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Farah Dogar's case again | Quetta educational institutions closed

Farah Dogar's case raises its head again
Islamabad, April 10: Following the inquiry report of the education ministry on the jacking up of marks of Farah Hameed Dogar and omission of provisions of the Islamic education from the education policy 2009, National Assembly standing committee on education chairman Abid Sher Ali has submitted a requisition to call the meeting of the committee on April 16 at 11am in the parliament house.

Abid Sher Ali, said the whole nation was shocked after hearing that provisions of the Islamic education have been removed from the education policy which was presented before the cabinet for approval.

He said the country was founded on the basis of Islamic ideology and appraising the youth of Islamic teachings, Qura'an and Hadith should have been the priority of the government but the incumbent government was continuing the policies of Pervez Musharraf to please the masters sitting in America.

He said Islam could not be removed from the lives of Muslims and the government must ensure that each student was taught enough of Islamic education during his education career. "While looking at the education policy it seems the government has nothing to do with Islam and the policies of Musharraf would continue," said the chairman, adding: "We condemn this act and would register our protest at every level while remaining within the parameters democracy."

He said an education policy which would have a balanced curriculum should have been drafted but unfortunately the current education policy did not carry the importance of Islamic education.

"Talking about the Farah Dogar issue, he said the education ministry has conducted an inquiry into the issue but no action was taken against the real culprits. He said Farah Dogar was rewarded with extra marks in violation of the rules and tens of thousands of students were affected from the act of the board.

"This issue is the top agenda of the committee and I want to know what the education ministry has done after the inquiry report," said the chairman. He was of the view had the media not highlighted Farah Dogar issue no one could have come to know about he misuse of authority and taking advantage of the chair by the top judicial officer. The News

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Educational institutions to remain closed on 10 & 11
Quetta: All the educational institutions would remain closed in Balochistan on April 10 and 11, 2009. According to an announcement of University of Balochistan all the ongoing examinations have been postponed and new dates for these examinations would be announced later. Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University and Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences would also remain closed for two days. Academic activities would start on Monday. According to an announcement of provincial education Minister Shafiq Ahmad Khan all the educational institutions in the province have been closed in view of present situation. Ppi

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Students updated on new UK visa rules
Rawalpindi: A seminar on 'New Student Visa Rules and Scholarship Opportunities in the UK' was held here on Thursday to provide students with complete and updated information about rules and procedures for securing admission in the UK universities.

The seminar was organised by Falcon Education and Consultancy Services (private) Limited (FECS) in which a large number of students, educationists and deans and directors of various institutions participated with great interest. The services of FECS are completely free for all students from Pakistan. These services were recognised by the government when Syed Abidi was awarded Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence) by the president of Pakistan in 2008.

While giving a presentation, FECS CEO Syed Abidi explained in detail through power point slides the changes made by the UK Border Agency, especially focusing on TIER 4 Student Visa, which has replaced the old system on March 31, 2009.

He said under the new TIER 4, students would be awarded 40 points to be successful for an adult student visa and universities in the UK would now be known as sponsors and would take full responsibility as a host for all overseas students divided in three categories, including adult students, child students and prospective students.

All students accepted by UK sponsors would be issued with a CAS or visa letter, which would carry 30 points and would be a must to apply for a visa, he said. However, he said, the students would have to satisfy the education providers that he or she is a bona-fide and genuine student both in academic and financial terms.

"The new system if implemented in true spirit will weed out non-genuine students and facilitate bona-fide students without the support of agents or consultants," he said.

Syed Abidi said in the new system, there is no need for providing six months bank statements or proof of property or assets and the student would be required to satisfy the ECO that they have sufficient funds to cover the cost of their courses. The tuition and living cost would be calculated as it has now been categorized on the basis of zones inside or outside London, he added. He also explained the responsibility and obligation of students when they arrive in the UK and stressed that the new points based system allows the university and UK Border Agency to monitor and keep a track of all overseas students, which has made it easier to track non-genuine students.

