Teachers flay step-motherly attitude of govt
Billions of rupees have been misused in the province in the name of improvement of education
Karachi, Jan 28: All of the top positions lying vacant in the education department,
including education minister and the secretary, should be filled with the
educationists for the betterment of education in the province.
In the past,
billions of rupees have been misused in the province in the name of improvement
of education system but the concerned educational institutions from primary
schools to colleges are still without basic facilities.
Central leaders of
Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA), including Prof Athar Hussain
Mirza, President Karachi Region Prof Muzaffar Rizvi and district general
secretary Prof Iftikhar Azmi, expressed these views while giving an exclusive
interview on Tuesday.
They claimed that SPLA was against the
unjustified educational policies of the present government and said that it was
responsible for chaos in education sector and exploitation of teachers'
community in the province.
They added that teachers had already suffered
physical torture at the hands of law-enforcers while protesting for their
genuine demands in 1889 and 1994.
Talking about the grievances of the teachers and deteriorating condition of the
education system in the province, Prof Athar Hussain Mirza said that teachers'
society was facing severe financial deprivations in Sindh despite the fact that
only 4,500 SNE teachers are engaged in academic activities in place of 7,500 in
"Around 3,036 posts of teachers in Sindh are lying vacant in
the province. Due to the poor performance of education department, our
institutions have failed to meet international standards according to which, a
class should comprise on 40 students.
Conversely, in Sindh a classroom,
especially at college level, has more than 80 students and sometimes this figure
exceeds 100. According to standards designed by our examination boards, there is
requirement of 14,000 teachers to cater the need at colleges. Among the serving
teachers in the province, only 4 per cent are in grade 20, around 15 per cent
grade 19, 18-grade 34 per cent and 17-grade are 50 per cent. The education
department in Balouchistan is working much better than that of the Sindh
province, as teachers there are benefiting from positive policies", he deplored.
Sindh education department works only on one-point agenda of minting money.
It has been completely occupied by corrupt officials, who have distorted
billions of rupees in the name of education during the last few decades, he
Prof Muzaffar Rizvi said that during his 28-year long tenure, he got only one
promotion and still performing academic duties in grade 18 while his 8-years
ad-hoc job period, has not been included in his service. He said, "This is one
example, while hundreds of other teachers have also been subjected to such
unjust treatment in the province. Around 17 colleges are working without any SNE
He criticised Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah for neglecting the
education department and demands of teachers' community, and said that as long
as Pir Mazharul Haq occupied the education ministry, nothing better could be
expected from the present government.
General Secretary SPLA Karachi Region,
Prof Iftikhar Azmi, said that teachers in grades 17 and 18 were facing severe
financial deprivation while education ministry and concerned officials were busy
in accumulation wealth through massive corruption.
"Only five professors
remained in the province, while 25 teachers of 19-grade are going to be retired
from their jobs very soon. Around 29 colleges are working in Sindh without any
The chief minister and education minister are engaged in a
battle of superiority in the provincial government while educational
institutions are facing acute shortage of basic equipments due to the lack
funds", he added.
"Every college has a post of a doctor lying vacant owing
to the negligence of education department. There is no difference between the
anti-education policies of Arbab Ghulam Rahim and present chief minister", he
said. The Nation
330,000 girls to be enrolled this year
Karachi: The Resource Support Unit in collaboration with the
World Bank will spend Rs2.3 billion annually for the repair, renovation of
school buildings as well as provision of furniture, besides making available the
teaching staff in order to restore academic activities in schools.
was stated by chief project manager of the Resource Support Unit while giving a
briefing at a meeting chaired by Adviser to Chief Minister Sindh and
Vice-Chairperson Steering Committee of the Resource Support Unit Sharmila
Farooqi on Tuesday.
The resource support unit is part of the Sindh
Education Reforms Project.
It was said that the amount had been equally
distributed among all districts of the province.
