Terror threats to educational institutions

Colleges principals allowed to use all funds for security
Rawalpindi, Oct 31: Rawalpindi Commissioner Zahid Saeed on Friday allowed the principals of 35 government colleges in the garrison city to use all available funds for security of their institutions.

He was addressing a meeting held to review the security arrangements for all the 35 government colleges in the city, including 10 for boys and 25 for girls. Director Colleges Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf, Principal Government Gordon College Prof Abdul Qayyum and heads of other colleges attended the meeting.

CCTV cameras: Saeed directed the principals to install Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in their institutions to avoid any untoward situation. He said the CCTV cameras should have the ability to record round the clock movement on their premises.

He directed the principals to close down those girl colleges, which received threats till satisfactory security arrangements.Security guards: He asked the administration of colleges to hire security guards on three months contract. He said District Coordination Officer (DCO) would issue arms liceneces to the heads of the institutions and the arms would be used for security purposes.

Saeed asked the principals to beef up security in and around their colleges. He said the government would help the colleges facing shortage of funds so that the students could get education in secure environment. The principals were directed to build walls around the main building of their respective colleges and put barbwire on it.

The commissioner directed the principles to depute more than two armed guards at main entrance with metal detectors and some guards on rooftop of the main building and build a concrete bunker. He said the college administration should also install searchlights in and around the colleges.

He asked the colleges to establish concrete-barriers in front of main entrance and install walk-thorough gates. He asked the college administrations to nominate a faculty member as security officer who should give security guidelines to students and staff members.

He directed the colleges to issued special student and staff cards and special security stickers for staff vehicles to avoid entry of suspicious vehicles or person to their premises.

He said the college security guards should ensure proper locks to the classrooms and other rooms after college timings and not to allow any vender set up stall near the college.

On the demand of educational heads, the commissioner assured that their request to open the recruitment of employees of grade-I to grade-IV would be dispatched to the provincial government so that the appointment letters could be issued to those whose selection had been completed.

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Bomb scare at Quaid-e-Azam University
Islamabad: Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) was closed on Friday following an unknown caller told the administration that a bomb planted in the University was about to blow shortly. According to a university official, they received an unknown call at 11:30am when the classes were going on. He said the caller told them that a bomb had been planted in the university.

"The QAU administration hurriedly called police and bomb disposal squad, but the call proved a hoax," the official said. All the blocks of university were vacated and students rushed out of their classes, the official added. The official said the administration had not issued any notification of closing down the university on Saturday.

"Only few classes are conducted on Saturday that would remain on for the day but closure of closing down the university is false," he said. Secretariat police official said the police and bomb disposal squad reached the scene, searched all the blocks, classrooms and nearby areas but nothing was recovered. He said the police had intensified security of the area, as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to US Embassy later in the evening was due.

Police also diverted traffic to other routes to avert any toward incident, he said. A student, Usman Farooq of DSS Department said that they were attending a lecture when the university administration ordered them to vacate all classrooms without sharing the reason. "All students rushed in panic out of classrooms and later they learnt about the hoax call. However, students went to their houses in the university buses as per routine," Usman said. Daily times

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AIOU harassing students in name of security
Islamabad: Security guards of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) are harassing the students in the name of security measures as they ruthlessly beat a student at the main gate of the university on a petty issue the other day.

According to details, the security guards deployed at the main gate of the university thrashed a student at a time when he tried to enter the university from the exit point of the university.

Eyewitnesses said that about 12 to 15 guards beat the student pitilessly and two guards hit him with wooden benches on his head.

"The security personnel of the university thrashed him so harshly that he was forced to flee from the scene leaving his shoes at the spot", an eyewitness said on the condition of anonymity.

Amna, a student of Master of Education (M.Ed), said that the student was ignorant from where to enter into the university and as he moved towards the exit point to enter, a security guard loudly using filthy language prevented him from entering through the wrong gate. He further said that the language of the guard infuriated the situation and when the student forbade him to use such language, a dozen of guards started thrashing him with wooden benched and iron rods.

When this scribe himself visited the university on Thursday, there was a plethora of complaints from the students against the security guards and university administration.

Zahid Hussain, a student of administrative sciences, said that the university administration did not bother about the problems of the students, as they were busy in politics of the university. He protested that the security guards thrashed a student for more than 15 minutes but no officer from the administration reached the spot to interrogate the matter, which showed a deliberate negligence on the part of the administration.

Aftab, another student, said that the university guards hired by the administration were not properly well trained and non-professional as they disgraced the students every day in the name of security measures and did not know the dignity of a student.

This scribe tried his best to know about the details of the student who became a victim of the university administration but no one from the administration was ready to reveal the details about the student.

