Beaconhouse National University School of Visual Arts

BNU unveils Rs 300m School of Visual Arts at new campus
Lahore, June 19: Beaconhouse National University (BNU) unveiled the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts at its new campus near Tarogil on Thursday.

The building is named after the mother of industrialist Hussain Dawood, who donated Rs 100 million for the project. It took two years to finish and cost around Rs 300 million to build, BNU Vice Chancellor Sartaj Aziz said.

The red-brick building will host the visual arts and architecture and design schools. It was designed by architect Nayyar Ali Dada and is the first to be finished at the new campus some 13 km from Thokar Niaz Baig off Raiwind Road. The campus should be completed in 12 to 18 months and will cost a total of around Rs 1.2 billion, Aziz said.

He said the most important feature of the new building and campus was their integration of IT features. "We are equipping the university with the best technology that we have," he said.

He hailed the unveiling of the building as "the remarkable beginning of a major new experiment".

BNU Visual Arts Dean Salima Hashmi said classes at the new building would start in September, and would increase the capacity of the schools of visual arts and architecture and design to about 400 students. Classes will include digital photography, textile and jewellery design, sculpture, painting and architecture.

BNU is hoping to find more funds to buy expensive equipment such as a kiln for ceramics and an etching press so it can offer even more classes, she said. It is also looking to expand its photography programme, the only specialist photography degree available in Pakistan, she added.

She said the buildings for liberal arts should be finished in November and social sciences in January, and the campus completed not long after September 2010. "The only major building we have yet to find funds for are the auditorium and library, but hopefully people will come forward to support it," she added.

BNU Foundation Chairwoman Nasreen Kasuri said at the unveiling ceremony the new building would give Lahore and Pakistan its next generation of "great artists". She said the new campus was initially meant to cater to 1,500 students, but would now be equipped for 2,500 when complete.

Dawood said he had donated money for the school because Pakistan's survival "is entirely down to education". He hoped BNU would help reverse "the systematic decline in our intellectual capacity" over the last 40 years. Dada said his guiding principle when designing the building was to concentrate on creating a suitable space, one without unnecessary flourishes. Daily Times

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Board exam fee abolished
Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday ordered to abolish the examination and registration fees, from class 8 onwards, of the province's education boards. Shahbaz made this decision while chairing a high level meeting of the Punjab Education Department. He directed the secretary (higher education) and secretary (schools) to ensure the immediate implementation of the order, and to submit a compliance report. app

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Five-marla plots for the best: Lecturers' service regularised
Lahore: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday announced regularisation of all lecturers who were appointed on a contract through the Punjab Public Service Commission and completed five-year service.

He also announced upgrading the status of primary schoolteachers from BPS-7 to BPS-9 and elementary schoolteachers from BPS-9 to BPS-14. He was speaking to teachers at a meeting at his secretariat.

The chief minister also announced enhancing of remunerations of Honorary Teaching Assistants (HTAs) from Rs8,000 to Rs10,000 a month. The principal charge allowance in urban areas has been enhanced to Rs4,000 and in rural and hard areas to Rs7,000 a month from the existing charge allowance of Rs650.

Mr Sharif also announced an incentive of Rs50,000 each for 2,000 best teachers every year. The teachers, who would excel in imparting their duties, will also be given five-marla plots in housing schemes free of cost.

In order to seriously consider all other demands presented by the college and schoolteachers, the chief minister announced the constitution of a committee that would work meticulously and develop a roadmap to bring the nation out of crisis that emerged from illiteracy and low-quality education.

The criteria of selecting best teachers for the grant of Rs50,000 award to the best teachers will also be finalised by this committee which will comprise the stakeholders. The criteria should not base only on annual results but all-round teaching and training of students through sports and other co-curricular activities, including essay writing and oratory skills. "The committee will be constituted today (Friday) and it will give its recommendations within a month," he added.

The chief minister said he was disappointed with the presentations of the teacher leaders as they only presented their demands without giving any roadmap as to how the education sector could be put on the highway of progress. "The teachers must have given a clear-cut plan that how they could improve their teaching skills and impart quality education to their pupils, how missing facilities could be provided, how teachers' absenteeism and students' drop-out could be checked, how a maximum number of students could be enrolled and brought to formal education, and how vacancies could be filled in far-flung areas etc.

"I can announce a raise and more perks and privileges for teachers right now. But there will be no use of these incentives if the government is kept in the dark," he remarked.

The chief minister also said his head was down that Pakistan had achieved literacy rate from 40 per cent to 47 per cent during the last 62 years when other South Asian countries like India and Sri Lanka had achieved over 90 per cent literacy rate.

The government, he said, had set up an Education Endowment Fund worth Rs4 billion to give incentives to the best-performing teachers and students. But the condition would remain the same that the teachers must give a comprehensive plan and a guarantee that they would educate the nation to the best of their abilities.

"The doctors don't become Messiah, the police fail to protect public and the teachers fail to dedicate themselves to teaching," he said while pointing out that he had

found disunity among teachers who had created various groups. He stressed that the teachers should unite under one banner that should give weight to their voice as well as send a positive message to their students.

Mr Sharif said the government was also establishing Danish School System to provide quality education to the students belonging to the poorest segment of society. It would surely eliminate inferiority complex among the children of the poor families.

He said the top position holders in board examinations were being sent abroad so that they could themselves see how developed nations were progressing and they could seek education with more enthusiasm.Earlier, Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association President Nazim Hasnain, Contract Lecturers Association President Zahid Mian, Dr Iftikhar Hashmi, Punjab Government Schools Senior Staff Association President Hafiz Abdul Nasir and Punjab Teachers Union President Jan-i-Alam Khan gave presentations on the long-standing demands of the teachers. Dawn

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PU wins trophy
Lahore: The Punjab University has clinched the team trophy in "Salam Benazir" Quiz Competition. The quiz competition was organized by Pakistan Television (PTV) Lahore Centre on June 16 in connection with Benazir Bhutto Shaheed's birthday anniversary. The PU team comprised Hamza Salik of Hailey College of Banking & Finance (HCBF), Muhammad Noman and Sana Shoaib of Zoology Department.

PU announced results
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) Examination Department has declared the results of various examinations. These exams include MS Communication Studies (Morning), Specialization in Print Media & Mass Communication Theory, Semester System, Session 2006-2008, MS Communication Studies (Morning), Specialization in Electronic Media (Radio & TV), Semester System, Session 2006-2008 and MS Communication Studies (Morning), Specialization in Public Relations & Advertising, Semester System, Session 2006-2008. Detailed results are available on PU website The News

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Govt plans fee concession to Swat students
Lahore: Internally displaced students getting education in Punjab would be given relief by the Punjab government in the head of school fee and other expenses and talented students already admitted in the various institutions will also be given scholarships for the smooth continuation of their studies, sources in the education department claimed on Thursday.

The sources further said though the final decision in this regard will be taken by the Chief Minister Punjab but paper work was being completed in the education department.

An officer of the education department said that meetings in this regards with the officers concerned are underway and lists of the students are being prepared to facilitate displaced students.

Sources claim that certain educational institutions were asked to come up with the proposals to run the project more successfully.

Advertisement in this connection would also be given in the newspapers to seek applications from the entitled students for scholarship and registration of students displaced. The Nation

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