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Higher education monitoring, evaluation

Monitoring, evaluation of higher education launched
Lahore, Nov 19: The Punjab Education Department has launched monitoring and evaluation of higher education in the province for improving quality of education at undergraduate level.

The monitoring teams comprising officials of the higher education wing and DPI (colleges) paid surprise visit to the colleges to check attendance of students and teachers in the classrooms according to the timetable, security arrangements, uniform and ID cards display by the students.

The visits are usually conducted in the early periods starting from 8:00am. The absenteeism of teachers is recorded in their ACRs. Similarly, the result of colleges in the Intermediate Boards and the University is also monitored and evaluated. Principals of colleges, which show below 8 per cent result, are punished. Recently the department has suspended as many as 36 principals for showing zero or below 8 per cent result in BA, BSc exams 2009 of the Punjab University.

The monitoring and inspection teams also checked the development projects and on-going schemes under the Punjab Education Sector Reforms Programme (PRSP) to provide missing facilities in colleges including furniture, shortage of classrooms, laboratories, libraries, drinking water facilities and lavatories.

Sources in the Education Department said the work on boundary walls was in progress at dozens of colleges while the principals had been allowed to use college funds for provision of security equipments. In the light of experiences during the inspection, one window operation has been introduced at the Civil Secretariat headed by a deputy secretary to redress the grievances of college teachers like their re-imbursement cases, leave applications, GP fund, posting, transfers and promotions.

The teachers need not to go pillar to post for the redress of their applications. Thus the teachers' precious time is saved enabling them to concentrate on classroom instructions. The nation

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College buildings vulnerable as police protect SSP's office
Lahore: Police and law enforcement agencies are risking the security of the Islamia College Civil Lines (ICCL) in a bid to protect the senior superintendent of police (SSP) Operations office on Outfall Road, it has been learnt.

Police have converted a two-lane road into a single lane-road by permanently blocking 150 yards of a section on one side of the road. This stretch is located in front of the SSP's office. Sources in the police department said the step had been taken to protect the office from any terrorist attack.

They said "minor changes in the flow of traffic had been in accordance with a comprehensive security plan for the office", adding the plan's implementation had begun a few months ago when an eight-feet high concrete wall was erected on the divider that separated the road between the SSP's office from the neighbouring ICCL building and the Government College University hostels opposite the office. Expressing concerns, ICCL students said that the institute's security was being risked to protect the SSP's office.

They said that if any terrorist tried to attack the office, it would be the other buildings that would be damaged. Usama Saeed, a student, said the authorities should taken steps to secure the buildings of both institutions for being near the police office.

After the May 27 attack on the Rescue 15 building, security agencies had blocked various roads to secure offices of security officials, which the Lahore High Court later ordered reopened. Superintendent of Police (Security) Imran Arshad said that he had "no information about blocking any portion of the road", adding that he would look into the matter. Daily times

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Indecent college clerk escaped unhurt
Faisalabad: An office clerk at a girls' college here escaped punishment after an inquiry found him guilty of extracting indecent favours from the students, it has been learnt. All the authorities did in the wake of the inquiry's findings was to transfer the clerk to another college within Faisalabad division.

The chief minister's secretariat in Lahore had received an anonymous complaint on July 11 last calling for an investigation of the conduct of one Muhammad Ashfaq who was working as an office clerk in the Madina Town College, Faisalabad. On a directive from the Punjab government, the district coordination officer of Faisalabad appointed Ms Kiran Khurshid, the deputy district officer (revenue, Saddar), as the inquiry officer in the case.

Ms Khurshid led a raid on the offices of Ashfaq on Oct 28 last and seized from there pornographic photographs and CDs which were later found to be containing obscene material. The inquiry report emphasises the stenographer attached with the Madina Town College principal confirmed the content. Cornered by the official investigation, Ashfaq said the whole case was a conspiracy against him and he found support in the person of the college principal. The inquiry report says the principal, Abida Fayyaz, called in her entire clerical staff and asked them to sign a statement in favour of Ashfaq.

