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Exam fee for Punjab govt schools abolished

Inter & secondary government schools for regular students
Lahore, July 17: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has finally ordered abolition of registration and examination fees being charged by all the eight boards of intermediate and secondary education from regular students of only government schools in the province.

At a follow-up meeting on Thursday, regarding implementation of decisions taken in the previous meetings, Mr Sharif asked his secretary to immediately approve the summary forwarded by the higher education department.

Acting higher education secretary Ahad Khan Cheema said the department would notify the fee abolition as soon as it would receive the approved summary.

As the chief minister had announced stern action against the colleges showing zero per cent results in the Punjab University BA, BSc examinations on Wednesday, the higher education department has decided to issue show-cause notices to principals of all such colleges.

Mr Cheema said the department would also determine a benchmark for colleges' pass percentage and issue show-cause notices to those principals of the institutions as well that had shown less than the target pass percentage.

At the meeting, the chief minister said it was shocking to know that some colleges in BA/BSc exams had shown zero per cent results. He also called for a separate briefing on the pathetic performance of these institutions.

The CM also asked the higher education department and boards' officials to keep a vigilant eye on activities of 'booti' mafia.

"In case of any irregularity in the affairs of boards, not only chairman, secretary and controller of examinations concerned will be removed from their posts, the higher education secretary will also be held accountable for the lapse."

Your Comments
"It is great achievement of Education. I appreciate a Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and othe team member. Regards! Ramzan, Golra Sharif ."
Name: Muhammad Ramzan
City, Country: Islamabad/Pakistan

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UAF exam dept throws caution to the wind
Faisalabad: The University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) controller of examination office has adopted a novel way of dispatching question papers to examination centres in remote areas by handing over the papers to the superintendents instead of putting them in bank lockers.

The issue surfaced when the Chief Minister's Inspection Team, led by Salahuddin Niazi, had visited the university on Monday last to probe the out-of-course question papers' controversy.

Scores of B.Com students of private colleges affiliated with the university raised the issue when they found their question paper of "Business Stat and Math" out of course. The students tore the answer-sheets and the question papers and protested against the university administration.

The students alleged that the examiner had set out-of-course question papers of "Business Stat and Math" and "Business Taxation" held on Saturday and Monday.

The inspection team held talks with UAF Vice-Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad, asking him about the issue and frustration of nearly 160 students. Sources said that the team members had asked Controller of Examination Dr Tanvir Malik how they ensured security of question papers. They quoted the official as saying that the university had been following a tradition of handing over the question papers to the superintendents prior to the examination. He said the university did not put the papers in any public bank.

The controller had no answer, they said, when a member of the team questioned why National Bank of Pakistan lockers were not being used to keep question papers. Asked how the university would handle the situation if any question paper was snatched or any corrupt official sold papers, the sources quoted the controller as saying that "no such incident has taken place in the past".

The team also learnt that no special training was being imparted to the invigilators being deputed by the university and most of them had been conducting examinations depending upon the experience of their seniors. A few of the invigilators also performed their duties at the Laboratory High School centres without proper training.

Sources said the inquiry committee also held the university administration responsible for not making arrangements for proper security, a lack of imposition of section 144 and failure of the examiner to stop chaos erupted at the examination hall set up at the Laboratory High School. The team also blamed the students for disrupting the papers.

They said the VC had given 10 days to a three-member committee he constituted to submit a report, but withdrew his order soon afterwards. The CM's inspection team directed the VC to wind up the issue within 24 hours in view of the nature of the case. The administration closed the chapter by informing the students that the papers in question had been cancelled.

Sources said the committee also quizzed the security head who admitted having failed to control the mob (students) despite best efforts.

The spokesman for the university said the administration had taken all measures suggested by the inspection team and now the students were taking their examination peacefully. He said section 144 had been imposed by the district administration and the university also had improved security even inside the examination hall.

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Students await stipend for a year
Gujranwala: As many as 132 students, who had been declared position holders in class-V and VIII annual examinations by the Punjab Examination Commission and eligible for stipend in 2008, are still deprived of it for the last one year and four months owing to non-availability of funds, it is learnt.

The Punjab Examination Commission had announced stipend for 132 boys and girls in 2008, but they were still deprived of it as the city district government had no funds for the purpose.

The students have expressed disappointment over the government policy and appealed to the Punjab chief minister to get the funds released for their stipend.

When contacted education officer Mirza Siddique said a detailed list of these students had already been sent to the respective authorities.

BISE EMPLOYEES: Gujranwala Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Employees Welfare Association on Thursday presented a charter of demand to the board chairman.

Setting July 22 deadline, association president Bashir Ahmad Cheema and secretary-general Rana Muhammad Sharif demanded regularisation of all contract employees like Punjab University's.

Cheema demanded 15 per cent medical allowance and said board employees be allowed medical facilities from private hospitals besides public infirmaries. He said the Lahore board had already approved 15 per cent medical allowance for its employees.

The demands include promotion of class-IV employees to junior clerk under 20 per cent reserved quota and award of scale-11 to data entry operators. Dawn

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