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National Education Policy Educationists

Educationists who worked for NEP
Islamabad, Dec 26: The educationists who worked for the National Education Policy (NEP), which was approved on September 9 this year, should be taken on board while finalising the roadmap for its implementation.

Though the meeting of the task force held on December 14 last was attended by the representatives of provinces including Advisor to PM on Education Sardar Assef Ali, Education Secretary Imtiaz Kazi and Joint Educational Advisor Sardar Asif Ali, yet absence of educationists was greatly felt.

According to the reliable sources in the ministry, it was said that the people who were involved in the policy making process were not present in the meeting while it was necessary to invite them. "The member of the task force has least knowledge about education policy and its implementation framework," the source revealed.

According to the information available, the implementing roadmap consists of three major steps including launching ceremony of NEP, institutionalisation of IPEM, coordination, facilitation and capacity building of the educational institutions.

The launching ceremony of NEP was necessary to disseminate implementing strategy to the provincial level. "Workshops would be conducted on first level where each province would prioritise the policy actions according to its current situation and capacity," he said.

He said that NEP consists of 263 policy actions, which would be adopted by each province according to their circumstances. "Each province would decide as to what policy action should be adopted in order to improve the standard of education according to their social, cultural and political situation," he added.

The second phase institutionalisation of IPEM (Inter Provincial Education Minister Workshop) includes the implementation framework where all the implementing partners will work to mobilise National Standard Authority (NSA) to decide and monitor various education projects. "For instance it will decide how many schools should be built, how much capacity they should have, how to maintain the quality of text books and the teachers," he added.

The source said that the most important function of the second phase was to bind all implementing partners to follow the decision of the IPEM. "Most of the times on which the decisions were taken under IPEM are refused afterwards which are putting the credibility of the forum at stake," he said.

Furthermore, he said, IPEM also to play a role of watchdog in order to monitor proceedings of various projects. "If it is inevitable to bring changes in policy document, it could be done by IPEB as NEP already was declared as living and adaptable document," he added.

The third step "coordination, facilitation and capacity building of implementing partners" include workshops and training of educationists besides facilitating them in various projects.

It is worth mentioning here that education expert Sir Micheal Barber from United Kingdom was also present in the meeting in order to provide his education expertise to the Ministry of Education.

According to information, the UK prime minister had offered his help on education sector to President Asif Ali Zardari few months ago during his visit to UK which was accepted by him and it is now that Sir Micheal Barber has arrived to help the implementation process of NEP.

Ministry of Education's Deputy Educational Advisor (DEA) T.M. Qureshi said that although the minister, secretary and joint education advisor have been changed yet there would not be any delay in the implementation process. "The new secretary is quite enthusiastic who want to start the implementation process without any further delay," he said.

Qureshi said that a task force has already started working to prioritise and identify the goals to achieve by the provinces. "We have already sent a recommendation for the launching ceremony of NEP to the secretary that hopefully would soon get approval after which the formal implementation work begins," he added.

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Visas of Pakistani students accused of terrorism curtailed
London: The British government, in a surprising decision, has revoked the visas given to three Pakistani students and have debarred them from entering the United Kingdom on grounds of national security.

Abdul Wahab Khan, Shoaib Khan and Tariq-ur-Rehman were among the 10 Pakistani students arrested in April this year as terror suspects by the northwest England anti-terror units.Later, they were released as no evidence was found against them but were handed over to the UK Border Agency for deportation.

All the students, who hailed from the NWFP, decided to leave voluntarily in August when their final hearing appeal was set for March 2010 and after the UK authorities agreed to withdraw 'intention to deport' orders of April 21.

They were told that they will have a free standing right of appeal (out of country) against their student visa cancellation. However, according to their lawyer, Barrister Amjad Malik, the Home Department has issued refusal notices dated December 18, saying that they should be excluded from the United Kingdom on the grounds that their presence here would not be conducive to the public good for reason of national security.

