SSC exams from March 5
Rawalpindi, Nov 27: The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Rawalpindi, on Friday announced the annual examination for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) would start from March 5 next year.
It asked candidates to submit fees before January 21. Both regular and private candidates have been informed to submit examination fee of Rs580 and Rs600 respectively. Private students appearing for the first time in the examination will submit additional Rs700 in registration fee. DawnYour Comments
HEC yet to verify degrees of 25,000 university staffers
Islamabad: Ignoring its own decision taken some months back, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has made no arrangements to verify educational degrees of approximately 25,000 faculty and staff members of 132 public and private sector universities, sources said here on Friday.
Sources said delay in verification of degrees of university staff members might have any link with strong resistance from the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA) that clearly stated that no one would submit degrees for attestation to the HEC until it accepted the genuine demands of university teachers across Pakistan.
The official data showed that HEC executive director Dr. Sohail Naqvi wrote a letter in June this year to all vice chancellors of HEC-recognised universities and directed them to ask their respective faculty members, administrative staff members and contractual employees on equivalent positions to BPS-17 and above to submit their original terminal qualification degrees for attestation.
Sources said that it was decided that degrees of staffers of universities would be verified in different phases to avoid any kind of hurdle in the process of verification of degrees of the lawmakers.
An HEC official said that the decision was taken to ensure that there was no fake degree holder in any of the university because they received complaints time and again about fake degrees allegedly held by university staff members.
The official said permanent faculty members were not expected to use fake degrees, as they could not risk their years in service, but it was usually seen that contractual employees who sometimes secured different slots on the basis of political affiliation presented fake degrees and documents.
FAPUASA President Professor Dr. Mehr Saeed Akhtar said that there was no need for verification of degrees of faculty members of universities because their degrees were verified at the time of appointment.
"When a person is appointed, his or her degrees are verified because no one inducts anyone without verifying that degrees of the candidate are genuine or fake. It is also a fact that no one can take a risk of his service by securing a post on the basis of a fake degree," he said.
It is pertinent to mention here that there was a time when Pakistan produced a single PhD holder in 1947 and now in 2009 the universities produced 740 PhD scholars in various disciplines. A total of 6,551 students have so far completed PhDs in Pakistan. The Punjab University has the honour that it has produced 25 PhD scholars before independence of Pakistan from 1930 to 1946.
HEC Executive Director Dr. Sohail Naqvi said that there is no question of ignoring the decision about verification of degrees of university staff members, but it might take some time, as they have many other things to do at the earliest.
"At the moment we are doing many important things and verification of degrees of the university staffers is on our agenda and we will carry out this at an appropriate time. We are fully committed to ensuring that there is no fake degree holder in any of the university as we want to promote a true educational culture in the country," he said.
Book Foundation in doldrums
Islamabad: The National Book Foundation (NBF) is in grip of internal turmoil with its two top bosses hurling serious embezzlement and administrative charges on one another, ultimately putting the foundation in jeopardy.
The NBF Secretary Ms Irshad Abbasi, under suspension, served a 22-point charge sheet on the NBF Managing Director (MD) Mazharul Islam. However, he refutes it in toto and describes the onslaught a "blackmailing tactic" she is using against him like his predecessors.
The Education Secretary suspended Ms Abbasi and ordered a ministerial inquiry into the Foundation affairs within four week, particularly on the lady's proceeding abroad without approval finally rejected by the prime minister himself.
The NBF secretary, however, claims that the MD sacked her on writing the 22-point letter, charge sheet, pinpointing multi-million embezzlements and expected audit objections. "I have all-out proofs, NoCs etc to be presented in the court of law," she says.
"She started hurling threats since she was put under suspension by the ministry for an inquiry on her leaving the office on a foreign trip while manipulating dates in my absence, and even the PM, himself, rejected an approval," the MD said.
As both the charge sheet and the suspension orders are of November 11, 2010, the MD claims the secretary submitted 22-point paper to his office on November 16 with mention of back date to establish the case that she is suspended on pointing out so-called anomalies.
MD Mazarul Islam responded to each and every point while showing record on Ms Abbasi's charge-sheet handed over by NBF insiders. She also talked to this correspondent confirming it and appearing with an aggressive approach against his immediate boss.
