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Private education in Punjab | LUMS convocation

Private education goes further beyond parents' reach
Lahore, Sept 27: The private sector schools have this year again squeezed parents by raising their already exorbitant fees from 10 to over 20 per cent, making a mockery of Punjab government's tall claims regarding its intention to regulate the sector.

As students returned to their schools after prolonged summer vacation, they were issued fee vouchers with enhanced fees ranging from 10 to 20 per cent, and in certain cases as high as 45 per cent. The impact of the fee raise ranges up to Rs3,000 and more in certain cases.

Punjab school education secretary Aslam Kamboh admitted the private sector was becoming problematic for the government in the absence of any regulatory authority. He said the private schools were raising fees arbitrarily without considering parents' problems.

While no regulatory authority has yet been established for the sector, most parents are protesting against the fee raise in the backdrop of high inflation coupled with recession in the country. Some of the affected parents even staged small protests outside school campuses and submitted fee concession applications.

Some parents said that they were unable to pay the raised fees and felt compelled to withdraw their kids from schools and get them admitted to some relatively low-fee institutions during the next academic session.

Some others complained the schools were charging enhanced fee for providing air-conditioned classrooms to their wards even after the summer vacation when the weather had changed.

It is learnt the Salamat School System has raised fees up to Rs2,000 and the Beaconhouse School System to Rs2,500 and so is the case with Lahore Grammar School, Crescent Model Higher Secondary School and other private school chains. It is learnt that the Aitchison College has also increased fee substantially.

Besides the elite private schools and chains, the parents have equally been squeezed by various low-fee institutions. The Punjab School is one such example which added Rs500 to its roughly Rs2,000 fee despite parents' protest. It is learnt that some of the parents turned violent when they pelted the school office with stones and on another day they clashed with some school employees over the issue.On the other hand, the private schools' managements blame inflated utility bills, particularly those of electricity, besides other overheads, and the increases teachers' salaries for the fee raise.

Beaconhouse School System spokesman Tabraiz Bukhari said parents were never happy, when a school enhances its fee. He said the parents conveniently ignore the economics of a business entity. "It is not an NGO, but a private limited entity," he added.

He said the BSS did not increase fee by 15 per cent to enhance its profits, but the decision had to be taken to meet the ever increasing running expenses. He said the school system needed to meet rising costs in terms of increased salaries, rent of buildings and above all the rocketing power bills along with additional generators' operation cost. BSS faculty members have been given pay raises from five to 20 per cent, he claimed.

Punjab School Chief Executive Syed Ihsanullah Waqas dispelled the protest 'rumours' saying some people belonging to the PML-N were protesting and added that he kept politics out of the school campuses.

He said the school was compelled to enhance fee just because the school's salary bill had increased by Rs3.2 million a month. He said the government increased 50 per cent salaries and the school had to pay teachers more, otherwise they would have switched over to other schools for higher pays. He said the school's electricity bill had also increased from Rs150,000 to Rs200,000 per month, besides around Rs300,000 bill for the diesel used to run generators.

Chief Minister's Taskforce on Elementary Education chairman Raja Muhammad Anwar said a special 20-member committee had drafted a law after a year-long hectic exercise. The proposed "Private Educational Institutions Promotion and Regulatory Authority" bill was sent to the law department for whetting and its onwards submission to the Punjab Assembly for its enactment.

"The enactment of law was delayed because of serious reservations expressed by private sector schools," he added. Dawn

Your Comments
"We would like to strongly protest against your increasing of Rs. 500/- monthly in addition to annual increase in the month of April 2010 by the Punjab School, Lahore as per law not any institution can increase in fee during an academic session. My three children are studying in your school and their academic achievements are not just due to teachers efforts but due to effective parents supports and guidelines from home side. There is no justification of about 35% increase in a year. There are almost 150 study days in a year including examinations and activity week. Increase in electricity cost is just a lame excuse/generator cost. Further especially teachers of early classes are under paid and are frequently change. therefore, its another lame excuse increase the fee. I think , the Punjab School is running under Makkah Foundation a non profit organization, How you people increase such a big chain of four schools and many nominated places from a tinny contribution of 1.4 million Rs. Further, we have reserve the right to go into the court against these fee increases."
Name: Irfan
Email: machbiz@yahoo.com
City, Country:Lahore-Pakistan

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Convocation held amidst tight security
Lahore: The 22nd convocation of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) was held at the varsity campus under tight security on Saturday.

Unlike past, extra ordinary security measures were witnessed for the ceremony in which the degrees were awarded to 626 students, including 203 graduates, 423 undergraduates and 20 law graduates. Outstanding students were honored with awards and medals for academic excellence.

