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SSC-II examinations conclude | Teachers illegally appointed

SSC-II examinations conclude amid prolonged power cuts
Karachi, April 23: The Secondary School Certificate Part-II (Class X) Science and General groups annual examination concluded on Wednesday amid power cuts and reports of cheating at various exam centres.

Frequent power outages with each spell lasting 60-90 minutes during the three-hour paper time caused disturbance and affected the performance of candidates at different centres in the persisting hot and sultry weather.

The Class IX General group examinations ended on Tuesday while the last paper of the Class IX Science group is scheduled for Thursday.

An official of the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) said that vigilance teams of the board detected 24 cases of use of unfair means in the exams on Wednesday.

Independent sources in the BSEK said that at some centres, invigilators not only allowed candidates to use unfair means but also gave some extra time to certain candidates in violation of the board's rules.

They said that most such complaints had been received from the centres set up in the densely populated localities and on the outskirts of the city.

Reshuffle likely
A big reshuffling is expected to take place in the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) in a few days in the light of a report submitted to Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad by a two-member committee set up by him to inquire into the affairs of the board.

The committee was formed by the governor, who heads the public sector educational boards of Sindh, following incidents of rampant cheating in examinations and discovery of an illegal exam centre recently.

Services of the three top BSEK officials the secretary, controller of examinations and deputy controller of examinations have already been terminated while action under the Removal of Services Act is currently under way against two assistant controllers of examinations and one system analyst.

The inquiry committee comprised the governor's adviser, Yousuf Jamal and Sindh Board of Technical Education Chairman Prof Saeed Siddiqui.

Sources said that the Governor's House secretariat had delayed appointment of permanent officials on the positions that had fallen vacant after sacking of the three officials to avoid any administrative problems in the midst of the SSC examinations. The arrangement to ensure smooth holding of the examination were made on an ad hoc basis.

The sources said that the governor had already ordered formation of a task force to make the examination system transparent. Besides a "monitoring cell" and "reform cell" had been set up in the Governor's House to exclusively deal with the affairs of the educational boards in the province, the sources added. Dawn

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Exam monitoring cell to be set up at Governor House
Karachi: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan has approved a 'Monitoring, Implementation and Reform (MIR) Cell' at the Governor House to ensure transparent functioning of examination boards across the province.

Decisions about examination centres will be approved by the Governor's Education Secretariat. Websites will be made effective, displaying all the relevant data, and public complaints will be facilitated by the MIR Cell, it has been learnt.

Sources at the Governor's Education Secretariat said that several proposals were conveyed to the governor for his consideration at a meeting recently. Through a detailed presentation, the governor was informed about the mass irregularities committed in secondary and intermediate education boards. He was also briefed about the changing of examination centres and use of unfair means during the exams.

At the end of the presentation he was given several proposals for consideration, including the MIR Cell. The governor approved the establishment of Cell while all other proposals and Terms of Reference (ToRs) are under consideration and are expected to be approved soon, sources said.

They further said that Khan had taken serious notice of media reports regarding cheating in the SSC examination this year and the irregularities committed in examination boards especially at the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK).

It was proposed at the meeting that relevant committees should be activated and should start functioning as per rules. In the past, the Governor House was not directly involved as far as vigilance was concerned due to which it was difficult to monitor the performance of vigilance officers. It was decided that for the constitution of vigilance committees, a final list should be presented for approval to the controlling authority or monitoring unit.

The same procedure should be adopted for change of examination centres and no change of examination centres should be allowed without routing through the Governor's Secretariat.

Sources further said that MIR Cell will also act as a complaint centre for students, parents, teachers and the media for registering complaints regarding the boards and examination centres.

Mass level irregularities were reported in scrutiny process and incompetent students were getting high scores through scrutiny by paying bribes. To avoid this in the future, it was proposed that complete results along with subject details should be available on the website of the examination board concerned. Additionally, scrutiny forms should also be available on the webpage and requests for scrutiny should be entertained only through the educational institutions concerned.

Moreover, Scrutiny results, enrolment numbers, examination centre and final subject-wise results should be available on the website.

The Governor House did not have any manual records thus it was easier for corrupt officials to manipulate results directly on computers. For that matter it was proposed that besides computer tabulation, manual tabulations should also be done and the records should be available at the Governor House.

Cases of impersonation were also reported to have increased manifold and fake candidates were said to have taken exams instead of the originally enrolled candidates. In order to stop cases of impersonation, it was suggested that computerized admit cards should be issued to prevent duplication of photographs being pasted on different admit cards. For this purpose services of NADRA can be utilized, it was suggested.

It was also proposed that since students face problems in getting their forms verified, their schools should be authorized to verify these forms. Sources said that the MIR Cell will work towards ensuring systems of transparency and for liaising with stakeholders such as students, schools and teachers' associations. They further said that it will take new initiatives to improve the functioning of the boards and ensure financial and administrative controls.

