HEC budget allocation disappoints varsities
Lahore, June 02: Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has rejected Rs 15.8 billion development budget for Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the fiscal year 2012-13 against demand of Rs 21.5 billion.
Similarly, teachers associations at public universities, academicians and students have expressed disappointment over the development budget, terming the same peanuts. FAPUASA president Professor Kalim Ullah Bareach said public varsities were already cash-starved and the same was conveyed to the federal government through the HEC on several occasions. He said FAPUASA had supported the HEC for its demand of Rs 21.5 billion development budget but allocation of Rs 15.8 billion had disappointed both the HEC and the varsities.
Bareach said the budget was insufficient and it would greatly affect working of public varsities across the country. He said FAPUASA would hold an emergent meeting on Saturday (today) and chalk out a future plan of action.
FAPUASA Punjab chapter president Prof Dr Suhail A. Qureshi, who is also president of Teaching Staff Association (TSA) of the University of Engineering & Technology (UET) Lahore, said varsities were not satisfied with the budget for new fiscal year. According to him, the universities' teachers were already facing issues related to salaries and non provision of last year's salary increase by various universities.
Prof Qureshi was of the view the meager allocation of Rs 15.8 billion would badly affect varsities and many of these would fail to go for expansion and new projects. He regretted that the federal government was not realizing gravity of the situation.
Similarly, Dr M Akram who is general secretary of Academic Staff Association (ASA) of Government College University (GCU) Lahore, expressed disappointment over the HEC development budget for the new fiscal year. He said the government had not released recurring budget of one quarter of the last budget yet which had created a lot of problems for universities. He was of the view that many universities had yet to provide last year's 15 percent increase to teachers. This time it was most likely that the varsities would face trouble in providing increase in salaries announced in this budget, he added.
HEC executive director Dr Sohail H Naqvi said the Commission had demanded Rs 21.5 billion development budget, but only Rs 15.8 billion were allocated. He said the HEC could do nothing new with this budget, including expansion of universities. Dr Naqvi said the HEC had planned thrusting in small cities and supporting general universities unlike medical and engineering varsities but to no avail.
To a question, he said the federal government had allocated Rs 14.5 billion budget on the development side last year. "But so far only almost Rs 10 billion has been released," he added, fearing that if the remaining amount of Rs 4.5 billion was not released by June 30, 2012 the same would lapse.
It is pertinent to mention that Insaaf Students Federation (ISF), Islami Jamiat Talaba and various other education related associations, including Ghazali Education Trust (GET), have also expressed disappointment over the higher education budget. The news
Hard work pushed universities up the ladder, says HEC chairman
Islamabad: Six Pakistani universities have been included in the list of top 300 Asian universities. The outcome is the result of hard work of faculty members, investment and revolutionary reforms introduced within last few years in the higher education sector in the country, HEC Chairman Dr Javaid R Laghari said on Friday. He was administering oath to participants of 18th Master Trainers-Faculty Professional Development Programme. The programme, organised by Higher Education Commission's (HEC's) Learning Innovation Division at HEC Secretariat, concluded on Friday. As many as 28 faculty members from 23 public and private sector universities across Pakistan were certified as Master Trainers. Provincial Minister for Education Literacy & Transport Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman was the chief guest at the closing ceremony of the programme. Daily times
Suicide of a Seventh Grader
Muneeb was hardly a 13 year old student of class seven committed suicide on a very small reason. According to media reports he hung himself from the ceiling fan on a teacher's punishment of charging Rs.5 and pressurizing him to speak English during English class. Muneeb was living in the dorm which can only be afforded by rich families in Pakistan. This shows that he had no financial stresses from home. Was paying Rs. 5 even for a month wouldn't be an issue for him?
According to media the last letter written by Muneeb was recovered in which he asked his mother not to cry for longer time on his death which is another investigative question that why did he only console his mother? He also requested his parents not to send his sisters to dorm; which shows that speaking English was not the biggest issue for him but he was facing some other issues in his dorm.
The World Bank published a report "Capitalizing on the Demographic Transition, Tackling Non-communicable Diseases in South Asia" in 2011, which showed an enormous rise in the suicide rate in Pakistan. The report quoted a shocking figure of 7,000 cases of suicide in 2008 and revealed that 10-16 per cent of Pakistanis suffer from mild to moderate psychiatric illnesses. The report further revealed that "Suicide rates have surged in recent years from a few hundred pre-1990s to almost 7,000 in 2008."
Dr. Syed Rizvi, the chief of Psychiatry at Upper Chesapeake Medical center, Maryland said that the genetic factor, environmental factors and temperamental factor contribute to the predisposition of suicide among the children. He further explain that genetic factors could be any mental disorders that run in the family, environmental factors could be stress related factors in the household and or society, and temperamental factors are differences amongst attitude and emotionality.
