BISE authorities exploiting students

BISE circular created confusion
Lahore, Jan 10: Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) has declared the B-form optional for science students of 9th class but issued circular after the closing date of admission forms, which not only created confusion among the school administration but also caused massive nuisance for the students and their parents, TheNation has learnt.

However, City school administrations are insisting students to deposit Rs 500 to Rs 800 besides admission fees for getting new birth certificates and for the registration of their dates of birth according to computerised birth certificates in the record of BISE. Whereas, heads of various schools blamed that the BISE authorities did not formally informed the school administrations in this regard even after issuing circular and declaring B-form optional, which caused confusion among the school administrations, students and BISE authorities.

"As they were not aware with any such decision or announcement made by the BISE authorities, they continued receiving fees for new computerised birth certificates from the City District Government or B-form from Nadra", said a headmistress of a private school of Mozang on condition of anonymity.

Further, heads of some other private schools of the City, registered with the BISE, alleged that the clerical staff of BISE is demanding extra amount from the school administrations for acceptance of admission forms of the metric students while taking plea that such amount is included in the admission fees of BISE for matriculation examination and for registration of corrected date of birth of the students. They further alleged that such officials of BISE are threatening the school administrations saying them that admission form of students could be rejected in case they refuse to deposit such amount. "In fact, the officials are minting millions of rupees illegally by charging additional amounts as fees from the students for registration of date of birth", they added.

On the other hand, the BISE officials while rejecting the allegation said that they were not authorised to receive any amount in cash and they did not force the school administrations or any student to pay any additional amount for the purpose.

However, some students, on condition of anonymity, said that it might be possible that school administrations, in connivance with the BISE officials were charging such amount illegally by taking advantage of lack of awareness among the students and their parents regarding decisions of BISE.

While talking to this scribe, Controller Examination Manzoorul Hassan said that BISE had declared B-form optional for all the science students of 9th class a couple of weeks ago and all the heads of the govt and private schools were formally being informed by the authorities concerned. Therefore, receiving any additional amount by the BISE administration from the students as fees for this purpose is out of question, he said. The nation

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New School Programme third phase launched
Lahore: The Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) on Saturday launched the third phase of New School Programme (NSP) in 12 different districts under which 16,000 deserving students would get free education through 80 partner schools.

About five schools have been selected in each of the districts of Khushab, Lodhran, Layyah, Mianwali and Narowal, seven each in Rahimyar Khan and Toba Tek Singh, eight from Vehari, ten from Khanewal and Bhakkar, four from Attock and nine from Sargodha. A sum of Rs 5.6 million will be spent on the education of NSP students every month.

An agreement signing ceremony was held at the Punjab Institute of Language, Art & Culture (PILAC) Auditorium on Saturday. The ceremony was presided over by PEF Project Officer (NSP) Hassan Javed.

Hassan told the participants that New School Programme was designed to educate the poor families' students near to their homes. He maintained that the NSP was very beneficial to the poor segments of the society for arranging educational facilities for the disadvantaged children.

The NSP is designed for the less-developed and deprived sub-urban areas where, because of various socio-economic deprivations, parents often find it difficult to bear educational expenditures of their children, especially the girls can't go to far-off schools, he maintained.

Hassan Javed also informed the participants that New School Programme was already catering to the educational needs of 17,237 students in 129 partner schools in different districts.

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Outages rile students, parents
Lahore: The prevailing crisis of electricity and gas shortage has been making people's lives miserable besides badly affecting students, especially those preparing for examinations.

The poor students of Pakistan, the country already at the bottom among the countries spending low on education sector, have been facing one challenge after another with no respite in the sight. Apart from the constant fear and threat of terrorism, the Pakistani youth has been prone to prolonged hours of electricity suspension in today's digital age. And now, in freezing temperatures, the poor students like other people of the country have been made to fight the scarcity of natural gas. The situation gets worse as availability of water also becomes almost impossible during electricity loadshedding.

The prevailing crises have severely disrupted routine life, and further depressing the masses already struggling to cope with ever increasing inflation."In absence of electricity and water, sometimes, and shortage of gas in this cold weather, it becomes quite difficult to prepare children for schools in the morning,'' said Rubina, a housewife. According to her, during the school hours her children, like other students, are made to sit in dark classrooms in case of electricity loadshedding. While the freezing temperature without sunlight adds to their miseries, she adds. "It seems like we are living in the Stone Age,'' remarks another citizen, Ali. He was quite critical of the rulers saying it was unfortunate that none of them was paying heed to real issues being faced by the masses. He was also critical of the Punjab Schools Department saying the winter holidays were observed at a time when the weather was not as cold as now. It seems everything is being followed illogically in this part of the world, he added dejectedly. The students especially those preparing for upcoming matriculation and other examinations are greatly perturbed these days.

