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Parallel exam systems in educational institutions Pakistan

Parallel exam systems to be reviewed
Islamabad, Aug 17: The government on Saturday informed the National Assembly that by year 2010 it will review the existing examination systems running parallel to each other in the country which have created disparity in society.

At present, educational institutions both in the public and private sectors, which are affiliated with government examination boards, follow the national curriculum, whereas there are private sector institutions which conduct their examinations under foreign examining bodies; hence follow their respective curriculums, Federal Minister for Education Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani informed the house in a written reply.

During a meeting of the inter-provincial education ministers held in December 2005 at Karachi, the Punjab education department had proposed elimination of 'O' and 'A' level examinations in the country.

The meeting observed that since 'O' and 'A' level examination systems followed completely different curriculums than the government schools and colleges, they were responsible for creating disparity in the society. Therefore, a suggestion was made by Punjab to eliminate these foreign-based examination systems and replace them with local examination boards.

However, the meeting decided that under the current scenario it was not possible to immediately do away with the 'O' and 'A' level examination systems and the position would be reviewed in 2010.

To introduce uniformity in the curriculum and examination systems, provincial examination boards had already been asked by the federal government to follow one curriculum and uniform system of examinations. Dawn

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Punjab to enrol all school going children by 2011
Islamabad: Punjab government has devised an ambitious target to ensure the enrolment of all children of school going age from across the province by the year 2011, Secretary Education (Schools), Punjab Nadeem Ashraf said on Sunday.

He said in Punjab, around 1.7 million children of school going age are still not enrolled in any institution due to many reasons.

Nowadays, he said, children are being paid stipends and provided free books, besides no fee being charged from them. In low literacy areas, girl students are also being given ghee free of cost, he maintained.

Parents or guardians, who fail to send their children aged 5-10 to schools, are liable to be imprisoned and fined, the secretary said while referring to the Punjab Compulsory Primary Education Act 1994.

According to the Act, a fine of Rs200 with a further fine of Rs20 per day after the conviction or with imprisonment, which may extend to one week, or both punishments, can be imposed on parents, who defy sending their children to schools.

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Preston silver jubilee concludes with concert
Islamabad: The fun loving youngsters enjoyed the musical concert held here on Saturday evening in connection with Independence Day and 25 years celebrations of the Preston University.

Prominent singers including Rukhsana Murtaza enthralled the audience with national and local songs and received great applause from the audience that turned up in large numbers despite heavy rainfall just minutes before the start of the concert.

The students of various universities also joined the singers and paid homage to leaders of Pakistan Movement, who rendered numerous sacrifices to achieve a separate homeland for Muslims in the sub-continent.

Earlier, a grand dinner was held in the premises of the university that was attended by large number of people including families of faculty members, former students and other dignitaries. Deans, directors and other senior members of the university were also present on the occasion. Preston University Chancellor Dr Abdul Basit and Dr Hamad cut a cake on the occasion.

Dr. Abdul Basit during his interaction with the guests underlined the need for quality education that was the only way to walk with the developed nations especially in the field of education. Former students also appreciated the continued efforts of the university that produced highest number of graduates in the twin cities since its inception 25 years ago. The news

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Bahria defeats Riphah to win T20 championship
Islamabad: Bahria University defeated Riphah University by 57 runs in the final of Inter-University T20 Cricket Tournament organised by Preston University to mark their Silver Jubilee celebrations.

Batting first, Bahria University team piled up 218 runs for the loss of six wickets in their specified 20 overs and then bowled out Riphah University team for 161 in the match played at the Margalla Cricket Ground.

Kashif Majeed of Bahria University was adjudged Man-of-the- Match for his all-round performance. The final was witnessed by a large number of people including students and teachers of both universities, who cheered on their teams.

Later, Chancellor Preston University Abdul Basit gave away trophies and certificates to the winners of sports activities organised by Preston University, as part of their Silver Jubilee celebrations. These competitions included table tennis, cricket and badminton.

Bahria University swept all the titles. In his address at the prize distribution ceremony, Abdul Basit said that Preston University follows the well thought out philosophy of all out grooming of its students.