His colleagues had bailed out Ashfaq in the past by declaring him innocent, but this time they refused, notes inquiry officer Ms Kiran Khurshid. In her inquiry report, Ms Khurshid says that many complaints had previously been lodged against the same clerk, but if an inquiry was ever held, its findings were not made available to her for a perusal. As part of her own inquiry, she found students who told her that Ashfaq would ask for indecent favours from girl students against assurances of passage to next classes and good grades.

The inquiry officer quotes one girl as saying that she had seen Ashfaq watch pornography on the computer in his office and in the company of a few girls from the college. Another girl claimed Ashfaq had tried to lure her and one of her class-fellows a few years ago. The witness said she had to discontinue her studies after she told her family about Ashfaq's advances.

She said her class fellow eventually succumbed to the pestering clerk's demands to befriend him and Ashfaq returned the favour by helping her get through her next exam by unfair means. In his statement to the inquiry officer, Muhammad Ashfaq described all allegations against him as baseless. In fact he argued the inquiry was unjustified since it was launched on the basis of an anonymous complaint.

In her conclusion, Ms Kiran Khurshid asked that clerk Ashfaq should be dismissed from service. She described her investigation as a mere scratching of the surface and feared a far greater rot underneath. Her demand was for an inquiry against the college administration that had so stubbornly stood by Ashfaq when he was in the dock.

The inquiry officer made her submission on Nov 3. Ashfaq was transferred to a college in Toba Tek Singh within the jurisdiction of the Faisalabad directorate of colleges. In Lahore, the Punjab government is yet to break its silence on the subject.

A case under section 292 and 293 of PPC and 18 Motion Pictures Act has been registered with the Civil Lines Police against Ashfaq, however, he has not been arrested yet. DCO Saeed Iqbal approached the City Police Officer Mohammad Tahir for registration of the case. Dawn

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PU, job website signed MoU
Lahore: The Punjab University and Pakistan's leading job website have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU). Through this strategic partnership will develop a state-of-the-art campus career portal for the students, alumni, employers and faculty of the university.

According to a press release here on Wednesday, this campus career portal would enable over 30,000 students of the university to have access to over 22,000 employers for jobs and internship opportunities. The campus career portal initiative of is backed by the ICT R&D Fund of the Ministry of IT, Government of Pakistan, and is a unique undertaking with the aim to transform the country into a knowledge economy besides promoting innovation and pragmatic academic research. The MoU signing ceremony, held at the PU VC office, was chaired by Vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran and website CEO Monis Rahman.

Meanwhile Punjab Agriculture Minister Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh on Wednesday inaugurated Natural Products Laboratory at the Institute of Mycology and Plant Pathology at the varsity.

PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jamil Anwar and Director Prof Dr Rukhsana Bajwa were also present on the occasion. A press release here on Wednesday said the minister visited the laboratory where he was briefed about preparing of different products of Aloe Vera. Dr Rukhsana said that the quality products prepared in the laboratory were provided only for Rs 300 each compared to low quality but expensive products available in the market. She said that the same product was worth Rs 3200 in USA.

The minister and vice-chancellor visited Micro Mycology Laboratory where research was carried out on the genes of Fungus Enzymes. They also visited Molecular Pathology Laboratory of the Institute where research was conducted on bacteria and fungus which causes different diseases to plants.

The minister said that Punjab University was the oldest and greatest higher seat of learning and he was pleased that practical research was conducted here. He said that Pakistan was an agricultural country but unfortunately we had problems of food and we have to import one million ton wheat last year. However, this year due to record wheat production of 3.7 million tons, we will meet our requirements. He said that all varsities should conduct research on the diseases which harm our agriculture.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran said that only knowledgeable nations dominated the world. Whoever spends on research, get its fruit in the shape of honour, wealth and power. He said that important research was being conducted in the varsities due to the policies of Higher Education Commission. He congratulated Prof Dr Rukhsana Bajwa on conducting practical research in the institute.

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YDA demanded KEMU convocation
Lahore: The Young Doctors' Association (YDA) has said that no convocation has been held for graduates of the King Edward Medical University (KEMU) for ten years.

Except in 2007, the convocation from 1998 to 2008 had not been held. The Young Doctors' Association, in a press release, on Wednesday said that 200 medal winners were yet to receive gold medals. It was promised by the administration of KEMU that the convocation would be held soon but the promise was not fulfilled. Even the convocation of the new batch of 2008 has not been held as yet.

