College closure: Future of 430 students at stake
Peshawar, Sep 09: The closure of Cadet College, Razmak in North Waziristan has put the future of around 430 students at stake, as the government is still indecisive about reopening the prestigious institution.
The college was closed in haste by the government in June last and the students and teachers were escorted out the restive tribal area, only to be kidnapped by militants and then freed through the intervention of a jirga.
Government and military officials at that time had argued that the students and teachers of Cadet College, Razmak were not safe as militants affiliated with Baitullah Mahsud could target the government and army installations in the area after a military operation was launched against them in the adjoining South Waziristan.
The picturesque Razmak Valley is located on the border between South and North Waziristan while the Cadet College is located in a military base. Keeping in view previous attack on the college by the militants from nearby Makeen town in South Waziristan in 2007 in which a science laboratory was damaged, the military authorities feared the militants could target it again. Hence, they had decided to close the college and asked students and the teachers to leave the area.
As no proper security arrangements were put in place for their security, Baitullah men kidnapped some of the students and teachers near the Bakkakhel area of FR Bannu. The Torikhel people, who live in Razmak area, later raised a 300-member tribal lashkar that raided villages in the nearby South Waziristan and recovered vehicles and luggage of the kidnapped students. Led by Abdul Halim Khan, a noted Torikhel elder-cum-militant commander of Hafiz Gul Bahadur-led militants, the lashkar warned Baitullah to release the students and their teachers or face the consequences.
The pressure worked and Baitullah decided to release the students and even met the cadets. Since June, the college has been closed and an entire academic year of the students could be lost. Parents of the cadets are seriously worried about uncertain future of their children.
A retired subedar of the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC), Mohammad Iqbal is one among several other concerned fathers. He said he was hoping for a bright future for his son after getting him admitted to the Cadet College but was now a worried man as there is no indication when the college would reopen.
Sources said that NWFP Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani had constituted a committee to select a safe place where the college could be temporarily set up. One of the committee members, who wished not to named said that they inspected three places including the newly constructed building of Government Degree College at Shankar in Mardan, Elementary College Charsadda and another building in Swabi district for accommodating the college temporarily. He said the committee was keeping its work secret as the Torikhel tribe was opposing shifting of the college from Razmak.
The member said the committee had sent its recommendations to the governor and was waiting for approval of one of the buildings to start classes. He said only three chapters of the course had been taught to the students of Grade VIII and IX while second-year classes were yet to be started.
The governor had ordered an inquiry against the officials who closed the college and then shifted the students to Peshawar without proper security. But neither an inquiry was conducted nor any official was punished for negligence. The newsYour Comments
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World Literacy Day: Illiteracy driving militancy: CM
Peshawar: NWFP Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti has said that illiteracy and militancy are two big challenges being faced by his government which can only be overcome with support of international community and federal government.
Addressing a gathering on the occasion of International Literacy Day at Chief Minister House here on Tuesday, he said that more than 50 per cent population of the province was illiterate while the militants further multiplied the problems by blowing up schools.
He said main causes of the militancy were poverty, unemployment and illiteracy. Those problems could only be overcome with active support of central government and international donors, he added.
He said the terrorists had warned them to step down within five days but the government remained steadfast and did not bow to the anti-state elements.
He said winning of the war against terrorists was impossible for the government without proper support of the public.
He expressed the hope that federal government and international community would extend support to them so that poverty, illiteracy and militancy could be overcome on permanent basis.
He said 80 per cent of the internally displaced persons had returned to their homes and the rest would also return soon.
KARAK: The district education department and the National Commission for Human Development on Tuesday organised a walk on the occasion of the International Literacy Day to create awareness among the masses regarding the importance of education.
The walk started from the Higher Secondary School Karak and culminated at the DCO office.
The executive district officer (education), principal and students of the school, officials of NCHD, ulema and elders participated in the walk. Earlier, a ceremony was held at the school to highlight the importance of education.
Speaking on the occasion, EDO education Iqbal Khattak, principal of the school Sultan Khattak and Markaz Coordinator of NCHD Aurang Zeb said that it was their duty to spread education in every nook and corner of the district.
The EDO education resolved that they were trying their best to bring the areas having comparatively low literacy ratio at par with the areas with higher rate.
He said they would activate the Parent Teacher Council (PTC) to bridge the gap between the community and the schools' administration to create congenial environment for the students. He appreciated NCHD for mobilising the local volunteers to bring out-of-school children back to the schools.
The EDO urged teachers to fulfill their obligations in realising the dream of educated Pakistan.
APP adds: Like other parts of the country International Literacy Day was marked in Bannu o Tuesday. The main function was held at Government Pilot School.
Senior vice president of Provincial Teachers Association Khalilur Rehman Awan was the chief guest on this occasion. With dedicated efforts of the various stake holders including parents, teachers and government progress could be made in the educations sector, he said.
He said that education was the top priority of the government as it had doubled the budget to increase literacy rate. He said that the purpose of the International Literacy Day was to focus attention on the need for mass literacy and to highlight the importance and benefits of literacy for individuals, societies and the world community as a whole.
He said that the upcoming educational policy having revolutionary changes would usher in a new era, which would definitely end monotony of traditional way of teaching and learning.
He urged the education planners to adopt a multi-pronged strategy for eradication of illiteracy. The government, civil society and media should work together for promotion of literacy and non-formal basic education in the country, Mr Rehman added. Dawn
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Govt to achieve 86% literacy rate by 2015: Bijarani
Islamabad: Federal Minister for Education Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani has renewed commitment of the government to achieve literacy rate of 86% by 2015 so that the new generation can be better prepared to effectively run the country.
Literacy is the first step and opens door to higher rungs of education, which is key to progress of a country, the Minister said in an interview with APP in connection with International Literacy Day.
The minister said, no nation could move ahead and prosper without education. The day should not be celebrated merely as a social event, but every individual should realise his responsibility of promoting education to create a literate society.
The government is taking a number of initiatives for the uplift of education sector, he said adding early childhood education programme is the top priority to ensure provision of quality education for every child.
"Although, the country was facing challenges and lagged behind in education sector but we are dedicated to the cause of fighting illiteracy," he added.
The Minister also added that the new education policy would be submitted to the federal cabinet on September 9 (Wednesday). The recommendations from all the provincial authorities have been incorporated in the policy, and the cabinet members will ponder to make it more effective, he said.
The minister said, the upcoming policy having revolutionary changes would usher in a new era of education which would definitely end monotony of traditional way of teaching and learning.
In the process of formulating the policy, all the stakeholders and educationists were taken on board. The minister also urged the education planners to adopt a multi-pronged strategy for eradication of illiteracy and provision of basic education to all including children, youth and adults.
The government, civil society and media should work together for promotion of literacy and non-formal basic education in the country, Bijarani added. The government has already declared the year 2010 as Literacy Year.
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Students get scholarship cheques
Nowshera: The organization, Tanzim Al Saaiel-o-Mehroom, distributed scholarship cheques of Rs1,000 each among 94 school children here on Tuesday.
The organization took the competitive examination from the children of fourth and fifth grades at union council level. On the basis of this examination male and female students were awarded scholarship. The scholarships would continue throughout the career of the students.
The cheque distributing ceremony was held at Government Girls High School Nowshera Cantt. Farrukh Sair, director of the organisation, Anhanuddin executive district officer (EDO) education, Ihtesham-ul-Haq deputy district officer (DDO), Iqbal Hussain assistant district officer (ADO) and Amjad Ali ADO were present on the occasion. The news
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