Punjab students' exams & loadshedding | PU MA/MSc exams rescheduled

Students' future put at stake ahead of exams
Lahore, Mar 21: The long spell of power outage has irked the citizens besides damaging the business activities across the City multiplying the miseries of people particularly the students ahead of their scheduled examinations.

Sources in the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) revealed that an average 8 to 10 hours power load shedding has begun across the country as the hydroelectric generation has dropped drastically following reduction in water releases from Tarbela and Mangla Reservoirs.

They also said the rural areas are facing the worst power outage as compared to the urban localities as the PEPCO has started 12 to 14 hours power loadshedding in the rural areas and small cities.

Long duration of loadshedding has made people's lives tough and miserable as none could manage the household problems, Nasrim Bibi a housewife said on Friday.

"We could not send our children to school in time as the electricity breakdown badly disturbs our routine life. My children are very upset due to the load shedding as they are unable to make preparations for their examinations," she added.

Muhammad Umair, a student, said the electricity breakdown unleashed by the WAPDA had caused disturbance in public life, which in fact has badly affected the abilities and working capabilities of the common man and students also. "We could not sleep at night properly as due to midnight power breakdown we could not manage to make preparation for the examinations and that, of course, effects our ability" he maintained. The Nation

50pc Bajaur students miss SSC examination
Khar: Some 50 per cent of students missed the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination that began on March 17, as majority of schools in the militancy-hit areas of Bajaur Agency are yet to reopen after the military operation.

Though separate examination centres have been established at the Government Degree College for Boys and Girls at Khar, the agency headquarters, many a Class IX and X students failed to appear in the examination.

According to the agency education officer, Gul Rahman, a total of 2,000 to 2,200 students had to appear in the Class IX and X examination, but scores of them could not make it to the examination centres because their families had migrated to far-flung areas because of the operation against militants in the agency over the previous several months.

"We did contact each and every student wherever he was. But very few from Karachi or other distant districts of the country turned up at in the examination," said Gul Rahman. He said the officials had given concessions to students of the affected areas and admissions were allowed to them just a day before the examination without charging any examination fee.

The officer said attendance was quiet encouraging as students from all the affected areas, like Inayat Killay, Bar Khlozo, Badan, Zorbandar, Loisam, Shagai, Nawagai and Chamarkand, were taking the examination.

The common people of the agency believe that the education authorities should give some relaxation in marking to the Bajaur students as the trouble in the area seriously affected their studies over the past six months.

Schools were closed and most of students had been shifted to peaceful districts or camps for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to operation in the area, said a Senior English Teacher (SET), serving in a higher secondary school in the agency. In such a situation, he said, how the students could manage to properly prepare themselves for the exam.

The agency education officer sees the situation with a different angle. He said the education department and non-governmental relief organisations should take steps to save the precious time of the students. He said the education department and non-governmental relief organisations had taken all possible measures to save the valuable time of the students.

Classes were arranged for the Bajaur students at the relief camps and schools in the down districts and those having interest in the studies continued it despite some problems, he added. "And this is the reason that a great number of students are appearing in the examination," he remarked.

He said that arrangements had also been made for girl students and 70 girls were taking their examinations at the Government Degree College for Girls in Khar town. The overall educational situation in the agency is pitiable. All the educational institutions in four of the seven tehsils of the agency remained closed throughout the military operation. Some 41,000 of the total 90,000 students of public sector educational institutions were affected by the turmoil in Bajaur. Around 36 schools were destroyed during the military operations while nine were being used to accommodate personnel of the security forces.

In the areas where schools have been reopened, the students are studying on the mud tracks near the schools, which are under occupation of the security forces. Government Primary School Muslim Bagh is one of such schools, where the students are seated on the ground alongside a dirty road in the middle of a wheat field.

Even no arrangements have been made for the girl students, who along with their female teachers, could not continue their educational activities on roads and in the fields. The two-storey building of Government Primary School in Jar area is one such example. However, the agency education officer was committed to making alternative arrangements for students of the demolished schools and those occupied by the security forces.

Gul Rahman said with the exception of Tangi, schools in Barang, Utmankhel and Salarzai tehsils have already been opened, while the institutions in the restive tehsils - Mamond, Riyasat, Nawagai and Chamarkand - are speedily being reopened. "We are returning from the most critical situation to peace now and educational activities are gradually being resumed in the agency," he remarked.

Sarhad Lecturers Association (SLA) seek upgrading
Abbottabad: All Pakistan Professors & Lecturers Association (APPLA) and Sarhad Lecturers Association (SLA) Friday threatened to boycott the classes and upcoming examinations if their demand for upgrading was not met immediately.

The teachers also held a protest rally on this occasion that started from Government College and culminated at press club building.Addressing a joint press conference at the press club after staging a protest rally, of APPLA divisional president Dilawar Khan and senior vice president Faiz Mohammad said that three years back the then prime minister Shaukat Aziz announced teachers' upgrading on 'Salam Teachers Day'.

The upgrading process was completed for almost all the teaching cadres, including primary, high and secondary except the lecturers and professors, the office-bearers of the association complained. "We will stage protest rallies and sit-ins at provincial and federal level if our demands were not met immediately," they warned. Participants of the rally also chanted anti-government slogans to vent their anger.

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Punjab University rescheduled MA/MSc exams
Lahore: The Punjab University Examination Department has rescheduled the MA/MSc Part-I & Part-II, Annual Examination 2009. According to a press statement, the MA/MSc Part-I, Annual Examination 2009 will commence from June 5 instead of June 24 while MA/MSc Part-II, Annual Examination 2009 will commence from July 7 instead of July 16.

