Adopt a School Programme | Teachers plan protest

Private sector urged to adopt govt schools
Karachi, June 20: Corporate industrial heads, civil society activists and educationists gathered at a local hotel on Tuesday to discuss ways to enhance private sector's partnership with the education sector through the Sindh Education Foundation's (SEF) Adopt-a-School-Programme.

The audience at the event was informed that the SEF was currently operating 485 new private schools, 250 community schools in 10 districts and a jail school project in Sukkur.

Its recent project is the Adopt-a-School Programme. The idea is to motivate philanthropists, civil society and more importantly the corporate sector to adopt government schools, and give, as per the SEF, "greater opportunities and better avenues for students from the lowest strata".

"One does not have to be a registered NGO or an organisation for that matter to be part of the programme. An individual who feels for the children can be an adopter," it was pointed put during a presentation by SEF Senior Manager Ambreena Ahmed.

The adoption is a three-step process. Step one requires a request by the adopter for adoption and a school is identified. Step two involves analysing the specific needs of the school (finance, training, course plan). In step three, all stakeholders are placed at a table and their needs discussed.

In the question answer session, it was asked if an organisation has to adopt a school completely, or could it opt for partial adoption. "One can be a partner and help in specific areas he is interested in," replied SEF Director Aziz Kabani.

Another member of the audience, Kalim Bagsa, a Canadian-American who claims to run a chain of schools in Machar Colony, in a three-minute speech expressed his disappointment at the fact that out of the 3,000 schools up for adoption, only 300 had been adopted.

He said the SEF needed to woo potential adopters and the civil society should feel for the underprivileged as well.

Earlier, in a panel discussion chaired by acting Education Secretary Riaz Memon, the role of the Adopt-a-School Programme was lauded.

SEF Managing Director Professor Anita Ghulam Ali reaffirmed the foundation's commitment towards "providing educational facilities conductive to learning at places where the practice of knowledge-sharing can continue unhindered and unhampered for the betterment of the nation". The news

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Teachers plan protest for better payment
Islamabad: Teachers marking the answer sheets of intermediate students have threatened to launch a protest if the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) does not increase the paltry payment for their job by June 25.

"FBISE has doubled its registration and admission fees for the tens of thousands of students sitting the FBISE examinations but continues to pay the markers just Rs20 per script for the hard work," their spokesman Professor Tahir Mahmood said.

"They spend hours perspiring at their work in three halls of the FBISE building where the exercise has been centralised," he said.

Other sources said that the teachers not only have to bear the cost of transport but also of meals and even the stationary they need to do the job.

Prof Mahmood said FBISE chairperson Dr Shaheen Khan had agreed with the Federal Government College Teachers Association in talks held before the marking started in 2011 and 2012 that the payment should be increased but did nothing to implement it.

"Last year, the FBISE increased its registration fee from Rs200 to Rs400 and the admission fee from Rs375 to Rs700 for Higher Secondary School Certificate candidates. About 96,000 candidates are currently enrolled in HSSC part I and II and another 140,000 are enrolled for matriculation exams. This increase of Rs500 on the average for each of 236,000 candidates would have added Rs118 million to the Board's annual income," he said.

In contrast, doubling the remuneration to the markers to Rs40 per script would cost FBISE only Rs5 million extra, he added. "But nothing of the extra millions earned by FBISE trickle down to the teachers, who form a crucial part of the education machinery."

An examiner noted that the double digit inflation has added to the worries of the teacher and adversely affecting his/her efficiency.

Ms Shabana Kauser, a sub-examiner, was more explicit. "With my meagre resources, I cannot afford decent transport and have to travel in stuffy buses in scorching heat. And what I get at the end in return for my pains proves no balm," she said.Professor Tariq Mehmood Baloch,
who is assessing the answer sheets of geography, said the blame for announcing the exam results late would not lie on the teachers' action for increase in remuneration. "FBISE will be solely responsible for that," he said.

Several teachers said that marking the FBISE exam scripts involved harder work compared to the Punjab University scripts as the latter asks simple questions against FBISE's emphasis on objective questions. Still the Punjab University pays the examiners Rs40 per script and FBISE just Rs20.

Chairperson FBISE Shaheen Khan said that the last time Board increased the rate for the examiners was in 2009. She was "aware of the problems of teachers" and promised to call a meeting of her finance department to increase the marking rates. Dawn

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Students design solar-hybrid car
Mansehra: The students of the Physics Department of the Hazara University (HU) have designed a solar-hybrid car to be manufactured on commercial basis.

A group of students including Raja Imran, Sabeen Dilawar, Adnan Sultan, Sundus Nawaz, Wajahat Ali, Zainab Liaqat and Mohammad Tahir under the supervision of Prof Mohammad Sadiq designed the solar-hybrid car.

"The car is the outcome of successive experiments by the students of the Physics Department and we want to introduce this energy-friendly and pollution-free car at the commercial level," said Dr Syed Sakhawat Shah, Vice-Chancellor of the Hazara University while speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

The car was put on display during the recent visit of Governor Masood Kausar who not only appreciated the achievement but also rewarded the designers with Rs500,000. "The velocity of this solar car is about 45 kilometres per hour under direct light of sun and we are working to enhance it to about 80 kilometres per hour," said Prof Mohammad Sadiq.He said the car consuming solar energy as fuel was connected through three solar panels that produced 190 watts and converted it into 12 volts. The news

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