Professor death during inter practical exams

Professor dies of cardiac arrest after being manhandled
Karachi: In what can only be termed a tragic incident, the principal of a government college suffered a cardiac arrest and died after he was manhandled by a group of students during the intermediate practical examinations.

Principal of the Government Degree College Barkat Bhatti was at the campus when some students started bullying an invigilator in the laboratory, according to a spokesman for the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA), Iftekhar Muhammad Azami.

The college staff was busy conducting the exams during the evening shift, when an invigilator allegedly caught one of the students trying to run away from the laboratory with his answer-sheet. Azami said that when the teacher demanded that the student submit his copy, the latter refused and the two got involved in an argument. A group of students later attacked the invigilator, who suffered head injuries, Azami alleged.

The SPLA spokesman added that upon hearing the commotion, Bhatti rushed out of his office and reached the scene. Before he had a chance to intervene, one of the students allegedly pushed him to the ground. Azami said that as soon as the professor hit the floor, he fell unconscious and was rushed to a hospital near the Super Highway. There, the doctors advised that the patient should be shifted to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD). However, when Bhatti reached the NICVD, doctors pronounced him dead.

His family then traveled to Shahdadkot where the professor's funeral and burial would take place at his hometown.

Meanwhile, the SPLA announced that it would boycott the practical examinations on Tuesday in protest against the incident.

The association has also called a meeting for today to discuss the matter with the teachers' community.

However, Chairman Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) Anwar Ahmed Zai accused the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association of misleading the public.

He claimed that Professor Bhatti had already suffered a couple of heart attacks and had a history of cardiac weakness. The chairman added that he lost consciousness when he saw his son-in-law bleeding from the head.

Meanwhile, the SPLA also appealed to the chief minister and the acting governor of Sindh to take notice of retired individuals who are holding posts at examination boards as their presence is creating lot of problems for teachers.

"The controller of examination of the BIEK was never associated with colleges and his role at the BIEK is controversial." They also urged the concerned authorities to take notice of student activists at colleges.

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MA exams at KU began
Karachi: The controller of examinations, University of Karachi (KU), on Sunday released the schedule of annual examinations of the Masters (regular and private) programme.

According to a notification, the exams will commence from Monday (today) and the last paper will be held on July 14, 2011.

The exams would be conducted in two shifts and the papers in the morning shift are scheduled from 10am to 1pm. The papers in the second shift are scheduled from 3pm to 6pm, he said.

At least 19,879 candidates of MA Pervious and Final of which 9,165 male student and 10,714 female candidates will appear in the exams, he further said.

KU announcement: The controller of examinations, University of Karachi (KU), on Sunday announced that

the students of BDS third professional supplementary

examination-2011 of all private medical colleges (affiliated to KU) could submit their examination forms by July 9, 2011, along with a fee of Rs4,900.

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Girls depict harassment through comics
Karachi: Sudrish is a student at Karachi University who often uses public transport and when she was asked to draw a comic at a workshop, she depicted a woman who was being stared at by a man at a bus stop. The woman decides to cover herself using a large Chaddar.

However, the man continues to stare. In the end she opts for a shuttlecock burqa, but even this cannot persuade the man from gawking at her.

Women are often harassed by men in all walks of city life and this was an issue that was highlighted at the 'Being a girl in Karachi' workshop which was organised by the World Comic Network-Pakistan.

This was the first venture of this campaign against harassment of women and the organisation plans to launch it across the country. Once the comic collection increases, there are plans of holding exhibitions and publishing a comic book, much like 'Bolti Lakeerain', the first comic anthology of Pakistan, which was also published by the organisation.

The idea is to distribute the comics at a mass level so that these issues are highlighted. "Even a comic which depicts women being teased in buses should be distributed at the stops," said Nida Shams, the founder of World Comics- Pakistan.

Shams believes that though bigger issues are talked about by civil activists, everyday problems for women such as eve teasing or parents not letting girls ride bicycles should be addressed as well.

"It is a pity that while in other countries a woman's attire is no longer an issue, in Pakistan it is one of the prime concerns that affect women," she laments.

Shams, who has worked with women belonging to all social classes, thinks that many girls face the same problems. "A girl travelling in a private car with her driver and one who uses public transport both get leering looks," she says.

