Mathematics teachers shortage

Shortage of math teachers in public schools decried
Rawalpindi, March 03: The students enrolled in several public sector schools of the Rawalpindi district have expressed concern over the shortage of mathematics teachers in their institutions affecting their education badly.

On condition of anonymity, some students and their parents alleged that dozens of high, elementary and secondary schools of the Punjab government in the Rawalpindi district are being run without mathematics teachers. Due to the absence of mathematics teachers, both male and female students are poor in the subject, they said.

According to them, the heads of the concerned institutions have time and again brought the matter into the knowledge of concerned authorities, including the city district government, executive director education (EDO), but mathematics teachers could not be appointed as yet. Parents are forced to hire the services of private teachers for their children against huge amount as tuition fees.

The students as well as parents besides the heads of different educational institutions have demanded of the provincial government, city district government, Rawalpindi, EDO and other concerned authorities to take immediate measures for filling the vacant posts of mathematics teachers in schools.

Education Directorate (Rawalpindi) Director (Administration) Khalid Javed Rehan rejected the allegation levelled by students as well as their parents that dozens of Punjab government educational institutions are being run without mathematics teachers. He said that there was shortage of 95 mathematic teachers in different government schools of the Rawalpindi district. According to him, the directorate has recruited 91 mathematics teachers, 71 male and 20 female, against 95 vacant posts. The remaining posts of four mathematics teachers would be filled in a couple of months. The Punjab government is fully aware of the issue and applications are being invited for filling the vacant posts, he added.

He said that the schools based in Murree, Kotli Sattian and Kahuta are also facing shortage of mathematics teachers, which would be filled within two months. Besides this, the Directorate of Education and the city district government have converted 60 Urdu medium government high schools into English medium both male and female institutions (30 each).

There are 364 Urdu medium educational institutions in the Rawalpindi district. The remaining 304 institutions would also be converted into English medium by June 2010, he added.

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"Salam, I have done M.Sc in Mathematics from University of Peshawar and have more than 6 years teaching experience. I am looking for a teaching position in Rawalpindi or Islamabad. Thanks, Shah Nawaz Khan"
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AIOU announces Intermediate exam results
Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) on Tuesday announced the results of final exams of Intermediate programmes for Spring 2009.

According to Controller examination AIOU, result intimation cards are being sent by post to students at their addresses.

Students who do not receive the result intimation cards up to March 5, are advised to contact their nearest Regional Office or Superintendent (Result) Examinations in the main campus of University in Islamabad personally or on his telephone number 051-9057319 & 9057308 to get the duplicate result cards. The students can also download their results from the university website The news

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FDE teachers' salaries
Islamabad: The ministry of education has decided to release the salaries of 175 contractual teachers held for the last eight months by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE).

The ministry also directed the FDE to make a summary for regularisation of the services of those teachers who have acquired professional qualifications including BEd and CT.

In a meeting between the officials of the FDE and the ministry of education on Monday, it was agreed that all those contractual teachers who had acquired professional qualifications would be regularised in BS 14.

"The decision would be implemented in phases. Initially, the salaries of 175 English teachers serving in various federal schools will be released followed by that of science teachers," said an official of the education ministry. Dawn

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Young madrassa students
Islamabad: Youngsters in 'madaris' are more vulnerable than the general population of youth due to the fact that the majority of these young people live away from their families, are very young (mostly in teenage) and have less knowledge about their body protection, health and hygiene.

These observations were shared at Life Skills Based Education Forum titled 'Bridging the Gap' organised by the World Population Foundation (WPF) to capture the learning of its initiative in the 'madaris' of Quetta and Peshawar.

In 2009, the WPF introduced its Life Skills Based Education (LSBE) initiative in non-formal education systems, i.e. 'madaris' of NWFP and Balochistan, to improve the quality of life of 'madaris' youth by equipping them with relevant skills, knowledge and attitudes to adopt safe, health-seeking behaviours and protect them from abuse, exploitation, drugs and diseases.

During the first year of the project, a total of 1,355 students, including 623 male and 732 female, were imparted life skills education.

To make this initiative a success not only did WPF partner with local NGOs of NWFP and Balochistan, but also took on board religious scholars (a Rahber Committee comprising 12 'ulema' from 12 shortlisted 'madaris' in Peshawar and Quetta was formulated) with whose help both teachers' resource materials, as well as students' workbooks were formulated to meet the unique needs of 'madaris' youth.

The religious scholars had reviewed this curriculum and facilitated in enriching the text with supporting evidence in the form of Quranic verses and authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The members of the Rahber committee were trained as master trainers while a total of 32 teachers (16 male and 16 female) each from Peshawar and Quetta were trained to impart LSB education in selected 'madaris'. Moreover, 'madaris' were also assisted in the improvement of their physical infrastructure while 11 medical camps were organised in both Peshawar and Quetta, benefiting 1,168 (472 male and 696 female) students.

Religious scholars from across Pakistan took part in the learning forum and reinforced the needs of providing life skills based education to young people in 'madaris' to bridge the gap that exists among various education systems. The way forward recommended by many of the participants was to replicate the programme in various 'madaris' in various districts all across Pakistan as well as to include it in the curriculum of various systems including Wafaq-ul-Madaris and Rabt-ul-Madaris.

Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman, Mohtamim Madrassa tul Rashad from Quetta, strongly endorsed Life Skills Based Education and emphasised the need to upscale the project in 'madaris' in other parts of the country.

WPF Programme Manager Cyma Ashraf, while sharing the experience from the past one year, explained that opposite to the assumptions of many, the heads of 'madaris' in Quetta and Peshawar had embraced the idea of life skills education in Pakistan with open arms and had offered all possible support for its smooth implementation.

