Summer vacation in July, August
Karachi, May 19: The Sindh government announced on Friday that the educational institutions in the province would observe the summer vacation from July 1 to August 31 this year.
The announcement came in the wake of repeated appeals made by educational institutes to declare the months of July and August as summer vacation in view of the holy month of Ramazan falling during this period. Also, officials linked the decision to climate change and flooding, which affected education in the province in 2010 and 2011.
According to the decision, the educational institutes in Sindh will remain open in June and close in July and August.
On Friday, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah approved a summary to this effect, which had been moved by the education department, said a spokesperson for the CM House.
The education department had contended in its summary that in 2010 and 2011 the province suffered heavy floods and rainfalls due to climate change that changed the monsoon season. As thousands of families were displaced, the government turned schools into temporary shelters for affected people, and resultantly schools remained closed in the month of August as well.
The department pointed out that weather experts had predicted that this pattern of rains would continue in future. Therefore, it said, it was imperative to change the summer vacation from June and July to July and August so that studies of students were not disturbed.
The decision, several school authorities believe, will benefit students, as during Ramazan school days are short and Eid holidays disrupt regular teaching schedules. Syed Khalid Shah, chairman of the All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association (APSMA), said, "Having the vacation in July and August was our idea. The decision was delayed; nevertheless, it is a sigh of relief."
Sharfuz Zaman, chairman of the Private Schools Management Association which was one of the stakeholders pressing the government to approve the July-August summer vacation proposal, said, "PSMA and millions of parents commend the decision of the chief minister. He has sent a good message to other provinces. We hope in future the Sindh government foresees and maintains the respect of Ramazan."
However, schools which follow the Cambridge international examinations system have decided to continue with their schedules. Many of them have already uploaded their school calendars for the next session, and the last-minute decision of the provincial government will act as a roadblock in their regular studies.
"Our sessions have been planned, we follow an international examination system and our school year is planned accordingly. The summer vacations will continue as they always were-in June and July," said Sanaullah Kazi, administrator of a private school.
When The City School Karachi's head office was contacted, its officials were taken by surprise, and said that so far the vacation months remained unchanged but an official statement would be issued by Tuesday.
"Let the Cambridge schools follow their system. If they can have their exams at a different time than the local board, let them have their vacations as they want to as well. After all they are in minority," said Khalid Shah, chairman of the APSMA.
APP adds: Adviser to the Chief Minister on Media Sharmila Farooqui appreciated the decision on the summer vacation. In a statement issued here, she said that it would enable the parents, teachers and students to save themselves from the heat and spend Ramazan at home. This would also save the students from the monsoon rains, she added.
KU to be monitored by CCTV cameras
Karachi: In an effort to discourage student clashes and keep a check on the security situation at the Karachi University, the administration of the varsity has decided to place security cameras in sensitive areas of the campus.
"The cameras will cover all the gates, the administration block, the arts lobby and other areas deemed sensitive," said Khalid Iraqi, campus adviser of the Karachi University.
Administration officials said that tenders had been published and the bidding process for the necessary equipment would begin soon. Iraqi revealed that the administration had marked the sensitive areas on campus and added that the preliminary project plan did not include classrooms.
"The footage will be useful in catching culprits every time a clash occurs. Often, the authorities are left at clueless as to which party is at fault. The footage can be used as evidence."
So far, he said, the process was going smoothly and political parties did not show any resistance to the installation of these cameras.
Saadia Mehmood, a teacher at the department of mass communication, thinks it is "a good idea".
"There can be arguments saying that educational institutes should not be run like jails, but the fact of the matter is, we do have criminals inside. For the benefit of the innocent majority, the step is much needed and should be appreciated."
However, some are fear for the the security of the cameras themselves, as they might be stolen.
University of Sindh wins laurels
Hyderabad: Three scientists of the University of Sindh were honoured with Research Productivity Award in "A" category by the prime minister of Pakistan. In a ceremony organised by Pakistan Council of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has distributed research productivity awards to 40 scientists from various institutions of Pakistan including Dr Muhammad Iqbal Bhanger, Dr Tasneem Gul Kazi and Dr Hassan Imran Afreedi. It also included 12 more scientists of the National Centre of Excellence in Analytical Chemistry, University of Sindh, who have received the awards under different category. The University of Sindh won the laurels. The news
Students' enrolment condition relaxed
Karachi: The Board of Secondary Education, Karachi, on Friday said that Class IX (science and general groups) students would not be required to submit a copy of their 'B' form, issued by Nadra, for enrolment for the time being.
The board had earlier announced that no enrolment form would be accepted if applicants failed to provide a copy of their 'B' forms along with it. However, the board lifted the condition because it was a time-consuming process as many students and parents had to get computerised KMC birth certificates before applying for 'B' forms.
BSEK Secretary Hoor Mazhar said that the facility of submitting the enrolment forms without Nadra form was only for those who did not possess the 'B' form for the time being. The form would have to submited within the next three months, she said. Dawn
Students clean Sea View beach
Karachi: A large number of students participated in a beach-cleaning campaign organised by the DHA educational institutions on the Sea View beach.
A DHA statement on Friday said more than 500 students of DA Model High School wearing colourful caps and specially prepared aprons and gloves along with the teaching staff and janitorial workforce took part in the massive cleaning of the beach with enthusiasm.
The students reaffirmed the motto 'do not litter, let Karachi glitter'. The aim of the campaign was to create environmental awareness in society and to nurture the ecological environment of the earth.
Principal DA Model High School Sohail Ahmed Khan, speaking on the occasion, appreciated the positive initiative taken by DHA to keep the beach and the city clean.
He said that such campaigns testified and augmented the drive initiated by DHA to beautify and to keep the city clean. He urged the citizens to join the DHA in its efforts for making Karachi a beautiful and attractive city. The news
Errors detected in textbooks
Thatta: A number of errors have been found in textbooks for primary schools published by the Sindh Textbook Board (STB) which have been distributed free of cost among students.
Teachers and students are facing hardships because of mistakes and misprinting.
According to a teacher who did not want to be named, the textbook of Sindhi for class-II has blank pages numbered 51, 54 and 59.
Book of mathematics book class-III starts from page number 17 while material for 16 pages was missing.
The STB awarded contract for publication to inexperienced publishers, which led to errors, he said.Four books of class-I Sindhi primer, Sindhi reader, English and mathematics had been combined in one book with paperback binding, he said.
Teachers have complained that 50 per cent books were supplied to a number of schools and almost half of students were deprived of books. Despite passage of a whole month, no education official has taken notice of the matter. Dawn