Sindh government has stopped PhD allowances

Teachers see red as govt withdraws PhD allowance
Karachi, Jan 22: The Sindh government has stopped disbursing PhD allowances to college teachers, causing resentment among the recipients of the allowance, besides provoking the teaching community, whose leaders have described the move as "discouraging" and "against the culture of research". Additionally, the authorities have now been directed to recover allowances that were already paid to 47 lecturers, it has been learnt.

Office-bearers of the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA) have denounced the language used for the recipients of the PhD allowance in a notification concerning withdrawal of the allowance by the officials of the provincial finance department.

Sources in the AG Sindh office said that they had received a notification (dated Oct 23, 2008) from the Sindh finance department whereby the AG office had been asked not to disburse special and technology/PhD allowance (Rs5,000 per month) to college teachers/lecturers.

Referring to the cases of those college teachers who have already been paid the PhD allowance, the finance department's notification sent to the AG (Sindh) by a section officer on behalf of the provincial additional chief secretary (finance) inter alia states: "As regards the recovery of already paid PhD allowance Rs5,000 to the 47 college side teachers/lecturers allowed by the AG Sindh, Karachi, with the collaboration of education and literacy department, please ensure that the recovery from the defaulter is due and will be made good when desired by the competent authority."

Terming the Sindh government's move of withdrawing the college teachers' PhD allowance "unjust" and "uncalled-for", SPLA Karachi chapter's general secretary Prof Iftikhar Azmi said that such an act on the part of provincial education and finance department officials not only amounted to discriminatory practice, but was also aimed at discouraging people from pursuing higher education.

"It was amazing to note that the PhD allowance, which was initiated during the tenure of former president Pervez Musharraf, and was a decision which was taken by the previous government to encourage research in the country, has been withdrawn by a democratic government, and that too in Sindh alone," he remarked.

He also criticised the government for deducting a large amount under the head of income tax and curtailment of allowances from the salaries of those senior college teachers who are currently working on administrative posts.

Commenting on the government's move to withdraw college teachers' PhD allowances, another central leader of the SPLA, Prof Ather Mirza, said that at a time when the teaching community of the province had been facing numerous problems, the provincial government's act of withdrawing college teachers' PhD allowances was not only aimed at creating further resentment amongst the teaching community, but would also to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in colleges across Sindh.

Taking strong notice of the word "defaulter" that has been used in the notification for those college teachers who have already been paid the PhD allowance, both the leaders of the SPLA said that it was ironic that the officials of the finance department have used such "indecent language" in their official notification for members of teaching community, despite knowing that teachers are always highly respected in an enlightened society.

They demanded that the government immediately withdraw the notification and ask the officials concerned to apologise to the teaching community for using such an "indecent" word for college teachers holding PhD degrees. Dawn

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Hiring of 13,000 teachers on cards
Karachi: Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has stressed the need to follow policies and programmes for quality education in the province with concerted efforts aimed at increasing the number of children in schools.

He said that concrete measures should be evolved to utilise the abandoned schools in the province for which process of recruitment of teachers be initiated. He was presiding over a high-level meeting regarding Sindh Education Sector Reforms Programme and restructuring of Sindh Education Foundation on Wednesday.

The Chief Minister further said that there should be no compromise on recruitment of teachers in the province, which should be permanent feature, as the future of province lies with better results of education. Qaim Ali Shah also stressed the need to continuously arrange training of teachers for various courses and role of teachers training college be improved and strengthened.

The meeting was informed that advertisements for recruitments of 13,000 teachers have already been published and applications from candidates have been invited while written test will be conducted soon.

It was further informed that the adhoc lecturers would appear for interview before Sindh Public Service Commission. While reviewing the progress and performance of Sindh Education Foundation, the meeting lauded the role of Ms. Anita Ghulam Ali and decided to re-appoint Madam for the post of Managing Director of Sindh Education Foundation.

It was further decided to specify policy guidelines and targets for the Foundation.

The meeting was also informed that more than 1000 professors have been promoted, while the problems faced to teaching community is being resolved on priority basis. It was further decided to make 33-schools functional in riverian areas, which are available and lying abandoned since long time.

The meeting decided that private sector would be provided incentives to increase the literacy ratio in the province while a survey be conducted regarding schools buildings occupied by any influential person and the same be got vacated so that educational institutions are opened there. It was informed that out of four school buildings in Dhoro Naro, three buildings have been converted into houses while the fourth building will be set Otak (drawing room). It was also informed that many school buildings constructed in Thar area are lying vacant.

The meeting was attended by senior Minister Sindh Pir Mazharul Haq, Chief Secretary Fazal-ur-Rehman, Additional Chief Secretary (P&D) Nazar Hussain Mehar, secretary to CM Syed Sohail Akbar Shah, Secretary Education Rizwan Memon, Secretary Works and Services Fazalullah Pechuho, Special Secretary Finance Ms. Naheed Shah Durrani, Acting Director General Sindh Education Foundation and others. The Nation

Karachi University offers Arabic course
Karachi: Department of Arabic, University of Karachi (KU) has announced that the admission forms for Certificate Course in Arabic, Diploma in Quranic Arabic and Diploma in Contemporary Arabic can be submitted till January 31. The classes will commence from the same date.

FUUAST academic year
The new academic year of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) will begin from January 27. The News

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Notification to cancel 56 private schools' registration withdrawn
Karachi: Sindh Senior Education and Literacy Minister Pir Mazharul Haq has directed that the notification regarding the cancellation of the registration of 56 private schools found flouting the education department's decision on winter vacations, be taken back.

The notification was withdrawn after a delegation comprising of the administration members of these schools called on the minister at his office on Wednesday. The schools' administration ensured Mazhar that they would completely abide by the rules and regulations of the department in the future and no violations would take place.

The registration of these schools were cancelled last week by the Directorate of Private Institutions, Sindh for violating the decision of the Education Department Steering Committee to observe winter vacations from December 22 to 31.

After the assurances of the delegation, the education minister directed Sindh Director Private Schools and Registration Mansoob Ahmed Siddiqi to restore the registration of the private schools immediately.

Talking to the delegation, he was of the view that the government would encourage public-private partnership in the education sector. Sindh Education Secretary Rizwan Memon, Political Advisor to the Education Minister Zain Zulfiqar Afandi and Legal Consultant Zafar Javed were also present at the occasion. Daily Times

Teachers seek accounts audit of schools
Hyderabad: Some teachers of the Public School, Hyderabad, have demanded of the government to immediately order an audit of the accounts of school and to reinstate the sacked teachers. Addressing a news conference at the Hyderabad Press Club, Prof Abdul Rehman Siyal, Sirajuddin Abro, Mukhtar Lashari, Sarwat Qureshi, Raheela Shaikh and others said that those responsible for misappropriation of funds should be punished after the audit report. They also demanded the removal of the school's principal. The News

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