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Fearful day for children of F-8 schools

Fearful day for Islamabad Sector F-8 schools childrens
Islamabad, Oct 6: Monday was indeed a fearful day for children studying in schools located around the F-8 blast site but it was also a wakeup call for authorities as the explosion was just the glimpse of what worst could have happened to these innocent children in case of bigger blast outside the World Food Programme (WFP) compound.

The scene at the City School, Montessori Branch, located closest to the WFP office, was depictive of the concern and anxiety the blast news brought to the parents. "Many of them were already crying when they entered the school," said one of the teachers, adding that many broke down into tears when they found out that their children were fine.

Mothers who were able to control their emotions inside the school were found hugging their children with tears in their eyes once they were inside their cars. Though teachers tried their best to control the environment within the school but the sounds of siren veiling vehicles and nervous parents made many children wonder about the gravity of the situation.

"When I heard the breaking news of the blast on one of the news channels, I felt like as if I am going to faint," said Shazia Amir, mother of a nursery class student. "With such big number of UN offices and foreign missions operating in residential areas, this day was destined to come," she said. There are around 150 students of the age group of three to eight studies in that school.

The little children were looking calm but what they saw is going to have a long lasting impact on their minds. "Mama, I heard the blast and saw the dust rising from the ground. There was loud sounds of ambulances and police were carrying big guns," Hania Khan, 6, was found narrating blast scene to her mother.

The City School, Montessori Branch, is located just a few houses away from the WFP office. Just opposite to it is the main campus of OPF College, Girls Branch, with an enrolment of more than 3,000 students. According to rough estimates, there are around eight small and big schools operating in close vicinity of the blast site.

As soon as parents heard news on the media, they rushed to schools. The Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) asked them to park their vehicles on the main Margalla Road and walk to schools. Many were found running towards schools. "It was easy to keep students calm but counselling the panicked parents was what we found a challenging task," said another teacher.

"It is a blessing of Allah that our children are alright otherwise only broken glass from windows or a stampede could have severely wounded many," said Zahid Majeed, father of a class one child. "I don't even want to imagine that," he said.

Bringing back the fear of blasts to the cordoned off capital city, the Monday's blast once again reminded residents of the danger related to such offices located in residential areas. "This time we were lucky that the blast was not big in intensity but what about the next time," said Zahid while demanding that all foreign missions and UN offices must be shifted to some high security zones instead of putting in danger the life of thousands of children.

Majority of these offices located in different residential areas resemble a fort with an entire security wall, as tall as the building itself having been erected around many of them. However while providing as much security as possible to these offices, it has perhaps not occurred to our security agencies that what danger their continued presence in residential neighbourhoods poses to the residents. The news

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Essay writing competition facing bureaucratic delay
Islamabad: Among other project that became victim of bureaucratic delays in last few months in the Ministry of Youth Affairs, one activity was National Essay Writing Competition that used to be held during summer vacation.

Last year, the advertisement for the competition came in the media at the start of summer vacation with June 25 the last date for submitting the contributions.

The topics included causes of unemployment in rural areas, role of youth in promotion of civil spirit and courtesies, plan of action to curb the use of tobacco in youth and causes of youth crime and remedies.

The rational behind organising the event in summer vacation was to involve youth in constructive activities in their free time. The aspiring participants were asked not accede the limit of 1,500 words whereas the prize announced for winning candidates was Rs20,000. For runner-up and third position the prize money was Rs15,000 and Rs10,000 respectively.

According to ministry sources, the activity proved to be a success as they received 634 essays, majority from rural areas. The recommendations made in the essays were made part of the National Youth Policy whereas winning candidates were awarded with prizes in a ceremony held on December 30, 2008.

Unfortunately, the ministry failed to launch the project this year. The National Essay Writing Competition still makes a prominent part of ministry's website but all the information available is about the last years contest with no mentioning of this year's plans.

Talking about delay in National Essay Writing Competition, the ministry sources said that to involve development sector, the ministry called for the topics from different NGOs that lead to the delay of the activity. "We have contacted universities to provide us with professional evaluators."

