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Matric, intermediate examinations revised schedule

Revised schedule for matric, intermediate examinations
Karachi, Dec 16: Sindh education department has issued revised schedule for various examinations. According to the revised schedule, examinations up to middle class would be conducted by March 15 and secondary school examination would begin on March 24 and intermediate on April 27.

The results of SSC exams would be announced by July 15, inter exams of the Karachi boards by Aug 31, and other boards in the province would announce results by Aug 16.

Meanwhile the Sindh government has dispensed with the condition of compulsory uniform for students of all government schools and colleges, and allowed the use of Ajrak as a scarf.

This decision was announced by Senior Education Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq while briefing newsmen after presiding over a meeting of the steering committee on education held here on Tuesday evening.

On the issue of the number of annual holidays in educational institutions, a sub-committee headed by Education Secretary Rizwan Memon was formed. The secretary was asked to submit his recommendations within 15 days.

The meeting drastically cut examination fees. According to the decision, the intermediate (science) examination fee has been reduced from Rs950 to Rs550, intermediate arts and commerce fee from Rs750 to Rs500.

The committee expressed its concern over the rising trend of cheating in examinations and decided to check it strictly and adopt new ways to improve the examination system.

The meeting also decided to enforce a state of emergency around the centres of examinations of the boards and colleges and that examination centres would be set up only in government institutions. It also decided to hire internal and external invigilators who must not be in a grade lower than grade 17.

If any college principal [or headmaster /headmistress] declined to perform the examination duty, disciplinary action would be taken against them, it said.

The meeting also decided that the system of automatic promotions up to class three from class one would be conditional with tests, but the age limit was waived for appearing in such tests.

Answering a question, the education minister said that if the government decided to observe two weekly holidays, the decision would not apply to educational institutions.

The meeting deferred a decision on disbanding of evening classes in Karachi and the issue would be taken up at the next meeting of the steering committee.

Those who attended the meeting were Education Secretary Prof Rizwan Memon, Director of Colleges Prof Rafiq Siddiqui and all EDOs of education.

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"When the Supplementary Intermediate Part I and II 2009 PRE MEDICAL will be held and Admit cards will be issued for regular students "
Name: Subhan
City, Country: Karachi

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Over 5,000 Karachi university students receive degrees
Karachi: The University of Karachi held its 21st convocation on Tuesday in which over 5,000 students received degrees.

Some 74 gold medals were awarded to top students in various disciplines. Girl students received 55 of the 74 gold medals awarded on Tuesday.

The convocation was attended by KU alumni, foreign dignitaries, teachers, students and their parents.

The chancellor of the university, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, however, was conspicuous by his absence.

It is the third consecutive year that he could not make it to the event, although he was the chief guest.

A total number of 5,166 students were awarded degrees - 630 in BA (Hons) BLIS, 1,352 in MA/MLIS, 22 in BA (Hons) Islamic learning, 107 in MA Islamic learning, 159 in BBA/B.Com/BPA (Hons), 489 in MBA/M.Com/MPA/MAS, 165 in D.Pharm, 38 in M.Pharm, 735 in BS/BS.c (Hons), 1,281 in MSc/MCS.

Besides, 187 students were awarded MS, M.Phil, MD and PhD degrees. Of the total 5,166 students, about 1,015 had taken evening courses.

The recipients of the gold medals in the faculty of arts are: Farjad Ali (two gold medals), Maria Malik, Saira Shaikh, Shehla Naqvi, Aliza Batool, Saima Naseer, Maheen Qureshi (two gold medals), Mubusshrah Shafiq, Samra Sarfaraz Khan, Neha Ansari, Sarah Raza, Syeda Sadia Naz, Haya Fatima Iqbal, Rahat Kamal, Saba Syed, Nida Sarfaraz, Syeda Qaima Qaiser Ghazali, Komal, Saira Batool, Naila, Mashhood Hussain, Farzana Hussain, Humaira Zubair, Raheela Yousuf, Namra Asif, Jameela Saeed ul Khair and Alia Anwar.

