GCU Faisalabad accreditation row

Accreditation row: Three GCUF students hurt in scuffle with guards
Faisalabad, July 06: Three students of the Government College University Faisalabad sustained injuries on Monday when a 'group of students' allegedly supported by security officials of the institution tortured them during a demonstration outside the VC's office for accreditation of their degree.

Reports said over 100 students of the telecommunication engineering department session 2004-08, a pioneer batch of the university, were asked by the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) to take a comprehensive examination for accreditation of their degree. A majority of the students came to the university and refused to take the examination, saying it would be the sixth exam being taken for accreditation.

The students asked the university administration that before taking the exam they would like to meet VC Dr Shahid Mehboob Rana for an assurance that it would be the last exam. The administration said the VC would not meet them over the issue.

The refusal by the VC infuriated the students who started a protest and chanted slogans against him outside his office.

During the protest, a 'group of students' who had to their credit five cases registered with the Gulberg police, came to "rescue" the administration and started beating up the protesters. As a result three students namely Faheem, Yousaf and Tahir received injuries.

The attackers with the help of the GCUF security pushed the protesters outside the university. The security guards locked the main gate and did not allow any of them to enter the institution.

The protesters refused to end the demonstration when the Gulberg SHO threatened them that the police would baton-charge them if they tried to block road. However, the students blocked main Jhang Road at the university entrance and chanted slogans against the administration particularly security head Mohammad Ijaz.

Earlier on June 30, 2009, students of the session 2005-09 had staged a protest demonstration demanding recognition of their department with the council. The council had accredited this session and ignored the pioneer batch of the university.

Talking to reporters, the students alleged that the administration with the help of security officials tortured them to stop protest. They said the group being supported by the university consisted of 'notorious' people who were booked by the police in various cases.

They said about 139 students were passed out of the university in 2008 and their degrees were still invalid as the PEC had not accredited the first batch of 2004-08. They said the PEC had taken five exams for accreditation. They said they had also completed six-month classes recommended by the PEC for certification, but to no avail.

"It is the sheer negligence of the university that it has failed to get the degree accredited timely," one of the students said.

The protesters allowed traffic movement on Jhang Road after Gulberg DSP Khurram Shahzad convinced them to have a dialogue with the VC.

Sources privy to the meeting said the VC asked the students to take the examination and the university was trying its utmost for accreditation. However, the students refused to appear in the exam and disperse saying they would move the court for justice.

Meanwhile, the students submitted an application with the Gulberg police for registration of a case against the attackers, however, till the filing of this report no case was instituted.

The university administration came up with a written statement that a comprehensive examination for the session 2004-08 students was due at the university on Monday when a group of students decided to stay away. They had a scuffle when some of the students wanted to appear in the exam. The students also ransacked the university property, the statement said.

It said the exam had been delayed for a few days after a meeting with the students and the head of telecommunication department would announce the new schedule after consulting the council. Dawn

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Trained graduate teachers' future hangs in balance
Lahore: The fate of trained graduate teachers (TGTs) has been again put on stake due to lukewarm attitude of the federal ministry of education that failed to take timely decision to regularise services of the said teachers working on contract basis in federal government educational institutions in the country. Their case is hanging in balance simply because of the lethargic attitude of the responsible officials.

The tenure of the TGTs is set to expire on August 14, shortly before the start of the next academic session, and a summary for the regularisation of their services was sent well ahead of time to the federal ministry of education last year through the federal directorate of education but the state of indecision prevailed even after a lapse of one year.

However, apprehending a collapse in the tutorial activity in the institutions, another summary for the extension to the service of TGTs was sent to the federal ministry of education but a decision on the summary is still awaited. With each passing day the teachers' anxiety is increasing and they are facing uncertainty and unrest.

As many as 160 TGTs, majority of whom females, are working on contract basis since 2007 in grade 16. All of them are graduates with BEd and Masters degree holder with MEd, who were given an initial contract of two years with the assurance of regularisation of their services.

However, pending regularisation within the stipulated period, they were given another one-year extension on the expiry of the initial contract. As many as 14 out of 15 TGTs are females who are discharging their duties at federal government schools in the Lahore Region. It was expected they would be regularised in due course of time particularly when the government regularised services of teachers working on contract basis in grade 10 and grade 14 but the government remained silent on the case of grade 16 teachers.

The TGTs have threatened to go on strike to press their demands before the start of the next academic session from September this year. They have appealed to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to intervene.

They have also appealed to Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chau-dhry to take suo motto notice of the injustice done to them. The nation

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'Illiteracy, poverty behind terrorism'
Lahore: Punjab Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman said that illiteracy and poverty are the root causes of terrorism, adding by providing non-formal and technical education to illiterate people, country can be saved from the danger of terrorism.

Addressing a capacity-building workshop organised by Literacy & Non Formal Basic Education (L&NFBE) Department with the collaboration of Japanese Development Agency JICA, he said Pakistan was a signatory to various international agreements to address the menace of illiteracy and to increase primary education, especially Education For All (EFA).

At present, there are about 40 million illiterates of different age groups in Punjab out of the population of 90.5 million, he said while claiming the Punjab government was fully aware of this issue and was taking revolutionary steps to address the problem of illiteracy.

Secretary Literacy Punjab Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik said the department has started to implement non-formal education programme and now hopefully the target of literacy campaign would be achieved.

He said that for the first time, EDOs (Literacy) have been sent to Bangladesh and Thailand to study the literacy programme of these countries. Project Advisor JICA Ms Chi Ho Ohashi also spoke on the occasion. The news

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