Sindh schools as godowns

Influential landlords using 1,158 schools as godowns: Pir Mazhar
Umerkot, Jan 10: Senior Sindh Minister for Education, Pir Mazharul Haq said 1,158 schools established in the province by the previous rulers are being used as godowns by influential landlords.

The minister said this on Sunday while addressing on the second death anniversary of the PPP worker Ismail Chopan observed near here at Dhoronaro. Recalling Ismail Chopan's services for restoration of democracy, the minister said he was a brave worker of the party and his sacrifice will not go waste. Paying rich tributes to the late activists of the party, the minister said Chopan was kidnapped and killed in 2009 by political rivals. There is need to reopen of his murder case, Pir Mazhar asserted.

Referring to more than one thousand buildings, he said the previous rulers had constructed them in the name of schools with the help of educational officials but these buildings were now being used as godowns of the influential landlords.

He said the nation was suffering from hike in the prices of everything, including food and fuel, due to wrong policies, lack of political will and ill-planning of the previous rulers. He said the present government had taken various notable steps like 50 per cent increase in salaries of the government employees, reinstating sacked workers, introducing pro-worker laws and executing agreement with China to boost economy and bring prosperity in the country. MPA Ali Murad Rajar, Ismail Chopanís sons and Faiz Muhammad Chopan also spoke on the occasion. The news

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"This is sorry to say that a education minister admits himself that provinces influnenced landlords, who have illegally occupied the provinces school buildings, have more power than rulling government. govt: couldnt do any action against these social evils. then question is that: wheres government and writ of government? we can just pity on the government.May Allah Almighty bless on the nation and save us such kind so-called rulling elite!"
Name: wardah
City, Country: Jacobabad, Pakistan

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KU blast - Comments
Karachi: Sir, I strongly condemn the recent bomb blast which occurred at the University of Karachi while a group of students offered their prayers.

The question is who is responsible for this blast and has anyone been arrested in this regard? Acts like these send out the negative message that Pakistan is a haven for terrorists and that these elements are free to carry out blasts or suicide attacks while the police have completely failed to protect the lives and property of common people.

Those elements who carry out such attacks are the enemies of all of humanity and do not belong to any sect or religion. Not only must the perpetrators of the crime face justice, but those who supported or financed or trained them must also be brought to book. The authorities need to keep their eyes open and strictly monitor all extremist elements.

We should also spare a thought for the families of all the victims who have died or have been critically injured in such terrorist activities. Suffice to say those families who lose a son or a brother will forever remain scarred.

The police need to arrest the real culprits and give them exemplary punishment. By Ashfaq Sharif

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British Council trains 700 researchers
Karachi: A total of 700 young researchers across Pakistan were trained in a year under British Council's International Strategic Partnership in Research and Education (INSPIRE) programme.

This was stated at concluding session of two-day workshops on research essentials for young Pakistani researchers in Pakistan.

The Programme gave researchers from Pakistan a chance to visit UK universities to gain exposure and knowledge. Syeda Faiza Jamil from Textile Institute of Pakistan (TIP) and Dr. Zaheer-ul-Haque Qasmi from Karachi University (KU) participated in INSPIRE-TRXP, and are now working as Master Trainers with the British Council and the Department of Learning and Innovation Department in the Higher Education Commission Pakistan to further cascade what they learned during their visit and the workshop to other researchers in Karachi.

A series of 3 workshops were conducted at the Textile Institute of Pakistan and the Karachi University, reaching out to over a hundred researchers. The main focus of the Master Trainers was to disseminate information and tips on winning research funds, establishing and maintaining international networks and writing effective research proposals.

The Master Trainers used 'Experiential learning' tool to get their message across. With activities named "Colorblind", "Baranga" and "Elevator's Pitch' brought in a positive feedback from attendees, most of who felt that the activity-based workshop was more helpful than the one based on lectures. The nation

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Teachers call off class boycott
Larkana: The stand-off between school teachers and education officials ended on Saturday after negotiations and with an assurance of cancelling the transfer order of a teacher from here to Karachi in a month.

