Over 4,000 appear in DUHS tests
Karachi, Oct 18: About 4,200 candidates appeared in the entrance tests for admission to the Dow Medical College (DMC) and Sindh Medical College (SMC) for the MBBS and BDS courses. The tests were held smoothly at the Ojha campus of the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) on Sunday.
According to the chairman of the DUHS admission committee, Dr Idrees, elaborate arrangements were made for the test conducted by the National Testing Service for the 2010-11 session at the Ojha campus, located in the vicinity of Dr A.Q. Khan Centre in KDA, Scheme-33.
Sources in the DUHS said that the results would be posted on the NTS website - www.nts.org.pk - on Monday.Your Comments
Admission test held at medical university
Hyderabad: The pre-admission test for 375 seats of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences was held in Jamshoro on Sunday.
Of the 4,221 candidates declared eligible for taking the test, 4,192 turned up.
A large tent was set up for students to solve multiple-choice questions in seven different zones. About 600 students were accommodated in each zone after they gone through security gates. They were given seats in random order.
Their parents waited at a place away from the venue and no vehicle was allowed in the area.
LUMHS Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Noshad A. Shaikh, Professor Dr Faisal Ghani Siddiqui, Professor Dr Sattar Memon and Registrar Saleh Rajar supervised the arrangements.
About 300 personnel supervised the test and one invigilator was deputed by the National Testing Service for 30 students. Over 700 police and Rangers personnel had been deployed for security.
Many KU teachers working without remuneration
Karachi: Karachi University's drive to "rationalise" the number of contractual teachers has so far failed to produce desired results. Rather the initiative has added to the miseries of ad-hoc teaching staff, most of whom have not received their salaries for three months while others work under stress as appointment letters have not been issued to them so far, it was learned.
Sources said that the drive, which was aimed at reducing varsity expenses in view of the budgetary cuts, was initiated three months ago with the issuance of a notification to all department heads asking them to get maximum work from regular teachers and forward a request for a temporary lecturer only when genuinely needed.
While there had been no significant decline in the number of contractual teaching staff since July when the notification was issued, the university administration also failed to attend to the weaknesses in the flawed system of hiring cooperative teachers that promoted nepotism and exploitation, they added.
In a fresh notification issued by the university's director finance recently, all ad hoc teachers have been asked to mark their attendance in register so that their monthly salaries are released after verification of their attendance.
However, senior university teachers see the directive as an attempt to exploit ad hoc teachers as it would cause further delay in release of their salaries.
A number of contractual teachers said that they had been not been given their salaries for last three months. They said the administration did not show "mercy even on Eid".
"Our salaries are always delayed for at least two months. More time than ever has lapsed during this semester, which began in July. No measure was taken by the university administration to release salaries even on Eid," an ad hoc teacher said.
There are around 300 ad hoc teachers (150 part-time and 150 full-time) and 600 regular teachers working at the KU. The university code does not recognise the status of cooperative teachers, although it does mention that a selection board should be constituted as soon as there are vacant posts available, and that these posts should be advertised in newspapers.
However, the sources said, this didn't happen in practice and the institution of a selection board for newcomers was often delayed, sometimes for years. They said this had resulted in an increase in number of cooperative teachers, some of whom were working as ad hoc staff for 10 years despite the fact that the contractual period was of six months after which a candidate was selected afresh.
Currently, the sources added, the number of cooperative teachers surpassed that of regular teachers at many departments, including that of Chemistry, Physics (15 to 17 ad hoc teachers) and Applied Chemistry. Agriculture department had only one regular teacher, while Visual Studies department had visiting faculty only for many years, the sources said.
They also cited instances where cooperative teachers were hired without considering needs of the respective department. One such case related to the Institute of Marine Sciences, where reportedly six cooperative teachers, had been hired for one course, the sources added.
Although exploitative in nature and one of the biggest sources of nepotism on the campus, the cooperative teachers' policy has been retained by the university administration in its present form because it helps in saving funds, according to the sources.
A university teacher said: "Instead of giving an advertisement in the newspaper, a notice is placed on the department's notice board for some days. This has encouraged favouritism on a large scale in the university. Besides, there is no rule for firing. A cooperative teacher's stay on the campus solely depends on his or her relations with the department chairperson," the teacher added.
The sources also cited some instances where ad hoc teachers' contracts were not renewed without giving any reason despite the good performance certificates which they had been awarded.
One such case related to Saira Saleem who lost her job last year when special education department did not recommend to the university administration to renew her contract. She said: "I worked for four years at the university during which I completed my MPhil. I also received a certificate on good performance from the department. But neither my service nor the certificate issued by the department was given any value," she added.
Saira Saleem, who is visually impaired and won first prize in a workshop organised for physically challenged persons in India in 2007, claimed she had been pursuing her case for the last one year but had not received a positive response from any university official so far.
The special education department reportedly doesn't have a single lecturer these days and all the four posts for lecturers are vacant. Moreover, no physically challenged person is employed at the department, where students study about the educational needs and learning problems of handicapped people.
Commenting on the issue, Karachi University Teachers' Society President Dr Abid Hasnain said: "There are laws but no one is bothered to follow them, because the administration is not willing to take action against any violation."
He also criticised the ongoing exercise to "rationalise" contractual teachers, calling it futile. He was of the opinion that the role of the dean office should be activated to make the process transparent.
Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi, pro-vice chancellor of the university, said that formalities related to ad hoc teachers' service were causing a delay in payment of salaries. She explained: "Delays occur both at the department and administration levels. That's why I am trying that the process of hiring cooperative teachers for the next year is completed by the end of this year."
Most cases of cooperative teachers had been approved while some cases might be pending, she said.
About the hiring and firing policies of the university, Prof Kazmi admitted flaws in the system and said that advertisement should be printed in newspapers. "It is also beyond common understanding that a teacher continues to work on an ad hoc basis for years. In fact, many issues related to cooperative teachers are in the hands of department chairpersons and we are bound to follow their advice under rules," she said, adding that she would look into Saira Saleem's case. Dawn
KU opens admissions to Pharm-D programme
Karachi: Director Admissions, University of Karachi (KU), Prof. Dr Saleem Shehzad, on Sunday announced that the applications for admission to Pharm-D (morning and evening) programme on a combined form would be received from October 18 to October 27.
The forms can be obtained from the UBL booth at the Silver Jubilee Gate of KU, he said. Duly filled in forms along with the required documents can be submitted latest by October 27, he said.
It is pertinent that the candidates from the flood affected areas can apply without documents but their admissions will be confirmed on the production of original documents. The minimum eligibility criteria for admissions are at least 60 per cent marks in HEC or equivalent examination, he added.
Prices of school stationery items on the rise
Karachi: The rates of school stationery and textbooks are on the rise, causing immense problems for students and their parents. A sharp rise in the prices of school stationery, particularly copies and notebooks, has baffled parents from
low-income families. This price hike is well-timed with the beginning of new academic session. It is learnt some booksellers are openly cheating the innocent students by artificially increasing prices of textbooks of private publishers.
These days, classes of first year intermediate are just beginning in the colleges of Karachi and students are rushing to markets for purchasing their syllabus, particularly to "Urdu Bazaar" which is the main market of Karachi for educational items.
The government is providing textbooks to new students of higher secondary education studying in government-run institutions. However, the "profit mafia" has devised another innovative method of fleecing students through raising the rates of notebooks. A raise of Rs5 to Rs10 is made in each notebook, depending on its size. Those mainly affected by this situation are students of government colleges belonging to lower middle class, whose parents have already been facing acute problems due to inflation.
Yousaf, a first student, told PPI at Urdu Bazaar that the ongoing situation was making it very hard for his family to bear his educational expenses. He said that he had purchased a journal for Rs55, whereas he had purchased for Rs35 just a few months ago.
Ayesha Bibi, mother of a student, said that she has purchased notebooks at very high prices for her son as she had no choice. "We parents cannot compromise on the education of our children".
Yousaf Ahmed, who came there along with his son for purchasing text and notebooks, said that he was searching notebooks of standard quality at affordable rates but he did not find any. He said that rates of notebooks have been increased but their quality decreased. Paper used in most of the notebooks available in the market is of very low quality, he added.
Sohail, a notebook vendor in Urdu Bazaar, told PPI that the prices of copybooks were being raised because of the hike in the prices of paper. He said that the profit of vendors and retailers had also decreased as ongoing prices were going far out of the reach of middle classes.
Responding to a question about reaction of customers in the ongoing situation he said, "Though people are purchasing items because they have no other option, incidents of exchange of harsh words between customers and shopkeepers is becoming a routine. "Sarfraz, owner of a bookstall told PPI that wholesale rate of notebooks had increased by 25 per cent over the last few months. Consequently, the school stationery business is becoming less lucrative. He said that people were moving to the trend of using low quality paper because purchasing power of the people in Pakistan was half of what it was in the past.
A student said he purchased a notebook which shopkeeper claimed had 500 pages, but on actual count it has 400 pages. He said this type of cheating was also rampant in the market.
Mr. Mumtaz manager of a prominent wholesaler of notebooks at Urdu Bazaar said that the only reason behind the price hike of notebooks was the rising prices of paper in Pakistan.
Talking about number of leaves in notebooks, he said that some influential elements are involved in this nefarious practice.
Newly elected Chairman of All Pakistan Paper Merchant Association (APPMA) Chaudhry Pervez Raza Ibrahim, when contacted, said that the monopoly of a sector of paper mills was behind the raising the prices of paper. He said that matter of paper is directly connected to the education sector so the rates of paper should be decreased in Pakistan to facilitate the students who are already facing a lot of miseries due to poverty and inflation. Pakistan imports paper from Indonesia, China, Finland, UK, Belgium and other countries.
Oxford launches book
Karachi: The Oxford University Press (OUP) and Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT) have launched the book Perils, Pitfalls and Reflexivity in Qualitative Research in Education edited by Fauzia Shamim and Rashida Qureshi.
Speaking at the book launching ceremony Managing Director Oxford University Press Ameena Saiyid said that the book went beyond the usual dry, statistical route to provide a subjective and very insightful view in educational research. She said that the book showed how cultural realities were different in different societies, and researchers and teachers needed to take them into account and adapt their research methods accordingly.
This collection of papers presents the experiences of educational researchers working within the qualitative paradigm in countries in the South.
Associate Professor Department of Community Health Sciences Aga Khan University Kausar S Khan, Director Pakistan Study Centre University of Karachi Prof. Dr Syed Jaffar Ahmed, Director Institute for Educational Development IED-PDC Aga Khan University Prof. Dr Muhammad Memon were the speakers at the book launching ceremony which was held as a part of the activities of the ongoing SPELT Conference. The news