Pakistan ranks 147th in education
|Lahore, Nov 12: A consultative seminar for a comprehensive educational policy was
held on Tuesday in which the participants came up with various suggestions for
uplift of the provincial education system. Seven different groups, assigned to
give recommendations for the educational policy also presented their findings in
Speaking on the occasion, School Education Department
Secretary Nadeem Ashraf said unfortunately the education sector could not be
prioritised in the past.
He said Pakistan was on the 147th position in
the Human Development Index (HDI) in education, adding that it was a matter of
concern. He said 11 such seminars had already been organised in different parts
of the province, adding that the recommendations and proposals coming through
such events would be utilised to chalk out a comprehensive educational
The School Education secretary said Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz
Sharif was giving top priority to education, adding that besides Rs 5 billion
for provision of computer labs in over 4,500 schools, Rs 1 billion had been
allocated to award performance-based incentives to teachers. He also talked
about missing facilities in the government schools.
Officer Lahore Sajjad Ahmad Bhutta said the consultative seminar was a
meaningful exercise, which would provide a draft policy chapter from Lahore
district like other parts of the province.
Prof Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal from the Punjab University's Institute of Education
and Research (IER) said it had been recommended that at least 6 to 7 per cent of
the GNP should be allocated for education, adding that the provision of missing
facilities, including qualified teachers, was also one of the recommendations.
He also recommended appointment of at least two teachers in all the primary
schools of the province, besides induction of teachers against the vacant posts.
He recommended that professional qualifications should also be given preference
at the time of recruitment. He also recommended the permanent appointment of
Representatives from other groups also presented their
recommendations. In the end a question-answer session was held in which the
participants expressed concerns over different recommendations and put forward
their proposals for educational policy. Additional Secretary (Education Reforms)
Nadeemur Rehman, Public Instructions (DPI) Secondary Education Director Mian
Abdul Haq, Elementary Education DPI Chaudhry Abdul Rasheed, Executive District
Officer Education, Lahore, Malik Abdul Rahman and some MPAs and a large number
of people from different walks of life, including teachers and educationists,
were present on the occasion.
It is pertinent to mention here that
according to the invitation extended by the City District Government Lahore
(CDGL) to media, the seminar was to be presided over by Chief Minister Shahbaz
Sharif at 1pm. However, neither the CM came to preside over the seminar nor it
started on time. A large number of people, especially teachers, both male and
female, had arrived before the scheduled time. The seminar, started around
2.30pm when the School Education secretary and DCO arrived. The News
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Three GCUF officials fired for corruption
Faisalabad: The Government College University Faisalabad (GCUF)
has sacked two directors and a senior audit officer on corruption charges, says
a notification issued on Tuesday.
The administration also sealed the
offices of all the sacked officials to prevent any proliferation of
Following embezzlement charges levelled by a citizen, identified
as Nadeem, against finance director Ghulam Safdar Mian, projects and campus
development director Lt Col Muhammad Latif (retired) and senior audit officer
Muhammad Yaqoob, the GCUF vice-chancellor formed a four-member inquiry committee
on Nov 7.
The committee consisting of Dr A.M. Khalid, Dr Mudassar Ahmed,
Dr Haq Nawaz and Education EDO Dr Muhammad Arshad, who is ex-officio member of
the university syndicate, found the officials guilty of millions of rupees
embezzlement and recommended their terminations.
Vice-chancellor Dr Arif
Ali Zaidi heard all the three officials and later sacked them.
joined the institution in Feb 2007, Safdar in July and Yaqoob in Sept 2007 on
special pay packages.
Administrative services director Brig Muhammad
Abass (retired) has been given the additional charge of projects and campus
development director and EDO Dr Arshad has been given the charge of finance
Sources said that Latif requested the VC to permit him to
tender his resignation before termination. The VC first agreed, but later backed
out when the management asked the sacked official to return the monthly salary
he had drawn a couple of days ago.
There were reports that
Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) had arrested the sacked officials, however
the ACE officials rejected any such move. They, however, confirmed that an
inquiry against the sacked officials was underway.
and students demonstrated on Tuesday to express their solidarity with the
vice-chancellor and to persuade him to recall his decision to resign. Dr Zaidi
has sent his resignation to the Punjab governor/chancellor expressing his
inability to continue his services because of personal problems.
and students of all disciplines gathered outside vice-chancellor's office and
chanted slogans in his favour.
