Pressure mounting on HEC

Pressure mounting on HEC over fake degrees' issue
Islamabad, July 16: The issue of fake degrees is taking new turns everyday, as pressure from certain quarters is mounting on the Higher Education Commission to extract favourable results.

The HEC had announced to complete the verification process by July 15, but it seems it would continue for some time, exposing the weakness of the country's educational and political systems.

Though the commission is tight-lipped over the names of fake degree-holders, its officials say they would submit their reports to the National Assembly committee concerned within a few days. However, recent political and administrative developments suggest otherwise.

Committee Chairman Abid Sher Ali is currently on a foreign tour and his absence raises several questions. According to details, the PML-N is at the top of the list on fake degrees' scoreboard so far.

The HEC has sent back many degrees to universities since they had not followed the appropriate procedure for verification. In some cases though, a candidate's bachelor's degree had been found genuine, but questions were raised over matriculation or Intermediate certificates.

Sources at the HEC revealed that some influential people from the ruling elite might fall under this category. Therefore, they claim, pressure on the HEC chairman is mounting, forcing him to comply with the instructions of the political bosses or resign from office.

The arrest of the HEC chairman's brother, sudden departure of Abid Sher Ali to London, a letter from the HEC chairman seeking a meeting with the PM and hue and cry of the MPs especially in Punjab have all become important issues now.

Resignation: Close friends of HEC Chairman Dr Javed Leghari said he was being pressurised to resign from office, but he took a tough stance and declined to acquiesce.

The timing of the arrest of his brother, Farooq, on corruption charges, and his re-arrest by the Sindh government after getting a bail by the court, has raised many eyebrows.

Dr Leghari was considered a close associate of former premier Benazir Bhutto, who had given him a party ticket against a technocrat seat in the Senate. Last year, he was forced to resign not only from the Senate, but also as head of SZABIST.

His close friends revealed that he was reluctant to resign from the Senate, but was forced to do so. The Sindh government's influential personalities had demanded his resignation, while the same influentials were now after him, testing his nerves. Daily times

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200 schools sans administrative heads
Peshawar: As many as 200 high and higher secondary schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are without administrative heads, affecting the overall functioning of these institutions.

The educational institutes running without administrative heads have an adverse impact on thousands of students, officials said. Among the vacant seats, 26 were principals of higher secondary schools in Grade 19, including 19 male and 7 female, and 160 were headmasters in Grade 18, including 130 male and 31 female, they said.

These seats have been vacant for the last few years. The elementary and secondary education department has been unable to fill the vacancies owing to hurdles in the procedure.

Of the total educational institutions without administrative heads, seven each are in Peshawar, Nowshera, Charsadda, Upper Dir and Mardan, 11 in Swabi, 10 in Kohat, three in Hangu, eight each in Karak and Shangla, 12 in Bannu, two in Lakki Marwat, nine in Dera Ismail Khan, four in Tank, 10 in Abbottabad, 13 each in Haripur and Mansehra, nine in Swat, nine in Buner, 15 in Lower Dir, three in Chitral and six in Malakand.

Commenting on the issue, an educationist, who asked not to be named said that the ultimate sufferers were the students. "Definitely in the absence of principals and headmasters, teachers in respective schools would not take interest in teaching. In such schools, teachers often avoid taking classes," said the educationist who has remained principal of different schools.

He said teachers in such schools often violate school timings; they come and leave on their own will. The annual result of such educational institutions was also disappointing, he added. The number of vacant seats of principal and headmasters has been increasing gradually due to upgradation of schools to high and higher secondary level and retirement of principals.

No development works took place in the schools where the seat of the administrative head was vacant, an official said. The buildings of such schools, he said, were in poor condition with broken windows, floors and furniture. Basic facilities like water, fans and others were also missing in such institutions because there was no one to take care of these issues.

When asked how the financial matters of such schools were run, the official said it had been assigned to principals and headmasters of the nearest schools. He further said that for running the school affairs, teachers of an institution make one of the senior teachers as their administrative head.

Additional director of the elementary and secondary education Hakeemullah Khan, when contacted, said several officers in Grade 19 and 18 were working on executive posts like chairman of boards of intermediate and secondary education and executive district officer, education, across the province, causing shortage in the schools.

"We requested the Public Service Commission (PCS) in January 2009 for recruitment of headmasters, including 26 male and 16 female. Due to the lengthy procedure and burden on the PCS, it is yet to recruit the required number of headmasters, he said. Dawn

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Students forced to travel on rooftops of buses
Islamabad: Dearths of proper transport facility for the student community in the twin cities are causing different travelling problems.

Though many institutions have their own arrangement for the pick and drop of their students, yet it is not sufficient to facilitate the entire community, as there are hundreds of educational institutions here with insufficient transport system.

It is reported that a large number of students coming from suburbs of city reach their respective schools and colleges through private transport and sometime they have to on board the rooftops of the busses, the drivers and conductors of which usually misbehave with them. Muhammad Ali, a student, said the school and college buses ply only on specific routes and he has to use local transport to reach his college. "This is one of the major problem for all those who come from out stations," he said.

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CDA School students shine in SSC part-1 exam
Islamabad: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) Model School has maintained 100 per cent result in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Part-I Examination 2010.

As many as 35 students appeared in science & humanities groups in the SSC-I Annual Examination; out of which 26 girls obtained A-1 and A grades. Izza Naeem secured first position by obtaining 499 marks (95%), Mahnoor Haneef came second by obtaining 491 marks (93%) in science group in the school. In humanities group, Noor-ul-Aein Ajaz got first position in the school.

Capital Development Authority Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi and Member Administration Shaukat Mohmand congratulated the students and teaching staff for producing excellent result. Principal Mrs. Shahwar Ajmal appreciated the efforts of teachers and students for their excellent performance.

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Bahria University student distinction
Islamabad: Shahzada M. Shahrukh, a student of BE Electronics Engineering at Bahria University, has been selected as R-10 (Asia Pacific) Global Integrated Network for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) (GINI), Coordinator Pakistan, says a press release. This selection has been made for the Islamabad Section of IEEE. Shahzada M. Shahrukh was also selected as the chairman of IEEE, Bahria University on 21 May this year. Shahzada M. Shahrukh is the son of journalist Altaf Qureshi. The news

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