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Pakistan education task force setup

PM approved setting up of Education Task Force
Islamabad, Dec 16: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has approved the setting up of Pakistan Education Task Force on the recommendation of the Education Ministry.

According to a notification issued here Tuesday by the Education Ministry, Shahnaz Wazir Ali and Sir Michael Barber are the co-chairs of the Task Force.

Other members include the Education Ministry secretary, Saba Gul of Planning Commission, Finance Ministry representative, NCHD chairman, secretaries of schools of Balochistan, NWFP, Punjab and Sindh, education secretary of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan, director (education) of FATA, Dr Muhammad Memon of IED Karachi, former Punjab finance minister Shahid Kardar, Dr Fareeha Zafar of Society for Advancement of Education, Lahore, Mehnaz Aziz of Children Global Network, Islamabad, Member Board of Directors Citizen's Foundation Ahsan Saleem, representative of Religious Education, and two international experts, each nominated by USAID and DFID, UK.

The objective of the task force will be to increase the capacity of the federal and provincial governments to implement the education reforms set out in the National Education Policy.

The task force will support the federal and provincial ministries, and prioritise and identify clear goals for improving the school system. The task force will also set targets for improvement and cascade them out through the system.

Your Comments
"The Education task force of Pakistans meeting held in Karachi on the 20th was a great opportunity for NGOs, civil societies and govt bodies to interect with each other and the outcome of this meeting clearly defined that the Education task force was very clear on improving,implementing and sharing issues that need to be worked upon within the paramenters of the National Education polocies 2009."
Name: alia agha
City, Country: karachi

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Name: asif arif ali
City, Country: karachi,pakistan

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Ministry to announce results in two months
Islamabad: Ministry of Youth Affairs (MoYA) plans to announce the results of the second National Youth Essay Writing Competition in two months.

A ministry official said that the competition, announced on November 8, received good response from the youth. "The ministry is in the initial stages of registering the received entries after which the evaluation process will start," he said. The last date for the submission of essays was December 5.

This year, the essay topics were divided into two categories, based on the age of the participants. Category I was for the age group of 15-21 years, whereas Category II was for those above 22 years but less than 29 years.

Topics for the first category included 'Socio-cultural Factors for Solidarity of Pakistan', 'Education Reforms and Employment', 'Role of Youth in Nation Building' and 'Volunteerism for Social Change.' The second category had more specialised topics such as 'Clash of Civilisations: Myth or Reality', 'Global Warming and its Impact on Pakistan', 'Public Private Partnership for Quality Public Service Delivery' and 'Impact of Economic Growth on Poverty Reduction with Special reference to Pakistan'.

The ministry has also increased the prize money for the winners this year that now amounts to Rs50,000 from Rs20,000 of last year for the first position holder, Rs30,000 for the runner up and Rs20,000 for the third position holder.

"We are in the process of assessing the eligibility of the received essays," the official said adding that these essays would be sent to subject experts for assessment.

Talking about the criteria on which the essays would be judged, he said the writing should reflect analytical thinking and critical insight of the participant. "The judges will also look into how well-structured, focused and coherent the arguments are," he pointed out. The aspiring candidates were asked not to accede the limit of 2,000 words.

In addition to providing them an opportunity to express themselves, he said the activity is aimed at knowing the perception of the young generation about the challenges faced by the country. "It will also help in inculcating the youth's opinion in future policymaking."

Last year, the competition was announced in June. The rational behind organising the event in summer vacations was to involve the youth in constructive activities in their free time.

There were only four topics including 'Causes of Unemployment in Rural Areas', 'Role of Youth in Promotion of Civil Spirit and Courtesies', 'Plan of Action to Curb the Use of Tobacco in Youth' and 'Causes of Youth Crime and Remedies'. According to ministry sources, the activity proved to be a success last time, as they received 634 essays, majority of them from rural areas.

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Intel Education Awards for schools and teachers
Islamabad: In order to recognise schools and teachers using technology to enhance learning, Intel Pakistan hosted 'Intel Education Awards' in collaboration with Intel Education Initiative and Ministry of Education, attended by Additional Secretary Education Muhammad Juman J Jamro.

The awards are held annually in the country in conjunction with the implementation of the Intel Teach Programme, which provides professional development and guidance to teachers on how to use technology to enhance student learning in the digital world.

To date, the programme has trained 220,000 teachers in Pakistan, reaching out to over 60 cities and districts.

In addition to the teachers' training, the Intel Teach Programme also hosts forums and workshops to enhance the use of ICT in the learning environment, and so far, it has reached more than 28,000 teachers and principals.

The Intel award-winning principals included Rehana Shabbir of FG College for Women G-10/4, Khadija Javed of FG Margalla College for Women F-7/4, Farzana Yousaf of Government High School Gulbahar, Peshawar, Naheed Begum of Government Higher Secondary School Lady Griffith, Peshawar, and Bilqees Ismail of Government Girls Middle School, Peshawar.

The 'Teacher of the Year' shield was given to Nargis Gul Yousafzai of FG Margalla College for Women F-7/4 and Kulsoom Bibi of Beaconhouse School System, Wah Cantonment. While appreciation awards, given to government officials associated with the task of improving the state of education, included the names of former federal education minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and Minister of State for Education Ghulam Farid Kathia.

