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UHS entry test result | World Literacy Day

UHS announces entry test result
Lahore, Sep 13: The University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Sunday announced the result of the entrance test 2014 for admission to medical and dental colleges of Punjab.

According to a UHS spokesperson, a total of 44,243 candidates took the entrance test on August 31, out of which 19,231 scored 60 percent and above marks. All three positions were bagged by girls. Ayesha Akhter d/o Muhamad Akhter from Faisalabad got first position securing 1076/1100 marks whereas Sana Shahid d/o Muhammad Shahid of Lahore and Marium Rafiq d/o Rafiq Ahmed of Sahiwal bagged second and third position by securing 1072 and 1070 marks respectively. Over 6,377 scored 50 to 59 percent whereas 6,395 candidates secured 40 to 49 percent marks. A total of 12,240 candidates scored less than 40 percent marks. According to Pakistan Medical and Dental Council's regulations, the pass/fail criterion has been abolished for the medical colleges' entrance test. The eligible candidates will compete for 3,405 MBBS and 216 BDS seats in 20 public sector medical and dental colleges respectively. Admission forms for government medical and dental colleges will be available from September 23 to October 2. All candidates who have secured 82 per cent and above aggregate marks according to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council's formula will be eligible to apply for admission on an open merit basis.

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Matric suppl exam postponed
Lahore: In the wake of flood in different parts of the province and heavy rains, all the nine Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISEs) of Punjab have postponed Secondary School (Matriculation) Supplementary Examinations 2014. The examination earlier scheduled to commence from September 9 will now begin from September 20 across the province. Revised roll number slips will be available online soon. The news

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World Literacy Day passes almost unnoticed
Lahore: Where Pakistan stands at the bottom of literacy rate ranking among South Asian countries, the World Literacy Day passed almost unnoticed as not even a single ceremony was held across the city on government level on Monday.

The UNESCO proclaimed September 8 as International Literacy Day on November 17, 1965 and the day was first observed in 1966. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. Each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally.

According to a report issued by Alif Ailaan (a non-government campaign to promote literacy), literacy rate in Pakistan is 60 percent, which is lowest in South Asia. While the country goes through a political crisis of transition, education once again takes a back seat, falling low on the list of political priorities.

However, according to the definition of literacy used in Pakistan, a person who can merely sign his or her name is considered to be literate. As such, official literacy rate does not provide an accurate measure of reading and writing ability among the population.

Equally distressing are the figures of literacy among young people aged 15-24. Compared to other countries in the region, Pakistan fares poorly with youth literacy at a mere 70.7 percent. On the other hand, Maldives boasts an impressive 99.3 percent youth literacy, followed by Sri Lanka (98.2 percent), Nepal (82.4 percent), India (81.1 percent), Bangladesh (78.7 percent) and Bhutan (74.4 percent).

Currently, the net enrolment rate in primary school is as low as 56 percent, meaning that nearly half of all children, who should begin school, fail to do so. What is even more shocking is that enrolment falls at subsequent levels of education, with elementary school enrolment at 20 percent and secondary school enrolment at just 12 percent. This means that a majority of even those children, who are enrolled in school, fails to complete their education.

Alif Ailaan Campaign Director Mosharraf Zaidi in a statement on the World Literacy Day said that literacy was the ability to read and write, and the way it was measured in Pakistan was "very, very limited."

"Even there, we have one of the world's lowest literacy rates. Year after year, we lament this fact. Yet our progress has been painfully slow. We are shamelessly allowing illiteracy to continue in this country. Where is the protest against this abomination?" he said.

He went on to say that male literacy in Pakistan stands at 71 percent but female literacy is shockingly low, at just 48 percent. "This gender disparity needs to be addressed on an emergency footing," he stressed.

"Pakistan's fabled demographic dividend will amount to very little if public policy doesn't urgently begin to address the massive gap in quality education for our children," Zaidi added.

He said that no amount of income support or youth loans programmes could cover up the desperate lack of confidence and capacity in our young people. "Pakistan owes its children and youth a better deal than this," he added.

He said that with 25 million children out of school, the crisis continues to worsen, while it is critically important to ensure that no Pakistani child remains out of school, it is equally important to improve the quality of education we offer in our schools. Without more effective teachers and better learning outcomes, Pakistan would continue to produce 'literate' individuals lacking the basic skills necessary to be productive citizens, he asserted.

In connection with the World Literacy Day, Excise, Taxation and Finance Minister Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman has said that Rs 274 billion would be spent in Punjab on education sector during the current fiscal year, which amount was 26.25 percent of the total budget of the province. He maintained that the country of 190 million people, Pakistan has a vibrant economy; our growth rate is 7 percent; and our population rate is under 2 percent and this makes South Asia as the only large economic area that shall not face a decline in the number of people entering the labour force for the next 50 years, whereas future is ours.

Mujtaba that the Punjab government has recruited 75,000 educators last year and 80,000 more would be recruited within a few months to accomplish the target of touching 100% literacy rate in the province.

