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Punjab public schools | Evening medical colleges

'Public schools lack learning environment'
Lahore, Aug 17: The quality of education has been deteriorating for the past two decades mainly because of lack of proper teaching and learning environment in public schools.

This was stated by Punjab literacy and non-formal basic education secretary Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik in his presentation entitled "Education in Punjab: Challenges and Issues" at a seminar on "Right to free education: Constitutional obligations

for Punjab," organised by Unesco, in collaboration with the Punjab government, at a local hotel on Monday.

Dr Malik said the imparting of quality education was directly related to various variables, including adequate infrastructural facilities, qualified, satisfied and motivated teachers, quality of curriculum and textbooks, Cisco-secure assessment and evaluation systems, knowledge-based school leadership, management and governance structures and community participation.

Stating that the percentage of provincial budget and GDP being spent on education had been lower than the target set in the National Education Policy 2009, he stressed the government must enhance sectoral allocation of education up to six per cent of the GDP.

"A massive investment in primary education (precisely Rs4,406 billion) is urgently required to attain the second Millennium Development Goal that calls for universal primary education by 2015-16," he said.

Currently, the gaps on the basis of net enrolment rate at primary, elementary and secondary levels are 38 per cent, 78 per cent and 87 per cent, respectively. "Gaps must be bridged otherwise there is a danger of denying right to education to potential secondary level students," he stressed.

He said the enrolment in public sector schools had never conformed with the population growth rate and was continuously falling instead.

Explaining the need for huge investment in education sector, Dr Malik observed that the implementation of Article 25-A and achieving EFA/MDGs including cent per cent enrolment also depended on the resource absorption capacity.

He said the research had proved that the current system lacked capacity to efficiently absorb even the available financial resources.

He stressed that the capacity deficit needed to be bridged to effectively manage additional resources and seize the opportunities made available after 18th Amendment.

Unesco's Kozue Kay Nagata and Arshad Saeed Khan as well as Punjab School Education Secretary Aslam Kamboh also spoke on the occasion. Dawn

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Summary for hiring 32,000 teachers
Lahore: The School Education Department Punjab has prepared a summary for the chief minister seeking permission for recruitment of over 32,000 schoolteachers, it is learnt.

Sources said the recruitment would meet teachers' shortage. They said the recruitment process was yet to be finalized; however, there were rumours that National Testing Service (NTS) would be engaged to ensure fast track recruitments.

A senior official of the department denied any possibility of involving NTS in the recruitment process. He said tuition centres and some publishers were behind rumours to create confusion and take advantage of the situation.

The official said most of the recruitments would be of science and mathematics teachers, these teachers would be posted even at primary schools across the province to uplift the standard of education, he added.

Meanwhile, Senior Staff Association (SSA) of Punjab government schools also claimed that Secretary Schools in a meeting said that no decision has so far been taken about NTS nor any date was fixed for the recruitment of new teachers.

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LCWU admission date extended
Lahore: Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) on Tuesday extended the date of admission in first year on open merit for O level candidates till August 23, 2011. Prospectus along with admission form can be obtained from The Bank of Punjab, Shadman Market branch, and will be received in university till August 23. The merit list for O level candidates will be displayed after the candidates submit their equivalence certificates. The news

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IUB's Rs345 million deficit budget okayed
Bahawalpur: The Islamia University of Bahawalpur has approved Rs344.939 million deficit budget for the fiscal year 2011-12.

The budget was approved in the Finance and Planning Committee meeting at Abbasia Campus chaired by Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Mukhtar. Other committee members included Punjab government representative Iftikharuddin, Higher Education Department Lahore representative Nayyar Mustafa, Hall Council Chairman Dr Rao Muhammad Afzal Khan, Principal University College of Conventional and Alternative Medicine Dr Naveed Akhtar, Syndicate member Riaz Hussain Sindher, and Treasurer Muhammad Asim Khan.

The committee has estimated Rs1,690.512 million expenditure while Rs.1345.573 million has been as marked as estimated income from various sources. The university expects Rs595.291 million grant from the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and the Punjab government. Total development budget has been estimated as Rs441.085 million which includes construction of University College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and buildings of Bahawalnagar and Rahim Yar Khan campuses.

The budget has been formulated keeping in view limited funds expected from the HEC and the Punjab government. Budget deficit will be met through good financial management, austerity measures and grants received from the federal and provincial governments. Finally, the budget will be presented and approved by the University Syndicate.

The Finance and Planning Committee appreciated financial measures taken by the university during the last fiscal year especially payment of delayed out standings of Rs. 120 million. The committee hoped that the HEC and Punjab will provide required funds this year to encourage research and development at the IUB. The nation

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Call to construct Khawaja Safdar Medical College building
Sialkot: People have demanded the authorities construct the building of Khawaja Safdar Medical College without any further delay.