He said that they had received positive response from the NGOs and universities. "The idea was to make the process more transparent and involve as many stake holders as possible," he added.

He said that recently a meeting was held with the representatives of National Language Authority (NLA) and Higher Education Commission (HEC) in which topics for the upcoming competition were discussed. "The ministry is now waiting for the final response of NLA and HEC regarding topics," he said.

The Public Relations Officer for MoYA Arif Malik said that advertisement for both National Essay Writing Competition and National Internship Programme would appear in the media within one week's time.

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Debate competition at NU
Islamabad: Chief of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan has said that progress of the Pakistan is linked to social and economic justice in the society.

He was addressing the concluding ceremony of a three-day FAST Universities Debating Competition (FUDC 09) as guest speaker at Islamabad Campus of the FAST National University on Monday.

Around 50 teams from many universities and schools of the country participated in the competition, which was organised by National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences.He said the youth could contribute to the progress of Pakistan. He advised the students to be sensibly political and play their vibrant role in the development of the country.

First prize of Rs50,000 was won by GIKI's team B, while Headstart team won the best school award. M. Ali from Westminster team B was declared the best speaker.Rector NU Dr Amir Muhammed was the chief guest on the occasion, who gave away prizes to the winners.

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Appointment of 11 APs approved
Peshawar: A committee of Khyber Medical College (KMC), Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) and Khyber College of Dentistry (KCD), on the recommendation of the selection promotion committee has approved the appointments of 11 assistant professors (BPS-18) for KMC and KCD and one Engineer (BPS-17) for KTH.

The chief executive of the KTH/KMC/KCD issued notification on Monday. The appointed doctors include Dr Talat Naz, Assistant Prof Gynaecology KMC, Dr Hina Gul, Assistant Prof Radiology, KMC, Dr Anjum Humayun, Assistant Prof Physiology KMC, Dr Ubaid-ur-Rehman, Assistant Prof Biochemistry KMC, Dr Zia-ur-Rehman, Assistant Prof Community Medicine KMC, Dr Muhammad Akbar, Assistant Prof Prosthodontics, KCD, Dr Muslim Khan, Assistant Prof Oral Surgery Medicine, KCD, Dr M Manzar Anwar Khan, Assistant Prof Community Dentistry, KCD, Dr Atta Ullah Khan, Clinical Pahtologist KCD, and Ms Sorosh Khurshid, Electronics Engineer, KTH. The news

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School children stage protest against teachers' shortage
Peshawar: Government Girls Primary School Daman-e-Hind, Dilazak Road students staged a protest demonstration outside the NWFP Assembly and Peshawar Press Club on Monday against shortage of teaching staff at the school.

Holding banners and placards, the students tried to move towards the main gate on the assembly, but police did not allow them to after which they marched on Sher Shah Suri Road and staged a demonstration outside the press club.

They chanted slogans against the government for not posting teachers to the school and demanded early solution to the problem.

The area people and office-bearers of Pasban including Samiullah, Asad Khan, Shah Zeb Khan and Arshad told reporters that there was only one teacher at the school having 300 students enrolled.

For a single teacher, it is impossible to teach all the students studying in various classes, they said while demanding upgrading of the school to high level.

They said that it was the only girls' school in the area and that, too, was lacking teachers. As there was no high school for girls in the area, most of the girls said goodbye to studies after primary level.

They urged the government to solve the problem as soon as possible; otherwise, they would launch protest movement. Daily times

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Tribal dispute shuts schools, other facilities
Ghallanai: Several government schools and other facilities are closed in Mohmand Agency for the last one month as the political administration is yet to resolve the issue of a land dispute between the Deenikhel and Umarkhel tribes.

The sources said the political administration of Mohmand Agency formed several jirgas to resolve the issue with the consultation of elders of both the clans. However, the elders of the Deenikhel tribe had allegedly been impeding resolution of the issue.

The sources claimed that the political administration had already arrested eight persons from Deenikhel tribe to force them resolve the issue forthwith. It was learnt that elders of the Umarkhel tribe have closed eight schools, three community health centres in Upper Prang Ghar, while the Deenikhel tribe have locked down four schools and a community health centre in Lower Prang Ghar. The news

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