USAID-funded Pre-Step & British Chevening Scholarships

Pre-Step awards 410 scholarships
Islamabad, Mar 17: The USAID-funded Pre-Service Teacher Education Programme (Pre-Step) awarded 410 scholarships to talented Pakistani students training as Elementary School Teachers (EST) while completing the two-year Associate Degree in Education (ADE) and four-year BEd (Hons) Elementary programmes, in several small yet lively ceremonies organised in four provinces of Pakistan.

Scholarships were awarded to a total of 12 universities and colleges including Karakoram International University, Government College of Education Gilgit (Male), Elementary College of Gilgit (Female), Regional Institute for Teacher Education (RITE) Female Abbottabad, RITE Female Peshawar, University of Peshawar, Hazara University, Elementary College of Education Hussainabad (Male), Elementary College of Education Hyderabad (Female), University of Punjab, Government College of Elementary Teachers (GCET) Faisalabad and GCET Dera Ghazi Khan. The newly-introduced ADE and BEd (Hons) programmes have been a collaborative effort between the provincial departments of education and the Higher Education Commission (HEC), with support provided through its USAID-funded Pre-Step in Pakistan.

The ADE programme is designed to be offered in four semesters whereas the BEd (Hons) programme will cover eight semesters. This will be a significant change from the annual system followed by RITEs, and the hybrid annual/semester system followed by some universities in Pakistan. The scholarships will provide support for up to two years to complete an ADE programme and up to four years for BEd (Hons) at the piloting Usaid/Pre-STEP partner institutions that will lead to a qualification that meets the academic requirements for employment as a teacher in public schools.

These scholarships were awarded to pre-service teachers on merit basis. The criteria for scholarship required the recipients to be citizens of Pakistan, obtain at least 60 per cent marks in FA/FSC, pass the scholarship entrance test, and have 85 per cent attendance in ADE/BEd classes with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA per semester. Scholarships valued at Rs20,000 per student per semester have been distributed at the conclusion of the first semester of the ADE/BEd programmes. Pre-STEP is a US$75 million USAID-funded programme working in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and HEC to improve the quality of basic education in Pakistan by strengthening teachers' education and teaching skills. The programme directly impacts new as well as practicing teachers by helping them to gain revised and upgraded teacher qualifications. Pre-STEP collaboratively builds upon the existing structures and programmes in Pakistan and supports 15 universities and 75 teacher colleges as instruments for change of academic standards in teacher education. The news

Your Comments
"As BC scholarship opens for applications, I was waiting for long for this, plz guide me how to apply as soon as possible. please do contact me on my email... best regards"
Name: khawaja azam
City, Country:Lahore, Pakistan

"Our result is till pending.about 6 month ago we had completed our ADE programme and till waiting for result.we have no other profession to plz think about my comment and solve our problem.thanx."
Name: Abdul Majeed
City, Country: Qillan sudhnoti aj&k

"sir hum ade k students hai or hum nay ade complete kar ley hai magar humay abi tak ek nscholar ship mely hai or baki colleges ko mil gai gai .... mian nay ade main college k ander 2nd position ley hai jis per first position ko laptop dyia ja rha hai mery request hai plz sir top 3 students ko laptop deyia jai ... thankx"
Name: 2mb
City, Country: khairpur mirs pakistan

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BC scholarship opens for applications
Islamabad: British Council Chevening Scholarship opens for applications for the year 2011-12 the programme is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and administered by the British Council that enables overseas students to study in the United Kingdom.

Scholarships are offered in over 150 countries and enable talented graduates and young professionals to become familiar with the UK and gain skills that will benefit their countries. They enable future leaders, decision-makers, and opinion formers from around the world to become familiar with the UK, to gain new skills, or update current professional skills. The ultimate objective is to benefit their countries upon their return.

The Chevening programme currently provides around 2,300 new scholarships each year for postgraduate studies or research at UK institutions of higher education. In Pakistan scholarships are awarded to Pakistani nationals of high intellectual ability who will play a formative role in Pakistan's development. Pakistani applicants for Chevening scholarships can apply online for the following subjects: security and counter-terrorism, governance and democracy, economic growth, regional stability and conflict resolution, media and communications.

The scholarships are for one year taught postgraduate study in the UK and cover the full cost of study in the UK.

The applicants are required to have a masters' degree or a four-year bachelors degree from any recognised university in Pakistan or the equivalent from an overseas institution. They must have a minimum of three years of work experience. They must be Pakistani citizens. Dual nationals are not eligible. They must not have received in the past three years any British government funded academic award. Last date for submission of forms is Monday, March 21, 2011. The nation

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RIU's youth festival from 21st
Islamabad: Riphah International University is holding a festival from March 21 to 25 in its Islamabad and Rawalpindi campuses.

The event called Riphah Youth Festival will bring together people from different walks of life including students, teachers, parents, corporate sector, multinational companies and general public.

The events include games, competitions, poster exhibition, book fair and job fair.

The job fair will be held on March 24, at Al-Mizan campus, 274 Peshawar Road Rawalpindi. It will give an opportunity to the students and young graduates from Riphah International University and other educational institutions to have an interaction with the professionals and industry and business.

Another special function will be held on March 23 at the main campus of Riphah International University in Sector I-14, Islamabad, to highlight the importance of Pakistan Day. The students will adopt a resolution on the occasion expressing the determination of the youth to build future Pakistan as envisaged by the founders of the country seventy years ago.

