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Salam Teachers Day observed with protests

Salam Teachers Day: Best faculty, students honoured
Lahore, Oct 06: To mark 'Salam Teachers Day', the Government College Township on Tuesday launched its first "Aspirant Awards 2010" for the best teachers as well as top scoring students in board and university examinations.

At a ceremony held in faculty lounge to mark the day, college Principal Prof Dr Ijaz Butt said the institution had chosen nine faculty members while taking into account a diverse criteria of academic excellence and activism for college's betterment.

The teachers selected for the awards were: Dildar Sarwar Khara (social work), Javaid Iqbal (zoology), Azhar Hamayat Khan (History), Hasan Mahmood (chemistry), Touseef Akbar Rana (physics), Zahid Masood (statistics), Nawaz Hasan Zaidi (Urdu), Raheel Chaudhry (physics), Saeed Iqbal (physics). The special recognition award went to Khalil Asghar (mathematics).

Of the selected teachers, educationist and social worker Shaista Pervaiz Malik presented the award to three senior teachers Javaid Iqbal, Zahid Masood and Dildar Sarwar Khara.

She also presented shields to top scorers of the college Sharoon Aslam (937 marks in FSc pre-medical group); Muhammad Husnain Ahmad Shahzad (978 marks in FSc pre-engineering group); Maqsood Ahmad (843 marks in general science group); Nasir Khalid (768 marks in arts group); Ubaid-ur-Rehman (891 marks in I.Com); Muhammad Usman (604 marks in BSc); and Sikandar Atta (512 marks in BA).

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Butt said the awards would also motivate other teachers to perform better and create a healthy competitive environment.

Lauding the efforts of teachers and equally good response of students, Prof Butt said the college had shown 46 per cent BA/BSc annual examination result which was the best among all colleges in Lahore.

Ms Malik stressed teachers must educate their students who would become instrumental in creating an environment of tolerance in society. She regretted that teachers had not performed their duty in the past that had resulted in violent protests and clashes even among educated professionals in the country.

She, however, appreciated college teachers wearing black armbands as a token of protest for the acceptance of their demands. She assured the protesting teachers that she would take their genuine grievances to the chief minister, adding the CM also had some limitations as he was already caught up in a number of complex issues. She also saluted teachers for imparting quality education to their students.

Mr Khara and the position winning students also spoke on the occasion and expressed their gratitude and tribute to teachers.

Ms Malik also inaugurated the newly-constructed central library that had 2,700 books procured during the last seven years, since the college was launched following denationalisation of the Forman Christian College.

The college is in the process of completing mega development project worth Rs59.198 million including a postgraduate library constructed with a total cost of Rs3.108 million.

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Teachers boycott classes
Rawalpindi: The city colleges' teachers on Tuesday boycotted classes for one hour on Salam Teacher Day in protest against setting up of Board of Governors (BoGs) in selected colleges.

The college teachers on the call of Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association PPLA boycotted classes from 10 am to 11 am in every college against the initiation of four-year degree programmes and establishment of BoGs.

The representatives of PPLA while addressing a good number of teachers gathered at Gordon College condemned the alleged derogatory remarks passed by secretary higher education Punjab against the teachers. The representatives of the college teachers said world over teachers were being revered on October 5 but in Pakistan they were being pushed to the wall by installing bio-matrix machines to check their attendance in the colleges.

The teachers demanded immediate removal of the automatic machines and taking back the decision of setting up BoGs in 26 colleges in the province. They said the education department was following anti-education policies as under the BoGs the four years bachelor programmes were costly as students from lower and middle strata of society attend government colleges.

The teachers in their meeting condemned the adverse remarks made of the secretary higher education on media against them and urged on chief minister Shahbaz Sharif to take disciplinary action against the official.

The protestors vowed to continue their struggle till Punjab government took the decision about BoGs back.

It may be recalled here that the higher education department in a bid to improve the college education has initiated a pilot project in 26 selected colleges offering four years degree programmes in different disciplines.

The administration of these colleges had been handed over to the BoGs established in August comprising teaching and non-teaching staff.

QAU teachers
The faculty members of Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) on Tuesday observed Teachers Day as black day as a mark of protest against cut in education budget, a reporter adds from Islamabad.

They brought out a protest rally on the QAU campus, which was participated by a large number of faculty members. They demanded increase in allocation for education.

Addressing the procession, Dr Eitzaz of Economics department said that government's step-motherly treatment to education could be gauged from the fact that it allocated only 2 per cent for this sector.

Professor Gulraiz of Earth Sciences department demanded of the government to release Rs5.8 billion as demanded by the HEC. The protestors promised to continue their struggle for acceptance of their demands. Dawn

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Teachers Day observed as protest day throughout KP
Peshawar: Teachers on Tuesday observed Salam Teachers Day as black day across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against the government's failure to release funds to the public sector universities and ensure provision of 50 per cent increase and 15 per cent medical allowance to the teaching and non-teaching employees of the universities.

