NWFP schools incomplete courses

Courses at NWFP schools likely to remain incomplete
Peshawar, Nov 8: Most of the schools in NFWP will not be able to complete courses within the stipulated period as educational institutions were closed twice in the province owing to the prevailing law and order situation.

The teachers and parents fear that non-completion of courses will badly affects the students appearing in Secondary School Certificate examinations in March next. The educational institutions were closed on May 15, some 15 days before the annual summer vocation, to accommodate more than two million internally displaced persons from Swat. Usually schools are closed for summer vocation on June 1.

The schools, colleges and universities were again closed for two weeks after two bomb blasts at International Islamic University in Islamabad and series of bomb blasts in Peshawar. Though the closure of educational institutions have affected all students yet teachers and parents of the students, appearing in SSC examinations, are more worried about the future of their children.

The results of SSC examinations are considered very important for the future of students. Educationists say that good result of SSC examination is the first step towards the bright future of a student. The students, who obtain good marks in SSC examinations, can get admission at reputed colleges. Out of 19 chapters of English in Part-I of SSC, only nine have been taught, a teacher wishing anonymity informed. The closure of schools for two times was a big loss for the students of SSC, he said. The first term examinations, usually held in September, couldn't be held because the required course was not completed owing to early closure of schools before the scheduled summer vocation, he said.

The mid-term examination would take another 15 to 20 days in which teaching the course would be stopped. Secondly, according to the demand of the students, they would be freed for 15 days for preparation of examinations.

Another teacher, who teaches Pakistan Studies said that he had taught only five chapters out of 10. He said he didn't expect that courses would be completed within the specified time. "We need time to cover the course," he added. He suggested that SSC examinations should be taken at least one month late of the scheduled date. Dawn

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Private schools decided to restart academic activities
Rawalpindi: The private schools of the capital city, which were closed after the security threats will re-open from Tuesday.

Parents and students have been informed about the decision. In the wake of security threats, the private schools had announced extension in vacations for almost 10 days that were scheduled to be open on November 1 and now have made all necessary security arrangements to cope with the threat of terrorist attacks.

According to the sources, a high-level meeting was held in which the management of schools has checked the security arrangements on the premises of schools besides looking into other options.

"One of the most discussed options included opening of 'A' and 'O' level classes while junior sections closure till Eid-ul Azha, but later on it was decided that all classes would start functioning simultaneously," the source revealed.

An official of a leading private school said that they have made all necessary security arrangements that include installation of walkthrough gates, CCTV cameras, pickets and deputation of skilled guards. "Whatever had been prescribed by the law enforcement agencies we did it all in order to secure the students studying in our institution," he said.

On the other hand the parents of the students studying in the leading private institutions on one hand heaved a sigh of relief as their kids were facing huge academic loss while on the other hand seemed concerned over the lingering danger of terrorist attacks.

The parents highlighted the area that needs immediate attention of the authorities in order to avoid any untoward situation.

Ghafoor Rehman, a father of two kids, said that the security inside the boundary wall of the school was not enough, but concrete measures should be taken to ensure the security of children even outside the boundary walls. "Jam packed traffic is a routine matter on the roads where all these leading private institutions are situated which could be a severe security threat, but nothing has been done so far to regularise the traffic in these areas," Rehman said.

Aftab Shah said that installation of CCTV cameras in the vicinity of schools was not fruitful until a control room is installed where continuous monitoring of all happenings on the premises is ensured. "Mere footage of some untoward incident is only useful for the TV channels and could not do anything in curbing such incidents," he said.

Some parents said that they were expecting increase in fee. The said that the administration of schools have collected Rs100 few months back saying that they were deputing private security guards for the security of students beside collecting Rs50 from each student for making students' identity card for security purpose.

A vice principal of a school said that they have completed all necessary security arrangements and informed parents about re-opening of schools on Tuesday. "It is right that previously we were reluctant to open the junior section, but there was a consensus over the opening of all sections in a high level meeting held here on Friday," he said.

To a question, he said that the decision of increase in salary could not be taken up by individual campus. "If the headquarter asked to increase the fee then it has to be increased," he added.

SP Kamran Adil said that they have constituted special teams, which are checking the security arrangements in the schools. "No school would be allowed to open the school until they fulfil the criteria set by the district administration," he said.

Adil said that the special teams would continue visiting schools in order to check the security arrangements on regular basis. "It is not that we would stop our duty once the schools re-open rather the process of checking the arrangements would continue until the law and order situation improves," he added.

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No clue yet to kidnapped KUST VC
Peshawar: Missing vice-chancellor of the Kohat University of Sciences and Technology (KUST) remained untraced while 15 tribesmen of Darra Adamkhel were arrested and four of their vehicles impounded under the Collective Responsibility Clause of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) here Saturday.

