FDE teachers call off strike

Teachers call off strike after PM's intervention
Islamabad, Feb 23: The deadlock over implementation of package announced by prime minister for the teachers working under Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) is over for the time being after a long meeting between representatives of Federal Government Teachers Association (FGTA), FDE and Ministry of Education (MoE) officials on Tuesday.

The called off the strike after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani issued a special directive regarding teachers' upgradation and uniformity of education system in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). The teachers gave a deadline of 20 days to the government to implement the package.

According to information, MoE on Monday received a directive to upgrade the teachers w.e.f from January 1, 2011. "We are pleased to announce that our voices have been finally listened. We call off our strike and would resume classes from Wedneesday," FGTA President Azhar Mahmood Awan said.

The directive comprises five clauses, including the clause 2604 which asked for the upgradation of teachers working under FDE, 2605 asked for giving the status of model schools and colleges to the federal government schools and colleges, 2606 asked for the charge allowance for the principal/ head of the institute that would be around Rs 3000 to Rs 4000, 2607 asked for the provision of transport facilities for the students and teachers of rural areas of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and 2608 asked for the consideration of the establishment of model universities to cater to the growing need of higher education in ICT.

Mechanism for implementation of the package was decided in a meeting between MoE Secretary Athar Tahir, FDE DG Shaheen Khan and FGTA representatives. "We have given them a time period of 20 days for the implementation of the package. We are hopeful that it would be implemented in letter and spirit otherwise we would again boycott the classes," he said.

Awan said the teachers were concerned about the wastage of the students' precious time. "We don't want to waste their time as the examinations of many classes are about to start," he added.

He said there were many things that were left in the directive and we have informed the government about it. "The ministry has assured us that a summary comprising our demands have been moved and soon the package would be implemented in its true spirit," he added.

The teachers were on strike from February 15 and since then negotiations were going on between FGTA representatives and FDE and MoE officials. The teachers of 388 educational institutions under FDE observed complete strike with the total boycott of the classes, examinations (internal and external) and any kind of duty assigned.

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Pindi teachers to stage sit-in on BBS Road on 26th
Rawalpindi: The District Rawalpindi Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) has announced a sit-in on Benazir Bhutto Shaeed Road and a protest demonstration in front of Rawalpindi Press Club (RPC) on February 26 against non-implementation of service package for the teachers announced by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the PTU announced here on Tuesday. Under the incentive package MPhill allowance, revised PhD allowance for arts and language teachers and Rs 50,000 performance bonus allowance for 2000 teachers every year were announced in 2009.

PTU said it was announced that the existing PhD allowance for Arts and Humanities teachers would increased from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 while MPhil allowance would be fixed at 50 percent of the PhD allowance in the respective subjects. At present Rs 10,000 and Rs 5000 are being paid to the science teachers and arts and humanities teachers respectively. The Punjab Education Minister in 2009 had said that notification of the regularization of the services of 653 contract lecturers was being issued while services of rest of the teachers would be regularized after completion of their professional record by their respective colleges.

Under the package, the honorary teaching staff would be awarded five additional marks for their teaching experience during their recruitments in the Public Service Commission in future if they fulfilled the other departmental conditions. The chief minister had given approval to award Rs 50,000 performance bonus allowance to 2000 college teachers in the province from the next academic year and a scheme of five marla plots to the college teacher on the basis of their good performance in the board results, would also be launched. Daily times

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29 teachers challenge transfer order
Rawalpindi: As many as 29 schoolteachers from Chakwal have challenged their transfer order in the Lahore High Court (LHC) terming it a violation of the rationalisation policy. Among the petitioners, 20 are female teachers.

Justice Ijaz Ahmed of the LHC's Rawalpindi bench, hearing the petition filed by Qazi Saqib Naveed and others, directed the district coordination officer (DCO) Chakwal and executive district officer (EDO) education to file their comments within two weeks.

"Female teachers have been posted away from their residences and many of them were transferred against their consent and in violation of the wedlock policy," the petitioners maintained before the court through their lawyer Raja Shahid Nazir.

The petitioners said they were being politically victimised for being opponents of the ruling political party as the January 12 transfer orders were issued when a ban had already been imposed on transfers by the Punjab government.