The meeting was informed
that more than 330,000 girls would be enrolled in schools and more than 13,000
teachers would be hired this year on a merit basis. Last year, over 294,000
girls were enrolled and 7,000 teachers were recruited on a merit
Ms Farooqui highlighted the need for devising a system of
monitoring to make utilization of the funds transparent. She said that there
should be a clear database to ensure effective monitoring of the use of funds
provided for the project.
The meeting was also attended by a
representative of the World Bank, Shahid Kardar, and two-member delegation of
the European Commission. The commission is providing technical assistance to the
government for making the education reforms project successful. Dawn
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IVS Faculty Show / 4: Creative and chaotic
Karachi: What happens when you get the creation of artistic brains under one
roof? Either sheer creativity or utter chaos!
This was the case at the
Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture's (IVSAA) Faculty Show / 4, where
there were more artists on the show than the number of good pieces. For
starters, 96 pieces were on display, some which showed reasonable artistic
maturity while others not more than half-baked ideas.
photos of 'Shigar Fort' capture the sunlit interiors of the much-renovated
Shigar Fort in Baltistan. Fit for a tourism photo catalogue, the fort series is
good architectural interior photography, although, not many present at the
exhibit were aware of what Shigar Fort is or its cultural and historical
One of the most talented graduates of IVSAA, Sohail
Abdullah's two digital prints from his Open series were on display. A print of
sequined silver Mary Janes titled 'Ruby Red' made an enticing print as Mahmood
Ali Nanjiani, an elderly visitor to the exhibit, seemed struck by this
experimentation and said, "The simple, no fuss prints are simply eye-catching,
especially the Ruby Red shoes with silver sequins, this is my favourite
'Winged Thoughts,' Abdul Jabbar Gul's metal and wood sculpture
aptly symbolized how our lives are spent with thoughts on our minds as destiny
shapes our future, while Mehr Afroze's 'Tilai (gold),' was a favourite with
many. "It's a conceptual piece and original to the core," said Akhtar Hilal
Talking about the exhibit, Manizhe Ali, a faculty member of
IVSAA, said that one of her favorite pieces at the exhibit was Asma Hashmi's
'Open Ended,' a mix media creation in pale, grubby shades. "It was subtle and
poetic with very fluid lines," said Ali, as she went on to say, "Simply put,
it's an evocative piece."
Asma Hashmi, on the other hand, said her
favourite piece at the exhibit was Sadia Saleem's untitled glazed ceramic
conical vase. The blue glazed stationary cone was deceptively diabolical. "It's
a delicate piece that looks stable but the minute you touch it slightly, it
spins around and you see this movement," said Hashmi, who bought the piece.
Refined kitsch is how one would describe Wardah Saleem's truck art
inspired coat. In shocking pink with block printing embroidered floral motifs,
unlike designer Maheen Khan's tongue in cheek Gulaboo collection, Saleem's work
is restrained yet beautiful.
Rabeya Jalil's 'The Teaser' and 'Whole,' two
acrylic panels were a commentary on crass commercialism and senseless
materialism and its effects on our lives. "In 'The Teaser,' I have show how a
woman's body is used to sell products be it a razor blade or a motorbike," said
Taking inspiration from the ecstatic verses of Jalaluddin Rumi,
Hiba Shahbaz Lotia came up with two fantasy miniatures. Titled 'Fana o Baqa,'
the 'gad rang on wasli' miniatures showed delicate looking winged women
apparently contemplating life and death.
With the hype surrounding the
faculty exhibit, the show has its fair share of visitors. Though the range on
display impressed many, some of the serious buyers and people with a much deeper
aesthetic sense felt that the show could have been better. As in the words of a
regular visitor on the art scene, "Faculty Show / 4 showcases the diversity of
the artists, however, it could have been much better had the focus been on
quality rather than quantity." Daily Times
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Karachi University girls' hostel residents demand removal of provost
Karachi: Students living in the crowded and poorly-managed girls' hostel
at the University of Karachi (KU) have demanded the removal of their Provost and
Warden because instead of helping them, both hostel officials have made their
The students who had come to the Vice-Chancellor's (VC)
office on Tuesday and were sitting on the ground while their representatives
sought an audience with VC Prof. Pirzada Qasim, narrated their tales of woe.