In the end, WPF Country Representative Qadeer Baig expressed the resolve to upscale the initiative to other provinces of Pakistan and hoped that youngsters studying in 'madaris' would receive equal opportunities to learn behaviours, attitudes and skills that would benefit them all through their lives.

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RMC 8th convocation
Rawalpindi: As many as 466 graduates of academic sessions 2007 and 2008 were awarded degrees at the eighth convocation of the Rawalpindi Medical College (RMC) here on Tuesday.

College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) President Professor Dr. Zafarullah Chaudhry was the chief guest and University of Health Sciences (Lahore) Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Malik Hussain Mubbashar presided over the convocation.

Medals were awarded to the best graduates and shields and certificates were distributed among RMC students of 2007 and 2008, who got distinctions and topped the college or UHS. Hina Hafeez Abbasi was declared the best graduate of RMC for the year 2007, as she topped the UHS three times and got five gold medals during her stay at the RMC. Umair Saeed was declared the best graduate for 2008 for topping the UHS and RMC five times in his five-year stay in the college, bagging 12 gold medals and securing 16 distinctions during the course.

Speaking on the occasion, RMC Principal Professor Dr. Muhammad Mussadiq Khan stressed on the need for modest behaviour, attitude, improved communication and true professionalism. He said that knowledge without integrity might become harmful for the social fabric. "Doctors must understand that to have real honour, they need to further improve their attitude, behaviour and professionalism," he said. He also stressed on the need for change in the curriculum of medical education in Pakistan.

The chairman of the organising committee of the eighth RMC convocation, Professor Dr. Faisal Bhopal, while highlighting the establishment and progression of the college, said that the RMC has attained an honourable position among public sector medical education institutions of Pakistan and could proudly put forward its achievements both in academic and clinical fields.

He said that the RMC has established the departments of telemedicine and continued medical education. It has recently established a mother and child healthcare centre to provide specialists' cover to the District Headquarters Hospital, Chakwal, and Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Talagang, along with monthly visits to 12 basic health units (BHUs) and fortnightly visits to three rural healthcare centres (RHCs) of the Chakwal district.

From a humble beginning in 1974, the RMC has now become one of the most renowned medical colleges of not only the Punjab province but also Pakistan, and is now making its mark among world medical institutions. A total of 31 batches comprising 6,583 doctors have completed graduation from here during the last 35 years, including about 600 nationals belonging to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Nepal, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The RMC students had topped Punjab University more than 14 times and secured distinctions in various subjects more than 150 times. The RMC enjoys full recognition by the medical councils of different countries, including Royal Colleges of UK, CPSP and also by the World Health Organisation.

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NISE painting exhibition
Islamabad: Tuesday was indeed a big day for 15-year-old dyslexia patient, Hamza, as his paintings were exhibited in first of its kind exhibition at the National Institute of Special Education (NISE).

Muhammad Hamza Khan, who is not able to read and spell as normal boys, fully utilised colours and his imagination to convey his feelings and thoughts in an extraordinary way. Every painting was a combination of hope and frustration over the social attitude towards such patients.

The intelligent use of colours and images was depictive of the amazing talent the teenage boy possesses who instead of giving up, struggled to survive the social isolation majority of such patients suffer at the hands of society. Though painted without the supervision of any art teacher, the depth of vision and use of colours in all 21 paintings stunned the visitors who generously appreciated the hard work done by the child. They also praised the boy for his urge to do something extraordinary despite his disability.

The exhibition was organised by the National Institute of Special Education, Ministry of Social Welfare, mainly to break the silence about the illness that affects more than 10 per cent of our population.

Federal Minister for Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis Syed Khursheed Shah was the chief guest on the occasion. The minister took keen interest in paintings especially in the message conveyed by Hamza through his work. He urged media to create awareness about the issue among general public especially parents and teachers so that they become able to identify the problem at right time. "Intellectual debate in media can generate discussion in the parliament, which can lead to formulation of a policy about the issue affecting a large portion of the population," he pointed out.

Considering Hamza's interest in mechanics, the minister gave him admission in auto mechanical course in one of the Skill Development Institute under his ministry. Agreeing to the fact that the problem cannot be solved with these small gestures, he said that comprehensive policy is required to address the issue in proper way. Talking about special seats for disabled in the parliament, he said that such decision would require change in the constitution.

"The way of contesting general election is always open for such people," he said adding that providing special seats will mean encouraging every segment of the society to demand special seats.

The proud mother of the child and consultant at the Ministry of Social Welfare for Dyslexia, Shazia Khan said that majority of Dyslexia patients suffer silently through out their life, as society is unaware of the fact that with special environment and attention, such children can live normal lives. "People are not even aware of existence of such problem," she mentioned. She said that Dyslexia is a learning disorder that manifests itself, as a difficulty with reading, spelling and in some cases mathematics.

"The disease is curable and is separate from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing. It is unfortunate that due to lack of awareness, such people are treated as mentally retarded in our society," she said. She said that the biggest manifestation of the existence of Dyslexia is the child using his left hand or writing words in opposite way.

To explain her point, she showed one of the paintings of her son in which he wrote the name of Allah in opposite direction. She said that intensity of the problem ranges form 5 per cent to 100 per cent.

"With a little knowledge about the disease, a mother can judge whether her child is suffering from the disease or not." Deputy Director National Special Education Centre for Mentally Retarded Children Zia A Beg said that the institute is conducting special classes for such children.

"We have got 22 such students in our students." He said that such children are more imaginative and talented than normal people. "Many big names who did wonders in their fields also struggled through this problem such as Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and Tom Cruise." The news

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