World Literacy Day | British visa centre Islamabad

World Literacy Day to be observed on Sept 8
Islamabad, Sep 05, 2008: International Literacy Day (ILD) will be marked on September 8 across the globe with the slogan 'Literacy is the Best Remedy.'

This year, the theme will place special focus on the vital relationship between literacy and health, a private news channel reported.

Unesco and its partners are underlining the significance of literacy for healthy societies, with a strong emphasis on epidemics and communicable diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, which are some of the world's most important public health concerns.

Each year on the Day, Unesco reminds the international community of the global status of literacy and adult learning. International Literacy Day 2008 will look notably at literacy and its links with general health care, nutrition, family and reproductive health, and health-related community development.

Literacy is an integral aspect of the universal right to education along with being an essential basis for improving health conditions.

According to Unesco, literacy is a cause for celebration, since there are now close to four billion literate people in the world. However, literacy for all including children, youth and adults is still an unaccomplished goal and an ever-moving target.

A combination of ambitious goals, insufficient and parallel efforts, inadequate resources and strategies, and continued underestimation of the magnitude and complexity of the task accounts for this unmet goal.

Lessons learnt over recent decades show that meeting the goal of universal literacy calls not only for more effective efforts but also for renewed political will and doing things differently at local, national and international levels.

"Literacy is a powerful yet too often overlooked remedy to health threats, with the potential to promote better nutrition, disease prevention and treatment."

According to the Unesco statement, research has demonstrated the direct correlation between people's level of literacy and their chances to maintain good health.

Ministry of Education, public departments and civil society organisations would hold different activities including seminars and rallies to mark the Literacy Day. Similarly, the Day would be celebrated with great enthusiasm by students of different educational institutions with an aim to promote literacy in the country and achieve enhanced literacy rate. The News

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British visa centre closed
Islamabad: The British High Commission on Thursday closed its visa application centre for an indefinite period due to security concerns. "We have closed the visa application centre after receiving a threatening phone call," a British High Commission official said. She said that the closure was temporary and the centre would resume its operation after assessing the threat. She, however, did not elaborate on the nature of the threat. Daily Times

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"A back step action by the officials. There has been a time of Pakistans severe turmoil with neighbouring country in the past years, officials of BHC that time provided visa services uninterruptedly. This action would not only downgrade students trust who are doing IELTS or other stuff for higher studies in the UK, would also make returning residents unhappy. On the economic side when there are rumours of recession in some parts of europe UK might loose the money contributed by Pakistani students in sake of higher educations. In the light of above I would like to request the UK High Commission Officials to reopen the visa section as soon as possible Thanks A.I. Uk Pakistan Friendship Zinda Bad."
Name: Mr. A.I.C
City, Country: GRW, Pakistan

"I am extremely upset about the temporary closure of the UK visa centre in Islamabad. I strictly condenm the threat and demand the Pakistani government to take an immediate strong action against such unlawful and insane act. I urge the official authority of UK visa centre to please restore the UK visa centre as soon as possible. All my good wishes with you guys. God bless all of us. Regards Ganesh."
Name: Ganesh Kumar Rajput
City, Country: Karachi, Pakistan

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People demand shifting of private edu institutes from twin cities
Islamabad: Due to lethargic or criminal negligence on the part of authorities concerned, commercial activities in the residential areas of twin cities are causing worst traffic jams.

It was observed that poplar avenues and residential areas of Islamabad are overwhelmed by schools, colleges and universities thus multiplying the miseries of motorists and passengers who have to wait in queue for hours in order to pass by such places.

The popular avenues and residential areas of twin cities that are being used as commercial hubs include Pitras Bokhari Road, Nazim-ud-Din Road, Satellite Town, Bank Road, adjoining areas of Commercial Market and several other areas of he twin cities.

It has been witnessed that Pitras Bokhari Road in Islamabad that stretches from TNT Colony, G-8 to H-8 sector is overwhelmed with private schools, a medical college, a university and a private hospital. The famous graveyard of H-8 is also situated on this road. However, H-8 graveyard and the famous hospital located on the aforementioned road contain spacious area for parking, which can easily accommodate maximum number of visitors. But in case of the death of any renowned personality whose body is brought for burial in H-8 graveyard, the parking area proves insufficient and motorists have to park their vehicles down the road thus creating traffic mess.

The schools, colleges and universities located at Pitras Bokhari Road lack proper parking area. As a consequence, teachers, students and parents who visit the school to pick and drop their children, have to park their vehicles on the road. Worst traffic jams are often seen at Pitras Bokhari Road in the wee hours. The traffic jams are frequent at morning time from 8 am to 1 pm, and in the afternoon from 1 pm to 3 pm. "It's a pity that such leading schools who spare no time to demand heavy fees from students , cannot invest a little on the construction of parking areas", lamented Alia Jatoi, mother of a student.

