Varsity teacher suspended for harassing girls
Peshawar, May 18: The administration of University of Peshawar (UoP) has suspended a teacher on charges of sexually harassing girl students.
The UoP has also set up a committee to further probe allegations against him. Perhaps, for the first time in the history of UoP, a teacher has been suspended on charges of sexual harassment.
"It can be a tip of the iceberg as fears of girl students, suppressed due to moral and social inhibitions since long, slowly go away and they speak up against senior teachers, involved in sexual harassment," sources at the university said.
Akhtar Amin, the UoP spokesperson, said that it was moral responsibility of the university administration to take action against the teacher when enough proofs were found against him.
The accused, a teacher of History department, was suspended and a four-member committee with Prof Sara Safdar, dean faculty of social sciences, as its head was formed to probe the issue further, he added.
Another committee was set up at provincial level and tasked to probe the matter when an outspoken MPA of PML-Q, Nighat Orakzai, raised the issue on a point of order in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on April 22.
The MPA had claimed that she received letters from girl students, complaining that some heads of departments were involved in sexual harassment of students.
The UoP administration had first denied having received any written complaint from students in this regard. Ironically, Peshawar University Teachers' Association had also reacted strongly and denied the charges.
Ms Orakzai said that suspension of the teacher proved that the problem existed. She said that she was receiving threats from such elements after she brought the issue in the limelight but she was determined to continue her struggle against the big fish, which spoiled the pond.
Sitara Ayaz, who is heading the provincial committee probing the allegations of sexual harassment of students at the hands of teachers in UoP, said that it was just a start. The committee would soon come up with a report based on facts, she added.
She said that she herself had received three written complaints, three emails and one SMS, alleging that some senior faculty members of UoP were involved in sexual harassment.
The committee is working closely with UoP administration. It found allegations against three persons more serious and credible, she said. "The committee would submit its report with the recommendation of legal action as proposed under the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act," said Ms Ayaz, the only woman minister in the provincial cabinet.
Sources in the university said that many complaints were received after the issue was discussed in the provincial assembly. The girl students, who feared due to social taboos, got courage to speak up against harassment, they said. The university administration for fear of defamation was forced to take action against the teacher, they said.
Sources said that more girls were coming to record statements against some of the senior teachers. "The semester system, adopted by UoP in recent years, has also helped teachers to blackmail their girl students," sources said.
A teacher, requesting anonymity, said that use of abusive language with girl students, discussing their dresses and cracking jokes at them was something common with the professors. The teacher added that there should be a code of conduct for faculty members and they must be held accountable for their behaviour.Your Comments
Fata to get university
Peshawar: The government has approved establishment of a university in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with an estimated cost of Rs3 billion and work on the project will be started soon.
Director Education, Fata, Fazal Manan said this during a presentation to the Governor Masood Kausar on education sector development in tribal areas, according to a handout here on Tuesday.
Mr Manan said that Rs2680.129 million had been allocated for the Fata education during the current financial year, which was the highest ever outlay for education sector in tribal areas. He said that under different schemes, the tribal students were being awarded scholarships worth about Rs1 billion annually.
Additional chief secretary, Fata, Fazal Karim and governor's secretary Sikandar Qayyum were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the governor said that promotion of quality education in Fata was the government's priority. He directed efficient monitoring of schools to check the trend of absenteeism.
He noted that female literacy ratio was very low that needed to be enhanced to a considerable level. On a point concerning teaching staff shortage, he said that the issue would be raised with the federal government.
He stressed the importance of extra-curricular activities in schools and directed for provision of sports facilities in educational institutions of tribal areas.
During the presentation, the governor was also informed that in certain areas schools had been closed due to law and order problems and these would be opened after peace was restored. About closure of community schools, Mr Manan said that these schools were closed in December last year for being found non-functional. However, a survey is being carried out through local committees and feasible schools would be reopened, he said.
The total number of schools in Fata is 5,620, including 41 colleges and nearly 300 high and higher secondary schools. Dawn
SPLA leaders accused of indulging in politics
Karachi: Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq on Tuesday accused Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA) members of working for their own interests instead teachers' community. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, he said that he was working for teachers' welfare and betterment. He said that the present government had promoted many teachers during last three years. The minister said that the members of SPLA were busy in politics and they were ruining the future of students. The minister said that the present government is providing rural allowance to the teachers serving in rural areas of the province. ppi
Students take exams amid power breakdowns
Karachi: Students appearing in the intermediate examinations once again suffered a great deal due to massive power breakdowns at examination centres on Tuesday.
Despite the assurance by the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), almost every examination centre remained without electricity. The management of the KESC had assured the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK), that load shedding would not occur during the papers in the neighbourhoods of the examination centres.
However, BIEK, which is conducting the boardís exams for Class-XI and XII, told this correspondent that candidates solved their papers without electricity.
Meanwhile, the police and rangers were also reluctant to be seen near the examination centres. The BIEK has asked the Sindh Home Department to impose Section 144 to stop the influx of outsiders around the examination centres so that candidates could solve their papers without any interference in the classrooms.
During the second day of the annual exams, 31 candidates of Class-XI of Medical Technology Group appeared at two examination centres in the paper of Microbiology while 1,817 students of Science Pre-Engineering and General Group appeared in the Paper-I of Computer Science. Furthermore, 30,212 pupils of Commerce (Regular) Group appeared in the Paper-I of Business Maths. According to BIEK officials, no unfair means case was reported in the morning and afternoon shifts on Tuesday.
125 deaf students graduate with a bright future ahead
Karachi: As the academic year approaches its end, many children all over the city attend graduation ceremonies with their beaming parents bearing witness to this milestone, and the 125 hearing-impaired students at Deaf Reach were no exceptions; as they too received academic merits at the annual graduation celebration at the Arts Council Karachi on Tuesday.
Deaf Reach School is a project of the Family Educational Services Foundation (FESF), and is Pakistan's only educational institution for the deaf which has a network extending to major cities like Hyderabad, Sukkur and Lahore; with a new branch opening soon in Rashidabad, 35 kilometers from Hyderabad. A project in collaboration with the Rashid Memorial Welfare Organisation (RMWO), the Rashidabad school will enroll 500 deaf children from underprivileged families in interior Sindh, and these students will have the opportunity to receive top quality education for the first time in their lives.
The real merit of these schools is that they provide quality education to deaf children in areas where these opportunities are virtually non-existent. Students not only receive academic as well as vocational training, the older students are also facilitated in finding employment through the school's "Job Placement Program."
Sign language and awareness classes are taught on a regular basis to parents and other family members of students, as well as to hundreds of volunteers who are interested in helping children that have a hearing impairment.
The event's objective was not only to appreciate the achievements of the students as well as their instructors, but also to honor their mothers; without whom the academic development of deaf children would be impossible, said Richard Geary, the Executive Director of FESF.
He added that these extraordinary women go the extra mile to meet their child's special needs, and ultimately revel in the joy of witnessing their children acquire the education as well as skills required to make them self-sufficient in the future and significant contributors to society.
During the poignant ceremony, Country Head Rutgers World Population Foundation (WFP) Qadeer Baig presented a "Mother of the Year" award to three proud women, while other mother's were honored with appreciation gifts as well as cards that were handmade by the students.
Special guest Amjad Sabri recited a Naat and prayer to begin the ceremony. The news