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Security arrangements at Punjab educational institutions

Schools to remain closed till security put in place
Lahore, Oct 22: The government will not open educational institutions until satisfactory security arrangements are put in place. Out of 103 high-profile educational institutions in the City, only 40 have security system while rest of them have been asked to take security steps according to their requirements as soon as possible. Senior Adviser to Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa told the Punjab Assembly while responding to a point of order on Wednesday.

The Assembly session last day started one and a half hour beyond the stipulated time 10:am with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the Chair.

On a point of order by Ch Safraz Afzal, the House offered fateha for the students and others who killed in attacks on Islamic University Islamabad on Tuesday. The House also condemned attacks in the strongest terms.

The opposition wanted the House to discuss the terror situation in the province particularly following the Islamic University attacks but the Chair did not allow upon which Amna Ulfat staged a walkout. Dr Tahir Ali Javed of the Forward Bloc raised the issue of closure of the schools in the context that it was a loss to precious studies of the students. He asked the government to come clean on the real hands behind the terrorist acts in the country without giving it any other colour so that people could well know the real faces out to disturb our national life.

In reply, Zulfiqar Khan Khosa said the government would not open the institutions unless adequate security measures are put in place according to the needs. He said last day attendance in the schools was 50 per cent less which was likely to come down to 90 per cent out of terror scare and this factor also came into consideration while taking decision to close down the institutions. He said instructions had been passed through the home department and the DCOs to all institutions to complete their security arrangements. Khosa also urged the Chair to prorogue the current session as terrorists had also made threats against the Assembly.

PPP Member Sajida Mir acknowledging the gravity of the situation mentioned about the elaborated security deployment outside the Assembly and criticised that in this scenario the members were discussing the allotment of the plots to them the previous day. The nation

Educational institutions defy govenment order to close down
Lahore: Students, teachers and other staff attended public and private educational institutions as schools, colleges and universities in Punjab were not closed Wednesday despite directions of the provincial government.

The Punjab government had ordered closure of all educational institutions in Punjab. Students in several educational institutions also attended a couple of lectures though such institutions later called off academic activities. Similarly, it was also witnessed that teaching and other support staff remained present in both public and private schools, colleges and universities in the City.

Teaching staff, particularly those serving in private educational institutions, expressed concern over opening of private schools and colleges and ensuring presence of the teaching and other staff despite government's clear instructions to keep educational institutions closed until the security measures improved. "It is a dangerous move by private schools and colleges to keep their campuses open especially because these educational institutions had received threats from terrorists," one of the teachers of a private school in Defence said.

Another teacher of GC University said that if threat of terrorism lurked in educational institutions then it was dangerous for everyone to come to the university. He said that the administrations of all public and private educational institutions must comply with the instructions of the government until required security measures were adopted or until the government reviewed its decision.

The Punjab University, though closed its campuses for students, directed teaching faculty and other staff to report for duty as usual. On the other hand, the Punjab government had issued clear directions to close down campuses of all educational institutions for students as well as entire staff until further orders to avoid any eventuality.

Twin suicide attack on Islamic International University, Islamabad, had left six dead and several injured, which prompted the federal and provincial governments to close down all educational institutions countrywide.

Meanwhile, administrations of all public sector educational institutions also directed boarders to vacate their hostels as evacuation completed in all hostels of all institutions on Wednesday.

The administration of King Edward Medical University, according to notification of the chief warden, asked students and doctors to vacate their hostels immediately.

However, young doctors, who were acquiring training and providing services in Mayo Hospital and attached hospitals, were asked to stay in their hostels at their own risk. "The mess and canteens in doctors' hostel were also closed."

However, the administration assured doctors that the mess would be opened on Thursday (today)," said Dr Salman Kazmi, the general secretary of the Young Doctors Association. Meanwhile, the provincial government has directed educational institutions not to force teachers to report for duty as several scheduled and ongoing examinations have been postponed over security concerns.

The MBBS examinations and practicals, being held under the auspices of all medical colleges and University of Health Sciences Lahore, have been postponed till further orders. New dates will be announced later.

