HEC plans stopping sexual harassment at edu institutions
Islamabad: To eliminate the increasing incidents of sexual harassment in educational institutions, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has decided to take stern measures to implement the 'Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010' in 128 public sector Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) across the country.
According to policy adopted by HEC, a four-member task force has been formed with Prof Najma Najam as covener and comprises three others Prof Iftikharun Nisa, Perveen Shah and Wasim Hashmi Syed to assure the provision of educational and working environment in HEIs free from intimidating, offensive and hostile behaviors.
One of the senior official of HEC said that number of incidents of harassment in HEIs had been increasing day by day and about 48 cases of harassment were recorded in educational places across the country. The HEC avoided to share the actual facts regarding the cases occurred in HEIs as learnt in 'Policy Guideline Against Sexual Harassment in HEIs', according to a document, available with Daily Times.
An interesting initiative taken by HEC in the policy guideline, commission also took serious notice over the incidents of male harassment, in which female students dressed them up and behave in close relation to appeal their opponents.
HEC admitted that various complaints were recorded about staring female students at their bodies, adding male teachers, referring to female bodies and reproductive cycles to embarrass female students during class lectures.
It was also observed by authority that faculty members compel needy female students to sexual favour in exchange of financial support, while male faculty members and supervisors of HEI tried deliberately spent long hours with female students and young colleagues in locked offices.
According to the document, students of HEIs are also not behind in the race of harassment, as observed, female students often succeeded to blackmail their teachers to charging against them for maltreatment, when accused faculty member refused to favour in academic grading.
Some times, character assassination of female teachers is also attempted by influential people, student political organisations to gain political, academic and financial gains.
Commission strictly directed all HEIs across the country to follow the certain policy guidelines for provision of harassment free learning and work place to students and faculty respectively.
While following policy released by the commission, all HEIs would establish a fully fledged complaint cell in their universities, comprising full time trained Harassment Monitoring Officer (HMO), computer operator, assistant to HMO and a senior female member in order to facilitate confidential communication particularly to deal with female students or staff members.
It was also observed by the commission that the allegations of sexual harassment made out of malice and intent to damage the repute of person against whom the complaint is filed are to be dealt with as serious offenses. According to policy guideline by the commission, any member of teaching or non-teaching staff, found guilty in harassment incident, would be sentenced according to following penalties that might be imposed including oral or written reprimand, inclusion of the decision in a specified personal file (s) of the accused, exclusion of the accused person whether male or female from a designated portion (s) of HEIs buildings or grounds, or from one or more designated HEI activities, where such penalty is appropriate to the offence.
Some other penalties may also be imposed on accused involving in harassment incident as imposition of conditions, as decided by the tribunal, fine also might be imposed, recommendation for suspension of the accused without pay, recommendation that dismissal proceedings be commenced and other as deemed appropriate.
Task Force member Wassem Hashmi Syed said that the implementation of this report had been dispatched to all educational institutions and soon a cell pertaining to these complaints would be established. "We are in contact with these institutions and soon they would constitute a Commission," Syed said.Your Comments
Sexual harassment cases more common at female institutions
Islamabad: National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights Chairman Riaz Fatiyana said this issue had already been discussed in a meeting of committee twice and committee had directed all concern quarters to take immediate action for the implementation of sexual harassment. "This is a serious issue in that can be tackled immediately. In my opinion, sexual harassment cases are not as common in co-education institutions as in all girls' institutions, where male faculty members and staff harass the female students," Fatyana said, adding this law needed to be projected in common masses on a larger scale. Daily times
AIOU students' week from 28th
Islamabad: The celebrations of Students' Week and Spring Festival 2011 will start from March 28 at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), said AIOU Directorate of Students Advisory and Counseling Services.
The regional campuses of the university around the country will also arrange functions as per calendar of co-curricular activities, said, Director Students Affairs Syed Ziaul Hasnain during a meeting held for making necessary arrangements. app
Pharmaceutical sciences institute to be set up at QAU
Islamabad: The participants of 154th meeting of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Syndicate has unanimously approved the establishment of Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the QAU.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Masoom Yasinzai. It was the 3rd meeting of the newly-formed syndicate after the nomination of members by President Asif Ali Zardari, who is chancellor of the university. The meeting discussed almost 39 agenda items in detail and took important policy decisions, including university expansion plans and to start new academic disciplines.
All members of syndicate unanimously supported the new developments focusing on academic excellence. Syndicate appraised the efforts of QAU vice chancellor and his team for the successful launch of new schools including the School of Economics, School of Management Sciences and the School of Politics and international Relations.
The vice chancellor said that QAU is dedicated to high quality higher education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The university administration is trying utmost to expand its facilities and upgrade courses/curricula in order to meet the growing requirements. Higher Education Commission Executive Director Professor Dr. Sohail H. Naqvi, AFPGMI Commandant Major General Sefvan Majed Janjua, Ministry of Education Deputy Educational Advisor Muhammad Ismail, Dr. Mir Ajab Khan, Dean, Faculty of Biological Sciences, (QAU), Dr. Wasim Ahmad, Professor, Department of Biochemistry (QAU), Zaid Usman Director General, Aiwan-e-Sadr, Dr. Muhammad Ishaq, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Dr. Shafiq-ur-Rehman, Registrar, QAU attended the meeting.
Earth Hour 2011 launched in Islamabad
Islamabad: The Earth Hour was celebrated by the 'Green School' members of Rawalpindi and Islamabad academic institutions, a initiative of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The launching ceremony of the Earth Hour 2011 was held at the 54 Nazimuddin Road Campus of the Roots School System.
The Earth Hour is organised by the WWF with almost 5 million supporters and a global network in over 100 countries. It is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. The WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and build a future where people live in harmony with nature.
Students of the Roots School System, Beaconhouse School System, Ace International and the Froebel's International School participated in the candlelight vigil. The school was decorated with banners, balloons, clay 'diyas' and candles. The lights were shut down for an hour and students sang national anthem in candlelight. Atiqa Odha, renowned TV personality and ambassador of the WWF Rawalpindi and Islamabad, was invited as the chief guest.
The Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later, the Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome's Coliseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.
In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4,000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world's largest global climate change initiative.
On Saturday, March 27, Earth Hour 2010 became the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas were switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common - our planet.
While speaking on the occasion, Atiqa Odho said that she was pleased to have been asked to be the ambassador for Earth Hour in 2011 for Islamabad and Rawalpindi. "Each of us has a responsibility for the sustainability of our planet and each of us can make a difference if we choose to do so," she said.
Earth Hour 2011 will take place on March 26 at 8:30 p.m. (local time). At the launching ceremony, Roots School System Director Faisal Mushtaq said that the Earth Hour has done a lot to raise awareness of sustainability issues. "But there's more to it than switching off lights for one hour once a year. It's all about giving people a voice and working together to create a better future for our planet and students who are the future of tomorrow will make the difference," he added. The news