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Literacy day : 60m Pakistanis illiterate

60m Pakistanis illiterate
Lahore, Sep 08: With around 60 million illiterate people, Pakistan will observe the International Literacy Day 2011 with rest of the world on Thursday September 8 (today). The theme of the Day this year is Literacy for Peace. Pakistan at the moment needs both literacy and peace.

This Day is observed to acknowledge efforts made for promotion of literacy and to highlight its significance. Undoubtedly, like many other challenges faced by Pakistan at present, promotion of literacy is a big challenge too. The major challenges and issues relating to efforts to enhance literacy level in Pakistan are lack of political will, absence of consistency in policies, population explosion and lack of community and civil society participation. Above all, low budgetary allocation for this vital sector is also a major cause in this aspect. Lack of political will is evident from absence of legislations at provincial level for enforcement of Article 25-A of the constitution of Pakistan, which is a part of the 18th Amendment. It is pertinent to mention here that Article 25-A makes education a fundamental right and mandatory for the state to provide free and compulsory education to all children between five and 16 years of age.

Literacy experts say illiteracy rate in Pakistan is very high among poor and disadvantaged people of the country while owing to feudal set up in rural areas, people especially women are also not encouraged to receive education, which leads to increase in the number of illiterate populace.

It important to mention here that this year, Secretary Literacy and Non-Formal Basic Education Punjab will be awarded the highest UNESCO Confucius award for his services in the field of literacy.

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No spray in private schools
Lahore: Most of private schools have yet to ensure anti-dengue spray at their campuses and the delay in the spray - in the wake of growing threat of dengue fever in the provincial metropolis has caused great concern among the general public.

The government on Tuesday had announced to carry out anti-dengue spray at public sector schools and colleges.

Special instructions were also passed on to heads of the institutions in this regard.

However, parents of students studying at private institutions have been demanding the government direct private schools management as well to ensure effective fumigation in order to avoid any unpleasant situation.

Meanwhile, different associations of private schools have also demanded the Punjab government cooperate with the private schools in the prevailing situation and ensure fumigation drive at private campuses as well. The news

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Schedule for forms submission
Lahore: Punjab University Examinations Department has announced the schedule for submission of admission forms for BA/BSc Annual Examination 2012.

According to details, for regular candidates, last date for submission of admission forms with single fee is 03-10-2011 (by post) and 10-10-2011 (by hand) while forms can be submitted with double fee till 24-10-2011 (by post) and 31-10-2011 (by hand). Similarly, for private candidates, last date for submission of admission forms with single fee is 13-10-2011 (by post) and 20-10-2011 (by hand) while forms can be submitted with double fee till 02-11-2011 (by post) and 14-11-2011 (by hand).

The Examinations Department has directed the candidates that forms would not be entertained in case of any over-writing, cutting, erasing, incomplete or if not accompanied with 3 passport size photographs (with blue background).

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GCU opens MS/MPhil admissions
Lahore: The Government College University (GCU) Lahore is starting admissions to the MS and M Phil programme from Thursday (today).

This year, the university is offering admissions to MS/M Phil in 22 disciplines including Botany, Environmental Science, Bio-technology, Chemistry, Forensic Chemistry, Mathematics, Microbiology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Physics, Zoology, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, Philosophy, Statistics, MS Entrepreneur and SME Management, MS Banking and Financial Accounting, English Language and Literature, Islamic Studies, Persian and Urdu.

GCU Registrar Prof Anjum Nisar said that students who had qualified NTS GAT and minimum 16 years of education with at least 2.5/4.00 CGPA or 60 percent in MA/MSc/BA/BSc (Honors) or equivalent degree would be eligible to apply.

He said students having at least 2.0/4.00 CGPA or 50 percent marks in MA/MSc/BA/BSc (Honors) or equivalent degree could apply in English Language and Literature, Islamic Studies, Persian and Urdu.

He further said that the last date for submission of forms is September 15. The nation

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Lahore: Cancer specialist Abu Bakar Shahid, director of the Punjab Institute of Nuclear Medicine, Faisalabad, is the first Pakistani doctor to do PhD in radiotherapy.

He completed his research on radiation of breast cancer at the Punjab University and got it published in the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association. Dawn

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Muhammad Fakhar, son of local journalist Asif Mahmood Bajwa, got distinction in his school by getting 987 marks out of 1,050 marks in the Lahore Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education matriculation examination. He related his success to his hard work, teachers guidance and parents prayers. The news

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Students press for recovering VC kidnapped a year ago
Peshawar: The government has failed to recover or find clue to the whereabouts of Vice-chancellor of Islamia College University Ajmal Khan, who was kidnapped one year ago.

