PU fails to announce admission schedule
Lahore, July 22: The University of Punjab has failed to announce admission schedule for MA/MSc classes in affiliated colleges across the province. There are at least 500 colleges in the public and private sector affiliated with the university, about 100 of them cater MA/MSc classes to over 15,00 students.
The university announced the BA/BSc annual examination-2009 result on July 15 and two days afterward announced the admission schedule for MA/ MSc (morning) classes for its on-campus disciplines. The last date for submission of admission forms for entry test for 14 departments of the University, where entry test is mandatory, has also been announced as July 23 while the entry test will be held from July 27 to August 2. The admission on open merit for remaining disciplines where entry test is not mandatory will start from August 2 but the University is silent over the admission policy of affiliated colleges. As a result, there is no admission activity in the colleges, though the students are making hectic enquiries for admissions.
The public circles say why the result was declared swiftly if there was no schedule of admission for postgraduate classes. Why the backlog was retrieved four weeks ahead of the previous practice, if not to give simultaneous admission schedule to colleges enabling them to complete admission and to start classes soon after the summer vacations. Moreover, the delay would add hardship to colleges because they have also to complete admissions for BA/BSc and Intermediate classes after Matric and Inter results. The Matric result is due on August 1 and the Intermediate on August 15.
As such the colleges have to engage in admission matters simultaneously for all classes leading to hectic activities when thousands of students would converge for admission. It was in the fitness of things if the colleges would have completed the admission process of postgraduate classes ahead of Inter and Graduation classes as entry tests are conducted for postgraduate classes needing more time to finalise list of candidates.
Obviously, the delay in announcing the admission schedule is intriguing. By announcing its own schedule the University will try to fetch the better lot of students capable of competing high merit by opening the admission first. The left over candidates will be forced to get admission in colleges or in the evening classes of the University. Thus the intake of students with lower merit will take heavy toll on the result of colleges. The NationYour Comments
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UHS introducing self-assessment system for entrance test
Lahore: University of Health Sciences (UHS) Vice Chancellor Prof M H Mubbashar has said the varsity is introducing a unique system of self-assessment in entrance test for admission to medical and dental institutions of the province this year to ensure 100 per cent transparency.
Addressing a seminar on entrance test at Allama Iqbal Medical College on Tuesday, he further said under this system, which had been named Self-Scoring System (SSS), the candidate would be required to answer the test on specialized, double-sheeted and bar-coded response form.
"The candidate will mark the answers on the upper, coloured sheet and the impressions will be automatically transferred to lower, carbonized sheet. After the test, the upper sheet will be retained by the invigilation staff whereas the candidate will be allowed to take lower sheet with him/her", he added.
The VC said the UHS would release the answer key on its website on the same day and the candidate would be able to calculate his/her score on the carbon copy of the response form with the help of concerned key. The key will also be published in major national dailies of the country the next day, he said, adding the UHS would declare the official result within a few days.
Prof Mubbashar further said that according to the Punjab government's decision, passing entrance test of UHS with a minimum score of 440/1100 (i.e. 40%) was mandatory for admission to public as well as private sector medical and dental institutions of the province. However, he added the UHS would only display the merit/selection list of candidates to be admitted to public sector medical and dental colleges only.
Only those candidates will be eligible to appear in the entrance test who have passed their FSc (Pre-Medical) or equivalent examination (for which IBCC certificate is mandatory) with a minimum score of 715/1100 (i.e., 65%) marks, he explained. For calculation of merit, the assessment of FSc (equivalent) marks is 70 per cent whereas that of entrance test marks is 30 per cent.
He further said the question paper of test for FSc and A-Level candidates would be from their respective syllabi and books this year.
There will be total 220 multiple choice questions (MCQs) in the test including Biology (70 MCQs), Physics (60 MCQs), Chemistry (60 MCQs) and English (30 MCQs). The time allowed for the test is 150 minutes. There will be negative marking in the test. Each correct answer will carry five marks. However for each wrong answer, one mark will be deducted from the total score, he added.
UHS VC said the schedule of entrance test and admission would be advertised in national dailies on 16th, 17th and 18th August. The admission kit will include an orientation CD besides prospectus, application form and admission cards. The price of the kit will be Rs 400. However, there is no fee for entrance test.
