Pakistani ghost schools | NUST robotics contest
Who will detect the 8,000 ghost schools and how?
Islamabad, July 01: In an apparent move to hide corruption worth billions and protect
thousands of ghost schools throughout the country, head of Basic
Education Community Schools (BECS) has forewarned his staff about the
raids of third party validation teams, hired by the federal government
to detect ghost schools.
The shocking move urging the
BESC employees to hoodwink the monitors has rendered the entire
multi-million rupee exercise of validation as useless as the monitoring
teams would not be able to detect around 8,000 estimated ghost schools.
letter written by BESC Project Director Sajid Balouch, a copy of which
is available with The News, warns the teachers about the government
efforts to identify ghost schools through third party teams asking them
to be prepared themselves and their schools before the visits of
monitoring team to give an impression of all is well.
is a project of the Ministry of Education running around 13,000
community schools to promote literacy in far-flung areas of the country.
The project having worth of over Rs8 billion, is scandalous and
allegedly feeds more than 8000 ghost schools in all provinces and
regions including the federal capital. Last year the government spent
Rs1 billion on the project but even an official inquiry by National
Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) had identified over 2007
ghost schools under the project costing Rs144 million per annum from the
However despite eye-opening
disclosure through Nadra's 2011 inquiry, the Ministry of Education
remained unmoved. Recently, however the Planning Commission warned to
stop funding for the project without a third party validation. The
validation process which was starting two months ago is yet to be
completed but the Project Director of BECS Sajid Baloch issued a warning
letter No 19/229 on 16 April 2013 titled "Directions for BESC
The letter informs the teachers that: "Higher
authorities had hired impartial agencies for third party validation of
our schools. So for the next three months no teacher should be absent
from duty otherwise the monitors will report your absence and action may
be taken against you and schools could be closed."
letter also urges teachers to ensure presence of students in the class
during monitoring teams' visits and improve cleanliness and discipline
in the class. They have been directed to ensure that books are available
in the class during visits. Teachers should also refrain from
subjecting students to physical torture, it says. "This is making
mockery of the whole expensive exercise by the government. How can you
catch a criminal running a ghost school if you warn him/her before the
raid of monitoring team," said an official of BESC requesting anonymity.
contacted, BESC Project Director Sajid Balouch said he did not act
illegally by issuing the letter to school teachers as the exact date of
monitoring team's visits had not been disclosed to the teachers. "My
answer is that the Ministry of Education has already advertised tenders
for third party validation through newspapers. So it was not a secret
exercise," he said.
He admitted there are ghost schools
working under the project but said the number of such schools could not
be verified before the completion of the validation exercise. Balouch
said the government had paid around Rs45 million to the monitors for
validation. He said the validation process will be completed within next
two weeks. He lamented that last year government only allocated Rs1
billion for the project around Rs400 million less than the required
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Karachi: The University of Karachi on Sunday announced the schedule for admissions in its evening programme in various disciplines.
include Masters programmes (two years/four semesters) and one-year
diploma programmes leading to Masters degree as well as one-year diploma
The admission booklets with application forms
will be available from July 1 to 12 from the UBL Silver Jubilee Gate
branch and the UBL university campus branch during the working days.
duly filled in forms along with required documents will be accepted
until July 12. Classes are scheduled to commence on August 15.
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BIEK notifies new date for exams
Karachi: The controller of examinations of the Board of
Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK), Mohammad Imran Khan Chishti, has
announced a fresh date for the exams postponed on June 22 due to the
untoward situation in the city then.
The exams for commerce (private), humanities (regular and private) and special candidates would be held on July 5, he said.
According to the announcement, Accounting paper-I will be held from
9.30am to 12.30pm on Friday. The same day, Education paper-II, Islamic
History paper II, Geography paper-II, Outlines of Home Economics
paper-II, Braille paper-II and Fine Arts paper-II will begin at 3.30pm
with the first four mentioned to continue till 6.30pm and the latter two
for special candidates till 5.30pm.
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Engineering Robotics Contest held at NUST
Rawalpindi: 11th National Engineering Robotics Contest was organised Saturday jointly by
NUST, STEM Career Programme-HEC and Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF)
at NUST College of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering (E&ME),
Rawalpindi, says a press release.
Haroon Aslam, who was chief guest in his address while complimenting the
efforts taken up so vigorously by NUST College of E&ME said:
"National Engineering Robotics Contest is a platform, which provides the
engineering students of Pakistan with an opportunity to get the
complete engineering experience. He said that the NERC is, indeed, an
enriching educational experience for all participants. Regardless of
whether you are a novice or an expert, you will go home having learnt
something - not just about science and technology, but also about the
value of teamwork and good sportsmanship.
"Seeing such a
huge turnout and the students working with such dedication on one of the
most sophisticated field engineering has to offer, I can see the
potential of our future engineers," he said.
General Obaid Bin Zakria, Commandant College of Electrical &
Mechanical Engineering in his address appreciated how the number of
participants had grown over the years and the standard of the
competition has risen. He said: "Winning or losing is not the aim of
this contest; it is to show the world the potential of Mechatronics
engineers of Pakistan and to encourage students to join this engineering
Dr. Younus Javed, the Dean of Academics in his
welcomed the honourable guests and highlighted the importance of co-and
extra-curricular activities in building a sound personality and a
successful human being.
Earlier, Brigadier Dr. Javaid
Iqbal, the Head of Mechatronics Department and Chief Organiser of the
contest, informed that more than 160 teams from different Engineering
Universities, Colleges and Institutes from all over the country
registered for the qualifying round. He also said: "NUST, College of
E&ME was the first to start Mechatronics Engineering in Pakistan and
was also that first to start a National level robotics competition in
In the end Lieutenant General Muhammad
Haroon Aslam gave away the prizes to the winning teams of "National
Engineering Robotic Contest 2013." The news
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PCTN to be launched at NUST
Islamabad: The Pakistan Chapter of Talloires Network would be launched
at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) tomorrow
(Monday) for coaxing higher education institutions playing their
indispensable role toward community development.
The chapter is
all set to emerge as the regional hub of Talloires Network in South
Asia. The network would be dedicated to promote community service, civic
engagement and the service learning in higher education for the
socio-economic development of the country. The goals and objectives of
this platform includes curriculum development for service learning,
maximum use of tools and instrument for impact evaluation and service
learning programmes to strengthen Pakistan's higher education
institutions and the civil society.
The other purposes of this
platform are to build and foster a culture of volunteerism in Pakistani
academic institutions, enable their students to tackle the problems in
societies and on forg a collective vision for advancing in the field of
community engagement in higher education worldwide.
would help promote the vision of the Tailoires Network across 136
universities in the country and motivate them to become its members and
play a meaningful role to enhance community engagement.
objectives of NUST Community Service Strategy (CSS) are vast and
multi-dimensional, however, the focus remains on education, health,
environment, sustainable development and conflict resolution.
strategy will achieve the objectives of transformation of NUST students
into socially active citizens and aspiring their students to opt for
science, technology and social service.
It would promote
healthcare through the use of ICT, reduction in environmental
degradation, sustainable development and view the possible adverse
impact of development on water, energy, natural resources,
infrastructure and the society and disaster relief and rehabilitation.
Tallories Network is an international association of institution
committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities
of higher education. They work together to implement the recommendations
of the Tallories' declaration and build a global network of
The network believes that higher education
institutions do not exist in isolation from societies and communities in
which they are located.
This network envisions universities
around the world as a vibrant and dynamic force in the societies
cooperating civic engagement and community service in their research and
teaching mission. app
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