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Rawalpindi Inter paper rescheduled | HEC scholars bleak future

Inter exams Islamiat (Elective) paper rescheduled
Rawalpinid, April 24: Islamiat (Elective) paper for group II of Intermediate Examination Annual 2009 has been cancelled according to a press release.

The examinations are being held under the auspices of Intermediate and Secondary Education Board Rawalpindi.

Now this paper will be held on May 7 (Thursday) at 01:30pm. Examination centres allotted to the candidates are not being changed. Daily Times

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3000 HEC scholars face bleak future over paucity of funds
Islamabad: The fate of almost 3,000 students sent abroad for higher studies on the government expenses by Higher Education Commission (HEC), is put at stake after the relevant quarters turned a deaf ear to their concerns especially with regard to the provision of the allocated funds.

Sources privy to the development informed that after the repeated requests and revision of the scholarships of these students sent abroad to different world educational institutes, the finance division is now showing little interest in the matter.

The cold shoulder response from the relevant circles also pushed the HEC into a difficult situation, which according to the sources took some measures including the revision of the mode of payment with various universities and institutions in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, United States of America and others.

According to the arrangements, the government has to provide funds for the project and under that arrangement the HEC has to pay to the institutes concerned as well as the scholars their tuition fees, stipends and other expenses for a period of one year in advance.

The authorities after successful negotiations with the said institutes first got reduced the time period of advance payment to 6 months and subsequently to three months but even then they failed to release the required amount for these officially selected scholars. The sources further said that in meetings with finance division it seemed that the present government wanted to get ride of the students, studying abroad under "HEC Scholarship Programme."

It is relevant to mention here that a loss of billions of rupees is expected if the government fails to submit the dues of Pakistani students immediately as a result of which previous investment on these scholars would go in vain.

Reliable sources in the Finance Division said that miseries of the Pakistani scholars were being considered and funds would be released to HEC in a short span of time. However, despite several attempts no official in the Finance Division was available to respond on this serious matter.

Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Member Operations and Planning HEC, when contacted confirmed that HEC was not able to convince the foreign institutes, as it was not possible to make changes in the rules and regulations of said foreign institutes.

He further said that due to free education in the European countries HEC scholars in the European institutes were comparatively in better position than those who got enrolled in the other foreign institutes like US, Australia and the UK.

Dr Mukhtar however expressed optimism regarding positive response of the government to release funds to the commission. He said that HEC Chairperson Shehnaz Wazir Ali was continuously convincing the finance division to release the funds to regain the confidence of the commission's scholars. Executive Director HEC Dr Sohail H Naqvi, when contacted said that HEC negotiations with foreign countries institutes were successful. He said that the HEC had convinced the different countries' organisations, which are playing a bridge between HEC scholars and the respective universities across the world regarding submission of dues in installations. In the prevailing financial crunch, HEC could not pay in advance the pledged amount of HEC scholars to their universities. He suggested that the present government should review its policy regarding HEC.

To a query, he replied that no more compensation was expected from the fee schedule of the scholars and if funds were not released future of thousands of the HEC scholars' would suffer. Responding to another query, he said that higher-level education system should be remained autonomous from the Ministry of Education.

It is the right time to take benefit from that investment which HEC earlier had made by sending thousands of talented students abroad for qualitative educations in the best ranking universities of the world", he remarked. The Nation

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Spanish language speech contest held at NUML
Islamabad: A Spanish speech contest was organised by the Spanish Department in the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) here on Thursday. A large number of diplomats from the embassies of the Spanish speaking countries were present on the occasion. Prominent among them were Eduardo Bustamante, First Secretary of the Argentine Embassy, Javier Gongora, Charge d Affaires of Embassy of Mexico and Dr. M Catalina Alliende, Honorary Consul of Chile. Liu Ying, Syed Rouidaad and Aiza Azam were adjudged the best speakers among the participants and given souvenirs by the first secretary of the Argentinean Embassy. During the speeches musical items and skits in Spanish language were presented by students of the department.

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Probe ordered into fee hike in private schools
Islamabad: Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) Chairman Atif Mehmood Kiyani has ordered an inquiry into the matter of fee increase fee by some private schools in the name of 'security measures'. The decision was taken amid the reports that some private educational institutions have increased fees, aimed to make security arrangements for the institutions. Atif Mehmood has directed PEIRA Member (Academic) Imtiaz Qureshi to investigate into the matter. It may be mentioned here that the government had asked educational institutions to take possible security measures following intelligence reports that terrorists might target the educational institutions.

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NUST & FJWU ink agreement
Islamabad: National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) and Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) pertaining to development of academic and research linkages between the two institutes, says a press release. The agreement was signed during the visit of FJWU delegation to the NUST campus at Sector H-12, Islamabad.

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'Open House' at Fast University
Islamabad: National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, (Fast-NU) organised an Open House-2009 at its premises to ensure opportunity to industry to interact with the graduating students for recruiting them in respective firms and companies.

It was also aimed to preserve the talent and encourage companies to nurture this talent into professional brilliance.

In his comments here Thursday, FAST Rector Dr. Amir Muhammad said the event was organised to ensure recruitment of graduating students of BS and MS (Computer Science), BS (Telecom engineering), BBA and MBA.

The students are interviewed and usually evaluated on the basis of their final year projects for possible employment.

This year the 320 students are completing their graduation from Islamabad campus of the university. Of these 70 are from BS Computer Science and 40 from MS Computer Science while 150 students are getting their BS degree in Telecom Engineering.

