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University of Karachi postpones papers

KU postpones today's papers
Karachi, Dec 01: The University of Karachi on Sunday announced postponement of the papers of semester examinations; the BA, BSc and BCom (regular); and the MBBS (professional part-A) which were scheduled to be held on Monday (Dec 1).

Controller of examinations Prof Maqsood Hussain said in a statement that the new date for these papers would be announced later.

Meanwhile, the university has extended the last date for the submission of LLM admissions in its affiliated law colleges to Dec 3 with a late fee of Rs1,000.

Chemistry club
The National Core Group in Chemistry (NCGC) has established the "Systemic Approach to Teaching and Learning Chemistry Club (SATLC Club) at the Karachi University with an initial funding of Rs50,000 to promote chemical sciences in the country.

This was stated by Prof Mohammad Iqbal Chaudhary, Director of KU's International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) while speaking at the concluding ceremony of a 10-day international workshop on SATLC.

The workshop was jointly organised by the ICCBS, NCGC and Higher Education Commission (HEC). Over 70 teaching personnel from across the country attended the workshop where experts from USA, Germany, Italy, Jordan and Egypt, besides Pakistan, imparted training. App/Ppi

Schools, colleges to remain closed today
Karachi: All private and government schools in the city will be remain closed today, that is Monday, due to the current tense situation. City Nazim Mustafa Kamal stated this on Sunday as the overall situation in the city is not peaceful. The University of Karachi, Dow Medical College and Federal Urdu University along with private academic institutes, announced that all their activities will be suspended on Monday. Daily Times

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"Please Inform About the new Dates For Remaining Papers. ( and also inform that all the remaining papers have canceled or not?? ) Which has been postponed due to the voilence in karachi city ."
Name: Muhammad Faizan
City, Country: karachi, Pakistan

"I am student of karachi university, our semester is in progress today again we distured by the fluctuation conditions of the city. Govt. is failed to control on this, it is bad fortunate for the students of all karachi that they are facing such problems. People residing in karachi should take step by thinking because it is our loss who reside in karachi permanantly. May God give courage to control on the harsh conditions of the city. AZIZ AHMED BURCHA."
City, Country: karachi, Pakistan

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Teachers demand review of MS/PhD admission policy
Karachi: A meeting organised by the Karachi University Teachers' Society (KUTS) at the Staff Club on Saturday held an extensive debate on what they deseribe as the recent MS/PhD admission fiasco and demanded a review of the entire admission process.

Senior KU teachers participating in the debate severely criticised the university administration for bypassing all relevant statutory bodies while taking policy decisions and involving a private organisation to conduct the entry tests for the MS/PhD programme. They observed that the whole process lacked transparency and caused a lot of hassle and financial loss to the candidates, who had to pay double fee owing to the flawed test and mismanagement.

The teachers demanded constitution of committees comprising research supervisors at department level.

The participants, speaking on "MS/PhD admission policy and procedures: a lesson from errors", deplored that the KU administration kept the departments concerned completely in the dark about the whole issue, and observed that this appeared to be the major reason behind the fiasco.

"The blunders committed by the administration one after another have made the university a laughing stock… there was no vision and no sensitivity demonstrated at any level," remarked a senior teacher.

Referring to the chronology of events before the deans' committee decided to acquire the services of the National Testing Services (NTS) for conducting the entry test, he recalled that preparations for the admissions were under way and the teachers concerned had also prepared test papers when "suddenly the entire programme was hijacked and all became a one-man show."

Most of the speakers stressed the need for some mechanism to evaluate the eligibility of academic candidates, coming from diverse backgrounds, since the Masters and PhD studies were mainly based on research and required a lot of theoretical and practical work.

While some participants questioned the rationale behind assessing the academic qualifications of the candidates possessing KU degrees, there were a few who supported the old system for granting admissions provided that it was implemented in letter and spirit.

Prof Mutahir Ahmed, pointing out that some students with fewer marks in the NTS test got admissions and those with higher marks appeared deprived of the admission after the final list was declared, quoted examples from the past where some candidates got admission though they could not write even two sentences correctly.

Prof S.M. Khalid referring to the merit list held in abeyance by the KU administration wondered if it might be used again. "It must be declared cancelled in clear terms," he asserted.