In separate statements issued here on Tuesday, social figures including Khawaja Arif Khawar Butt and Muhammad Anwar Ali said that 100 students including 70 female students who mostly belonged to far off and under privileged areas of Punjab were facing severe problems due to absence of hostel, mess, class rooms and other facilities in the city. They stated that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had inaugurated the medial college in Sialkot eight months ago but the construction of the college had not been started yet. They alleged that some elements were opposing the foundation of any government's medical college in Sialkot due to their alleged backing of some private medical colleges being run on purely commercial basis. They welcomed the directions of the Punjab Building Department for demolition of 15 residences of doctors and nursing hostels building in Government Allama Iqbal Hospital to obtain land for the building of the medial college. They also demanded substitute arrangements for the residences of doctors and nurses of Government Allama Iqbal Hospital.

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Thin attendance at schools, colleges
Okara: As per Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif's orders, schools and colleges have opened after summer vacation, but a very small number of students attend schools and colleges.

On the other hand, teachers are busy attending refresher course till August 20. On August 22, after school, a campaign to confirm votes door-to-door will begin and there will be no time for Iftar for teachers. It will become difficult for the teachers to perform double duty humid weather. People alleged that the CM just to defy federal government directives ordered reopening of schools in Punjab which will create troubles and difficulties for teachers and students. They urged the CM to take stock of the situation.

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No decision yet on evening medical colleges: health secy
Karachi: Sindh Secretary Health Rizwan Ahmed on Tuesday made it clear that evening medical colleges and medical education in the evening was just a proposal and no decision had been taken yet in this regard.

"The government has only asked for the feedback on (start of) evening medical colleges and no decision has been taken yet in this regard. There will be some deliberations in on this issue and without taking everybody on board, no such decision would be made", he said while speaking at an Iftaar dinner hosted by the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) here at a local hotel.

The provincial health secretary maintained that although the PMA was an authority on medical education but it too was seeing the issue with its own perspective while the government wanted to listen to all stakeholders on in this issue and take a unanimous decision.

Commenting on unrest over the devolution of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), NICH and NICVD, he made it clear that there should be no doubt in the minds of any person that these institutions are now devolved to the Sindh government.

"We also made it clear that the government of Sindh does not want them to run like other hospitals in the province and suggested autonomy for them as well as constitution of independent boards to run their affairs", he informed but added that instead of considering the offers, a strike was observed during which even the emergency services were closed.

"There was no moral and legal justification for the strike and closure of emergency services. We have not asked the employees and doctors to withdraw their case against devolution but causing hardships to patients are unacceptable", he warned.

Also holding the PMA accountable for the sufferings of the patients due to strike of the doctors, he deplored that the PMA did not publicly condemned the strike at the JPMC, NICH and NICVD and closure of emergency departments of these hospitals.

He made it clear that the Sindh government had provided budget to the devolved federal hospitals for three months and asked them to prepare their budgets, adding that all monetary requirements of the these institutes would be fulfilled by the government.

Regarding the draft bill prepared by the PMA for the protection of doctors and other related issues, he said some areas of the proposed draft bill needed more deliberations and after workout and consensus, it would be presented in the provincial assembly for making it a law.

Commenting on the promotions of the doctors, he told the PMA office-bearers that they were at different stages of approval and assured them the process of promotions of doctors would be expedited.

He acknowledged that lack of transparency in transfers and postings of doctors was an open secret but added if every doctor wants to serve in Karachi and Hyderabad, what could be done by the department in this regard.

"In future, health department will advertise posts and positions and the doctors will not be allowed to get transferred from the designated post before a certain period. If he or she still wants to be transferred from where he or she is working, they will have to resign for that", he informed.

On the issue of security of doctors and security at hospitals, he said that this issue was inter-related with the overall situation in the country including overall security, economic and education in the country and without improvements in all these areas, this could not be resolved in isolation.

On the occasion, he informed that Sindh health department had sought permission from the federal government to allow it to merge all 14 vertical programmes in health that were devolved to provinces under the 18th amendment as there was a lot of overlapping in these vertical programmes.

"Vertical programmes never delivered anywhere in the world and in Pakistan too due to overlapping they are not very successful. We are asking for their merger to get better results from them", he informed.

Earlier, Dr Idrees Adhi, Prof Tipu Sultan and Dr Samrina Hashmi and Dr Nighat Shah pointed out issues concerning the PMA including security situation at hospitals, evening medical colleges, lack of transparency in transfers, postings of the doctors, unrest at the JPMC, NICH and NICVD after their devolution etc.

Dr Nighat Shah in her presentation spoke on the growing maternal mortality rate in the province and asked for more proactive approach to bring it down.

Dr Mirza Ali Azhar, Secretary General of PMA Centre made it clear that PMA calls for resolving all the issues and conflicts through talks, not through agitation and unless doctors are compelled to do so and also made it clear that it never supported closure of emergency services at hospitals in any case. The news

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