Studying in female universities
What it is like to study in an all-female university
Rawalpindi, Sep 10: According
to a famous African proverb, If you teach a boy, you educate an individual; but
if you teach a girl, you educate a community. Educating women is vital for the
growth and progress of a society. One cannot expect a nation to prosper in today
s competitive world if its women are left behind.
Pakistan has around
132 universities that are imparting quality education to students. Most of these
institutions follow the co-education system. However, Fatima Jinnah Women
University (FJWU), being the first institution of its kind for females, has
played a pivotal role in women s emancipation by offering educational facilities
in an environment conducive to learning. The university has paved paths for them
to achieve a brighter future.
The learning environment be it
co-education or any other system has a substantial impact on students. Students
of FJWU expressed different opinions regarding the pros and cons of studying in
a female-oriented environment.
Aqsa, a student of B.ECO at FJWU says, I
got admitted to this university, not because it is a women s institution but
because it is well-reputed, provides an environment that is comfortable and
competitive, and enables students to pursue their courses without fear or
Being part of a patriarchal society, there are certain
stereotypes attached to women s behaviour, and they are often subjected to
constant reminders by their elders that they are women and are supposed to act
Ayesha Khalid, a student of BCA shared her views, In a culture
like ours, such institutions are important as girls need to have at least one
place where they get to be who they want to be, and explore themselves more
openly and freely.
There are still some established cultural and
traditional norms in our society, and one of the most common issues that women
come across is parents reluctance to send their daughters to study in the same
institutions as men.
Aisha Siddiqua, a student of English department
believes that such institutions are a ray of hope for women who are bound by
social restrictions, and in their absence, would remain deprived of the joys of
university life. You can act up to your utmost potential without any hesitation.
You feel more confident and your self-respect is untainted...I can study with
more concentration than anywhere else...Moreover, parents feel apprehensive
about our future; they shudder at the thought of their girls studying with males
and this is largely because of the societal pressure, Ayesha said.
Mehmood, a former student of FJWU, believes that one of the drawbacks of
studying in such institutions is lack of confidence while interacting with men.
I feel that I am not competent enough to work with men and mostly feel hesitant
talking to male peers and colleagues as I was so used to my university
environment, she said.
Hafsa of Bachelors Communication Sciences
disagreed with this notion. We do get an opportunity to interact with men as
there is an organized system at FJWU, according to which it is compulsory for
every student to pursue community work and a 6-week internship which develops
confidence in them and gives them enough exposure and knowhow of their
professional workplace, she pointed out.
Maria Kafil from the English
Department believes that there are instances when even co-education cannot
develop confidence in women. I have studied in co-education for 12 years and
could not perform well; I was shy. I opted for an all-girls medium for my
bachelors in a government college. Believe me, the experience and the contrast
between the two mediums compelled me to seek admission in FJWU, she
On the whole, students studying at FJWU are contented with the
environment and the academia. Such institutions have helped women in overcoming
the many barriers that they have to face in their academic lives. Moreover, the
education provided by these institutions helps women to excel in both their
professional as well as domestic lives. If institutions like these will cease to
exist, then we as a nation and a country as a whole will suffer irreparable
(The writers are students of the Fatima Jinnah Women University,
Rawalpindi). The news
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Students of CMT clinch top positions
Islamabad: Students of the College of Medical Technology (CMT) being run by the National Institute
of Health (NIH) have achieved record-breaking distinctions, clinching eight out
of the top 10 positions in the HSSC-MLT annual examination 2011 conducted by the
Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education.
details, the first three positions also went to the same college with Farasat
Mehmood obtaining first position with 836 marks, two students Tariq Mehmood and
Muhammad Waqas obtained 797 marks each and securing second positions, 12
students obtaining 709 and above marks whereas eight students obtained 660 and
Similarly, students of the college appearing for BSc (Hons)
Allied Health Sciences (MLT Specialty) Mid-Comprehensive Examination 2010
conducted by the King Edward Medical University, Lahore, have secured six out of
top 10 positions including the first position. Rabia Fatima clinched the first
position by obtaining 464 marks while two students Bibi Khadeeja and Imran
Yaseen obtained 455 and 447 marks respectively and secured the third and fourth
According to a spokesman, CMT is a prestigious institute
imparting quality training in its work field since 1961. Being a pioneer
institute in this field, the college has been affiliated with Federal Board of
Intermediate and Secondary Education and King Edward Medical
Lahore for HSSC MLT and BSc (Hons) programmes.
The spokesman added that
students qualifying from this college are serving in various institutes of the
country and abroad, especially in Middle East countries.
The college is
producing technical human resource as students have exposure to new and advanced
techniques in the field of Medical Laboratory Technology and are provided with
opportunity for hands-on training in the laboratories of NIH.
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A college fights for survival
Rawalpindi: While the Punjab government continues boasting
about establishment of Danish School System to make quality education accessible
to the poor; the only college in the backward Kahuta tehsil is at verge of
closure due to financial constraints.