Replying to a question raised by a student, he said that the points based system would help students apply on their own without hiring the services of agents and consultants who earlier used to fleece and charge horrendous amount of fees for processing visas.

However, he expressed his reservations on the timeframe to process applications especially in the light of already running HUB and SPOKE Programme whereby hundreds of students last year suffered due to delay in processing of their applications.

To another question, he said if the university in UK is satisfied that the student has necessary command over English language and issues an offer letter then the high commission would not insist or compel to produce English proficiency certificate such as IELTS and TOEFL. He warned if any student submits fake work paper or gives false information it would bar him for ten years to apply to UK Border Agency for any kind of visa. In the end, he said, reputable consultants working for UK especially under Pakistan National Education Consultants Association (PNECA) should greatly benefit from points based system and should play a key role in improving the quality of applications.

Rakhshanda Khushal, director marketing (education) at the British Council, highly appreciated the presentation and said it was very well explained and the students should widely benefit in preparing their visa applications under the points based system. She also thanked the students for coming to the seminar and hoped that they would choose the UK as their destination.

The FECS, in partnership with UK universities, has so far awarded scholarships worth 35 million rupees to genuine and deserving students from Pakistan. The News

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Dr Hayward Alker IR library set up at QAU
Islamabad: A large number of students, teachers and intellectuals turned up at the inaugural ceremony of of Dr Hayward R Alker Library at the Department of International Relations Quaid-i-Azam University.

Hayward R Alker, an MIT alumnus and political scientist specialising in international relations had left a large share of internationally acclaimed books and research work to the Quaid-i-Azam university after his death in 2007.

It is Dr Tahir Amin Chairman International Relations department of QAU who was fortunate to be a direct student of the distinguished professor and kept him updated about the Pakistan's situation on the international front. This generated interest in the late scholar's heart about Pakistan and Pakistan's academia and he gave his word to Dr Tahir Amin that he would leave something valuable to his university and he kept his world. After his death his wife also donated hundreds of precious books for the said library.

A New York City native, Dr Alker was a leading scholar on international conflict resolution, widely respected for his integration of mathematical and humanistic research methods. His books include "Journeys Through Conflict" and "Mathematics and Politics."

Dr Tahir Amin Chairman International Relations department of QAU and Ijaz Shafi Gilani Chairman Gallop Pakistan also enlightened the students and faculty members with their memories.

Professor at Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Thomas J Biersteker Gasteyger, was the chief guest on the occasion.

He said that after the debacle of colonialism security, economy, ecology and community's issues have become the main challenges of the new world order in the 21st century.

Dr Thomas said that coexistence and relations among different cultures and civilizations were the great debates and concepts of the 21st century. He threw light on different world orders and their implication over international relations and international politics. He said, "With the passage of time world is realising the change in ecological relations and such other concepts subsequently."

Dr Tahir Amin said, "It is wrong to say that international relations are social studies of the United States of America." While recalling the pleasant memories and impressive way of life of Dr Hayward R Alker, DR Amin commented, "He was one of the best teachers of mine". "His kind-heartedness not only gave me advantages at MIT-USA but also everywhere around the world on many extents, he added. Dr Ijaz Shafi Gilani threw light on the life and qualities of the Dr Hayward R Alker. DR Shafi was of the view that DR Alker was a man of wide knowledge, as he was well aware of complexities of each subject from international relations to mathematics, physics, biology as well as had strong command over Philosophy. He further told that Dr Alker was a great as human being too.

During the tea session students and faculty members put up several questions to US scholar, Dr Biersteker, regarding US hostile policies towards Pakistan.

To a query, US scholar replied that the US would reconsider its drone attack policy, adding that such debates were underway in Washington to bring change in US policies, which earned hatred for his country. The Nation

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Rs5bn released for HEC
Islamabad: The government agreed on Thursday to release Rs5 billion to the cash-strapped Higher Education Commission to support its development projects for the current financial year.

