National Internship Programme placement letters

56,000 NIP interns receive placement letters
Islamabad, March 30: As many as 56,000 National Internship Programme (NIP) applicants have received their placement letters all over the country including AJK and Fata.

NIP Director General Muntazir Khan said here Monday that the Programme was designed for the benefit of young unemployed postgraduates and graduates all over the country, who had completed 16 years of education from recognized universities or degree awarding institutions including external candidates.

The scheme is intended to assist financially to fresh graduates and also to keep them engaged and interested in acquiring additional knowledge and real work life experiences, thereby facilitating their employability in the country. The programme will also benefit the government organisations facing shortage of staff in various cadres. He said that unemployed postgraduates and graduates in all fields of studies who have completed 16 years of formal education from HEC recognised universities & degree awarding institutions including external candidates; He said that this is the final batch and the process of the verification has been completed. Region-wise detail of which is as under:

Punjab total 21,966 candidates male female, Sindh total 8,611 candidates male female, NWFP total 12,621 candidates male female, Balochistan 358, AJK total 411, Gilgit Baltistan total 301, Malakand 5,648, Fata 216 and Federal ministries 34,571.

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HEC to launch second phase of ELTR
Islamabad: After the successful completion of Phase-I of the English Language Teaching Reforms (ELTR), Higher Education Commission (HEC) is starting ELTR Phase-II from April, with an initial target of training 1,400 English Language Teaching (ELT) faculty of colleges and universities across the country.

ELTR is the first language-based project, which caters to the teaching faculty of colleges along with universities. So far, 1,504 teachers of colleges and universities have been trained under Phase-I of ELTR, says a press release.

Phase-II of ELTR aims at bridging the critical gap between the faculty of English Language and Literature and grouping both in the courses of professional development. Phase-II will be implemented through long-term and short-term programmes.

Universities and colleges will be supported in establishing Self Access Centres as well as strengthening the existing English departments and research centres. Phase-II will also help upgrade the English Language proficiency of the faculty of other disciplines in Humanities and Social Sciences. In this regard, 150 long term indigenous fellowships will be offered to the college and university teachers, which range from one to two years and will include MS/MPhil in Applied Linguistics/related disciplines, Masters/Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Linguistics, TEFL, TESL and ESP.

On the other hand, 1,250 short-term CPD trainings ranging from one week to one month courses will also be offered in Computer Assisted Language Learning, Testing and Evaluation, Research Methodology and Skills, Androgogical/Pedagogical Skills (Teaching Practicum, Communication Skills), and Open and Customised Programmes in ELT related areas. The news

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Transport problems trouble students
Islamabad: Students in the federal capital are facing transport problems, as hundreds of educational institutions have no proper transport facilities.

There are about 400 educational institutions operating in the city, but transport arrangements for thousands of students are insufficient. A large number of students, coming from outside of the city, use public transport to reach their institutions.

Talking to APP many students shared their sufferings and rude behaviour of the transporters with them. Muhammad Salman said, "School/college buses ply on specific routes. My house did mot fall on a route so I have to use local transport to reach college."

Students complained that majority of the local transporters do not stop their buses on stops where students are waiting.

Salim, a college student said due to financial problems, he cannot pay full fare of bus, while transporters are reluctant to allow him to travel at concessionary fare.

He said girl students particularly have to wait for a long time to find a seat due to which they often reach their colleges/schools late.

He demanded of the authorities concerned to provide sufficient buses to the colleges, especially women colleges.

Parents also complained about the rashly driven school and college vans and buses, saying that very few institutions care for the school kids by closely monitoring the mode of transport used by their students.

The parents said pick-ups are charging Rs 1,500 per child for pick and drop whereas school buses are taking Rs 1,200 per student. Transport charges become unbearable for parents having three or four school-going children as they have to pay Rs 5,000-6,000 only on this count besides high school fees.

They demanded that transport problems need to be addressed when formulating transport policies for large cities.

Sources in the Federal Directorate of Education said that the directorate has provided 100 buses to various public sector institutions.

