Protest against Punjab university administration

Road blockade by Punjab university sparked protest
Lahore, Oct 26: Dozens of people from Shah Di Khoi, a locality adjacent to the Punjab University's New Campus, staged a protest on Canal Road on Sunday against the university administration for blocking a road in the name of security.

The blockade of Canal Road from campus side by the protesters played havoc with the traffic, causing a traffic mess on Canal Road, Johar Town, Faisal Town, Shah Di Khoi and Thokar Niaz Baig.

Around 250 protesters, including women and children, took to Canal Road near Shaikh Zayed Islamic Centre at around 7:45pm, blocked the road and raised slogans against the PU administration for blocking the road leading to Canal Road.

The traffic coming from Thokar Niaz Baig Chowk and main area of Johar Town was disrupted.

Iqbal Town SP Ali Nasir Rizvi said that PU officials placed two blocks on the road leading to Shah Di Khoi in the morning without consulting the locals or informing the police. He said the locals showed resentment and gathered on Canal Road in protest after the road was blocked for a population of nearly 3,000 people. He said police reached the scene and diverted the traffic to other routes.

Rizvi said the people ended their protest after one-and-a-half-hour when he telephoned the PU pro vice-chancellor and resident officer and scheduled a meeting between the two sides at 10am on Monday (today).

The SP said police removed the blocks from the road, but no PU official reached there. He said the locals and PU already had a dispute over a tube well and an exit point.

Dilshad Hussain of Shah Di Khoi said university officials closed the road without any justification, disconnecting them from the main road.

PU spokesman Shabbir Sarwar said the unpaved road leading to the locality was blocked for security reasons and this was done in consultation with the local and traffic police. He said the locals had earlier been asked to use an alternative route a road along Shaikh Zayed Islamic Centre. He said the locals were creating problems for the PU auto workshop and visitors. He said the PU resident officer and he were present there to handle the situation.

He said the PU, contrary to the police direction, would open four routes with Shah Di Khoi road instead of three, especially when the university would reopen on Monday. Dawn

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Quaid-e-Azam Library renovation still in doldrums
Lahore: Renovation work at the Quaid-e-Azam Library has hit another snag despite approval by the Higher Education Department to preserve the grand, white, Victorian structure, which has become a symbol of knowledge that is synonymous with Lahore's proud heritage.

The library currently presents a sorry state of affairs, as there are cracks in the walls and erosion caused by seepage has spoiled the pristine beauty of the national heritage site. Following media reports pointing out the state of disrepair, the government took up the matter in June and decided to preserve and restore the historic building by July 31. However, no headway has been made in this regard.

The Annual Development Plan (ADP) budgeted Rs 2.86 million for the fiscal year 2009-10 to preserve the library. However, this sum has proven insufficient to meet the extensive renovation needs. During a meeting of the Education Department, led by the Higher Education secretary, it was decided in June to entrust the renovation work to the Punjab Archaeology Department, as it was determined that the Communication and Works (C&W) Department had proven unable to repair the grand structure. The meeting of the Higher Education Department had asked the C&W to make an estimate for the purpose and provide the Archaeology Department with the funding to carry out the renovation work.

The chief librarian of the library said he had written to the C&W executive engineer to prepare a PC-I for the renovation work. He said a request had also been forwarded to the department for the transfer of the available funds of Rs 2.86 million to the Archaeology Department so that work could start at the earliest.

However, Education Department sources said the Rs 2.86 million funding had been allocated under the maintenance and repair heading and thus could not be used for any special purpose, such as renovation work, without due approval. "An approval for the preservation and restoration funding of Rs 14.86 million will be considered by the department as soon as the PC-I is submitted by the C&W," they added. Punjab Archaeology Department Director General Haroon Ahmed Khan said he had received administrative approval from the Higher Education Department to utilise Rs 14.86 million for renovation work at the library. "I held a detailed meeting with the chief librarian to discuss modalities. Tenders have been invited through an advertisement and work will start shortly," he added. APP

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PEF denied publishing guess papers
Lahore: Punjab Education Foundation, while terming the publication of educational material, information and guess papers regarding the Quality Assurance Test illegal, has said that some elements with vested interests are using its name without permission.

According to a handout issued here on Sunday, the PEF spokesman said that objective of quality assurance test was to highlight mental abilities of students and judgment of educational standard in affiliated institutions while the guess papers could affect the creative abilities of students. He said that neither any person nor organisation had the right to wrongly use the educational material prepared by the PEF.

The spokesman further said that the foundation reserved the right to initiate legal action against the elements involved in publication of guess papers for the QAT by using its name. He warned the administration of schools, students and parents to remain vigilant against such elements. The news

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GCU student wins Italian PhD scholarship
Lahore: Syed Farhan Haider Zaidi, a Government College University (GCU) student, has won an Italian scholarship through an international open competition by securing 94 percent in the qualifying exam.

Zaidi is the only Pakistani, and one among four non-European students, to have won the scholarship for the PhD programme in innovative technologies.

The scholarship is for a three-year PhD course at Scuola Superiore Sant Anna of Pisa, Italy.

Zaidi, an MSC telecommunication student at the GCU Centre for Advanced Studies in Physics (CASP), paid a courtesy call on GCU Vice Chancellor Dr Khalid Aftab.

Talking to journalists on Sunday, Zaidi said his MSc thesis, titled "Electron Management Noise Pollution Around Pelletron Accelerator", proved very helpful in winning the scholarship.

He claimed that no other university of Pakistan could offer such thesis because they didn't have atomic accelerator.

The vice chancellor congratulated Zaidi on his achievement and wished him success in the future. Daily times

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28 Kamoki schools a shambles
Gujranwala: At least 14 state-run primary (maktab) schools are being run under open sky because of non availability of buildings while as many government primary educational institutions were working in rundown buildings putting lives of students and teachers at stake in Kamoki tehsil.

The alarming figures are part of a report prepared by the district education department and made available on Sunday.

According to the report, the total number of primary schools in Kamoki tehsil is 177 while there are 35 maktab schools.

It says 14 of the maktab schools in remote areas were being run under open sky having no buildings while students have to sit on the ground in the absence of any furniture.

In case of rain these schools have to suspend academic activities.

Similarly, it mentions, the buildings of as many 14 government primary schools were dilapidated, with their roofs leaking and walls having cracks.

It was stated that these schools were situated in Kalo Kalan, Dogal, Thatha Ghalab, Kotli Mutiwalian, Chak Ramdas, Rahimpur, Dhop Sari, Harar Raja, Kingerwali, Kot Sheikhu, Dera Qalandran villages.

According to the report, as many as 25 schools in remote areas of the tehsil were being run with sole teacher and in case of the teacher being on leave the students have to return to their homes.

The students and their parents have urged the education department and other high-ups to take notice of the situation and do the needful to ensure the safety of students and teachers of theses schools.

Deputy District Education Officer Khalid Javed Awan said the report was ordered by senior education department officers after they were informed of the situation.

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CM urged not to give school space for parking
Lahore: The Punjab Teachers Union has urged the chief minister to take notice of demolition of three rooms of the Government Chishtia High School to use the space for the parking of vehicles of civil secretariat officials and selling of government schools to the Defence Housing Authority.

Union leader Chaudhry Taj Haider, who is also the chairman of the Muttahida Mahaz Asatiza, Pakistan, said in a statement that the school had been playing an exemplary role in promotion of education since its establishment before the creation of Pakistan.

He said there was no justification for demolition of school rooms to use the space for parking of government officers.

He said the chief minister should not only look into demolition of school rooms but also order an inquiry into sale of government schools land to the DHA for residential plots. Dawn

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