Punjab medical colleges merit criteria issue

Candidates stage protest
Rawalpindi, Oct 18: The future of as many as 8,000 candidates hangs in balance owing to sudden change in merit criteria in admission of Punjab medical colleges by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and the University of Health Sciences (UHS), Punjab, made after announcement of results of entry test.

A large number of affected candidates both male and female took to streets here on Saturday as they protested against the sudden change in merit policy by the PMDC and UHS and that too after announcement of results.

To register their protest, the angry and disturbed candidates held a demonstration outside the offices of 'The News' and appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take immediate notice of the matter and provide justice to over eight thousand affected candidates. They were carrying placards and banners in their hands and raised slogans against the PMDC and UHS authorities for playing with their by changing the merit criteria.

According to the protestors including Farzana Riaz, Qwareer Riaz, Samra Ahmed, Siab Tariq leading the demonstration, out of total 3,000 seats in different medical colleges of Punjab, over 32,000 candidates appeared in the entry test on July 20 this year. According to the result announced by the PMDC and UHS on July 22, over 8,000 cleared the entry test according to merit criteria that include 70 per cent FSC merit and entry test merit of 30 per cent.

Unfortunately, after declaring the results on website, the PMDC and UHS changed the merit criteria on July 23 due to which 8,000 candidates who have cleared the test have been affected. According to the new merit criteria, the PMDC and UHS have set merit of achieving 50 per cent marks in entry test, 40 per cent marks in FSC and 10 per cent in Matric in medical group. With the sudden change in merit policy, the future 8,000 candidates affected.

According to Farzana Riaz and Qwareer Riaz, only Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and the Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Shariff could now resolve the matter. Both of them should take immediate notice and direct the PMDC and UHS to give admission to the candidates in medical colleges who had cleared the entry test.

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'B' form compulsory for HSSC exams
Rawalpindi: In a bid to get rid of cheating and illegal practices, eight educational boards of the Punjab province have announced to make 'B' form issued by National Database Registration Authority (NADRA), mandatory for appearing in examination of intermediate part-I to be held in year 2011.

'B' form will be considered as roll number and registration number and no candidate will be allowed to appear in the examination without it. According to details, the decision to this effect has been taken on the directives of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif who took serious notice of cheating and illegal practices in the examinations across the province.

The chief minister had given a task to the Higher Education Punjab to devise a strategy and make special arrangement for eradication of this menace. The reliable sources informed APP that the Higher Education Punjab, through a circular, has directed Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education to declare 'B' form compulsory for the registration of students for intermediate examination to be held in the next year.

The roll number and registration will be issued to students on the basis of 'B' forms, the sources added. The chairmen of the educational boards have included in the agenda of Punjab Boards Committee of Chairmen (PBCC) which will formally approve it in the next meeting of PBCC. The news

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Evening shifts at schools, colleges to be abolished
Islamabad: The government is set to abolish evening shifts from educational institutions working under Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to end disparities.

The evening shift in educational institutions including Islamabad Colleges and Islamabad Model Colleges for Boys and Girls was started 20 years ago. The idea behind this facility was to accommodate maximum number of students in these institutions utilizing the available infrastructure.

The announcement regarding the withdrawal of the facility would be made by Minister for Education Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali on 'Salam Teachers Day' to be commemorated on Oct 19.

According to official sources, the facility will be discontinued under the upcoming special package to be implemented from the start of new academic year to ensure that every student gets quality education without any disparity.

Under this facility, the students were being imparted education on self-finance basis but taking advantage of the situation some of the educational institutions started minting money by charging huge fees inviting ire of the parents.

"It is very difficult to manage the routine of my child studying in evening shift as both me and my husband work to meet expenses. My husband has opted for evening shifts at his office as he looks after our son in the morning and drops him at school," said Najma, mother of nine-year old Ehtesham. app

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FDE likely to announce package for teachers
Islamabad: The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) will celebrate Salam Teachers Day on Tuesday to pay tribute to teachers for their laudable role of spreading education.

On this day, the FDE will also announce a special package of incentives for teachers, meeting their longstanding demand of up-gradation of scales.

The FDE is giving final touches to the preparations to mark the Teachers Day in a befitting manner. According to the package, the teachers from Islamabad Colleges for Boys and Girls, Islamabad Model Colleges for Boys and Girls and Federal Government Schools and Colleges will get up-gradations in scale under the Time Scale Promotion formula. The package will be a step forward making the FDE set up a role model for other provinces. About regularization of the teachers working on contract or daily wages, an official of FDE said that the matter of regularization is in court. While up-gradation was the main concern of the teachers at this time.

The main focus of the package will be on implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) and meeting Education For All (EFA) goals, uniform education and removing disparity between urban and rural education set up, the official said. The news

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Four-year degree course launched in Punjab
Rawalpindi: The higher education department of Punjab government has launched a four-year Bachelors programme in two colleges of the city.

The institutions have been asked to enroll 1,000 students in this new degree course which is being offered in 13 subjects. The two colleges are the Government Gordon College and the Government Postgraduate College for Women.

The colleges have found this ambitious target difficult to meet as even the earlier target of 50 students per class is proving difficult to meet.

The education department has therefore extended the date for admissions to this programme.

It may be mentioned that the target of admitting 50 students in every discipline has so far not been achieved.

Commenting on the situation, Director Colleges, Dr Mohammad Ashraf said the admissions had not yet been closed and the principals of these colleges had been directed to enroll more students as every year over 1,000 students were admitted to each college at the BA/BSc level.

He said the fee per semester for the four-year course would not be higher than the fee per semester in the two-year graduation programme.

Dr Ashraf said the department had provided funds to meet the required facilities in the two colleges to run the programme smoothly. He said work on starting a computer lab in Gordon College would be started in a couple of weeks and all requirements of the students would be met to make the four-year BS programme a success.

He said the Board of Governors of the two colleges had been authorised to hire the teaching and non-teaching staff where necessary and shortage of subject specialists would not be a problem in these colleges.

Dr Ashraf said every private university had been offering the four-year BS programme in different disciplines, but their charges were exorbitant.

However the education department of Punjab would not charge more than Rs3,000 for a six months semester. Dawn

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AIOU starts ICT training programme
Islamabad: The first message of Allah was "Iqra" that meant education and in accordance with this message the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) clearly declared acquiring education as obligatory for all men and women equally. This was stated by Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi while addressing the inaugural ceremony of ICT training programme as a chief guest here on Sunday.

The CIT training programme for over 40,000 tutors across the country is started by AIOU in collaboration with Intel Education Initiative Pakistan (IEIP).

He said it was a remarkable day in the AIOU's history as the tutors' training was initiated through computers and information communication which would enable tutors, teachers and students to easily access the educational treasuries across the country. Daily times

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QASMS opens today
Islamabad: The Quaid-i-Azam University's new School of Management Sciences (QASMS) will be inaugurated today (Monday). The Department of Administrative Sciences of QAU

has been recently transformed into Quaid-i-Azam School of Management Sciences (QASMS). The school has also launched its first Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) 4 years program with specialization in Marketing, Finance and Human Resource Management (HRM). The news

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