Faculty of science: Kahkashan Nawaz, Sajid Ali, Rizwana Malik, Mariam Sophie, Hina Asrar, Noureen Fatima, Sana Gul (two gold medals), Safi Asim Bin Asif (three gold medals), Mohammad Rashid, Tayyaba Abid, Sania Sultana, Fahdila Azam, Hira Naz (two gold medals), Kausar Noor, Jawad Ahmed Ansari, Shaffaq Jawaid Kurd, Sadaf Shakeel, Syed Amir Mahmud, Sidra Arshad, Madiha Hafeez, Mohammad Kamran, Faizan Mirza, Usama Farooq, Mohammad Najamuddin, Nazia Arshad and Saman Mehboob (two medals) received gold medals.

Faculty of pharmacy: Sana Sarfaraz received four gold medals.

Faculty of Islamic studies: Hafiza Maria Hassan Padhiar, Hafiz Faiz Rasool, Rouqaia Anwar received gold medals.

Faculty of management and administrative sciences: Shumaila Khalil, Faiza Hina, Sarah Anjum, Syed Raza Naim (two gold medals) and Sana Raees received gold medals.

Dr Ishratul Ibad in his message read out by KU registrar Prof (Dr) Mohammad Raees Alvi congratulated both students and teachers and expressed the hope that they would continue to strive for achieving the best academic standards in future as well.

Highlighting achievements of the university, KU Vice Chancellor Prof (Dr) Pirzada Qasim said that the institution had grown remarkably over the years and the student enrolment had risen from 19,000 to 24,000 in the past five years.

The number of faculty members had also increased from 623 to 826 during the same period, he said.

"Along with the number of students and teachers, the standard of education has also improved. The university is ranked 23rd in the field of natural sciences in the world, according to a survey conducted by the Times Higher Education 2009. The QS World University Ranking 2009 has placed the KU in the list of top 600 universities," he said.

"The Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilization at the university," he said, "is the first of its kind in the world".

"That's why the Unesco chair in sustainable halophyte utilization has recently been established at the institute. A number of projects in collaboration with foreign universities are also under way on the campus."

Giving some facts about the KU status, he said that there were 24,000 students acquiring education at the university which had nine faculties, 54 departments and 21 research institutes and centres of excellence.

Around 150,000 students were enrolled at affiliated colleges, he said. Till 2009, 1,034 PhD degrees had been awarded and a total of 2,500 postgraduate students were involved in research on the campus, he said.

Besides, 695 of KU research papers had been published in international journals during the past two years, he informed the audience. Dawn

Record number of degrees awarded
Karachi: The university awarded degrees to a record number of 5,166 students, including 1,015 from the Evening Programme. The degrees conferred included 630 for BA (Hons) and BLIS students; 1,352 for MA/MLIS; 1,281 for M.Sc./MCS.

A total of 68 MS, M.Phil and MD and 120 PhD degrees were awarded in Medicine, Arts, Pharmacy, Science, Islamic Learning, Law and Management and Administrative Sciences.

Gold Medals offered by various individuals and companies were awarded to 74 meritorious students who had excelled in their respective examinations.

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International organisation to promote education
Karachi: The Peaceful Schools International (PSI), a Canadian non-profit, charitable organisation has started to promote peace education in Lyari. PSI head Dr Hetty Van Gurp with the organistion's Pakistan coordinator Muhammad Nadim Ghazi is nowadays visiting Lyari to identify schools to seek support of the schools management and Lyari Town Municipal Administration.

One of Karachi's oldest neighbourhoods, Lyari, has mostly been in the middle of a war between various armed groups which has disturbed the education process in the area and this initiative by PSI is being welcomed by the people of Lyari as well as by the town administration.

PSI was formed in 2001 by Dr Hetty Van Gurp, whose elder son, Ben, died when he was 14 years old as a result of a bullying incident in Nova Scotia in 1991. Since then, Dr Van Gurp has been involved in this mission.

PSI provides support to schools that have declared a commitment to creating and maintaining a culture of peace. It has over 300 member schools around the world where students, teachers and community members work together to ensure that everyone feels safe.

