameul Xavier contested his nomination (before election tribunal) after he was awarded a ticket by the PPP. But the appellants lost interest in pursuing the case following Benazir Bhutto's assassination on Dec 27, 2008.

When the apex court took up the case of parliamentarians' degrees, Mr Chawla's case came into limelight again and the process of verification was set into motion.

The Higher Education Commission sent his degrees and certificates to the Sindh University and the university sent his class X and XII certificates to the BISE Hyderabad for verification.

Mr Chawla did not attend calls made by this correspondent nor did he reply messages, seeking his side of the story in response to Jai Kumar's claims and BISE's letter.

Asked why he was interested in getting Mr Chawla unseated, Mr Jai Kumar replied that a man with fake degrees could not be expected to serve his community. "He never paid a visit to Umerkot to apprise himself of our problems," he said.

To a question why he did not challenge his nomination before the returning officer, he said that he did not know earlier that Mr Chawla possessed fake degrees. "An educated person with valid documents should be elected to serve us," he said. Dawn

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