He said that sports competitions not only provide an opportunity for healthy extra curricular activities, but also play an important role in personal growth of students. "They learn team work, decision making and self control." The news

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Book on Jinnah likely to change discourse in India
New Delhi: Conventional wisdom in India that holds Mohammed Ali Jinnah as a communal leader who caused the bloody partition of the subcontinent is expected to receive a body blow when a new book on the Quaid-i-Azam by former Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh is released here on Monday.

"If I were not drawn to the personality I wouldn't have written the book. It's an intricate, complex personality, of great character, determination," Mr Jaswant Singh told an Indian TV channel ahead of the release of the book, "Jinnah: India – Partition – Independence". It took five years to research.

By all accounts Mr Singh's narrative is being seen by those who have seen glimpses of the book as the most important statement, verging on adulation, by a leading Indian public figure of a man otherwise seen as a villain by the Indian middle classes.

It was historically not tenable to see Mr Jinnah as the villain of 1947, Mr Singh said. "It is not borne out of the facts… we need to correct it… Muslims saw that unless they had a voice in their own economic, political and social destiny they will be obliterated."

Mr Singh said the 1946 election was a good example to show the fear held by Muslims. That year, he said: "Jinnah's Muslim League wins all the Muslim seats and yet they don't have sufficient numbers to be in office because the Congress Party has, without even a single Muslim, enough to form a government and they are outside of the government.

"So it was realised that simply contesting elections was not enough… All of this was a search for some kind of autonomy of decision making in their own social and economy destiny."

Mr Jinnah was a great man because he created something out of nothing, Mr Singh said of his newfound hero.

"He single-handedly stood against the might of the Congress Party and against the British who didn't really like him ... Gandhi himself called Jinnah a great Indian. Why don't we recognise that? Why don't we see (and try to understand) why he called him that?"

Mr Jinnah was as much a nationalist as any leader in India.

"He fought the British for an independent India but also fought resolutely and relentlessly for the interest of the Muslims of India … the acme of his nationalistic achievement was the 1916 Lucknow Pact of Hindu-Muslim unity."

Among the aspects of Mr Jinnah's personality Mr Singh said he admired his determination and will to rise. "He was a self-made man. Mahatma Gandhi was the son of a Diwan. All these (people) - Nehru and others - were born to wealth and position. Jinnah created for himself a position. He carved in Bombay, a metropolitan city, a position for himself.

"He was so poor he had to walk to work … he told one of his biographers there was always room at the top but there's no lift. And he never sought a lift."

Demolishing the belief that Mr Jinnah hated or disliked Hindus, Mr Singh said the claim was totally wrong. "His principal disagreement was with the Congress Party."

Going by his interview shown on CNN-IBN on Sunday, Mr Singh holds Mr Jawaharlal Nehru as more culpable than anyone else for the division of the country. Dawn

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PAL launches its yearly literary selection
Islamabad: Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) has launched its yearly publication of literary selection of Pakistani Literature Poetry and Prose 2008.

Sharing his views while launching the publication, PAL Chairman Fakhar Zaman said that the literary selection published by PAL every year is an important chapter for Pakistan's literary history. He said that these books comprising literary selections are launched every year in connection with the Independence Day to record the enriching literary works being produced in the country.

He said that 'Pakistani Literature 2008' (Prose) and 'Pakistani Literature 2008' (Poetry) is traditionally a compilation of development and trends in Pakistan's literary arena. The collection is selected from the prose and poetry published in literary journals and magazines throughout the year in Pakistan.

He said that in order to make this literary selection more coherent, PAL has also compiled selection of Pakistani Literature (Prose) and Pakistani Literature (Poetry) from 1947-2008 which is under publication.

The selection of poetry 2008 is made by Noreen Tallat Arooba and the selection of prose writing is made by Dr Shaheen Mufti, while the publications are edited by Saeeda Durrani.

The Poetry selection includes Hamd, Naat, Ghazlain, Nazmain and translation from Pakistani languages. The selection of prose includes criticism, research, reviews, linguistic, articles, memoirs, articles on personalities, essays and translations from the Pakistani languages. The news

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