Sindh medical colleges, universities entry test

Medical colleges' entry test tomorrow
Karachi, Oct 16: The entry test for admission to the province's government medical colleges/universities would be held on Sunday October 17 (tomorrow). The tests will start at 9:00am at the Dow University of Health Science (Ojha campus) in Karachi, Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences in Hyderabad, Public School in Sukkur and the Police Ground in Larkana. ppi

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SPLA announces protest drive
Karachi: Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA) announced on Friday a three-week-long protest campaign (from Oct 18 to Nov 10) to put pressure on the government for acceptance of their demands.

Sharing details of the protest plan at a joint press conference held at the DJ Govt Science College, SPLA president Prof Ather Hussain Mirza said that the protest drive starting from Monday with a demonstration at the Karachi Press Club would continue till Nov 10 and college teachers across the province would organise protest rallies at their respective colleges, district and regional levels during this period, besides holding all Sindh general body meeting on Nov 10 in Karachi.

It had been decided that complaints of college teachers and their charter of demand would be sent to the president, the prime minister, the Sindh chief minister and the provincial education minister by fax and courier service, he added.

The other SPLA leaders who spoke on the occasion included Prof Muzaffar Ali Rizvi, Prof Yaqoob Chandio, Prof Hemat Ali Pitafi and Prof Iftikhar Azmi.

Highlighting the problems being faced by college teachers across the province, the SPLA leaders said that inordinate delay in announcing time scale for promotion of college teachers, posting of recently promoted grade 20 professors, appointment of principals, recruitment of teachers to overcome their shortage, etc were their main problems. Dawn

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KU VC shows concern over outdated methods of office work
Karachi: Vice Chancellor, Karachi University (KU), Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui had an informal meeting with the Administrative officers of the KU to consider the need of time and insisted upon adding advanced and modernised components to keep the official matters up to date.

According to KU statement issued here on Friday, Dr Siddiqui said that frequent interaction among the section heads and employees is imperative because it's the time when a positive change should be brought out. According to the Vice Chancellor, in-house management can solve 25 to 30 percent problems and can minimise the workload. During the meeting, the officers discussed their concerns and suggestions, which included the establishment of an information cell outside the Admission Block for the guidance of students, teachers and other visitors. The Vice Chancellor has announced a 4 member committee headed by the Registrar, which will plan to implement upon the suggestion. Dr Pirzada expressed his concern over the observation of old and outdated methods of office work. He directed all the officers to update their records and data by using modern equipments and gadgetries. It was also decided that a meeting of all the section heads who are directly linked to the Vice Chancellor will be conducted at least once in every month. Meanwhile, Chairperson, Department of Visual Studies on Friday announced that the aptitude test for admissions to the Department of Visual Studies, KU, for the coming academic year 2011 will be held on Sunday, 17 October 2010 behind the Gymnasium.

More than 900 candidates will be appearing in the test. It is pertinent to mention that the Department of Visual Studies offers professional degree programs in Architecture, Design and Media Arts, Textile Design, Industrial Design, Ceramics and Glass, Fine Art, Islamic Arts and Art History. The nation

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Parents show little interest in educating blind children
Hyderabad: Parents show little or almost no interest in sending their blind children to special schools and the government is least interested in making people with impaired vision useful members of society, complain activists working for the betterment of the blind children.

"The most frequently asked question by parents is, can their child ever get a job even if he or she attends your school or what can they achieve after getting education?" said Ali Dino Pirzada, honorary general secretary of the Hyderabad Welfare Association of the Blind (HWAB).

It reflected the general mindset of the society, which hampered welfare and progress of the physically challenged people in society, he said.

A large number of visually impaired individuals observed on Friday the International White Cane safety Day in Hyderabad as a black day to record their protest against non-provision of facilities by the government. They held a demonstration and distributed white canes among the blind.

The HWAB runs a school that was opened by a Karachi-based activist Hadia Khan who works with a civil society group, Voice of the Civil Society. She, with the help of her friends and family tries to offer as much support as possible to help run the school, which remained closed for four years until 2008.

Hadia Khan and her friends managed to reopen it and they try to keep it functioning. "This is purely a family and friends effort as I basically try to serve as a bridge between donors and HWAB," she said.

Presently, 18 students are studying at the school, which lacks advanced and modern equipment specially designed for education of the blind. The equipment is highly expensive and is normally not available in local market.

Besides, the school does not have quality teachers. "A quality teacher needs Rs12,000 to Rs15,000 salary per month to enable students to earn a living in a multinational company," said Hadia Khan.

She said that her organisation was trying to develop contacts with some Turkey-based donors to get equipment like scanners that convert entire material on a cassette for students.

"We also plan to arrange funds for hiring qualified teachers for the school, which meets even its monthly expenses with great difficulty," she said.

Mr Pirzada is dismayed at the response of families having blind children. He and his wife Shahnaz, who too has impaired vision, advise such families to send their blind children to their school.

"But their response is discouraging. A blind child often doesn't get the support and attention a normal child gets from his family," he said.

The government has also failed to fulfil its commitment that the visually impaired people (VIP) will get Rs25,000 grant out of Baitul Mal funds.

The blind persons and their attendants used to get 50 per cent discount in air or train fare but now the attendant is charged full fare.

"We need to change parent's psyche and persuade them that their visually impaired children can be useful for them. If they have access to education and training they can get lucrative jobs in multinational companies," Hadia argued.

She said that HWAB wants to build a hostel to provide lodging to the blind children who come to the school from the rest of Sindh. "But it needs a lot of money and advanced equipment, which are not readily available and the blind remains deprived of access to quality life," she regretted.

She said that parents should not prevent such children from attending special schools.

The blind persons demand Nadra that it put monogram of "white cane" instead of wheel chair on their computerised national identity cards because the wheel chair is an identification mark for the physically challenged people.

They call for share in two per cent jobs quota reserved for the physically challenged persons and enrolment in Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). Currently, their applications are not entertained, according to HWAB.

Mr Pirzada said that academic activities badly suffered in school as it lacked equipment like talking watches, special computer programme like Jaws, Braille system etc and almost no assistance from the district, provincial and federal governments.

He said that outgoing government had promised that the blind would be provided separate cards for use at the branches of Utility Stores Corporation but this government had dropped the idea. Dawn

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