FUUAST exams postponed
Karachi, June 14: Registrar, Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST), on Sunday announced that examinations of BBA and MA (Semester One) at Gulshan Campus, which were to start from Monday (today) in the morning shift, have been postponed till further notice. According to a press release issued, new dates would be announced soon. However, other exams would take place as per schedule, the registrar of the university said. The news
When selling roasted corn grains prevails over education
Karachi: A year ago Mohammad Sabir Khan, 14, was a student of class six at a government school in Shireen Jinnah Colony Karachi, but now he sells roasted corn grains on a pushcart in Clifton.
"I had to quit school because my father considers this business lucrative and worth more then going to a school," said Khan while putting wood on the fire in the mud-stove of the pushcart.
Explaining how he dropped out of school, Khan narrated, "First when my father took me out of the school and gave this cart in my hands, I felt very shy watching my classmates and friends continuing to attend school. Some of them made fun of me, but gradually I learnt how to cope with these things, and also moved to Clifton. I would love to become a pilot, but dreams and wishes change with the pace of time and conditions."
His father Momeen Khan came to Karachi some 20 or more years ago from District Sawabi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for a job and began working as a labourer. Later he started selling potato chips on a roadside and soon he owned a house.
Khan has two brothers and three sisters. Both his brothers are conductors on public buses and neither of them received proper education.
His father said, "This business is better for Sabir Khan than education, as he has been earning more then Rs 300 daily since the day he began working. Already hundreds of highly educated people are jobless in the city, what would Sabir Khan do if he did get educated? He will only run after the jobs, and without references getting a job over here is impossible."
Another Pakhtun Jahan Shah, who lives in Sabir Khan's neighbourhood, justified Momeen Khan's views, and said, "We have to put our children into some business or give them some technical training so they are able to make ends meet, education does not suit people like us."
Momeen Khan is not the only Pakthun who prefers his children to be drivers, conductors or vendors etc.
Some 7.5 million Pakhtuns live in Karachi and most of them are drivers or conductors in the transport business, labourers in industries, vendors selling used items, gatekeepers, or juice and corn-grain sellers like Sabir Khan.
Leaders of the community consider the deficiency of education and apathy towards getting educated, the only cause of their backwardness combined with an intolerance in general.
Mohammad Ameen Khattak, a leader of Awami National Party Sindh, said, "Around 99 percent of the Pakhtuns living in the city are working class people, who have been living here since the time when Karachi was the capital of Pakistan. They came here in search of jobs, as most of them belonged to the poor and neglected class. They worked here in factories and settled in industrial areas like Landhi. Some of them were hard workers and have become rich but despite that most of them remain backward."
He stated that the main reason for the backwardness of the Pakhtuns in the city was their own lethargy towards education. However he added, "Discrimination in the educational system here also adds to their languor keeping them behind in every walk of life. The only way to integrate them in the advanced society is to provide them free and fair educational opportunities, which would also bring peace and prosperity to the society as a whole."
Positive change in behaviours come through good schooling and education, but when you learn in the primary stage of your life that education does not help you, being true Pakhtuns, who are brave, strong and hardworking, never bowing in front of anyone they tend to become angrier and hence hindering their own progress.
Sabir Khan would certainly become a highly educated man, may be even a pilot, who would add to the prosperity of the country, but only if his father puts him back in school.
Perhaps the coming generations of Pakhtuns in the city would also comprise a larger number of learned men. Daily times
'We don't read our history'
Karachi: The first session of the last day of the national conference on cultural and intellectual heritage of Pakistan at Karachi University's arts auditorium left many to mull over some important issues on Saturday.
The programme was presided over by Prof Dr Nasim Fatima with Pro Vice-Chancellor of Sindh University Dr Rafia Sheikh as the chief guest. University of Karachi Vice-Chancellor Dr Pirzada Qasim also graced the occasion.
The first speaker was Bushra Almas Jaswal who gave a relatively detailed presentation on the digital preservation of cultural heritage. She said the scope of digitisation had expanded as museums and archeological departments all across the globe were using new techniques of digitisation.