An expert said since the cities have become populous, the concerned authorities should chalk out a strategy for a transport infrastructure to cater the present and future needs of students. app

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Teachers' paper marking wage up by 50%
Rawalpindi: Eight educational boards of the province have decided to increase the remuneration of teachers for checking the examination papers of SSC, FA and FSc by 50 per cent. Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif decided to increase the payment of teachers, aimed to minimise the influence of cheating mafia in the process of paper marking. It is noted that teachers were paid 25-30 per cent remuneration for checking papers and that too was not paid in time. The CM decided to increase the remuneration to discourage tactics used by students for enhancing their marks by giving bribe to the checking staff. The teachers, while welcoming the decision regarding the increment in remuneration, gave credit to the successful strategy of the educational boards.

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Private school teachers demand wage law implementation
Islamabad: Teachers of private schools of Rawalpindi and Islamabad have demanded of the government to ensure the implementation of the minimum wage law in educational institutions.

Talking to APP, a group of teachers said the government employees have protection of various kinds including fixation of pay according to the rules. The teachers imparting education at private schools are deprived of many incentives and are treated like daily wage earners, he added.

A teacher of a private school in Rawalpindi, Naseem Akhtar, said she has done Masters in English from a well-known university and has served as a teacher in different schools. "I joined different private schools and kept on changing the institutes due to low wages. It is very unfortunate that the schools, opened in the less privileged areas, are paying wages ranging from Rs1,500 to Rs,5000," she said.

Another problem is that private schools receive fees during summer vacations from students but do not pay salaries to the teachers. The government should enact laws for ensuring payment of salaries to teachers during vacations, she said.

Another teacher, Saad Hassan, said teachers are doing a sacred job of enlightening the generations but are deprived of the basic facilities, the reason for which is the discriminatory educational system. The teaching profession has no more attraction for qualified people, as they prefer to adopt any other profession to earn a respectable livelihood.

Taking notice of this situation, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education, in one of its recent meetings, asked the Ministry of Education to close down those private schools, which are paying the teachers less than Rs6,000 in salary. It is observed that many private schools in the twin cities and its peripheries are not observing the law that guarantees minimum wage. The news

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Festivities mark beginning of students' week at RMC
Rawalpindi: Qirat and Naat competitions, national songs and tableau marked the beginning of the Students' Week at Rawalpindi Medical College (RMC) on Monday.

The RMC principal, Mohammad Afzal Farooqi inaugurated the event. Professor Farid Aslam Minhas, Prof Shoaib Shafi, Prof Hamid Hassan, Prof Nusrat Ara, Dr Mohammad Aslam Chaudhary, Prof Irfan Syed, Dr Nadeem Iqbal Sheikh, Prof Hina Ayesha, Dr Rai Asghar, Director Administration Dr Sajid Hameed and others also turned up at the inaugural ceremony.

The RMC students mesmerised the audience with their soulful voices during Qirat and Naat competitions. Outside students were also allowed to attend the function.

Students set up different stalls where craftswomen and students displayed handicrafts, woodwork, rugs, clothing, jewelery, accessories, interior dcors and greeting cards. Most of these items were handmade but had beautiful and innovative designs. Food stalls were also set up there.

A tug of war was held between staff and students. The students also presented national songs and tableaus.

Basketball, volleyball, football, cricket and hockey matches would be played between staff and students. A basketball match would be played between final year and fourth year students on Tuesday at 9:00am, Students Council spokesman said and added students would also participate in athletics competition.

Addressing the ceremony, the RMC principal and Allied Hospitals chief, Dr Afzal Farooqi, said youth was the most precious asset of a society and the nation's present and future rested on them. He said that today the country was faced with multifaceted problems which were damaging its social and religious grandeur. "This is due to the fact that we have not grown morally," he said.

He said, "Morally we lagged behind because we do not pay attention to our religion which is embodiment of morals. I urge upon you to follow the motto of RMC to accomplish the objectives of excelling in society."

He was of the view that medical sciences had witnessed enormous development in recent years and it was important for young medicos to work hard and keep pace with it. It is important to be mentally and physically fit to meet the ever increasing demand to become a successful medical professional, he said.

