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SSC courses incomplete.. students seek special concessions

SSC courses incomplete... exams few days away
Karachi, April 7, 2008: With only few days left for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Part I and II 2008 annual examinations, the course in the State-run educational institutions is yet to be completed. The reason for this is said to be a shortage of teachers for the subjects concerned, sources in the education department said.

Moreover, officials said, the education department failed to appoint teachers, while those who were given offer letters were not given postings at schools owing to "bureaucratic hurdles."

Meanwhile, students appearing in the exams (which commence April 15) would face a critical situation as the prescribed course was not been taught. Furthermore, officials said that the "75 per cent attendance of the candidate" rule which is a requirement for appearing in the exam was also not observed. A lot of teachers however, issued attendance certificates in exchange for money.

Parents and students are perturbed because it is impossible to complete the course within 10 days, and even private tutors cannot manage to pull this off. Of course, the fact that most students who go to government schools cannot afford private tuitions also stands.

It may be mentioned here that the previous provincial government had unofficially lifted the ban last year on the recruitment of teachers. Tests for primary school teachers for 9,000 posts were conducted throughout the province. More than 100,000 candidates appeared in these exams.

Results were also announced and offer letters were given on the basis of a "sharing formula," according to which the ruling party was given 60 percent of the vacancies, and its allied partner was given a 40-percent share. All of this went in vain, however, because in the end, posting orders were not issued.

The candidates who appeared in the exams for the post of primary school teachers had paid around Rs100 each through a bank draft. The money was not refunded.

Class IX, X students seek special concessions ahead of exams
Karachi: The students of class IX and X have reportedly sent a requisition to Sindh governor and newly elected provincial legislatures seeking concession in the forthcoming annual examination quoting various reasons, sources in the education department revealed.

The concessions, among others, were related to awarding two additional marks as were granted to the students by the governor last year owing to persistent load-shedding in the city.

In their demand, they submitted that this year the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) has resorted to more load-shedding. Besides this, they said, the city witnessed a major law and order situation last year, especially after the incident of October 18, when a PPP rally was hit by bomb blasts, which resulted in the closure of educational institutions for one week.

"The new academic session started on September 15 last, as summer holidays comprised of two-and-a-half-month previously, and the winter vacations were also extended from 15 days to 20 days officially. Besides this, the city observed 'un-official holidays' owing to various reasons and the prescribed syllabus could not be completed on time," they contended.

The schools remained opened virtually for four months against the official seven months.

The other reason behind seeking special consideration was that the entire teaching staff was engaged on election duties and teachers of schools, especially government schools, were on off for 15 days as they were busy in getting training related to polls. The News
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