Pakistan education report | Boycott in universities

62pc of third graders can't read an Urdu sentence
Karachi, Feb 14: A report has identified serious shortcomings in the quality of education, as it shows over 62 percent of Class-III children could not read a single sentence of Urdu/Sindhi of the Class-II level, while more than 85 percent of them failed to read a story text.

Details of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)-2011, a large scale citizen-led household survey conducted in Sindh, were presented at the Aga Khan Auditorium on Monday. The report assesses the results of education of school-going (5-16 years) children in 17 rural districts and Karachi. The survey collected information from 558 schools of which 484 were government and the remaining 74 were private.

The children's learning levels in English reading and comprehension are, according to the report, even worse. A massive 94 percent of children enrolled in Class-III failed to pass the reading test for Class-II. "Of the six percent of children who could read sentences, some 32.1 percent children could do so without actually understanding what it is that they were reading," claims the report.

Student knowledge of arithmetic is also shockingly low, with almost 57 percent of Class-IV students being unable to complete Class-III level double-digit subtractions, while a staggering 86 percent of the children unable to complete triple-digit divisions.

The survey has been conducted by the South Asia Forum for the Education Development (SAFED) managed by the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), in collaboration with the Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI), the Department for International Development (DFID), the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) and Oxfam/Novib.

The ASER's trained volunteer citizens' teams have surveyed 10,016 households in 506 villages and collected detailed information on 31,934 children between the ages of three and 16 (59 percent male and 41 percent female). Additionally, children between the ages of 5-16 years of age were tested for competency in both language and arithmetic. The news

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KU classes to resume
Karachi: Academic activities at Karachi University will resume on Tuesday after two days of university teachers' protest over the sacking and suspension of Sindh University teachers by the Sindh government.

The call for suspending teaching activities on Saturday and Monday was given by the Karachi University Teachers' Society (Kuts) to express their solidarity with the SU teachers who had been protesting against the assassination of their colleague, Prof Bashir Ahmed Channar, last month.

The KU teachers on Monday took out a rally from the university administration block to the silver jubilee gate in support of SU teachers.

The SU teachers had been urging authorities concerned to order a judicial inquiry into the murder of Prof Channar so that the culprits behind the murder could be exposed and given exemplary punishment.

The participants in the rally were carrying placards inscribed with slogans such as "Suspended and sacked teachers of the SU be reinstated immediately", "Prof Channar's killers be arrested without any delay", etc.

Earlier, speaking to the participants in the rally, Kuts president Prof Mutahir Ahmed urged the Sindh government to hold negotiations with protesting teachers and their representatives.

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Admit cards to have scanned photos
Karachi: The Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) has decided to have scanned photographs, instead of attaching photos, on the admit cards of all candidates appearing in the Higher Secondary School Certificate (Part-I) annual examinations-2012.

A press release of the BIEK issued on Monday said that the decision was taken at a meeting of the board to eliminate chances of tampering with documents.

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Boycott of classes to continue in govt universities
Nawabshah: The Sindh chapter of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association on Monday decided to continue boycott of classes in all public sector universities in the province till Saturday.

During a meeting at the Quaid-i-Awam University of Engineering and Technology (QUEST) in Nawabshah, the federation leaders said the federation would decide a future course of action on Sunday if their demands were not met by then.

Academic activities in all public sector universities, including Sindh,

Mehran, Sindh Agriculture, Quaid-i-Awam and Shah Latif universities remained suspended on Monday.

Liaquat Tunio, president of the QUEST Teachers Association said that the meeting, attended by teachers' representatives from all government universities of Sindh, decided to boycott functions where the Sindh education minister would be invited.

The meeting condemned raids by police on the houses of Sindh University teachers and vowed to continue protests and hunger strikes. In the event of arrest of any teacher of Sindh University, teachers of all universities would court arrests in phases, it warned.

The head of the Sindh University Teachers Association, Dr Azhar Shah, said the meeting expressed surprise over silence of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah over the "illegal intervention" by the education minister in the varsity's affairs.

He urged the governor to dissociate himself from the stand taken by the education minister and implement the agreement his team reached with teachers on Jan 31.

Teachers and employees of Sindh University took out a procession and observed a token hunger strike outside the university's Institute of Sindhology.

The teachers also observed a hunger strike outside the press club in Hyderabad while a large number of students associated with nationalist parities staged a 72-hour hunger strike outside the press club in Jamshoro.

The teachers association has boycotted classes since the assassination of Prof Basheer Ahmed Channar, director of student affairs, at the campus on Jan 2.

Students of the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences also boycotted classes and staged a demonstration in support of the professor.

Additional District and Session Judge of Kotri Khalid Hussain Shahani on Monday visited the place where Prof Channar was gunned down. The late professor's relatives and university officials were also present during the inspection. The judge would start recording statements of witnesses in the court from Tuesday (today) at 2pm on daily basis.

Semester Exams:
The semester examinations in private and government colleges affiliated with the University of Sindh for BCS, BCIT, BBA (Honours and Pass), MBA, ADE and BEd will begin from Feb 21, according to a notification issued by the controller of examinations (semester). Dawn

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Sindh University employees demand VC's removal
Hyderabad: Teachers and employees of the University of Sindh (US) continued to stage demonstrations and sit-ins on Monday in protest against the suspension of its teachers, while demanding dismissal of the vice chancellor from his post Outside the local press club, members of the Sindh University of Teachers Association (SUTA) said that they would widen the protest, if VC Dr Nazir Mughal was not dismissed from his post. They said that their demands consisted of removal of the VC, reinstatement of terminated teachers, restoration of student union, improvement of law and order situation in the varsity. The news

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