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Sindh teachers postings, promotions

Dreams of promotions turn to dust as teachers retire
Karachi, March 01: The delay in due promotions has become a source of frustration for associate professors in Sindh. Almost a dozen teachers working in Grade 19 have retired from their posts, while their dreams of being promoted to Grade 20 have remained unfulfilled, it has been learnt.

At least 10 teachers retired from the education sector during January and February 2010; their promotions were due since 2003, Sindh Government College Principals' Association (SGCPA) President Professor Saeed Ul Zafar Khan said. Many of them were principals of government colleges, while one was the Sindh Text Book Board chairman, Khan said, adding that each and every teacher, regardless of the current grade, deserves a promotion.

According to the quantification issued in 2003 by then then-education secretary, Rizwan Memon, there were 108 seats available in Grade 20, he said. Twenty-two posts were reserved for the Public Service Commission, Khan said, adding that the remaining were to be filled according to the Annual Confidential Report.

Fifty-two male and 34 female teachers are waiting for their promotions, and a total of 88 posts are vacant in Grade 20. The government, however, has said that 86 seats available in the next grade. Added to this is the fact that a large number of senior teachers will retire in the next two to three years, Khan said.

At another level, the delay in promotions translates into lesser remunerations in terms of pensions, because the pension amount is calculated according to the current monthly income. "Many associate professors also have aspirations of becoming professors before retiring; this not only entails professional promotions, but also some social mobility," Khan said. At the moment, only three teachers are working in Grade 20. Sindh Colleges Director General Dr Professor Rafique Siddiqi is among them, but he retired from service on Monday (today).

The SGCPA urged Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Qaim Ali Shah to summon a Board-I meeting to resolve the matter of teacher's promotion as soon as possible. The CM should issue a notification in this regard before March 31, 2010; otherwise, teachers will not be promoted into the next grade, Khan said, adding that all the required paperwork is complete, and teachers are waiting for the Board-I meeting for the formal approval of the authority. This, however, has not happened yet.

Manzoor Hussain Chisti, the former senior vice-president of the Sindh Professors and Lecturers' Association, termed this delay a bureaucratic tactic. He explained that it was not easy to accommodate teachers in Grade 20 only because of the bureaucratic attitude present in the system.

Meanwhile, Sindh Teachers Forum General Secretary Professor Adeel also said that the "bureaucratic mentality" was causing hurdles in the promotions of deserving teachers. The bureaucracy believes that teaching is not a job and teachers should not be promoted to Grade 17 or above. The senior education and literacy minister could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.

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UET issue an attempt to prolong VC tenure?
Lahore: The recent controversy over the vice-chancellorship of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore, has exposed lethargic attitude of the authorities tasked with finding suitable candidates for such important slots.

The four-year tenure of UET VC Lt Gen (r) Muhammad Akram Khan expired on Feb 27 2010 and before that, on February 26, he was asked to continue till further orders.

One wonders why the Punjab Higher Education Department could not process the case knowing well that the tenure of the UET VC was going to expire on 27 Feb.

There is a general feeling that by not initiating the process well in time, an effort has been made to prolong the stay of the official who has already been occupying the office of VC for three consecutive terms.

Nonetheless, it has also been observed that such an attitude causes great anxiety and unrest among those aspiring to work in important and prestigious office like that of the VC.

It has been a practice of the department that the senior most faculty member is appointed as the acting VC in case the tenure of the incumbent VC expires.

As per the prevailing practice, a summary is sent to the Punjab chief minister to place advertisements for the post of a VC.

After scrutiny of the applicants, the Vice-Chancellor Search Committee interviews the applicants and sends a panel of three most suitable candidates to the CM while final approval is given by the governor.

The whole process completes in a couple of months while sometimes, owing to litigation and various other reasons, the appointment of a regular VC delays.

It is pertinent to mention that the posts of the VCs of the GCU, Faisalabad, and UET, Taxila, were advertised on July 20, 2009; however, appointments of regular VCs at both the universities were yet to be made. The news

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IBCC Conference began
Karachi: A host of issues including the new education policy, transparency in examinations, schemes of studies, private cadet colleges and curricula are believed to be discussed at a two-day conference of Inter-Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) beginning here on Monday.