"Our Provost Dr Nasreen Aslam Shah, who is also the Director
for the Centre of Excellence for Women Studies, uses filthy and threatening
language if the students request her for some amenities," said the spokesperson
of the students. She is working towards her PhD.
The girls' hostel has
104 rooms, including a sports room and four guest rooms, and can hardly
accommodate 250 students adequately. "The sports room has been converted into a
12-bed room for as many girls. Four guest rooms are hosting 16 girls with scant
amenities and furniture," they said.
Another student, fearing reprisals
from the Provost, said that the latter came at 9 pm and threatened students
while making rounds of the hostel. "Once she said that we should not mess with
She warned us that she will make a call and 50 men will appear on
the hostel gate. Last year, on August 14, a large number of male students
rambled and danced at the gates making cat calls and hurling obscenities at the
residents. We called her to inform her of the bedlam. Dr Shah laughed
sarcastically and hung up. This is awful. We are thousands of miles away from
our hearths and homes and this behaviour is disappointing," she said
The VC has asked the Provost to allot single rooms to the
M.Phil and Ph.D students and to "try to manage the situation" until other
arrangements are made to accommodate the increasing number of students. It has
been decided that a hall that was used for functions in better days will be used
to house the students. It means 20 students are destined to turn up in that
Dr Shah had earlier written to the VC to allow her to 'force' old
Somali students to allow their new counterparts to share their rooms through the
KU 'Security Force'. The idea was not accepted as it seemed too authoritarian
and harsh in tone. Foreign Students Advisor Prof Kaleem Raza Khan wrote a note
saying that instead of 'forcing' the students to share the crammed rooms, they
should be allowed to seek accommodation in the city.
A senior professor
at the Arts Faculty, preferring to remain anonymous, agreed that the hostel was
in a shambles but added some of the Pakistani students wanted to increase the
'Curfew Period' – the time they were supposed to return to the hostel. "Yes, the
hostel was built more than three decades ago. The number of students coming from
abroad and other cities of Pakistan has increased considerably but there is no
expansion in the hostel space.
A new building that was to be built by
now has been confined to the cold storage. KU has no money for a new hostel,"
the professor said.
Dr Shah, however, denied the use of unbecoming
language with the students. "The problem is space. Foreign student turn up from
the airport demanding rooms and their Pakistani counterparts do the same. What
do we do?
They have a problem with sharing," she claimed. She also said
that when she became a provost at the time when Dr Zafar Saieed Saify was the
VC, she observed that girls would return at midnight. "I discontinued that
practice and that was the reason why evening classes were shortened to terminate
at 9 pm. We have 40 foreign students. The rest are from other parts Pakistan.
Girls from northern areas account for 70 percent of the occupancy," she
Dr Shah said that students pay only Rs200 per month for
electricity, water and gas and Rs1,800 for lunch and dinner. "It is quite cheap
considering the current inflation," she maintained. The News
WAF takes signature campaign to SALU
Khairpur: The Women Action Forum conducted a signature campaign
against torture on women and jirga system at the Shah Abdul Latif University on
SALU Vice-Chancellor Dr Nilofar Shaikh participated in the
campaign and signed the draft. Students of various departments of the SALU
signed the document.
Speaking on the occasion, representatives of Women
Action Forum, Hyderabad chapter, Amar Sindhu, Irfana Mallah and Rozina Junejo
said that the social structure in Sindh was being destroyed due to jirga
system.They added that the decisions of feudal elements violated basic rights of
women. They said that soon a bill would be presented in the National Assembly
against torture on women and jirga system. Dawn
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