Country's first IT university opens

Shahbaz opens country's first IT university project
Lahore, June 01: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Thursday that the first information technology university in the country was being set up in the provincial metropolis and special funds would be allocated for the purpose in the next financial year.

He was addressing a function after opening of the project of Punjab Technology University (PTU) at Arfa Karim Software Technology Park here.

Provincial education minister Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Higher Education Commission chairman Dr. Javed Leghari, Punjab Information Technology Board chairman Dr. Umar Saif, Higher Education secretary Ijaz Rahim, intellectuals, columnists and experts in IT education were also present.

He said that the provincial government would provide free of cost land for Punjab Technology University (PTU) which would be managed by an autonomous board so that it should have the highest standard of computer education.

The first campus of the Punjab Technology University had been set up on the sixth floor of Arfa Karim Software Technology Park where classes would start from September this year.

More than one thousand boy and girl students would be equipped with modern education in computer science in this campus while six thousand students would study at the permanent campus of PTU at Dera Rakh Chahal on the Ring Road, he said.

He said that the permanent campus of Punjab Technology University would be established with the collaboration of Middle East Technical University of Turkey.

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that he was ready to set up campuses of Punjab Technology University in other provinces as well so that the project could benefit the whole country.

CM condolence: Shahbaz Sharif has expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the death of Amin Dogar, Deputy Comptroller, Chief Minister's Secretariat, Punjab.

In his condolence message, the chief minister prayed to Allah to give eternal peace to the departed soul and grant the bereaved family courage to bear the irreparable loss with fortitude.

PPSC chairman: Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) chairman Lt. Gen.(r) Sabahat Hussain, during a meeting of the Punjab cabinet at the CM's Secretariat, paid rich tributes to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for promoting culture of merit in the province.

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Private schools all set to defy vacation schedule
Lahore: The private sector in education is, once again, all set to defy the Punjab government orders by not following the schedule for summer vacation starting from today.

The Punjab government through a notification on May 30, 2012 had announced summer vacation schedule for public and private schools of the province from June 1 till August 19, 2012.

However many private schools are conducting examinations these days owing to which it has become impossible for these schools to announce abrupt closure of their campuses on the government's orders.

The confusing situation has greatly irked students and their parents who are already perturbed, among many issues, over massive power cuts, ever increasing inflation and extreme hot weather. It is pertinent to mention here that almost each year a controversy surfaces over summer break schedule with private schools, openly defying the government's orders by keeping their campuses open for weeks after the notification's dates. The stakeholders especially students and their parents have strongly criticised the Punjab government for its persistent failure, over the years, in stopping unbridled working of private schools. They are of the view provided the Punjab government had ensured establishment of a regulatory body, as it claimed after coming in power, for private schools the situation would have been different today.

They have urged the chief minister to personally intervene and ensure that all the private schools follow the government's schedule keeping in view increasing level of mercury. According to information gathered by this scribe, a number of schools would observe summer vacation later than the government schedule. Some of them will observe vacation from June 4 and some probably from the end of the next week. Tanvir, a resident of Sant Nagar, said if the government could not ensure implementation of its notification it should simply omit "private" schools from the notification. He further said many private schools had already announced summer camps during summer vacation which would be another challenge for the government to curb fleecing of poor masses in the name of education. Another citizen, Ashfaq, said each year the Punjab government issued summer vacation notification just a couple of days before vacation started. According to him this provides a golden opportunity to private schools to exploit the government and people on the pretext of ongoing examinations. Had the government announced summer vacation schedule in mid May or earlier, the present confusing situation might have been averted, he opined. When contacted, Punjab School Education Department Secretary Muhammad Aslam Kamboh said keeping in view ongoing exams at many private schools the department had decided to take action against private schools only if private schools were found open after June 6. He said any private school found open for students after June 6 would be closed down by the government. The news

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Suicide fear: LCWU shuts roofs to students
Lahore: The Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) administration has banned access to roofs of the university for students in an apparent bid to thwart any potential threat of suicides by them.

The administration has locked all the doors that are linked to approach a roof of any building on the campus.

LCWU administration has not only locked all such doors, it has also raised the height of boundary walls of several departments to avoid any unpleasant incident.

According to sources in the university, the administration has also plans to construct a wall on roofs of department buildings "which are still unsecured".

Sources said any such construction would be completed during summer vacations.

LCWU Vice Chancellor Dr Sabiha Mansoor confirmed these arrangements. She said that all buildings on the campus had been designed in a manner to make them inaccessible for students. It has been done for the safety of students, the vice chancellor added.

She also addressed a press conference at her office, throwing light on suicides by students.

"Suicides by young students are very tragic and eye-opening incidents. To avoid such incidents, educational, social and psychological experts must get together and finalise recommendations for a violence-free society."

Childhood, according to Dr Sabiha, is no longer a joyful experience.

"Examination-related stress, peer pressure, family matters and change in social attitudes are common reasons for increasing trend of suicides among students," the vice chancellor said.

"Severe competitions, comparisons and fierce expectations from parents, teachers, family and friends have exerted an enormous amount of pressure on these kids."

Dr Sabiha said that whatever the cause is, suicide attempts should always be taken seriously.

She said that several reports have blamed the current education system, teachers' attitude, competitive exams, admission processes and parental attitude as primary reasons for suicide by a student.

"Nowadays, not only the competition for a successful life has been increased but also for survival, which is evident from poverty. Parents want to see their children achieve high without giving time and putting efforts to resolve their issues and looking at their interests. Resultantly, burden and pressure falls on children which causes personality damage and leads to emotional breakdown," the vice chancellor said. LCWU Registrar Riffat Saqlain was also present. Daily times

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