It will oversee the change of examination centres, the composition of vigilance teams and will develop a framework for quality improvements through interaction with other examination boards such as the Aga Khan University Education Board and the Oxbridge Board.

They also said that MIR Cell will act as a neutral sounding board for student complaints and concerns and submit regular reports to the Sindh governor, the controlling authority. All these ToRs are under consideration of the governor and final ToRs are expected to be decided soon.

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Teachers appointed without appearing for test
Karachi: An inquiry team of the Education Department visited a secondary school to investigate a case whereby nine teachers were illegally appointed prior to the test that would start from April 24.

It has been learnt through reliable sources that a four-member inquiry team, headed by the Deputy-District Officer, Education (Secondary), Arshad Khan, visited The Government Boys Secondary School, Keamari, on Wednesday to probe the case of fake appointments of nine teachers.

The team has been constituted to probe the case of illegal appointments on the directives of the Board of Secondary Education after the publishing of a story relating to fake appointments of teachers.

The team inquired into the fake appointments. It is learnt through reliable sources that some teachers admitted before the committee that there were two muster rolls in the school, one was meant for the attendance of old teachers and the second one for the newly-appointed ones. However, they refused to give their comments in writing in this regard. This has been revealed that only one teacher gave his statement in writing to the inquiry team.

The former headmaster (HM) of the school, G.M Memon, who handed over charge to another HM some days ago, refused to accept the presence of the two muster rolls. When inquired as to who were those teachers who had been given classes, he said they were voluntarily teaching the students.

He also informed the team that a few teachers came to his school for joining. He said those teachers had only offer letters in their possession. Offer letter is issued for the confirmation of medical fitness before the appointment against some posts.

However, in this case, the sources informed this scribe, even the offer letters were also bogus as last recruitment for teachers were made some eight months ago.

The team inquired from the headmaster as to why the names of some new teachers were enrolled on the board of the school and why they were given classes. He was reportedly of the view that they were only volunteers and nothing else.

The team further inquired how volunteers could be given classes in a government school, it has been further learnt.

Interestingly the HM failed to manage a meeting with the teachers who were voluntarily teaching for about a month-and-a-half month when the team asked him to do so. According to sources the HM told the team that he had no addresses with him. The team also inquired from the students about the teachers who were illegally appointed. It is learnt that the management of the school has started using its influence to stop this inquiry. When we tried its level best to contact EDO Education to get his views on the story but he could not be contacted despite several attempts.

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7,700 schools closed in Sindh
Islamabad: Around 7,700 government schools are closed in province Sindh and 12,138 do not have a roof. This means roughly five million children are not going to school even though school staff and teachers are being paid salaries, a private tele-vision channel reported on Wednesday. Tharparkar is the district where 1,555 schools are close. Local landlords have taken over some schools as their personal gathering place. In Badin, 1,149 schools are closed and in Karachi only 84 schools are closed in the city. Sindh has 42,000 educatio-nal institutions out of which 3,700 are in Karachi alone. The News

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Teachers seek funds for KU
Karachi: Teachers at the University of Karachi have demanded of the Sindh government to provide funds to the university, which has been facing a financial crisis after the Higher Education Commission introduced cuts in its allocated budget.

The Karachi University Teachers' Society (Kuts), a representative body of KU teachers, in a statement has said that every year an amount was shown in the university budget as 'expected grant' from the Sindh government, but that grant was never actually paid.

"Considering the financial crisis which the university has been facing for over a year, it is time the Sindh government make a contribution of at least Rs5 million every month to help continue research activities," the statement said.

Prof Dr Shakeel Farooqi, secretary Kuts and member KU finance committee, said that the Sindh government should also take a cue from the Punjab government, which had increased the PhD allowance from Rs5,000 to Rs10,000 per month.

"Teachers receive an amount of Rs5,000 monthly as PhD allowance from the HEC and not from the Sindh government. In fact, the university never received any financial help from the provincial government," he said, adding that the present unrest among students was also related to lack of facilities on the campus.

"Well-equipped labs, modern libraries, efficient transport system and better sports facilities are essentials to create a conducive academic environment at any university. The government should also pay attention to public safety issues on the campus and provide funds for that."

Black day

Responding to a call by the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations to observe a black day, teachers wore black arm-bands at KU to protest against the HEC's failure in providing sufficient grants to universities on time across Pakistan, thus hampering their progress.

Task force set up

KU vice-chancellor Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim announced on Wednesday the setting up of a task force to address the chronic transport problem. He was talking to a group of journalists.

He said the university administration would contact the provincial and city governments, the KU alumni and expatriates to resolve the transport problem.

"At least 80 buses are required to meet the needs of 24,000 students. The university has already given orders for the purchase of new buses to two companies which have been asked to provide buses on discount rates. The university would seek the help of well-to-do people in this regard," he said.

