Punjab education boards English paper again

English paper again: Minister admits failure of e-system
Lahore, Mar 09: Punjab Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman conceded on Tuesday the failure of the newly-introduced online examination registration system in all eight education boards in the province currently holding the secondary school annual examinations for 2011.

At a press conference, the minister said the boards would advertise and invite applications from the candidates who could not sit for the English paper (compulsory) held on Monday and fresh examination would be held for such candidates.

He claimed that there were a few hundred students in Punjab who could not appear for the paper. He said the system would be improved so that no complaints were received in the coming intermediate exams.

The minister also admitted that all the eight education boards had issued roll number slips manually to some 17,000 students across Punjab.

The minister flanked by Higher Education Secretary Haseeb Athar and Lahore board chairman Prof Dr Akram Kashmiri, said the online system had been introduced to help the candidates so that all of them would not be required to visit boards' offices first to get admission forms and then to submit those to get roll number slips.

He said the online system would also help root out the "booti mafia" (helping candidates pass papers through unfair means) in examinations. He, however, failed to explain that how the online system would root out the usage of unfair means in examination halls. He said the online system would allot examination centres to supervisory staff and offer answer-scripts having bar codes.

The minister said the successful implementation of online system and rooting out of booti mafia would lead to the end of entrance tests for admission to medical, engineering and other professional educational institutions.

When asked, the minister could not explain why proper pre-testing of the online system was not conducted and why manual system was not retained along with the online system. The news

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No-go areas around exam centres
Lahore: The Punjab government, in exercise of powers vested under section 144 (6) Criminal Procedure Code 1898, has directed the Administrators and District governments of Sahiwal, Okara, Pakpattan, Sargodha, Khushab, Mianwali, Multan, Lodharan, Khanewal, Vehari, Dera Ghazi Khan, Layyah, Bahawalnagar, Jhang, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Nankana Sahib, Kasur, Attock, Jhelum, Chakwal, Sialkot, Mandi Bahauddin and Narowal to extend their orders pertaining to the conduct of the Secondary School Certificate Annual Examination 2011 respectively till the termination of the examination.

According to these orders, no person other than the bonafide candidate of the said examination, holding Role Number slip issued by the Chairman of Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education for the said examination or a member of Supervisory Staff, shall enter within the area of 100 yards of the examination centres in the revenue limits of above mentioned districts.

Similarly, no person, or bonafide candidate or a member of Supervisory Staff shall carry Guidebook or solved paper within the area of 100 yards of the examination centres before or during the examination hours within the revenue limits of above mentioned districts.

This step has been taken in view of the fact that in these districts outsider elements are likely to create untoward situation in and outside the examination halls and disturb the public peace and tranquillity. The nation

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PU announces results
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) on Tuesday announced the results of different examinations.

According to a press statement, the exams are: Master of Information Technology, Second Year, 1st Annual 2010, Diploma in Laryngology and Otology, Part-I, Supplementary 2007 - Annual 2009, BS (Hons) Home Economics, Part-I (First Year), 2nd Annual 2010, MBBS, Final Prof (NROS), Annual Exam 2010, MA Special Education (Regular Programme), Session 2008-10 (annual), MA Special Education (Afternoon Programme), Session 2008-10 (annual), MA Special Education (Evening Programme), Session 2008-10 (annual), LLM (Final), Annual Exam 2009 and MPhil Sociology, Semester System, Session 2006-08.

Detailed results are available at the PU website www.pu.edu.pk

BA/BSc date sheet
The Punjab University (PU) has issued the written and practical examination date sheet of BA/BSc Annual Examination, 2011. Written exam will commence from April 7 and conclude on May 2 while the practical exam will commence from May 9 and conclude on June 21. The date sheet is available at the varsity website www.pu.edu.pk . The news

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Student in lock-up for teacher's sake
Islamabad: A student's plan to teach a man a lesson for allegedly harassing his female teacher landed him in the lock-up on Tuesday, police said.

With a shawl over him, the police spotted the student roaming in street 20 of sector F-11/2, which housed an office of Tajikistan embassy, with a wheel-spanner in his hand. During search, police also recovered a loaded 30-bore pistol from him. He was taken into custody and shifted to Shalimar police station.

Police said the student, AY, son of an influential person, is a second-year student in H-8 college.

He told the police that one of his female teachers complained that a man roaming around the college has been harassing her for the last couple of weeks.

The student said he and his college friends warned the man but he continued to visit the college.

The student told the police that when on Tuesday his teacher again complained about the man stalking her, he decided to deal with 'strictly'.

He said he was planning to visit the man at his home in Saidpur village when the police arrested him.

The police called the student's teacher and the man to the police station to verify his statement. Later, he was booked for carrying illegal arm. The student will be produced in the court on Wednesday. Dawn

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Riphah University clarifies news item
Islamabad: The Riphah International University has clarified a news story published on March 5, 2011 titled 'Riphah University introducing courses not recognised by HEC'.

The press release stated that the university is chartered by the federal government and its degree programmes are designed and implemented in accordance with the recommendations and guidelines of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and concerned regulatory bodies.

It is offering many programmes under different faculties. Under Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences it offers MBBS, BDS PharmD and MPhil in Basic Sciences, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and post Professional DPT. The university has also established a quality assurance cell to ensure compliance of all HEC guidelines and directions to undertake/ offer any academic programme.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Post Professional DPT were also designed and implemented according to HEC guidelines. Many other universities in the private as well as in the Public sector are running same programmes. HEC has established the National Curriculum Revision Committee (NCRC) to review and approve physical therapy curriculum. The committee has unanimously approved that the first professional degree for physical therapy should be DPT (Five years) and all the universities should upgrade their programs gradually from BSPT to DPT to fulfil the national and international needs of the physical therapy professionals and current practice of physical therapy to serve the community better. Riphah International University was the first to upgrade this programme. Other universities also followed it.

