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Changes in schools, colleges curriculum

Emergency themes to be included in curriculum
Islamabad, Dec 21: Education Ministry will make changes in the curriculum of schools and colleges through including themes on emergencies, natural disasters and trauma management.

Official sources said the curriculum, especially that of Social Studies, Geography, Languages and Literacy, will include themes on emergencies and natural calamities.

The curriculum will be based on latest international best practices and will include information about response in an emergency or disaster.

Teacher education and training curricula will include provisions to enable the teacher to teach in emergencies.

A repository of all emergency related materials, manuals, guidelines, minimum standards and research pertaining to education will be maintained at teachers training institutions, schools, colleges and universities.

Pakistan has endured serious emergent situations in recent years in which collateral damage was caused at a large scale. The schools have been the worst victim in the absence of the required infrastructure to bear the tremendous shock of earthquakes and the school administrations as well as students were not prepared to meet such kind of challenges.

Although, there were some provisions in the school curriculum and learning materials to address crisis and disaster management related issues, due to the non-availability of a proper mechanism, the concepts could not be enforced appropriately.

The country's education system has now recognised the need to prepare individuals and groups to grapple with the demands of emergencies through organised and effective responses. Credible rehabilitation and disaster management plans need to be put in place to ensure early restoration of the education service in disaster hit areas.

According to the new education policy, awareness will be raised amongst the students regarding emergency situations, natural disasters and school safety, so as to enable them to take appropriate preventive measures and informed decisions in emergencies or crises.

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The life of 65-year-old professor, dubbed a terrorist
Islamabad: The 65-year old professor, who has been recently picked up by the intelligence agencies for alleged links with terrorists who had attacked the Parade Lane Mosque in Rawalpindi and Moon Market in Lahore, bears a remarkable career including a master's degree from Columbia University and a long teaching career in the country's top university.

Not only well versed in international affairs but the old man has been working with the United Nations to help the international body evolve a strategy to interact with the Afghans by introducing Islamic economic system for financial support programmes for poor Afghan nationals.

Raja Ehsan Aziz, who has been reportedly picked up by a security agency for alleged links with terrorists, has been teaching international relations in the country's top university for over 25 years.

He is believed to be a member of Tehrik-e-Islami (TI), a splinter group of Jamaat-e-Islami but his wife says that she is a member of TI and not her husband.

After getting early education from Lamanteer School Calcutta Ehsan did his A-levels from England and Master's in International Relations from Karachi University. The man picked-up by the agencies is also a law graduate from FL Law College. It does not end here as Ehsan Aziz bears another Master's degree from Columbia University, USA in International Relations.

After joining the Foreign Service, Raja Ehsan remained favourite third secretary of Agha Shahi. Later in 1975, Ehsan joined the IR Department of Quaid-i-Azam University and started teaching there and remained in the university till the year 2000. Apart from delivering lectures in almost all leading institutions of the country including NDC, IB etc Ehsan also served the United Nations in a project of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Afghanistan. He introduced Ribba free financial support programmes for the Afghans.

Amira Ehsan, the spouse of the professor, says that Ehsan refused taking nationality of UK and America as he spent six years in Britain and seven years in the US. He even did not allow his son to get register his name as an American born and instead he went to Pakistan Consulate and got his son's name registered as Pakistan-born.

She said that Ehsan regularly offers five times prayers and has beard, which is his primary sin. She said the intelligence agencies have picked up her husband from the door of his house but police knew nothing.

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AIOU Autumn Flower Show
Rawalpindi: Lush green gardens and lawns not only add beauty to the surroundings but also have a very positive impact on the environment.

This was stated by Prof Dr Mahmood-ul-Hassan, Vice Chancellor Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), while speaking as the chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony of the two-day 'Chrysanthemum & Autumn Flower Show' that concluded here Sunday at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR), says a press release.

He commended AAUR's effort to organise such an event on its own to increase awareness among people regarding the significance of plants and flowers.

Vice Chancellor PMAS-AAUR Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood Khan said Pakistan has a very fertile land, suitable for producing plants and flowers, but little attention has been paid to this sector so far. "If we seriously pay attention to the flower industry, we can earn hugely through its export," he said. He was of the view that there is a strong relation between plants and environment. "Our environment can only stay clean and healthy if there are more plants," he added.

More than 3,000 chrysanthemum plants of 50 varieties and roses of 15 varieties were displayed at the show. A large number of people attended the show and were of the view that the government should arrange more exhibitions, particularly featuring flowers.

Prof Dr Nadeem Abbasi, Chairman Horticulture Department AAUR, said the Department aims at pursuing excellence in providing a conducive and healthy environment for learning the art of horticulture.

The show attracted a large number of participants that included different organisations such as Islamabad Club, AIOU, Fatima Jinnah Women University, CMH Rawalpindi, AFIP Rawalpindi, Institute for Landscape & Floriculture, Air Force Headquarters and AAUR besides various embassies.

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Intel Education Award
Islamabad: Roots School System (RSS) Director Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq has received the prestigious annual 'Intel Education Award' for the second consecutive year, says a press release issued here Sunday.

He received this honour in acknowledgement of his tremendous support for the Intel Education initiative through the integration of ICT within the Roots School System's curriculum and developing collaborative learning environment at the school through joint Intel and RSS training initiatives, promoting 21st century skills and developing a collaborative learning environment.

The Intel Education Awards Ceremony 2008-09 was held in collaboration with the Intel Education Initiative and Ministry of Education, where Muhammad Juman Jan Jamro, Additional Secretary Education, was the chief guest on the event.

Expressing his sentiments upon receiving the award, Faisal Mushtaq remarked, "Roots School System's Department of Information Communication Technology is committed to ensure that our students are provided excellent education that encourages integrated virtual teaching and learning, thus promoting ICT, as a common denominator to bridge the digital divide."

He said that the building of lifelong skills is part of the Roots experience, adding that RSS remains keenly aware of its responsibility to prepare its students to become digital citizens and future technology leaders.

Roots and Intel Corporation Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding in March 2009, for the harmonisation of innovative teaching approaches through K-12 curriculum development and teachers training initiatives.

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Books for prisoners
Rawalpindi: The Asia Foundation, a non-profit and non-governmental organisation, has donated about 300 books on various topics for the inmates of Central Jail Adiala, Rawalpindi under its 'Books for Asia' Programme.

Manager 'Books for Asia' Programme Syed Zahid Abass appreciated the educational programme launched by the prison administration, especially Superintendent Jail Saeed Ullah Gondal. Zahid described the books available at the Central Jail as a priceless fortune and a sincere friend of the prisoners.

He assured that The Asia Foundation would continue book contribution for the prison's library in accordance with the interest of the inmates. The news

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