School teachers appointment letters
13,500 teachers waiting for appointment letters
Karachi, Dec 28: An inordinate delay in recruiting teachers for government
schools across Sindh has been causing unrest among thousands of aspirants who
have already appeared in the written tests held more than six months back for
the appointment of primary, junior and high school teachers.
200,000 candidates had appeared in the tests which were held to fill about
13,500 vacancies of schoolteachers. The tests were conducted by the Sindh
University's testing service in the third week of May this year in all the 23
district headquarters of Sindh.
In Karachi alone, over 13,000 took the
tests for 1,300 posts lying vacant at various government schools.
Although the tests were conducted in the beginning of the current
academic year, the Sindh education department has not been able to complete the
process of hiring teachers by issuing appointment letters to successful
candidates even now when the academic year is coming to an end.
of the candidates declared successful in the tests have apprehended that
the issuance of appointment letters was being delayed by those officials or
influential people who wanted to fill the vacancies on political grounds.
They called for the issuance of their appointment at the earliest so
that they could take up the job from the next academic year, beginning on April
They said that the executive district officer (EDO) of
education had prepared around 400 appointment letters to fill the vacancies of
non-teaching staff in the city's government schools, and alleged that the list
of names had been sent to his from the Chief Minister's House. Dawn
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Student unions spend 2009 waiting for election schedule
Lahore: Activists seeking the revival of student unions have expressed concern that 2009 has passed without
any announcement for union elections, despite a promise by Prime Minister Yousaf
Raza Gilani in his first speech as the chief executive of the country.
Former president Ziaul Haq banned student unions from educational
institutions in 1984 amid countrywide reports of violence. But Gilani – in his
first speech as prime minister on March 29, 2008 – lifted the ban. Union leaders
welcomed the development, and began preparing for elections sin line with the
prime minister's announcement.
The federal government then set up a
Higher Education Commission taskforce – which had the vice chancellors of four
major universities of the country as its members – to make recommendations on a
schedule for elections. The team filed its recommendations with the HEC last
year, but there has been little progress since.
Student union leaders
now blame the taskforce for the failure to fulfil the prime minister's promise.
HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail Naqvi said that wile the
task force had tabled its recommendations, furthers plans had not been made
because "it is not an appropriate time to hold elections".
unions remained a part of educational institutions from Independence until the
ban imposed by Zia, with the movement registering its peak in Punjab in the
1980s: groups of the National Students' Federation (NSF), the Islami Jamiat
Talaba (IJT), the Muslim Students' Federation (MSF), the Anjuman Talaba Islamia
(ATI), the People's Student Federation (PSF), the Imamia Students Organization
(ISO) were active in the province at that time. Meanwhile, the Pukhtoon
Students' Federation (PKSF) in NWFP; the Baloch Students' Organisation (BSO) in
Balochistan; and the Sindhi Students' Federation and the All Pakistan Muhajir
Organisation (APMO) in Sindh were promoting union activities in the other
provinces. This was also the same period when a wave of violence emerged.
Groups of these organisations – which still exist in most public
institutions of the province – are currently waiting for the implementation of
the prime minister's announcement.
MTM President Jawadul Hassan Rizvi
said unions were still awaiting an announcement on the election schedule. He
believes that the restoration of students unions would "promote academic
The president of the MSF MAO college, Suni Prince, said
that renowned politicians in parliament had been part of student unions, and
"the movement must be revived". He said student unions served as a platform for
future leaders, and called on the prime minister to fulfil his promise.
But while the fulfilment of the prime minister's promise would be
welcomed by union leaders, most civil society members and teachers are opposed
to the lifting of the ban, as they fear elections might be followed by a new
wave of violence.
Their concern is rooted in the current role of student
unions at Punjab University; Civil Lines College; Islamia College, Railway Road;
Science College, Wahdat Road; Government Commerce College, Iqbal Town; MAO
College; and Dayal Singh College. Violent incident were reported from these
institutions throughout 2009. The administrations say they have been unable to
rid their institutions of IJT and MSF – "who are backed by politicians".
Former ATI information secretary Nasir Qadri said that unions were
working under political parties, and "the involvement of political parties was
the main reason behind violence at the city's institutions". Daily times
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Arabic loan words in English
IT is considered quite normal for languages to borrow words from other
languages. When a language takes words from other languages, these "new
arrivals" are usually called borrowings or loan words. But these so-called loans
are neither repaid, nor are they meant to be returned as they become property of
the borrowing language.