Ghulam Murtaza Abro, a junior school teacher, was transferred from Larkana to Karachi about a month ago without any reason, which prompted teachers to boycott classes since Dec 20, said Sikandar Kalhoro, general secretary of Larkana chapter of the Government School Teachers Association (GSTA).

He told this reporter: "We have got all in writing and the document was signed by Feroza Khokhar, District Officer (elementary education), Mushtaque Ali Kalhoro, DO education headquarter, Nawab Ali Khokhar, Immamudin Babbar, Khadim Hussain Bhutto and Gul Bahar Magsi (DOs), elementary education, and Abdul Rasheed Chandio and Basheer Ahmed Samo, general secretary and district president of the GSTA, respectively."

The document signed by education officers and the GSTA leaders on Saturday clearly said that the district administration would not transfer or punish any teacher on political grounds or under revenge.

In future, the teachers' body would negotiate with the department prior to going on strike, it said.

The teachers pressing for the cancellation of orders had resorted to boycott of classes and a hunger strike. Flash floods had already suffered education in the district and this stand off worsened the situation.

Academic activities in schools would restore from Monday, said the press release of GSTA Larkana issued here on Saturday.

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Universities sign MoU
Nawabshah: The University of Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) and Quaid-i-Awam University of Engineering, Science and Technology (Quest) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for collaboration in research projects.

Quest Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Ali Bux Soomro and UNIMAS VC Dr Khairuddin Abdul Hamid signed the MoU during the former's visit to Malysia last week, Mr Soomro told this correspondent.

He said that they wanted to strengthen, promote and develop renewable energy and energy efficiency research cooperation between the universities on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

He said that the universities would take steps to encourage and promote cooperation in organisation of joint academic and scientific activities including courses, conferences, seminars, workshops, symposia and lectures, placement of researchers and other areas of cooperation.

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Appointment of college principals: New procedure to end political interference
Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has changed the procedure of posting and transfer of principals of public sector colleges to end political interference in the educational institutions.

"Now a committee will nominate the principals of government-run colleges in the province. It was the domain of director colleges till now," officials in higher education department said.

The members of the newly-constituted committee are secretary and additional secretary of higher education department, director colleges and a former education secretary.

The officials hoped that through the new procedure competent principals would be posted at the government colleges.

The director colleges used to nominate the principals of public sector educational institution till now. "In the past, most of the principals were appointed through political interference, which damaged the academic atmosphere of the colleges," officials said.

An official said that problems of staff and students were increased in the colleges after appointment of incompetent administrative heads. The principals appointed through political interference couldn't improve situation in the colleges as they lacked administrative and academic experience. He said that the students of such colleges showed poor results and also faced difficulties in future after completion of their studies. He said that political interference in appointment of principals was a cruel joke with the future of students.

"In the absence of a proper system, the performance of colleges has been linked with the administrative heads," he said, adding if a competent principal was appointed, the students showed good results but the same pupils could hardly get good marks the next year if the principal was replaced with an incompetent one.

There are several colleges in the province with not so good reputation but whenever a competent principal was appointed there the same institutions showed improvement both administratively and academically."Under the new procedure, at least five academicians would be selected and interviewed by the committee members to appoint one of them as administrative head of a college," he added.

He said that the committee would check administrative skills, competency in financial matters and academic experience of a professor to make him head of a college.

"The committee will see whether the interviewees can face political pressure and guarantee improvement in the educational environment of the respective colleges," he said.

Usually principals of degree colleges are appointed in grade-19 while in the postgraduate college principals are appointed in grade-20.

"As there was no post for teachers promoted to grade-20 at public sector colleges so they would be posted as principals. However, the newly established committee will also interview teachers in grade-20 to appoint the best principal at the best college because there are some reputable colleges which should not be disturbed at any cost," he said.

However, he said, the committee members were also government servants and it was a question whether they could face political pressure as the final authority of posting and transfer in grade-19 and 20 was the chief minister. Dawn

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