NED University book fair | BZU clash

NED University's 32nd annual book fair commences
Karachi, Jan 19: The NED University of Engineering and Technology has commenced the 32nd annual book fair at Sadeeqain Lawn on Tuesday.

The book fair was organised by Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT).

About 50 stalls have been placed in the book fair, including computer and engineering departments, regarding higher education abroad.

A large number of curriculum and extra-curriculum books are available besides products of NED University, stationary items and T-shirts.

Pasban Pakistan President Altaf Shakoor inaugurated the book fair, while Sindh Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Asadullah Bhutto, Jamiat-Ulma-e-Pakistan leader Saddique Rathore and others visited.

Speaking on the occasion Bhutto said that book fairs are the mark of living nations. Books help a person to develop his character.

JI leader condemned the behaviour of the NED University's administration. He said that such types of activities should be held in the premises of educational institutes. It is a matter of regret that the university administration didn't permit to do so, he added.

Shakoor said in his address that the government should take some solid measures to activate the student union in educational institutes, instead of making only statements to lift the ban on it.

NED IJT Nazim Muhammad Shahid gave the vote of thanks and vowed that IJT will continue its struggle to spread the beacons of education in the society. Daily times

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KU, FUUAST to remain closed today on account of Urs of Bhitai
Karachi: The University of Karachi (KU) will remain closed on Wednesday (today) on account of the Urs of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, a spokesman of the institution announced on Tuesday. Both of the campuses of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) will also remain closed in connection with the Urs of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, an official of the institution said. app

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30 schools in Tharparkar made functional, PA told
Karachi: The Sindh Assembly was informed on Monday that the government had managed to make 30 primary schools in Tharparkar district functional that had been lying closed for want of teachers.

Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq stated this on the floor of the house while responding to a statement of MPA Nadeem Ahmed Bhutto that 900 schools were lying closed in Tharparkar district. He added that there were 525 non-vibrant primary schools in the district, with government efforts their number had been reduced to 495, including 305 for boys and 190 for girls.

The minister said that the previous government had established these schools on political considerations in Chhachhro, Nagarparkar, Mithi and Deeplo areas of Tharparkar and the district and respective union council administrations were responsible for running them.

Pir Mazhar said that five schools in Chhachhro and 20 in Nagarparkar were opened by the Sindh Education Foundation that provided furniture, training to teachers and salary to a local NGO responsible for the project implementation.

In reply to a related question, the minister said that 16 computers were provided to Government Boys High School, Chelhar Town, Taluka Chachro.

Responding to the question of legislator Mohammad Moin Aamer Pirzada about the number of non-functional primary schools in Karachi up to January 2009, he said there were 66 non-functional primary schools in Karachi. Fifty-eight of them were situated in Gadap Town.

He said it was sheer negligence of the city government that so many schools were lying closed in one town alone. He added the Sindh government had allocated Rs100 million to the city district government to make these schools functional, but the city government could not utilise the funds despite the fact that he reminded the officials concerned about it through letters.

He said there were a total of 2,619 primary schools, including 1,944 for boys and 675 for girls, in the metropolis.

Lawmaker Aamer Pirzada also asked about the year-wise number of Sindhi Language Teachers (SLTs), who changed their cadre and were transferred from Karachi to other district of the province from July 1, 1988 to Jan 31, 2009. The minister said only five SLTs were transferred from Karachi to other districts of the province from July 1, 1988 to Jan 31, 2009, while the provincial government did not allow change of cadre over the last 10 years.

When legislator Masoor Ahmed Khan Jatoi asked if it was correct that there were no principals in Mehran College and Marvi Girls College, Moro, Pir Mazhar answered in the negative.

In reply to another question of Nadeem Bhutto, the minister said that construction work on Government Primary School, Pir Sanaullah Village, Mian Shora, Taluka Sakrand, Shaheed Benazirabad, would be undertaken shortly. He denied that the school building was presently being used as an "Autaq" of a local farmer. He added that there were 53 students and two teachers in the school.

Lawmaker Saleem Khursheed Khokhar wanted to know about the status of Christian Mission School (CMS), Lawrance Road, Karachi. The minister said that the school that was nationalised in 1972 had not been privatised so far. It was being run by the city district government Karachi, he said.

In reply to another question of the MPA, Pir Mazhar said it was true that Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah also studied in the school.

Some legislators praised the minister for being truthful and honest while responding to the queries.

Pir Mazhar deplored that the education sector was ignored in the past and no serious effort had been made to bring changes keeping in view the needs of people. He said it was the responsibility of every member of the house to make efforts to bring improvement in the field of education, as no nation could progress without quality education. The news

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11 hurt as BZU students clash
Multan: At least eleven students were injured in a clash between two factions of a student organisation in a Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) hostel here on Tuesday.

Activists of rival groups of the People's Students Federation (PSF) used arms and batons against each other during the fight. All the injured were shifted to Nishtar Hospital where one was stated to be in a critical condition.

The scuffle began after two female students of the law department and the computer science department were tortured allegedly by the activists of Rana Shafiq group of the PSF.

Both the girls submitted applications to the university administration for disciplinary action against the accused for torturing them.

