Kinnaird College Principal resignation controversy

Dr Dean's resignation gives new turn in KC controversy
Lahore, May 31: This week saw the news of Kinnaird College Principal Dr Dean's abrupt resignation shock the educational community, with several quarters questioning the reason and the manner in which the educator resigned from the helm of a historic institution that has served the country for 96 years.

Dr Dean's resignation saw the college take center-stage in discussions and debates, which circled around the question of what the factors were that had forced a wonderful administrator to resign. The popular opinion that has generated in the aftermath of the resignation is that the principal was left with no other option but to resign because she was facing stiff opposition from several members of the KC board of governors.

The resignation itself serves as a warning, to any administrator who takes up the top role at the college, that surviving at the college is not exactly child's play given the 'extra interests' that some members of the board hold in the running of KC.

These interests are not only associated with the ideology that the college principal pursues, but also revolve around the finances and the income that the institute generates. The main reason being cited by insiders for Dr Dean's resignation was that she had streamlined the institute's financial mechanism and had initiated an audit of the college.

When it comes to the controversial issue of the sacking of KC teachers – that made news across the city for many days – Dr Dean claims that she had decided to sack the teachers, who had opposed her on some issues, in the best interests of the institute.

She denied the allegations leveled on her with regards to irregularities and mismanagement, saying that she had spent her tenure focusing on the development of academics.

It is worth mentioning that a former KC principal – Dr Mira Phailbous – had also suffered the wrath of the KC board of governors after she conducted an audit of the college. Dr Dean had been appointed with the view that she would follow the instructions of the aforementioned members of the board who have 'extra interests'. However, what followed was quite different as Dr Dean followed her own directions when it came to the running of the institute's affairs.

The situation has become murkier with the appointment of an additional principal, who herself had participated in protests against some of Dr Dean's decisions. Such circumstances make it obligatory on the government to step into the fray and deal with the outstanding issues since it can surely do without another 'PU and its IJT'.

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Punjab govt's new biometric tech draws teachers' ire
Lahore: Several college teachers on Wednesday expressed concerns over the installation of the biometric recognition technology by the government to ensure maximum attendance of teachers in five colleges across the provincial metropolis.

According to the government's new initiative, teachers at these five colleges have been instructed to put a thumb impression while entering and leaving their colleges. Reacting to the new method, professors and lecturers at these colleges said the thumb impression rule enforced on them was an "insult to them and their profession". "We are responsible people belonging to a respectable profession… by introducing this methodology, the Punjab government is trying to give the impression that we cannot be trusted to responsibly perform our duties," they said. The Punjab government has installed the new biometric recognition technology at the MAO College, Civil Lines College, Science College Wahdat Road, Government Degree College Township and Dayal Singh College. Several teachers at these colleges said that the provincial government's actions were the "worst example of insult for teachers".

"We have seen several governments come and go, but none of them insulted us in such a way," they said. A senior teacher at the Science College Wahdat Road, seeking anonymity said that the provincial government was "targeting" college teachers, adding that teachers were nation builders and were well aware of their responsibility. Another college teacher at the Civil Lines College said the incumbent Punjab government had also targeted college teachers during its first and second tenures. "It is shameful that they are now telling us to give thumb impressions. The Punjab government has ruined the education sector… we are still waiting for promotions that have been granted to teachers in other provinces. Instead of appreciating our services, the government has found it fit to install this new biometric technology to disrespect us," he said, adding that even the students were taunting their teachers over the fact that the government "did not trust them to be responsible educators". Daily times

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One-third lecturers' slots vacant across country: report
Sahiwal: More than one-third of sanctioned lecturers' posts are lying vacant in 106 government boys colleges monitored nationwide by an NGO during May 2010 which says total 818 lecturers are working against 1,411 slots.

The data is projected in Education Institution Monitor report released by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) through its local partners.

According to the report, Sindh has the highest percentage of vacant posts which is 41, followed by Punjab's 40, Balochistan's 35 and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's 24.

The report is based on the data gathered from 106 boys' colleges across the country.

The report says FAFEN 'monitors' visited 39 colleges in 26 districts of Punjab, 26 colleges in 19 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 10 colleges in 10 districts of Balochistan, 29 colleges in 18 districts of Sindh and 1 college in Islamabad capital territory.

It says only one lecturer is available for an average of 37 students across the country. The government is spending an average of Rs18,815 per student per year, based on budgetary data provided by 55 of 106 boys colleges. The rest of the colleges either did not have the data or refused to share it with FAFEN.

The highest spending per year per student is Rs27,487 in Sindh, while the lowest is in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa -- Rs12,881 per student. Balochistan is spending Rs14,425 per student, while Punjab Rs17,042 per student per year.

Expressing concern over "transparency" in the governance of boys' colleges, it mentions that administrations of 50 colleges across the country refused to share information about budgetary spending with the NGO. According to the report, administrations of as many as 21 colleges denied information on sanctioned posts, while those of various other colleges did not share even ordinary information like number of students enrolled and attendance of non-teaching staff with the NGO.

It says buildings, facilities and provisions in boys' colleges are generally in need of improvement, although a majority of these institutions meets bare minimum standards for basic infrastructure and facilities in reasonable conditions.

According to the report, an average of 76 students share a classroom in Punjab, 44 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 78 in Balochistan and 100 in Sindh.

On an average, there is one toilet for 151 students of boys colleges across the country. In Punjab 147 students have to use one toilet, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 143, in Balochistan 330 and in Sindh it is 146 students per toilet.

