Private schools countrywide strike against VAT

Private schools warn govt of countrywide strike
Islamabad, May 10: All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association (APPSMA) Saturday held a protest demonstration against the imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) on private educational institutions and warned the government of countrywide strike if the decision was not withdrawn.

More than a dozen representatives of private schools assembled in front of National Press Club (NPC) here on Saturday. They were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans "VAT unacceptable" and "Stop killing future of students'.

The protesters said the private sector was helping government extend the education network in the country and benefiting million of students. They said imposition of VAT had put the future of many students at risk.

APPSMA President Abrar Ahmed Khan addressing the protestors termed the government's decision financial murder of private institutions. He said more than 80,000 private schools were functioning in the country

"According to the 1973 constitution it is the prime responsibility of the government to give education to every individual in the country but unfortunately government instead of doing so was creating hurdles in this regard through such decisions," he said. He demanded that the government take back this decision otherwise they had no option except to launch countywide protest. Daily times

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Private schools fees too high, says RCCI chief
Rawalpindi: The private schools are charging much higher fee from the students, which is beyond the income of most of the people, Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Kashif Shabbir stated this while showing his concern over the situation. Talking to a group of journalists at his office, Shabbir said most of the people belong to middle class and are unable to pay such an amount in terms of fee and continue their children's education. He was of the view that private institutions were fleecing people by charging high fees from them. He said Pakistan's literacy rate was very low and if private schools' monopoly were not brought to an end the country could not be able to achieve its targets. He stressed the need for a uniform education system throughout the country. app

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Oldest school loses land to encroachers
Rawalpindi: The first ever school built for the Muslims in Rawalpindi is fast losing its land to encroachers and is left with only 16 kanals out of the over 42 kanals it once owned, it has been learnt.

The Government Islamia Higher Secondary School, opposite Liaquat Bagh, has already lost its playgrounds to alleged encroachers while its ownership on seven kanals is being questioned by many others.

According to a letter written to the secretary education Punjab by the principal of the school in March 2010, the school was established in 1886 by Anjuman-i-Islam Rawalpindi.

The 42.3 kanal land was mutated in the name of the Punjab government in 1972 when the institution was nationalised under the martial law regulations.

According to the letter, a piece of land measuring seven kanals and three marlas was leased out to a gardener of the school in 1947 when he started a nursery.

After the death of Farman Ali, the gardener, his son obtained a succession certificate and started trying to transfer the valuable land in his name. Meanwhile, another family living in Karachi claimed ownership on the land.

In June 2008, a sub-registrar refused to register a sale deed of the land by a woman in the name of a private person saying the supporting documents did not confirm the ownership of the seller.

The alleged land grabbers moved the office of the registrar against his subordinate and got the decision in their favour in January 2010 and, subsequently, the sale deed was documented. In the meanwhile, another party started claiming the ownership of the land. As a result, three private parties and the school administration entered into litigation in different civil courts.

In the official letter, it has been alleged that almost all documents including the sale deeds and identity cards to claim the ownership of the school land have been found fake and bogus. In this regard, a criminal case was registered in May 2005 against the private persons and revenue officials for tampering with the documents, the letter contained.

The school administration has requested the education department to deal with the encroachers with an iron hand and refer the matter to the Anti-Corruption Establishment for criminal action against them.

The secretary education has also been requested to depute a legal officer to pursue the case and save the precious school land from the alleged land grabbers.

A former principal of the school said the institution's land had shrunk to 16 kanals after its playgrounds were gradually encroached upon and the gate leading to the grounds on the backside was closed.

He said the school building was historical and it was visited by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in 1940 when he addressed a public meeting arranged by the All-India Muslim League in the city. Old teachers of the institution stressed the need to save the historical school and protect its land from land grabbers. Dawn

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Psychological impact on children: Students raise their concerns about terrorism in stage play
Islamabad: The terrorism that threatened the security of educational institutions not only affected the educational activities last year with short intervals but also left a left a psychological impact on the minds of children that might take years to end.

This psychological impact is evident from the fact that schoolchildren have started choosing 'terrorism' as a theme for short plays to be performed on different occasions.