English is unusual in that it has very liberally
borrowed from other languages. "English, perhaps more than any other language,
is an insatiable borrower. Whereas the speakers of some languages take pains to
exclude foreign words from their lexicons, English seems always to have welcomed
them," writes David Crystal in his The Cambridge encyclopaedia of the English
language. "Over 120 languages," he adds, "are on record as source for its
present-day vocabulary and the locations of contact are found all over the
world". One of the sources of English words is Arabic and many of Arabic loan
words have become an integral part of the English language.
But in the
process of adoption and assimilation, some changes have occurred in the
pronunciation of loan words due to linguistic and phonetic limitations. In some
cases, this change in pronunciation is so drastic that it has become very
difficult to recognise the original words. The reason is 'double adoption' since
natives of England had but a little direct contact with the Arabic language and
before these words found their way into the English language, they had already
been assimilated into some other European language. As Robert Claiborne has
beautifully summed it up in his brilliant work 'The life and times of the
English language': "Since England, unlike the Mediterranean lands of
Christendom, had little direct contact with the Arab world, it borrowed few Arab
words 'from the source'.
Its borrowings were at second hand, via French
or Latin, meaning that by the time they had passed into English they had been
phonetically (and sometimes syntactically) assimilated not once but twice.
As a result, the English word often has a tenuous resemblance to its
Here are a few Arabic loan words that, in most cases,
have appeared in English dictionaries as headwords. In addition to the books
referred above, I have consulted some other books too, especially dictionaries,
to ascertain the roots, but citing them all here would have been ponderous.
Some Arabic words have shown little change in pronunciation hence they
are easily recognisable. They are used in English almost in the same sense, too.
For instance (original Arabic words have been shown in parenthesis), 'alchemy'
(al-kimia), 'alembic' (al-ambiq), 'alkali' (al-qali) 'amber' (ambar), 'algebra'
(al-jabr, the full name: al-jabr-w-al-muqabila), 'Aldebaran', or the
first-magnitude red star of the Hyades, (ad-dubran,), 'kohl' (kohl), 'alcohol'
(al-kohl), 'cipher' (sifer),'orange' (naranj), 'sherbet' (sharbat), 'sofa'
(suffah) and tariff (taareef).
Many Arabic words appeared in English in
a thinly veiled form and can still be recognised with a little effort. For
example, saffron (zaafraan), 'spinach' (asfaanaakh) and ghoul, or a demon that
preys on the dead, (ghol), all sound only slightly different. Similarly, such
Arabic words as 'syrup' (sharaab), 'calibre' (qaalib) and 'cotton' (qutun) are
'Admiral' is derived from 'ameer-ul-ala' or
'ameer-ul-bahr'. 'Artichoke' is from 'al-kharshof'. 'Candy' is a slightly
different form of Arabic 'qand' or 'qandi'. 'Makhaazin' (singular: makhzan) or
the 'storehouses' became 'magazine'.
A large number of Arabic loan words
entered the English lexicon through Spanish since Spain had been ruled by the
Muslims for centuries. Some such words are: 'alcaide' or 'alcayde' (al-quaid; we
can safely assume that the English word 'guide', too, is a form of 'quaid', or
one who leads), 'alcazar', or a palace, (al-qasr).
The French language
absorbed many Arabic words which were later transmitted to English with some
changes. The words that arrived through French include: 'azimuth' which in
Arabic is 'as-samt' (direction).
Another astrological term is 'zenith'
that came via French. The origin is Arabic 'samt-ur-rass'. 'Nadir' too is a gift
from Arabic though the original was not that brief: samt-un-nadhir. Yet another
stranger that adapted to western conditions is 'carafe', which is from
'gharafa', or 'draw water'.
'Alcove' is from 'qubba', or 'al-qubba',
which literally means 'dome'. 'Ream' is from Arabic 'rizmah'.
interesting word is 'assassin'. Derived form 'hashasheen', this word is a
reminiscent of a fanatic, militant sect that would intoxicate young men by
making them consume hashish or cannabis and order them to murder their political
Do not forget 'arsenal' while talking about murders, for it has
been derived from 'as-sana', literally meaning 'fire'.
To take war off
your mind, let us talk about love. 'Gazelle' is in fact 'ghazaal' in Arabic, the
same word which has given us a beautiful genre of Urdu love poetry: 'ghazal'.
And if you need some rest, get some 'mattress' which is from Arabic 'matrah',
meaning 'the place to sit on, a cushion'.
Italian, too, has been a
corridor through which alien Arabic words entered the realms of English.
