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Educational system improvements, upgradation

Goverment to upgrade education system
Islamabad, Dec 15: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Sector and Co-Chairperson Pakistan Education Task Force Begum Shehnaz Wazir Ali has pledged to devise an effective mechanism to ensure the upgradation of the educational system and meet modern day requirements.

She was addressing the first brainstorming meeting of Pakistan Education Task Force, held here Monday to sort out strategies to implement the policy in true spirit.

"To monitor and supervise the different phases of implementation of the education policy, Inter-Provincial Education Ministers' Forum (IPEM) will be created to check any stumbling block in its implementation," she said.

Private and public sector partnership is essentially needed to remove disparities and implement a uniform education system in the country, she said.

Federal Secretary of Education Imtiaz Hussain Qazi in his presentation on 'Education Scenario in Pakistan and Issues in Education Sector' highlighted various key objectives of the policy as well as the challenges. He informed the meeting that the budgetary allocations for education would be raised to seven per cent of the GDP by the year 2015 according to the education policy.

Imtiaz Qazi further informed that under the policy, enrolment of students in higher education would be increased from 4.7 to 10 per cent by 2015 and 15 per cent by 2020. The policy also sets a goal to ensure free Universal Primary Education (UPE) by 2015 and up to Class 10 by 2025. Other initiatives include improvement in teachers' qualifications, curriculum, textbooks, examination and learning environment.

Contrary, the present literacy rate in the country is 56 per cent, including 67 per cent males and 42 per cent females, which is the lowest in South Asia. The news

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Rs.5 billion Punjab fund for students, teachers
Rawalpindi: Chairman Chief Minister Punjab Task Force on Elementary Education Raja Muhammad Anwar Monday said that the chief minister had allocated Rs 5 billion for supporting the poor but intelligent students and encouraging teachers to show good academic results.

He was speaking as chief guest at a ceremony organized at Government Postgraduate College, Asghar Mall, to give awards to the winners of middle and primary level speech competitions.

Anwar said that the Punjab government had set up Rs 4 billion worth of endowment fund to encourage the poor but intelligent students to continue their studies from nursery to PhD level.

Similarly, Rs 1 billion has also been allocated for the teachers showing excellent academic results, he said, adding that the chief minister was committed to raising the education standard in the province and no effort was being spared in this regard. Later, he gave away awards to the three winners. Syed Muhammad Abbas stood first, Muhammad Qasim stood second, while Muhammad Osama bagged the third position.

Speaking on the occasion, Director Colleges Dr Muhammad Ashraf said that essay-writing competitions not only promoted healthy activities among the students, but also encouraged them to pay more attention to their studies. The college principal Prof Ghazanfar Mahmood, teachers and a large number of students attended the ceremony. APP

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Lectures on crisis management
Rawalpindi: Collaboration between media and disaster management authorities is critical for crisis management, noted speakers during lectures held here on Monday.

The lectures on "Information Management and Working with Media in Disaster Situation" had been organised by the Department of Communication Sciences of Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) Rawalpindi. Daily times

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ICU teachers strike
Peshawar: The Teaching Staff Association of Islamia College University (ICU) to start protest strike against delay in holding Senate meeting of the university from today (Tuesday).

President of Teaching Staff Association of Islamia College Chartered University, Izhar Ahmad said that the association would boycott the classes from 10 am to 12 pm from Tuesday to register their protest against delay in the senate meeting.

He said that despite lapse of one and half year the senate meeting has not been held due to which 70 percent promotions and appointments of the teaching staff were pending. APP

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PMAS-AAUR Flower show
Rawalpindi: Department of Horticulture, Pir Mehr Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR), in collaboration with Islamabad Horticulture Society, will organise a 'Chrysanthemum & Autumn Flower Show' from December 18-20 in its lawns.

The main objective of the show is to provide a platform for different organisations to show their expertise in the field of horticulture and provide healthy entertainment to the residents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The show is also emphasised to promote the positive aspects of floriculture in our daily life and provide a forum to hobby gardeners for sharing their ideas and exchanging information with professionals. The show will bring growers, researchers and buyers at a single place, so that advanced techniques in the field of growing and production may be disseminated among the participants.

A special segment of flower arrangement will also be part of the show in which artistic arrangements will be displayed in a beautiful manner. Any individual or institute can participate to display their creativity with the permission of the convener. The last date for receipt of entries is December 16.

The show will be open for faculty and students on December 19 while it will open for public on December 20. A panel of specialist judges has been invited for the show from universities and other institutions to maintain the transparency of result.

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Students clean up Margalla Hills
Islamabad: Following its vision of environmental protection, the Eco Adventure Club (EAC) arranged a cleanup expedition on Margalla Hills on the occasion of the International Mountain Day recently.

The purpose of the expedition was to contribute towards a cleaner environment at places that are still in pristine condition but are increasingly threatened to lose this quality because of increased human activities there.

EAC selected Margalla Hills for the cleanup expedition for several reasons, foremost amongst which is the proximity of Margalla Hills to Islamabad city. Because of easy access, the hills have witnessed a drastic surge in human activities, and as a corollary, its landscape is littered with waste. The cleanup expedition is twofold, as it is a practical activity on one hand, and educational on the other.

For this expedition, EAC engaged students to cleanup a total area of eight kilometres as a daylong activity of clearing the Margalla Hills of litter. The participants were divided into groups, headed by a team leader, who supervised the team members. One team trekked on Trail-3's main trail, whereas the second went through the connecting tracks.

Three teams went to Pir Sohawa and two teams cleaned the surrounding areas of a recently built restaurant. One team went to Islamabad-Haripur junction and cleared the picnic spots. All the members collected garbage, making a total waste collection of approximately 200kg that was finally gathered at the restaurant. The garbage was later handed over to CDA.

Essar Karim, President EAC said about 150 students of Riphah University, International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI), Shaheen School System and Beaconhouse School System participated in the event. "It was our first major event this year.

Earlier, we had cleanup expeditions at Thandiyani and Rawal Dam (farmhouse side). In the near future, the Club wants to conduct cleanup expeditions at Nanga Parbat base camp, Saiful Muluk Lake and Spantick Peak. It is very important to sensitise the students about a cleaner environment," he said.

The Eco Adventure Club was formed in September 2008 with a slogan 'Adventure with a Mission'. Besides the clean up expeditions, the Club also conducts trekking, rock climbing, boating, rafting and skiing in Kalabagh. The Club also plans to build the first artificial climbing wall in Islamabad. The news

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