Most of the schools in the capital remained closed last year due to security threats leaving children either inquiring about the phenomenon of suicide bombing or chatting about it with each other.

These discussion and fear of being attacked led the children to think and write about terrorism instead of thinking of social and other issues related to overall development of a society.

The students of Beacon House School System (Margallah Campus) Islamabad are one such example. Innocent and energetic students staged a play this week on the theme of terrorism and its various facets with a solution as to how people, young and old, can serve what is indeed a battle to save and build Pakistan.

The 30-minute play at the outset depicted scene of a family - a mother asking his son to continue his study and being told by him that his father disallowed him. It is here mother's dream that the boy gets higher education and joins the army.

A big screen in the backdrop simultaneously flashes visuals of drone attacks, troop movements and scenes of bodies lying everywhere and terrified people screaming and running around.

The combination of an urge to get higher education and the deafening sounds of bomb blasts and drone attacks shows the state of children minds nowadays.

As the play goes on, a suicide bombing occurs leaving mayhem. After establishing the fact that terrorism is all about destruction, a would-be suicide bomber appears in the following scene and laments mass killing of innocent men, women and children. The scene depicts the children's wish see an end to terrorism.

A dialogue between a Maulana and man shows how and what children think about religious leader. The dialogue actually shows dissatisfaction of children about the role of religious leaders in the current wave of terrorism. It illustrates the deep urge of the children to see their religious leaders strengthening beliefs and moral values by preaching tolerance and peace.

Although the play shows the creative mind of youth but it also raises concerns that how long this physiological war would go and how would it shape the future of Pakistani youth. Daily times

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IIUI holds sports championships
Islamabad: International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) organised an intervarsity rovering championship, with eight universities from across the country participating in the event.

The participating universities included Karachi University, Bahauddin Zakriya University, Agricultural University Faisalabad, Punjab University, University of Engineering & Technology (UET), Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Government College University (GCU) and the host IIUI.

University of Faisalabad got the first position in the competition, Bahauddin Zakriya University came second, GCU came third and Punjab University secured the fourth position.

Meanwhile, IIUI also organised an intervarsity trekking championship in collaboration with HEC in Margalla Hills, in which 18 universities participated, informed Manzoor Hussain Shah, Sports Officer IIUI, who was the organising secretary of the event.

Trekkers started their journey from Track III and trekked through Monal, Talhar Mor, Chah Jabbi and reached Kuwait Hostel, covering some 18km. According to the results, Islamia University Bahawalpur got the first position while Punjab University and AJK University grabbed the second and third positions respectively.

A colourful closing ceremony was arranged at IIUI Faisal Mosque Campus Auditorium. Prof Talat Khurshid, Director General Sports HEC, gave away prizes and souvenirs to the winners and runner-ups.

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Quiz contest held at Imperial School & College
Islamabad: The Imperial International School and College, F-10/3, organised an interclass quiz programme, says a press release. The event was organised as a healthy co-curricular activity to evaluate the intelligence and wittiness of the students. The students of grade 1 to 6 participated in the competition. The different groups of the students were formed. The participants were confident, witty and demonstrated speedy thinking skills as well as team spirit. The quiz questions were based on general knowledge, mathematics, sciences, Islamic studies as well as ethics. Choir songs and short skits between the quiz rounds further enlivened the programme.

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Ahsan Iqbal asks PM, CM to provide land for university
Islamabad: Former minister for education Ahsan Iqbal has appealed to Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to help the project of establishing a world-class university in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad by providing land for the project.

He said "International University of Management and Economics (IUME) is a landmark project, which will bring world class education to Pakistan for Pakistani youth. The first phase of the project shall be completed with cost of $25 million through contributions of Pakistani businessmen and overseas Pakistanis."

The university is envisaged to produce leaders in various disciplines with strong entrepreneurial spirit and sense of social responsibility so that they become agents of change in our society.

He said, "In Pakistan we are losing the battle on knowledge front and must act with great sense of urgency to develop new and dynamic engines of knowledge economy in order to put ourselves on path of sustainable development and progress.

"International University of Management and Economics will be a research university and will focus on finding indigenous solutions to our social and economic problems." The news

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