The letters to Wahab and Shoaib stated: "You are judged to be involved in Islamist extremist activity. On the balance of the Home Secretary's decision to exclude you, your leave to remain in the UK has been cancelled under article 13(7)(b) of the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000. There is no statutory right of appeal against the Home Secretary's decision to exclude you from the United Kingdom, but you are entitled to an out-of-country appeal against decision to cancel your leave to remain."

The students will have a right of appeal before Special Immigration Appeals Commission within 28 days of the decision. On the other hand, Tariq-ur-Rehman has also been denied any right of appeal against the Home Secretary's order and will not be allowed to enter the UK unless the order has been revoked.

He had appealed against the cancellation of his visa. Malik said this was done to further frustrate his appeal bid listed in March 2010. Of the 10 students, two are still in prison fighting their appeals.

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Concern over delay in creation of 750 posts
Lahore: The Young Doctors Association (YDA) has expressed strong concern over delay in creation of 750 posts of postgraduate resident doctors in the hospitals of the Punjab.

YDA president Dr Rana Sohail and general secretary Dr Salman Kazmi said 900 young doctors were working without pay across the province and were anxiously waiting for approval of summary regarding creation of 750 posts of postgraduate resident doctors.

They claimed that according to their sources, the chief minister had finally rejected the summary and directed the department to keep it pending till March 2010, adding this had created great anxiety among the real stakeholders who had been working without pay.

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MAO College result
Lahore: students of Government MAO College produced excellent result in the Punjab University's Mass Communication Examination 2009. A student Iqra Younas achieved second position in the exam by securing 715 marks while another student Asma Kiran stood fourth by securing 704 marks.

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Students not harassed
Lahore: A spokeman for Punjab Health Department has strongly contradicted the allegations contained in a news report that FJMC students' representatives had been harassed by the members of the committee constituted by the Chief Minister Punjab.

Describing the allegations as totally baseless and unfortunate, the spokesman clarified that the conduct of all the committee members during the meeting and afterwards was dignified. The news

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Degree College to remain open
Lahore: The Minhajul Quran Degree College for Women Township, run by noted religious scholar Tahirul Qadri, was the only educational institution in the city that remained open on December 25 (yesterday), despite the day being a public holiday.

Students at the college said the administration did not close the college each year and forced them to attend classes.

The college's Director Media Mian Zahid Islam said the college had remained open to mark the birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and conduct a debating competition. Besides the day falling in the college's winter vacations, the set academic calendar also declares the day as a holiday, but the administration forced the students to attend the ceremony at the college.

Students present at the college criticised the administration, saying it was unfair for them to be attending college while all other students of public institutions enjoyed a holiday. The college falls under the control of the Punjab Higher Education Department and is bound to adhere to the government's directives. Daily times

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Two schools blown up
Landikotal: Suspected militants blew up two government schools in the Landikotal subdivision of Khyber Agency in early Friday hours.

However, no casualties were reported. In the first incident, the Government Middle School at the Abdul Latif Khan Killay was bombed at 3:55am. The explosion damaged two classrooms, local sources said.

"I was in my room when the explosion occurred. I rushed out and saw thick smoke covering the school building," said the school watchman. The second bomb went off exactly an hour later and targeted the Government High school at village Muhammad Khan Killay. Two classrooms, windowpanes of other rooms, furniture and the school record were destroyed in the bombing.

A teacher, requesting anonymity, said all the walls of the high school building had developed cracks. The security forces rushed to the site and cordoned off the area soon after the blasts. Later during the clearance operation, the security forces found another bomb fitted in a water-cooler and defused it.

Fazle Rehman Afridi, principal of one of the schools, condemned the attacks. He said the students were determined to attending school as several of them were seen collecting the bricks at their educational institution for use in reconstruction of the damaged school.

The blasts occurred only two hours before a World Food Programme ceremony meant to distribute thousands of flour bags in government-run schools on Friday. There might have been casualties had the blasts taken place at the WFP event.

The political administration arrested two watchmen on the spot, Gulab Sher and Safeer, and shifted them to Landikotal lockup for further interrogation. The news

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