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1 Goal Education for All with the FIFA Football World Cup

Campaign aimed at giving every child, adult education till 2015
Islamabad, Apr 19: The people all around the world will be participating in an international campaign '1 Goal: Education for All' from April 19-26, 2010 with the purpose of giving every child and adult the opportunity to get education by 2015.

The campaign has been launched to coincide with the FIFA Football World Cup. The aim of Global Action Week (GAW) is to give priority to education financing even in the face of the economic downturn. This year, the theme is 'Education Financing.' The suggested slogan worldwide for the Action Week 2010 is '1 Goal: Education for All'.

To join the international community in this campaign, Pakistan Coalition of Education (PCE) as a member of Global Campaign for Education (GCE) is organising activities across the country. Civil society organisations, teacher associations, child rights campaigners, teachers, parents and students will join together in these activities to demand free and quality education as a basic human right and an essential factor for overcoming poverty. There are 774 million adults and 75 million children, who cannot read and write globally with majority of them in developing countries. Two thirds of the adults who cannot read and write are women and girls.

The PCE is organising GAW 2010 in 45 districts across the country. Different activities to be carried out during whole week include classroom activities, discussion sessions with students, public gatherings, sports activities, politicians go back to school campaign, displaying of banners at public places, walks, debate and drawing competitions, message collection from students and teachers on importance of public financing in education etc. In addition to that, signature campaign on joining 1 Goal for enhancing education financing, talk shows on electronic media and radio stations, message campaigns, awareness raising campaign through bill boards, interviews and collection of messages from across the country will also be part of the campaign.

All these activities would culminate in a dialogue on education financing, which would be organised in capital. The idea of this seminar is to share the importance of education public financing, sharing the budgetary trends in education financing, highlighting the role of parliamentarians, media, ministry of education and finance.

The event would also put forward the demands, messages and suggestions gathered during the global action week with the policy makers to influence them to generate a debate in the parliament and ensure that education sector gets its due share in the upcoming budget in June. The news

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Contract of firm handling UK visas cancelled
Islamabad: A courier service handling UK visa applications has lost its contract and the management of British High Commission's service provider running visa application centres has been forced to quit amid a controversy over stolen visa stickers and lost and defaced passports.But, emergence of another case of defaced passports after the two companies were forced out suggests possible involvement of elements inside the high commission in the scam.

The issue is believed to have been discussed during the visit of United Kingdom Border Agency chief Lin Homer's visit to Islamabad earlier this week.

Ms Homer, whose agency manages Britain's visa operations, apart from discussions with Interior Minister Rehman Malik and senior FIA officials held a number of internal meetings at the BHC, some of which were attended by the staff of Gerrys the subcontractor for VFS.

Other topics discussed during the meetings pertained to visa application procedures, transfer of passports to Abu Dhabi hub and verification of passports by FIA.

A large number of passports, possibly running into thousands according to Pakistani investigators, had been lost by the BHC or were defaced during processing of visa applications last year. The findings of the investigations instituted by the high commission have neither been shared with the Pakistani officials nor has there been a public statement on their outcome.

Though people nervous about consequences of loss of their documents including identity theft, keenly wait to know what happened to their passports, BHC merely states: "We have fully investigated the lost passports and implemented new safeguards to provide additional protection against further losses." The high commission officially admits to have lost 150 passports. Additionally, several visa stickers of Western countries were also stolen from the passports of visa seekers.

The Pakistan based management of VFS an Indian origin company, which is Britain's one of the global partners for visa services, had resigned recently.

The company which didn't have any authorisation to work here, senior Pakistani officials insist, operated illegally.

A BHC spokesman said: "VFS is UKBA's contracted commercial partner in Pakistan and in many countries across the world. VFS subcontracts its operations in Pakistan to Gerrys to provide visa application facilities in Pakistan. We encourage our commercial partners to look for value for money with all of their subcontractors and one area that was recently reviewed was the arrangements in place for couriering documents pertaining to visa applications."

The spokesman defended VFS working in Pakistan, saying it functioned within the ambit of law.

"There is no question of any company sanctioned by BHC operating unlawfully." However, he admitted that VFS had to subcontract its operations to Gerrys a local company to comply with the local regulations.

Sources in Gerrys, which has also fired number of its employees for whistle blowing, confirmed that change in courier service and forced quitting of VFS managers was related to the affair.