'Garble' is one such word. It is from Arabic 'ghurbaal', meaning 'to sift',
though 'Noor-ul-lughaat' says it is the Persian word 'gurbaal' that has been
'Arabicised'. Here I have not mentioned words such as mufti, emir, haj, harem,
muezzin, jihad, fakir, sheikh or Hadith, etc, that are comparatively newer
entrants and are used to denote the same meanings.
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Kinnaird College status
Lahore: The latest episode at the Kinnaird College (KC)
involving the sacking of seven faculty members has generated a heated debate
among academic circles besides highlighting another serious issue of the actual
status of the college.
According to KC Principal Dr Bernadette L Dean,
the Kinnaird College is a private institute whereas Secretary of the Higher
Education Department Punjab, Ahad Khan Cheema, believes that it is neither a
government nor purely private institute. He says the college has been running
under a special arrangement.
Besides its presence in the KC Board of
Governors (BoG), the Punjab government has employees who have been serving at
the Kinnaird College and drawing their salaries from the government exchequer.
"Certainly this does not happen in private organisations", commented a senior
official of the department who requested to remain anonymous while adding, "The
recent episode will help a lot in solving the longstanding issue related to the
actual status of the college."
He said another perplexing issue was
pertaining to making rules for the college as the power vested in the Punjab
government unlike the KC's BoG. He said the particular clause was quite complex
as like KC the government was not involved in making rules for private
Talking about the recent sackings, the official said, "The
Punjab government cannot react if the college repatriates even all government
teachers serving at the college to their parent department" adding, "The
hiring-firing power vests in the college and not the government."
Explaining further he said the department had objected to the recent
move since the KC teachers had submitted an application to the BoG for alleged
irregularities by the principal. "The government would not have interfered
provided the teachers had not moved any application to the BoG of which the
education department is also a member", he added.
The official, however,
added "The time has come to thrash out all issues with the KC". It is important
to mention here that seven faculty members were shown the door by the KC
principal on December 23. Four out of the seven were repatriated to the Punjab
government as they were from the regular government service.
The move was
seen as victimisation by the principal as the KC BoG had constituted a
fact-finding committee on December 5 on the complaint of the teachers about
alleged unjust and unfair appointment of the registrar by the
Meanwhile, in a press release issued on Saturday, KC Principal
Prof Dr Bernadette L Dean clarified her position and reiterated that the
services of contract employees had been dispensed with on completion of their
contract with the college while services of government employees had been
repatriated to the parent department according to the past practice.
also claimed that the appointment of the registrar was made by the college
administration after fulfilling requisite procedural formalities of duly
advertising the post in the press and following appointment
Nonetheless, it is important to mention here that the Higher
Education Department, Punjab, had expressed concerns over the sacking of the
teachers and asked the college principal to wait until a report of the
Some KC students have also launched a campaign
against the sackings and in this connection various forums like SMSs and the
internet, including social networking website facebook.com, are being used to
'spread the word' as the college is closed these days for annual winter and
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KUST VC kidnapping clue
Peshawar: Though his whereabouts have reportedly been traced, the authorities have failed
to recover the kidnapped vice-chancellor of Kohat University of Science and
Technology Prof Dr Lutfullah Kakakhel despite a passage of 51 days.
VC had gone missing on November 6 while he was on way to the university from
Peshawar. The authorities launched a crackdown on the Akhurwal tribesmen soon
after the kidnapping of the senior academician and arrested several dozens
tribal people and sealed properties of many others under the Collective
Responsibility Clause of Frontier Crimes Regulation. However, the action failed
to yield results.
For about 25 days of the abduction, the whereabouts of
the kidnapped VC were not known, as the authorities had failed to locate him and
none had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. Later, the VC reportedly
contacted his office in the university and some members of his family asking
them to expedite efforts for his release. The authorities then came to know that
the VC was in the custody of Tariq Afridi, commander of the Darra Taliban, who
wanted release of his four commanders from the captivity of the security
The teachers of public sector universities demanded of to the
chancellor to ensure safe release of the VC, but to no avail. They held protests
and set several deadlines for the authorities to ensure release of the VC, which
too failed to bear fruit. But now the protests by teachers and students have
lost momentum and efforts on the part of the political administration and
security forces for his safe recovery have weakened.
professors of the University of Peshawar are of the opinion that now that his
kidnappers and their demands are known, the government should take firm steps to
get him recovered.
They said that no sincere efforts were being made for
the prompt and safe recovery of the VC. Dr Lutfullah is a senior academician and
pioneer of computer science and information technology in the NWFP. He had
served as head of several institutions. He also served as advisor to the
governor on information technology. The news
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