Saima Qutub's topic was the state of manuscripts in Pakistan. She began her presentation by tracing the origins of manuscripts in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent and said as a result of the Russian invasion in Afghanistan, to date, manuscripts from Central Asia and Afghanistan were being smuggled into Pakistan, but our libraries weren't buying them. Giving statistics on the subject, she said there were between 150,000 and 200,000 makhtootat (manuscripts) in the country - 60% in Persian, 30% in Arabic and 10% in regional languages - and they're as old as 900 years. She lamented that they're not in good condition and no institution had tried to conserve them. Suggesting ways to improve the situation, she said identifying makhtootat hidden in personal holdings, cataloguing, and development of a national bibliographical database were some of the important steps.
Prof Malahat Kaleem Sherwani spoke on Lutfullah Khan's precious personal audio collection and deemed it part of our oral tradition and history. She said that for the past 60 years, Mr Khan had been collecting literary material produced by respected poets, writers and intellectuals in their own voices. She said the oral history of quality Urdu literature of our times was present in digital form because of Mr Khan, and efforts should be made to keep it safe and well-preserved for posterity.Dr Rubina Bhatti's presentation was on libraries and education for peace in Pakistan. She argued that acts of terrorism had tarnished the country's image and libraries could be used to advocate the cause of peace. She said education for peace was a participatory holistic process and libraries should provide user-oriented services and be accessible to all.
Sarwat Mukhtar spoke on the culture and architecture of the Cholistan Desert. Tracing the history of Cholistan, she said it used to be the cradle of the Hacra Valley Civilisation. The region's architecture had Mughal, European and Delhi Sultanate's influences. She informed the audience that many of the historical sites, like Fort Derawar, in Cholistan were in bad shape and needed immediate attention of the authorities concerned.
Prof Farhat Hussain's topic was libraries as traditional custodian of intellectual heritage. He said there was a time when a library was more than a repository of knowledge, but today only job-oriented activities were witnessed in it.
Khwaja Mustafa gave an insightful presentation on knowledge society in Pakistan. With the help of facts and figures, he apprised the audience that "we don't have a culture of think-tanks which is why our bureaucrats become our think-tanks."
He said the size of black economy in the country equalled the size of the real economy and the gulf between the haves and have-nots was getting wider. He said societies progressed from being agrarian to industrial and then to post-industrial but ours was still at the agrarian stage.
Balochistan University chief librarian Mir Hasan Jamali appreciated the worth of the papers read during the session.
Dr Rafia Sheikh said with Islam being the supra culture, Pakistan had many indigenous cultures, and no one was inferior to the other. She said: "We don't read our history… we are deviating from the culture of reading." She said that nothing could replace the joy of reading a book.
Dr Nasim Fatima in her speech highlighted the work that the Sindh Archives Department was doing and suggested that a Karachi University archives department be established.
Dr Pirzada Qasim commenced his speech by congratulating the organisers for arranging the conference. He recalled the times when the elders of a family used to tell meaningful stories to their children, inculcating a sense of curiosity in them, and children used to ask questions and seek those examples (from the tales) in society. That was not happening anymore, he said. He remarked: "Culture and heritage talk to you. If we are a living society, we have to develop the culture of writing books." He said obtaining a PhD didn't mean that that the person who had the degree could be called an intellectual. He said other deficits could be recovered by money, but intellectual deficit could never be recovered by money. He concluded by saying that it's the academia's job to change the mindset of the people. Dawn
DUHS holds immunisation awareness seminar
Karachi: Vaccination is every child's right and there is a need to raise awareness regarding immunisation to reduce infant mortality rate and achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4, Sindh Health Secretary Dr Hashim Raza Zaidi said while addressing an Immunisation Awareness seminar at Arag Auditorium, Dow University of Health Sciences.
The seminar was arranged in collaboration with UNICEF Pakistan and Sindh Expanded Programme for Immunisation under the auspices of Child Survival Programme and Paediatric Unit, Civil Hospital Karachi, Health Department and Sindh government.
UNICEF Pakistan's Mohamed Cisse in his address said that MDG 4 was to reduce child mortality by two-third from 1990 to 2015, adding a strong immunisation programme could annually save more than 150,000 children under the age of five. Daily times