Rs 20b proposed for education budget
Lahore, May 20: A Sub-committee, comprising parliamentarians, constituted by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for budget formulation of the education sector, has recommended an allocation of about Rs 20 billion under the Annual Development Programme 2011-2012, it is learnt.
The sub-committee held a number of meetings and finalised its recommendations in a recent meeting on May 17 which was also attended by the secretaries of relevant departments of education sector.
The committee unanimously recommended to the Punjab government to allocate Rs 14 billion for school education for the ADP 2011-2012. It also recommended to the government to include provision of 1,000 science labs, conduct of science fairs, provision of interactive smart board, 1,000 computer labs in elementary schools, missing facilities in 1,000 high schools to convert them into model schools and reconstruction of dangerous buildings, etc. in the development programme of upcoming fiscal year.
On the higher education side, the sub-committee recommended an allocation of Rs5 billion while adding that in the mid of upcoming financial year, needs of higher education be reviewed and additional funds be provided. It also directed the Higher Education Department Punjab to propose development proposal keeping in view the quality.
The sub-committee also recommended allocation of Rs 627 million for literacy and non-formal basic education besides allocation of additional resources for the sector on demand. It also called for strengthening of primary schooling and launch of functional literacy programme programmes, including provision of vocational training for learners.
For special education, the committee recommended budgetary allocation of around Rs 300 million for the next fiscal year's development programme with additional funding of Rs 166 million.
The body, however, did not recommend allocation for sports sector which is usually reflected in the education budget. As the department of sports has recently been merged into the Punjab Higher Education Department, it is likely that the allocation for higher education would also include the funds for sports.
If compared to the ADP 2010-2011, size of the upcoming ADP 2011-2012 for education sector is likely to be a bit small if the government fully incorporates recommendations of the sub-committee. The total allocation for education sector in 2010-2011 was Rs 23.1 billion including allocation for sports sector. The school education had received Rs 14.05 billion, college education Rs 6.3 billion, special education Rs 500 million, literacy & non-formal education Rs 800 million and Rs 1.6 billion for sports in ADP 2010-2011.
It is pertinent to mention here that the sub committee is headed by PML-N MNA Ahsan Iqbal while its members include MNAs Abid Sher Ali, Sardar M Shafqat Hayat Khan, Rana Mehmoodul Hassan, Muhammad Akhtar Khan Kanju and MPAs Mian Atta Muhammad Khan Maneka, Saeed Akbar Khan Nawani, Ch Javed Ahmed and Rana Muhammad Arshad.
The other two members of the committee are: Raja Muhammad Anwar, chairman Punjab Education Foundation (PEF), and Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, chairman of the Chief Minister's Punjab Strategy and Innovation Unit. According to sources, it is for the first time that elected representatives have been involved in budget formulation as earlier, they used to only review budget preparation for different sectors. They say that CM Shahbaz Sharif had constituted similar sub-committees for other sectors too with an aim to incorporate recommendations of public representatives in formulation of the budget.
When contacted, one of the sub-committee members MPA Rana Muhammad Arshad said the committee had also recommended completion of ongoing construction of college buildings within this fiscal year. He said the launch of Matric Tech programmes in government schools was also recommended besides up-grade of schools.
Lahore: The Punjab University's Examinations Department on Thursday announced the results of various examinations. These exams include MA Physical Education, MSc Zoology, Geography, Mountain Conservation & Water Shed Management, Part-I, Supplementary Examination 2010, MPhil Home Economics, Semester System, Session 2009-2011, MSc Physical Education (Morning), Semester System, Session 2008-2010 and MSc Physical Education (Evening Self-supporting), Semester System, Session 2008-2010. Detailed results are available on PU website www.pu.edu.pk.
Nepalese media team visits PU
Lahore: A six-member media delegation of Nepal visited the Punjab University's Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS) on the varsity's New Campus on Thursday. The members of delegation included Hiranya Lal Shrestha, Dorji Tsering Sherpa, Deependra Rokaya, Deependara Muni Bajracharya, Biswas Baral and Krishna Giri. PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran briefed the delegation about the academic and research programmes of the varsity and said Nepal was the only country where people of different religions lived peacefully whereas being a secular country, it carried republic values at social level.
PEF directors case adjourned
Lahore: The Lahore High Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of a writ petition, challenging the appointments of eight Directors of the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF), till May 27.
On Thursday, a representative of PEF sought time, as its counsel was not available.