It is pertinent to mention here that Secondary School Certificate (Annual) Examination 2011 will commence from March 5 this year while the first ever 1st semester exam of BS Hons Programme recently introduced in 26 selected colleges of the province have been scheduled for February 2011. Similarly class-5 and class-8 exams to be held on uniform basis across the province have been scheduled for February 2011. Besides this, the students of Virtual University (VU), the country's first varsity based on modern information and communication technologies (ICTs), are greatly irked owing to electricity suspension saying it was creating a lot of trouble for them.Similarly the students pursuing computer education are critical of the rulers saying it was pity that in this modern age they are unable to plan strategy to exploit available options of renewable energy such as solar and wind energy on priority basis. The prevailing crises do disturb students as a whole whether it is of electricity, gas or water, said Rana Tanveer, a VU student, adding that the same had been hampering academic activities. The news

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PU VC seeks media help for increase in education budget
Lahore: Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran stated that the media should use its profound influence to compel political leadership to allocate minimum of 4 percent of GDP for educational promotion. He was speaking at the annual dinner hosted in honour of the families of Lahore Press Club members at the Journalist Housing Society, on Sunday. The Lahore Press Club President Sarmad Bashir also addressed the audience.

Dr kamran said the print and electronic media were playing a pivotal role in moulding opinion of general public and the rulers, therefore, media should continuously highlight the urgent need for allocating requisite funds for the education sector to improve socio-economic conditions of the people. He regretted that not a single government in the past ever realised the vital importance of education for national development and reconstruction.

He said, "The creation and spread of new knowledge is a must if we want to live an honourable and prosperous life in the 21st centaury. Pakistan having a population of 175 million spends a meagre two percent of its GDP of Rs 170 billion on education against five to seven percent by the developed world. Resultantly, Pakistan is ranked amongst the last four countries of the world, including Chad, Ecuador and Equatorial Guinea, which incur lowest expenditure on education."

While speaking on the occasion, Lahore Press Club President Sarmad Bashir paid tribute to Dr Kamran for successfully setting a new record of producing over 100 PhDs every year for the last three years.

He said that he would never compromise on the welfare of his community. He said during the last two years, together with the governing body members, he had achieved remarkable success, as the entire development work of the journalist colony stood completed.

He said the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had approved a summary for allotment of 295 plots in the newly developed F-block. The forms for their allotment would be distributed amongst the Lahore Press Club members within the next three days and the journalist would be required to attach a draft amounting to Rs 35,000 along with an affidavit and copies of their ID cards.

He said that the 78 kanals earmarked for the park had been enhanced to 90 kanals while a modern community centre containing a school mosque and a Madrassa would also be constructed in the colony. Daily times

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Technology park planned in UET
Taxila: A technology park will be established in the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila to provide state-of-the-art facilities to scholars, academia, researchers, and public and private sector enterprises.

Dr Mohammed Abbas Choudhary, UET vice chancellor, told reporters on Sunday that measures have been

taken for developing the university's infrastructure in the last three months.

He said seats for students have been doubled in telecom, software and computer engineering departments.

He said three new engineering departments environmental, electronics and industrial have been introduced in the university, adding that three new faculties of material, geo-technical, and aeronautical engineering would be introduced in the next academic year.

He said with the financial assistance of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Punjab government these projects would be completed.

The VC said in the next four years, over 100 faculty members would be sent to various educational institutions in Pakistan and abroad for PhD. He said it would be endured that all UET assistant professors should be PhD.

He said a multi purpose hall would also be constructed for holding convocations, seminars and workshops.

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UAF to improve facilities for foreign students
Faisalabad: The University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) is contemplating enhancing facilities for foreign students to increase their enrolment in future.

This was stated by Vice-Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad while addressing the annual function of the International Club comprising foreign students here on Saturday.

He said students from different Islamic countries, including Afghanistan and Somalia, were studying at the university and the number of such students would increase in future. He said efforts were under way to cater to the needs of foreign students and the facilities being extended to them by the university would be improved.

Facing the requirements of modern age, Dr Ahmad stressed the need for innovative technologies for education sector of Pakistan to compete with the developed countries.

He said the UAF was striving for joint ventures with different international educational institutions, enabling students a conducive environment for research and exchange of researchers. Addressing the gathering, International Club Adviser Dr Tahir Siddique said last year 13 students from different countries got admission to the UAF and communication skills were being imparted to all such students enabling them to continue their studies without any difficulty and familiarising them with the culture of the academia.

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UVAS to work with Malaysian university
Lahore: The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) and University of Putra Malaysia (UPM) on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen teaching, research and professional services at both varsities.

The UVAS also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Halal Industry Development Corporation to work together, coordinate efforts and pool multiple resources to help each other achieve maximum potential and self-reliance on creative scientific approaches and Halal industry developments.

UVAS Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz, Faculty of Animal Production and Technology Dean Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha, UPM Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Aini Ideris, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr Bashir Ahmad Fateh Mohamed and HDC chief executive officer Y.