Dr Van Gurp's teaching career has included extensive and varied assignments in Canada and the USA. In addition to teaching public school, she has taught students with special needs as a resource teacher and as a teacher of the blind. She has also been principal of an elementary school in Nova Scotia. Currently, she is a part-time member of the faculty of Mount Saint Vincent University.

She is the author of four books, and has been serving as a peace education consultant to schools across Canada and internationally since 1991.

During this time, she introduced the concept of peer mediation to schools in Nova Scotia and still conducts regular training sessions for students, educators and community members.

Meanwhile Muhammad Nadim Ghazi said that they are planning to identify 30 schools in the city initially out of which 75 per cent would be selected from Lyari. Ghazi has got training in PSI headquarter in Canada to achieve the goal in Pakistan.

He said that they are planning to extend their work in 300 schools all over the country, mostly in conflict-hit zones. They have provided training to 400 teachers of Karachi out of which 150 teachers belong to Lyari neighbourhood. He said that they are trying to convince both government and private schools in the neighbourhood.

Ghazi said they act as a catalyst for innovative ideas that help to build an environment in schools where everyone feels safe, respected and valued. PSI's vision is to create a global network of peaceful schools, he added.

In this regard Lyari Town Nazim Mahmood Hashim said that they are happy to see the eagerness of the international organisation to work in their neighbourhood, providing training to teachers and introducing valuable syllabus to promote the peace education through their unique demonstrations within the educational institutes.

The town Nazim added that the law and order situation in Lyari is improving now and the people who had migrated from the area to other areas due to bad law and order situation are returning. He expressed the hope that this exercise would prove to be helpful for the poverty-stricken community.

He said that the teachers and students would get a golden opportunity to learn how to promote peace in their neighbourhood.

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NAPA student staged Othello
Karachi: The final-year students of National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) successfully staged Shakespeare's classic play 'Othello' at the Arts Council Karachi as a part of their final year project. The best part of the NAPA play this time was the fact that it was directed by a student of the graduating batch and not by a member of the faculty.

The play was directed by Ali Abbas and had Nazar al Hassan, Shaan Sheikh, Mewish Siddique and Zain Nazar in the lead cast. The story is a popular tale of Othello and the doubts that keep on building up against his wife Desdemona.

Performing Shakespeare in Urdu and doing it perfectly with keeping the body of knowledge of that era in context is a very difficult task to achieve. The not yet graduate students of NAPA have shown new rays of hope for theatre in Karachi by there exceptional performance. The play was performed in the absence of their seasonal actors such Ali Rizvi, Ovais Mangalawal, Aiman tariq , Saqib Khan and Bakhtawar Mazhar who had become the part and parcel of every NAPA play and yet the entertainment level never went down.

The actor who dominated the play was Nazar al-Hassan who played Lago. Although Lago by its very nature is a strong character, the way it was executed was commendable. Character traits such as the wicked laughter, cunning walk and whispering with suspicion gave the character a very strong feel and the audience could see Nazar living the character of Lago and changing delivery patterns on stage.

Previously we had seen only Aiman Tariq and Baklhtawar Mazhar, two female graduates from NAPA, who had made it big but Mehwish, who played Desdemona, is another gem to look forward to.

Shaan Sheikh was the smart guy playing Othello but there was not much to his character, Othello could have been more powerful, however in the end of the play when he was about to kill Desdemona, Sheikh did not leave the audience disappointed.

Technically the play was very sound. Something that needs to be commended was the brilliant choreography of the sword fighting scene and the reactions that were necessary in such duels. All the characters were hitting swords with full force yet no one was hurt.

Lighting was an interesting part of the narrative which started with a very low key effect and moved on to fully lit faces in the second half of the play. The wardrobe was adapted according to the script and the set was minimalist but yet had the Shakespearian feel to it.

NAPA students proved there mettle with Othello and also negated the stereotype that NAPA students can only act and not direct with excellence. Considering that it was a final year project and for the first time any project was commercially staged, it was a class act. Some very bold lines were delivered so convincingly that they never sounded profane.

Othello was a positive step for NAPA and for theatre in Karachi and putting Shakespeare successfully on stage is a solid proof of the potential of the NAPA students. The news

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