Upon this, counsel for petitioner Muhammad Azhar Siddique said the Punjab government was deliberately causing delay in the case and wasting court's time. He pointed out that it was not a complicated case and simple question of law involved in it. The court remarked that the government committed blunders, and the people had to approach the court to get it corrected. The judge made it clear that no further adjournment would be grated on the next hearing. The Punjab government and Education Department had already submitted replies, stating that all the appointments were made according to the law. Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed was hearing a petition filed by Muhammad & Ahmad, a public litigation firm, through Counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique, submitting that the PEF was first established under the Punjab Education Foundation Act 1991. However, the said act was dissolved through the Punjab Education Foundation Act 2004 and the PEF was also dismissed, he added. According to Section 5 of the new law, the petitioner submitted that a board, comprising seven government and eight non-government directors, would be constituted to run the affairs of the foundation.
He alleged that the Punjab government through a notification dated March 18, 2011 appointed six government officers/public servants on the seats reserved for non-government directors. He contended that the said appointments were politically motivated and in violation of the law and constitution. He prayed to the court to declare the said appointments as illegal. It was also prayed through a civil miscellaneous application to stop the said directors from functioning and suspend the notification of their appointments.
27 caught cheating in Inter exams
Karachi: The officials of the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) caught 27 unfair mean cases on Thursday during the visit to different examination centres. Meanwhile, the candidates blamed the centre superintendents and other college staff for collecting the multiple choice questions (MCQs) 10 minutes before the actual time. They also blamed that MCQs were distributed 10 minutes late.
Chairman BIEK Anwar Ahmed Zai expressed his disappointment over the absence of law enforcers and said that the centre superintendents and candidates were under pressure at a number of examination centres.
In his letter sent to the Home Department, the director general Rangers and high-ups of the local police, Zai once again requested the authorities to deploy law enforcers at sensitive examination centres.
According to the BIEK, Government Superior Science College, Shah Faisal Colony; Government Degree Boys College, Nishter Road near KMC Store' Government Degree Boys College, Gulistan-e-Jauhar; Islamia Government Science College, Jigar Muradabadi Road; PECHS Education Foundation Government Science College, Kashmir Road; and Jamia Milia Government Degree College (Morning) are among the sensitive examination centres.
"A reminder has been sent to the authorities concerned and the Board had once again asked them to make necessary security arrangements at the examination centres," Zai said. "The college staff and candidates feel so insecure in the absence of LEA. The deployment of LEA will help the centre superintendents to stop the external influence at the examination centres," he further said.
The Board officials and media during the visit once again observed the electricity issue at the examination centres. The male and female candidates were not comfortable in the absence of power supply while they were busy in solving their papers.
The candidates of Class XI, Pre-Engineering, Home Economics and General Computer Group appeared in the morning shift whereas no exam was scheduled in the afternoon shift on Thursday.
The students of Class XI, Pre-Engineering and General Computer Group appeared in the paper of Mathematics and the candidates of Home Economics appeared in the paper of Textile at 90 examination centres.
Teachers seek removal of rehired officials
Peshawar: The teachers of the University of Engineering and Technology Thursday staged demonstration to press the university administration to remove the retired officials who have been rehired in violation of the Supreme Court directives.
The demonstration was organised by the Engineering University Teachers Association (EUTA). The protesters rallied outside the conference room of the university to welcome the syndicate members, who were busy in a meeting, with anti-administration slogans.
The protesters were of the opinion that they would not accept any step against the employees or the university. They said that six retired officials have been kept on key positions in the university, creating unrest among the senior faculty members of the university.
They threatened to continue their strike and use all legal means till removal of the retired people as was done in other public sector institutions in the country in line with the Supreme Court directives.
They were also critical of the university administration for serving show-cause notices to the president and general secretary of EUTA and accused it of resorting to unethical tactics to pressure the teachers not to struggle for their genuine rights.
The teachers also declared to resist any decision of the university administration to deprive the employees in the name of austerity drive of various allowances, free education to their wards and other privileges.
SBBU campus in Chitral demanded
Chitral: The students belonging to various colleges on Thursday asked the president and prime minister to establish a campus of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University (SBBU) in the district.
Addressing a press conference at the Chitral Press Club, the students' leaders said that the district remained cut off from rest of the country during the entire winter and establishment of the campus was a necessity to promote higher education. They said that all the arrangements had been completed for establishment of SBBU campus in Chitral and the provincial government should provide building for the same.
However, they felt the recent announcement of the chief minister about establishment of the Chitral campus of the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan had complicated the situation. They said that students in Chitral would welcome the move if the campuses of both the universities were established in the district. They also asked the ANP leadership not to politicise the matter. The news