Rescheduling of CIE exams created further apprehensions
Karachi, Nov 19: The newly-released schedule of University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) has created more apprehensions amongst students of O' and A' levels, with many anxious about meeting admission requirements to foreign institutions.
"There is a lot of confusion and our future is at stake. We are still not sure about whether the exams will take place or not, and the dates of these examinations. Some say that students will be compensated, but whatever it is, it is not something we expect out of CIE," said a Karachi-based O'-Level student, on condition of anonymity.
The topic of the postponement of exams has dominated discussion on a number of socialising groups on the internet, including Facebook. The majority of CIE examinations of the October-November session were cancelled after the terror attack at Army headquarters in Rawalpindi, and students expressed their unease about the lack of information being released.
The rising anxiety among students subsequently resulted in the British Council releasing a statement through its information centre officer on these websites. "Where cancellation of an exam has affected only a small number of candidates, CIE will offer each candidate a free entry into the exam session in June 2010. For those exceptional cases where the cancellation of an exam has affected a large number of candidates, CIE will run an exam session in January 2010," the statement read.
As per the statement, results for January exams would be released in March 2010, and the grades would appear on a certificate bearing a October-November header. The CIE, according to the statement, believed that most candidates would have completed an adequate number of examinations in each subject for the syndicate to award reliable grades.
"For those exceptional cases where the cancellation of an exam has affected a large number of candidates, CIE will run an exam session in January 2010. (We know already that we will offer extra papers for O Level English in January 2010 to candidates entered for the October/November session whose exam was cancelled).
"The results for these January exams will be released in March 2010, and appear on the same certificate as exams taken in the October/ November session. CIE will publish details of rescheduled exams for January 2010 after the end of the complete examination session via the British Council website no later than 27 November," read the statement.
This statement further aggravated the situation, because CIE exams are comprehensive and based on different components. For example, Mathematics consists of Mechanics papers 1 and 2, Pure Mathematics papers 1and 2, and Statistics papers 1 and 2, with all the component exams taking place on different dates.
"Some papers cannot be redone, and payment will be refunded to the students concerned, while all documents will be sent to all the students individually," a senior CIE Pakistan official, on conditions of anonymity said.
The official explained that some examinations had several components. While exams of some components were held, the rest of the exams might be judged on the basis of performance in the papers taken, with grades being allotted accordingly.
The official did claim, however, that a separate session will be arranged for Pakistani students for examinations that didn't take place at all. He said that for instance, Pakistani students would be tested in English Language, as no exam was conducted earlier.
Pakistani students would, however, be barred from entering the list of international high achievers, because separate papers would have to be designed for Pakistani students. CIE authorities said that the new schedules will be uploaded on the official website in the coming weeks, and students will be individually updated.Your Comments
KU started accepting graduate exam forms
Karachi: Controller Examinations University of Karachi (KU) has announced that examination forms and fees of regular students of B.A (Pass)/B.Sc. (Pass) and B.Com graduate level annual examinations 2009 (Fresh and Failures) will be accepted from November 18 to November 26 without late fee.
The examination forms and fee of B.A/B.Com/B.O.L & B.Sc. (improvement of division) external annual examinations 2009 will also be accepted from November 18 to November 26 without late fee. Moreover the Vice Chancellor KU has also allowed all those candidates, enrolled/registered in 2003 or earlier and failed in some papers, to appear in the forthcoming graduate level annual examinations 2009 with charges of Rs2000 in addition to the normal examination fee. The news
PC-I for BB medical university approved
Larkana: The maiden meeting of the syndicate of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SBBMU) approved PC-I of the university project here on Wednesday.
SBBMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Sikandar Shaikh who presided over the meeting said that the PC-I was estimated at Rs5 billion, which would now be sent to the Higher Education Commission for vetting.
The HEC would submit it to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) for final approval after reviewing it, he said. The federal government had sanctioned Rs1 billion under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) in the current financial year and so far released Rs300 million, he said.
The syndicate had a Rs100 million budget for the current year and the university had so far received Rs50 million as seed money from the Sindh government, he said.
