Computerised examinations procedure

Exam guess papers to be banned in Punjab
Rawalpindi, Jan 25: Punjab government will soon ban the sale of examination guess papers and has already computerised the primary and middle examinations procedure to improve the education standard.

This was stated by Chairman Task Force for Elementary Education Punjab Raja Muhammad Anwar while chairing a meeting to review the arrangements for holding the elementary and middle examinations here at the Commissioner Office.

The computerised procedure would help eliminate the 'booti mafia' (cheaters) from the province, he said and added that more than 2.3 million students would appear in the primary and middle examinations this year, starting next month.

Raja Anwar said the examinations should highlight bright and intelligent students, so they could be awarded scholarships. He said Punjab government has established an Endowment Fund for Education with Rs100 million and 20 per cent of this amount has been allocated for primary education.

He was of the view that the upcoming primary and middle examinations would not only grade the students but also the teachers and their divisions.

Chief Executive Examination Commission Punjab Nasim Nawaz told the meeting that six sets of examination papers have been printed to check any chance of leakage. He said to ensure transparency of the answer sheets, they would be sent to other divisions for marking.

Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Zahid Saeed while ensuring the security arrangements at examination centres said all executive district officers (EDOs) of Education should send reports to the concerned police stations.

He directed the district coordination officers (DCOs) to depute a policeman or a civil defence volunteer at each of the examination centres, wherever security situation so require. In addition, the school security guards and watchmen should also be deputed to protect the examination centre from terrorists.

The meeting was attended by the DCOs, EDOs, DOs of Rawalpindi, Attock, Jhelum, and Chakwal districts, focal persons and officials relating to the education department. The news

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AIOU admissions for spring 2010 semester
Islamabad: Admissions for the Semester Spring 2010 of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) would commence from February 6.

According to an AIOU press release, admissions from matriculation to PhD level programmes will commence from February 6.

Admission forms and prospectuses for all the disciplines are available at the AIOU main campus in Sector H-8, Islamabad and its 36 Regional Campuses/Offices and 116 Coordinating Offices across the country. APP

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Extension in teachers
Islamabad: Federal Government Colleges Teacher Association (FGCTA) has demanded immediate extension in contract period of 943 teachers working under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE).

Talking to this agency, President FGCTA Zahid Ali Shah said ultimately the services of contractual employees should be regularised enabling them to play their effective role in the uplift of education standard with complete job satisfaction.

Among the employees, 860 teachers are from the Model Colleges and the remaining 83 are from the Federal Government Colleges.

The teachers fearful of losing their jobs plan to stage a protest demonstration in front of Islamabad Press Club soon if their demands are not met.

They say they will go on strike if their contract is not extended for the next year. The contractual teachers are serving in the different colleges of federal capital for three to seven years.

The employees were appointed through proper channel and fulfilled the criteria and they were expecting regularization through Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC). "We contacted the authorities in FDE who referred us to the Secretary Education saying he is the competent authority for extending the contract," an affected teacher said.

"We approached Secretary Education Imtiaz Kazi and he again referred us to the Federal Directorate of Education."

The employees are looking towards the new DG FDE Shahnaz Riaz to listen to their grievances and resolve them.

Akbar Khan, a contractual lecturer working in H-8 college said that in a meeting, the Secretary Education told them that the contract ending on January 31 will not be revised due to some technicalities. Iftikhar Ahmed, a teacher at H-9 College said it is a critical and tense situation for them and their families.

It is ironic that on one side the government ministers are saying that contract government employees will be regularized and on the other nobody is doing anything to extend contracts or regularize services, he added. The nation

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Business technologies promotion
Islamabad: Speakers at a seminar at Iqra University urged the business community to create research culture in the country to promote business technologies.

They also stressed to enhance the vision of stakeholders by providing ideas for R&D in business technology, enabling the business community to understand contemporary marketing and business strategies.

The speakers said this at the second International Conference on Business & Technology 2010, organised by Iqra University, says a press release.

Chief guest Ijaz Shafi Gilani, Chairman Gallop International, delivered the key note and lauded the efforts of Iqra University to bring the business community closer through new ideas and skills, while Pro Chancellor Iqra University Misbha Ullah Khan, Vice Chancellor UAG Isani, Dean Dr Jamil Ahmad and the conference secretary, Dr Kashif ur Rehman, were among the speakers.

Misbha Ullah Khan said it is indeed a healthy tradition, which followed the last year's successful event organised by the University. "Pakistani researchers have proved that they are second to none in the world and have the knowledge, expertise and experience to do what the academicians of the most advanced countries can do."

He said we have great potential and an equally great future, only if we formulate the right policies and exhibit a strong will to execute them, adding that only then we could make our economy more vibrant and self-reliant.

Dean Dr Jamil Ahmed highlighted almost all areas of business such as Finance, Marketing, Management, Accounting, MIS, Public Administration, Economics, Business Education, Computer Science, IT, Telecommunications and Engineering.

More than 100 research papers from all over the world were received for the event. Dr Kashif ur Rehman, the conference secretary, informed that they received research papers from Afghanistan, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, France, India, Malaysia, Netherlands, Sweden and Singapore. Delegates from Australia, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Netherlands and Singapore are participating in the conference.

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Internet generation at risk
Bone-bending rickets can now be added to the list of ills linked to children spending uncounted hours before a computer screen, British researchers said.

Youngsters with rickets, caused primarily by a chronic lack of vitamin D, develop painful and deformed bow-legs that do not grow properly.

The condition is linked mainly with extreme poverty and the 19th-century Victorian England of Charles Dickens, and can be easily avoided through a balanced diet and exposure to sunlight.

But doctors reported this month that cases of the debilitating disease have once again become "disconcertingly common" in Britain.

"Kids tend to stay indoors more these days and play on their computers instead of enjoying the fresh air," said Simon Pearce, a professor at Newcastle University in northeast England and lead author of a new study on Vitamin D deficiency.

"This means their vitamin D levels are worse than in previous years," he said in a press release.

Half of all adults in Britain - especially in the north - have Vitamin D deficiency in winter and spring, with one-in-six having severe deficiency.

The condition has been linked to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, several kinds of cancer and a soft-bone condition in adults called osteomalacia.

While the study focused on Britain, the same trend is likely elsewhere in the industrialised world, the researchers suggested.

The solution? Soaking up sunrays helps boost Vitamin D levels, but can also increase the risk of skin cancer.

The other option is adjusting diet. The rickets-preventing vitamin is present in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring.

"Fifty years ago, many children would have been given regular doses of cod liver oil, but this practice has all but died out," noted co-author Tim Cheetham, also a professor at Newcastle.

But if foul-tasting oils and expensive fish are not options, there is another ready mode of transmission: milk.

The study, published in the current issue of the British Medical Journal, called for new regulations recommending the addition of vitamin D to milk and similar food products, as has been done in several other countries.

Excessive time spent in front of a computer has also been linked to increased obesity, a jump in attention deficit disorder and anti-social behaviour.

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MPhil result distinction
Islamabad: Ms Majda Shabbir, daughter of Mohammad Shabbir Ahmed, defended her MPhil thesis with distinction in the Department of International Relations at Quaid-i-Azam University, securing 90 per cent marks, says a press release.

The title of her thesis, supervised by Professor Dr. R A Siddiqui, was 'Dr. Wangari Maathai's Green Belt Movement in Kenya and its Relevance to Pakistan'. The central argument of her thesis was based on ecological feminism, which establishes a negative correlation between patriarchy and environmental degradation.

It argued in favour of investing rural women in environmental restoration in third world countries, particularly in Pakistan, and drew parallels from the Kenyan green-belt success story. The news

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