So there is no ambiguity about the recognition and the level of education of these programmes. The description of both programmes include that the Doctor of Physical Therapy is a clinical degree with the most advance and evidence based subjects to fulfil the national and international needs and scope of current practice in physical therapy. The level of the degree for equivalency purposes will be a graduate degree like Doctor of Pharmacy or MBBS (17 years of schooling) in Pakistan.

A Post Professional Doctor of Physical therapy (PP-DPT) is a post professional degree (equivalent to 18 years of schooling/MPhil according to HEC criteria), a higher-level qualification after a four years BSPT degree programme, offering more intense clinical training and preparing graduates for higher-level work and better career outcomes. Graduates will possess the most current knowledge in the field of physical therapy. Three batches already graduated with this degree and they had been received their equivalency of 18 years of schooling/MPhil from HEC.

Saadia Khalid adds: The clarification issued by the Riphah International University includes nothing new. All these points were mentioned in the news story. The university has failed to answer the actual issue being raised in the story i.e. whether the degrees of students would be recognised as doctorate or not?

Secondly, the university needs to correct its record. The National Curriculum Revision Committee (NCRC) of the HEC has reviewed the curriculum for the BS Programme of Physical Therapy, not for the doctorate programme. Moreover, the revised curriculum is yet to be distributed. 'The News' stands by its story.

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Fight against terrorists in Fata & schools
Not many Pakistanis are aware that a major fight is going on against terrorists throughout the length and breadth of Pakistan. However, the biggest sufferers are the people of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). These people are in the direct firing range of extremists and militants, who are totally ruthless and cold blooded. The militants have slaughtered hundreds of people and otherwise killed thousands of them. Even women and children are not spared. Schools are blown up and tribal elders indiscriminately targeted. Also, people have been forced to leave their homes.

While the armed forces and police are valiantly tackling the menace and sacrificing their lives, the most crucial aspect of the overall struggle against the militancy is the destruction of education system in Fata. According to figures, 447 out of 638 schools in South Waziristan have been fully destroyed or partially damaged by Taliban militants. On top of it, the dropout rate in public sector primary schools stands at 69 percent, which by all means is a lot. Overall, the literacy rate in Fata is about 16 percent while among the women population only three percent is literate. On the other hand, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, militants have blown up around 282 schools, which has affected 13,000 female and 18,000 male students. The attacks against schools are continuing with impunity.

Education is one issue that is most important for all human beings. It provides nations a chance to improve the destiny of their people and rise from abyss of poverty and violence. It is the pathway to prosperity and affluence. Unfortunately, it is education that has been targeted in Fata, an area that was already drowned in squalor and poverty.

According to a survey conducted by The New America Foundation and Terror Free Tomorrow in Fata areas, while nine out of every 10 people oppose the US military pursuing al-Qaeda and the Taliban in their region, nearly 70 per cent of Fata residents instead want the Pakistani military alone to fight Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in the tribal areas. In fact, the figure supporting the Pakistan Army could be even higher.

It is the job of the government to see that schools destroyed by Taliban are rebuilt and the educational process in Fata continues without hindrance. In this regard, ordinary Pakistanis should also help. This could be through a campaign launched by prominent Pakistanis who could collect funds and books for the affected Fata children. While we should fully support our armed forces and police who are selflessly engaging the terrorists, let's spread awareness of the plight of Fata children and launch a campaign in this regard. -By Abdul Zahoor Khan Marwat

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Urdu declamation contest held at IIU
Islamabad: The International Islamic University (IIU) arranged an Urdu Declamation Contest in collaboration with the First Women Bank Limited to mark International Women's Day.

Director Institute of Global Learning, California State University, Dr. Rubina Bhatti delivered a lecture on 'Gender issues in global political economy with a special emphasis on Pakistan'.

Dr. Rubina Bhatti also chaired a special contest on the topic of 'Women's economic empowerment and its role in the national growth and development'.

Speaking on the occasion, she said that economic empowerment of women is pre-requisite for development of any nation and Pakistan is no exception at all. She expressed her satisfaction over women becoming more and more active in national development of Pakistan.

Professor Qaisra Alvi highlighted the significance of Islamic teachings in order to improve the status of women. She said that Islam has given all rights to women.

Female faculty members, administrative officers, staff members and a large number of female students attended the event.

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Students learn modern concepts of robotics
Islamabad: Innovation 2011, an inspiring robotics workshop, was organised by the NUST School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering (NUST-SMME) for high school & university students.

Students from Rawalpindi-Islamabad attended the workshop held on three consecutive Saturdays and Sundays. Students were introduced to modern day concepts of robotics and their applications in various facets of life. They learnt use of advanced sensor technologies such as Sonar, Ladars, Infrared and Vision based sensors.

Dr Yasar Ayaz and Emad ud Din, faculty experts in robotics, were the instructors for the training. Faculty of NUST-SMME also exhibited their potential as an instrument in building resource for the advancement in robotic technologies in Pakistan.

Students demonstrated their skills. Rector NUST Engr. Muhammad Asghar accompanied by principals from participating schools, faculty and students from NUST and respective schools were present. Rector NUST emphasised the importance of innovation and the potential of Pakistani youth to explore new horizons through knowledge of modern day technologies and their implementation to support local industries through value addition and design improvements.

In the end prizes were distributed to the winners. Principal NUST-SMME Dr Abdul Ghafoor applauded the students for their keen participation and thanked all the guests including parents of the students for gracing the event. The news

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