The employees in the public sector universities stayed away from duties as they boycotted classes and office work, causing problems to the students and others who visited the universities in connection with various problems.

A large number of students were seen outside the examination section of University of Peshawar that was closed. The students were there to collect their certificates, apply for examinations and for other work.

"I have been here for the last two hours waiting for this door to open and collect my degree for which I applied several days ago," said one of the students standing outside the examination section.

Unaware of the strike in the university, most students had come to the university from distant areas to get their problems solved but the strike multiplied their problems. The striking employees gathered at the Teaching Community Centre of the University of Peshawar on call of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities' Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA). They staged a protest walk to the University of Engineering and Technology. Provincial President of FAPUASA Prof Dr Mohammad Fida, President of the Peshawar University Teachers Association (PUTA) Prof Dr Johar Ali, President of the Engineering University Teachers Association Siddique Akbar and President of the Islamia College University Prof Ziaullah Sehrai led the protesters.

The protesters were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the federal government, finance minister and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor. They were also chanting slogans.

Addressing the protesters, Dr Fida criticised the government for not releasing funds or notification to this effect after the verbal announcement. He said the government was not taking their problems seriously and they would continue their protest till resolution of their problems.

Dr Fida also condemned the poor law and order situation in the academic institutions and urged the government to ensure security for the academicians. Dr Johar condemned the killing of Dr Farooq Khan, vice-chancellor of the Islamic University Swat, and kidnapping of Ajmal Khan, vice-chancellor of the Islamia College University. He demanded the government to utilise all resources for early and safe recovery of Ajmal Khan.

DIR: The National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) organised a function here to mark Salam Teachers Day. Speaking on the occasion, Executive District Officer Education Bahrawar Khan, his deputy Qasim Jan and NCHD regional chief Nasruminallah Bahrawar highlighted the role of teachers in the socio-economic development of the country and in meeting the future challenges to Pakistan.

KARAK: The day was observed in Karak under the aegis of the NCHD. A ceremony was held at the education office to give certificates to the best teachers to acknowledge their performance.

LAKKI MARWAT: Speakers at a seminar on 'Importance of Adult Literacy and Salam Teachers Day' here called upon the teachers to focus on character-building of students and impart them quality education regardless of the fact that the teachers are paid low salaries and perks. The seminar was organised by the NCHD in collaboration with the Elementary and Secondary Education department.

KOHAT: The Elementary & Secondary Education Department with the support of the NCHD organised a function at Government Primary School No 1 in MC Area to honour the teachers of the district. District Coordination Officer Shahid Ullah, EDO Imtiaz-Ul-Haq and other officers and teachers of the Elementary & Secondary Education Department along with District Programme Manager Education of NCHD Mohamad Asif Khattak attended the ceremony.

On the occasion, 60 best teachers of the district were awarded honorary certificates for their best performance during the schooling session 2010.

Speaking on the occasion, the DCO said that teachers are the main part of a society because they built good character of people. He also praised and congratulated all the participant of the ceremony, especially the best teachers, and distributed honorary certificates to the best teachers. At the end of the ceremony, a walk was also held in connection with the day.

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Students pay rich tributes to teachers
Islamabad: As many as 1,000 students of different schools paid rich tributes to the teachers by holding a walk from China Chowk to Parliament House to mark the World Teachers' Day on Tuesday.

The walk was aimed to bring the nation's attention towards the great respect the teachers deserve. The students of class one to class 10 were holding placards inscribed with the message regarding the dignity of teachers. They raised slogans like 'Hamara Ustad Zindabad' and presented bouquets and cards to their teachers.

Organised by Ghazali Education Trust in collaboration with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), the walk was also attended by the members of civil society and other stakeholders.

Addressing on the occasion, Unesco Director Dr Warren Mellor said that the role of teacher was absolutely crucial for individual as well as for nation building. "The quality of teacher is very important in imparting the quality education in students," he said.

He said that Unesco was working in collaboration with government as well as NGOs to improve the status of teachers in the country. "The teachers require better working condition, better salaries and also proper training for their capacity building and professional development," he said.

The president of Ghazali Education Trust on the occasion said that the students from six cities of Pakistan including Chakwal, Attock, Rawalpindi and Islamabad gathered there to offer homage to their teachers. "No country could ever progress if it does not realize the importance of its teachers and pay due respect to them," he said.

Teachers, who were present on the occasion, expressed their pleasure over the tributes paid to them but also raised serious concerns over the corruption involved in the hiring of teachers in public sector schools.

"Every time we use to organise events for our students but seeing that students have organised something for us makes us feel extremely happy," said Rafia Asad, a schoolteacher.

