Summer camps Punjab govt fails to rein in private schools
Lahore, May 29: The summer vacation are approaching fast, but this may not be true for many children studying in private schools because most schools have informed parents that they will hold summer camps soon after the first term examinations currently in session.
The Punjab government is helpless as it has no mechanism to make private schools to follow government instructions. Private school chains are even far from government's reach.
Besides many schools, Lahore Grammar School's Ghalib Market branch has sent notices to parents to send their wards to school compulsorily and pay Rs3,500 for the 20-day summer camp beginning soon after the ongoing examinations. The parents as well as students have protested against the new directive.
Punjab school education department secretary Aslam Kamboh said summer camps should be organised for terminal examination class students only. "It will be wrong if private schools will organise summer camps for students of Class-I to IV, VI and VII," he said.
Mr Kamboh said school chains including LGS did not follow government directions and added that still most private schools responded to government directions. He said it would be wrong if schools do not pay teachers for summer camp classes.
Mr Kamboh said his department had moved a summary to the chief minister with regard to summer vacation and policy on summer camps. However, he said, the department would mention in its order that public schools would hold summer camps for terminal examination classes (Class-V, VIII, IX and X) students. He said public schools would not charge any fee and there would be no summer camps in Ramazan.
Private schools' managements say that it is the age of competition and there is a need to teach complete courses to students.
"It becomes even more important for private schools to hold summer camps to complete courses because they offer two weekly holidays," a private school management official said. The official said a summer camp was not full school, but classes for selected subjects for a couple of hours every day.
A senior school education department official, who wished not to be named, said this powerful chief minister (Shahbaz Sharif) had failed to bring legislation to regulate private schools. "Private schools must be regulated to save parents from school managements' undue demands and increase in fees without any rationale," he added.
It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif's special committee proposed in 2009 setting up an autonomous body - Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority - to regulate private schools.
The 20-member committee led by Punjab Education Foundation chairman Raja Muhammad Anwar held extensive debates with stakeholders, including private schools organisations as well as school chains' representatives. The committee came up with the proposal of an autonomous body to be formed under the act of Parliament, having more than 50 per cent of private sector representation.
It was proposed that the autonomous body would deal with each and every affair of private schools - from registration, affiliation, categorisation, examination and fee structure to listening to complaints of parents and students and their redressal.
Since July 2009, the Punjab government has just failed to take up this issue and meet parents' long standing demands.
Shahbaz lauds AIMC's academic excellence
Lahore: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif says Pakistan is facing problems like corruption, energy, terrorism, bad governance, poverty and price hike, and for steering the country out of the situation there is a need for hard work and continuous struggle.
He was speaking at the 12th convocation of Allama Iqbal Medical College here on Monday.
"Like AIDS which weakens the body, foreign aid also ruins a nation. We will have to denounce foreign aid and rely on our own resources to change the situation through collective wisdom, hard work and untiring efforts," he said.
Adviser on Health Khwaja Salman Rafique, Punjab Agriculture Minister Ahmed Ali Aulakh, Indonesean Ambassador in Pakistan Mr. Ishaq, Iranian Consul General Bani Asadi, MNAs, MPAs, Pakistan Medical Dental Council President Prof Sibtainul Hassan, University of Health Sciences Vice-Chancellor Prof IA Naveed attended the convocation.
Mr Sharif while congratulating the graduates said that their parents and teachers deserved appreciation for the achievement. He said the graduates had got fruit of their hard work today and now they should serve the ailing humanity with commitment and zeal.
"The institution is named after Allama Iqbal who was not only a poet, philosopher, thinker but a visionary leader. We have nuclear bomb in our one hand and begging bowl in the other and both of these cannot go together."
He said the Punjab government had one year ago denounced foreign aid and launched welfare programmes like Daanish schools, projects of infrastructure, educational fund, public transport and distribution of laptops. He said the culture of austerity had been promoted in the province and resources generated through curtailing non-developmental expenditure were being utilised for welfare-oriented projects.
Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal Dr. Javed Akram presented address of welcome and highlighted the academic and
research activities of the institution. He said doctors after completing their education from Allama Iqbal Medical College were rendering services throughout the world including Pakistan.
He said that was the first institution where screening of new born babies had been started.
Earlier, Shahbaz Sharif gave away medals to the graduates who showed excellent performance in the examinations. The chief minister was given Shaheen Award on the occasion.
Later, he visited Jinnah Hospital, inaugurated the newly constructed Umar Critical Care Unit and inspected its various sections.
He also listened to the complaints of attendants of certain patients in the hospital and issued on-the-spot orders to the hospital administration.
The CM announced Rs50,000 from his pocket for two poor women patients during his visit to the outdoor department. Dawn
GCU awarded PhD
Lahore: Government College University (GCU) on Monday awarded a PhD degree to a candidate in the field of Political Science. Sadia Mushtaq has been awarded the PhD degree after the completion of her research titled "Pakistan's foreign policy towards India: An analysis of civilian governments and military regimes: 1972-2008" under the supervision of Dr Khalid Javaid Makhdoom. The news