Likewise, Nazim-ud-Din Road is witnessing same kind of situation where some leading schools are operating but they lack any proper parking areas.

The same sort of traffic jam is also seen in the morning and afternoon but Capital Development Authority (CDA) has adopted an ignorant attitude towards the matter since the owners of such institutions happen to be influential and privileged people, who are always ready to "negotiate" with the governmental high ups and "accommodate" them. "We have to crawl at snails pace to cross Nazim-ud-Din Road" deplored Ali Azher.

In addition, Satellite Town and other areas of Rawalpindi are no exceptions where similar kind of situations as mentioned above are frequent and a source of nuisance. The inhabitants of these areas have demanded of the government that such institutes that lack proper parking and spacious areas must not be allowed to operate. The CDA and Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) must not issue 'No Objection Certificates (NOC's)' to such institutes that fleece the students but lack even basic amenities including parking lots, suggested Fayaz-ul-Hassan a former bureaucrat.

People have demanded of the government to take immediate measures to let the educational institutions operate in isolated and less crowded areas. The shifting of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) from Faisal Mosque to H-10 and that of Comsats from H-8 to Chak Shehzad are praise worthy examples, to be quoted in this regard. The new campuses of both these well-reputed educational institutions contain huge and spacious areas for parking and other educational amenities including playgrounds and hostels. The Nation

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Lively 'Monsoon Festival' at International Grammar School & College (IGSC)
Islamabad: International Grammar School & College (IGSC) hosted a spectacular 'Monsoon Festival' in its sprawling 2-acre ground in the heart of Sector F-11, says a press release.

It was a fun-filled evening with glittering lights, children's laughter on merry-go-rounds and young girls gathered at jewellery and henna stalls.

Another attraction of the event was the oldest potter from Saidpur Village, who worked away on his potter's wheel and managed to attract quite many young students with his skill.

Adding to the delightful festival was live music performances by a local band and a fashion show that was exclusively for girls. The food court was full of scrumptious meals from Pizza Hut, KFC, Dunkin Donuts and Hanif Rajput along with stalls put up by parents, offering homemade food items.

IGSC and 'Payaam', an NGO, work together to fulfil the special needs of disabled people. The College Section of IGSC at its premises offers a specially constructed step-free access for students using wheelchairs as well as the added incentive of a special scholarship scheme, enabling disabled students to pursue quality education. The News

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Students accuse OPF College clerk of malpractice, demand probe
Islamabad: Owing to negligence on the part of authorities concerned, a clerk of the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) College has allegedly deprived the students of admission in the next session is despite receiving heavy fees. Besides, a series of irregularities and corruption in the college is continued unabated.This was disclosed byreliable sources.

Raja Amjad Iqbal, a clerk, at OPF College has allegedly swallowed Rs 5,00,000 during the admission process. The source further stated that there seems no discipline at the College at any level, in the absence of the head of the college who often remained on leave.

It was learnt that the parents of the students received notification from College administration regarding fee submission. The students along with their parents told the college administration that they have already deposited admission fee. But they have come to know from the Principle Office that the said clerk did not transfer the fee in the college account.

Director Education OPF, Brigadier (Retd) Farogh Anjum said that clerk; Amjad Iqbal has already been suspended from the college. But the parents of the students want their money back from the college administration who are not probing into the matter accordingly.

The parentssaid that they have received warning letters from the Principle Office, which intimidated them to deposit the admission fee, otherwise they would not be considered eligible for the next session. "But when we approached the Principle, he was not present in the office, as usual, and acting Principle turned a deaf ear. Now where should we go as no one is out there to hear our hue and cry," they lamented.

When the matter was brought to the notice of Director Education OPF, Brigadier (R) Farogh Anjum, he expressed his ignorance towards the entire episode while initiating an inquiry as to who lodged complaints against Raja Amjad. Later, he told this scribe that he took stern action against the clerk in some cases of misconduct and he has already been suspended and put into jail. He told that if someone has objection regarding the misconduct, corruption and discipline must approach him with written proves.

He further said, "I would never comment against my department's officials, as I have no authority to comment over official matters", he remarked while ignoring all the objections.

While rejecting the accusations levelled against his staffer ,he commented that against whom he would take action? He was of the view that there was no big problem anywhere, as no one has lodged any complaint with him.

He proudly said that he believed on procedurals system. He said that he could only take action if some thing was wrong in the officials' files. "Now how I can take action without approaching the files, as objections are yet to be filed against anyone" he argued.

" The accused clerk has been put behind the bars but not due to his massive corruption but due to some private matters. He is now resting in jail and no inquiry is possible during his detention and who will return our money back", parents of the students questioned? The Nation

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