While the nine participants talked about different issues, eve teasing remained one of the most discussed topics. Azmeena, who has long braided hair, drew herself traveling on a bus when a man pulls her locks. She yells at him in retaliation and when people inquire what the commotion is about, she is too embarrassed to explain. Her comic was named 'What should I say now?'

Another comic shows two girls walking on the street, when a group of boys whistle at them. The girls whistle louder and two dogs emerge and chase the boys away. The participant describes her comic as one where "women take control once and for all".

Many of the participants believe that using comics as a mode of expression was a brilliant idea. Sidra Rizvi believes that while seminars and boring lectures are forgotten, "a comic is always remembered."

Another participant explained that "for understanding a comic you do not need to be literate. The message therefore is conveyed more effectively." She thinks that such initiatives could prove to be a positive developmental tool in a country like Pakistan.

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Schoolteachers among the lowest paid employees
Karachi: Despite the nature of the job and its importance in society, government schoolteachers are still receiving very low salary packages.

The minimum basic salary of a schoolteacher is only Rs3,530 per month while the highest basic salary available to a teacher is Rs6,060.

A poor financial package, among many other factors, is one of the major causes of the declining standards of teaching at the government schools.

A primary school teacher (PST) in Grade-7 collects Rs3,530 as a basic salary, Rs1,588 as house rent allowance and Rs1,000 in lieu of medical and travel allowances.

The annual increment is a paltry Rs190, some senior officers in the education department said on condition of anonymity.

A PST in Grade-9 is entitled to a basic pay of Rs3,820 along with Rs230 annual increment and Rs1,719 house rent.

People in this grade received Rs1,000 for medical and travel purposes, they further said.

On the other hand, a PST in Grade-10 gets Rs4,955 as basic salary, Rs1,870 house rent and Rs1,000 for medical and approximately Rs1,100 conveyance allowance.

They get Rs260 annual increment. Formerly this was an honorary post awarded to facilitate senior PSTs, they added.

According to them, the Sindh government has recently introduced grades 11 to 15 in this category. A PST having an experience of 10 years in grade 7 and 9 would get promotion into grade-10 while teaching for 14 years would help in achieving grade-11.

Similarly, a PST who worked for 21 years would be promoted to Grade-14 whereas 25 years' experience would help in earning Grade-15, they said.

On the other hand, a Junior School Teacher (JST) in Grade-9 received Rs3,820 basic salary along with Rs230 annual increment and Rs1,719 in lieu of house rent and Rs1,000 for medical and travel purposes.

A JST in Grade-9 must pass their intermediate examinations with second division, the sources said.

A JST in Grade-14 gets a basic salary of Rs4,920 and Rs380 as annual increment.

Moreover, they are entitled to Rs2,214 house rent and Rs1,200 to Rs1,300 for medical and approximately Rs1,500 for conveyance purposes.

A JST in this grade must have passed the intermediate examination with no less than a second division or completed BSc along with the certificate of teaching while BEd is considered an extra-qualification, they further said.

A High School Teacher (HST) in Grade-15 gets Rs5, 220 as basic salary and Rs420 as annual increment whereas they received Rs2,349 as house rent allowance and Rs1,500 as medical allowance and approximately Rs1,800 as travel allowance.

Meanwhile, an HST in Grade-15 got promotions by the concerned Drawing and Disbursement Officer into Grade-16 soon after their appointment in previous grades, they said.

An HST in grade-16 is entitled to Rs6,060 per month and Rs470 annual increment along with Rs2,727 as house rent allowance.

The sources added that approximately Rs1,800 was paid for medical purposes and around Rs2,000 in lieu of conveyance allowances.

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FUUAST semester exams
Karachi: Registrar Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) Prof Dr Qamarul Haq has announced that the semester exams of morning programme would start from July 4.

He said that students should bring their admit cards, otherwise the FUUAST administration would not allow them to take the exam.

The examination date of the evening programme would be announced later, he added.

Meanwhile, Dr Kamal Jamro, Assistant Prof of Department of Sindhi at FUUAST will leave for the United States (US) on a study tour next week.

He is invited by the US State Department under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Programme.

During his three-week visit, he will deliver presentations on great Sindhi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai and other Sufi poets in different states of America. The news

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