Ban objectionable textbooks in Punjab

PU dean urges CM to ban objectionable textbooks
Lahore, May 28: Punjab University (PU) Faculty of Education's Dean Prof Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal has urged Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to ban certain textbooks which contain objectionable material.

In a letter to the CM, a copy available with The News, the educationist alleged that the History textbooks, particularly for English medium schools, written by a foreign author contained objectionable material.

He said one of the history textbooks included such text and information as were against the teachings of Islam and centuries old views held by the Muslims. Quoting an example, Iqbal said one textbook described that the Holy Quran was written (compiled) twenty years after the demise of the Holly Prophet (PBUH), which was totally against the Islamic teachings. According to him Islamic history clearly indicated that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had appointed some scribes to write the verses of the Holy Quran on any suitable object like the leaves of trees, pieces of wood, parchment or leather, flat stones and shoulder blades as and when the verses were revealed to the Holly Prophet (PBUH).

Similarly, contrary to the propaganda by Jews, the Muslims of Jerusalem had built Aqsa Mosque on an empty piece of land. While the Jews, in their bid to expel the Muslims from Jerusalem, propagated that the mosque had been built on a Jewish temple, he said. Iqbal further said the same concept was being propagated by the author of the same history textbook.

In a paragraph the author stated that the Aqsa Mosque was built on a Jewish temple. The actual word of the textbook was, "Though Jerusalem had been conquered by the Muslims in 638 and, soon after, the famous Dome of the Rock was built on the site of the Jewish temple, the Muslim rulers allowed Christian pilgrims to continue to visit their holy places."

The PU Dean of Education also said after the 18th Amendment, powers related to check, control and to remove any material from the textbooks, which would be repugnant to the injunctions of Islam and contrary to the integrity and ideology of Pakistan, had been devolved to the provinces.

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PU identifies places for police pickets
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) administration has identified two places for establishment of police pickets on both campuses of the university.

It is learnt one picket, on the demand of PU Academic Staff Association, will be established near the varsity's Sports Complex near the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS), New Campus while the second at Khalid Bin Waleed Hostel at Old Campus.

Sources in PU administration said policemen would be deployed at both the pickets for almost three months. PUASA had recently observed academic boycott at the varsity as a protest against Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) hooliganism.

PUASA ended its boycott following the Punjab government vowed to ensure provision of peaceful academic environment at the varsity. While majority of Punjab University (PU) teachers have welcomed the Punjab government's decision of deploying police on the campuses demanding its early implementation. There are also those who are opposing the same. PU Academic Group, a pro-Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) faction of teachers, has been opposing the same, saying the police presence would turn the university into a police state.

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Humiliation of PU faculty flayed
Lahore: University of Engineering & Technology (UET) Lahore's Teaching Staff Association (TSA) has strongly condemned the recent incident of humiliation of Punjab University's faculty members by students.

The TSA Executive Committee in a meeting condemned the incident through a unanimous resolution.

It added that TSA President Prof Dr Sohail A Qureshi also assured his support on behalf of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) Punjab.

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FA/FSc part-I exams
Lahore: The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education is holding FA/FSc Part-I annual examinations for 2012 from Monday .

As many as 124,000 candidates are appearing for the examination at 507 examination centres in board's jurisdiction in Lahore, Kasur, Okara, Nankana and Sheikhupura.

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Teachers warn of boycott
Lahore: The Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) has warned of boycott of a refresher course starting from June 6 as a protest against the DG Khan district government for its alleged anti-teacher behaviour. In a press statement on Sunday, PTU office-bearers alleged that the officers of the DG Khan district government were victimising the schoolteachers to hide their own negligence and incompetence. They warned that if the DCO and DMO of DG Khan continued acting in the same manner, teachers, across the province, would be compelled to boycott the refresher course starting from June 6.

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Two deans hired for UET
Lahore: Prof Dr Shahid Naveed of University of Engineering & Technology (UET) has taken charge as new Dean of the varsity's Faculty of Chemical Engineering while Prof Dr Fayyaz Hussain as Dean of Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.

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Students welcome IHC decision
Lahore: The recent decision of Islamabad High Court (IHC) declaring the non-refund policy of all the educational institutions as illegal is being widely appreciated by the stakeholders especially students.

Besides declaring it illegal, the court also directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to formulate a policy in order to safeguard the students' interests.

However, one wonders as to why over the years the HEC, a body to regulate public and private universities/higher education institutes (HEIs) of across the country, has remained oblivious to this issue of public interest and failed to form any policy in this regard. Anyhow, it is better late than never, as they say.

It is generally observed that at the time of admission students apply to a number of universities/HEIs with an aim to secure admission to the best of their choice and suitability among these institutes. Almost all the institutes offer admissions simultaneously but the last dates to deposit fee seldom coincide, leaving the prospective students stranded and confused. In such cases many students deposit fee at more than one institute with a hope once they get admission at the institute of their choice they will follow the refund issue. But unfortunately many of them fail to get a refund. Arham Nazir is one such student who deposited Rs 64,000 under Challan Number N-16331-FA10 for BBA programme at Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Lahore, in July 2010. Later, he secured admission at another more suitable institute. But when he approached CIIT for refund, he was denied the same.

It is pertinent to mention here that Islamabad High Court had passed this particular order related to refund by universities while deciding the petition of a student who got admission to Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) in BS Computer Science programme in July 2010.

Now when the HEC has been directed by the IHC to formulate refund policy, the stakeholders demand that while formulating the policy the Commission should also keep in view all those students who had been denied refund by varsities/ HEIs during, at least last five years and, if possible beyond, should not be deprived of hard-earned money by universities/HEIs. HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi says the Commission is evaluating the whole things after the court order and will formulate a comprehensive policy in this regard.

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AIOU VC offers one million books to public libraries
Lahore: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Vice Chancellor Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi has offered provision of one million books to public libraries, saying around 1.3 million students of the varsity visit public libraries across the country.

Speaking at an inaugural ceremony of the International Journal of Information Management Science on Saturday, the AIOU VC said the university was ready to support public libraries for promotion of education and research among the students. The news

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