She said that such events were necessary to make students realize the importance of teachers in nation building and also it would help in elevating the status of teacher in the country.

Another teacher, Noshaba Kausar, said that such events were useful in improving the student-teacher relation but government also needs to take immediate steps for improving the status of teachers in the country.

"Teachers should be given good salaries, allowances, yearly increments and also the maternity leaves so that they could perform their duties in a better way," she said.

She also urged government to take notice of the irregularities involved in the hiring of teachers in government schools. "Those who have money and sources could only avail a job in government schools while rests, no matter how capable they are, are shown the door," she said.

The rally ended with the presentation of bouquets to the teachers in recognition of their services to the future of the country.

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Rootsians celebrate World Teachers' Day
Rawalpindi: All branches of the Roots School System (RSS) here on Tuesday celebrated World Teachers' Day with great enthusiasm. The day is dedicated to teachers, who play a prominent role in the life of their students. Students gave fresh roses to their teachers and some made paper flowers for their teachers as well.

The day commenced with a presentation on the 'Role of a teacher in child's life'. Some students also did mimicry of their teachers that was appreciated by all. Students also prepared some skits for their teachers. Homemade gifts and cakes baked by mothers were sent to teachers in schools.

Beautiful poems, quotes and sayings were presented to teachers in the form of handmade cards made from chart papers of different colours. Students decorated these cards with glitter, glazed papers, ribbons, stickers and stars and smileys. Bouquets were also presented to the teachers. Classrooms were decorated with banners and charts inscribed with 'You are the true mentor of our life' and 'Those who educate children well are more to be honoured than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well,' - Aristotle.

In the end, the school choir sang a song on World Teacher's Day. The theme of the song was 'We Love our Teachers'. Parents also encouraged the teachers by sending them 'Thank you notes' and handmade cards. The news

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HEC powers to verify degrees questioned
Islamabad: Education Minister Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali has challenged the authority of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to make any lawmaker answerable to it.

In response to a communication received from Punjab University in connection with the re-verification of his educational degrees, Mr Ali said the HEC could not make any elected member answerable to it or start an exercise with a view to making any member submit to its scrutiny.

In a letter to the university, he said any scrutiny by HEC would be prejudicial to the doctrine of separation of powers which was at the root of the Constitution.

"Furthermore, I find it offensive to the dignity of an elected member that an executive authority undertakes an action which it is not competent to take and through that action questions the eligibility of an elected member ex post facto."

The minister said he was a strong supporter of the process of accountability and did not consider himself to be above public scrutiny.

"However I am not answerable to the HEC in this or any other regard. I therefore ask you not to undertake this action as it is without lawful authority and based on violation of the Constitution".

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ACMS students rally for recognition of their degrees
Rawalpindi: Engineering students of the Army College of Management and Sciences (ACMS) on Tuesday held a protest rally against non-accreditation of their degree programme by the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC).

Some 700 students, including those who have already obtained degrees, gathered outside the college at about 2pm and started chanting slogans against the administration for failing to get the college accredited with the PEC.

The students later marched from Lal Kurti to Rawalpindi Press Club blocking traffic on the busy Benazir Bhutto Road for over one hour. Holding placards and banners, the students staged a sit-in in front of the press club and demanded immediate accreditation of their degrees.

Some of the students desiring not to be named told this reporter that for the last 11 years bachelors of engineering in electronics, software and telecommunication were being offered in the college affiliated with the National University of Modern Languages (Numl).

"When we got admission to the college the administration assured us that the accreditation would soon be obtained from the PEC and the degrees would duly be recognised in the market," said a student who had got a degree in telecommunication.

"After the completion of BE, we have not been able to get any suitable job because our degrees were not accredited from the council and the college has still not been able to get the consent of the PEC," said a student.

Another student, who had passed seven semesters of BE in electronics, said they were desperate to get accreditation from the PEC.

Citing the reasons for non-accreditation by the PEC, the students said some teachers in their faculty did not have the qualifications as required by the PEC and the college only recently completed its own building.

When contacted, head of the college, Brigadier (retired) Hubdar Ahmed Madni said efforts were on to get the accreditation and students had been assured that after fulfilling all the prerequisites a formal application would be submitted to the PEC on October 11.

He said the college administration never claimed while advertising for the engineering courses that the institute had accreditation from the PEC and not even verbal claim was made, but students were ensured that the requirement would be fulfilled after completion of requirements set by the council.

Mr Madni denied the claim of the students that the teaching faculty did not have the required qualifications and said all teachers were qualified in engineering and only the dean of the faculty did not have the PhD in relevant discipline and that was not required by the engineering council.

He expressed the hope that the college would succeed in getting the accreditation for next two semesters and the PEC would gradually recognise the degrees of all the 183 passed out students. There are precedents when PEC extended accreditation to all outgoing students, he added. Dawn

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