While describing the children's psychology he said that children respond differently to each situation they face in life. This is why we have different personalities even among twins. He said because of certain characteristic in their personalities they don't develop well enough self esteem and they are sensitive to criticism and rejection. They require approval to feel good about themselves. They are hypersensitive to criticism and rejection. They feel easily rejected or dejected. When they feel that way they can only do two things; either they can externalize the anger by taking it out on the others or by being rebellious or breaking the rules. And sometimes they internalize the anger by feeling hopeless or helpless and by feeling that they are not good enough and should not live anymore. He further said that these types of feelings lead people to self harm which is more common and sometimes give to more serious life threatening consequences like suicide.
I think, the responsibility lies on parents and teachers collectively to keep an eye on their children and look for signs and symptoms of depression which is getting more common in children and young adults due to the stressful environment at home or in society and reasons could be financial, awareness to too much violence through media or news or growing terrorism in Pakistan.
Schools should have counseling system through teachers and teachers should also treat children individually because some of the teachers' actions can be very damaging to the children who have fragile personalities. Schools should also bear the responsibility of observing the children for bullying and counselors should be there to do the on-spot screening of children who are suffering from bullying behaviors of other children. Proper psychiatric workshops should be held around the country to spread the awareness among the parents and teachers.
Children are our assets and we need to save them to secure our future and to raise the future leaders of Pakistan. A combine effort is needed in the society in which legislators who are busy fighting on court contempt and notices need to get involved in the real issues of the society. By Farheen Rizvi (The news)
Atif Kayani still haunts FDE
Islamabad: Dr Shahnaz A. Riaz, who was repatriated as Director General (DG) Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) by Supreme Court on Thursday, spent a whole day on Friday running from pillar to post in a bid to get her notification issued from Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) to the same effect but failed, it has been learnt.
Being disappointed, she went to the FDE where officials received her warmly but, to her utter surprise, informed her that former DG Atif Kayani – whose service was discontinued on orders of the Supreme Court (SC) – was already occupying her office.
On this, the newly appointed DG preferred to have informal meetings with the directors and other officers and returned home.
According to sources, on Friday morning Dr Shahnaz A. Riaz tried hard to have a meeting with the Secretary CADD Imtiaz Inayat Elahi but failed to get an appointment from him.
Later when she went to her office in Sector G-9/1, the whole staff received her warmly in the capacity of the new DG as they were sure that after orders of the SC, she would be reinstated.
However, when she intended to go into her office, officials of the FDE informed her that Atif Kayani was already in there and he had been regularly coming there since his removal.
On the other hand, Joint Secretary CADD Noor Zaman who was supposed to issue the notification of Dr Shahnaz as the new DG FDE spent the whole day in his office and in the evening left for his residence without issuing any.
Dr Shahnaz confirmed that she had been told that former DG Atif Kayani used to visit the FDE and was still working as its "unannounced DG". Although the CADD had discontinued his service as director general, he was also allegedly using the vehicle meant for the DG, she wondered.
"After orders of repatriation issued by the SC in my case, notification of the CADD was not required but I still wanted to have a meeting with Secretary Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, before formally starting my work," she explained and added that she was time and again informed by the staff of the Secretary's office that he had gone to attend an important meeting and was not available. Dawn
Islamia College University affairs Dr Javed refutes charges against him
Peshawar: Reacting to the reported decision by the Syndicate of the Islamia College University regarding his removal as the Urdu department chairman, Dr Javed Badshah said he was still occupying the position and had yet to receive an official intimation about it.
In a statement, he also rebutted allegations of plagiarism against him. Dr Javed Badshah accused the university's acting Vice-Chancellor of sponsoring the campaign against him to take revenge from him after having tabled a resolution for his removal under the Islamia College Peshawar Act 2009 in the Senate meeting held at the Governor House, Peshawar on April 27.
"Innumerable charges were framed in that resolution and instead of facing those charges and defending himself the acting Vice-Chancellor resigned from his office. Since April 28, there is no competent authority to run the affairs of the university as the Vice-Chancellor had tendered resignation," argued Dr Javed Badshah.
He felt it was a unique case that the acting Vice-Chancellor even after resigning was sitting in his office. "He needs to be examined by a medical board to examine his condition," Dr Javed Badshah stressed. He added that Islamia College University was facing collapse due to the mismanagement and indifferent attitude of the government.
Regarding the Syndicate meeting, Dr Javed Badshah said it was stayed by the court and the decisions taken in it are void and of no legal effect. Also, he proposed that the credentials of all the faculty members of Islamia College University should be examined in a transparent manner. The news