Students have threatened to launch a
protest for an indefinite period of time to persuade the vice-chancellor to
review his decision. Similarly, the Academic Staff Association (ASA) has
announced that all faculty members would tender their resignations jointly if
the chancellor accepted Dr Zaidi's resignation.
Addressing a meeting, ASA
president Dr Mudassar and others said there would be no office or class work
until the government announced the rejection of VC's resignation. They also paid
tribute to Dr Zaidi for rendering excellent services for the institution. Dawn
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Persian study centre opens at LCWU
Lahore: The inauguration ceremony of Iranian Study Centre was held at
Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) here on Tuesday.
a press statement, LCWU vice chancellor Prof Dr Bushra Mateen speaking on the
occasion said Persian language could serve as a bridge to bring Pakistan and
Iran closer. "This language is the language of our forefathers; we should
recognise and preserve it in a way it deserves," she added.
Culture Centre Director General Abdul Raza Abbassi said Urdu and Persian
languages were interlinked. Nadir Baba, upcoming director general of the Iranian
Culture Centre appreciated the efforts made by both LCWU and Iranian Culture
Centre for strengthening the relationships between the two countries.
said that the establishment of Iranian Study Centre at LCWU was the step towards
bringing the two nations even closer.
The Iranian Study Centre was
launching various specialisation courses for both teachers and students. In
addition to this, it would facilitate the students with books and technology
required for the said courses.
Besides, two students of Persian
department would be awarded scholarships by the Iranian Culture
To gain the knowledge and explore Iranian educational systems,
culture and specifically the image of women, a delegation led by LCWU VC
comprising deans and faculty members will visit Iran.
Mrs Rafia Shah,
Chairperson Persian department offered the inaugurating prayers.
with the deans of various faculties, Dr Kauser Jamal Cheema, Mrs Riffat Saqlain,
Dr Hammala Khalid, Dr Farhat Saleemi, Ms Rafia Shah and various faculty members
were present on the occasion. The News
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School uniforms fall prey to price hike
Lahore: As the weather gets colder, parents of schoolchildren are faced with the
added expense of winter school uniforms, which they claim have become victims of
the price hike facing the country, despite being made of low quality
Most city schools have already switched to winter uniforms, which
tends to include a blazer inscribed with the school's logo and grey coloured
garments. Several parents said that due to the low quality of the
cloth used for the uniforms, they were forced to purchase extra sets, which
added to the financial burden on them. They claimed that shopkeepers were
intentionally selling low quality school uniforms at high prices.
Sheikh Khalid, one such parent, said that it was surprising that the prices of
school uniforms had increased to such a great extent. He said that some
inflation was expected with the ongoing price hike, but the prices of school
uniforms had increased almost 100 percent in just under a year. He said that
many people seemed to have noticed this, as he had met several parents who felt
the same way. He said that the high prices would not be such an issue if the low
quality cloth did not require the parents to buy new uniforms every
Similarly, Razia Bano said that school uniforms had become
incredibly expensive. She said that she has two children, both of whom go to
private schools. The school administrations directed them to purchase their
uniforms from a specific store, she said, adding that she was limited by a
budget and did not know how she could purchase such expensive uniforms without
exceeding it. Parveen Sherazi, a parent of four children, said that it had
become very expensive to send children to school as there were numerous expenses
that appeared to increase each year. She said that in previous years, she had
purchased three sets of winter uniforms for each of her children, but had been
forced to cut back to two this year because of the price hike. She said that it
was very hard to explain to young children why they weren't getting everything
they felt was required for school.
Price hike: Shahbaz, a uniform
salesman, admitted that the prices of uniforms had increased but attributed it
to the ongoing price hike, saying this was a global phenomenon. He said that his
shop sells uniforms of various different schools, adding that the price of cloth
has risen, forcing him to increase the prices of the uniforms. He said that
several parents had expressed their concern about the issue but nothing could be
done to help them.
Relatively low: Yasmeen, a schoolteacher, said that
the school administration merely suggests certain shops to purchase their
uniform at for the facility of the parents. She said that uniforms were switched
at the start of every summer and winter and it was a requirement that could not
be waived. She said that the cost of the uniforms was relatively low as compared
to the cost of books, stationary, fees and transportation and she did not
understand why this was such a great concern. She said that if parents believe
they are being cheated at a particular shop, they should shop around and
purchase uniforms from shops that offer them better rates and cloth quality. Daily Times
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