The youth festival will conclude on March 25 with a special evening and alumni gathering at Al-Mizan campus Rawalpindi. The news

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Students protest release of Davis
Islamabad: International Islamic University Students Wednesday protested release of a US national Raymond Davis, after victims' families had allegedly patched up the matter for blood money. They blocked Kashmir highway near G-10 signal for 2 hours.

The Protest was led by Islami Jamiat Talbha and was attended by a large number of students who carried placards and banners inscribed with slogans against the USA.

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Saudi Arabia to assist IIUI constructing another mosque
Islamabad: Relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are a great precedent to the whole world and are above geographical boundaries and divides, said Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Abd-ul-Aziz Bin Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer at a seminar on "Depth of Pak-Saudi Friendship" organised by International Islamic University (IIUI) on Wednesday. He pledged that his country would assist IIUI in constructing a grand mosque at university's new campus in H-10.

Saudi envoy boasted of historical account of relations between the two countries. Soon after the creation of Pakistan, deep bi-lateral relations were established that were strengthened more and more over decades, said the envoy. He mentioned the visits of late Saudi kings to Pakistan that further strengthened the bilateral ties.

Saudi envoy added that Saudi people as well as government always stood by their Pakistani brethren especially in the hour of need and mentioned Saudi assistance during 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods. "Saudis under the leadership of their King and the Custodian of two Harams Abdullah Ibn-e-Abdul Aziz dispatched hundreds of cargo planes to Pakistan with humanitarian assistance. It was a religious duty to help human beings in trouble", he said.

Dean Faculty of Shariah and Law Dr. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and Dean Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences Dr. Muhammad Riaz spoke on the occasion and thanked Saudi rulers for their continued support to Pakistan.

The Ambassador called on the Rector Prof. Fateh Muhammad Malik who briefed him the Saudi envoy on the university and its activities over last 25 years. Prof. Malik said that Saudi Arabia was always helpful to the university and played a very vital role in its development. The Saudi Ambassador promised to provide assistance to the university for constructing a grand mosque at its new campus and for hiring faculty members. IIUI souvenirs and shields were presented to the Saudi dignitary while sets of Saudi publications on assistance to Pakistan were presented to the Rector of the university by the visiting Saudi envoy. Daily times

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Educational institutions lack transport facility
Islamabad: More than 400 educational institutions operating in federal capital are facing shortage of buses to provide appropriate transport facility to the students.

Though, many institutions have their own pick and drop arrangements, it is not sufficient to facilitate all.

A large number of students coming from out of the city reach their respective schools and colleges through private transport, which has become virtually nightmare for them.

"The students often have to face misconduct by the private transporters who often prefer not to lift them for one or the another reason," said a student Irshad Ali who has been waiting for transport for half an hour.

The students belonging to poor community even could not afford going to schools or colleges by private transport.

Shahid Khan, a school student, said due to financial problems, he couldn't pay full fare of bus, while transporters were not allowing them concession.

Transporters always force them to mount on rooftop of the buses which is risky but their is no alternate option with them, he added.

Ghulam Jan, a driver of local transport said, "we cannot afford a large number of students at once because they are always paying half, which badly affect our business." He said parents and school managements are responsible to facilitate students with transport.

An official of local college said that the educational institutions also need funds for repairing the out-of-order buses and purchasing new ones to ease the misery of their students.

Federal Directorate of Education Islamabad sources told APP that FDE has provided 100 buses to various public sector institutions in the capital to facilitate students.

Students demanded the concerned authorities to provide sufficient buses to colleges, especially women colleges.

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Ministry of Education stepping back from the issue
Islamabad: With the passage of deadline for the implementation of teachers' package, the Ministry of Education seems to be stepping back from the issue and using dilly-delaying tactics to further postpone its implementation.

According to the well-placed sources, the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has twice submitted the file regarding the up-gradation of teachers to the Ministry of Education, but approval could not be achieved due to one reason or the other. "We have been doing whatever we could do, but we are not the approving authority. It is Ministry of Education that is approving authority," said a well placed official of FDE.

On the other hand Ministry of Education Additional Secretary Shaigan Shareef Malik while talking to this scribe said that the issue of up-gradation of teachers was a lengthy procedure and would take time. "I have never committed to resolve the issue within 20 days," he said when asked about the passage of deadline.

However, it is pertinent to mention here that the additional secretary was among those officials of the ministry who held meeting with the representatives of teachers and asked them to call off strike while assuring them that the issue would be resolved within 20 days.

The officials of FDE believe that the ball was in the court of Education Ministry as they have twice submitted the case to Secretary Education Athar Tahir for approval. "We have been trying to convince teachers that our hands are clean. It is Ministry of Education who has to decide," he said.

FDE Director General (DG) Shaheen Khan said that things were going on positively. "We are very optimistic that the issue would be resolved within few days," she said.

She said that they offered teachers to wait for the phase wise implementation of package, but they said that they want the implementation of all demands at once. "Had they accepted our proposal, the issue would be resolved much easily," she said.

One of the teachers requesting anonymity said that the ministry has betrayed the teachers. "They hushed up the matter for a while when the examinations were about to start. Now when the exams have been taken, they have stepped back from their commitment," he said.

He said that there was no point in delaying the implementation as PM has given the directive, funds have been re appropriated and finance ministry has given approval. "It's just a matter to issue notification, but the ministry is reluctant to issue it," he said.

FGTA President Azhar Awan said that the decision regarding future strategy would be decided in the general body meeting to be held tomorrow (Thursday). "We are extremely disappointed by the attitude of ministry. Whatever we would decide now would be our final decision," he added. The news

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