Meanwhile, attendance continued to remain thin at KU and few classes were held. Dawn

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Publishers bemoan rampant book
Karachi: As countries around the world celebrate World Book and Copyright Day today, the representatives of booksellers and publishers say that the people associated with the book publishing industry in Pakistan are as badly affected by intellectual piracy as their international counterparts.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) advocates celebration of the World Book and Copyright Day on April 23 among UN member states to promote reading and publishing practices among their people, and protection of intellectual property in the shape of printed material through copyright laws.

University of Karachi (KU) Library and Information Science department is organising a seminar to commemorate the World Book and Copy Right Day at the university in collaboration with Pakistan Library Association and Applied Economics Research Centre.

Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers Association Sindh and Balochistan Zone Chairman Khawar Iftikhar called book piracy a major economic and trade scandal for the country, and said that it is discouraging books' authors, printers and publishers from undertaking new projects related to their respective trades. He asserted that those involved in book piracy do exploit every opportunity, and brazenly publish pirated versions of those books that are in great demand. He added that the application of copyright-related laws has always been a complicated and troublesome affair for publishers, and there are is a lack of existing laws that can serve as deterrence against those engaged in piracy.

Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers Association Convenor of Publishers' Standing Committee Aziz Khalid pointed out that the non-implementation of laws related to the protection of copyrights of published material is having a strongly negative affect on the business of local publishers, and added that another consequence of this non-observance is that writers and publishers do not enjoy lawful rights over their intellectual material. He further said that the books published for educational and academic purposes, especially those related to school education including books prescribed for the Cambridge education system, are largely pirated. He suggested that piracy of educational books is thriving as it is extremely lucrative due to their high demand.

Khalid also pointed out that local publishers, when faced with pirated version of their publications, lack the resources to take legal and judicial recourse against those involved. He stressed that the police authorities are under obligation to provide due legal and law-enforcement assistance to book publishers and sellers who want to bring a stop to the publishing and trade of pirated versions of their publications.

KU Library Science and Information Science department Chairperson Prof. Malahat Kaleem Sherwani said that piracy would not be controlled unless higher education students are provided easy access to books of their particular area of interest through public and academic libraries. She further said that international book publishing houses should award contracts to Pakistani book publishers for publication of foreign books in the country on relatively cheaper prices, particularly those related to specialised fields of higher education. She added that similar arrangements had been extremely successful in India due to which local publishers are also thriving whereas there are lesser instances of piracy of foreign books due to their availability at cheaper prices in the local market without any compromise on printing and publication qualities.

Prof. Sherwani opined that Pakistani book publishers also have the requisite technical expertise and capabilities to get franchise rights for lawful printing and publication of foreign books. She stated that from the publication point of view there should be no piracy of books, but until foreign publications are not available at affordable prices, the authorities and other concerned quarters would have no other option but to tolerate rampant instances of piracy. The News

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June-July fee..father's emotional plea
Karachi: Salam, Janab mera 2 childrens Hassan Mehmood & Marrium Mehmood Karachi Cambridge School (Campus-III) Ploat No. R-27, 5-C/3, North Karachi (Ph. 8241877) mai taleem hasil ker rehai thai meri residence bhi wahiper hai but aab mai nai examinations say 3 month pehlay school ko inform ker dia tha kai mai ghar shift ker raha hon final exam kay bad or is lia bacho ka last year hai jab January ki fees paid ki to card per june ki fees show ki gai or kaha giya kay january ki fees aap ada kerai gai isi tarha february ki fees paid ki to july ki fees cut ki gai mai nai bat ki kay jab mai school chor raha ho or Session bhi April 2009 ko khatam ho raha hai to phir june-july ki fees kyo li ja rahi hai jis per mujh sai kaha giya kay ya to rules hai hamarai bari mushkilo sai childrens kai exam lia giya magar result day ko result rok lia gia or kaha giya kai ya govt.ka rules hai kay june-july ki fees isi school mai aap ko paid kerni para gi or kafi badtamzi ki gai????

Mujha guide kiya jai kai new school mai admission kay time New School ki administration bhi mujh sai june-july ki fees mangti hai or jo school mai stop ker raha ho wo bhi to kiya ya Karachi Academy walai right per hai or mai kiya dono jaga june-july ki fees paid karo mujh final exam ki report card nahi di gai or mujh sai kaha giya hai kay aap jo ker saktai hai ker lai jis adalat mai jana hai chalai jai hamarai pass bhi lawyer ki kami nahi hum bhi aap ko dekh lai gai??

Mujhai guide kiya jai aik to ya kai mai kis kai pass jao? kaha apni application submitt karo? mera childrens ka saal zaya ho raha hai mai kisi or school mai admission nahi karwa sakta jab tak reports cards mujh nahi milti pls guide kiya jai Please app ki thori si help mujhai tension sai nikal dai gi. thanks - Asif Mehmood by email at

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