Bhg Dato Seri Jamil Bidin were present at the MoU signing ceremonies at Chief Minister's Secretariat.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development Department Secretary Jehanzeb Khan, Punjab Investment Board Vice-Chairman Rizwan Ahmad Khan, Lahore Meat Corporation Managing Director Dr Hamid Jalil and Halal Industry Development Corporation Managing Director and former minister Dr Syed Jalal-ud-Din Saleem were also present. Dawn

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GCU kicks off 'Help the Helpless'
Lahore: The Government College University Welfare Society has kicked off a three-week fund-raising and awareness campaign titled 'Help the Helpless'. The campaign initiated in collaboration with GCU Endowment Fund Trust is aimed at raising the awareness among the well-off old Ravians and students about the importance of helping deserving students, and collecting funds for them.

GCU Welfare Society Adviser Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt said this is the consecutive second year the Society has launched the campaign and this year about 150 volunteers have also joined hands with the Society members to work for the cause.

Dr Khalid Butt said the Society has arranged scores of activities, including art competition, workshops, movie and bonfire, to make the campaign a success. The motivational lectures on the importance of promotion of education are also part of the three-week campaign. The society's volunteers would also visit classrooms on the campus to motivate students to take part in the noble cause.

Dr Butt said that students would also meet members of civil society, business organisations and noted old Ravians and requested them to come forward and help the deserving students.

The most popular event of the campaign, "GCU Bonfire" will be held on January 18 at the Amphie Theatre in which old Ravian celebrities and artists would be invited. The money that generates from movie, bonfire and other recreational activities would be spent on the studies of deserving students. A painting and art competition is also scheduled to be held on the theme of 'Help the Helpless' on January 11 to raise awareness among students through art.

GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Khalid Aftab said that universities are not only meant for making students scholars, scientists and engineers, but also for making them good humans who care for others. He appreciated the campaign, saying that the 'haves' have a responsibility towards 'have-nots' about which they at least be aware of.

The Vice Chancellor also called on philanthropists, industrialists, businessmen and old Ravians to come forward and help the university in the noble cause, so that the bright students can continue their studies without mental stress.

Aftab said that every year more than 2,100 GCU students apply for financial aid to meet their academic expenses but the university unfortunately could not fully accommodate all of them due to limited funds. Last year, the university allocated Rs 11 million for the needy students from its budget.

The Vice Chancellor said people should realise that helping a student means changing the life of a whole family.The GCU Welfare Society Adviser told media that last year, GCU Welfare Society Silver Scholarship was initiated from the money generated through this campaign. It is a perpetual scholarship that would be granted to a deserving student every year on merit. The nation

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827 teachers promoted

Lahore: The office of the EDO (Education) has displayed the lists of the promotion cases of the government schoolteachers of the provincial metropolis. The lists contain names of almost 827 primary school teachers (PSTs) and elementary school teachers (ESTs) who will be promoted soon to the posts of ESTs and SSTs respectively. The news

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Councils to look after 26 Punjab colleges
Rawalpindi: As the Boards of Governors (BoGs) issue in 26 Punjab colleges is lying pending before the Lahore High Court (LHC), the Punjab Higher Education Department has decided to set up councils in every college and the move has caused unrest among the teachers, it has been learnt.

Punjab Higher Education Department recently issued a notification directing the commissioners of every division to form college council comprising members from within and outside the college apparently to expedite the decision-making process at the college level.

However, the associations of the college teachers have decided to resist the move. Resultantly, their resistance is making the implementation of the project a bit difficult.

The college council will comprise two representatives of the area MPA, two of students, two of the parents, two of the philanthropists, one representative each of divisional commissioner, district coordination officer, one college professor, one associate professor, one assistant professor, one lecturer besides the college principal and vice-principal.

The councils will be independent in taking financial decisions for the betterment of the college. Besides, people from different walks of life would help in improving the facilities and atmosphere of the institution.

"With the matter of BoGs lying pending before the LHC, the Punjab Higher Education Department issued notification on November 29 forming the controversial councils in the colleges," said Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA) Rawalpindi chapter President Mohammad Ilyas Qureshi.

Elaborating the teachers' reservations about the councils, Mr Qureshi said first the unity of command would be abolished as earlier the college principal used to be the focal person in taking all necessary decisions. Under the new arrangement, the presence of area MPA and bureaucracy representatives would seriously affect the chain of command.

The teachers fear that the direct involvement of bureaucracy in the affairs of colleges might spoil the working atmosphere in the colleges, he added.

"Direct involvement of the area MPA may polarise the college environment and the political leadership may promote active politics in the colleges and political polarization would badly affect the administrative control of the colleges," said PPLA General Secretary Rauf Ahmed Shah.He said practically the college principal would lose the administrative control with the presence of bureaucracy and politicians in the council.

The association representatives were of the opinion that the concept of the council would be helpful in developed nations but it would not deliver desired results in Pakistani society where vested and personal interests were given priority over collective interests. When contacted Director Rawalpindi Colleges Dr Mohammad Ashraf said the college council already existed in the institutions and the Higher Education Department had decided only to expand them and make them active.

"The councils will be set up in the colleges where BoGs are being constituted to ensure speedy decision making at the college level especially regarding maintenance and repair work of the institutions", the director said. The principals of the colleges have been directed to name the panels of the representatives for students, parents and philanthropists and send the proposals to the commissioner who will finalize the panel, Dr Ashraf said. Dawn

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