PSF's Imran Dogar group expressed its support for the girls and demanded the administration take strict action against those who had tortured the girls.

"Our group had protested against the torture of female students on Monday but the administration was backing the accused students and was reluctant to take any action against them," Imran Dogar said.

"When my group pressed the administration for taking an action against the accused on the application of the girls, the administration asked the activists of Rana Shafiq to strike a 'deal' with us," Dogar added.

He alleged that activists of Rana group attacked his friends residing in Abubakar Hall on Tuesday.

He alleged the activists of Rana Shafiq group shot at and injured six members of his group, namely Rizwan, Waheed, Tauqeer, Umer Pervez, Hasan and Zeeshan besides beating them up with clubs.

He said the administration was responsible for the incident as it did not take any action against the accused students.

On the other hand, Rana Shafiq said his friends were sitting in Abubakar Hall when two sons of PML-N leader Tariq Naeemullah, Ahad Tariq and Maroof Tariq, along with their friends Ali Shah, A.D. Mangana and Imran Dogar attacked them.

He said Tariq Naeemullah had been eager to launch a students' wing of the PML in the university for the last six to seven months.

He said there was no reality in the allegations of torture of two female students.

He said Rana Javed, Gul Sher, Asif and Yaqoob of his group were injured because of firing and Baqir, Sheikh Ibrahim and Shehr Yar were injured after they were beaten up with clubs by their rivals.

BZU resident officer Dr Altaf Dasti said a disciplinary committee was probing the allegations levelled by female students and statements of some witnesses were also recorded on Tuesday. The committee was going to decide the matter by Wednesday (today), he added.

"However, the issue of torture of two female students has no concern with Tuesday's incident as both groups are fighting to get hold of student politics in the university."

He said five people were injured in the clash.

Nishtar Hospital deputy medical superintendent Dr Sarfaraz Hasan Sial described as stable the condition of all the injured except Tauqeer Hayat.

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UAF throws the book at 10 boarders
Faisalabad: The University of Agriculture Faisalabad has expelled six students and rusticated four others on the charges of attacking the vice chancellor's house, torching a security vehicle and pelting the officials with stones.

A notification to the effect has been issued the other day on the recommendation of the disciplinary advisory committee which followed the Students (Discipline and Conduct) Regulations, 1978.

The expelled students were Omer Rasheed of DVM, Asadur Rehman (BSc Hons, Agri and Resource Economics), Afifur Rehman (BSc Hons, horticulture) and Waqar Ahmad (BSc, agri engineering), all students of the seventh semester.

Talal Ahmad Saleemi (BSc, Agri Engineering) and Rehan Tahir of BSc Hons, Agriculture (PBG) were in fifth semester.

The students of first semester who were rusticated for one academic year and fined Rs10,000 were Adnan Badar of MSc Hons Agri (Horticulture), Nadir Abbas of MBA Marketing and Agribusiness and Khalid Majeed of MSC (Hons) Agri (Plant Pathology). Another student, Nawaz Sukhera of B.SC (Hons) Agri (Plant Pathology) had also been rusticated for one year and fined Rs10,000. The last named was in seventh semester.

Hundreds of boarders of the varsity had attacked UAF Vice-Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmed's house on the campus on the night between Oct 1 and Oct 2 in protest over multiple issues. The university had issued charge-sheet to 13 students and 10 of them have been penalised.

The vice chancellor had referred the issue to a 10-member disciplinary advisory committee comprising one professor from each faculty which gave its verdict on Jan 15.

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Bad education
That standards of education in the country are plummeting was confirmed by the Annual Status of Education Report Pakistan 2010, launched on Monday in Islamabad. Undertaken by a number of organisations, it assessed the learning outcomes of school-going children. Depressingly, more than half the children surveyed could not read a sentence in Urdu or their local language. Around 56 per cent could not do two-digit subtraction sums while the level of reading and comprehension in English was, predictably, dismal. These findings can be taken as fairly representative indicators, given that the survey covered over 19,915 children in over 19,000 households across 32 districts in all five provinces as well as Azad Jummu & Kashmir and Islamabad. The outcomes remained similar regardless of whether the children attended private or government schools. In terms of provincial performance, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa appeared to be ahead, followed by Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, in that order. Even so, only 61 per cent of the children surveyed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa could read a sentence in Urdu or their local language. If any further proof was needed that the country's education system needs resuscitation, this is it.

Given that the survey found teacher attendance to be higher than generally assumed - 87 per cent in the public sector and a little higher than 90 per cent in the private sector - the problem appears to lie in the quality of teaching methodologies and curricula and in teachers' ability to foster comprehension. The solution to that lies, of course, in heavy investment, which the sector has been in dire need of for years. A surprise thrown up by the survey was the level of ability to read English in out-of-school children: 32 per cent stood at the beginner's level, 49 per cent were able to read words and 28 per cent could read sentences. Clearly there is a need for serious interventions that range from improving teachers' abilities to drawing out-of-school children back into the academic circuit. These need to be formulated and implemented on a priority basis; for Pakistan to have a viable future, it needs an educated workforce. Dawn

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