Subsequent to these changes, a source disclosed, another case of a passport book with a torn page was reported. "One of the visa seekers after getting back his passport reported that a page had been removed," the source said adding the incident shocked many who believed that the changes would stem the problem. Dawn

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Pak doctors to get training in British hospitals
Rawalpindi: College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) and the Royal College of Physicians, London have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will enable Pakistani doctors to get training in the institutions of England.

Controller Examination (CPSP) Prof Muhammad Shoaib Shafi informed this here on Sunday while presiding over a meeting of the postgraduate trainees. Giving details of the MoU, he informed that fellows of the CPSP would visit the Royal College of Physicians in order to get advanced training for a special period.

According to the MoU, the experts of both the countries would exchange views on medical education, standardised examination system and modern medical research via video-conferencing.

The senior professors of both the institutions would participate as examiners in the examinations. The Pakistani delegation consisted of Prof Dr Zafarullah Chaudhry, President CPSP, and Prof Muhammad Shoaib Shafi whereas the delegation of Royal College of Physicians consisted of Prof Ian Gilmor, President RCP, London, Dr NJ Beeching and Prof John Mc-Dermote.

Prof Shoaib Shafi further informed that the purpose of this partnership was to facilitate placement of doctors from Pakistan in appropriate UK clinical training opportunities for up to 24 months period. This would help to strengthen examiner training for the CPSP.

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Education Exhibition concludes
A two-day Pakistan International Education Exhibition concluded at a local hotel here on Sunday. The national and international educational institutions from various countries including Pakistan, UK, Australia, Malaysia, North Cyprus, Ireland and New Zealand had set up their stalls displaying literature on the programmes and courses they offered.

Representatives of these institutions were present there to answer queries from participants at the exhibition. The officials constantly answered one question after another; guided the students in filling out the application forms and distributed information about studying abroad. World Learning Bureau had organised the exhibition. The visitors appreciated their efforts and said that such events created a greater awareness among students and parents. Director of World Learning Bureau Rashid ul Haque told that the event was successful this year throughout Pakistan (Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi) because of greater public awareness through past exhibitions. The nation

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NUML contractual faculty members form association
Islamabad: The contractual faculty members of the National University of Modern Languages (NUML), comprising retired military and civilian government officers, have formed the Contract Faculty Association (CFA).

The office-bearers of CFA are Bashir Ahmed Khilji (president), Brigadier (r) Allah Bakhsh (general secretary), Brigadier (r) Wasiq (joint secretary), Brigadier (r) Saulat (press secretary) and Qazi Iqbal (finance secretary).

According to a source, the association has 8 army officers (retired brigadiers or colonels) and 10 bureaucrats. All members are above 60 and HEC-run universities do not recognise any association formed by superannuated persons.

The association was apparently formed to safeguard the interests of contractual faculty in view of growing pressure on the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and president of Pakistan to implement the NUML Charter in letter and spirit. The demand emerged after Brigadier (r) Obaid Ranjha thrashed a NUML teacher.

According to a reliable source, retired or above-60 teachers can be visiting faculty or they can be employed for one or two years. The NUML perspective and official website adds the acronym professor before their names though the posts were never advertised and they do not meet the HEC criteria of qualification, publication and experience prescribed for a professor.

The protest by students, faculty and strong reaction shown by other public sector universities, including Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations, led to the forced resignation of Brigadier (r) Ranjha.

Rejecting the resignation of the brigadier, the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has demanded his dismissal, registration of an FIR against him and awarding exemplary punishment to him.

Meanwhile, after the FAPUASA demanded removal of Brigadier (r) Aziz Khan and after a letter from the lawyer of Professor Tahir Malik, whom only board of governors could issue a show-cause notice being the competent authority, was informed by the authorities in the university that the notice was withdrawn and a letter in this respect will be issued on Monday.

FAPUASA President Dr. Mahr Saeed Akhtar has demanded that the post of rector at NUML should be filled after placing an advertisement and selection should be made through vice chancellors search committee working under the HEC.

The employees and teachers associations of the university refused to recognise the CFA.

Talking to this correspondent, Yasir Arafat, general secretary of the NUML Academic Staff Association, said that CFA is illegal according to the FAPUASA byelaws. He maintained that the appointment of some CFA members was challenged in the Audit Report. He said that according to NUML statutes, the superannuated could not hold administrative posts, including academic ones, like heads of departments and deans. The news

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