Online system costs students dearly
Rawalpindi, Mar 07: Hundreds of students faced hardships on Saturday in the first paper of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) held under the Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE) thanks to the inefficiency of the board in maintaining its website for timely delivery of roll numbers to the students via online system.
Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE) Controller Examinations Professor Abdul Sattar Ramay admitted that students and parents faced great tension after not getting the roll number slips. He said "We have issued a fresh notification and asked all superintendents of examination centres to allow students to appear in exams and we have issued manual roll number slips to them. All staff would remain in the board office even on Sunday to distribute manual roll number slips to the students so that they can easily appear in the next papers," he added. He held out the assurance that students would not miss their papers.
The students on the other hand were wandering as how could they will be able to appear in the examination without roll number slips.
Students accompanied by their parents complained that the paper had already started in the examination centre and they had not even got the roll number slip. And some of the students even claimed that they had already got their roll numbers, but they don't have their pictures on them.
Muhammad Shafiq, a student said: "I did not get my roll number slip therefore I cannot appear in the exam. I am here at the board office to collect my manual roll number slip, but I am not sure whether I will be allowed to sit in the exam or not."
Uroosa Tariq, another student said: "I could not appear in examination, as I did not have my roll number slip. She questioned as why Punjab government introduced online system, which has failed and spoiled the future of students like her.
It merits mentioning here that around three weeks ago published a story that students could face problems due to online system introduced by the Punjab government.
At that time Chaudhry Abdul Hafeez Chairman Rawalpindi Board agreed that students were facing hardships with the online system introduced for the first time. He said that he had received several complaints that net cafes were looting students and poor parents. Secondly some heads of institutions were charging hefty amounts for attestation of documents, he said. He assured that he would take strict action against such persons. He said that online form was a new system, which was introduced for the first time, therefore, majority of students were not aware of it.
A key post officer in Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE) on condition of anonymity said on Saturday that software system used by the board was outdated and website had been blocked for several weeks.
It has been learnt that the link for obtaining roll number slips is not available on the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education website (http://www.biserwp.edu.pk/).
Instead a separate website (www.bisephase1.com) was launched, where students could fill a form by proving their basic data and get their roll number slips, which is far complicated and on this website there are numerous links along with roll number slips obtaining link, which is quite inconvenient. It also merits mentioning here that the website (www.bisephase1.com) does not seem to be a government run website.
The question arises as whether the delay in receiving roll number slips was because of these two different websites and whether the students were aware of the fact that they could obtain their roll number slips from www.bisephase1.com or they continued their hectic search at (http://www.biserwp.edu.pk/) without any success.
Normally general public puts a query in search engine by giving some information about the respective department. But when one puts a query regarding Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Rawalpindi, the search engine takes the search to the address (http://www.biserwp.edu.pk/) where one can only find old results and no other data is available on the site and there is no mention of roll number slips of admission forms on this website. The newsYour Comments
Roll number slips keep students confused
Rawalpindi: Worried students and parents spent Saturday to get corrected their faulty roll number slips issued under the new online registration system of the Punjab government.
Though the Secondary School Certificate exams started on Saturday, errors in roll number slips forced the candidates to visit the offices of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Rawalpindi, for correcting them.
Examination centres in far off areas, students receiving more than one roll number slip, different photos, and some even not getting the document to appear in the exams were some of the glitches that the online system produced.
A board official termed the weekend a 'breathing space' for the authorities to correct many 'wrongs'. On Saturday papers for elective subjects â€" Arabic and Persian â€" were held. But on Monday over 122,000 students will sit for the compulsory paper of English.
Anila Bibi received two roll number slips, with one saying that her exams will be held in the morning and the other wanted her to appear in the evening shift. "I visited the board's office to know in which shift I have to appear for the English paper. It's in the morning."
Mohammad Usman Khan, another candidate, said he spent Rs200 at an internet café first for filling the online form and then for downloading the roll number slip. "But it did not contain my photo. I have to be at the board's office to get the new roll number slip."
