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Inquiry against Private school

Malpractice questions private schools funding
Lahore, Apr 26: The recent revelation regarding financial malpractices at a financially assisted school of the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) not only exposes lack of coordination among different wings of the foundation but it also raises questions over mechanism of monitoring.

The management of the private school, situated in Lahore, was allegedly involved in selling textbooks, meant to be given free, to the students of the school. The books were provided by the PEF under its Foundation Assisted Schools (FAS) programme.

It is pertinent to mention here that besides free textbooks, the PEF-FAS partner schools are being financed up to the maximum of Rs 350 per month per student for elementary classes and Rs 400 for secondary classes as tuition fees and related/allied charges. The issue involving sale of free textbooks among students and collection of different charges against the agreement was unearthed by the media and not the PEF. Meanwhile, a press statement issued by the PEF on Sunday stated that its management had come to know that the said school, which was registered under the FAS programme last month, had allegedly used unfair means in the Quality Assurance Test "by impersonating students of another school as its own." It reads, "PEF Chairman Raja Muhammad Anwar while taking a serious notice of the situation has directed the monitoring department to initiate an inquiry to probe the matter. He made it clear that no partner school is allowed to receive monthly fee or the price of textbooks provided by the Foundation."

However, one wonders how the PEF management could not unearth all this before, especially impersonation as passing of the Quality Assurance Test (QAT) was mandatory for the award of financial aid. The situation speaks volumes of the PEF negligence and its monitoring mechanism. The programme certainly needs a strict monitoring mechanism as the Punjab government has been spending millions over the project. According to PEF official website, over 1,300 in different parts of the province have been operating under the PEF-FAS programme. Though the PEF has been financially supporting private schools over the years but the fact always remain perplexing as to why the government has been financially assisting private schools when its own schools, thousands in number, are lacking basic facilities including toilets, boundary walls, and clean drinking water and even sitting arrangements.

Another point of concern is related to those private schools which fail to win PEF financial support as according to them, people do not send their children to non-PEF partner schools which, in a way, has been adding to the dropout rate. "How a private school charging fee can be a choice of people when they find a school of similar standards in their locality offering free education and free books?," asks a concerned citizen.

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YDA asks private medical colleges to create house jobs
Lahore: The Young Doctors Association (YDA) has condemned the flight of fresh graduates of private medical colleges to government teaching hospitals for the purpose of house job due to inability of owners of these private businesses to create adequate number of seats for house jobs for their graduates in attached hospitals.

According to a press release here on Sunday, YDA President Dr Rana Sohail, General Secretary Dr Salman Kazmi, Dr Aslam Rao and others said that new sessions for house jobs would be started in teaching hospitals as interviews were being conducted nowadays, while adding that the government teaching hospitals had witnessed an unprecedented flight of private candidates seeking house jobs in public sector teaching hospitals. While underlining the reason for this growing trend with each year, they said that private medical colleges had not been creating adequate seats for house jobs for their graduates, and to add to it the existing house jobs seats in private medical colleges didn't cover all specialties. As students do not get a chance to do house job in a specialty of their choice, they go to public hospitals to do house job in their required specialty. "The private medical colleges need not only to create adequate number of house job seats but also in all basic medical and clinical specialties," they added.

Besides, they said the private medical colleges were also offering meager pay of Rs 12,000 to Rs 14,000 instead of Rs 18,000 to the house officers as in government teaching hospitals. Hence, they said, the graduates of private medical colleges were forced to come over to government hospitals for their internship. "The issue of unpaid doctors can only be resolved, if private medical colleges, after earning Rs 3 million from each student, offer them a job too," they added.

They urged the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) to re-inspect all private medical colleges and cancel their registration over various discrepancies, including shortage of medical faculty, lack of facilities or students/beds/patients ratio in attached hospitals, failure to create house jobs in all specialties. Meanwhile, the YDA also underscored the need to teach fresh medical graduates communication skills and public dealing before house jobs because a new generation of young doctors would enter the profession which demanded top discipline and efficiency.

They regretted that none of the principals had thought of having pre-house job workshops for fresh graduates to teach them public dealing, stress management, career counseling and working of the hospitals at individual level.

"This would also help avoid clashes between doctors and visitors in the hospitals. "Doctors, despite being clinically good, are not well versed in public dealing. It is a new idea but is need of the hour," they added. The news

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PGMI website
Lahore: The Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI) has launched its website for easing the admission process.

PGMI Principal Prof Tariq Salahuddin said the doctors desirous of doing specialisation could download the admission form from the website -

He said the doctors could submit their applications till May 25 for the degree and diploma courses 2010-11 from across the country, including Azad Kashmir.

He said the new session included MS, MD, MPhil, MDS courses and the training of FCPS part II. The fee for the courses in the institute was very nominal, he said, adding that the same education in the foreign countries cost a huge capital.

The MS courses include general surgery, urology, etymology, neuro-surgery, ENT, cardiac surgery, orthopaedic, anaesthesia and plastic surgery, and the MD courses include medicine, cardiology, pediatric, radiology, dermatology and psychiatry. Dawn

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The School of International Studies in Sciences & Arts (SISA)
Lahore: participated in the XXIII World Individual Debating & Public Speaking Championship 2010 held in Lithuania from April 8 to 13, 2010.

According to a press statement, the SISA team competed in four categories, parliamentary debating, impromptu speech, interpretive reading and persuasive speech. The team, comprising Saad Sohail, Tamara Saleem, Hamza Hussain and Mehreen Mir, gave record breaking performance at the championship. Saad Sohail reached the finals of three events; i.e. debating, impromptu speech and persuasive speech, while Tamara Saleem also reached the final of the persuasive speech category. After tough finals, the top two individual speakers qualified for the grand finals.

For the first time in the history of the championship, both the grand finalists of the persuasive speech category were from SISA, Pakistan. Saad Sohail was declared the world champion while Tamara Saleem was runner-up in persuasive speech. Saad Sohail was also ranked 5th in the world, which is the highest overall ranking by any Pakistani student in the competition.

The overall ranking of Tamara Saleem was 22nd in the world. It is also worth mentioning that SISA team had students ranked among the top 25 in the world in all four categories. The coaches of the team, Mrs Saeeda Salim and Wasif Mir, have expressed joy over the performance of their teams during the past eight years. (The news)

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