He said that RMC had always been on the forefront in all walks of life. "The RMC students have always come up to the best expectations of time and performed in all spheres of life," he said.

"I assure you that I will extend maximum support and provide facilities for curricular and decent extra-curricular activities. I expect you to observe 'Unity, Faith and Discipline', the golden principles of Quaid-i-Azam," Dr Afzal Farooqi said. Dawn

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Workshop for girl students aspiring to join public sector
Islamabad: The Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP) of Ministry of Women Development organised a two-day workshop titled 'Interviewing Techniques and Preliminary Information of CSS Examination' at the Career Development Centre established at Islamabad College for Girls (ICG), F-6/2, to encourage and guide girl students aspiring to join public sector.

The workshop was part of the initiatives taken by the Career Development Centre (CDC) to facilitate girl students in choosing the right career that matches their capabilities and aptitudes. Established by the GRAP in collaboration with Ministry of Education, these CDCs are functioning in three post-graduate colleges at federal level since January 2010.

These centres are aimed at providing guidance to the female students and encourage them to join public sector employment which is one of the four major areas of reforms of GRAP, which is the largest project of Ministry of Women Development (MoWD) striving to address the gender gaps existing in Pakistani society by promoting women's access to economic, political, and social empowerment at national, provincial and district level. In order to fulfil the purpose, under one of the interventions "Enabling Induction of Women in Public Sector," the activity was arranged in Senior Library of ICG F-6/2.

Students and teachers of MSC Psychology Department attended the workshop. Muhammad Atif provided useful tips to the students regarding CSS exams on the first day of the workshop. He delivered handouts to students regarding optional and compulsory subjects required for CSS examination and briefed the students about grouping of optional subjects according to the score. The second day revolved around sessions on interviewing techniques.

Deputy Director General Ministry of Health Saad S Khan briefed the students about qualities judged during the course of interviews conducted during the CSS exams. He said that these mainly include proactive behaviour, professionalism, research and positive approach. He also explained positive and negative points that should be kept in mind by an interviewee while sitting in front of interview panel. At the end, the participants displayed role-play.

Addressing the concluding session, Project Director GRAP Rehana Hashmi said that the CDCs will be very beneficial for the students in terms of providing career counselling and guidance to students. Considering the interest of students, she said CDCs currently operating in three colleges plan to expand activities in other colleges and universities. Rehana encouraged girls towards public sector jobs and informed them about the efforts of MoWD to address gender gaps in public sector employment.

She asked for the recommendations of students with respect to government jobs. Students demanded that more facilities and resources should be provided to provide enabling environment for the women in public sector jobs.

In her opening remarks, Principal ICG F-6/2 Professor Shaista Pirzada said that the preliminary information regarding the CSS examination and interview techniques are very beneficial for the students at this stage. At the end, certificates were distributed among the participants. In her concluding remarks, Vice Principal of ICG and focal person of Career Development Centre Robina Maqbool said that the workshop remained very informative for students in terms of CSS examination information and interview techniques. "Such events can be helpful in leading students towards right career path," she said.

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Rootsians join millions for Earth Hour
Islamabad: Students of the Roots School System observed Earth Hour here on Saturday night and joined the record 4,000 cities and 125 countries in the fourth Annual Earth Hour organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The DHA Campus of Roots School was decorated with 'diyas' and students were asked to light candles when the lights were put off between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The students were enthusiastic and brimming with energy when the lights were dimmed.

They, along with Roots School System Director Khadija Omair, enjoyed the one hour amidst the candlelight and sang national songs like 'Hai Jazba Junoon,' 'Dil Dil Pakistan,' 'Sohni Dharti' and 'Hum Hain Pakistani' symbolically joining millions across the globe for an event which was meant to call attention to the global climate change.

The event was attended by the representatives of WWF and covered live by Geo TV. In what was the largest public demonstration in history, hundreds of millions of people around the world turned off their lights for one hour for a cleaner, safer and more secure future for the planet. The news

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