Sindh colleges new fee structure

A cut in Sindh colleges fees
Karachi, March 06: The Sindh Education Department's move to slash college fees substantially from September will be widely welcomed.

Given the fact that the cuts are considerable - 42 per cent for science students and 41 per cent for the humanities group - the new fee structure should provide tangible relief to those studying in government institutions.

Over the years the fees in colleges had been revised upwards although the quality of education provided was on the decline.

There had been protests from those affected but to no avail. Only youth from families with modest incomes now enrol in government educational institutions since private colleges providing better quality education at a higher cost have mushroomed in all urban centres of the province.

Hence the government's move to reduce fees will certainly provide relief to those who need it.

However, the fee structure is not the only problem faced by students enrolled in government colleges. The poor academic standard of these institutions is something that should worry the education department.

This also has financial implications for the students who are forced to spend hefty amounts on the tuition centres where they go because there is very little teaching being done in the colleges they are enrolled in.

The high rate of absenteeism among teachers strengthens this impression. What is more disquieting is that the teachers who should be giving their best to their students in college are concentrating on those enrolled in tuition centres for additional charges.

Hopefully now that the education department has responded positively to the public's needs, it will also look into the issue of academic standards at government colleges.

There is a need for drastic reform. It is also important that the lowering of fees does not become a pretext to cut back on the already inadequate facilities provided to the colleges. Dawn

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FUUAST exams postponed, results announced
Karachi: The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (Fuuast) has postponed the LLB and LLM examinations which were scheduled to begin on Saturday.

An announcement to this effect said on Friday that the exams would now commence from March 13 and a new scheduled would be notified soon.

The university also declared the results of MSc final (microbiology) semester IV, batch-I, 2008 (morning) and semester-I, batch-II (morning); BS (statistics) semester-II, batch-II, 2009 (morning); and BS (zoology) semester IV, batch-I, 2008 (morning). APP

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KU research cell
Karachi: The University of Karachi (KU) has established a Research and Documentation Cell for the self-employed Women of Karachi that will record the details of the self-employed women and maintain the Directory to facilitate coordination with each other and bring more women to this circle.

Centre of Excellence for Womens Studies (CEWS) and Association for the Development of Women (ADW) have coordinated to establish the cell. The news

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Hamdard University degrees
Karachi: The 14th convocation of the Hamdard University was held Friday in which 1,319 students were awarded degrees in their respective disciplines.

The convocation was held at the university's library - Bait al-Hikmah, and presided over by the University's Chancellor Senator SM Zafar. In the first session 53 degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), 64 degrees of Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and 65 degrees of Bachelor of Engineering (Textile Engineering) were awarded. While in the second session one PhD to Rais Ahmed Samdani, five M Phil (Social Sciences), five MA (Education), 35 M Phil (Eastern Medicine), 33 Bachelor of Eastern , four (BEMS - condensed course) 28 (Bachelor of Law) and 42 (BBA) were given to the passing graduates.

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PBSA chief commissioner
Karachi: Senior officials at the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association (PBSA), Sindh chapter, are crying foul on the appointment of Lt Gen. (Retd) Syed Pervez Shahid, an old friend of President Asif Ali Zardari, as the new chief commissioner of the association, The News has learnt.

A source in the PBSA told The News on condition of anonymity that the federal education minister should be appointed as the chief scout commissioner as per the traditions of the association. However, he added, this was ignored in the posting of Lt Gen Shahid. He said that the first chief commissioner after the creation of Pakistan was the then federal education minister, Fazlur Rahman.

"This tradition had been going on until August last year when Lt Gen. Shahid was appointed for the post," he said.

While talking to The News, Shahid admitted that he was appointed by President Zardari and that they used to study in the same school.

Moreover, the new chief has announced that the PBSA would also recruit girls along with boys, despite the fact that the institution of Girls Guides existed with active participation of girls, the source said. He added that Lt Gen Shahid had also suggested that the name of the PBSA should be changed to Pakistan Scouts Association (PSA) in order to include girls.

The source said that the main concern about this step was on moral grounds because it would be against the cultural and religious traditions of Pakistan. Besides, only a few families would allow their daughters to join Jamborees, away from home, in the company of males, he added.

"According to the rules and regulations of the PBSA, the name of the organisation could only be changed if the proposal goes through the National Council, Education Department, Law Ministry and National Assembly," the source informed.

It is also pertinent to note that the new commissioner has also initiated a new outfit called Jinnah Scouts that is supposed to help those boys and girls, who are not enrolled in schools, with food, money and uniforms under the 'Shelter School Programme'. However, some reliable sources told The News that the provision of these facilities to a large number of students was not possible.

However, the story does not end here. The senior officials have shown concern over yet another proposal by Lt Gen. Shahid, which stipulates awarding 10 additional marks in Higher Secondary Certificate Examination (HSC) to those students who join the PBSA. The sources said that the officials, who had expressed concern in this regard, believed it would harm the spirit of scouting as students would join it for getting extra marks rather than with a desire to become good scouts. The sources said that this would pave the way for nepotism and corruption.

However, Lt Gen. Shahid defended his suggestion regarding opening the PBSA doors for girls. "Gender bias has ended all over the world and I see no reason why it should stay in Pakistan," he told The News. He also pointed out that girls were already present in the PBSA and it would not make much difference if the name of the PBSA was changed to PSA. "There were 300 female scouts in Karachi Jamboree held recently," he added.

"I attended a SAF camp in Gurgaon, near Delhi, with 14 boys and 14 girl scouts. Everything went smoothly. The girls had separate quarters supervised by women officials," the PBSA chief said. The proposal, according to him, would go to the National Assembly after passing through various committees and the democratic process would be followed.

However, Lt Gen. Shahid agreed that all the chief scout commissioners had been federal education ministers in the past . "I did not ask for the job. I was picked by President Asif Ali Zardari. I was in grade 12 in Petaro Cadet College and he (Asif Zardari) was in grade 7," he added. Daily times

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College students' week
Karachi: The students' week is being held at the Abdullah Government College for Women Nazimabad from March 8 to 11. The competitions such Husn-e-Naat-o-Qirat, debate and other co-curricular activities will be organised during the week. The news

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