The sheet comprises major point "purchase of printing paper worth Rs25 million without following the PPRA rules" to Sindh Enterprises, Karachi, on which, the MD responded while showing a March 23, 2010, file signed by Ms Abbasi and two members of a panel. As to why she signed it if there was PPRA rule violation.
Books being purchased without any prior demand from Sang-e-Meel and your other friend and publishers of your publication is another major point of two-page sheet. On which the MD replies: "Our mandate is to promote books as the NBF also earns 20% profit on Sang-e-Meel publisher of our frontline author."
The secretary wrote "Building No II at Islamabad given on rent without approval of Education Minister/Chairman." On this, the MD said, "The NBF extended the contract with 38 percent rent increase with the secretary onboard as she signed because she was a member of the approving committee."
Her next point is 'non-refund of Rs111,177 on account of payment fair ticket regarding your visit to Turkmenistan. The MD showed his personal cheques depositing the amount in the Foundation's account.
Sec: Three cars under your custody with heavy petrol and two drivers.
MD: I am using one car and a driver whereas two vehicles are parked at the office for using these when some important personality is to be picked or dropped in Islamabad-Pindi and that their petrol consumption has substantial decreased.
S: Financial Powers not delegated:
M: This is MD's discretion to give fiscal powers to any person, and I cannot give her these powers.
S: Payment of booksellers on the panel of Readers Club being delayed unnecessarily also resulting lapse of funds.
M: I cannot allow funds wastage for her personal gains.
S: Original papers regarding purchase of Toyota Corolla GLI were not submitted to the office and also approval for the purchase of the said car was not obtained from the Cabinet Division.
M: The NBF reported to police about this missing car having papers inside its dashboard and how is possible for me to submit its documents. It was an insured vehicle.
S: Got reimbursement of Rs30,000 on teeth treatment of your wife.
M: It is factually incorrect. The correct amount is Rs16,000 and is deposited in NBF account (showed cheque).
S: Expenditure of lacs of rupees on Book Ambassadors Conference.
M: We spent a nominal amount of Rs4 lacs within approved funds.
The Education minister and a lot many other personalities attended the conference and widely appreciated our effort.
S: Payment of Rs01 lac to Mr Muzaffar.
M: This is an accumulated amount released against assignment-based translation or proof reading work.
S: Heavy expenditure on publication of Book Review.
M: It was carried on self-finance basis without a burden on the NBF and well within our mandate. We received a tremendous response.
S: Railway Book Stalls allotted to your friend at Karachi and Rohri. No details/accounts of these Book Stall were submitted which were everyday selling books worth Rs5,000 to Rs6,000.
M: It is a fund-generating programme as NBF gets profit. I have never met them and how are they my friends.
S: Allocation of printing jobs to unregistered printers.
M: This printer gave lowest bid in the quotation. Should we have given the job to a company charging higher rates?
Other points of the secretary are: "Textbook production being delayed while DD (BD) is blamed while his staff works for your personal publications.
"The graphic designer and composers involved in your personal tasks instead of full time involvement in textbook development, which is essential. Attending office at 11am and remaining busy with friends, and files in a large quantity lying in our office unattended, including important files.
"Sale of books is decreasing while expenditure is increasing which requires immediate attention. Books being issued/supplied from S&DC, Islamabad, without proper procedure.
"Expenditure on purchase of colour toners worth lacs of rupees for your personal publications. Heavy expenditure on entertainment/lunch etc serving to your personal friends/guests in spite of austerity instructions."
On these, the MD Islam said that these allegations have no substance, absolutely baseless. "I, being a responsible executive head of the organization, will neither allow maligning me at this stage of life nor let the secretary blackmail me for fulfilling her whims." The news
10th Convocation at Fatima Jinnah Women University
Rawalpindi: Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) will commemorate the academic achievements of its students on the 10th Convocation to be held on November 30 (Thursday) at the Convention Center.
Punjab Governor Salman Taseer will award the degrees to the graduating students. A "Meet the Press" session chaired by the Vice Chancellor, FJWU will be held on the Rehearsal Day of Convocation at 11:00am in the Syndicate Room here at the university premises. app
1,000 plus students participating in the event
Islamabad: The Roots College International (RCI), Islamabad, has organised a four-day Roots Olympiad 2010, featuring several competitions, including debates, performing arts, photography, music, computer gaming, chess, live art, singing and various social events.