Mr Shaikh said the syndicate had demanded that the government release the rest of the funds immediately. The meeting also discussed procurement of 220 acres of land for the university to begin construction work on the site, he said. A committee headed by Larkana DCO and tasked to purchase the land has not yet submitted its report, the meeting was told and the syndicate requested the DCO to finalise the site immediately.
He said the land purchase was being delayed because the government had not yet issued notification of the committee but now the government had released Rs88 million to purchase the land. At present, two sites, one on the Larkana-Karachi road and the other on the Larkana-Moenjodaro road, were being considered, the VC said, adding that the syndicate had decided that President Asif Ali Zardari would lay foundation stone for the university.
He said that a selection board headed by the VC had been formed to look into measures for overcoming shortage of teachers in the Chandka and Ghulam Mohammed Mahar medical colleges. The meeting decided that the SBBMU would conduct upcoming examination of new batches from 2010, he said.
SBBMU Registrar Prof Sikandar Mughal, controller of examinations Prof Saifullah Jamro, deans of basic medical sciences, surgery and medicine Prof Assadullah Mahar, principal of CMC Prof Mohammed Ashraf Memon, principal, Ghulam Mohammed Mahar Medical College attended the meeting. Dawn
Jashan-e-Iqbal Star Awards
Karachi: The 19th Jashan-e-Iqbal Star Awards and was organised by SAP in collaboration with the Iqbal Academy Pakistan. People from different walks of life were awarded for their outstanding performance in their respective fields including medical science, engineering, banking, media, human resources management, information technology, community development, literature, finance, social sciences and fine arts.
SAP also published the silver jubilee edition of the book containing the profiles and achievements of the recipients of the 19th Star Awards 2008.
Blood donation camp
Karachi: A blood donation camp was set up at the Government Degree College Malir Cantonment under the aegis of the Omair Sana Foundation on Wednesday. The camp was set up to collect blood donation for children suffering from Thalassemia. Several dozen students of the institution gave blood donations on the occasion. The students also gave cash donations for youngsters suffering from Thalassemia. The news
Poetry analysed at Urdu conference
Karachi: As the five-day Second International Urdu Conference being held in the city entered the second day on Wednesday, more luminaries representing various geographical regions spoke on their respective subjects during the separate sessions on fiction and poetry.
The morning programme was on Urdu fiction, and some high quality research papers were read on the occasion. Writers Intizar Husain, Dr Mustafa Karim and Asad Mohammad Khan presided over the first sitting.
Dr Mumtaz Ahmed Khan's topic was post-independence Urdu novel. He briefly talked about the genesis of Urdu fiction, and then discussed Pakistani novel written after the inception of the country.
Dr Khan said issues like migration, nostalgia and societal shortcomings played a predominant role in the stories that were produced after partition. He cited the example, among many, of Shaukat Siddiqui's Khuda Ki Basti. Qurutulain Haider's Aag Ka Darya too featured in his talk, leading him to touch upon great pieces of fiction such as Khadija Mastoor's Angan, Abdullah Husain's Udas Naslein and Mumtaz Mufti's Alipur Ka Aili.
Mobin Mirza's delineated the difference between the kind of fiction that Intizar Husain, Ahmed Nadim Qasmi and Mumtaz Mufti wrote and the novels and short stories written by the generation that came after them. Writer Najmul Hasan Rizvi's thesis was titled Kahani Ki Hijrat, which pertained to expatriate writers. He said those Pakistanis who live abroad and produce quality fiction are like Ulysses – they don't want to return to their homeland due to many a temptation.
Mazhar Jamil in his brief speech spoke on literary magazines' role in highlighting Urdu short story. He talked about a couple of renowned literary magazine Nuqoosh's afsana numbers, and also praised one of Seap's 1967 editions. He concluded saying that as life has taken many new turns, so has Urdu fiction.
Masood Asher's talk was on international fiction's influence on Urdu fiction. He started off by suggesting that international literature is actually western literature.
He said most new trends that one can witness in Urdu novel and short story have been more or less influenced by western works of literature. Indian scholar Dr Shamim Hanafi addressed the audience via telephone from Delhi.
