KU book fair: Journalism school sabotage project
Three-day book fair begins at KU
Karachi, March 18, 2008: The vice-chancellor of the University of Karachi, Dr
Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, has stressed the need for inculcating reading habit
He was speaking as chief guest at the inauguration of a book
fair on Monday organised at the campus.
The vice-chancellor said that the
coming government should pay more attention to the improvement of higher
education and the budget for this vital sector should also be substantially
Dr Pirzada stressed the need for practical steps must be taken
to ensure an effective medium of instruction and for the promotion of the
national and provincial languages.
The Naib Amir of the Jamaat-i-Islami
Pakistan, Prof Ghafoor Ahmed, urged the students to fully concentrate on their
studies. He hoped that the new parliament would enhance the budgetary
allocations for the education sector.
The JI leader deplored that the
education sector had never remained a priority of the rulers of the
He stressed the need for the implementation of a uniform
educational system throughout the country.
Prof Ghafoor was critical of
frequent load-shedding in the metropolis and urged that the University of
Karachi should be spared from this so that the academic process could continue
without any interruption.
A former MPA, Younus Barai, KU Students Adviser
Dr Nusrat Idrees, and Furqan Ansari also spoke.
The three-day event has
been organised at the gymnasium of the Karachi University under the auspices of
the Islami Jamiat Talaba.
A number of publishers have established their
stalls and more than 6,000 students visited the fair on the first day.
Karachi: The Department of Statistics, University
of Karachi, organised a seminar titled "Statistics produced by the State Bank of
The dean of the KU's faculty of Management and Administrative
Sciences, Dr Abuzar Wajidi, described the statistics compiled by the State Bank
of Pakistan (SBP) as of great value for the economy and policies of the
Appreciating the cooperation extended by the SBP in the
enhancement of interaction between the bank and educational institutions, he
hoped that the process would continue consistently for the benefit of students
and researchers in the field.
The director of the Statistics and Data
Warehouse Department of the State Bank of Pakistan, Dr Azizullah Khattak,
informed the audience about the objectives of his department with the help of
He said that the department was striving to
strengthen the link between the academia, policymakers, data-compiling agencies
and the users, besides harmonisation of data production with the users'
Dr Ansari of the State Bank of Pakistan said that the statistics
department of the SBP aimed at improving the quality of data through feedback
and also at bridging the gap between the knowledge offered and the needs of the
The chairman of the Department of Statistics, University of
Karachi, Dr Junaid Sagheer Siddiqui, also spoke.
Karachi: The University of Karachi announced that theory papers of Diploma in Clinical Neurology, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical
Centre, annual examination 2007 would be held on March 25. Paper-I will be held
on Tuesday from 11am to 1pm and Paper-II from 2pm to 4pm on the same day at the
faculty of Islamic Studies, University of Karachi. Dawn
Top journalism school eludes KU as staffers sabotage project
Karachi: Karachi has been robbed of a top journalism school owing to petty
politics spawned by university staffers unsure of their future if the venture
Seven years have passed since the
foundation was laid for a state-of-the-art Mass Communication Institute at
Karachi University (KU) but, despite the good intentions of its sponsor, the
institute remains a dream.
While classes at the institute building
started recently, the present arrangement is pitiful compared to the what the
sponsor had envisaged when she made a generous endowment to the Karachi
University in the name of her late husband so that the country could have its
own world-class journalism school.
The project was thwarted from its very
inception by faculty members of the Mass Communication department and other
vested quarters who were scared that they would have to make way for more
competent and professional teachers, most of whom would have been attracted from
Bearing the name of eminent scholar and activist, the late
Dr. Feroze Ahmed, the institute remains a dream. Senior officials of the Mass
Communication department (MCD) claim that the institute, "would be functional in
a few months time," but students at the department are growing increasingly
agitated with the never-ending delay.
widow of Dr Feroze Ahmed, says that after waiting for so long for the
aesthetically-designed institute to become functional, she is not sure what the
Her original proposal to make the institute a regional
centre of excellence for print and broadcast journalism was sabotaged by senior
faculty of the MCD. Many of these faculty members see their jobs coming to an
end if professional staff is hired. Most staffers at the MCD have done little in
terms of research and almost all have no links with the media industry. The
media industry in Pakistan is currently undergoing a massive expansion but few
from this department get jobs in it.
Students at MCD complain of poor
teaching standards and little in terms of professional training. Graduates from
MCD are not given preference by media employers owing to their poor training at
Nadera Ahmed says that she has had to compromise her
original plan "at every stage." However, the project could not be completed
within the stipulated time. MCD staffers claim that the contractor had been
"The project was delayed because the contractor we
hired initially ran away with Rs80,000. We then had to hire another contractor,"
clarified Dr Mehmood Ghaznavi, chairman of the MCD.
Ghaznavi added that
the construction has been speeded up and the department will soon be shifted.
However, he did not give a date. Little or nothing has been done in terms of the
academic and staffing issues that were to be addressed as well.
proposal for upgrading of the department of Mass Communication to an institute
was approved by the KU syndicate in April 2000 following which I signed a
contract with former Vice Chancellor Dr Zafar Zaidi," says Nadera
The construction of the institute began soon after with Rs10
million as seed money, donated by Nadera Ahmed. The entire structure was
completed within a year (in 2001) during Dr Zafar Zaidi's tenure.
