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NWFP contract teachers | Cadet colleges' entrance examinations

Contract teachers want their services regulated
Peshawar, April 14, 2008: Contract lecturers and subject specialists (SS) from various education institutions have demanded the regularisation of their services on the existing seats.

Representing the Contract Lecturers and SS Association NWFP, Hafiz Naveed Akhtar told a news conference here on Saturday that around 300 teachers were appointed on a contract basis in 2005.

Three years: Despite the passage of three years, he said, their salaries were still the same Rs 9,132 per month as they had been in 2005, while inflation has soared by more than 200 percent during the same period.

Later, in an interview, Naveed Akhtar and his colleagues Hasan Khan and Hafiz Javaid Khan said the provincial government requires 400 SS and 600 lecturers to fill vacant posts in different boys and girls' colleges and higher secondary schools.

They said the government should appoint contract SS and lecturers to the vacant positions, as the Public Service Commission was unable to meet the demand because of its lengthy recruitment procedure, which usually takes at least three years.

Lamenting the 'step-motherly' attitude of the higher education department towards the contract teachers, they said the policy, which was suggested during the last government of Nawaz Sharif (1997-9), was presently in place only in the NWFP while the other three federating units had not implemented it at all.

The teachers' representatives said their contract was renewed every six months, a process involving a gap of two days. "This is also uncalled for as we've been serving in permanent seats for over three years and it is our right to be regularised in the same slots," they demanded.

This procedure, the added, was not only bad for the students but also discouraging for the educators who always remain in limbo about their future. Some of them have already passed the age limit to the sit the Public Service Commission exam.

They demanded of the government that as they had been appointed against regular seats, their service should be regularised in the same positions. At the same time, if the government did not want to regularise the teachers on their positions, they asked that their contract period should be extended for at least three years.

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FATA students sit cadet colleges' entrance examinations
Peshawar: Around 5,000 students, including 127 girls, from seven Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) agencies and six frontier regions (FRs) sat the entrance tests held on Sunday for admissions into cadet colleges and 'elite educational institutions' of the country on scholarships reserved for FATA students.

The scholarship programme for FATA students is being supported by the 'Quality Educational Opportunities for the Students of FATA and Balochistan under President's Directives', officials conducting the test said.

Aging between 12 and 14 years, students from the insurgency-plagued FATA were accompanied by their parents and elders who waited outside the Khyber Medical College (KMC) ground in large numbers.

Parents: "We are here to equip our children with quality education and not weapons and suicide jackets," said Ali Said from Bajaur Agency, where the militants are challenging the writ of the state.

Standing beside his 13-year-old son Noor Khalid, who recently passed the class VII examination from Banaur High School, Said said they had travelled hundreds of miles to reach Peshawar the night before with the hope of seeing his son admitted in a standard educational institution.

Mukarram Shah, a 14-year-old student from Mir Ali area of the troubled North Waziristan region, said that situation was not favourable for education in their area. He said, "Schools often remain close due to clashes between army and locals and we can't go to our school without fear of being killed or kidnapped."

"I will be very luck if I get admission into any of the cadet colleges," he added.

Quality Educational Opportunities for the Students of FATA and Balochistan Assistant Director Ejazur Rehman said that 28 FATA students would be selected purely on merit for admissions into cadet colleges and elite educational institutions of the country.

He said that the programme would bear all the expenses, ranging between Rs 120,000 to 150,000 per year/per student, for five years. "The programme will be responsible for education of the selected students from class VIII to FA/FSc," he added.

Scholarships: Giving further details of the programme, Rehman said that 330 students from Balochistan and the FATA were given admissions into cadet colleges and elite educational institutions on scholarships every year.

The test was held by the Educational Testing and Evaluation Authority (ETEA), an autonomous body responsible for holding entrance tests for engineering universities and medical colleges. ETEA Executive Director Abdul Rauf Jamil said that they were outsourced to conduct the test. Last year the test was also held by ETEA in Jamrud. However, the venue was moved to Peshawar this year due to security threats.

"This is the best programme to bring reforms to the FATA," said 48-year-old Hussain Badshah from Sadda, Kurram Agency, whose son was sitting in the test.

Kifayatullah, a student of New Iqra Public School Wana, South Waziristan, said that he wanted to be educated in a quality institution. "I like the army and I want to join a cadet college to work for my country," said the teenager. He added that the security situation in their area did not allow them to advance in life. The present educational process was started in 2007 under directives by President Pervez Musharraf to spread education in the FATA. Officials say that the programme will continue until 2016. As 330 students are selected every year, the number of students during the 10-year programme (from 2007 till 2016) from FATA and Balochistan will reach 3,300. Daily Times

IJT demands withdrawal of UMO 2002
Quetta: The chief of Islami Jamiat Tulba Pakistan, Mr Atiqur Rehman, has called upon the government to repeal the University Model Ordinance 2002 and withdraw the increase in the admission fee of the Balochistan University.

He said at a press conference here on Sunday that the Musharraf government had promulgated the ordinance in 2002, but because of stiff resistance from teachers and students it could not be enforced in the Punjab University, Peshawar University and Karachi University. He said that in 2004 former governor of Balochistan Owais Ahmed Ghani promulgated the ordinance in the Balochistan University despite the fact that the Academic Staff Association of the university had stated that if the UMO could not be enforced in Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi why was it being imposed on the Balochistan University. Dawn
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