The atmosphere of Islamia College University is gloomy and the banners, demanding recovery of the abducted vice-chancellor, are still hanging down at different places but nobody has any clue as to what is the latest development in the case.

The students said that they missed the head of the institution and felt sorry for him. A year had passed but authorities failed to trace and recover the kidnapped vice-chancellor, they added.

"If it was the president, army chief or any other important personality, would the government have acted in the same manner," asked Sher Ali Khan. He said that Ajmal Khan was an educationist so government did not bother to recover him.

Mohammad Usman, another student of Islamia College, said that kidnapping of the vice-chancellor had affected the entire educational institution. "It has not only affected our institution but his family is also suffering the most," he added.

The family of the abducted vice-chancellor is said to be going through tough times and oscillating between hope and despair. "His relatives have been holding special prayers for his safe return," said a family friend on condition of anonymity.

Adnan Khan, another student, also demanded of the government to make serious efforts for his release. He said that students tried their best by holding protests but that was all they could do.

Ajmal Khan was kidnapped on the morning of Sept 7 (27th Ramazan) last year from near his house at Professor's Colony when he was on his way to office.

Two videos were released by the kidnappers of the vice-chancellor with armed men in the background in October and November last year. He appealed in one of the video to the government to accept the demands of the kidnappers.

He had also spoken of his bad health and requested the government to accept the demands of the kidnappers, who were suspected to be associated with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.

The government seems to have taken a silent-treatment strategy on this issue as it has not issued any statement or shown any response to the videos because it fears that it can endanger Mr Khan's life.Prof Saeed Anwar, registrar of Islamia College University, said that during the first seven months he held meetings with the vice-chancellors of public sector universities, chief minister, chancellor or the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and inspector general of police but despite many discussions nothing had materialised so far.

"We miss him and feel his absence. We request government and even his captors to release him for the sake of his students," he said.

He said that the educational institution was not just a simple college as it was a movement launched by Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum and his friends to educate Pukhtuns. He said that kidnapping of the vice-chancellor of the newly-established university has had affected academic growth of the institution.

The teachers and students observed strike and arranged protests during the first few months of the abduction of Mr Khan but now it seems that they have lost stamina as there was hardly any protest on Sept 7, the day of his kidnapping, to demand his recovery. Dawn

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College driver dismissed from service by ombudsperson
Islamabad: Implementing the decision of the Federal Ombudsman for Protection of Women against Harassment at Workplace, Musarrat Hilali, the Federal Directorate of Education has issued notification to dismiss Ghulam Mustafa, driver of Islamabad Model College for Girls, G-9/2, on charges of harassing female teacher of the college.

A teacher of the college lodged complaint against Ghulam Mustafa that he was harassing one of her colleagues on the college premises. When the teacher asked him to behave properly, the driver turned violent and abused her in presence of college students.

The Federal Ombudsperson referred the complaint to the Directorate of Education Islamabad for report and asked them to provide necessary personal record of the driver. The record revealed that he had been involved in many other cases of insulting female teachers on different occasions. He had also been frequently transferred by the Directorate on the complaints of similar nature.

Two former principals and many students also came forward as witnesses. The principals were also harassed by the driver in past but they preferred to keep quite as there was no mechanism available to deal with such cases at that time, said an official of the Ombudsperson Secretariat.

Federal Ombudsperson Musarrat Hilali conducted two hearings of the case. During the proceedings, both parties were given proper time to plead their case. The driver even hired a lawyer to plead his case.

Keeping in view the documentary evidences, statements of the complainants and cross questioning of the counsel of the driver, Musarat Hilali dismissed the driver Ghulam Mustafa from the service. The notification of the decision was submitted to the Directorate of Education Islamabad to implement the decision.

The Protection of Women Against Harassment at Workplace Act makes it mandatory for the management of the organisations to adopt the Code of Conduct and form a three-member inquiry committee to deal with the complaints of sexual harassment.

In case the perpetrator is too senior or is the owner of the business himself and the victim is not satisfied with the decision of the committee or feels that the committee cannot do justice, he or she can go to the Federal Ombudsperson. Victims can also directly file their complaint at the ombudsperson.

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Student killed
Batkhela: A student was killed and two others sustained injuries when students quarrelled in a local school on Wednesday, sources said. The sources said that Mazhar and Rizwan, two students of a private academy, exchanged harsh words over a minor issue and attacked each other with knives and iron bars. In the meantime, another student Farhan tried to stop them from fighting but he sustained critical injuries in the process. He was rushed to the Agency Tehsil Headquarters Hospital in Batkhela where he succumbed to injuries. Father of the deceased, Ayub Khan lodged the case with the Malakand Levies without charging anyone in his report. However, both the injured students escaped from the scene. The news

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