Nadera Ahmed also pushed for the preparation of two PC-1s of Rs500,000 and
Rs10.12 million and got these approved by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
The money is being utilised to equip the institute with media equipment,
primarily for the campus radio (FM 90.6).
"Some of my husband's old
friends, and his sister also donated an extra amount up to Rs500,000 to speed up
the process of finishing and furnishing the institute. I don't know what is
taking the university officials so long to complete the project and commence
functioning," questions Nadera.
Nadera was also told that it took the
university officials a while to have the furniture tender approved. This is why,
they claim, the department could not be shifted.
observers say that, while the furnishing process is underway, the pace of the
work is not satisfactory. "Former VC Dr Zafar Zaidi was supportive of this
project," said Nadera Ahmed, adding that it was after his death in 2001 and the
appointment of new members of the KU syndicate, that the project faced
Her initial proposal to hire a qualified director from the
media industry – who would have a sound academic and professional background to
run the new institute – was rejected by the department.
board is an independent body that should predominantly comprise non-faculty
members. That is why the members of Dr Feroze Ahmed Trust suggested that, apart
from the original composition, media professionals from the industry, a
representative each from the judiciary, electronic media, print media and the
advertising media be hired," said Nadera Ahmed, adding, "but the department
faculty insisted that majority of the members of the board shall be from the
department." This went against the spirit of the journalism school.
staffers insisted that a senior faculty member of the department be made the
director who would then recommend to the Vice Chancellor, who is also the
Chairman of the board, the names of individuals to be hired from the print and
Under the chairmanship of the Vice Chancellor of the
university, the executive board would now comprise the Dean, Faculty of Arts,
one member from the KU syndicate, one member from the Academic Council, a senior
professor from the department, along with an assistant professor, associate
professor and a lecturer from the department. The whole idea of bringing in
people from the industry who would breathe life into the department was thus
Nadera Ahmed was initially reluctant but eventually accepted
this condition, too, in the hope of seeing the institute
Some university officials, however, doubt this will happen
any soon, especially after the death senior faculty member Professor Sarwar
Nasim, who was actively involved in the project.
It is said that since
the executive board now predominantly comprises faculty members, this may affect
the (independent) functioning of the institute as faculty members may serve
their vested interests instead of improving teaching standards along with the
upgradation of the institute.
At a time when a professional training
institute for media personnel is becoming increasingly significant and is the
need of the hour, it is rather unfortunate to see Nadera Ahmed's project falling
victim to petty institutional politics, they say.
Ahmed says she has
agreed to accept all the conditions laid by the KU Senate and syndicate and the
department officials only to see the institute running, but the functioning of
the institute does not seem to be the priority of the university and the HEC at
What is indeed surprising is that the HEC has turned a blind
eye to this project. Instead of taking to task those brewing trouble and
sabotaging such an important project, the HEC has preferred to remain silent.
This conspiracy of silence from the HEC, the Chancellor and Vice
Chancellor of KU and the members of the senate has meant that hundreds of
students each year see their future being destroyed so that a handful of
university staff members of questionable credentials can continue to hold sway
at the MCD, say observers.
Just a new building and chairs
Karachi: Although classes for MA are being conducted at the
institute three days a week, students do not appear satisfied. "By conducting
three classes a week in the new building, the department officials cannot fool
us into believing that the institute is functional. There is nothing different
about the institute except a new building and new chairs. I thought the
institute was meant to provide proficient practical training by some
professionals from the industry that our department lacks, which is why I was
looking forward to studying there, but unless they change the syllabus a new
building means nothing to me," an irked student of third-year at the department,
Haya Fatima, said.
Who is Dr Feroze Ahmed?
Dr Feroze Ahmed was an eminent scholar and
crusader in the cause of democratic revival in Pakistan. He was widely respected
at the national and international level for his profound scholarship, pioneering
research on demographic and social subjects, and political activism against
dictatorship and social injustice. He remained associated with progressive
movements within and outside the country, particularly between 1960 and
Author of about 20 books and more than 300 journals, articles and
research papers, Dr Feroze also launched the magazine "Pakistan Forum" from
Karachi in 1974 and remained its editor till he was forced into exile in 1980.
Later, he also served as consultant to a number of organizations including
UNICEF, NICHD and SAMSHA. He also founded the Pakistan Democratic Forum of North
America, which provided critical support (in the United States) to the Movement
for Restoration of Democracy (MRD) of Pakistan during the early
Although many people referred to him as a journalist due to his
numerous published articles in various newspapers and journals, he was actually
an activist. He came into prominence as a student leader in Karachi during the
Ayub Khan era in the early 60's before he was offered a scholarship at Johns
Hopkins University where he did his doctorate in demography. He got
post-doctoral training in Harvard and taught at several universities in Canada
and the United States besides the Sindh University.
Dr Feroze Ahmed died
due to a heart failure at the age of 57 on April 5, 1997, in the US. At the time
of his death, he was teaching as a professor at Howard University School of
Social Work. Following his death, his wife, Nadera Ahmed moved to Pakistan in
1998, after having spent 31 years in the US, to carry on the work of her
husband. The News
"i am yawer raza .I have interest in journalism .I want to do my intermidiate in journalism"
Name: yawer raza
City, Country:quetta pakistan
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