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Sindh schools, colleges timing extended

School hours extended: Teachers with BEd diploma to get better pay scales
Karachi, Apr 29: The Sindh education department's steering committee recommended on Wednesday the introduction of a bachelor of education (BEd) diploma course after abolishing the PTC (primary teachers course) and the CT (certificate in teaching) courses and proposed that all those primary and junior schoolteachers (PSTs and JSTs) and high schoolteachers (HSTs) who passed the proposed B.Ed diploma would be given Grade 16 and Grade 17, respectively.

It also recommended the upgrade of government college teachers' grades across Sindh on the pattern of universities.

The steering committee which met here with Sindh education minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq in the chair decided to increase the timings in morning shift schools and colleges by one hour and in the evening shift schools and colleges by half-an-hour with immediate effect.

The meeting also took a number of other decisions, including the reduction of fees and funds of government schools and colleges, compulsory uniform in public sector colleges, inclusion of higher secondary schools in the centralised admission policy for admission to Class XI in the city's government colleges, besides allowing non-formal/private students to appear in Class V and VIII annual examinations from their nearby government primary and high schools.

Divulging the details of the steering committee's meeting, a spokesman for the education department said that decision to increase school and college timings by an hour had been taken in view of the federal government's decision of observing additional weekly holiday on Saturdays as a part of energy conservation plan.

The decision aimed at compensating the academic losses to be suffered by students of schools and colleges in the wake additional weekly holiday on Saturdays and would be effective immediately for an indefinite period, he added.

The meeting decided to decrease fees and funds charged from students at government colleges and higher secondary schools from the next academic session, staring from August 1, 2010.

According to the spokesman, the meeting has decided that the science and home economics students would now be charged Rs550 as against existing fee of Rs950 while commerce and humanities groups students would be charged Rs500 as against the existing fee of Rs770.

Regarding non-formal/private students, he said that such students who had been allowed to appear in Class V and VIII annual examinations would be required to approach headmasters of their nearest schools for this purpose at least one month before the annual examinations and it would be the responsibility of the heads of schools concerned to complete all formalities in this regard.

Elaborating, he said that though there would be no maximum age limit for such students, they would be required to produce birth certificate and permanent resident certificate of the union council concerned. Discussing the matter concerning summer vacation, the meeting decided that there will be no change in the vacation and it would be observed from June 1, 2010 to July 31, 2010. Dawn

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Private schools association opposes two weekly holidays
Karachi: The All Private Schools Management Association Sindh (APSMAS) on Wednesday opposed the government's decision of two holidays in a week, saying that it was against the interests of education. APSMAS Chairman Syed Khalid Shah at a press conference held at the Karachi Press Club said two holidays in a week would further deteriorate the standards of education. He said there were already plenty of holidays in our schooling system and they were ruining the education sector. ppi

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Outages at exam centres irk candidates
Karachi: The first phase of the Higher Secondary School Certificate (intermediate) annual examinations commenced on Tuesday with around 100,000 candidates taking their first paper amid complaints of prolonged power outages at most centres during the exam time.

Thousands of candidates at the affected centres braved hot and humid weather conditions as fans in the exam halls stopped functioning because of loadshedding of one and a half hours. Many of them felt that the outage affected their performance. A number of the candidates who spoke at the centres said they could not do well in their first paper as during the almost half of their three-hour paper time, they had been profusely sweating.

Blaming the Karachi Electric Supply Company for playing with their career by sticking to its loadshedding schedule even at their examination centres, they appealed to the Sindh government to issue directives to top KESC officials asking them to spare the examination centres during the paper timings.

"This uncalled-for attitude may deprive us of an opportunity to seek admission to a professional college of our choice as power outages are bound to undermine our efforts towards securing the required marks in this examination," said a group of students.

"My answer script had become quite wet when I was profusely perspiring during the outage," bemoaned a female candidate in an angry tone.

An official of the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK), when asked whether the board had made a proper request to the power utility in this regard, replied in the affirmative, and deplored that repeated requests made to the KESC not to apply loadshedding in the morning hours during the examinations seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. He said that most candidates had to face immense hardship due to the loadshedding.

Over 100 caught cheating
The vigilance teams of the board, meanwhile, caught 102 candidates (98 male and four female) cheating or using some other unfair means to solve their papers.

A high-powered vigilance team, led by BIEK Chairman Prof Anwar Ahmed Zai, visited various exam centres and found a number of candidates keeping their cellphones in the exam halls in violation of the relevant ban.

The team pardoned such candidates as it was the first day of the examination, but warned against repeated violation of the ban. "No one carrying a cellphone will be allowed to enter the exam hall," Prof Zai declared, adding that the cellphone found in possession of anyone taking papers would be confiscated.

The vigilance team comprising director-general of colleges Dr Nasir Ali, director of colleges (inspection) Abdul Fateh, inspector of colleges Prof Sajida Salim, BIEK secretary Prof Haider Naveen Ali and deputy secretary Imran Chishti and deputy controller of examinations Syed Liaquat Ali, has been authorised to take action against any candidate found indulging in cheating or using some other unfair means at the exam centres or against those involved in impersonation cases. Dawn

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SU acquires 56 acres for new campus
Dadu: The University of Sindh (SU) has taken over possession of 56 acres of land located on the Badin-Thatta Road for the construction of Sindh University Laar Campus here on Wednesday. The possession was officially taken over after the site inspection by SU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir A Mughal. On the occasion, the vice chancellor thanked the Revenue department for extending help in allocation of the land. He said the university aimed to provide education to people of remote areas at their doorsteps so that they could be able to contribute to national development. During a meeting with the faculty members and students of the Laar College, the vice chancellor approved four point buses and a coaster for their pick and drop facility. Later, he took a round of the college building and inspected classes, computer laboratory, library, teachers' hostel and other parts.

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Lower staff of education dept stage demo
The Sindh Education Department Lower Staff Association held a protest demonstration in front of the Hyderabad Press Club here on Wednesday for the acceptance of their demands which include regularization of their services and implementation of appointments on son quoto and deceased quota. They warned that if their demands were not met, they would stage a sit-in at the press club in Karachi on 17th May 2010.

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Two schoolboys drown
Karachi: Two brothers were drowned in the pond at a cattle farm in the remit of the Shah Lateef Town police on Wednesday.

Ten-year-old Sarfaraz and his eight-year-old brother Siraj, son of Muhammad Bachal, were drowned in the cattle farm pond in Yousuf Goth, while swimming.

After sometime when their employee saw their bodies floating he raised an alarm. The cattle farm owner Muhammad Bachal and father of deceased children came out his residence and rushed to the spot. According to the police the deceased, on their return from school, jumped into the pond where the cattle were quenching their thirst, to escape the exasperating heat but drowned while swimming. The news

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