Pakistan education behind all UN targets
Bane of illiteracy
Sept 15: Along with the flood-affected people, one of the chief victims of the
raging waters has been the country's vulnerable education sector.
Indeed, even before the floods, the state of our schools had been a
constant reminder of how Pakistan is falling behind in meeting the
Education For All targets set by the UN. With no adult literacy
programme worth the name and primary school enrolment in a shambles, it
is not surprising that Pakistan's literacy rate is one of the lowest in
Asia. If after all these decades, the government has still not
recognised the benefits of an educated population for economic
productivity, social cohesion, public health and democracy, it is
shocking. That it has not is the only explanation for successive
governments' failure to expand and upgrade the education system in the
country which Islamabad is obliged to do under the constitution and the
numerous international conventions to which it is a signatory.
enough attention had been paid to this sector, the need for adult
literacy programmes would have been more or less eliminated. An entire
generation of school-goers would have raised the literacy rate
considerably as the older generation of illiterates would have been
eased out. But this did not happen and Pakistan continues to have people
of all ages who have never learnt how to read and write.
to be done now? Given the state the country is in today, it would
require a massive effort to create the infrastructure, the teaching
resources and pedagogic aids as well as mobilisation to put a system in
place. While finances are essential for the purpose of upgrading and
expansion, money is not the only factor that could make a difference. It
is equally important to monitor the system which was derailed mainly
because of corruption. Dishonest people swindled money that should have
gone into the education of children. The need for adult literacy classes
will also have to be addressed. All this calls for a collective effort.
A positive impact might be made if industries and the services sector
that employ a large number of illiterate people were to accept their
social responsibility and devise ways and means to provide opportunities
for literacy acquisition to their employees. Dawn
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Varsity campus closure draws criticism
Peshawar: Decision of the Campus Coordination Committee (CCC) to close
the institutions on the University of Peshawar campus for another five
days has triggered strong criticism from teachers and students.
the decision by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa universities' administration on
the directives of the chancellor as discriminatory, the teachers and
students said it had brought the seats of higher education on the verge
The universities and other institutions on the campus
were supposed to reopen today (Wednesday), but an emergency meeting of
the CCC held on September 13 decided to keep it closed for another five
days till September 20.
According to the spokesman for the University
of Peshawar, the decision was taken on the directives of Governor Owais
Ahmed Ghani, who is also chancellor of the public sector universities,
in view of the inconvenience of the students hailing from the remote and
flood-affected areas. He said the gates of the campus were, however,
open and the boarders were allowed to stay in the hostels. Office work
would also resume today (Thursday) but classes have been delayed, he
Commenting on the decision, provincial president of the
Federation of All Pakistan Academic Staff Association Prof Dr Mohammad
Fida believed that his association's move to launch a protest drive
demanding 50 percent increase in salary of the university employees from
September 15 might have prompted the authorities to delay reopening of
the higher seats of learning. "They have cited security clearance for
reopening of the varsities, which holds no ground," he said.
the FAPUASA meeting would be held as per schedule on September 18 to
devise strategy for strengthening their struggle for getting their
genuine rights. "We had earlier decided to wear black bands on our arms
and boycott classes and office work for an hour. But now we would
increase our protest. We will continue our struggle till issuance of the
orders to raise our salary," he declared.
Another professor of the
University of Peshawar told this correspondent that the decision was
taken all of a sudden. "The students and teachers were not informed in
advance. Most of the students came to the university only to find it
closed," he said.
The academician ridiculed the university
administration's plea that the high seat of learning was being closed
for another few days due to security threats, questioning whether such
threats would vanish on September 19. "Has the chancellor or the
university administration any guarantee to purge the province of suicide
bombers by 20th?" he asked.
He flayed what he called the
discriminatory policies of the chancellor, arguing that privileges
announced by the federal government were being given to the university
employees in other provinces but not in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which had
dismayed the teaching and non-teaching staff of the public sector
"First the decision of giving fuel allowance to
university teachers was withdrawn by the governor. Now he issued
directives to stop the 50 percent increase in salaries of university
employees," he argued.
Vice-chancellor of the University of Peshawar
Prof Dr Azmat Hayat, who is the chairman of campus coordination
committee, as usual was not available for his comments. It is almost
impossible for media to seek comments from him. A few days back when
this correspondent managed to reach him by phone for comments on the
kidnapping of vice-chancellor Islamia College University, Ajmal Khan, he
declined to say anything on the issue.
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Hazara varsity demands recovery of IUC VC
Mansehra: The teaching and non-teaching staff and students of the Hazara
University have expressed grave concern and shock over the kidnapping
of the Vice-Chancellor of Islamia College University Professor Ajmal
Khan and demanded the government to ensure his early and safe recovery.
concern was conveyed by Hazara University Vice-Chancellor Dr Syed
Sakhawat Shah, who called the Islamia College University Registrar
Professor Dr Saeed Anwer and showed deep anguish over the kidnapping of
the ICU vice-chancellor.
The Hazara University vice-chancellor
said the varsity teachers were playing an important role in imparting
high education to the people but it was regrettable that they themselves
had become vulnerable and insecure.
Prof Dr Syed Sakhat Shah
said the faculty members of the Hazara University, other employees and
students of the varsity stood by the family members of Prof Ajmal Khan
and their counterparts in the Islamia College University in this
difficult time. He asked the government to take immediate steps for
early and safe recovery of the kidnapped vice-chancellor and end the
unrest that had gripped the teaching community after the kidnapping.
Hazara University Registrar Prof Dr Syed Muqarrab Shah also condemned
the kidnapping of Professor Ajmal Khan and asked the government to
recover the official. He also sought proper official security for
vice-chancellors and other senior faculty members of the universities. The news
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Student recovered, kidnapper arrested
Peshawar: Police claimed to have recovered a nine-year-old
student of a private school and arrested a kidnapper here on Tuesday.
A police spokesman said that Hamza, a resident of New Garhi Bakhshi
Pul, had been abducted by unidentified kidnappers while on his way home
from school on Sept 2.
His friends had informed his parents
that three armed men riding a black colour Corolla motorcar bundled him
into the vehicle in the limits of Khazana police station, he said.
The kidnappers had demanded Rs5 million as ransom for his release, but
his relatives prolonged the negotiations with the captors and informed
He said that police got a clue and arrested Raj Mohammad, a resident of Ram Kushan area.
The arrested man disclosed the names of his accomplices -- Wajid and
Hussain Ali -- but they could not be arrested so far. The student was
recovered from a house in Khazana, he added.
have also resolved the mystery of a blind murder case occurred in the
limits of Mathra police station in August.
said that unidentified persons had kidnapped a taxi driver Asad Khan, a
resident Shabqadar, along with his vehicle. They had dumped his body
near Sherabad village on Aug 19 after killing him, he said.
said that the taxicab was later found while driven by a schoolteacher
Faqir Mohammad, who was arrested. The teacher revealed that he had
purchased the motorcar at a cost of Rs100,000 from Gul Karim, an
automobile mechanic Tariq and a bank officer Imtiaz.
Police arrested all of them and they confessed that they had killed the driver and sold his motorcar.
The official said that the gang was under interrogation and seemed to be involved in many other heinous crimes. Dawn
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