Students most affected by power outages
Islamabad, Jan 30: Frequent power outages are disturbing students busy in preparation for the upcoming final exams.
Like other parts of the country, there is no end to power outages in the twin cities and the students are worst-affected by the power outages. Not a single day passes when they feel affected as loadshedding turns bright nights into darkness and students wait for the light to return so they can resume their studies.
"My children are preparing for their final exams. They want to concentrate more on studies but if the present situation continues it will definitely affect their grades," said Amina whose three sons go to school.
The annual exams from primary to graduate level will be held in the coming months and students are preparing to acquire good grades, said Shagufta, teacher at Islamabad Model College for Boys, F-8/4.
But loadshedding for such long hours will make difficult for them to focus on their studies, she said. School going children are also disturbed as when they sit down to open their bags to do homework and light goes out, they feel let down. And they pass the time thinking whether they will able to complete their homework and what their school teachers will say if they could not finish it.
And it is gloomier for children, if the next best thing they want is to get into the cozy bed and go to sleep.
This situation also eats up their time left for play and leisure. The winter days are short and nights are long so children like to do their homework in the evenings but their plans are always in jeopardy because of the persistent loadshedding. Housewives feel an extra burden on their shoulders.
If they are washing clothes they are worried that their washing machines would stop as there is no confirmed time for power to disappear. Family dinners are interrupted and suddenly people feel at a loss as what to do with their time.
As now there is no television to watch and no computer to surf the Internet and play games. The nation
Women step into student transportation business
Rawalpindi: Some female van owners have come forward and are providing pick and drop facility to schoolchildren, which was earlier being done only by male drivers in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
In the absence of a robust transport system, a large number of people are providing pick and drop facility to school and college students. For this purpose, they use different types of vehicles including vans and cabs.
They pick students from their homes early in the morning and take them back from different private and government schools on monthly charges ranging from Rs 600 to Rs 2,000 per student.
The parents have to rely on these service providers who are performing their duties regularly.
But, now some women have come forward and joined this field and are successfully carrying out the duty of pick and drop to students.
A housewife whose spouse works in the Middle East and she has to send her three young children on a van said, "I feel more comfortable with a lady driver who cares for young children more than the male drivers." She said women drivers were more responsible and caring, adding, "I have no reason not to trust women drivers."
Qamar Zaman, an official of a private company, said in the Western countries, women were already working as professional drivers. APP
Peshawar's private schools
Peshawar: The NWFP government must take measures to streamline and regulate private educational institutions as a large number of schools in the provincial capital lack even basic facilities.
According to data obtained from the Regulatory Authority, Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education Peshawar (BISEP), there are 328 primary, 471 middle and 329 high private schools in Peshawar.
Though the application form for registration and affiliation states that there should be office of principal, staff room, visitors' room, classrooms, examination hall, library, laboratories and washrooms, a large number of schools even do not have classrooms and classes are held in the verandas.
Students of some private schools said that they did not have benches and desks in the classrooms. A group of students disclosed that they were deprived of library and laboratory facilities, while the principals charged them high fees in the name of promotion fee and registration.
Teachers of a private school told this scribe that their salaries were less than Rs3,000, although the government had announced Rs6,000 as the minimum wage. According to Sub-Section (4) of the Ordinance 2002 about functioning of the private educational institutions in the NWFP, any person desirous of opening a school/college shall apply to the district committee concerned. The executive district officer (EDO-education) will be the chairman of district committee.
However, the sources said the EDO was always reluctant to visit schools for inspection, and thus no heed was paid to the problems at educational institutions. Principals of some schools receive high amounts in the name of 'paper fees' from every class before quarterly examination. Principal of a private school said the Education Department was responsible for all the issues.
"Authorities should check the school system before issuing registration," said a school principal, wishing anonymity. He said negligence on the part of the authorities promoted corruption and money-making businesses in the name of education.
When contacted, Director, Academic & Regulatory Authority BISEP Alam Zeb, said that in 2004 they were asked to deal with the private schools but still they had no computer to process the data swiftly, which impeded their work.
"We had written a letter on June 3, 2009 to chief minister who is the controlling authority of the NWFP boards. The letter proposed that the provincial government has to grant authority to director, Academic & Regulatory like that of federal BISE, Islamabad where the director research (BPS-19) had full authority over the private institutions and is answerable to the chairman," he added.
Prof Dr Saeed Sultan, a psychiatrist at the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH), said the Education Department at the district level must hire the services of educational psychologists to visit schools for inspecting the environment and students' behaviour.
He said schools with dilapidated buildings and unqualified teachers were the main reasons behind lack of healthy activities of the students and misbehaviour. Unskilled teachers could not guide students, and as a result it leads to aggressive attitudes in schools and in society at large.
SZABIST Research moot
Islamabad: The 10th National Research Conference on Management, Computer and Social Sciences & Economics organised by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) concluded here on Friday.
Over 170 papers were presented during the two-day research conference, says a press release.
Students from many prominent universities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Bahawalpur and Peshawar presented their research papers during the conference.
It is pertinent to mention here that SZABIST is a pioneer academic institution in Pakistan having an online research journal called, Journal of Independent Studies and Research (JISR), with reputed reviewers on the panel.
Pak environmental degradation
Peshawar: Environmental degradation in Pakistan is becoming an alarming problem and is threatening the state and its people, said Dr Martin Axmann, resident representative of the Hanns Seidel Foundation from Germany.
He was addressing the students and staff of 22 participating schools from districts of Peshawar, Nowshera and Mardan at a meeting. The meeting was organised by Peace Education And Development (PEAD) Foundation, Islamabad in partnership with Hanns Seidel Foundation to bring together all participating schools of the project "Creating Awareness of Rights and Responsibilities in Youth (CARRY).
The gathering was attended and addressed by executive district officers-education of Mardan, Hanifullah Khan and of Nowshera Inhan ud Din. Sameena Imtiaz, the Executive Director, PEAD Foundation also spoke on the occasion.
Dr Axmann said focusing on environmental issues and tolerance, statehood, and social activism the CARRY project had taken a holistic approach to the problem and had combined the topics of environmental awareness and civic education in a perfect manner.
Aimed at the development of political and environmental consciousness, promoting peace- skills, harmony, social action and social interaction, he said the programme tries to provide youth with necessary skills and knowledge the world needs to overcome the growing challenges.
Dr Axmann said the main objective of the programme was to build the capacity of the students to participate in the socio- economic development by learning, asking, understanding, discussing, questioning, arguing, communicating, sharing and explaining to others.
Sameena Imtiaz said the project had been designed to enhance an individual's civic knowledge so that a person was more likely to participate in public affairs. She said the project aimed at empowering youth by preparing, motivating & engaging them to partake in civic life actively.
The project wanted to instill a sense of responsibility and accountability in youth towards environment and sensitizing them on the need to be careful about nature and the preservation of the natural resources, she added. The news
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