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HEC standardised fee refund policy devised

HEC approves standardised fee refund policy
Islamabad, Aug 29: A bold step by a public university student has led to a positive change for the rest of youngsters striving for higher education in the country. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has approved standardised fee refund policy for all higher education institutions (HEIs) of Pakistan in response to court orders issued in a case filed by the student.

This national level policy was devised in compliance to the direction of Islamabad High Court, which directed the HEC to restructure standardised fee refund policy at the national level in one of its decisions taken in a case filed by a student of a public university.

The HEC has approved that that in case a student intends to cancel his or her admission in any university of the country, full tuition fee shall be refunded till seventh day of commencement of classes in semester system and till fifteenth day in the annual system.

The students have termed the new policy a big relief for them and said that the majority of them used to suffer a lot because of no uniform fee refund policy at higher education institutions. "Usually students apply in different universities to stay on the safe side. Final list of successful candidates is announced by different institutes at different times which actually led to exploitation," explained Aziz Ullah Khan, victim of a private university.

He further explained that in the past, if a student planned to cancel his or her admission in any university of the country, only a small amount of security was returned depriving him or her from the rest of the amount. "The decision will certainly provide relief to the general public," said Aziz.

To formulate the policy according to court decision, a committee, comprising vice chancellors of both from public and private higher education institutions, was constituted. The committee was headed by KP University of Engineering and Technology (Peshawar) Vice-Chancellor Syed Imtiaz Hussain Gilani and its members included Sindh Agriculture University (Tandojam) Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. A. Q. Mughal, Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management (Quetta) Vice-Chancellor Ahmed Farooq Bazai, Quaid-i-Azam University (Islamabad) Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. Masoom Yasinzai, University of Peshawar Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Iqra University (Karachi) Vice-Chancellor Dr. U A G Isani and Riphah International University (Islamabad) Vice-Chancellor Dr. Anis Ahmed.

on the recommendation of the committee, the HEC approved that in case a student intends to cancel his or her admission in any university of the country, full tuition fee shall be refunded till seventh day of commencement of classes in semester system and till fifteenth day in the annual system. In addition, half of the fee shall be refundable from eighth to fifteenth day of commencement of classes in semester system and from fifteenth to thirtieth day of commencement of classes in annual system. The HEC also approved that no fee shall be refunded from sixteenth day of commencement of classes in semester system and from thirty-first day of start of classes in annual system. The policy will be applicable to all public and private higher education institutions of the country. The news

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Pathetic! Only one school in federal capital runs in acres Islamabad: Scarcity of playgrounds in the public and private educational institutions of the federal capital is creating pessimistic impact on healthy extra-curricular activities of students. The parents of the students have expressed concern over the lack of playgrounds and urged the officials concerned to construct playgrounds in their respective schools.

There are 423 public and 654 private schools in the federal capital. Out of these, 269 public sector institutions are located in rural areas while 154 are in urban areas. Moreover, 251 private schools are working in the urban areas of Islamabad and 403 more in its rural areas.

Sources confided that over 74 percent private educational institutions have no playgrounds whereas 26 percent private institutions are providing limited space (three to four kanal) to their students. "The space for playgrounds in a school, according to the standard procedure, must be over 10 kanals. Out of it, four kanals should be used for building whereas the rest should be used for playgrounds," the sources said.

A CDA official has revealed that only one school in the federal capital, namely Sihala Higher Secondary School, has 22 acres of land. The Tarnol area of Islamabad has 54 public sector schools but none of them has a playground. The lack of playgrounds not only hampers students' extra-curricular activities but also offers them opportunity to get involved in unlawful activities such as intoxication, visiting net cafes, etc. The official also maintained that though the Capital Development Authority (CDA) provides land for construction of public sector schools in the urban areas, in rural areas land has to be purchased by the authorities concerned of the government. "The CDA used to allocate four kanals of land in the past but in the recent years the land allotment has been contracted to two kanals," he said. It is learned that over 65 percent private schools operate on rented premises.

A private school employee said that various educational institutions had constructed playgrounds to support healthy activities among the students. He said that few schools are not having this facility due to lack of space in their surrounding area. Senior educationists Prof Naeem Sultan and Prof Masood Baig said that playgrounds are inevitable for grooming healthy activities in students. It is witnessed that a large number of schools are operating in the residential areas in small houses, which are not able to facilitate students with playgrounds.

Most of the students, aged between 10 and 15 years, can be seen on the greenbelts in different areas of the federal capital. Few schools have constructed parks but these do not fulfil the requirements of all the students. Educationists suggested the authorities concerned to take measures and provide space for students for playing different outdoor games. Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Director Schools Arshad Nadeem said that it is an imperative issue and was in his notice. "It is because of thriving population that space is getting thinner day by day. "The FDE is working in collaboration with the CDA to solve this problem," Nadeem said.

Meanwhile, All Pakistan Private Schools and College Association (APPSCA) President Malik Muhammad Ibrar said that private schools had to operate in rented houses in residential areas due to limited space. Daily times

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IIUI stopped from denying its teachers allowances
Islamabad: The chief justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman, here on Tuesday suspended a notification of the International Islamic University (IIU), which was issued in the matter of lecturers and assistant professors with intimation that their special allowance in salary package will be withdrawn with effect from September 1.

As many as 64 lecturers and assistant professors of the faculty of management sciences of IIU challenged the notification in the court.

The IHC, while admitting the writ petition, suspended the notification and sought a reply from the university administration.

The legal counsel of petitioners, Advocate Shoaib Shaheen, told the court that the faculty of management sciences is a self-sustained faculty which generates its finances itself unlike other departments of the university.

According to the counsel, the university had appointed lecturers and assistant professors with an incentive of special allowances. The faculty members had been receiving allowance ranging from Rs20,000 to Rs50,000 according to their salary packages. The faculty members adopted before the court that they had left their jobs for better opportunity and remuneration offered by the IIU. And now the university all of a sudden has issued the impugned notification.

The counsel argued that the notification is a violation of the settled terms and conditions and a violation of the principles of natural justice as the university administration issued the notification without providing the aggrieved persons a chance to forward their arguments.

The court, after issuing the aforementioned order, put off hearing in the case till September 20. The news

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