Illegal exam centres: Lack of proof biggest hurdle in investigations
Karachi, Mar 30: The lack of proper arrangements being made by the board of secondary education controller of examinations resulted in the special vigilance team failing to catch those involved and to find solid evidence against the Al-Umer Foundation School, a facility that has been turned into an illegal exam centre.
"The vigilance team conducted a raid without any protection from law enforcement agencies as Board of Secondary Education of Karachi (BSEK) Exams Controller Prof Javed Iftikhar failed to make proper arrangements for the raid," sources in BSEK said. The sources added that an invigilator posted in Shah Faisal Colony on the first day of the exams, informed the controller that the said school is being used as an illegal exam centre and is in violation of the rules. "However, despite receiving the information, the controller hesitated to take action against the illegal centre allegedly due to pressure from BSEK's higher officials and the mafia involved in this malpractice," they added.
They said that three days after receiving information about the Al-Umer Foundation, the controller, instead of conducting a raid himself, sent a special vigilance team. "The surprising thing is that the vigilance team raided without any security from any law enforcement agency while endangering the lives of the team members," stated the sources
They were of the view that had the law enforcers been sent with the vigilance team, they could have caught the culprits involved in cheating and the illegal shifting of the exam centre. "In the absence of any protection, the team members were feeling insecure and in order to save their own lives, they had to leave the scene without nabbing any involved person or seizing any objectionable material from the possession of those involved," they maintained.
At present, BSEK has no proof to fight a case against the administration of the Al-Umer Foundation and the BSEK staff for illegally shifting the exam centre. "The team was only able to get an answer copy of a candidate, which is not sufficient evidence," they stated.
However, when contacted, BSEK spokesman viewed that strict disciplinary action would be taken against the elements involved in such malpractices.
Governor sets up two-member inquiry committee
Karachi: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad has set up a two-member committee to inquire into the establishment of unauthorized exam centres and growing number of cheating cases in the city. The committee, comprising Board of Intermediate Education (Karachi) Prof Anwar Ahmed Zai and Sindh Board of Technical Education Chairman Prof Saeed Siddiqi, will submit its report within a week to the government over the issue. Daily Times
SPLA rescind demand for dismissal of Education Secy
Karachi: The Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA) withdrew their demand for the dismissal of the education secretary after what they referred to as "a satisfactory meeting with Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazhar Ul Haq," a press release said on Sunday.
They said that the minister had shown seriousness in solving teachers' problems. They also said that it had been agreed that grades of teachers will be raised by one point and a notification will soon be issued in this regard. SPLA heads further said that it was also agreed that ad hoc lecturers will be regularised. They hoped that a meeting will be called soon on the matter of promotion of 71 professors from BPS 19 to BPS 20.
Terming the meeting satisfactory, the SPLA postponed their sit-in before the CM House which was scheduled for March 30. The NewsYour Comments
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Fuuast extended BA, BCom and MA (private) registration and examination forms date
Karachi: The Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science and Technology (Fuuast) has extended the date for submission of BA, BCom and MA (private) registration and examination forms by April 15.
A statement issued on Saturday said that the students who had passed their respective final examination in 2007 could apply for the registration.
The varsity has also extended the date for special examination meant for seminaries' students and those who are willing to improve their division. The new date for submitting the examination forms is April 15.
A one-day "National Paediatric G.1 and Vaccinology Symposium" will be held on April 19 at the Arag Auditorium of Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) and the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK).
The symposium has been organised by the paediatric department, unit-II of the DUHS.
Eminent medical experts from around the country will participate in the event. Dawn
HU may use Gul Bahao's Chandi Ghar at campus
Karachi: Hamdard University (HU) has shown an interest in copying Gul Bahao's Chandi Ghar home from industrial waste at its campus. This interest was shown during the visit to HU of Gul Bahao Managing Trustee Nargis Latif. She had a detailed meeting with HU Vice-Chancellor Dr Nasim A. Khan.