The money to be released in a couple of days would be a great relief for the commission which was about to abandon some of its important projects.

At the beginning of financial year, the government earmarked over Rs18 billion for HEC's projects. It was later revised to Rs16.2 billion, but so far the commission has received only Rs8 billion although the financial year is in its final quarter.

The commission has shelved its future scholarship schemes under the Human Resource Development (HRD) project. Dawn

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UoP says 'cleansing drive' yielded results
Peshawar: The administration of the University of Peshawar claimed to have achieved desired success in the crackdown on outsiders living in the varsity hostels, saying, it had enabled them to accommodate all the genuine students of the institution.

Provost of the university, Dr Bashir, said the action against the students had become indispensable after a clash between two student organisations. The cleansing of the hostels from outsiders living there was direly needed, he added. The academician said outsiders posed a great threat to the peaceful environment of the varsity.

The students, however, have a different viewpoint about the issue. The students are of the opinion that they, too, were against the outsiders' stay in the university hostels, but the administration in name of outsiders subjected the genuine students of the university to severe torture.

The students of different departments, said that no outsider was arrested from the premises of the university. The police baton charged the students several times and only the genuine students of the university suffered the injuries. More than a dozen students were arrested on two different occasions since the issue started on February 27 and all of them were the regular students of the UoP that is the largest public sector general university of the province.

Dr Bashir said that as a result of the drive against outsiders, accommodation for 139 students in the eight hostels for boys, while that for 200 was created with the opening of the D-3 and D-4 blocks of New Hostel.

"Thus we got accommodation for 339 in the hostels, which were offered to the evening shift students. So far 100 students have applied for the accommodation," he said. The provost further said that a total of 4,100 students of the 41 departments of the university had been accommodated in the 12 hostels. He added that all the female students, who wanted to avail themselves of the hostel facility, have been provided accommodation.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the students apprised the provost about non-implementation of the promises he had made with them. Students were assured that all their genuine demands would be properly implemented by Wednesday next. The main demands included withdrawal of campus police from the hostels, reduction in the hostel charges and allowing entry into the hostel on university identity cards. The News

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Rains worsen conditions at Attock school
Attock: The Government MC Middle School, Girls College Road, is a picture of neglect amid the tall claims of the government of spending huge funds on education sector.

The students, mostly poor, and teachers are forced to sit under the roof dripping rain water, it has been learnt.

The situation came to light, when some school teachers and students on Wednesday asked the local newsmen to visit the school and see for themselves the condition of the school.

When the newsmen entered the school they saw the teachers and students taking refuge in the veranda of the school as rain water dripping down the roof had left the rooms unfit for holding classes.

The local newsmen also saw some of the students sitting in the class rooms under umbrellas and plastic sheets.

The students say it is not a new phenomenon for them as whenever rains fall they have to face such problems, and in winter season most of the students fall ill.

In such situation, almost all students leave the school before close unwillingly as they have no other option, they maintained.

Some students blasted the education department and the district administration for not taking any positive steps to redress their problems despite repeated demands.

A teacher seeking anonymity regretted that almost a century-old school was not being taken care of properly. Earlier the school was under the administrative control of municipal committee till 1970 and latter it had been given under the control of district education department.

Another teacher also disclosed that he had been in the school since 1989 and had not witnessed any rehabilitation work in the school.

The school's Principal Muhammad Shamim Qureshi in his comments said that both teachers and students were in great trouble since long due to poor state of the school. Owing to the facts, the journalist and social community should extend their cooperation to redress it in the larger students interests, he argued.

When contacted the executive district officer (EDO) education Ansar Wazir Hydar, admitted that the Government M.C middle school's building the was in dilapidated condition. However, he claimed rehabilitation and renovation of the school's building had been approved by the district development committee and the work would be started soon after the completion of tender procedure and other formalities. Dawn

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