Private schools flout govt decision by holding exams in April
Karachi, March 22: Several private schools in violation of a decision of the Sindh education department's steering committee have decided to conduct the annual examinations of their students of Class I to Class VIII in April instead of March, it emerged on Saturday.
The steering committee at its last meeting presided over by Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq directed all the schools to conduct the annual examinations of their students of Class I to Class VIII in March and announce the results of the examinations by March 31.
The decision was taken by the committee to ensure that the new academic session in all public and private schools of the province could begin on April 1, 2010.
The schools which have the Cambridge system of education were permitted to conduct the examinations in August.
However, a number of private schools in contravention of the steering committee's decision informed the parents of their students that the annual examinations of Class I to Class VIII would be held in April and results would be declared in the last week of the same month.
Criticising the decision of all those schools whose managements had decided to conduct the annual examinations in April, a number of students' parents who said that such a move not only amounted to an open violation of the education department steering committee's decision, but would also delay the academic session of their children by a month.
A woman who rang us complained that she had planned to visit her ailing mother in Lahore once the annual examinations of their children were over by the end of March, but she was now unable to do so because of the different schedule of examinations being followed by schools as most of the schools were conducting the exams in March while some in April.
"Such a different policy with respect to annual examinations has upset my plans of seeing my ailing mother as my daughter who is a student of Class VI is nowadays taking her exams while the annual exams of my son who is in Class V in another school are scheduled to be held in April," she said.
Sources in the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) said that it was mandatory upon all schools to hold the exams of their students of Class I to Class VIII in March and announce the results by March 31 so that schools' new academic session could start on April 1 across the province.
However, they added that some private schools in their attempt to save their institutions from being selected as centres for the Secondary School Certificate (Class IX and X) annual examinations by the board were deliberately conducting the exams in April.
The sources said that such an act on the part of the private schools was not only against the decision of the steering committee, but also amounted to a violation of the BSEK school recognition rules. However, such schools remained unpunished because of their influence in the education department and the BSEK, they added. Dawn
FUUAST extends admission date
Karachi: The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) have extended the date for submission of admission forms (evening shift) by March 22. In a handout on Saturday, the FUUAST registrar said that the admission forms could be obtained from the relevant bank and submitted there. The news
SZABIST campus opens in T.M. Khan
Hyderabad: Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Syed Naveed Qamar has said the government is carrying forward the vision of Benazir Bhutto to provide quality education to people.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) in Tando Muhammad Khan, he said that with the opening of the campus in Tando Muhammad Khan, his dream of providing standard education to people of his constituency had come true.
This institution, he said, would meet the educational needs of people of Tando Mohammad Khan and adjoining areas.
He said that production bonus of oil and gas exploration companies was being deposited in the national exchequer for 10 years and not a penny was spent for the welfare of the local people.
He claimed that he had provided the bonus money to districts to be used for providing of better health and educational facilities.
The minister said that it was the first time that a renowned institution like SZABIST had set up a campus in interior Sindh and there was need for opening many more institutions to produce qualified people who could play important role in national development.
He said a clear guideline had been given to the management of the institution to enable it to work independently, without any interference.
Mr Qamar said that in order to provide higher education to students of lower middle class, a nominal tuition fee of Rs1,000 would be charged. A trust comprising well-to-do and honest persons of the area had been formed to help poor and needy students.
The minister said the institution would get the status of awarding degrees. He announced that a chain of citizen-based foundation schools would be set up in collaboration with British Petroleum (BP), OGDCL, PSO and other oil and gas companies. He expressed the hope that it would bring about a positive change in the life of poor people.
Earlier, principal of the Tando Mohammad Khan campus Shafique-ur-Rehman informed the minister that the campus had been established with the help of the district government and British Petroleum (BP) which had provided Rs20 million under its Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
He said that academics had been hired for the institution. Dawn
Admission to Sindh Madrassa-tul-Islam
Karachi: The process of admissions to the primary and secondary classes at the Sindh Madrassa-tul-Islam Karachi has started. This was announced by Principal of Sindh Madrassa-tul-Islam College, Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh on Saturday. He further stated that the admissions would be to Class I, VI and IX. The candidates seeking admissions can obtain registration forms by paying a sum of Rs200 as registration fee.
Karachi Literature Festival ends
Karachi: Among the other sessions on the second-and final-day of the Karachi Literature Festival Sunday evening was the launch of the book, "Look at the city from here: Karachi writings", edited by Dr Asif Aslam Farrukhi.
The book views all the changes that surfaced in Karachi, especially the cataclysmic changes that unfolded in the city in the 1990s.
The book analyses the factors behind the all-prevalent sense of insecurity in the city and also the highly positive aspects of the city that we tend to overlook as we are so overwhelmed by the crime and mayhem responsible for the violent character the city has come to assume.
"Karachi, a very cosmopolitan city, saw very many changes, including the precipitation of hatred and the bloodletting. In fact the whole country has become a cauldron of violence", Dr Farrukhi remarked.
Noted poetess and activist, Fehmida Riaz, traced the developments in the city beginning with Partition. Recounting the air of freedom and safety that Karachi once was, she recalled the intellectual groups and intellectually productive activity that was a salient feature of the city and said that the 1990s were by far the worst period in the city's history. She said that as in places like Bombay, in Karachi too the ethnic riots were most subtly engineered by the land-grab mafia.
Among other sessions, noted poet and literary figure Intizar Hussain discussed his works, followed by an enlivening question-answer session. His talk was punctuated with some very witty remarks.
Then, there was the session titled," Readings and conversation with Victoria Schofield", moderated by Ayesha (Tammy) Haq. Victoria Schofield, a close friend and associate of the late Benazir Bhutto's, recounted the days when the late Z A Bhutto was being tried for murder. She narrated how letters and notes passed between the two in those trying days when communication was made very difficult for the Bhutto family and all those connected with them by the state's Intelligence apparatus.
Reading from her memoirs, she said Benazir was endowed with a sharp sense of humour and that she embodied qualities that were the epitome of humanity.
Among the previous day's (Saturday's) programmes, the one that drew most participants and attention was the workshop on creative writing conducted by noted literary figure and an expert on Shakespeare, Dr Adrian Hussain.
Later in the evening, noted dancer, Sheema Kirmani, and her troupe presented the ballet, "The song of Moenjodaro", a trip five-thousand years back in time through a love story set against the backdrop of the city.
The two-day festival drew lots of appreciation from all participants who said that such events could go a long way in inculcating intellectual enrichment and education. Almost all those whose views were elicited thought it was such a pleasant and intellectually refreshing change after all the all-pervading violence and crime that has gripped the city. They thought that it would go a long way in eradicating the negative character the city has come to assume and opined that such events must be held with greater frequency.
Mahshood Rizvi,Director, British Council (Sindh-Balochistan) expressed the resolve to make the functional an even greater success next year and to make it a glittering annual event. The news