Latif said that the Centre has succeeded in providing answers to the problems of waste management for Karachi, one of the largest cities of the world. Gul Bahao's latest innovations include a low-cost fuel pack for running power plants and "Choora Chara" (fodder for livestock), she said.
The HU's VC took keen interest in Latif's presentation and asked her to make a detailed survey of the university campus to find out how Gul Bahao's research work could be applied to HU.
Dr Khan offered install Gul Bahao's Chandi Ghar or prefabricated housing on the HU campus. If successful, the Chandi Ghar could be used copiously in the fast-growing campus of the varsity, he said.
KU should generate own funds: VC
Karachi: The University of Karachi should start generating its own funds to ward off the financial crunch caused by the government's slashing of funds for the education sector, KU VC, Prof. Pirzada Qasim said on Saturday while inaugurating the Digital and Seminar Libraries of the Umaer Basha Institute of Information Technology (UBIT). The VC said KU had contributed a hefty Rs51m in a total of Rs104.945m required for the construction for UBIT. The remaining contribution included Rs37m from the HEC, about Rs11m from the Umaer Basha Foundation, and Rs5m from Ministry of Science & Technology.
KU seminar urges united efforts to uplift metropolis
Karachi: Karachi can be referred to as 'Mini Pakistan' because it accommodates people from all over the country; residents of this mega city should contribute to the promotion of peace, fraternity, literature, traditional values and clean environment of the city.
These views were expressed at a seminar titled 'Karachi Kay Rang' at the Arts Auditorium of the University of Karachi (KU).
Speakers included KU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, city Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil, Dr Fatima Hasan, Dr Nomanul Haq, Dr Mehmood Ghaznavi and Dr Rafi Taj who also had organised the seminar.
In the second session, Provincial Minister for Industry Rauf Siddiqui said that Karachi contributes a very large share of revenue to the Government of Pakistan.
Earlier, it was reiterated that the present city Nazim, Mustafa Kamal, has given the city a new and modern form and this fact has been widely acknowledged not only across Pakistan but has also been appreciated at international forums.
Minister for Sports, Dr Muhammad Ali Shah said that Karachi carries the pride of having produced great leaders such as Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, personalities such Dr A.Q Khan, and players such as Jehangir Khan, Javed Miandad, and Islahuddin. Dr Fahmida Riaz spoke about the role of Radio Pakistan in raising the literary life of the city. She said that renowned intellectuals such as Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Shoukat Thanvi, and Quratul Ain Haider had also been residents of this city.
In this presidential address, Prof. Dr Abuzar Wajidi said that through various periods of time, the city changed its name from Currachee to Kurrachee, Caranjee, Kolachi Jo Goth, and then to its present name, and just like its names, its traditions have also kept changing.
With its population was merely 13,000 in 1813, the city now accommodates over 160 million people from diversified cultures, languages and traditions, he said.
Arts Council Karachi President Saifur Rehman recalled his memories of the initial days of country's independence, when Karachi was the "beauty queen of Asia." Renowned actor and music composer, Arshad Mehmood, said that among several other honours that Karachi possessed, one was the establishment of the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA). This academy aimed at promoting the real talent in the fields of acting, music and singing.
Renowned poet, Dr Fatima Hassan, cited a beautiful Urdu poem and expressed her affection and sincerity for the city of Karachi. Former cricketer, Shoaib Muhammad, said that consistency and self-confidence was the way to growth and victory. The News
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World Bank aid for Edu in jeopardy: SDPs of 65% girls' schools not submitted to RSU
Karachi: The Stipend Distribution Forms (SDP) of over 65 percent of the girls secondary schools in Sindh have not been submitted to the Reform Support Unit (RSU), putting the release of the next installment of World Bank's (WB) financial assistance in jeopardy.
"The SDPs are imperative to apply for the next installment of around $10 million from the WB and in case they are not sent, the monthly stipend program for female students may be shutdown permanently from the next academic year," sources in RSU said. "The main responsibility to collect SDPs and their delivery to Education Department's RSU is upon the Assistant District Officers (ADO), who have failed to perform their task within the stipulated time," sources maintained.