Other officials included Qazi Muhammad Asad, Sardar Hussain Babak, Imtiaz Qazi, Atta ur Rehman Lodhi, Muhammad Arifeen, Mohammad Akram Sohail, Muhammad Juman J Jamro, Qaisar Alam, Nasreen Javed, Aurangzeb Rehman, Shaista Pirzada, Prof Muhammad Rafique Tahir, Muhammad Ismail, Noor Amna Malik, Air Commodore Waseem Mahdi, Major General M Tahir, Brig Muhammad Asif, John Raleigh, Helen Kirby, Mrs Shama Saeed, Amina Sitwat, Faisal Mushtaq, Abida Sohail, Zahida Powar, Anwar Ahmad Khawaja, Mohammad Zaman, and Salahuddin.

The Intel Teach Essential Awards were awarded to Durdana Shaheen and Arjumand Bano, Ayesha Ahsan and Rubab Minhas.

"Teachers play a significant and valuable role in our society and the Intel Education Awards are held with the recognition of this role in mind," said Ashar H Zaidi, Country Manager Intel Pakistan. He said the programme inspires the teachers to revisit their views on how ICT could be used in education, and encourages them to use technology to enhance the learning of their students.

"Schools and teachers, who take an innovative approach to use technology, are equipping their students with the real-world skills. Intel invests more than $100 million annually to promote education and technological literacy across the globe, and we are pleased to be working closely with the government to ensure that this training reaches the teachers across Pakistan," Zaidi said.

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Workshop commenced at AAUR
Rawalpindi: A three-day training workshop on 'Animal Disease Reporting & Surveillance' commenced here Tuesday at Pir Mehr Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) in collaboration with the Directorate of Animal Disease Reporting & Surveillance, Livestock Department Punjab.

The workshop has mainly been planned for the district livestock officers (DLOs) of Punjab to further train them in the field of disease surveillance, which is considered as a primary tool to develop strategy for the prevention and control of important animal diseases. It is expected that after this training, the DLOs would further improve their professional skills to better perform their duties.

Dean Faculty of Forestry, Range & Wildlife Management AAUR Prof Dr Sarwat Naz Mirza, in his address as the chief guest on the workshop's inaugural session, congratulated the Punjab Livestock & Dairy Development secretary as well as its director general for establishing a new directorate of 'Animal Disease Reporting and Surveillance', saying that this would help develop data for the prevalence of different animal diseases and subsequently adopt measures for their effective control. He hoped that the DLOs would play a central role in this whole exercise.

The dean further said that the establishment of a Participatory Epidemiology Centre at AAUR is in process and an MoU with the International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya would be signed in near future. "It will further enhance our capacity to impart trainings in different areas of animal and public health as well as animal production," he added.

He appreciated the efforts of Faculty of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, AAUR for organising such a workshop, which he hoped would be fruitful for the participants.

Dean Faculty of Veterinary & Animal Sciences Prof Dr Nemat Ullah in his welcome address said for the development of an effective strategy to control important animal infections, it is always desirable to generate sound knowledge about the occurrence of the disease, adding that disease reporting and surveillance plays a vital role in this regard. He informed that during the Rinderpest eradication campaign, all stakeholders were convinced that if we are serious to control animal diseases in the country, we should concentrate our efforts to improve the disease reporting and surveillance systems in Pakistan.

Dr Manzoor Hussain of AAUR Veterinary Faculty, while elaborating the aims and objectives of the workshop, said lectures would be delivered by eminent speakers on different subjects in the training workshop and hoped that after attending this workshop, all participants would be in a better position to execute their duties.

During the first day, training was provided to the participants in the area of epidemiology, particularly participatory approach, to better understand the prevalence of a disease. Another important area covered related to the ways that could develop a strategy for the control of important animal diseases in the country. The news

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Schools rally against terrorism
Rawalpindi: All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association (APPSMA), Rawalpindi Region, on Tuesday took out a rally against the terrorist strikes in the country.

APPSMA Rawalpindi Chapter President Abrar Ahmed Khan led the rally, which started from Liaquat Bagh and culminated in front of Rawalpindi Press Club. A large number of students and teachers of private schools attended the rally.

The participants of the rally were carrying banners inscribed with slogans against the terrorist activities in the country and anti-state elements.

The APPSMA office-bearers said the wrong decisions would also produce wrong results and there was a dire need to eliminate the roots of terrorism from the country.

They said the terrorists had no link to Islam that preached love and peace in the world. Daily times

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Doctor remarkable achievements
Rawalpindi: Professor Dr Muhammad Umar, a Gastroenterologist has been appointed as the Governor of American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) for Pakistan, in recognition of his remarkable achievements.

It is for the first time, since ACG's inception in 1932 that a position of ACG Governor for Pakistan has been created, in recognition of Pakistan's accomplishment in this field.

ACG President Eamonn M. M. Quigley MD has acknowledged Professor Umar's services and contributions for research, training and treatment of hepatitis and termed him suitable and highly qualified physician for the position of Governor of ACG for Pakistan.

Dr. Muhammad Umar is presently serving as Professor of Medicines at Rawalpindi Medical College and Holy Family Hospital. He has promoted academic as well as research activities, organised a number of national and international events, besides representing Pakistan at international forums.

Dr. Umar has also written a number of academic and research books on the treatment of hepatitis and drafted guidelines for Prime Minister's Hepatitis Control Programme.

He has established a free liver clinic at Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi and treated thousands of patients by providing them free medicines. He has also established an academic research centre in the name of Rawalians Research Forum (RRF).

The RRF has been declared as a role model by Punjab government and with the personal efforts of Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Member National Assembly Muhammad Hanif Abbasi and other elected representatives of the area efforts are being made to establish the first Liver Diseases Transplant Centre of Punjab at Holy Family Hospital. The news

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