The keynote speaker at the convocation was Dr Mehmood Khan, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of PepsiCo, Inc, while LUMS Pro-Chancellor Syed Babar Ali and Rector Razzak Dawood were also present.

Dr Mehmood Khan, speaking on the occasion, emphasized that the eagerness to learn coupled with humility was a prerequisite to leading a successful life. He said Pakistan was passing through a critical time as, on the one hand, it was facing economic crunch, and, on the other hand, hit by unprecedented floods.

On Friday evening, the traditional Graduate Night dinner was held at the LUMS campus where graduates achieving distinctions in different subjects and those making it to the coveted Dean's Honour List were awarded medals and shields.

As many as 67 graduating students who made it to the Dean's Honour list or received Corporate Gold Medals were honoured. The news

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An institution that needs honest appraisal
Lahore: While the Government College University the premier seat of learning -- keeps on celebrating its success in board examinations for winning medals well earned by its intermediate students, a good number of students end up being placed in B and C grades. The issue keeps nagging many parents who pay high fees out of their hard-earned incomes to ensure higher grades of their children.

In keeping with the tradition, the GCU recently organised an event to celebrate the 10 medals its students won in the intermediate annual examination for 2010.

What the college administration, over the years, has failed to assess is why the results of a number of students decline in the intermediate examination compared to their matriculation performance. Any student aspiring to be a Ravian knows it takes at least an A grade in matriculation examination in pre-engineering and pre-medical in particular and in general science, humanities and other groups in general to achieve the goal. In few instances students with relatively lowers marks make it to the premier institution on a sports basis or through 'other' means.

An analysis of the intermediate examination for 2010 results shows that the GCU has also produced C and D graders and even those who have failed. One wonders what brings about the rapid decline in the performance of the students who got admission to the GCU after scoring fairly good marks.

Of the 936 candidates who appeared for the BISE intermediate annual examination this year, as many as 138 students (14.74 per cent) have been placed in C and D grades. Besides, forty Ravians have failed. If the B graders are included in this list, the number rises to 288 students (33.77 per cent).

Meanwhile, GCU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Aftab, while addressing the students and their parents at the function organised in the honour of the medal-winners, said "the most crucial challenge Pakistan confronts today is a dearth of quality human capital, and it is a crisis graver than the financial crunch". He further said: "Semi literate individuals fail to make a worthwhile contribution to the national progress and therefore are a liability." Dawn

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PU date sheets
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) has issued the written date sheets of MBBS, Second Professional (New Re-Organized Scheme), Annual Examination 2010, MBBS, Second Professional (Latest New Re-Organized Scheme), Annual Examination 2010, Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm-D), 1st Professional Annual Examination 2010 and Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm-D), 2nd Professional, Annual Examination 2010.

According to a press statement, the written exam of MBBS, Second Professional (New Re-Organized Scheme), Annual Examination 2010 and MBBS Second Professional (Latest New Re-Organized Scheme), Annual Examination 2010 will commence from 01-10-2010 and conclude on 07-10-2010, Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm-D), 1st Professional, Annual Examination 2010 will commence from 01-10-2010 and conclude on 19-10-2010 while Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm-D), 2nd Professional, Annual Examination 2010 will commence from 15-10-2010 and conclude on 29-10-2010. Detailed date sheets are also available at Punjab University website www.pu.edu.pk. The news

PU announced LLM results
Lahore: The Punjab University on Saturday declared the results of LLM (final) annual examination for 2009, BS (Honours) clinical psychology, semester system, session 2005-09; and MA archaeology, semester system, session 2008-10.

ASRB: The PU has scheduled its Advanced Studies and Research Board meeting for Sept 29. Dawn

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PGMI merit list out
Lahore: The Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI) Lahore administration has issued the merit list of candidates for various courses of specialisation which can be also watched on PGMI website.

This was stated by Institute Principal Professor Dr. Tariq Salahuddin at a meeting held to review the administrative affairs for new educational session. PGMI Additional Dean Professor Tanveer Ali Khan Sherwani, Coordinator Admission Committee Professor Khalid Bashir, Administration Committee Member Professor Robina Sohail and other doctors attended the meeting.

The meeting was informed that the admission was given to 400 doctors from entire country and AJK in various diploma and degree courses. Academic session will start from first October 2010-11.

Dr. Tariq Salahuddin said the facility of downloading the admission form was provided for the first time for the doctors from far-flung areas of the country. The PGMI website address is www.pgmipnjab.edu.pk and email address is admission@pgmipunjab.edu.pk. Dr. Tariq Salahuddin said Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif was struggling to provide modern medical facilities and education to poor masses. The news

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UET ranking
Lahore: The University of Engineering and Technology has earned a position among top 100 technical universities in Asia after being ranked 281st top technical university in the world. The ranking has been evaluated and published by the Times World Ranking of Universities 2010. Dawn

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