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QAU teachers want new package | Edu institutions relief work

Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) teachers want new package implemented
Islamabad, May 21: The faculty of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) on Wednesday staged a protest demonstration seeking early implementation of a performance-based incentive package which has already been approved by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

The teachers under the banner of Academic Staff Association marched from the varsity library to the vice-chancellor office and vowed to continue the protest until their demand was fulfilled. It was the second rally over the last three days, and the third one is scheduled for Friday.

The university has already implemented Tenure Track System whereby teachers having PhD degrees were awarded hefty salaries. The TTS was open for the entire faculty but a strict criterion was put in place in the form of their academic output to become eligible for the service structure. Of the around 200 QAU teachers, only 80 could qualify for TTS that was implemented in July 2007.

However, afterwards the HEC also approved another performance-based monetary award for non-PhD teachers of the QAU named BPS Incentive Package. Under this package, 25 per cent of the faculty, which is not covered under the TTS, would be offered monetary assistance in the form of additional salaries, maximum up to six salaries per year, on the basis of their performance.

However, unlike TTS, the new package was restricted only to 25 per cent of the teachers. The ASA is demanding that whosoever fulfils the criterion should be offered the package.

So far, both the HEC and the varsity administration have been resisting the demand and even warned to come up with a strict criterion if the teachers do not accept the condition of 25 per cent coverage.

A senior university official who requested not to be named said they had nothing to do with the issue as it was the HEC which had fixed the condition of 25 per cent.

Majority of the non-PhD faculty is not actively involved in research and those who give some output will benefit from the new package, the official said, adding the HEC decision was right.

He said some of the teachers who had totally lost interest in academics were pushing for extension in the condition of 25 per cent. One of the conditions to apply for this package is the length of service. If the incentive is extended to everybody they would automatically become eligible; therefore, they are demanding for 100 per cent coverage.

When contacted, ASA President Dr Qaisar Abbas Naqvi said they were protesting as well as negotiating with the varsity administration for acceptance of their demands. However, some of ASA office-bearers warned that if their demands remained unanswered, they would go for a complete boycott of classes from next week. Dawn

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Roots School signs MoU with Goethe Institute
Rawalpindi: Roots School System and Goethe Institute, Germany signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as part of a programme to build up a network with partner schools to awaken students' interest in and enthusiasm for modern-day German society.

The MoU called 'Schools: Partners for the future' would be coordinated by the Federal Foreign Office and implemented in cooperation with the Central Agency for School Abroad, Goethe Institute, Education Exchange Service of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Lander in the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Academic Exchange service.

Through the MoU, the network of German Schools abroad and schools offering German language certificate courses in other countries would be strengthened and would thus extend students' skills, preparing them for study in Germany and a subsequent career.

The number of full grants for study in Germany is to be doubled for the graduates of partner schools, under which five Roots students have been selected on merit to attend a Summer Youth Camp to be held in Germany from July 12 to August 1.

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Schools, colleges directed to collect relief goods
Islamabad: Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) in a meeting Wednesday issued directions to the management of all institutions working under it to collect maximum relief goods for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

FDE has given a target of ten days to collect food, medicines and other relief items, which will be dispatched to the IDPs.

Federal Directorate of Education (Model Colleges) Director Mujahid Zameer talking to this agency assured that FDE will extend its all out support for accommodating the displaced people and bring normalcy to their lives.

All the educational institutions working under FDE in federal capital have started accommodating displaced children through a simplified process. They are given admission by showing their ID cards or anything, which can indicate that they have come from the Swat area, he informed.

These students will be provided uniform, books and whatever item they need like flour, oil, tea or clothing.

There are 20 model colleges, eight F.G colleges and more than 300 F.G schools in the federal capital where the displaced children are given admission, Mujahid Zameer said.

The directions have been issued by FDE to the heads of all the institutes for mobilising the students for making contribution for empty handed displaced persons who were compelled to take refuge in different camps.

FDE Director General Attique-ur Rehman is showing keen interest in relief activities for IDPs. All the directors will take steps to provide maximum support to them besides extending educational facility. The students as well as their parents are showing very positive response and they are eager to support displaced people.

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Beaconhouse launches relief operation in Mardan camps
Islamabad: The Beaconhouse School System (BSS) launched a relief operation for internally displaced persons (IDPs) at its camps in Mardan.

Mian Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, former foreign minister and a BSS director, initiated the humanitarian work during his visit to the IDP camps along with Danial Mahmud Kasuri, executive director BSS and also in-charge of the BSS relief activities.

The BSS senior staff members Ms. Shagun Irfan and Brigadier (r) Hassan Shah coordinated the efforts of 120 volunteer teachers who started humanitarian work at the camps on May 18 (Monday), while numerous others who had turned up for support were requested to assist in the coming days.

The male faculty members helped IDPs at Sheikh Yasin Camp in Mardan while the female teachers visited eight government schools lodging IDPs.

The Beaconhouse teachers will identify heads of the displaced families, ascertain their needs and provide them relief accordingly.

Kasuri said that activities were targeted of providing assistance to 3000 to 5000 families in five to six weeks. Cash, medicines, sleeping mats, pedestal fans and hand fans, dry food, water coolers and shoes were distributed among the IDPs.

The Beaconhouse aid group also provided financial assistance and necessities of life to about 250 Christian IDP families sheltered at the Lutheran Church in Mardan.

Beaconhouse chairperson Mrs. Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri had earlier requested the entire Beaconhouse staff to donate a day's salary for the Swat IDPs. The

Beaconhouse hopes to raise more than Rs25 millions in this regard.

Mian Khurshid Kasuri announced that the Kasuri family would make a personal donation of Rs10 million.

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Students arrested on terror charges shifted to Manchester
London: Three of the ten detained Pakistani students lodged in Belmarsh prison, southeast London, have been shifted to the Manchester high security detention cell following the intervention of the Pakistan High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan who met them last week.

The anti-terrorist unit of the British police arrested these students on April 8 following raids on the properties in the northwest England on the alleged terrorism charges.

However, charges against them were dropped due to lack of evidence and they were handed over to the UK Border Agency for deportation on grounds of national security. They filed appeal against the Home Office's deportation order after the charges could not be proved.

The lawyers of the seven out of ten students had filed bail petition against their continued detention pending disposal of their appeal. While the bail request of the seven was rejected, three students namely Tariq Rahman, Muhammad Shoaib Khan and Abdul Wahab Khan were shifted to Belmarsh prison, and were kept with hardened criminals serving sentences.

The students informed the high commissioner of their grievances, who approached the British authorities to re-locate the students to their previous detention facility in Manchester. The students' appeal hearing has been fixed for July 27. The News

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