The 36-member IBCC comprises the chairmen of the country's 27 secondary, intermediate and technical education boards and representatives of the federal education ministry, Bureau of Curriculum, National Book Foundation, Allama Iqbal Open University, as well as the educational board of Azad Kashmir.

According to Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) Chairman Prof Anwar Ahmed Zai, the conference would form a select committee to formulate recommendations on various issues and forward them to an inter-provincial education ministers conference.

About the new education policy, he said that the policy would be discussed with respect to the guidelines for conducting examinations in a transparent manner.

Prof Zai said that the expected discussion on the scheme of studies-2006 was aimed at bringing uniformity in the curriculum after removing anomalies. He said that curriculum wing officials would be requested to give a detailed presentation in this regard.

Regarding setting up of private cadet colleges, he said that the IBCC meeting might adopt a resolution asking owners/administrators of private cadet colleges to seek prior permission from the armed forces as the prefix 'cadet' could not be used by any educational institution without permission.

Referring to the matter concerning the International University of Islamabad, sources said that the university had approached the Islamabad High Court after the IBCC had refused to issue equivalence certificate to those who had passed their intermediate-level examinations from the institution as holding of such examinations did not fall under the purview of the university. The university's plea had since been dismissed by the court and, as such, the IBCC would take up the issue afresh at the conference, the sources added.

Besides, decisions about improving sports activities and inter-boards sports events would also be discussed at the conference, the sources said.

The BIEK, which is hosting the conference, has arranged various outdoor activities for the delegates.

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KU simulation exercise
Karachi: A three-day simulation exercise at Karachi University ended after discussing core issues being confronted by the peoples of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) member states.

The issues discussed by the participants in different sessions included women empowerment, poverty alleviation, law and justice, etc.

The conference was organised jointly by the University of Karachi and the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

On the last day, the participants called for the setting up of Saarc radio and TV channels for airing programmes beneficial to the member states' populations and targeted at both in and outside the region.

The participants were of the view that this would not only create jobs but would also help sensitise people on issues needed to be addressed.

They also discussed a Saarc plan of action on information and communications technology and promotion of primary education in the region.

They agreed to promote education across the region through incentives to be offered to parents of the children from low-income groups. They proposed setting up of a Saarc education fund for the purpose.

The participants also stressed the need for eradicating gender discrimination and highlighted the importance of an exchange of ideas among education experts from the member states who, they said, should visit each other's countries in an exercise aimed at formulating effective education policies.

The final session pertained to human rights, and selected participants playing Saarc heads of states discussed the state of human rights in their respective country. They also shared a plan of action drafted with the help of their 'cabinets' on how to deal with human rights issues in their country.

"Although one-fourth of the world population lives in South Asia, the region's human rights record is poor," observed the participant from Karachi University who acted as the head of state of Bangladesh. He noted that human rights abuse was not an isolated affair but linked to armed conflicts in the region that provided a pretext to security forces to violate human rights. He said monitoring human rights abuses in strife-torn areas was difficult.

The participants stressed the need for establishing the 'South Asia Human Rights Commission" in each member state and strengthening such a body if already existed in a Saarc country.

At the end of the session, a joint communique containing the demands made during the event was issued. Dawn

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Students meet minister
Lahore: A delegation of girl students from Mastong, Balochistan, which is on a visit to Lahore these days, met Punjab Education Minister Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman on Sunday at Chief Minister's House. Additional Secretary Education Ch Akram and other high ranking officers of the department were also present.

According to a DGPR handout, the minister said the Punjab government under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was promoting national brotherhood by facilitating the people of other provinces.

The Punjab government is setting up an institute of cardiology in Quetta at a cost of Rs 2 billion, he said, adding that the government was utilising all available resources for the promotion quality education in the province.

He said the Punjab Educational Endowment would have a far-reaching impact on the improvement of education sector and polishing the talent of students.

Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman was scheduled to meet the delegates on Saturday at Quaid-e-Azam Library but he could not reach the library.

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GCU student's donation
Lahore: A former student of the Government College University (GCU) Lahore has donated Rs 500,000 to the universitys Endowment Fund Trust for paying the university fee of one deserving student every year.

According to a GCU press statement issued on Sunday, Hamza Sufi, who passed out a couple of years back, donated the money.

GCU Vice Chancellor Dr Khalid Aftab issued directions to the Endowment Fund Trust for initiating silver scholarship in the name of Hamza Sufi. The news

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