Graduating batch also includes 35 students from BBA and 25 from MBA. Senior Management representatives of more than 30 firms, companies and institutions from all over the country participated in the event.

They observed and evaluated students' projects and interviewed the graduating students for possible hiring and recruitment.

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IMDC to hold seminar today
Islamabad: The Islamabad Medical and Dental College (IMDC), in collaboration with the Directorate of Malaria Control and the World Health Organization, is holding a National Awareness Seminar here today (Friday) in connection with World Malaria Day.

Organized by IMDC's Department of Community Medicine, the seminar aims to enhance awareness among medical students, doctors and the general public about malaria morbidity and mortality and the various interventions currently underway to control the disease.

"Leading experts from Islamabad and Rawalpindi will deliver lectures highlighting the importance of the day, key facts about malaria in terms of its mode of transmission, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, drug resistance, prevention, insecticide resistance, economic impact, and elimination strategies," Professor Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Chaudhry, chairman of the seminar's organising committee has informed through a press release.

Dr. Ghulam Akbar Khan Niazi, chairman IMDC, will present the welcome address. Professor Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Chaudhry, head of community medicine, will speak on preventive measures against malaria; Dr Qutbiddin Kakar, National Officer of Roll Back Malaria in Pakistan, will discuss malaria and its control in Pakistan while Dr. Saeed Alam, Professor of Pathology at IMDC, will speak about malaria pathogenesis and latest laboratory diagnostic techniques Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic disease and one of the major public health challenges of the 21st century.

The disease continues to haunt 40% of the world's population. It infects more than 500 million people per year and kills more than 1 million. Pakistan encounters approximately 500,000 cases annually in addition to frequently reported seasonal epidemics and largescale outbreaks in the past.

Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bite of infected mosquitoes. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting blood supply to vital organs.

Dr. Ashraf said key interventions to control malaria include prompt diagnosis and effective treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapy, use of insecticidal treated bed-nets by people at risk, and indoor residual spraying by insecticide to control the vector mosquito. It is for these very reasons that raising awareness is the principal goal of World Malaria Day, he said. The seminar will be held at 10.30 a.m. The News

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Balochistan professors, lecturers boycott continues
Quetta: Balochistan Professors and lecturers Association boycotted classes in all the Government Degree and Inter Colleges in the province second day Thursday. President of the Association Professor Muhammad Nawaz told that college teachers protest would continue till their demands are accepted. He said teachers are protesting for several weeks but high-up did not pay any attention on their demands nor contacted them. He said that our demands of upgradation of teachers posts, reserving quota for them at proposed housing scheme, additional wages for evening classes at the colleges, enforcement of time scale and others should be accepted He said that 1600 teachers of more than 80 Degree and inter colleges for boys and girls were boycotting classes. He said an indefinite boycott of classes has been started which would continue till our demands are accepted. He said they would also boycott annual examination of FA and F Sc being commenced from April 27 in the province. Ppi

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NWFP primary school teachers to get higher scales
Peshawar: The Provincial government has taken decision in principle to evolve such a mechanism that Primary School Teachers (PSTs) would move to higher scales automatically according to their seniority and the primary teachers would be made financially empowered. This was informed by the secretary education Muhammad Arifeen Khan while talking to a delegation of All Primary Teacher Association (APTA) headed by the district Karak President of APTA Usmanullah Khattak and other cabinet members here on Thursday and added that the government would approve the new service structure very soon.

He further informed that in the new service structure the PSTs and Certificate Teachers (CTs) would get an opportunity to move to upgraded scale and a designated headmaster of BPS 16 or 17 would supervise the affairs of the Primary schools. The delegation informed that the Secretary education has assured them that one teacher would be given on 30 students instead of 40 in primary schools which would minimize the burden of the Primary teachers and the government would give its approval also very soon.

Arifeen added that the government would made primary teaches autonomous in limited resources to utilize up to two and a half Lac rupees in school and even they could construct new additional rooms also in the school with the consultation of the Chairman of Parent Teacher Council (PTC) and the government would take every steps to make the teaching affective and resolved that every problem of the teachers inside the school would be resolved for having no excuse to not impart the quality education to the students in making the country an educated one in real sense.

He informed that the government would overcome the deficiency of staff in primary schools through rationalization and one teacher on 30 students formula and added that the government was providing all basic facilities to the newly created schools and also providing facilities to the already established schools. He also informed that the government would issue the notification of ending the one time promotion formula for PST teachers and all those teachers would be promoted automatically who would achieve ten year service.

Meanwhile, the patron in chief of All Teacher Association (ATA) Malik Noor Wali Khan has asked the elected representatives of the local government to abstain from involving teachers in politics. He was talking to a gathering of teachers at Shaheedan Chountra here alleged that the undue interference of the councilors in the affairs of schools has made the environment of education unbearable and asked them to restrict to their job of community development.

While citing the example of Mahmoodkhel primary schools, Noor Wali Khan said that it was the result of councilors' interference which has prepared the two teachers of Mahmoodkhel primary school in Tehsil Banda Daud Shah for dismissal from services. He also asked the teachers community to recognize their basic responsibilities of teaching and keep it prior over all other responsibilities and avoid participation in politics. He warned that some elements in Tehsil Banda Daud Shah dragging the teachers in to the arena of politics but the ATA would foil their negative designs to use teachers for personal ends. Malik Noor Wali Khan urged on the government to end the political interference in education department and the teachers transfer should be made only on merit. F.P. Report

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