He lamented the fact that while men of letters try to bridge the gap between countries, politicians do the opposite. Shedding light on Urdu fiction produced in India, he mentioned the names of Nayyar Masood and Khalid Javed, adding that while Nayyar Masood in his fiction tries to save the cultural values that hardly exist anymore, Khalid Javed is obsessed with death.
Writer and journalist Zabe Azkar read out a paper that was suffused with philosophical and literary references, indicative of the angst that typifies modern-day sensibilities. The afternoon session of the conference was on Urdu poetry. It was presided over by Shehzad Ahmed, Prof Sehar Ansari and Iranian scholar Zaibunisa Ali Khan.
Dr Yousuf Khushk's subject was Urdu literature in Sindh. In a succinct speech, he apprised the audience of how after partition, and with the influx of migrants, things changed in Sindh. It led to an atmosphere of harmony, and a great many Sindhi-speaking creative people started undertaking creative work in Urdu.
Dr Nazir Tabassum's topic was sensibilities of ghazal writers in the NWFP. He argued that though the NWFP's experience of partition was different to that of Sindh and Punjab, the region managed to produce great poets like Ahmed Faraz, Farigh Bukhari and Mohsin Ahsan.
Dr Ali Komel Qazalbash's research work on Urdu poetry in Balochistan was a well-constructed one. It impressed many in the audience.
He spoke of Balochistan's sense of deprivation caused by injustices of different kinds, and rued that illiteracy in the region has not helped either. He enlightened the gathering by telling them that in 1911 the tradition of mushaira started to develop in Loralai. A magazine Qindeel-i-Khayal used to be published from the same place.
Dr Qazalbash also looked back on how Urdu literature gained popularity in the region, and claimed that even today ghazals and nazms are being written with all the prowess and finesse that are required for the genres. The head of Urdu department of Dhaka University, Dr Kulsoom Abul Bashar, shed light on post-1971 Urdu literature in Bangladesh.
She said after 1971 the situation was rather gloomy and some people had to suffer double migration. However, they kept composing poetry and writing critiques whichever way they could, and today Urdu literature is in good hands, as not only things are well on the creative front, but even prose and criticism in the country is of high quality.
Muslim Shamim spoke on the future of the Progressive Movement, and said life does not move back, it only progresses. Therefore the progressive movement will keep playing its part in society. Kishwar Naheed enthralled the audience with her poetic speech.
She in a very subtle manner referred to the nerve-racking happenings in Swat, especially in its Kabal region.
She brought the issue of a girl who was killed because she stepped out of her home alone. From this point on, she strengthened her argument related to contemporary social goings-on, quoting from different feminist and other writers. Dr Hilal Naqvi's subject was Urdu marsia and the 21st century.
He said that in the 21st century marsia writing is needed because even in modern times injustice and oppression are wreaking havoc; and marsia has a universal not local significance. Poet Shehzad Ahmed's thesis was on science's impact on modern poetry.
He commenced his talk by discussing Edgar Allan Poe's Eureka and developed the thrust that since disciplines like science have certain limitations, it is poetry that has the power to impinge upon or influence science and not otherwise.
After the second session, three other programmes were lined up for the day in the conference. Daily times
LUMHS to bear student expenses
Mithi: The Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences would bear expenses of medical education, including admission fee, of a poor Thari girl.
This was said by LUMHS Vice-Chancellor Professor Noshad Ahmed Shaikh at a meeting with Ms Nila Luhano, resident of Mithi, who has passed MBBS admission test at the university, but her poor parents are unable to afford the expenses of her studies.
Ms Nila said that she along with her father Govind met the vice-chancellor on Wednesday and apprised him that her father earned livelihood for his family by selling Chhola Chat on a push cart and was unable to bear the expenses of her admission and study at LUMHS.
The vice-chancellor handed over a cheque of Rs42,000 for her admission fee and said that the LUMHS would bear the expenses of her studies for five years, she said.
When asked under what circumstances she had continued her studies, she said that being a poor man, her father was reluctant to allow her to continue study after she passed secondary school examination. However, she added, her teachers encouraged her to continue study.
"Our family lives in a single-room mud house and I do not have a table, chair and computer," she said. Dawn
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