"The EDO issued transfer order before his retirement and without consulting the four-member district rationalisation committee headed by the DCO.

He even did not seek the consent of the teachers, although it is mandatory under the policy," the petitioners added.

They said when they filed an application with the DCO challenging the order he suspended it till the appointment of a new EDO. But the recently-appointed district head of schools is not ready to cancel the transfer orders mainly because of political pressure, they added.

According to the rationalisation policy, teachers could not be transferred without their consent. Dawn

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Bookfair at NUML attracts large number of students
Islamabad: Students thronged the five-day bookfair organised on the premises of the National University of Modern Languages (NUML), where books were offered on 50% discount.

The Department of Urdu organised the fair in which famous publishers like Muqatadra Publishers, Academy of Adbiyat, Poorab Publishers, Vision Books and Ghalib Kitab Ghar set up their stalls where books on literature, biographies, novels, social sciences, languages and general knowledge were displayed.

NUML Rector Professor Dr. Aziz Ahmad Khan accompanied by Dr. Rasheed Amjad, a famous Urdu prose writer, inaugurated the bookfair.

This is the fourth bookfair in the university. It is aimed at promoting the habit of book-reading and transfer of knowledge among students and teachers.

"It is an ideal opportunity where we can purchase latest books at affordable prices," said M Ishaq, a student of the university. He said it was a good trend that departments organise bookfairs where they can get precious books at low prices.

"Such events should be held on regular basis so that students can develop the habit of book-reading," he said.

Another student, Huma Shafi, said that the best thing about the bookfair was the variety it offered.

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Roots launches Chinese language classes and website
Islamabad: Conveying a strong message of love and friendship through colourful performances and inspirational speeches, the Roots School System launched its Chinese language classes and official website of 'Nihao Salam', a monthly magazine by Pakistan-China Institute that highlights different facets of bilateral ties between the two countries.

The auspicious ceremony held at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) became a true reflection of warmth and closeness between the two countries as people from academia and students waved red and green flags in the air throughout the event and both sides expressed strong desire for ever growing friendship on the stage.

"For the world, China is the great country but for Pakistan, China is a great friend," said Roots School System Executive Director Faisal Mushtaq while speaking on the occasion. He said that an empowered youth together can single handedly change the picture of this region. "The youth on both sides of the border is the untapped resource that needs to be educated and informed to further strengthen the already strong relationship between Pakistan and China."

As a first step to eliminate language barrier between China and Pakistan, the Roots School System has offered Chinese language classes with the aim of allowing the students to speak and write Chinese as proficiently as possible. For this purpose, the school has hired two Chinese language teachers from China. "This will promote cultural, social, business and educational opportunities among China and Pakistan," said Mushtaq.

The ceremony attracted esteemed audience including senior officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leading academia, foreign delegates, intellectuals, think tanks, media and youth. Vice Minister of International Department, Communist Party of China, Ai Ping was the chief guest on the occasion.

Others who graced the panel of speaker included Pakistan-China Institute Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr. Javaid Laghari, Additional Secretary Asia-Pacific from Ministry of Foreign Affairs Syed Hassan Javed, CEO Roots School System Mushtaque Rasul Chaudhry and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of China Huan Xilliang.

The ceremony included an energetic and lively performance by the students of Chinese language course both on Chinese music and Pakistani cultural songs. The nicely choreographed segments and perfectly designed costumes spoke volumes of the hard work put in by the teachers. Another attractive feature was the virtual animated tour to the history of Pakistan China friendship prepared by the Roots School.

In his keynote address, Ai Ping said that it was his longstanding dream to watch Pakistan-China relationship expand beyond the diplomatic boundaries and reach the people to people level. He termed this initiative a major step towards the fulfilment to that dream.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that the Roots School System has the honour to be the first private educational institution to offer such course. He said that Pakistan and China has declared year 2011 as the "Year of Friendship" between two nations and this year also marks the 60 anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between two countries. He said that Pakistan China Institute has also prepared a 45-minute documentary on China that will be translated in Chinese, Urdu and Arabic with an aim to introduce China to the entire Muslim world.

