Threat of terror attacks on school buses

Terrorists might attack school and college buses
Lahore, Nov 23: Following intelligence reports that terrorists might attack school and college buses, top educational institutions in the city have deployed security guards on their buses that pick and drop students.

Intelligence agencies had warned of attacks on students' buses following the suicide bombing at the International Islamic University (IIU) in Islamabad last month. The reports also warned that terrorist might hijack the buses to coerce the government into fulfilling their demands, such as securing the release of their colleagues, currently in custody.

Law enforcement sources said the government had approached all school and college administrations and advised them to enhance the security of their students, especially those who used institutions' transport. They said a number of public and private-sector educational institutions had immediately stepped up security of their students and deployed guards on their buses and vans.

Kiran, a student of Government College Gulberg, said that she used to feel insecure while traveling on her college bus because of the deteriorating law and order in the country, especially after knowing that terrorists had started targeting students. She said had college administration had now deployed security guards on all the college buses, due to which students had now started to feel protected.

Upon contacting, the administrations of key educational institutions including the Lahore University of Management and Sciences, the Beaconhouse National University, the Government College of Home Economics (GCHE) Gulberg, the Punjab University, the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), the Kinnaird College (KC) and the Government College University confirmed that they had beefed up security for their students using the institutions' transport system.

The GCHE has also deployed guards on all its five buses, while the KC and the LCWU have deployed their senior and experienced drivers and conductors on all their buses.

LCWU Chief Proctor Dr Surriya said the university administration had stepped up security on the campus as well as on its buses and told the staff concerned to avoid allowing outsiders on board. She also the junior staff had also been banned from using the buses because they were solely for students. Daily times

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Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif rewarded top scorers
Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has announced that 50 position-holders of various examinations will be sent on a study tour of educational institutions abroad this year adding two students each from other provinces will also be included in this programme.

The CM was speaking at a prize distribution ceremony held to honour position-holders of intermediate examination of Punjab at the Chief Minister's Secretariat on Sunday.

The CM gave away cash prizes of Rs 400,000, Rs 300,000 and Rs 200,000 to students winning first, second and third positions in the intermediate examination respectively and a cash prize of Rs 200,000, Rs 150,000 and Rs 100,000 to the heads of educational institutions. He also announced similar cash prizes for position holders from Balochistan who are currently visiting Punjab. He also gave commendatory certificates to position holder students.

The CM specially praised the performance of a position holder student, Laiba Mukhtar, who is a Thalassemia patient saying she has proved that nothing was impossible provided one was determined and committed. He also announced that the government will bear all expenses on medical treatment of the student.

He said national resources were mercilessly looted under the supervision of former rulers and problems being currently faced by people such as unemployment, poverty and ignorance were the result of this loot and plunder.

He said those who got heavy loans waived with the connivance of a dictator and misappropriated billions of rupees from Bank of Punjab by appointing their favourite as its head despite opposition of the State Bank of Pakistan were responsible for the present sorry state of affairs in the country. He said it was indeed tragic that those who got loans of billions of rupees written off were still leading a luxurious life but he was confident that they would have to pay for their misdeeds.

The CM said on the one hand, the NRO had weakened the foundations of the country while on the other hand, terrorism, price hike and corruption was posing serious problems. He said democracy was not the name of NRO, writing off bank loans and usurping people' rights but it was aimed at serving people and utilising national resources for the benefit of people.

He said democracy had been revived after a long struggle but there was still uncertainty in the country. He said it was unfortunate that despite being a talented nation and having natural resources we were still begging from others and were obeying their orders only for a meagre amount of money. "There is a need to live within our own means instead of looking towards others," he said.

Shahbaz said prosperity of the country depended on prosperity of provinces adding misunderstandings between provinces would have to be removed and equitable distribution of resources would have to be ensured.

He said it was need of the hour that grievances of the people of Balochistan should be redressed and their rights should be upheld. He said on behalf of PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif he would like to assure Balochi brethren that their due rights would be protected and the PML-N would fight for their cause. The CM said the quota of students of Balochistan in institutions of professional education in Punjab had been increased adding Punjab government would provide free educational to Balochi students who have a certificate from Balochistan government that they cannot bear educational expenses.

Senior Adviser Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Provincial Minister for Education Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Provincial Minister for Prisons Abdul Ghaffoor, Member National Assembly Saira Afzal Tarar besides members of national and provincial assemblies, heads of educational institutions, teachers, parents and columnists attended the ceremony.

