National anthem in elite schools issue

Elite schools' defiance over national anthem stirs debate in PA
Karachi, May 05: Senior Education Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq on Friday informed the Sindh Assembly that his ministry had taken serious notice of a report published, which pointed out that some of the elite schools of Karachi had banned the singing of the national anthem by their students.

Haq expressed his extreme displeasure at some of the elite schools that considered singing the national anthem a "waste of time," saying that such an attitude made a joke of national identity.

Some of the key private schools, including the Bay View High School, the CAS, and the Rhodene Academy, have either totally scrapped the tradition of singing the national anthem or do it only once a week.

The report came as a shock for many senior educationists, parents and students. They expressed concern over the banning of the national anthem at these institutions, which follow the Cambridge system of education, and asked the government to intervene.

The minister said the Directorate of Private Schools had been directed to take strict action against these schools, saying that they considered themselves above the law.

He, however, admitted that, aside from barring their registration, the education department had no control over the private schools owing to a Sindh High Court stay order issued more than a decade ago over the appeal of managements of these institutions which challenged the government's regulatory law.

Haq also urged the law department to approach the judiciary so that the stay order on this issue could be vacated earlier.

Izhar-ul-Hasan of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) suggested that the assembly should pass a resolution making the singing of the national anthem mandatory at all schools, including the ones affiliated with foreign system of education. The national anthem is sung in such private schools even in India and Sri Lanka, he said.

Meanwhile, the education minister also took notice of the alleged commercialisation of a missionary school called Shelton, located in Bolton Market. Haq said that after he had learnt about the condition of the historic school in newspapers, he had had it restored after two or three visits. He said the school building had been declared a heritage site, and that its preservation was the responsibility of the government.

He also took notice of the closure of schools that had been built for the Lyari Resettlement Project (LRP), and said that the secretary education and other officials would visit the area and assess the situation on Tuesday. The minister also said that, owing to financial constraints, his department was unable to take over schools immediately.

Muhammad Adil Khan said 12 schools had been closed for 22 months, which had deprived some 6,500 children without education. Heer Soho said that around 10,000 teachers were working at the schools built by the Workers Welfare Fund of the Labour Department, but that they had not been receiving medical facilities for the last two years.

"Some of the elite schools consider singing the national anthem a waste of time, making a joke of national identity" said Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, senior Education Minister.

"The singing of the national anthem should be mandatory at all schools, including the ones affiliated with the foreign system of education" said Izhar-ul-Hasan, MQM MPA.

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Schools served with notices
Karachi: The Directorate of Private School Institution Sindh (DPIS) on Friday sent notices to some of the leading private schools, which barred the singing of national anthem at their morning assemblies.

The notices were served in response to a news report titled "Elite schools say no to national anthem" published on Thursday. "They have been given three days to come up with an answer," Director DPIS Mansoob Siddiqui said that after a meeting of private schools discussed the issue on Friday.

Representatives of two schools mentioned in the report Bayview High School and Rhodene Academy attended the meeting along with officials of Mama Parsi, Nixor College, Karachi Grammar School, The City School, Beaconhouse School System, Washington International, Daud Public School and Haque Academy. But the representative of the third school the CAS - remained absent.

Representatives of most of these schools said that they follow the tradition of national anthem at their assemblies. Meanwhile, Khalid Shah, chairman All Pakistan Private Schools Management Associations Sindh, promised an inquiry regarding the issue, saying that the registration of those schools, which refuse to follow the tradition of national anthem, would be cancelled. The news

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KU announced last date for submission of MA exam forms
Karachi: The University of Karachi (KU) has announced date for the submission of examination form for MA, double MA (first and second year) private. Students can submit their forms till May 31 with a prescribed fee of Rs 2,450 to the bank counter situated at the Silver Jubilee Gate of the university.

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KU to hold test for post-graduate admissions
Karachi: University of Karachi (KU) on Friday announced that the admission test for Post-Graduate Admission 2012 would be conducted on May 6 (tomorrow). In a press release issued by the university, the candidates were directed to reach their respective departments/centres/ institutes at 09:00am along with their original NICs and admit cards. "Admit cards can be collected till May 5 (today) from the respective departments", the statement added. Moreover, test of Chemical Engineering, National Nematological Research Centre and Marine Science will be conducted in the office of the Dean Faculty of Science. It is pertinent to note that the test for admission in the faculty of law will be conducted on May 13.

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One-day training at KU to inculcate gender sensitivity
Karachi: In order to inculcate gender sensitivity in the non-teaching staff, Director Centre of Excellence for Women's Studies, University of Karachi (KU), Prof Dr Nasreen Aslam Shah is organising a training programme on May 5 (today). A statement issued here on Saturday said that the training would be organised in collaboration with the USAID and Aurat Foundation. Almost 25 male and female participants from different administrative blocks of KU will attend the training. The certificates will be distributed by KU VC Prof Dr Muhammad Qaisar while Prof Dr Tahira Aftab, Shagufta Nasreen. Asma Manzoor and Syed Faisal Hashmi will train the participants. Daily times

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No Inter exams today
Karachi: According to a notification by the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK), all the examinations of classes XI and XII which were scheduled for today will now be held after May 28 due to the Sindh government's decision to observe Saturdays as a weekly holiday. This was decided at a meeting of the examination conduct committee of the board. According to the new schedule, the papers scheduled for May 12 will be held on May 29, the May 19 papers will be held on May 30, and the May 26 papers will be held on May 31.

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College canteens being allotted illegally on Pir Mazhar's orders
Karachi: On the instruction of Senior Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, illegal canteen allotments in colleges of Karachi region continued. These allotments of canteens in violation of rules are particularly being made in girls colleges. In some of the girls colleges, two or three canteens, instead of one, are allotted.The colleges have been deprived of monthly income of hundreds of thousands of rupees. Those allotted canteens have also been given free connection of gas. The news

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