Dr Shakeel Farouqi demanded setting up of a liaison committee to address complaints against the NTS.

The meeting also criticised the administration for allowing the HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry to conduct another test of the candidates seeking admission to that institute, and called for a uniform test to be conducted by the KU for all applicants, arguing that most candidates who took the NTS test suffered because the questions were not subject-specific. Dawn

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AKU 21st graduation ceremony held
Karachi: Diplomas and degrees in different disciplines of medicine, science, nursing education and health sciences were conferred upon 276 graduating students at Aga Khan Medical University (AKU) 21st graduation ceremony on Saturday. AKU School of Nursing awarded 67 Diplomas in General Nursing, 28 Post Registered Nurse Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN), 33 BScN, and 12 Masters in Science to nursing students.

The medical college awarded degrees to 80 Bachelors in Medicine, Bachelors of Surgery (MBBS), four Masters in Science (MSc) of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, four MSc in Health Policy and Management, six MSc in Clinical Research, and three Doctorates in Philosophy to Health Science candidates. The Institute for Educational Development awarded 39 Masters of Education degrees. Professor Dr Sheikh Arshad Saeed was conferred the title of Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, while the Best Graduate Award was presented to Dr Roomasa Channa, and the Valedictorian was Institute for Educational Development graduate Shamsah Raheem Dhanani.

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah applauded AKU and called it an institute for higher learning that offered its students a transparent, merit-based admissions process. "AKU has managed to raise the bar in every aspect and has encouraged other organizations to do the same," he said adding that the institution has set very high standards of innovative patient care. In his address, AKU President Faiz Rasul said that the university has achieved high standards and is providing quality education. Rasul stated that AKU also benefits from the generosity of universities around the world who share their knowledge and experience. He revealed that last week, AKU signed a second agreement in Canada to extend its partnership with the McMaster University. Daily Times

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AKU-EB: redefining educational standards
Karachi: The declining standards of local examination boards and their eroding credibility over the years have resulted in parallel examination systems from private sector. While the successive governments failed to deliver, the private sector jumped in local market, which made hundred of schools to get affiliated with it owing to its improved standards.

Aga Khan University Examination Board (AKU-EB), a federal examination board, best defines the role that private sector can play in improving the standards of education especially the examination process. Established in August 2003, the AKU-EB, a reputable examination board, has now taken over 200 schools across Pakistan and 60 schools in Karachi including some of the premier schools.

Talking about how the AKU-EB is different, Karima Kara, Associate Director AKU-EB said, "We not only test the national curriculum but we also enrich it." While explaining she said, "The AKU-EB's examination syllabuses include Specific Learning Objectives (SLO) with cognitive levels, scheme of assessments, teaching strategies, command words and their definitions. These documents help to regulate and standardise teaching activities." "We have also linked the syllabus of classes IX and X with classes XI and XII," she continued, adding, "The current examinations report only total scores. There is no feedback on what went well and what didn't. The AKU-EB utilises state-of-the-art public examination practices. Through the introduction of the e-marking technology it provides the written answer of each question separately to several evaluators for marking, thereby ensuring that the evaluators cannot identify the candidate and enabling correlation of the marks for consistency."

Asked if they are satisfied with the national curriculum, she said, "There is nothing wrong with the national curriculum. It is only that the teachers have not seen it and are not aware of it." She further said that what matters the most is what happens with it in the classrooms and the type of teaching and learning that goes on. Replying to why the AKU-EB does not have its own Text Book Board, Kara said, "We do not believe in restricting students and teachers to one book. We rather encourage them to consult various books, resources and reference materials that best meet the objectives of the syllabus. We also work closely with the book publishers to ensure that appropriate resources are available."

The AKU-EB claims that current public examinations accord undue value to detailed memorisation of a single text book. Rote learning of the text book is reinforced by the structure and style of question papers, which in turn defeats the basic targets of education and of the national curriculum, which are acquisition, understanding and application of knowledge. The AKU-EB examinations, they claim, have made information available to the candidates and ask them to bring their ideas and understanding to bear on that information.

One of the advantages of the AKU-EB as compared to Cambridge System is that their students do not require equivalence for admissions in graduate schools/universities since the AKU-EB is a member of Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC). Additionally, they are registered with International Association for Educational Assessment (IAEA), which is another advantage since their students are internationally recognised as well. The News

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