Discussions with BISE officials revealed the project's control under one man in Lahore causing confusion and trouble for the students and parents, most of them caught unawares about the online registration. "It is difficult for a matriculation student to understand the online system. The higher officials were requested not to impose the system in one go," an official, requesting anonymity, said.
Many students registered themselves online more than once. There are about 125,000 candidates but the board had received over 200,000 applications for the SSC exams. Many students did not send the hard copies of their forms with bank receipts after getting themselves registered online.
As the online data is controlled by Dr Majid Naeem in Lahore and the nine examination boards having no control on the data of their respective candidates, errors could not be fixed timely, the official said.
In an effort to control the situation, BISE Controller Examination Abdul Sattar Ramay said the board chairman had issued a notification to all supervisors not to stop any candidate from taking the exams.
The hardcopies of roll number slips have been sent to the examination centres. "Students with faulty roll number slips can sit in the exams. All they have to do is to confirm their candidature at the examination centre."
He said the chairman had also issued directions that the candidates would not take exams out of their towns and tehsils. But he added that the inter-city centres would not be changed. "Even if a candidate does not have a slip or it is unreadable, he will be allowed to take exams after the superintendent checks his identity from the board," Ramay said. About risk of impersonation, the controller said roll number slips with actual photos were available with the board. Dawn
Students bunk classes for spending time in net cafes
Rawalpindi: Vulgarity and obscenity is being promoted at net cafes, which is spoiling the young generation, especially school and college boys, who frequently visit these outlets instead of going to their academic institutions to get education.
The youngsters not only watch obscene websites, but are also found smoking cigarettes at these cafes. They leave their homes for schools and colleges, but instead they throng the net cafes to watch vulgar and obscene material and also chat for hours daily.
A number of parents have expressed concern over the mushroom growth of net cafes, which are spoiling their children. They urged the government to take immediate action against net cafes engaged in immoral activities.
When contacted Rawalpindi Division Teachers Welfare Association President Saghir Alam, he admitted that the majority of students instead of going to schools and colleges visit net cafes to spend their time and money in fruitless activities. He said that they have told parents a number of times about the absence of their children from the school. "Unfortunately some parents took the matter very lightly and as a result their kids failed in the annual examinations," he said. "We need full cooperation of parents to tackle this serious problem, as it is a matter of their children's future," he added.
It is learnt that more than 5,000 net cafes are operating in the Rawalpindi city and the majority of them provide full cover to youngsters. Most of the time these cafes remain packed with students.
Some parents admitted that net cafes are spoiling the young generation. Mushtaq Ahmed, a father, said that his son Niaz Ahmed performed poorly in the class 9 examinations. "When I visited his school, his teacher told me that my son was not attending classes regularly. After investigation, I found my son in a net cafe where he was watching vulgar websites instead of attending classes. Now I am trying to control him," he added.
A net cafe owner, on condition of anonymity said that they are not insisting students to come over rather they visit on their own free will. He admitted that they provide 'shesha' facility to visitors by charging some extra money.
When contacted Additional District Coordination Officer Muhammad Zubair Khan, he said that the administration would take strict action against owners of net cafes involved in immoral activities. He said that teachers should keep a check on the activities of their students and inform their parents time and again. "It is a serious matter and we will take immediate action," he assured.
150 FDE's sacked employees reinstated
Islamabad: As many as 150 sacked employees including teaching and non-teaching staff of Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) from grade 1 to grade 16 had been reinstated on Saturday with one scale upgradation.
According to the information, the letters of reinstatement of 91 non-teaching staff and 59 teaching staff have been distributed to the employees who allegedly became target of political victimisation during the Nawaz Sharif regime in 1999.
As many as 8,000 employees were fired during the regime (1996 to 1999) on political grounds and after the Presidential Ordinance 2009, these employees now are getting their jobs back. The employees have been reinstated under the 'Sacked Employees Reinstatement Ordinance'.
During the first phase of reinstatement, 523 sacked employees were reinstated out of which only 100 were genuine while the rest of 423 reinstated employees were allegedly fake. According to a copy of letter, only 100 employees had been termed as the actually genuine. Letter No F.1-2/2010 (COORD) FDE dated 22nd October 2010 has been sent to Deputy Accountant General by FDE. However reinstatement letters have finally been issued to 206 employees.
