AKU's 23rd Convocation held
Karachi, Nov 15: Keeping the annual tradition alive, Aga Khan University (AKU) trustees, alumni, faculty and staff honoured 323 graduates at the 23rd AKU Convocation on Saturday.
This year, AKU's Institute for Educational Development graduated 21 students and the School of Nursing 162 nurses, 12 of whom received Master's degrees. The medical college graduated 97 doctors and granted 24 Master of Science degrees. There were 19 Master of Bioethics graduates also, the first class from this programme, at the university. Amidst much applause, Rinam Rahmatullah received the Best Graduate Award from the School of Nursing and Dr Saulat Sajjad Sheikh from the Medical College.
Federal Health Secretary, Khushnood Lashari and chief guest at the morning convocation reminded graduates of the contribution the university has made to the country. Highlighting the hardships the country is facing in the aftermath of the recent floods, he commended the university's relief efforts in making the Railway Hospital in Sukkur operational and turning it into a diarrheal treatment centre which potentially saved many from the epidemic of diarrhoea and cholera in the region.
He said that much needs to be done and urged the graduates to build institutions, create knowledge, set benchmarks of quality by using best practices, develop models for change, inspire ethical practice and lead by example.
The chief guest at the afternoon programme, Chief Justice Sindh High Court, Justice Sarmad Osmany reminded the graduating doctors that they should not treat the medical profession as merely a career, adding, "They must have compassion for their fellow human beings and the desire to serve humanity."
He also spoke about the current situation in Pakistan and how the nation is facing a series of major calamities including the 2005 earthquake and the recent floods, as well as terrorism. These are situations that only the citizens of Pakistan can take responsibility for and respond to.
On a similar note, President, Aga Khan University, Feroz Rasul reminded the graduates of their role in rebuilding Pakistan.
He emphasised how great leaders have been able to effect change by challenging the way a society thinks and shapes its institutions; from Nelson Mandela, who withstood 27 years in prison on the basis of a principle, to Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who nursed the birth of a nation. Rasul called for leadership that displays the same qualities of resilience. "Leaders who have the capacity to bounce back from misfortune, disruptive change, and crises; who have the ability to step up, see a new horizon with greater opportunities, and then engage those around them to achieve that vision," he said. The ability to be a resilient leader is driven by a person's intrinsic qualities, attitudes and behaviours and an ethical framework. "It comes from the ability to look at challenges as opportunities to grow, to change, and to learn from mistakes rather than seeing ourselves as victims of circumstances and feeling we are not in control of our own destiny.
It comes from our willingness to take the initiative rather than feel sorry for ourselves and inspire those around us to believe in their own capabilities."
The University also presented three people with awards. The Award of Excellence in Education went to Dr Shaista Masood Khan, for her outstanding contribution to education, the Award of Distinction to Dr Terrence Gibson and Dr Riaz Qureshi, who have contributed constructively and consistently to the development of the university.
Also in attendance were representatives from student groups, various student and academic leaders, and staff, all of whom played an important role for students during their years at AKU.
Exam fever puts teaching activities on the periphery
Karachi: The teaching activities in the University of Karachi (KU) are gradually dying down to give way for the Terminal Examinations that commence from the last week of November. This semester at KU, like many other universities, was disturbed because of the law and order situation and security situation but managed to lurch forward anyhow.
The students at the university have learned to meander their academic way by requesting, manipulating, threatening and compelling their teachers to award them marks that they do not deserve. It cannot be generalised as there are good, God-fearing students who use their time for studies and do not ask for favours. Again all the teachers do not crumble from the students' tactics but some do. It has assumed alarming proportions because of the patronage from the students' associations who are patronising the students. These associations, in their turn, have the blessings from the political parties, especially the ruling parties.
The elections of the Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) have recently concluded. The previous panel has regained its supremacy in the elections except for the post of Secretary that has gone to a teacher who had broken away from the parent panel about two years ago. The elections were an interesting show of the teachers and their disposition. The main agenda was the maligning of each others characters and petty issues, calling names. There were teachers who are victims of Narcissism and their hollowness and deceit that is hardly expected from the teachers. "We may call it signs of times".
The Vice-Chancellor showed his distrust in the teachers by blandly saying that they were doing everything but teaching. Some teachers in the university are infamous for their rowdy and bawdy behaviour. They spin tantrums and term it their linguistic ability. It could be. After all sufficient amount of water has passed from under the bridge.
The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science & Technology (FUUAST) has become nine years old and its Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Qaisar hopes that the teachers of his university will grow up likewise. FUUAST is trying to serve the cause of Urdu. Many do not agree calling it a lip service. "So what do we expect from our people? Actual service? It is a fallacy. A senior Professor of the university says in disgust". Watch it Dr Qaisar!
The NED University of Engineering & Technology continues to work in isolation. The university has an able administrator and disciplinarian in Engineer Abul Kalam. Others in the higher level of NED University need some pruning and trimming.
Students seek UoM Pharmacy Deptt affiliation with PPC
Peshawar: Students of Department of Pharmacy, University of Malakand, have asked the government to affiliate the department with the Pakistan Pharmacy Council (PPC).
A graduate of the university, Muhammad Fayyaz of Sakhakot in Malakand Agency, said the department was still not recognised with the Pakistan Pharmacy Council even though it was established in 2001.
He said he had done his Pharm-D in the subject from the Malakand varsity but due to the non-registration of the department with pharmacy council he was unable to get a job or a license to run a drugstore.
He added that he was also not capable to get a foreign visa or scholarship on the basis of his degree.
Another student of the same subject, Rahmat Ali, said they had met all the relevant authorities including chairman of the department, registrar and vice chancellor of the University of Malakand and all of them had promised to support them, but they did not come up to their expectations.
The students blamed the authorities at the University of Malakand and claimed that they were using delaying tactics and threatened to launch a protest movement if their demands were not met.
Meboob-ur-Rehman, registrar of the university said that they were in contact with the Higher Education Commission and Pakistan Pharmacy Council authorities and hoped they would succeed in registration of the Pharmacy Department in the near future.
Five teachers suspended
Mardan: Five teachers were suspended for absence from duty in various schools of the district, official sources said on Sunday. The sources said that following the public complaints, a team of education department officials headed by Executive District Officer (EDO) Bahadur Khan Marwat and EDO (female) Fouzia Khan paid surprise visits to the government primary schools No.1 and 2 in Mardan city, Government High School Jehangirabad and government primary schools for boys and girls in Qamargai Killay and found two female and three male teachers absent from duty. The news