The AIOU is the biggest and only open university of the country who provides distance learning to its students all over the country. In addition to that, the university has own campuses for regular students. The university has the largest number of students at its enrolment list than any other university of Pakistan. So, a large number of students from all over the country visit AIOU on daily basis.

Abaidullah Mumtaz, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the university, was contacted several times for comments, even through short message service (SMS) but he did not bother to comment about the issue. The nation

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FDE fresh warning
Islamabad: The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has issued a fresh warning to heads of all academic institutions under its control, directing them to follow the approved security plan in letter and spirit.

Well-placed sources in the FDE said that a letter (Number F.1-1/2009/COORD/FDE) was sent to heads of all federal government educational institutions by Director (Training & Coordination) Professor Rafique Tahir which also carried details about possible description of alleged suicide bomber, including his apparent look and age.

The letter also directed heads to provide details of the alleged suicide bomber to all security personnel and members of the vigilance committee constituted in educational institutions for strict vigilance.

The fresh warning was issued after a meeting held recently under the chairmanship of Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik in which it was decided to ensure foolproof security arrangements in all educational institutions.

Sources said the letter also directed heads of educational institutions to contact on the hotline telephone number of the control room set up at the Ministry of Interior in case of any emergency.

All educational institutions were closed down after twin blasts at the International Islamic University (IIU) on October 20. Though all government schools, colleges and universities opened on Monday but attendance remained thin as the majority of parents preferred not to send their children to academic institutions due to security concerns.

After opening of schools in Islamabad, special tags are being given to motorists who visit educational institutions to pick or drop students. One side of many double roads in front of schools is usually closed, especially in the morning and noontime when students enter or leave their schools.

FDE Director Training and Coordination Professor Rafiq Tahir confirmed that a letter had been sent to heads of all federal government educational institutions with an aim to provide safe environment to students.

"We have already taken strict security measures and would do anything necessary to provide conducive and congenial environment to students in all educational institutions," he said.

He said that all regional education officers (REOs) visit educational institutions in the morning to review security arrangements. He added that vigilance teams have already been put in place and they are monitoring security measures being taken in academic institutions.

To a question, he said that FDE officials are in contact with the Ministry of Interior and the government is doing whatever it can do for the safety of students in educational institutions.

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200 teachers to get ECE training
Islamabad: The early childhood education (ECE) programme is being extended to the children of Rawalpindi, Murree and Gujar Khan, says a press release.

The initiative is would be launched in Rawalpindi where training would be held on November 3-4, 2009 and simultaneously in Gujar Khan, Taxila and Murree. Under the programme, training and orientation of 200 primary school teachers would be conducted; national curriculum would be shared and guidelines and learning kits for ECE for 200 target schools would be provided to the students and the teachers.

The training will focus on the roll out of the ECE national curriculum 2007, a world-class document for Katchi classes. The document recognizes early years of children (3-5years) as the most critical stage in their physical, linguistic, emotional and intellectual development. Teachers will be provided orientation in child-cantered pedagogies, timetabling, assessment methods and preparation for an ECE learning environment.

The programme is being facilitated by the Directorate of Staff Development (DSD) - the apex in-service teacher training body in Punjab and the departments of education under the leadership of respective EDOs Education.

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Pathology conference

The 33rd annual three-day Pathology Conference will start from November 6 at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).

Over 500 consultant pathologists from across the country will attend the conference while 70 foreign delegates will also join the event being organized under the auspices of Pakistan Association of Pathologists (PAP).

According to organisers of the conference, the event will encompass new horizons and vistas, for luminary delegates, pathologists, postgraduate students, and for the first time, laboratory technologists with lectures, research papers, seminars and workshops.

They said Pathology department and administration of PIMS, is making every effort to make this conference a successful and enriched venture for the entire community of pathologists. The news

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Two schools, health unit blown up in Hangu
Kohat: Militants have blown up two schools, a basic health unit and three houses in Shahukhel area of Hangu district. One of the houses had an imambargah.

The schools and BHU buildings and houses were turned into rubble by time devices planted by militants late on Thursday night. There were no casualties because the buildings were empty. Hangu DPO Gul Wali Khan said that about 80 kilograms of explosives had been used.

According to officials, militants fired at vehicles of security personnel who had gone to Shahukhel on Friday to assess the damage and collect evidence. The militants fled the area when troops returned fire.Shahukhel, which leads to the Orakzai Agency, is a Taliban stronghold and virtually a no-go area. Police and bomb disposal squad defused a 5kg bomb which had been placed near Sur Gul Chowk on the Indus Highway in Kohat on Friday.

Meanwhile, police arrested two smugglers and recovered 60 kilograms of hashish from their car. The smugglers were going to Karachi from Khyber Agency. Dawn

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