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Research-based skills stressed
Lahore, July 16: The world has become so fast with the latest information and modern technology that those who want to keep pace with the developed societies have to acquire research-based skills in all spheres of life.

According to a press statement, this was stated by Allama Iqbal Open University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mahmoodul Hassan Butt while addressing a workshop on "Language Skills" arranged by the university regional campus here on Wednesday.

He said the AIOU was the biggest university in the country that had successfully launched new and modern methods of study, keeping in view the international requirements because the students had to compete with those of advanced countries. He said he was proud that the AIOU was producing highly skilled individuals in accordance with international standards, stressing the need for sharing the strength of knowledge with other teachers from the developed countries. He urged the participants of the workshop to study the best literature available so that they could transfer the best knowledge to students.

Dr Mahmood said the AIOU workshops were aimed at producing highly skilled teachers in all fields. He expressed satisfaction over the standard of the workshop and hoped that the teachers, trained by the university, would serve the nation in a befitting manner.

Later, Ajmal Gulzar, a workshop coordinator, thanked the VC for gracing the event with his presence. He urged the participants to acquire research-oriented language skill because it had become mandatory for higher studies. Faculty of Education Dean Ms Rehana Masroor, Regional Director Brig (r) M Zubair Sabir and Deputy Director Malik Tauqir were also present.

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Private educational institutes demands Islamabad: Educational experts at the Second National Roundtable Conference on Education urged the government to announce more incentives for private institutes in recognition of their educational services, and avoid imposing any new taxes.

The conference was arranged here by the Private Schools Network (PSN) and was participated by heads of private school organisations from all over the country.

The private educational institutions are financing education in the country from their own resources and their role in the promotion of education could not be ignored, the speakers said and recommended that the private educational organisations should be involved in policy making and the curriculum development process.

It was also recommended that an education foundation should be established at the federal level and AJK on the pattern of provincial education foundations. A unified policy of all educational boards should be formed under the supervision of Inter-Board Committee of Chairman IBCC, and the teachings of Holy Quran with translation should be made part of the syllabus, they suggested.

Illiteracy is one of the major challenges faced by the country. The present government through public private partnership is taking practical steps for the promotion of private educational institutes.

Chairman Education Task Force Raja Mohammad Anwar in his presidential address said a regularity authority of private educational institutes of Punjab must be formed.

It is for the first time that the government is preparing a code of conduct for private institutes, alleged of promoting commercialism instead of education. However, all facilities and resources are being provided to those institutes, which are increasing the country's literacy rate.

President PSN Dr Afzal Babar said the private institutions are providing education to around 20 million children along with employment opportunities to 1.5 million people, saving Rs50 billion of government money annually.

President National Association of Private Schools (NAPS), Gujranwala Sajjad Masood Chishti and Dr Talat Mehmood Khokhar emphasised for having a unified education system in the country to end the growing disparity. The News

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Literary award to be conferred on Swedish writer
Islamabad: The Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) is preparing for international writers conference to be held in the capital in which the prestigious International Quaid-i-Azam Literature Award will be conferred on noted Swedish writer and poet Peter Curman.

PAL Chairman Fakhar Zaman said during the conference, the International Award on Democracy would be conferred posthumously on former prime minister Benazir Bhutto for her services to democracy in the country and for espousal of democratic causes in the world.

Each award carries a cash value of Rs20 million, the highest monetary value of any award so far given in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the academy also launched on Wednesday a book of long poems titled Rukhsati (leave-taking) composed by Khalid Iqbal Yasser.

Commenting on this new phase of poetry writing by Yasser, the noted poet and critic Prof Aftab Iqbal Shameem said that he knew Khalid Iqbal Yasser as a distinguished writer of Ghazals.

PAL Chairman Fakhar Zaman presided over the literary event held at the academy's auditorium where Prof Aftab Iqbal Shameem read a paper on the tradition of long poem.

Jamiluddin Aali is the most prominent poet who has used 57 written stanzas in this genre of poetry, in which Yasser has also succeeded in some way.

In the present book, Yasser has used Rukhsati as a departure of a girl from her father's house, and from there he has built the theme mystically.

For instance, a dictator may depart from the scene but the stronghold of his system continues to smother the life of innocent people, as for example the stanza,

Aa hi leti hai akhar

Dabe paon inssan ko dahar main

Ghar, gaali, shaher main

HJar Naha Khana- i- zaat ke pher main

Gunbad, haft aflak ke gher main goonjti, sar phri, rukhsati.

The poetry book launched today reflects the aim behind both literary award as well as the award on democracy, about which Fakhar Zaman is expected to announce the date for this international writers moot in Pakistan. Dawn

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