Established in 1964, the college is the only institution catering to areas
from tehsil Kotli Sattian to Dhadial and Hular bridge to Sihala police station
inhabited by over a million people. The college has always clinched good
position in the examinations held under the Punjab University.
Being near Khan Research Laboratory (KRL), the Punjab government was some
years back asked to hand over the college to KRL due to its sensitive location.
However, finally it was decided that the college would be run by a board of
governors consisting of both Punjab government and the KRL officials.
Nuclear scientist Dr A. Q. Khan was the first chairman of the BoG from 1996
to 2002 and according to the college staff, he would make hefty contributions to
the college every year. They said it was the golden period of the college when
Dr Khan headed the BoG.And until last year, the Punjab government also continued
releasing Rs6.2 million quarterly for the uplift and salaries of the college
staff. However, this year the provincial government drastically reduced the
quarterly budget to Rs1.5 million only. As a result, teachers of the college
have not been paid salaries for the last two months. The teachers said they had
to borrow money for Eidul Fitr.
"The latest situation is that, the Punjab government has asked us to generate
funds by increasing tuition fees to meet the college's expenses. We have
increased the fees but without the help of the government we cannot run the
college and ultimately it has to be closed," Principal of the college Prof
Shabbir Raja said.
"We are already charging each student Rs6,000 annually and we cannot further
jack up the fee and burden the poor people. The college cannot survive in the
current situation," he maintained.
With 60 teaching staff and over 1,000 students, including 300 females; the
college has a covered area of 400 kanals having four playgrounds, an auditorium
and a laboratory.
The service structure of the teachers is also not promising and they are not
even entitled to any pension. Last year, one of the teachers died of heart
attack and the government refused to release his pension. Later, a court of law
ordered the government to pay Rs500,000 to his family.
Dr Arshad Miraj, a teacher of the college, told this reporter that the
government was deliberately closing the institution in order to replace it with
Danish School. He regretted that thousands of students in the rural area would
suffer if the institution was closed. "There is no fund for the maintenance and
repair work. The college is presenting a pathetic look and teachers are
switching over to other jobs. We have informed the authorities concerned about
the situation but so far have not received any positive response," he said.
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Teachers refuse to perform additional duty
Rawalpindi: The teachers serving in government schools all over Punjab have refused to accept
additional duty regarding corrections in lists of voters on the call of their
respective associations and unions. According to them, the decision to this
effect has been taken in the best interest of students, who have to suffer due
to absence of teachers from schools.
Teachers Association President Sagheer Alam confirmed that on the directives of
the Punjab government, the concerned city district administrations have assigned
additional duties regarding correction in lists of voters to teachers serving in
He said that the additional duties were assigned a
couple of days ago to more than 10,000 teachers. As a result of the step,
students, both boys and girls, have to suffer and due to teachers absence the
attendance ratio dropped significantly.
It merits mentioning here that
around five months ago the government had assigned census duties to teachers and
at that time too students had to suffer.
This is highhandedness of the
government. Moreover, immediately after the end of duties of correction in lists
of voters, a plan has been finalised to depute teachers on the duty of
population census from October 10 this year, Sagheer Alam
Instead of deputing teachers on additional duties, he said, this
work could have been taken from them during summer vacation, which would not
have affected studies of students.
The APTA office-bearers have decided
to boycott additional duties and a decision in this regard would be finalised in
a meeting today (Saturday), which would be attended by teachers from all over
the province, he added.
The APTA president said that if the concerned
administrations would take action against teachers during the boycott of duties
then they would start a protest movement.
On the other hand, Commissioner
(Rawalpindi) Captain (r) Zahid Saeed, commenting over the issue, confirmed that
teachers have been assigned additional duties regarding correction in lists of
voters. He also agreed that studies of students would be affected due to this
step. However, the commissioner cleared that duties have been assigned in
pursuance of the orders of the Supreme Court to Election Commission of Pakistan
to correct the lists of voters before the next general elections. The election
commissioner has issued directions to the concerned district administrations for
kicking off the work in this regard. We could have deputed teachers on duties
during summer vacation, but the verdict of the apex court has been passed
recently. The district administrations, headed by commissioners, then passed on
the orders to the concerned education directorates for initiating work on it, he
stated. Anyhow, additional allowance is paid to teachers for doing extra duties
and only 50% of staff is assigned work, the commissioner clarified.
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SZABIST holds orientation for new students
Islamabad: An orientation ceremony for the new students of the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) for the session 2011-12 was held
at the Islamabad campus to provide students with the smooth and helpful
transition into university life.
SZABIST (Islamabad campus) Director
Syed Asad Hussain in his address welcomed the new students.
said that SZABIST has always focused on quality education. During the last few
years our students have shown excellent performances and are serving in leading
national and international organizations, he added. There was a question and
answer session with the students after the address. The news
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