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Govt taking steps for education
Lahore: Renowned singers Shehzad Roy and Jawad Ahmed called on Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif here on Sunday.

During the meeting, Shehzad Roy said that after Karachi, the Zindagi Trust would make two schools in Punjab centres of excellence out of which one would be set up in Lahore and the other in southern Punjab.

According to a handout, the chief minister said the Punjab government would extend all-out cooperation to the singers in their efforts for the promotion of education. He said both the schools should be of the highest standard. He commended the Zindagi Trust for the promotion of education and added that the Punjab government was attaching top priority to the uplift of education sector and revolutionary measures were being taken for the purpose.

The CM said that in order to provide quality education to people, Danish Schools were being set up in the far-flung and backward areas of the province. He said that the schools would not only be of the highest standard of education but free boarding and lodging facilities would also be provided to the poor students. He said the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund had been established for polishing the talent of promising students. Mrs Shaista Pervez Malik and Schools Secretary Aslam Komboh were also present. The news

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Private students seek fee exemption
Gujarnwala: The students of private educational institutions have called upon Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to exempt them from admission and registration fee for the annual secondary school certificate examination 2010 like regular students.

Speaking at a meeting here on Sunday, Javed, Usman Naveed, Khalilur Rehman and Mubashar, the students of a private institution, said their parents were already burdened by heavy fees of their institutions and other expenditure so they should be exempted from exam and registration fee.

They called upon the chief minister to immediately look into their demand because the board had already announced the admission schedule for private candidates. Dawn

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Civil society demands civil defence training at schools
Lahore: Educationists, security experts and students have demanded the government restart the National Cadet Corps (NCC) programme and focus on scouting and civil defense training in schools to better prepare to cope with the threat of a terrorist attack.

Experts said that awareness programmes in educational institutions on how to deal with such emergencies would not only make the students feel more secure, but would also instill a sense of responsibility to fight terrorists. Schools and educational institutes were closed across the country after last month's terrorist attack on the International Islamic University Islamabad, in which at least six students were killed and several others injured. Most of the schools have re-opened but a cloud of uncertainty hangs over whether they are adequately secure against any future attacks.

Teachers and students believe that in addition to arranging proper security measures for educational institutes, there was a dire need to equip them with physical training on the pattern of civil defence. They also believe the NCC programme should be restarted and that girl guides and scouting training should also be used.

Scouting is presently being practiced in some government schools, however it is not known to be very effective and only a handful of students are able to benefit from it. The NCC programme aims at providing defence and survival training to students who could voluntarily join the programme. It used to be taught in educational institutes but was abolished some 10 years back.

Sobia Samreen, deputy head mistress at the Lady Mclagan Girls High School, said increasing security in and around institutions was needed, adding that students must also be taught physical training like girl guides, NCC, scouting, civil defence and first aid "so that they feel more responsible and secure".

Masroor Ahmad, a public school teacher, said scouting could play a vital role in helping nurture the youths' character, promoting their physical, mental and spiritual development and making them well-disciplined, useful and good citizens.

Lahore Education Executive District Officer Dr Arshad said his department was planning to provide training to students on civil defence patterns, adding that scouting was already being taught in government schools. Liaqat Bhatti, Civil Defense district officer, said that his department was giving training to public institute students under its available resources.

He said the training programme included guidelines on how to avert any possible terrorist attack and how to respond to any emergency situation. He said the department welcomed private schools to join the training programme since they were free of cost. Daily times

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Nursery kids need an hour of exercise
Islamabad: Nursery children need an hour of daily physical exercise for their future good health, says a new study. John Reilly and colleagues at Glasgow University studied 545 children at 36 nurseries in Glasgow.

The researchers monitored the children who had the recommended adult level of exercise - 30 minutes, three times a week, reported the online edition. But this activity was not enough to affect the children's body mass index (BMI), the researchers found.

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CPSP Training course
Lahore: College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP), Regional Centre, Lahore, organised a training course on medical education for medical teachers, which was attended by 30 professors from civil, army and private medical institutions from across the province. Prof Zafarullah Chaudhry, President CPSP while addressing the participants, said that medical education was a backbone of the development of medical profession, adding that CPSP was offering post-graduation in this field for the last six years.

In this way, the postgraduates of the medical education will provide facility for the development of this important department in the medical institutions of the country. He further said that the standard of training would increase residency programme and electronic monitoring. Prof Khalid Masood Gondal, Regional Director, apprised the participants of the steps taken for the development of Regional Centre, Lahore. The news

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