He commended the vision of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for launching distribution schemes of free laptops and solar lamps to appreciate brilliant students. "This will also help reduce dropout rate in schools of far-flung areas of the province," he added.

He further revealed that the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) has given assent to provide a grant in aid to the tune of Rs 351 million to construct 15,000 additional classrooms and one additional classroom for each public sector school having deficient facilities.

With regard to the World Literacy Day, the Punjab Literacy and Non-formal Basic Education Department has, however, scheduled a ceremony today (Tuesday) where Education and Law Minister Rana Mashood will be the chief guest. Daily times

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Govt fails to ensure uniformity in admission
Lahore: The Punjab government seems helpless in controlling the unbridled working of private sector colleges and universities just like its failure to regulate the affairs of private schools in the absence of any regulatory authority over the years.

This helplessness is evident from the ongoing admission offers by private colleges across the province. At a time when all the nine boards of intermediate and secondary education (BISEs) have yet to declare the results of Intermediate Annual Examinations 2014, some private colleges have already completed admissions for undergraduate programmes and asking students to deposit dues. The boards across Punjab will declare the results on September 12.

Though stakeholders are also concerned about holding of entry tests for admissions to medical and engineering institutes prior to declaration of intermediate results by the BISEs yet they find the same 'tolerable' in the wake of massive exercise behind these admissions through entry test system.

It is pertinent to mention that some private colleges and universities have already completed their admissions for undergraduate programmes and the students granted "provisional" admissions, since they are awaiting their results, have been directed to deposit tuition fee, admission charges and others at the earliest.

On the other hand, public sector colleges and universities have been waiting for the declaration of results to start the undergraduate admissions.

In the past, both private and public colleges and universities used to start admission process after declaration of the results by the BISEs. However for the last few years, the private institutes started offering admissions to students on provisional basis leaving little options for the students, who failed to secure admissions in government-run institutions, but to apply.

A citizen, Syed Hamadullah Sohail Advocate, said it was unfortunate that the government failed to ensure a uniform admission policy. He said his son, though awaiting intermediate result, had secured admission at a private college despite the fact that results had not been announced so far.

According to him, this situation is quite perplexed for his son and hundreds of other students like him as the private colleges have been demanding submission of fees and admission charges. He suggested that even if the private institutions completed admission process they should be directed by the government not to collect fees until the results were declared.

Another citizen Atif Mahmood said there was great confusion among students as they did not have many options. He was of the view that once the students submitted fees and other charges but could not pass the intermediate exams the situation would become more complex as they had to make "useless" efforts for the refund. "Ideally all the colleges should announce admissions only after the declaration of results", he said, adding, "In such a scenario the students will be in a better position to select the institutions of their choice keeping in view affordability issues as well." Academic circles believe that since for the past many years all the nine BISEs in Punjab announce the results simultaneously so it is also doable for the government to ensure uniformity in admission process.

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LCWU abolishes test for MPhil
Lahore: Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) Lahore has waived GAT of for admissions in MS/MPhil programmes at the varsity. A spokesperson of the LCWU said on Sunday, the LCWU would conduct its own entrance test and interviews. The university has started admission in MS/MPhil and PhD programmes for the academic and the admissions forms are available from the campus and will be received from September 8 to September 12.

Similarly, the spokesperson said admission prospectus were available in the campus for 41 BS disciplines for which admissions forms would be received after the declaration of results of Intermediate Annual Examination 2014 by education boards in Punjab.

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Govt schools to get 23,000 new classrooms
Lahore: Planning and Budget Deputy Secretary at the School Education Department Qaiser Rasheed has said that 23,000 new classrooms will be constructed in public schools of 16 districts of Punjab during the next three years.

Speaking at an event related to upcoming survey of Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) on Saturday, he said DFID would provide a funding of 105 million for the purpose. ASER Director Programmes Baela Raza Jamil and other educationists were also present on the occasion.

Qaiser Rasheed also said the Punjab government was opening 500 schools on public private partnership in 24 districts, adding that 21,000 schoolteachers would also be recruited to meet the shortage of teachers at government schools.

Baela Raza said ASER 2014 survey would be conducted by specifically trained 10,000 volunteers covering 145 rural and 22 urban districts in Pakistan. She said it was the largest citizen-led household-based initiative that aimed to fill a gap in the learning outcomes and provide reliable estimates on the schooling status of children aged 5-16 years residing in the rural districts of Pakistan.

She said since 2008, ASER findings were influencing education sector planning in the post-18th Amendment phase and also being referenced for policies, planning, strategies and the legislation on the right to education and learning as per Article 25 A.

UET results: University of Engineering and Technology (UET) has announced the results of Combined Entrance Test for Admission in Engineering Institutions of Punjab for BSc Engineering and BS Technology.

According to details, the result of Combined Entrance Test is available on web link http://admission.uet.edu.pk. UET spokesperson said the prospectus, however, will be available after the announcement of FSc result by the examination boards. The news

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