Police raid at madrassas in Islamabad

Police raided madrassas, found nothing wrong
Islamabad, Oct 20: The police on Sunday raided madrassas in Islamabad and found nothing wrong with them. It checked the records and particulars of the students enrolled there, but finding no irregularities during its 90-minute operation, made no arrests. But what it did on Sunday was wrong. It should have first got the "activities" of the madrassas checked through intelligence and then gone in for the target if necessary. If you don't have intelligence, or if intelligence is aligned with the target, then don't go near the madrassas.

There was a report in the national press on June 18, 2009 that the government had discovered that there were 260 madrassas in Islamabad, out of which a dozen were "illegal". Some madrassas were even busy spreading hatred against the armed forces of Pakistan. One Jamia Masjid Qasimiya in F-8/3 was warned by the government to "give up hostile activities in 15 days". So we may ask: what did the government do on Sunday about the 12 madrassas that were illegal?

Islamabad is a city where the terrorists have penetrated more than any other city. The emotional support the media has given to Lal Masjid since 2007 has only led to the consolidation of the hold of the anti-state elements there. Most of the manpower behind terrorist attacks did not have to travel far: most of it was already located in Islamabad. The press has also reported 70 new illegal mosques after the fiasco of Lal Masjid. What has the besieged government done about it?

Foreigners don't feel safe in the capital of Pakistan. The nation is focused on how much security the embassies are mustering to save themselves from being attacked, but very little thought is given to the spreading power of the militants over the capital.

Wafaqul Madaris to call a national convention on police raids
Islamabad: The Wafaqul Madaris on Monday decided to call a national convention in order to chalk out their response to police raids being conducted on madrassas. Speaking at a press conference, Maulana Abdul Rasheed Qazi of the Wafaqul Madaris expressed resentment over the raids and alleged the government was acting on behalf of the US and "fulfilling its commitments under the Kerry-Lugar legislation". He said US elements were trying to incite a confrontation between the masses and the Pakistan Army, adding the US would not succeed in its 'divide and rule' policy. Jamia Muhammadia administrator Maulana Zahoor Alvi said the most interesting aspect of the raids was that no arrests had been made or any weapons impounded. "This is proof that madrassas are centres of education and harmony and that all the propaganda against them is contrived and baseless," he said. Alvi said the district administration had assured them that no such action would be taken in the future. Replying to a question, he said criticising the government's policies was his right. Daily times

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FDE sets to improve rural areas education standard
Islamabad: Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has set goals to improve standard of education in rural areas by appointing quality teachers and ensuring transport for female instructors coming from long distances. This was stated by Director General Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Shaista Pirzada in an interview with this agency.

The institution in rural areas are facing shortage of teachers as most of female teachers are reluctant to go to places far from their homes, she said. For instance, a teacher who does not belong to Bhara Kahu tried to get herself transferred near her home.

Pirzada sees this as a genuine problem of teachers and in her eye, the solution is to induct teachers from the area they belong.Quality teachers can make visible difference in schools in rural localities where students lack opportunities of mental and intellectual growth.

Shaista believes that only good teachers can provide quality education so says that her focus will be on their training.The FDE has divided Islamabad into one urban and four rural sectors of Bhara Kahu, Nilore, Sihala and Tarnol for better administration and plans to establish two higher secondary schools in each sector under PC-1, Shaista said. Recently, she called a meeting of heads of all sectors to discuss and thrash out strategies to resolve issues facing teachers, students and parents.

Transportation for female teachers, who travel a long distances to teach is a another major issue yet to be resolved, she said and announced that department will provide six buses this year to facilitate teachers and students of rural areas. Another priority for Pirzada is in-service training of teachers and this is an ongoing process.

Pirzada is thoroughly convinced that teachers and students cannot achieve their aims without an active role of parents. One of the core functions of FDE is monitoring of effective functioning of Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) in all educational institutions.

She soon plans to announce schedule of PTA elections so that parents can have their say in affairs of schools and colleges. Pirzada intends to keep pushing the teachers to improve skills of students in Mathematics, Science, English language, Exhibition and Olympics which will decide Pakistan's future economic status and advancement in areas of technology and research and development.

FDE will shortly announce date for Mathematic Olympics, which is aimed to cultivate interest of students in the subject, she informed. Areas in the periphery of Islamabad city are in need of more colleges. So, a boys' college will be opened in rural area of Sihala by the end of this year, she said. But for Shaista Pirzada, a far more significant and historical step will be the start of classes of Masters in Commerce (MCom) at Federal Government College for Boys H-8.

For this purpose, a first ever commerce block in government sector completed at a cost of Rs30 million will be inaugurated in the first week of November. Around 60 boys and 40 girls will get admission in M.Com department, she said. The most heartening aspect is that students will get quality education by spending Rs37,000 while the private commerce colleges charge Rs200,000 to Rs300,000 for this degree.

To a question about reinstatement of sacked employees, she said 407 employees who were sacked in 1996 will be issued posting orders after their pay is sanctioned by AGPR. While 519 more such applications are still to be processed. The news

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Best principal made OSD
Rawalpindi: Local politicians have strongly criticized the Punjab Education Department for acting against the principal of a local women college, Mrs Waseem Sikandar, for refusing to accommodate a list of girls for admission in violation of merit. Senior Vice President of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Kabir Ali Wasti said this had exposed the so-called good governance of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

"The principal has been made an OSD despite the fact that she had received the award of the best principal of the Punjab in 2008. She had also been declared best principal of Rawalpindi on October 5 (the Salam Teacher Day)," Wasi said. He said the only charge against her appeared to be that she had refused to consider for admission a list of students provide by the PML-N MNA Hanif Abbasi as it was in violation of the principles of merit. "This has exposed the so-called good governance of Shahbaz Sharif. I condemn politicizing of the educational institutions." Sources in Directorate of Education also confirmed that it had been done at the behest of the PML-N MNA who had allegedly threatened the principal of consequences for not accommodating the girls of his constituency for admission.

Pakistan Awami League (PAL) president and former Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said it was now an open secret that the PML-N MNAs and MPAs were influencing all government servants and meddling in the affairs of different departments. Several attempts made to contact MNA Hanif Abbasi for his comments on the allegations against him but he was not available. The change was made so swiftly that while Mrs Sikandar was in a meeting outside the college the new principal came and took over on the orders of the Punjab government. Mrs Sikandar had joined Government Post-graduate College for Women, Satellite Town, as principal in 2005. Daily times

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