Power cuts 'short-circuiting' matriculation students
Lahore, March 24: Students taking matriculation exams through eight boards run by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) are suffering badly due to the current wave of load shedding across the province, learnt on Monday.
The students said matriculation exams were pivotal to their careers but the power crisis was sure to affect their grades adversely. They said the students choose their future course of study on the basis of matriculation results, but they are likely to suffer in the exams due to frequent power outages.
They said their problems were compounded by the attitude of the examining authorities that were not giving any extra time to the students during exams. Education Department officials said load shedding would affect the marks of the students and the percentage of failed students was also likely to increase. Examination officials said most government exam centres had poor natural lighting and lack of generators at these centres was adding to the students' problems.
BISE: BISE Lahore Controller Manzoorul Hasan Niazi said they had asked authorities not to conduct load shedding at examination centres, but it had fallen on deaf ears.
The BISE controller said that the authority had set up 800 examination centres and BISE was in no position to provide back-up generators at all these facilities. Another BISE official said that the only solution to the problem was that BISE stop conducting exams until the government resolves the electricity issue.
Facilities: It was observed on Monday that some examination centres did not even have drinking water available at the premises, with some centres in far-off areas facing 20-hour long load shedding. Students scheduled to appear for FA/FSc/ and BA/BSc exams also complained of power outages that are affecting their preparation.The coming April and May are important for students of FA/FSc, BA/BSc and O and A level, as their final examinations are scheduled to begin as early as April 14. Shamsa, a matriculation student, said students were suffering as they did not have enough light available in the examination centres and had to battle hot weather while attempting the exams.
A father of a matriculation student said his daughter was studying under the torch in her mobile phone. He said students, who had already suffered academically due to the closure of schools due to terrorism, are now faced with power crisis coupled with record-breaking temperatures. A female examiner said that they could do nothing except fear for the students' results, adding that examiners were only performing their duties in such circumstances due to the fear of losing their jobs. Last year, the Education Department had taken action against principals and teachers of public colleges for the poor performance of students in BA/BSc examinations, which the teachers attributed to power outages.
LUMS, UCL grab top awards at 15th GCU debates
Lahore: The 15th GCU parliamentary debates hosted by the Government College University (GCU) concluded on Monday with the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) winning the 'Professor Khalid Aftab English Trophy' and University College Lahore (UCL) taking away the Urdu debates trophy.
Addressing the gathering, Guest of Honour, Professor Iffat Shah lauded the efforts of the GCU Debating Society that had won over 2,000 awards since its inception in 1993 by Professor Khalid Aftab. Over 200 orators, adjudicators and organisers participated in the four-day tournament. Aitchison College Lahore, University College Lahore (UCL), LUMS and Lahore Grammar School (LGS) Johar Town made it to the final round of the English debates. The Urdu finalists were Lahore School of Economics (LSE), King Edward Medical University (KEMU), University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore, and UCL.
The English finalists debated on whether 'there should be a uniform education system in Pakistan' and the Urdu finalists debated 'The possibility of winning the war on terror'.
The Syed Muhammad Ali Abbas Shield for the Best English Speaker went to Syed Haider Naqvi from LUMS while Sheikh Bilal Khalid from KEMU was declared the Best Urdu Speaker of the tournament. Rana Abdul Aziz and Dr Sameer Shaharyar were declared the best Urdu and English adjudicators, respectively. Daily times