The Young Doctors' Association demanded that the convocation for the last 10 years should be held immediately and then it should be held on yearly basis as is the case in the Allama Iqbal Medical College (AIMC) where the convocation had not been held convocation for the last 8 years but the administration managed to hold it on yearly basis, setting an example for the others. The news

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GCU singers won trophy
Lahore: The GC University Lahore Nazir Ahmed Music Society has lifted the team trophy at the All Pakistan Music Conference beating the singers from the prime educational intuitions of Pakistan. The university won the trophy for the second consecutive year.

As many as 67 performances of the instrumentalists and vocalists were held at the conference. About fours singers and two instrumentalists from GCU Music Society took part in the competition. Issac Shahazad, an MPhil (Part I) student at GCU, won the gold medal in the category of Solo Tabla Performance. Mohsin Abbass, a GCU BA (Hons) Part II student, was declared the best flutist. However, the GCU singers won the third prizes in the three different categories of solo singing performances.

Umair Ali Akbar, a BSc (Part I) student, struck up the Medhi Hassan's famous Ghazal "Ab Kay Hum Bichray, Tu Shahid Kabi Khaboon Mein Milain". Imran Fida, a BA (Hons) Part I, sang a Kafi, "Sanwal Mour Moharan". GCU Nazir Ahmed Music Society President Muhammad Saad Farooq raised the roof with 350-year-old composition of Hindu Pundits "Aay Ri Aa Li Piya Bin" in Raga Aimen.

His performance met with the loud applause at the competition. Nazia Hassan, the only female participant, enthralled the audience by singing a famous Ghazal "Muj Sa Phele Se Mohbat, Mera Mehboob Na Mang." GCU Vice Chancellor Dr Khalid Aftab has congratulated the participating team of Nazir Ahmed Music Society on their achievement.

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Position holders reach Lahore
Lahore: On the invitation of the Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, a 20-member delegation of high achievers of Matric/Intermediate level examinations 2009 from Balochistan arrived at Allama Iqbal Airport, Lahore today. The Minister Education Punjab Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Additional Secretary Higher Education Ch.

Muhammad Akram, Additional Secretary Schools Ghulam Abbas Sarghana warmly welcomed the delegation. Talking to media men on this occasion, the Minister Education said that all the talented students are great assets of our country. These students are brilliant future of the nation. Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has chalked out this programme to encourage the talented students of Punjab as well as other province.

This step will be proved very helpful to promote the reconciliation among the provinces and will be a recognition of their best academic performance. Talking to media men the Balochistan students said that they are thankful to the Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif for their encouragement.

They told that they all are Pakistani and this visit will promote inter-provincial harmony among the students of the country as well as the talented students of various parts of the country and they would be encouraged by this move. During the visit the delegation will visit the universities, historical and recreational places. The government has finalized foolproof arrangements of students visit, it concluded. F.P Report

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Sports role in students development
Lahore: Punjab Minister for Education, Transport and Excise & Taxation Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman has said that sports events in educational institutions play a vital role in the development of positive activities among the students whereas Pakistan has the atmosphere and seasons for the promotion of all types of games.

He said that the students must utilise their spare time in games and other extracurricular activities because these activities brought regularity in their routine life, and such events built up a positive thinking among the students. He said that Chief Minister Sports Competition Programme would start from November 20, 2009 and continue till January 9, 2010.

He was presiding over a meeting regarding finalisation of Chief Minister's Sports Competition Programme on the pattern of debate competition on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by Secretary Sports Iftikhar Ahmed Rao, Additional Secretary Education Chudhari Akram, Additional Secretary (General) Ghulam Abbad Sargana, Niva Usman Umar, Chairperson CM Taskforce for Sports Ejaz Gull, Chairman Taskforce for Sports and other high ranking officers of the Sports Department.

The meeting reviewed that in the first phase of the programme, sports competitions would be conducted between schools from tehsil level to provincial level from November 20 to December 18. In the second phase, intermediate level sports competitions will be held from December12 to December 29.

In the last phase of the sports programme, sports competition will be held between degree colleges and universities which will continue from January 1, 2010 to January 09, 2010. The meeting reviewed the arrangements of the programme and set up different committees to monitor the games at all levels. The news

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