Over 1,000 students from different universities, colleges and schools, including Saint Mary's Academy, Lahore Grammar School, Westminster College, The City School, Sheikh Zayed International Academy, Edwardes College, Peshawar, Islamabad College of Arts & Sciences, Bahria College and University, Preparatory School Islamabad, National University of Sciences & Technology and ASAS International School are participating in the exciting and multi-faceted event.
The event has been exclusively organised by the students, for the students, and has formally started with the registration of the participants. The event was inaugurated by HEC Chairman Dr. Javed Laghari.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Faisal Mushtaq, director of the RSS, said: "We are committed to improving the educational experience of students. With this in mind, we have come up with the idea of holding an Olympiad to stimulate interactive learning among young people. Students will be provided exciting opportunities to display their abilities and skills and to think, both critically and creatively."
Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr. Javed Laghari, while speaking on the occasion, praised the untiring efforts of the management and faculty of the Roots, which has been a driving force for the institution's success and setting precedence in education sector by delivering world-class results.
He said that Pakistani students have the ability to reach out beyond the curriculum, beyond the classroom, beyond the faculty.
Dr. Laghari, through his extraordinary statistical and informational extracts, reached out to the diversified audience by scaling their opinions and ideas for the 21st century.
Later, he announced the formal opening of the Roots Olympiad 2010. He said that the Roots Olympiad 2010 will provide young people with a dynamic platform to express themselves not only as individuals, but more importantly as Pakistani nationals and allow them to prove their mettle.
Roots Youth Model United Nations concludes
Islamabad: Having a clear direction of working towards peace in the world, the enthusiastic youth from Roots School System looked all set to take up the challenge of representing Pakistan at international level, as they received their awards at the closing ceremony of Roots Youth Model United Nations (RYMUN).
The participating students were awarded in every field ranging from the best delegates to the best costume. Organised by the Roots College International Satellite Town Chapter, the four-day event that started on November 22 was meant to provide students with a chance to argue and discuss various problems faced by the world today. Federal Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira was the chief guest on the occasion.
In addition to serious discussions and presentation relating to issues like terrorism, global warming and economic crisis etc, the RYMUN also included colourful and cultural events like global village and ramp walk where the delegates represented their culture in style and elegance.
In global village, delegates presented their country stalls in best possible manner by cooking their special cuisines and presenting their famous folk songs. The entire experience of the conference was designed to incorporate into the students a sense of political world necessities like management and speaking skills, group dynamics, and teamwork and pressure management. The delegates did research and prepared draft resolutions and policy statements on different issues.
Model United Nations is a decades old tradition that was first started by University of Barkley in 1952. The tradition has now become a global phenomenon. "The RYMUN gives students a chance to argue and discuss various problems faced by our world today that requires newer, better and fresher approach to be dealt with," said Director Roots Scholl System Walid Mushtaq in his opening remarks.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira said that energetic youth of today guarantee the bright future for Pakistan. He termed terrorism as the root cause of challenges faced by the country at political and economic levels.
The federal minister said that unfortunately youth have never been involved in the policy making of the country. "The Ministry of Information is soon launching a campaign to involve youth especially from rural areas in a healthy discussion about major issues faced by the country and the ways they can contribute towards the development," he said while adding that the aim is to get the input of youth so that it can be inculcated in the national policies.
Kaira said that youth must have its own reservations about the present government's policies, but they should also keep in mind the difficulties government is facing from different fronts. "No law can change the society until the people are ready top change themselves," he said.
City School students share joy with orphans
Rawalpindi: Students of the City School, Junior Branch, Harley Street, celebrated World Children's Day here on Friday in a unique way.
They invited students from a local orphanage to join them for party time to share the moments of joy and happiness. Students of the City School shared delicious food with them and beautiful cards were handed over to the guests.
The children from the orphanage were formally received by the headmistress, Samina Raja, and members of the student council who escorted them to different classes where party was arranged for them. Later, a lively musical programme was arranged for them where they enjoyed presentations by different classes. They were also presented with beautiful gift packs made by students. The students celebrated the party in true sense of joy and pleasure with children, who hardly avail opportunities of celebrating happy times. The news