A large-scale operation was carried out in Darra Adamkhel and the surroundings of Matani but the law-enforcers failed to find any clue to the missing scientist and senior-most academician, Dr Mian Lutfullah Kakakhel.

Dr Lutfullah, also a former advisor to the NWFP governor, was kidnapped on way to his residence in the Professors Colony at the University of Peshawar campus along with his driver and a staff member on Friday. His two companions were freed before the captors shifted the vice chancellor along with his car to an unknown place.

"We have conducted raids in many parts of Darra and Matani. Also, we have taken many people into custody to reach the kidnappers," a senior official said.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. There were reports that the militants intercepted Dr Lutfullah's vehicle on a number of occasions on Kohat Road in the past, but let him go.

Meanwhile, teachers of the University of Peshawar and other universities criticised the government for not providing security to such a senior academician, who had to pass through the volatile Darra Adamkhel, a militant stronghold that is yet to be fully cleared and secured by the security forces after months of military operation there.

Also, lawlessness has increased in Matani during the past few days as several incidents of kidnapping, ambush and bomb attacks had taken place in the area recently. Law and order situation had improved to some extent in Matani and nearby towns during the past few months. However, the miscreants, who had gone underground, have resurfaced to make the Kohat Road one of the most insecure areas to travel on.

Known as a dedicated teacher, Dr Lutfullah had helped establish universities of science and technology across the NWFP when he was appointed advisor to the then NWFP governor, Lt Gen (R) Iftikhar Hussain Shah.

Hailing from Nowshera district, Dr Lutfullah has been making efforts to promote information technology education in NWFP. He has done his PhD in Physical Chemistry from UK. Apart from authoring a number of books, he founded the Computer Science Department at the University of Peshawar.

Meanwhile, the students of the KUST took out a protest rally against the kidnapping of the VC and blocked the Indus Highway for an hour.

Speaking on the occasion, Umair, the president of Students Welfare Association and Mudassir, the president of Students Action Committee, condemned the government for its failure to provide protection to the teachers.

They threatened to continue their strike if the kidnapped VC was not recovered soon. Sources said the teachers and students would take out another procession today (Sunday) against the kidnapping of the VC.

NWFP Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani Saturday condemned the kidnapping of the Vice Chancellor of Kohat University of Science and Technology, Prof Dr Lutfullah Kakakhel.

The governor, who is also the Chancellor of the University, assured the family members and relatives of the officials that efforts were underway to ensure his safe recovery. The incident, the governor said, was intolerable and every patriotic and conscious citizen must condemn this highly immoral and inhuman act on part of kidnappers.

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5,995 passed out at ITP driving school
Islamabad: A total of 5,995 candidates including 1,428 women have passed the driving course at the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) driving school during the last three and half year.

The candidates are given the training under various categories i.e. motorcar driving, driving of LTV and HTV and issued licenses after successful completion of driving course. So far, these 5,995 candidates have passed out in 49 batches out of which 1,428 are women. SSP Traffic Dr. Moeen Masood while addressing the last 49th batch of ITP Driving School's students apprised them that they should always fasten seat belt and refrain from the use of mobile phone during driving.

He said that pedestrians have the first right to cross the road and driver should give them this right. "The ITP Driving School is not only providing training but a source of community policing", Dr. Moeen Masood said. He stressed upon the passing out students to observe traffic rules and ensure discipline on road while driving the vehicles. The basic responsibility of ITP is to provide safe traffic system to the citizens and instructors at ITP driving school are doing their best to ensure it.

The SSP (Traffic) said the fine tickets were not issued as punitive measure but the purpose is to create a sense of responsibility among them. Traffic police staff have also been directed to take more steps for improving the police image and facilitate the citizens by providing an effective traffic system to them, he said. The news

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Teachers, student hurt in Quetta grenade attack
Quetta: Two teachers and a student were injured on Saturday when terrorists hurled a hand grenade at a girls' school in Quetta, police said.

Separately, 13 people were injured when in a grenade attack on a busy commercial area in the city. The assailants in the school attack lobbed the grenade at a junior school, senior police officer Khalid Manzoor said. The grenade blew off the staff room's roof and the shrapnel hit two female teachers and an eight-year-old student, he said.

"The teachers sustained head injuries but both are out of danger," Manzoor said, adding that the student had minor injuries. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Grenade and bomb explosions and drive-by shootings are fairly frequent in Balochistan, which is gripped by an insurgency. The attacks have usually targeted school and university teachers, a majority of whom is of Punjabi ethnicity.

Hundreds of people have died since Baloch militants launched attacks against government employees and security personnel in 2004, demanding autonomy and a greater share of the profits from the region's natural resources. APP

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