According to the information, there were 650 sacked employees that were to be reinstated out of which 206 were reinstated after scrutiny during the first phase, 150 have been reinstated during the second phase while 294 will be reinstated during the third phase.
The FDE officials said it is the second phase of reinstatement after which there would also be the thirds phase of reinstatement. "We will invite more applications during the third phase and these sacked employees will also be reinstated after verification," he said.
While answering to a question regarding the fake hiring during the first phase he said, it was not the fault on the part of FDE but of those who duly verified the fake documents were responsible. "It is not only the job of FDE to verify but it is the responsibility of other ministries and organisations," he added.
Pointing out a serious problems being faced by FDE in reinstatement of employees, he said, those contractual employees of FDE whose contacts were expired in 1999 also claimed for the reinstatement of job. "The employees whose job was by virtue ended in 1999 also claiming for reinstatement by preparing fake documents," he added.
FDE spokesperson Shakeel Arshad said that this time they have adopted a sticker procedure for the verification of the employees. "We have verified from each education institution as if the employee who is seeking reinstatement was genuinely its employee, what was his status and nature of job," he said.
He said that the process of verification for the third phase has also been started and they are seeking applications from the employees. The news
School labs without equipment
Rawalpindi: Science laboratories in most of the government secondary schools in Rawalpindi are not fully functional as they lack basic equipment.
The district has over 300 secondary schools, but most are without labs that have basic equipment, necessary for the students opting for the subjects of chemistry, physics and biology.
Though the secondary schools get basic equipment at the time of establishing them, "for the last 20 years no special grants have been made to
provide modern equipment for the labs," said a teacher, requesting anonymity.
With 24 years of experience in teaching science subjects, the teacher said without a lab, students fail to understand the 'concepts' as they do not carry out the experiments themselves. It leaves them unprepared for the compulsory practical examination, the teacher said. "In the absence of practical studies, students face difficulty in passing the examination and mainly depend on the efforts of their teachers," he said.
The teacher said basic components of a lab – acids, chemicals, sprit lamps, gas burners, model skeletons, microscopes and vernier caliper (measuring instrument) – were not available in sufficient quantities.
The government has to spend Rs100,000 to Rs150,000 to establish a well-quipped lab, with additional Rs10,000 to Rs15,000 every year to run them, the teacher said. But he regretted that though posts have been sanctioned, there were not lab attendants in the schools. Only
attendants can ensure proper upkeep of the laboratories, he said.
Mohammad Ramazan, whose son studies in the Government Muslim High School, believes that in the public schools no effort is made to improve the teaching of science studies. "In private schools, basic facilities for science students help produce better results."
Hadayat Ali, a 9th class student, said it was obvious that students who get the chance of carrying out experiments in the labs excel in exams.
A secondary school principal, who also requested anonymity, said till 1988 schools were provided with basic lab components every year. "But since then there were no items and funds for the laboratories." He added that secondary schools in remote areas are working without labs.
"Principals who take interest in lab activities arrange basic equipment and encourage students and teachers to carry out experiments," he said.
The principal said at present the schools are getting funds only under the Faroogh-i-Taleem Fund and collecting Rs five from every student monthly. "This money is used for different purposes after getting approval from the school council. No other money is available to provide
basic equipment or to modernise the existing facilities," he added.
Executive District Officer Qazi Zahoorul Haq said it was the duty of the school principals to look after the laboratories as no funds were specified for the facility in the annual budget. He said facilities for labs are provided when a secondary school is established.
He said the education department had decided to establish vocational centres at 15 higher secondary schools in every district to provide skilled education to students. The EDO said Rs70,000 would be paid to every school for the vocational centre. Dawn
ICAP celebrates Golden Jubilee
Islamabad: In order to celebrate the Golden Jubilee Celebrations the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) organised a ceremony at Serena Hotel, Islamabad, says a press release issued here Saturday. The event was part of a series of events that ICAP has planned over the course of the current year in lieu of the celebrations of their Golden Jubilee, as ICAP will be completing 50 years of its establishment in July 2011. The Council of the Institute has planned to celebrate this milestone with grandeur and has declared the Year 2011 as ICAP's Golden Jubilee Year. Federal Minister for Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh was the chief guest on the occasion. The news
AIOU starts mailing books to students
Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) started mailing books to its students across the country on Sunday.
AIOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi inaugurated the process of mailing books for the Semester Spring, 2011 and addressing on the occasion, he said that books were being mailed to 27, 000 students of PTC programme while books those to 40,000 students of Matriculation Programme enrolled at first stage would be sent within a few days.
MoE awards PTB to publish textbooks for Federal Board
Islamabad: Ministry of Education, in an unprecedented move, has assigned Punjab Textbook Board (PTB) to publish textbooks for the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondry Education. National Book Foundation (NBF), a sub organization of the ministry, has been printing the books for the last ten years.
According to the sources, contention between former education minister Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali and Chairman NBF over purchase of paper caused the move. The minister wanted to purchase paper from a particular person while the chairman was to contract someone else.
The Education Ministry recently notified that NBF would not publish the books for the year 2011. The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) and Private Schools Regulatory Authority (PSRA) had demanded 52 million books of the ministry for the federal capital in December 2010 and NBF had ordered 36 printing presses of twin cities to publish the books. Moreover, the foundation already has books worth RS 200 million left from the past year, which would ultimately go wasted if the ministry awards the publishing to PTB.
The education year 2011 is going to start in April but PTB is in no position to provide the books till April, claimed sources. Talking to this scribe, an FG-school-student's parents claimed that the students would had been provided books at the outset of March each year but this year the administration had told them that the books were not even yet published.
President Private School Net work Dr, Muhammad Afzal Babar condemned the step taken by MoE. "The students and teachers of educational institutions have been studying books published by NBF for the last ten years, but with the revised curriculum, teachers and students will have to suffer because of delay in the process as we all know that Punjab Textbook Board will delay the printing, he said. Babar told that the printing press association (PPA) had filed an application in Islamabad High Court (IHC) and the court had issued the stay order in favour of PPA.
"The court summoned representative of MoE on March 4 and adjourned the proceedings till March 23, he added.
MoE has no comments
Islamabad: Ministry Of Education's Spokesman Saqib Mumtaz said the ministry had no official stance over the matter owing to the 'un-availability' of the minister but hoped that the matter would be resolved soon. Daily times
Beaconhouse team wins debate competition
Rawalpindi: Beaconhouse Educational Complex (BEC) hosted the three-day Annual BEC Parliamentary Style Debating Championship 2011 in Rawalpindi, says a press release issued here Saturday.
O and A Level teams from schools across the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad participated in the event to compete for the winner's trophy, which was lifted by the BEC O Level Girls Team.
The participating teams from Lahore Grammar School, International Grammar School and College, Westminster College, The City School, Saint Mary's Academy, Roots College International, Beaconhouse Margalla Campus and Beaconhouse Educational Complex displayed impressive debating skills.
The opening session on Day 1 saw teams from City School, Lahore Grammar School and Beaconhouse emerged victorious and moved on to the quarterfinals, semi finals and final debate. The final debate was an interesting collection of arguments from both proposition and opposition teams on title 'This house believes that there is in this age, a dearth of heroes.'
The judges and guests including, Ikram Ghauri, Member of Customs Tribunal, Shehryar Ahmed, Media Co-ordinator, Hamdard University, and Qasim Qureshi, a practicing lawyer and teacher of Law were appreciative of the student organisers' effort at having successfully provided a platform to students for healthy debate.
Beaconhouse Educational Complex Principal, Mehr Asad, former Head of the Beaconhouse Margalla Campus Boys Branch, said that she was proud of the fact the event had been conceived, planned and implemented by the BEC student body with careful guidance and supervision of teachers.
She said that public speaking skills are a crucial aspect of education, confidence building and grooming students to help prepare them to meet the challenges that higher education and life will bring their way. The news