Hundreds suffered as NED puts off test at 11th hour
Karachi, Oct 5: Unaware that the entry test for admissions to the NED University of Engineering and Technology had been postponed, hundreds of candidates turned up at the Expo Centre, the venue of the tests, on Sunday only to return disappointed.
The NED University through a newspaper advertisement informed all candidates that the entry test had been postponed but the information was received only by those who picked up the particular newspapers and read the advertised notice before 7am or 8am, i.e. before leaving for the test, on Sunday. All the other hundreds of candidates learnt about the postponement of the test when they arrived at the Expo Centre.
It was, however, disappointing to note that the administration of the NED University administration neither put up any notice nor did it ensure the presence of its officials at the test venue on Sunday to inform the candidates about the 11th hour change in the programme.
A number of candidates, including girls who spoke to Dawn at the Expo Centre criticised the university administration for causing inconvenience to them, saying that had the university officials made proper publicity of the postponement, the disappointment and trouble they experienced would have been averted.
They also spoke of hardship of the rickety public transport and the scorching heat they had to endure to reach the Expo Centre.
NED announced new date for entry test
Karachi: The NED University has announced that the entry test will now be held on Oct 11 (Sunday) on the main campus of the university.
Sources in the university administration said that the Oct 4 test had to be postponed because of some "sudden unexpected changes in the terms and conditions" communicated to the NED officials concerned only on Oct 1 by the director of the Expo Centre.
The NED University has also extended the date for submitting application forms (regular and self-finance) for admissions to the university for the academic session 2009-10.
More than 6,000 candidates have already applied for admissions to the university. Dawn
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Political influence in higher learning institutions
Karachi: Representatives of teachers' community have said that the reward of some certificates for teachers on the occasion of World Teachers' Day cannot solve the genuine problems of the teachers' community, as teachers need peace of mind to perform their most vital role in the society.
The government is supporting immoral and illegal activities in the higher learning institutions (college and universities) of the province by not evacuating such institutions from the influence of political and notorious elements, they said on Sunday while talking to The Nation on the occasion of World Teachers' Day.
World Teachers' Day, held annually on October 5 since 1994. It commemorates the anniversary of the signing of UNESCO/ILO Recommendation in 1966 concerning the status of teachers. It is an occasion to celebrate the essential role of teachers in providing quality education at all levels.
Central leader Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA) Prof Ather Hussain Mirza said that teachers and educational institutions in the province had been kidnapped by the political and criminal elements, while the government was going to observe the world day. He said the government had become lethargic towards the difficulties of the teachers.
Sindh Education Department has failed to complete the required number of teachers, which is 8,800 for the whole province, whereas only 5,500 teachers are serving in all the public colleges in Sindh, he said. "The department did not want teachers, especially college teachers, to educate students with peace of mind hence they engaged teachers in different basic issues. As per the UNESCO, World Teachers' Day 2009, which is being observed with the theme "Build the future: invest in teachers now!", puts spotlight on the global teacher shortage and the challenges of being a teacher today."
Mirza said that in our rapidly changing and interdependent world, teachers not only had to ensure that students acquire solid skills in basic subjects, but also that they become responsible citizens with a know-how to the new technologies and able to make informed decisions about health, the environment and other challenges. "Sustained investment is required to develop a well-trained and motivated teaching force. A global total of 10.3 million teachers should be recruited between 2007 and 2015 just to meet the goal of universal primary education. At a time when the global economic slowdown risks putting tight constraints on education budgets, it is critical that governments support the recruitment, training and professional development of teachers," he added.
Prof Muzaffar Rizvi, another SPLA leader, said that teachers were living under miserable conditions, but the government was not interested in solving the basic economic problems of the teachers. He said, "College teachers are suffering with low salaries. Their promotions are withheld for long times, while up-gradation of teachers under four-tier formula is also suspended since 2005. Health problems have become dilemma for teachers and their families, as they are deprived of health insurance and other facilities, providing by the government."
A government school teacher, on condition of anonymity, said that the Sindh education department's decision to reward two extraordinary teachers (one male & one female) from each district with a certificate of appreciation and shield on occasion of world teachers' day was not a solution to teachers' problems.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Directorate of Literacy and Non-Formal Basic Education, Education & Literacy Department Government of Sindh has decided to reward two extraordinary teachers from each district with a certificate of appreciation and shield on occasion of World Teachers' Day.
He said, "The education department is staging a show to explain its sincerity for teachers community, but on the other hand families of teachers are suffering with hunger. In Pakistan more than 52 million people, above the age of 10, are totally illiterate, while two thirds of them are women. In the said meagre situation, teachers are living under the poverty line in the country."
"Conversely, in official letters, issued to all Executive District Officers (Education) in the province to nominate two best and extra-ordinary teachers, Director Literacy Abdul Wahab Abbasi claimed, "We strongly believe that World Teachers' Day should be celebrated with full enthusiasm, sincerity and with a commitment to aware and highlight to the community for contributions of teaching profession for the development of the nations," he added.
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Sindh government to upgrade the scales of teachers
Karachi: Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister Ms Sharmila Farooqui has said that the Sindh government will soon upgrade the scales of teachers from BPS-7 to 9, 9 to 11 and 11 to 13 and provide Rs1,000 monthly allowance to them.
"The matter is under the consideration of the Sindh government and teachers will soon hear a good news. Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had also upgraded the scales of teachers during his government era, and we are also committed to promote teachers so that they could earn respectable livelihood for their families and pass their lives with dignity in the society," Sharmila said in a statement on the eve of the World Teachers Day to be observed on October 5, 2009 (today). She said that teachers in Sindh are being appointed on pure merit under the World Bank's Reform Program. "The recent tests for the appointment of PSTs, JSTs and HSTs in Sindh province were held in a transparent manner under the control of Sindh University Jamshoro and the format of these tests was prepared by IBA Sukkur, "she said.
CM's advisor said that there are 3000000 teachers throughout the country, out of which Sindh has only 250000. However, the PPP government as per vision of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto is committed to appoint more teachers so as to raise literacy rate to 100 percent.
She said that the World Bank has linked its financial aid to pure merit and promotion of education in Sindh, therefore the PPP government is working on various projects to bring revolutionary reforms in this sector.
Sharmila said that teachers play vital role in building the future of students who after receiving education could lead the country towards the progress and prosperity.
She said that the PPP government is also making efforts to raise standard of education in colleges and universities, and that is why lecturers and professors are being sent abroad on scholarships for receiving higher education in various fields, particularity in Science and Technology.
"Efforts are also afoot to provide teaching jobs to women at par with the men as it is the motto of PPP to encourage women in every sector of life," Sharmila maintained.
They advisor said that teachers should also play their due role for ousting political culture from educational institutions through their lectures and try to induce the students towards better study culture. The nation
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Ceremony for position holders
Karachi: Sindh Education Department organised on Sunday a shield distribution ceremony to congratulate the 21 position holders of Matriculation and Intermediate examinations of 2009 of all education boards of Sindh.
Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq was the chief guest, while Advisor to Chief Minister Rashid Rabbani and Secretary Education Rizwan Memon also attended the event.
Haq said, "We pledge today, on World Teachers' Day, to develop the education system and remove disparity in standard of education all across Pakistan, especially in Sindh." Haq also said that the Punjab Education Department has invited the position holders to visit different universities, historical places and to see their culture, adding that they would also invite the students of Punjab to visit different historical places of Sindh.
Others who were present at the event included senior officers of education departments, principals and teachers of different schools and colleges, and the position holders and their parents. Daily times
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