He also said the entrance test would be held on Sunday, September 27, simultaneously at 13 centres in 12 cities of the Punjab including Lahore, Rahimyar Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan, D G Khan, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Wah Cantt and Rawalpindi. Prof Mubbashar further said the test would start exactly at 09:00 am on September 27. He advised the students to reach their respective centres at 08:00 am as examination centres would be sealed at 08:15 am. The NewsYour Comments
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Lecturers' regularisation: CM's instruction stands nowhere in dept scheme
Lahore: The Punjab Higher Education Department has ample shock in store for contract lecturers as it is "burning mid-night oil" to regularise them on the basis of their performance instead of following Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif's clear-cut instructions of regularisation of all contract lecturers who have completed five years and gained second-term appointment.
The department's Director Public Instruction (DPI) Colleges wing is collecting ACRs (annual confidential reports) of the lecturers of all colleges, as well as the results produced by them during their service.
Acting Higher Education Secretary Ahad Khan Cheema said that the department was evaluating the performance of contract lecturers on the basis of the results they produced and remarks on their ACRs. In the meanwhile, he said, the department was moving a summary to the chief minister to seek his approval that only fair-performing contract lecturers should be regularised.
"The lecturers found performing below the average would not be recommended for regularisation," the official said.
He said the department had to be very careful while changing the service structure of contract lecturers. He said the lecturers' five-year service on a contract could be considered as a probation period as is the case with other civil servants who undergo two-year probation period and re-serve the probation period for two more years on unsatisfactory performance.
Although the higher education secretary said that there were over 2,000 contract lecturers who had completed five-year service and gained second-term appointment, DPI (Colleges) Abdul Razzaq Cheema said there were 829 contract lecturers – 441 men and 388 women – whose ACRs and last five years' results were being collected and their performance was being recorded at a pro forma. He admitted that his office was facing problems in collecting the last five-year ACRs of the lecturers as some of them had got themselves transferred more than once (as allowed in the contract).
Ironically, former higher education secretary Azhar Husain Shamim said in May this year that the department had never evaluated the performance of the contract lecturers and their contracts were being renewed without any checks and balances. "The performance evaluation mechanism is yet to be developed," claimed Mr Shamim.
He had, however, admitted that the existing contract employment system had kept the lecturers feeling insecure as the department had the powers to fire them on a simple one-month notice.
The department, on the other hand, remained perplexed with regard to handling of the contract lecturers as it was empowered only to "keep them or fire them".
Stating that there was no criterion in place that could allow the department to issue warning to a contract teacher and maintain the records, Mr Shamim said that in these circumstances, the lecturers were getting their contracts renewed on a regular basis but still living with a sense of insecurity. "The higher education department had not sacked any lecturer to the best of my knowledge," he said.
Meanwhile, the Contract Lecturers Association representatives describe the whole exercise conducted by the higher education department as mere delaying tactics. They demand that the higher education department implement clear-cut orders of the provincial chief executive instead of employing "bureaucratic fault-finding technique".
They say the chief minister issued instructions for the regularisation of contract lecturers, who had completed five-year service, at a meeting at the Chief Minister's Secretariat on June 18.
The contract lecturers, they say, were given second-term appointment after satisfactory report in their ACRs. Now, they say, some lecturers are running after their college principals to get their ACRs signed.
The association has also raised objections to the performance evaluation criteria, stating that it would be a great injustice to the teachers to judge them on the basis of their results as most lecturers had served in remote areas, where the quality of students' intake is very poor.
In some cases, it is learnt, the principals are intentionally not sending the contract lecturers' ACRs or are putting down adverse remarks to victimise them on one pretext or another. Dawn
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Teacher training programme launched
Lahore: A new five-year US-funded programme worth 75 million dollars to improve Pakistani teachers' skills and qualifications was launched here on Tuesday.
The Pre-Service Teachers' Education Programme (Pre-STEP) is an endeavour of the US government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Punjab Ministry of Education.
It is pertinent to mention here that the USAID had previously signed an MoU with the federal government and now it was carrying out the program in all provinces.
In this connection a signing ceremony was held at the Directorate of Staff Development (DSD). Punjab Minister for Education Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman presided over the ceremony while USAID Pakistan Mission Director Robert Wilson, Doran Bernard Chief of Party Pre-Step and officials of Punjab Education Department were also present.
Speaking on the occasion, Robert Wilson said: "We all recognised the great need for improving skills and qualifications of teachers to improve the education system of Pakistan." The News
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