May 18: Violence on university campuses may be an age-old phenomenon in Pakistan but of late it seems to be taking place with disturbing regularity. Much of the violence has centred on universities in Punjab, though other campuses elsewhere have not been immune. The Islami Jamiat Tulaba has drawn plenty of flak - and rightly so - for its strong-arm tactics on campus. Yet it is only one among many student groups responsible for disturbing campus life and further degrading the moribund academic standards in our universities. Matters are aggravated and become more worrisome when members of the faculty or university administration get involved in student politics or try to settle scores by backing opposing student organisations.
A tussle among faculty members at Bahawalpur's Islamia University appears to be one of the factors that triggered violence between two student groups in February. The brawl between a group with religious affiliations and another student outfit left several people injured and caused considerable damage to university property. Though the bad blood between the two groups may have stemmed from a desire to dominate campus life, the university administration claims that one of the outfits was provoked into violence by elements within the faculty. Due to the violence many of the students involved have been fined while others have been expelled. The engineering college has been closed since the clash and attempts to restart academic activities have been unsuccessful.
The case illustrates the intensity of the blow that is dealt to education when violence erupts on campus. In the present situation, it will be difficult for many students to make up for the precious academic time that has been lost due to the university's closure. No doubt, students and teachers have every right to air their grievances. But this must be done in a peaceful manner. Meanwhile, firearms on campus and the presence of outsiders in university hostels - believed to be the case in Islamia University - must not be tolerated. The university administration must ensure that only students have access to hostels while the elimination of weapons from the nation's campuses will greatly improve the academic environment. DawnYour Comments
F G Margalla College Convocation
Islamabad: Pakistani students are second to none. Pakistan is blessed with youth capable of doing wonders in the world. The country needs the power of youth who excel not only in education but also in social behaviour.
These views were expressed by Dr. Inam ur Rahman, scientist emeritus and former director general of the Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences (PIEAS), Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, while speaking as chief guest at the 25th convocation and prize distribution ceremony of the Federal Government Margalla College for Women, F-7/4, here on Monday. The Federal Directorate of Education director general, directors, principals, parents and a large number of students attended the function.
"We need to inculcate family values among our youth and stress on the role of family commitments. We must bear in mind that only financial resources or facilities cannot guarantee good grades for students, but only parents' love, attention and participation in their studies can help them achieve their academic targets," Dr. Inam said. He urged students to continue their quest for acquiring knowledge, as this is just the beginning.
During the ceremony, degrees were conferred upon 231 graduates and 37 postgraduates, while 19 students received rolls of honour for their outstanding performances in different university examinations. The 'Rolls of Honour 2008' were given to BSc students Ghazal Ashraf, Asia Farid, Sonia Amjad, Asima Bibi, Umm-e-Kalsoom, Samia Noor, Siddiqa Asghar, Naila Qadir, Ayesha Faiz, Faiza Rehman, Rabia Bibi, Mahwish Aslam, Sidra Naseem Akram, Nadia Nazir and Sima Nazir, while the BA students receiving the 'Rolls of Honour' included Aneela Kazmi, Faiza Ghaffar, Shagufta Bibi and Rehana Begum.
College Principal Khadija Javed presented the college report for the academic year 2009-10, highlighting the results of Punjab University examinations of graduate and postgraduate levels and the overall performance of students in curricular and co-curricular activities throughout the year. She also gave a briefing on the state-of-the-art media laboratories of the Mass Communication Department.
Sehar Hassan Naqvi of the MA Mass Communication stood first in the Punjab University examinations and awarded a gold medal. She is also the recipient of the 'Hameed Alvi Award'. While the 'Azra Raza Excellence Award' of Rs50,000 was given to Tahseen Kausar, a graduate of 2008.