At present, the monthly stipend program is being run in 1,000 girls secondary schools in various districts of the province. Out of the total, SDPs of only 343 schools have been forwarded to RSU to date.
According to the official figures of RSU made available, in four districts of the province, not a single SDP was submitted by the ADOs of the concerned towns and talukas. These districts include Karachi where 425 schools did not submit SDPs followed by Mirpurkhas with 44 schools, Thatta with 39 schools and Hyderabad with 99 schools.
However, the situation is comparatively better in somewhat less privileged districts including Badin where out of 130 schools, 117 submitted SDPs followed by Nawabshah with 76 out of 92 schools, Jamshoro with 29 out of 43 schools, Matiari with 51 out of 54 schools, Tando Illah Yar with 51 schools out of 55 schools and Tando Muhammad Khan with 18 out of 19 schools.
It is feared that the failure to submit SDPs with signatures of female students to WB within the set deadline could halt the next installment of its financial aid.
When contacted, RSU Deputy Chief Manager Saba Mushtaq said that the ADOs of the concerned areas were responsible for the collection of SDPs. "It is the duty of ADOs to send it to the RSU on time so that it could be forwarded to the WB for the release of the next installment of the loan," she added. Defending the position of RSU, she opined, "If the stipend program is closed down, then the ADOs are to be held be responsible for the mishap."
Closed school case: relocating rather than renovating?
Karachi: Instead of issuing a renovation order for a school building inundated with sewerage water, the Federal Education Ministry has shown their sheer negligence by writing on the walls of the school building that the school was shifted one-and-half-year ago to another location.
Daily Times had ran a report, along with pictures, on February 9 showing that the Federal Government Boy's Secondary School Abbay Sinia Lines, Saddar, Karachi was in a horrible condition and that the school courtyard and the main hall was inundated with sewerage water. This scribe had also contacted Federal Education Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani for an official statement. Bijarani had stated that he was not aware of such a low-level matter and had promised that he would ask someone to look into it.
Bijarani fulfilled his promise, when this scribe visited the school on Friday, the only change he found was that on all the schools walls, it was written that the school building was shifted to the Cantonment Railway Station on September 3, 2007.
It is still uncertain whether the school was actually shifted on the above mentioned date and a notification was not issued or whether the notice on the wall is a way to pacify the public as on February 8, 2009, when photographer had taken pictures of the dilapidated school building, there was no sign of such an action being taken. "A few days after you visited the school building, some officials came with a painter and wrote this on the walls," said a motor mechanic pointing to the walls. In addition, the sign board bearing the school's name has also been scratched out of existence and now one can only guess as to what the original writing read.
Surrounded by tall wild bushes, the school building paints a picture of negligence on the part of the authorities concerned. The broken boundary walls let stray dogs and drug addicts into the school premises.
The residents and shopkeepers of the area revealed that since the last two months, the school has been shut; perhaps it was closed or shifted somewhere else. Technically, the school can not be shifted as far the Cantonment Railway Station, as the school building is located right on main Sharah-e-Faisal, behind the Saddar police station and opposite the Gora Kabaristan, which is around 10 kilometers away from the railway station.
The residents of the area fear that if the school building is deserted, it would be occupied by land grabbers. "The officials of the education department have written a warning on the walls of the building that entering the building is prohibited, however I am not sure that it will stop the land mafia," said a resident of nearby residential plaza.
As the name of the school reveals, the school building is under the administrative control of the federal government, however, interestingly the federal government has not a single office at the provincial level to look after the school buildings in Sindh. The Z shaped school building comprises of around twenty class rooms and offices, unfortunately the sewerage water has completely turned the building into a polluted fishing pool.
The lack of seriousness of the federal government towards the schools of the province can be judged by the fact that when this scribe contacted the Federal Education Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani to get an official statement, he bluntly refused give any. Daily Times
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