Schools colleges foolproof measures

Senate body calls for enhancing security of educational institutions
Islamabad, Nov 13: Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Education Senator SM Zafar has directed the Ministry of Education to take foolproof measures, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, for ensuring and enhancing security of educational institutions of the federal government in view of the prevailing security environment in the country.

The committee, which met at the Parliament House on Thursday, took cognisance of the media reports regarding unwarranted increase in the monthly fee by some of the private schools in the name of additional security, and instructed the ministry to take up the matter with the management of such schools and bring an immediate end to this unhealthy practice.

The committee also recommended duty-free import of metal detectors, walk-through gates and other security gadgets, especially for bolstering security of educational institutions. It asked the education ministry to make sure that the SOP agreed upon with the management of private schools for improved security must be implemented in letter and spirit to avoid any untoward incident in future.

The private schools not complying with these instructions may be closed down till the time they improve their security profile, it instructed. The members of the committee underscored the need to build the morale of the people, especially parents and to prepare them for the struggle that looms ahead with regard to the threat of terrorism and extremism.

"The Pakistani nation is passing through a critical juncture of its history and everyone of us must have proper realisation of the fact that the war against terror cannot be won without the cooperation and support of the public," it added. The chairman of the committee said: "Education is the most important agent of change; illiterate nations cannot progress in the present day world and we cannot compete with others unless we have a high rate of literacy."

The committee observed that only meaningful, comprehensive and liberal education could produce an enlightened nation and, therefore, education must be accorded the highest priority. The committee asked the ministry to provide comprehensive briefing and presentation on the national education policy and national curriculum along with details of foreign funding, etc. It said the committee may visit some schools to see things for itself.

The Minister for Education, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, informed the meeting that security aspect was being looked after carefully and the ministry was in touch with the management of schools to chalk out better strategies in this regard.

He informed the committee that these have been asked to erect boundary walls of eight- foot height with two feet barbed wire on top. Only parents of students or near relatives authorised by them would be allowed to visit schools. He assured the committee that every effort would be made to follow the instructions given by the Senate body.

The committee recommended posting of uniformed and properly trained guards on the gates of each and every school and parking should not be allowed near the boundary walls. It also suggested that no vendor should be allowed to hang around the schools at closing time.

In order to honour the sacrifices rendered by students and teachers of schools in the FATA, Malakand division, etc, at times by laying down their lives, the committee said a monument be erected to recognise their services.

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UK started sending passports to Pakistani students
Islamabad: The British High Commission (BHC), with the permission of the Foreign Ministry, has started sending passports of Pakistani nationals aspiring for student visas to Abu Dhabi.

The student visa aspirants and their families have voiced strong protest over it, saying the procedure has increased the chances of misplacement of passports or their slipping into wrong hands.

Diplomatic sources told Online that the Foreign Ministry in violation of clause-7 of Passport Act had allowed the BHC to send passports to Abu Dhabi for issuance of visas to students. However it was an offence under the laws. The sources said the government of Pakistan wanted the early completion of the visa issuance process for Pakistani students. However, the process of sending passports to Abu Dhabi by BHC will further delay the visa issuance.

When contacted, a senior Foreign Ministry officer confirmed that only visa applications were earlier sent to Abu Dhabi and passports were not sent there but since the last one and a half week, the passports of all categories were being sent to Abu Dhabi. "The government of Pakistan has accorded its permission under the pressure of the British government," the official added.

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Traffic plan for Harley Street finalised
Rawalpindi: The traffic plan for private schools in Harley Street has been finalised, Chief Traffic Officer Dr. Muhammad Akhtar Abbas said here on Thursday. He said that the plan was prepared in consultation with heads of all 18 private schools located in the street.

Entry of heavy vehicles has been banned in Harley Street while the road will remain open for traffic coming from Tahli Mori from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.There are some 18 schools in Harley Street and the increasing rush of vehicles to pick and drop children puts an extra burden on the road, which hampers the traffic flow in the locality.

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City School starts virtual classes
Islamabad: Keeping in view the current security scenario of the country, the City School has introduced virtual classes at different levels. The purpose of the programme is to facilitate students' learning during emergency situation and guidance whenever they are out of the school premises.

The City School has launched the subject-wise online interactive classes, which have shown excellent results in a pilot project at one of their campuses during the past two months and they plan to launch this programme across the network. The news

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52 students leave for studies in Australia
Islamabad: The Australian High Commissioner, Tim George, Thursday bade farewell to 52 recipients of Australian Scholarships for Australia.

These talented Pakistani students are about to begin Masters level studies in that education-friendly country, said a press release.

The scholarships, which highlighted the strong development partnership between Australia and Pakistan, have been awarded under two programmes, namely Australian Development Scholarships Programme and the Aus AID-Carnegie Mellon University Scholarships Programme.

These scholars will study in the areas of health, education, natural resource management, social science, governance, information technology, law & legal studies, the release further said.

Talking to the youth, the High Commissioner said the scholarships were emerging leaders of Pakistan.

"The Australian Scholarships Programme aims to contribute to the long-term development needs of Pakistan, promoting good governance, economic growth and human development," the press release said. These scholarships will provide Pakistani professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to drive change and influence development outcomes in Pakistan by obtaining relevant tertiary qualifications at high quality Australian higher education institutions.

At the completion of their studies, these scholars would return to Pakistan to contribute to the development of the country. Many previous scholarship holders have become leaders in government, the private sector and non-government organizations, it concluded. The nation

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ICG new student council
Islamabad: The elected members of the Student Council of Islamabad College for Girls (ICG) F-6/2 Thursday took oath in 23rd investiture ceremony.

The members of the council were elected for the year 2009 and they took oath to express commitment to play their role for well being of students. Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Director General Shaista Pirzada, as a chief guest, urged the elected members to fulfil their responsibility and promises they made today.

"It is your responsibility to do something for the betterment of the country and set an example for the future generations," she said. "Student Council must act as a bridge between the administration and students and should work to resolve issues of students with honesty and dedication," Shaista said.

The director general said, "It is the duty of youth of today to ponder over the existing situation and play their role in bringing about a charge." She also advised the students to fulfil their responsibilities by properly managing time for study, family and college activities.

"You should put those demands before administration ,which it can fulfil," she added. She appreciated Principal Nancy Naseem and the teaching staff for the fabulous organisation of constructive and productive co- curricular ventures in the college.

Shaista noted with satisfaction that students took great interest in their council activities and lauded smooth transfer of power after elections. She said that the process of election reflects empowerment through a democratic process. The newly elected President Ramla Khalid took the oath from the D.G. and headed over the candle of office by the ex-president Maria Malik.

The principal of the college, Nancy Naseem in her welcome address presented the history and traditions of the college.

The FDE director general distributed badges to the newly elected members including President Ramla Khalid, Vice President Esha Tanzeem, General Secretary Aqsa Batool, Joint Secretary Rija Sardar and treasurer Javeria Mushtaq. The ceremony was attended by principals of the federal and model schools and colleges, parents of the students and officials of the Federal Directorate of Education. The news

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