Rawalpindi Board HSSC-1 result on September 15
Rawalpindi, Sep 11: The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Rawalpindi would announce the result of Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) Examination (Part-1) on September 15. Spokesman of the BISE told here on Tuesday that all the work has been completed in this regard and BISE Chairman Abdul Hafiz would announce the result in a press conference.
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International Literacy Day: Making education a priority
Islamabad: On International Literacy Day, Prime Minister Gilani made some verbal commitments to ensuring education for all; President Zardari also emphasised the importance of education. There was nothing unusual about such pledges and commitments being made by the Pakistani leadership on such events. However, what is interesting to note is that in the statements by both the leaders there has been hardly any talk of education reforms by the present government. The statements were too vague to suggest that the government is actually developing an action plan for the education sector. Rather, this rare expression of government commitment to education was actually a reminder that the present government is not even concerned enough about education to attempt to engage in a rhetoric of reform even if is it not pushing any reforms on the ground.
The education sector has suffered from deliberate neglect by all governments in Pakistan. However, due to the pressure from the international community and the public, the governments have always been keen to claim a commitment to this sector. Even under the Musharraf regime, first Zubaida Jalal and then General Qazi, who held the education portfolios, made a lot of noises (whether good or bad) in an attempt to demonstrate the government's commitment to reforming the education sector. The noises were of course not matched with full action.
However, an active discourse had developed around the education sector with numerous consultations and debates being held about education reforms. After the initial Education Sector Plans, a White Paper was produced, which was to feed into the new education policy.
However, neither did the previous government actually finalise the policy, nor is the present government making any serious move towards that. In fact, the trend visible since 2000 is that governments are finding it easy to keep hosting consultative dialogues including NGOs, donors and educationists to discuss education reforms rather than actually implementing them. The result is that when it comes to having the education sector plans, the plans set out all the right objectives, but despite these extensive consultations these plans rarely provide a detailed implementation plans with proper financial costing.
Most planning documents of the ministry of education are a wish list cluttered with ambitious and clearly unattainable targets. Such planning could partly be reflective of a weak planning capacity. However, at a more fundamental level it is also a sign of the government's lack of commitment to the sector where such unrealistic plans are adopted, which have no chances of success. The inclusion of the proposal to move towards English as a medium of instruction in government schools, an idea that was promoted during the previous government, is a classic example of such unrealistic planning. The government does not have enough teachers to teach English at all the levels and to impart knowledge of other subjects in English. Secondly, given the poor quality of teaching in government schools, using English as a medium of instruction in government schools will further reduce the children's ability to actually follow the subject content. There are many other priorities with the education sector that need more urgent attention rather than wasting energy on a strategy which in the immediate future is impossible to implement.
The present government has been in power for close to one-and-a-half-year, but it is showing record low commitment to the education sector, in fact there is hardly any discussion about this sector. This is particularly troubling when situated in the regional context, where Pakistan is now lagging behind all its neighbours in basic education indicators. Pakistan is the only South Asia country, which has been particularly noted in the UNESCO Global Monitoring Report, 2009, which along with Nigeria is predicted to contribute one-third of total out-of-school children by 2015.
Pakistan is at the same time also the country, which has been receiving manifold increases in aid allocations since the Sept 11 attacks with the education sector being one of the main recipients. If on the ground nothing is changing clearly it suggests that the problem is not just linked to lack of resources, the lack of political will has something to do with it. The performance of the NGO sector is also put into question by this poor progress in the education sector. The education sector has seen rapid expansion of NGOs in the last two decades and some of them have developed interesting teaching models. However, NGOs' advocacy and lobby skills are clearly limited, given that the governments get away with doing nothing.
There is urgent need for the civil society sector to mobilise the public to pressure the government to provide Pakistani children access to proper education. An educated population is in everyone's interest. Since the government is not moving on this issue on its own account, the public has to force it to move in that direction. A sustained lawyers' movement got the executive to listen to the judiciary, why should a sustained public movement asking for Education for All, not have similar success?
-Dr Masooda Bano. The writer is a research fellow at the Oxford University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mechanism to produce medical teachers urged
Islamabad: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Health Thursday asked the Ministry of Health and Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) to develop mechanism to strengthen, harmonise and produce basic medical science teachers in public and private sector medical institutions. The committee presided over by Dr. Nadeem Ehsan observed many lacunas in PMDC Ordinance and desired to make suitable amendments in it to bring transparency and increase the standard of medical institutions. The Committee discussed performance and functioning of PMDC and expressed serious concern on PMDC's method, criteria for recognition of Public and Private medical Institutions, poor performance of private medical institutions and illegal human organ trade. It recommended that cases of PMDC should be decided by itself and not by courts. The news
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