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9,866 madrassas registered between 2005-09

9,866 madrassas registered between 2005-09, NA told
Islamabad, Aug 07: The government registered 9,866 madrassas between 2005 and June 30, 2009, taking the total number of madrassas registered across the country to 15,843, Minister for Religious Affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi told the National Assembly on Thursday.

The registration began after the promulgation of Societies Registration (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2005, Kazmi informed parliament in a written reply.

He said there were 5,355 madrassas operating in Punjab, 2,852 in Sindh, 1,242 in the NWFP, 297 in Balochistan, and 120 madrassas in the federal capital. The minister said round 5,977 madrassas were registered in Punjab before the promulgation of the ordinance, while the data on those registered in other provinces prior to the ordinance's promulgation was not available with the ministry.

Minister for Education Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani said over 3,000 students were granted foreign scholarships in the last three years. He said the National Book Foundation was establishing village book clubs across the country to promote reading in the society. Daily Times

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Education sector reform project fails to take off
Islamabad: The government had miserably failed to implement President's Education Sector Reforms Programme during the last two years as against a massive allocation of around Rs2 billion, the government could only utilize little over Rs160 million for provision of missing facilities at school level, adult literacy and revamping of science education at secondary level.

The National Assembly was informed on Thursday that under the programme, an allocation of Rs1.772 billion was made during the last two years, but the government could only release Rs636 million, whereas actual utilization on ground stood at Rs160.191 million.

In a written reply, Federal Education Minister, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani told the house that complicated release process, disengagement of military operations directorate from the project of provision of missing facilities and non-submission of reports by the provinces had led to the dismal performance of the project.

Providing more details, the minister said, until now Rs105.05 million could be spent on the provision of missing facilities at primary and middle level schools, Rs39.61 million for the revamping of science education at secondary level and only Rs15.531 million on the adult literacy programme.

Initially, army engineering corps was engaged for building missing facilities at primary and middle level schools, but later on the decision was reversed.

In response to another question, education minister informed the house that provincial textbook boards would only be able to print books according to new curriculum before the academic session of 2010.

The minister clarified, originally, there was a proposal to introduce new curriculum from academic session of 2009, however, considering the state of textbooks development by the provincial boards, the 14th meeting of provincial education ministers conference held on December 20 postponed the decision.

Replying to another query, the minister informed the house that over the last three years, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had awarded 3033 scholarships to students for education in foreign universities.

The amount of scholarship varied from country to country basis, however, on average it cost Rs0.09 million to Rs2 million per scholarship. He said, scholarships were offered on open competition basis without any quota system. Dawn

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Second term of NIP to start from next week
Islamabad: Minister for Youth Affairs Shahid Hussain Bhutto on Thursday said that the second term of national internship program (NIP) will be started in the second week of current month to accommodate 30,000 post graduates in various departments.

"The future of our country depends on the development of youth, with proper utilization of their potential. The government is committed to provide respectable jobs to country's youth", he said, talking to this news agency here.

The Minister informed that a youth convention is being held in the federal Capital to get suggestions in order to resolve problems of youths with their consent in future.

He said as the majority of the youth is living in the rural areas, therefore the government has established 100 youth centers in those areas where different activities regarding youth affairs would be started.Shahid Bhutto said that the government has planned to reorganize National Volunteer Movement to make it a useful platform for the purpose.

He vowed to establish senior citizens counters in different hospitals of the country where youth will extend their services to the senior citizen. The nation

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Programme to develop teachers professionally
Islamabad: The National Accreditation Council for Teacher Education on Thursday launched a programme to provide guidelines for reforming the teachers' education and professional development system with a holistic and cohesive approach.

The programme 'Standards for accreditation of teacher education programme' consisting of a set of principles elaborates the requirements for specific and essential components of the teachers' education programme as a part of 'Strengthening teacher education in Pakistan (STEP)'.

Speaking on the occasion, Unesco Director Dr Maurice Robson highlighted key areas of the project. The project, he said, focused on three key areas: improving the policy framework, improving coordination in teacher education sub-sector and professional standard setting in teacher education. Shehnaz Wazir Ali, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Sector and in charge Higher Education Commission (HEC), said government was fully alive to the requirements to improve the education system.

She said the programme developed by accreditation council was an important step towards introducing quality institutions for improvement of teachers' education.

Government is determined to support those educational institutions which were imparting quality education, she said, adding that ultimate goal of the accreditation system was to create a culture and system for quality enhancement of teacher education institutions. Dawn

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Ministry to multiply Special education centers
Islamabad: Minister for Social Welfare and Special Education, Samina Khalid Ghurki has stressed the need for increasing the number of Special Education Centers across the country and improving their efficiency and performance.

The Minister stated this during a meeting held here with the representatives of Special Education Centers from all over the country on Thursday.

She said that her ministry had 127 Special education centers across the country and there was a need to increase them to cater the needs of a large number of special people.

"The number of centers was not enough to serve to the growing population of disabled persons and to fill this gap we are working on the inclusive education system which would enable the Persons with disabilities (PWDs) to study in normal schools," Ghurki said.

During the meeting, it was emphasized that educational work in special education centers should adhere to the principle of combining ideological cultural and labour skill education with attention to meet the physical and mental needs of special persons.

Samina Khalid Ghurki further directed the introduction of classification teaching so as to meet the individual needs of students with diverse disabilities and also teaching on a one-to-one basis to be offered in centers where conditions permit.

She urged the teachers and administration of special education centers to devote themselves to their professional responsibilities and value their students with the spirit of humanitarianism. The Nation

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PAL to launch compilation of Ayesha's columns
Islamabad: Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) will today (Thursday) launch a collection of Ayesha Masood's published columns on its premises.

The collection has been titled as 'Wadairon Say Wardi Tak'.

PAL Chairman Fakhar Zaman will chair the function. Prof Fateh Muhammad Malik, Senator Dr Saeeda Iqbal, Javed Siddique, Tariq Khursheed, Sattar Syed, Afzal Butt and Zeeshan Hanif are among the key speakers on the occasion. Daily Times

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