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PUASA opposes tour after president's son omitted
Lahore: The failure of the Punjab University Academic Staff Association president's son to join a team of students, scheduled to participate in two international competitions, has allegedly been a major factor to prompt the teachers' body to pass a resolution against students' tour abroad.

In a resolution, the PUASA executive body recently expressed concern over the spending of about Rs 5,000,000 for what it called "mere excursion of a group of students in the name of the Model UN Forum."

The Punjab University Academic Staff Association, in its resolution, distributed among the university faculty, demanded: "If at all, a team has to be sent, it should be selected fairly and all the students of the university must get a chance to prove their competence.

It is beyond understanding as why the same persons are being sent time and again and who selects this team."

It is important to mention here that an 11-member students' delegation is leaving to attend two international students Model UN conferences in the Netherlands and Germany on Friday (today).

In a response to PUASA's resolution, the programme coordinator issued public information, a copy also sent to the PU vice-chancellor, wherein he "exposed" that why the teachers' association had to pass a resolution against the foreign competitions.

"As a matter of fact, the whole fuss is being created just because the son of Dr Saeed Ahmed Nagra has not been included in the list of students participating in the competitions in Europe," it reads.

The programme coordinator, Assistant Professor Samee Ozair Khan, further maintained that the students, representing the university in the competitions were being funded by the Royal Dutch Embassy, Islamabad, and the Heinrich Boll Foundation, Pakistan.

"The Punjab University is restricted to only providing daily allowance to these students for the duration of their stay in Europe. Apart from this, the university is principally bearing all expenses of two faculty members who will supervise this student delegation. The total amount, thus sanctioned, for this purpose does not exceed 1,100,000 approximately," he added.

He further stated: "Had it been the case that Mr Nagra's son were on the list of students travelling to Europe, he would never have tried to exploit the prestigious forum of the Punjab University Academic Staff Association against such a healthy student activity."

Prof Samee added: "It is very important to recognise that Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, the vice-chancellor of the university, has been continuously patronising this activity and the entire selection process, not only in this case, but also in earlier Model UN competitions to which the honourable president the Punjab University Academic Staff Association is a witness himself," he added in the statement.

When contacted, Dr Saeed Ahmed Nagra refuted the allegations that the Punjab University Academic Staff Association passed the resolution because his own son was not included in the students' team.

He said: "This is not the issue of my son," adding: "Its right of around 30,000 students of the university." "

Every student of the university should know what the process of selection is," he added. He further said three of the students had gone abroad last year too to participate in similar event. Dr Nagra further said: "My son never requested me or anyone else for selection in the said team."

Punjab University to organise book fair
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) has invited applications for booking of stalls from publishers and booksellers for the Book Fair 2009.

March 27 has been fixed as the last date for submission of the applications.

According to a press statement, all the publishers, booksellers and organisations of computer business have been invited for participation.

The applications could be submitted to Faculty of Oriental Learning and Stalls Management Committee Dean/Convener Prof Dr Muhammad Saleem Mazhar at Oriental College, Old Campus and Chief Librarian Chaudhry Muhammad Hanif at Main Library, New Campus on or before March 27.

The book fair would be organized in first or second week of April and maximum participation of people from every occupation would be ensured. It is noteworthy that PU administration has decided to organise this year's book fair in April instead of May due to scorching heat and other weather related problems in the May. The book fair would be organised in the main corridor of Institute of Education & Research (IER).

Punjab University seminar on Women's Day
Lahore: The Punjab University Career Development Centre organized one-day seminar on "International Women Day 2009 Issues and Challenges" at Fatima Jinnah College for Women, Chunna Mandi, with the collaboration of Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO).

According to a press statement, Member Punjab Assembly (MPA) Faiza Malik was the chief guest on the occasion. Director General Social Welfare Bait-ul-Mal and Women Development Department Tariq Feroze inaugurated the seminar.

Discussing the role of women in politics, Faiza Malik said that women could make a difference if they were determined.

While the other guest speakers highlighted the issues of gender equality and equity, violence against women, status of women in Islam, role of NGO's regarding women empowerment.

Career Development Officer Shazia Tasleem presented gave a brief orientation of CDC-PU activities and achievements.

Justice (r) Nasira Iqbal, PU Institute of Social and Cultural Studies (ISCS) Director Muhammad Hafeez, Chairperson Department of Gender Studies Prof Dr Samar Fatima and Regional Head Strengthening Participatory Organization Salman Aabid also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the issues of women rights with reference to Pakistani society.

10 papers presented at Government College University (GCU)
Lahore: As many as 10 papers were presented by the speakers from different universities and organizations of the country on the third day of international conference "Culture and Mental Health" at Government College University (GCU) on Friday. Dr M Hafiz started the third day proceedings with a lecture on "Continuing Bond in Bereaved Pakistani Muslims: Effect of Culture and Religion" while Dr Amtul Habib Hashemi, renowned Psychologist, presented a special lecture on "The Role of Clinical Psychologist Working with Children with Learning Disabilities".

Lecture on media organised at Government College University
Lahore: The Young Journalists' Society of the Government College University organised a special lecture on media by renowned TV artiste Simi Raheal on Friday. According to a press statement, in her lecture, Ms Simi said women were playing a vital role in the media but unfortunately violence against women was still an issue in the country. She said the media was more powerful than politics and the role of the media in the social and economic development could not be denied. She also appreciated the efforts of the GCU students for organising informative activities. The News

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