Intermediate exams | Sindh colleges

A test of candidates' endurance as intermediate exams begin
Karachi, May 17: Hours-long power failures caused great hardships for tens of thousands of candidates of the annual intermediate examinations 2011 that began in the city on Monday.

The candidates of Class XII - Pre-Engineering, Pre-Medical, Home Economics and Medical Technology groups - appeared in the morning shift, while students of Class XII of the Commerce (Regular) Group sat the exams in the afternoon shift during the first phase of the Higher Secondary School Certificate (Part-I and II) annual examinations. The exams are being conducted by the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK).

However, the candidates in both shifts suffered hours-long unannounced power failures at almost every examination centre. The issue of electricity outages had already affected their preparations for the exams, and on Monday too students sweated heavily as they solved their papers without electricity in hot and humid conditions.

At least 11 candidates from both shifts were caught red-handed using unfair means by BIEK officials. The cases were referred to the committee to take the necessary action in this regard, Chairman BIEK Professor Anwar Ahmed Zai said.

In the first shift, the candidates of Class XII appeared in the paper of Pakistan Studies (Compulsory) from 9:30am to 11:30am, while the students of Commerce (Regular) appeared in the paper of Principle of Commerce from 2:30pm to 5:30pm in the afternoon shift. At least 27,240 candidates of Pre-Engineering, 17,051 students of Pre-Medical and 30,904 pupils of Commerce (Regular) Group took the exams.

There are 90 examination centres for the Science Group of which 47 centres have been established for male and 43 centres for female candidates in the morning shift. Meanwhile, 67 examination centres, including 34 centres for male and 33 for female candidates, have been established in the evening shift for the Commerce (Regular) Group.

The BIEK has also formed a 'super vigilance team' to monitor the examination process. The chairman BIEK, director general Colleges, regional director Colleges Karachi and senior professors were part of the team, Zai said.

During the visits to various examination centres, it was observed that students were sweating while solving their papers due to disruptions in the power supply to those centres.

It was also observed the law-enforcement personnel were not present at a number of examination centres. The board had asked the Sindh Home Department, in written, to provide security arrangements outside the examination centres to avoid external influence.

However, the Board's request was not entertained and the BIEK feared that examination superintendent and other staff may face problems in the absence of police and rangers during the next papers. The chairman BIEK stressed upon the authority concerned to deploy the police and rangers at the examination centres. According to Zai, the BIEK had written an application to the KESC to exempt the examination centres from load shedding. Later on, the board received letters from the authorities concerned in which they ensured their support. It is likely that section 144 would be imposed around the examination centres from the next exam and the KESC would also try to avoid load shedding in the vicinity of the examination centres whereas the rangers would conduct patrolling around the examination centres in the city. The news

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Sindh colleges understaffed, ill-equipped
Nawabshah: The provincial government that appears too much interested in devolution of Higher Education Commission has no plans in the short term to fill thousands of vacant posts of professors and lecturers in most colleges of the province.

A survey conducted on Monday revealed that at least 4,000 posts of professors, lecturers and subject specialists of English, Urdu, chemistry, physics, zoology, botany, physical education, Sindhi, mathematics, political science, international relations, computer science, economics, commerce and other subjects had been vacant for years.

There is no teachers' training institute or academy in the province for training college teachers. No special fund has been allocated for colleges students to enable them to get modern education.

Majority of laboratories in the colleges have no latest scientific equipment and there are no computer laboratories in most colleges even in this so-called hi-tech age.

In Nawabshah colleges, more than 80 posts of lecturers of various subjects, including English, Urdu, botany, chemistry, zoology, mathematics, Sindhi, computer science and physical education have been vacant. The situation is the worst at the Government Girls Degree College in Doulatpur which has no teachers of mathematics, physics, chemistry, zoology, botany, Islamic studies, Pakistan studies, Urdu, Sindhi, political science, Islamic culture, economics, Muslim history, physical education, library science and English for 450 students.

Similarly, at the Government Boys Degree College in Doulatpur, there are only four teachers of general history, computer science and two Sindhi teachers for over 800 students.

There are no teachers for chemistry, physics, botany, zoology, English, Urdu, mathematics, Pakistan studies, Islamic culture, Islamic history and other subjects.The Government Boys Degree College of Nawabshah also faces the same situation, with no teacher of zoology, political science, physical education and library science for 200 plus students.

Over 23 posts of other subject teachers, including English, botany, zoology, mathematics, English, Urdu, Sindhi and other subjects have been vacant at the college for years.

The only Girls Degree College in Nawabshah, with an enrolment of 2,100 students, faces acute shortage of lecturers. The situation is almost same in colleges in Nausharo Feroze, Dadu, Sanghar, Matiari, Khairpur, Sukkur, Larkana, Ghotki, Qambar, Jacobabad, Shikarpur and other districts.

A senior educationist said on request of anonymity that undoubtedly, the government was keen to raise standard of education and establishment of new universities was also a good step but it should start the process of improvement from schools and then colleges and then come the highest level.

The secretary general of Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association, Prof. Mohammad Siddique Unnar, said that the sanctioned strength of teachers in the province's colleges was 10,000 out of whom about 3,700 posts had been vacant.

He said the distribution of teaching staff among colleges was also not fair because there was excess staff at some colleges while many others faced serious shortage of teachers.

He said the government was not serious about raising standard of education in colleges. Dawn

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Five university students remanded
Karachi: Administrative Judge (AJ) of Anti-Terrorism Court Karachi, Justice Maqbool Baqir here on Monday remanded in police custody five university students allegedly involved in kidnapping for ransom and vehicle theft cases. The Anti-Violence Crime Cell of Sindh police arrested Amir Hussain, Mohammad Arshad, Ansar Khalid, Mohammad Salman & Mohammad Taha on May 15, 2011. The police alleged that accused, students enrolled in Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Business Administration and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants programmes at various universities of the city, were involved in cases of kidnapping for ransom and car theft in Defence, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Gulistan-e-Johar. Several cases of kidnapping for ransom and vehicle theft were registered against them. On Monday, the investigation officer (IO) produced accused and requested for their physical custody to complete the investigation. AJ Justice Maqbool Baqir remanded them to police custody till May 29, 2011 and directed IO to submit the charge sheet and produce suspects on next date. ppi

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