The report observes boys colleges in Balochistan were found to be in the worst conditions vis-à-vis infrastructure and facilities, followed by colleges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Colleges in Punjab and Sindh, although better in relative terms, also lack such facilities, while the Islamabad sample is too small to draw any conclusions, it adds.

FAFEN is a network of 35 civil society organisations 'working to foster democratic accountabilities' in Pakistan. It is governed by Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability.

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900 teachers getting pay without work
Toba tek singh: Over 900 government schoolteachers are being paid salaries without any assignment for the last several years.

Education EDO Dilshad Baig told reporters here on Saturday that under the government policy, a teacher was required for every 40 students in primary schools and one and a half teacher for every class of 50 to 60 students in elementary and secondary schools.

However, the number of teachers was surplus in this district and they were performing duties in those schools where there was a shortage of students.

He said that out of these surplus teachers, 400 had been transferred to those schools where there was a shortage of teachers while the process of transfer of remaining teachers would be completed by August 31.

He said that students take no interest in drawing subject but there were about 400 drawing teachers, who were also surplus but getting salaries without any assignment, therefore, it had been decided to change their cadre from drawing teachers to elementary schoolteachers.

He said that these drawing teachers were graduates and they would be deputed to teach general subjects. Dawn

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30-year age limit for CSS demanded
Lahore: The fresh university graduates have demanded of the maximum age limit for CSS examination as 30 years instead of 28 and minimum educational qualifications as Master degree.

In a statement they said that Civil Superior Service is highly prestigious job for every social and economic class of the society and currently introduced World Bank’s 10 points strategy for sustainable economic and administrative ability also recommended to improve education standard of civil service education.

It is better to increase the minimum qualification to Master degree and raise the upper age limit to 30 years. But certain restrictions by the former President Musharraf’s dictatorial regime had decreased the age limit to 28 years, which has already thrown thousands of well talented and educated brains out of this opportunity.

In India, which has far better bureaucratic structure, the minimum age limit for civil service jobs is 30 years. Pakistan has diversified historical legacies of all of the four provinces. And we have the different economical, social and educational standards. Moreover, our education system also hinder to complete education and to get guidance relating Civil Superior Services examination under the age of 28 years. Especially, those who are living in remote areas including aggrieved Balochistan, war torn Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Southern Punjab and far most areas of Sindh where lack of equal opportunities creating obstacle in getting quality education.

Asadullah Cheema a young graduate said that the present so-called democratic government including opposition’s stubborn behaviour is not much different than dictatorial martial law regime. Which seems to be interested only in their vested interests by reverting the decision of Graduation degree and permission of third time Prime Minister ship under 18th Amendment.

My question from President and Prime Minister is if they can revert such decisions on the voice of nearly one thousand members of assemblies then you don’t have the right to restrict thousands of economically poor but mentally enriched and greenish students in education from competing civil superior service having 30 years of age. Very apologetically my request to democratic government is to increase the maximum age limit to 30 years so that every educated person can be able to get this opportunity. In this way govt can also reduce the grievances of provinces also. The nation

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IUB annual function postponed after bomb threats
Bahawalpur: Drama Hungama, the annual grand programme scheduled to be held under Islamia University Bahawalpur Dramatic Club on May 30, had been postponed following bomb threats, sources disclosed on Saturday.

They said that arrangements for the annual function had been finalised and the university students had to perform before over 1,300 guests at Baghdadul Jadeed Campus Main Auditorium. They said that a high-level meeting chaired by Vice-Chancellor Dr Belal A Khan postponed the function. They added that the university authorities had received threats of bomb blasts during the function.

When contacted, IUB PRO Shahzad Khalid denied that the function had been postponed due to threats, saying it had been postponed due to the sizzling heat as the University Auditorium had no air-conditioners. He said that in addition, the function had been put off due to the examinations. When told that the exams were already scheduled when preparations were being made, he did no reply. He just said that the university administration knew better. IUB Dramatic Club president Prof Dr Wajid Khan said the he could not say anything about the matter. He hoped that the festival would be organised later. The news

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TEVTA demonstration
Lahore: The other major news of the week was a large number of students of the Government Technical Training Institute (GTTI), Gulberg staging a demonstration outside the TEVTA Secretariat on May 27 over the alleged mistreatment dished out to a student by the family of TEVTA Chairman Saeed Alvi.

The demonstrators alleged that some students pursuing the discipline of carpentry were allegedly made to work at a boutique owned by the chairman's family. They alleged that one of the students was forced to stand in the sun after he refused to work for the chairman's family. "The high temperature and the fact that he was not allowed to drink any water resulted in the boy eventually fainting while serving out his punishment," they said, demanding that the government take notice of the issue.

The protesters chanted slogans against the TEVTA management. However, the situation got out of hand after angry protesters smashed windowpanes and flowerpots at the TEVTA office. Daily times

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Schoolteachers to besiege parliament
Lahore: The Muttahida Mahaz Asataza Pakistan (MMAP) and other teacher associations have announced besieging the Parliament House on June 3 to demand increase in salaries of government schoolteachers in proportion with increasing inflation.

This was announced by MMAP Secretary General Hafiz Ghulam Mohiuddin and Punjab government schools' Senior Staff Association (SSA) President Hafiz Abdul Nasir in a joint press statement issued here on Sunday. They said that over the years the schoolteachers were being procrastinated with 15 percent increase while the inflation increased many hundreds times. They warned if the government continued its policy, a country wide strong protest campaign would be launched. Every time the government fails in controlling inflation wave and prices increase manifold after every two to three months, they said adding that it became difficult for government servants to make ends meet. Thee news

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