Iqra Hafiz, a student of Third Year, was awarded for getting second position in the All Pakistan Inter-University Table Tennis Tournament. The award for Best Performance in Co-curricular Activities was awarded to Samina Sabir, while others acknowledged for their participation in co-curricular activities were Ambreen Yaqoob, Asia Bibi, Shahneela Mazhar, Faiqa Sana, Madiha, Samia Mussarrat, Alishba Asghar, Sonia Amjad and Ayesha Mujtaba. The news
23 students injured in Quetta clashes
Quetta: At least 23 students were injured in clashes between two groups at the Agriculture College, Lasbela Marine University and Balochistan University on Monday.
After the clashes, the Balochistan University and Agriculture College in Quetta and the Engineering University in Khuzdar and some other educational institutions were closed for three days.
Examinations of the Agriculture College, which were scheduled to commence on Monday, have been postponed till further orders.
The provincial government has deployed heavy contingents of Frontier Corps and police at the campuses.
About 60 students of the Agriculture College and Balochistan University have been detained. Both the groups attacked each other with sticks and bricks.
"Initially, a clash took place in the morning between members of the two groups in a bus of the Agriculture College," a police officer said.
In the afternoon, the rival groups clashed at the Balochistan University.
Seventeen students injured in the clashes were taken to the Civil Hospital and Bolan Medical Complex Hospital. Another six students suffered injuries at the Lasbela Marine University. They were taken to a hospital in Karachi.
Security has been tightened around educational institutions in Quetta and other towns and FC and police personnel have been deployed at the Balochistan University.
Students of the two universities and Agriculture College have been asked to vacate hostels immediately.
The Baloch Students' Organisation-A and Pakhtunkhwa Students' Organisation have accused each other of attacking their members.
BSO-A spokesman Salam Sabir said nine Baloch students were injured at the Balochistan University and Agriculture College in Quetta.
PkSO's secretary Ahmed Jan said 30 Pakhtun students were injured at the Lasbela university, Balochistan University and Agriculture College. He said 21 students injured in Uthal had been taken to Karachi.
The BSO-A said police had arrested its 97 members while the PkSO said its six activists had been held. Dawn
Fellowship for pathologists
Rawalpindi: More than 80 senior pathologists, mostly professors at different teaching medical institutions across the country, were awarded fellowships at an event arranged by the College of Pathologists Pakistan (CPP) here.
Speaking on the occasion, General Manzoor Ahmed, the president of CPP, reiterated that CPP will soon embark on registration of clinical laboratories in an attempt to streamline quality control in diagnostic pathology services. At present, only about 20% of the pathology laboratories in the country are manned by qualified pathologists. "We will only register those labs which will meet the stringent criteria for registration," he said.
The issue of training of laboratory technicians, which is far from satisfactory in Pakistan, was also discussed. The CPP pledged to undertake a responsibility in this regard by playing an emphatic role in strengthening diploma courses and training of lab technicians at all levels.
After award of charter by the government, for which an application has already been submitted, the CPP will start conducting examinations at various levels for specialisation in various disciplines of pathology.
Peshawar Museum impresses students
Peshawar: Students of the Pak-German Model School visited the Peshawar Museum on Monday as part of the study tour to know about the rare collections housed at the building.
The visit was arranged by the school in connection with the World Museum Day, being observed today.The students were divided into four groups from grade one to four, respectively.
Each group was led by two teachers to help them in gathering information from different sections of the museum.Archaeologist Muhammad Asif guided the students to different sections of the museum and briefed them on the items displaced thereof
The guide told the students that the Peshawar Museum was set up in 1906 and had 14,101 items which included Gandhara sculptures, coins, manuscripts, weapons, inscriptions, and copies of the Holy Quran, weapons, dresses, jewellery, effigies, paintings from Mughal era, household objects and handicrafts.
The students were informed that the museum had a large collection of Gandhara Art and the number of such pieces stood at 4,247. The students were led to Islamic Art and Ethnological sections which had wooden facades of mosques, Arabic and Persian manuscripts, ceramics, dresses and weapons, etc and life and culture of major tribes of the province.
The students showed a keen interest in the engravings of Lord Budha and took notes about the information provided to them by the guide. At the end of the visit the administrator of the Pak-German Model School Waqar Haider, Principal Zareef Hussain and teachers thanked guide Muhammad Asif for the information provided to the students. THe news