Highlighting the significance of numbers, Roots School System Executive Director Faisal Mushtaq said that together the population of Pakistan and China make up 21 per cent of the world population. He envisioned a strong bond between the youth of Pakistan and China through education and information exchange. "This initiative is marking a new change in the history of Pakistan and China relationship," he said. The news

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Baharia College to organize Science and Arts exhibition
Rawalpindi: Bahria Foundation College Satellite Town branch would organize a Science and Arts Exhibition, Inter-College Poster Competition and annual prize distribution here at Rawalpindi Arts Council on February 22 at 9.30 a.m.

Vice Admiral Mahmood Ahmed Khan, Managing Director Baharia Foundation would be the chief guest and distribute prizes and certificates among the outstanding students of the institution.

During the competition, the students of the college would present tableaus, national songs, comparing, Qirat and Naat competitions.

Principal of the College Syeda Arifa Mohsin would present the progress report of the school and highlight the steps taken by the institution for the promotion of quality education in the country. app

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PU M.Com exams postponed
Lahore: The Punjab University has postponed M.Com second annual examination for 2010 till further orders. A notification in this regard has been issued. Dawn

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PU teachers protest against ASA
Lahore: A large number of Punjab University teachers attended a rally organised by University Teachers Front here on Tuesday from IBIT to IBA against the unscrupulous behaviour of Academic Staff Association's office-bearers.

Earlier, a meeting also was held in the auditorium of Institute of Business and Information Technology which was attended by a good strength of deans, chairmen, directors, principals, professors and young teachers. The meeting condemned the false propaganda meted out to the honourable Vice Chancellor and senior teachers by ASA President Maher Saeed Akhter and Secretary Iftikhar Tarrar.

The participants were of the view that the ASA was protecting criminals in their ranks and employees. The nation

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Int'l moot of plant scientists starts at GCU
Lahore: The 2nd three-day international conference of plant scientists kicked off on Tuesday at the Government College University (GCU) under the auspices of Pakistan Botanical Society and GCU Botany Department. Botanists from Germany, Egypt, China, Canada, and Turkey and across Pakistan gathered at the GCU to deliberate scientific solutions to food and fuel challenges which were being predicted to be faced by human race in the 21st century.

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UVAS organises seminar on bird flu
Lahore: University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) organised a seminar on bird flu, titled 'Progress towards development of new vaccines, diagnostic & anti-viral against avian influenza', on Tuesday.

Eminent poultry scientist Dr Munir Iqbal was the chief guest at the event. While addressing the seminar, Dr Iqbal said that avian influenza (AI, different strains - H5N1, H7N1 and H9N1) commonly known as bird flu, could be treated well through modern biological techniques, with the induction of combine vaccine, AI and Marek's in the egg, instead of just vaccinating the birds with AI vaccine later in life.

Dr Iqbal said that the greatest challenges of the 21st century are food security and food safety facing the world population. He categorically said that the 55 billion poultry birds are the main source of protein to fulfil the human needs. "There are a number of viral diseases which are posing danger to the poultry economy, and the only way to escape the alarming situation is to apply recent research on vaccination in birds to protect them against various viral maladies," he added.

UVAS Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz, said, "Pakistan is importing preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic vaccines for animals and humans worth billions of dollars and poultry import alone stands at nearly Rs 6 billion per annum". Dilating on the vaccine import, he added that knowledge could be used to produce such preventive vaccines. He explained that viral and contagious disease-related drugs were too costly and caused side effects. Daily times

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HR dept signs MoU with eight varsities
Lahore: Punjab Human Rights and Minority Affairs department has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with eight varsities of the province to create awareness and initiate research on rights of all segments of society, including minorities. According to a handout, the minister concerned, Kamran Michael, while presiding over a meeting here on Tuesday said the department had signed the MoU with Islamia University Bahawalpur, Punjab University Lahore, International Islamic University Islamabad, Bahauddin Zakria University Multan, University of Gujrat, Government College University Faisalabad, Agriculture University Faisalabad and Fatima Jinnah Women University Lahore.

He said the activities in this regard included research studies, reviews, evaluation and assessment, seminars, workshops and lectures on rights issues. Dawn

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