The Punjab Board of Technical Education (PBTE) has notified that remaining papers of D.Com/DBA, Matric Tech and Applied Instrumental and Control Automation 2nd Annual Examination 2009 have been postponed with effect from October 21, 2009 (2nd session) until further orders, said a press release issued on Wednesday.

The Punjab University has extended the last date for submission of admission forms for BA/BSc Annual Examination, 2010, with single fee up to November 6, 2009, according to a press release here on Wednesday. The news

Institutions told not to force teachers
Lahore: The Punjab government on Wednesday directed the heads and administrations of educational institutions not making it binding for teachers and other staff to attend educational institutions. According to a handout here on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Punjab government said the educational institutions in the province had been closed in the interest of security of students, teachers and other staff concerned, therefore, the heads and administration of the institutions had been directed not to make teachers and other staff bound to come to institutions.

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Punjab University postponed all activities
Lahore: Punjab University has postponed all examinations, sports events and other engagements till Sunday next (October 25) after closure of the varsity for teaching purposes for an indefinite period due to security reasons.

PU Registrar Prof Dr Mohammad Naeem Khan issued a notification to this effect on Wednesday.

Earlier, a meeting held with Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran in chair to review the security matters and other issues in the wake up of Tuesday's decision of the government to close the campuses and suspend teaching activities.

The notification says according to the government directives, teaching activities will remain suspended from October 21 till further orders while the all the hostels are also being vacated with immediate effect It is worth mentioning that almost 80 per cent students had already left hostels after the announcement regarding the varsity's closure. Dr Naeem said the students had vacated majority of the hostels. However, the authorities would get the remaining hostel vacated by Wednesday evening, adding the foreign students were exempted from the directive.

Other universities and autonomous colleagues in the city have also vacated the hostels. Resultantly, great rush was visible at all the bus terminals including Niazi Bus Stop, Daewoo, CDG Bus Stand at Bund Road and Badami Bagh Lorry Adda as the students proceeded to their hometowns.

The Punjab University, however, has announced that all the offices of administration and teaching departments will remain open and observe the normal working hours.

The Education Department has also directed the principals of colleges and headmaster / headmistresses of the schools to attend their offices and chalk out security measures at their respective institutions in consultation with the govt and law enforcing agencies.

The University of Education (UoE) has also postponed all its examinations till further orders, while Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) has postponed the 8th Quality Assurance Test (QAT) of schools scheduled to be held on Oct 26. The new date will be announced later.

Similarly, Allama Iqbal Open University's Regional Office in Iqbal Town will remain closed from Oct 21 to 25. All the workshops of postgraduate programmes of the varsity at the Regional Campus have also been suspended till Sunday.

The DCom/DBA, Matric Tech and Applied Instrumentation and Control Automation 2nd annual examination 2009 of the Punjab Board of Technical Education (PBTE) have also been affected by the decision. Meanwhile, the PU Sports Department has postponed the two-day Inter-Collegiate Athletic Championship till further orders, which was to commence today (Thursday).

The Examination Department of the varsity has extended the last date for submission of Admission forms of BA/BSc Annual Examination 2010 with single fee up to 6th of next month. The nation

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Two school teachers suspended
Lahore: The Lahore Education Executive District Officer (EDO) on Wednesday told the Lahore High Court (LHC) that two teachers of the Government Progressive School, Model Town, had been suspended who had tortured a girl student, Wishal Khurram.

Appearing before the court of Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, the EDO said that the principal had also been transferred and a teacher of grade 19, Ismat Saleem, was posted in his place.

Ms Tauqir Fatima had filed a writ petition, saying that her granddaughter Wishal Khurram, a student of 9th class at the Government Progressive School, Model Town, was tortured by two teachers Kausar Parveen and Shagufta Shaheen.

The petitioner said that she had also filed a complaint to the school principal but no action was taken against the teachers. She also pointed out that the school principal, Tahira Siddique, was working illegally in grade 19 while her original grade was 17. The news

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SPELT conference postponed
Lahore: The 25th SPELT Conference has been postponed indefinitely due to the prevailing security situation. The conference was scheduled to be held at the FC College from October 23 to October 25. Daily times

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