Teaching English to 54 depts of Karachi University

Teaching English as a second language to 54 depts
Karachi, May 14: We are teaching English to the entire university, comments Prof. Kaleem Raza Khan, Professor and former Chairperson of the Department of English, light heartedly. But the comments of the worthy Professor are on the mark as indeed the department is teaching English Compulsory and Communication Skills to 54 departments.

The department of English was established in 1955. Dr Muhammad Ahsan Farooqui was the first head of the department, which was located in Shivjee Murarji building in Nanakwara.

In January 1960, when the university moved to its present campus, the department was housed on the first floor of the arts faculty building. The faculty currently comprises of three professor, two associate professor, five assistant professor and five lecturers. So far the faculty members have published approximately 85 research papers, books and monographs. It has about 400 students in various classes.

The department offers Masters programme in both English literature and linguistics. So far, the department has awarded M.Phil to two candidates. The department, in association with the National Book Foundation (NBF), organised a symposium on "Pakistani Literature in English "in May 1990. And, in June 1997, the department of English and the Shakespeare Association of Pakistan jointly hosted the first Pakistan International Conference on Shakespeare. The theme of the conference was "Shakespeare around the Globe". It was attended by delegates from all parts of the world. The Keynote address was delivered by Prof. Stanley Wells, Chairman, International Shakespeare Association, Stratford-upon-Avon.

The incumbent Chairman of the department is Prof Dr Munir Wasti, a mild-mannered, whose major area of interest is history of English Literature, is wary of the fading interest of the students in literature. "It is sign of times. Students are more interested to get a degree in linguists and land a good teaching job. It is the demise of literary taste that brings pleasure to the life that is filled with woes, selfishness and greed", he says.

Back in the 1960s, Dr Ashraf Chaudhary was the guiding force at the department. A product of Dhaka University, he was a simple person but strict disciplinarian. One of the most famous and charming personality was that of Prof. Maya Jamil who excelled in teaching drama. "There was no aspect of drama that she did not know," says Prof Kaleem Raza Khan, her student. "We had drama from Christopher Marlowe to George Bernard Shaw and she would only teach Marlowe. If we study the drama of Pre-Elizabethan period that included Tudor Period, The English Renaissance, Middle English, Old English, Roman and Greek Drama, then we had to read revenge tragedy of Seneca and read some drama on Spanish Tragedy before she taught us Hamlet. It was the height of the professionalism," Prof Khan recalls fondly.

Old students still remember Dr Kaleemur Rahman, Professor and Chairman of the department in 70s and 80s. Dr Rahman taught Fiction and Literary Criticism and enthralled the students with his knowledge and the methodology. Many events were held during his tenure.

Prof Kaleem Raza Khan teaches Phonology, Text Analysis and Social Linguistics. He has Masters in literature and linguistics from KU and an MA in Linguistics for ELT from University of Lancaster, UK. Prof Khan is known for his straight talk and integrity of character besides being expert in his field. He has conducted workshops for English Language teachers in different parts of the country.

Dr Iftikhar Shafi teaches Literary Criticism and he is one of the best in the department with comprehensive knowledge of Persian and Urdu. He has attended many international conferences. He once captured the fascination and applause of the literati of the city in a conference on Shakespeare when he read the Urdu translation in verse while Zia Mohyuddin recited the Shakespeare works.

Other teacher that needs special mention is a young lecturer Shumaila Shafqat Ali, a lecturer and coordinator at the department. She is, as many say, is the 'only angel in the department'. She teaches TESOL, Social Linguistics and Psycho-Linguistics. Her hard work, polite manners and friendly smile has endeared her to the teachers and students alike.

Other teachers of the department include Prof Ambreena Qazi (Literature) , Dr Fauzia Shamim (Research) and assistant Professor Tayyab Zaidi (Discourse Analysis) besides a large number of Cooperative Teachers, often termed, albeit jokingly, the mules of the department. The news

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Two students hurt in clash at FUUAST
Karachi: Two students were injured in a clash between two student organisations at the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) on Thursday. Aziz Bhatti police station DSP Fakharul Islam said both groups attacked each other with sticks and iron rods. The clash suspended educational activities at the campus for two hours. Law enforcement agencies reached the spot and used baton-charge and tear gas to disperse the fighting students. SHO Aurangzaib Khattak said clash started at a flower exhibition was being held at the university. He said two people Manzar and Saqib were injured in the clash and police took them to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for treatment. No case was registered till the filing of this report. Daily times

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'Technical education will not be privatised'
Hyderabad: Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority's managing director Abdul Wahid Uqaili has rejected reports about privatization of technical education and vocational training institutions in the province and said the authority has plans either to close down the non-performing institutions or privatizing them.

Mr Uqaili said in a statement issued here on Wednesday that on the contrary, the authority with collaboration of National Vocational and Technical Education Commission was establishing vocational training centres in 14 talukas where no such facility existed before the establishment of authority.

The move to expand the authority's operational area would open new avenues of income and job generation and bring prosperity to people, he said.

His organisation, he said, was at present managing over 230 technical education and vocational training institutes, which would prove instrumental in skill development and creation of job opportunities for hundreds of youths every year.

Mr Uqaili said that the authority was established by the Sindh government to revamp and effectively manage technical education and vocational training institutions with a view to imparting market-oriented education to youths and enhancing their skills. Dawn

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'Roshan Karachi, Roshan Pakistan' event at KPS
Karachi: The energy crisis cannot be solved without the help of common man, specially those who will assume the reins of the country in future, resolved participants of the second event of "Roshan Karachi, Roshan Pakistan" on Tuesday at the Karachi Public School. The campaign, aiming to spread awareness among students regarding the power crisis, was attended by over 500 students of different grades. The news

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