Kust students asked to vacate hostels
Kohat, Sept 06: The administration of Kohat University of Science and Technology (Kust) has asked the students to vacate two hostels before Sept 6 otherwise it will not be responsible for any loss of luggage.
University sources said that the administration had decided to give two hostels -- B-1 and B-2 -- to a private contractor, who had been authorised to fix the monthly rent.
The students of several unions contacted and said that they would not vacate the hostels at any cost because the administration was already charging exorbitant annual tuition fee and now wanted to put more financial burden on the students.
Earlier, the university provost in a press release had informed the students to voluntarily vacate these hostels for necessary repair and whitewash.He said that after Eid holidays the hostels would be handed over to a private contractor who would make fresh allotments. He also warned that if the hostels were not vacated before the deadline, the university administration would remove the belongings of the students by force and it would not be responsible for any kind of damage to the luggage.
On the other hand, the students alleged that the private contractor was not being brought to improve the living conditions and solve their problem, but in fact the administration wanted to generate handsome profit from its hostels by privatising them, which was not in the interest of poor students.
They expressed the fear that many students would not be able to bear extra burden of the revised rent and might be forced to discontinue their studies.
It had been learnt that the increase in annual fee of the Kohat Medical College and Kust had been made following the announcement of 60 per cent cut by the Higher Education Commission in varsity allocations. The universities had been asked to immediately halt new constructions and projects and delay the running projects by three years.
Kust, established in an old building of the commerce college, bore the major brunt as it had to stop construction of hostels and classrooms. As a result more than 50 per cent students of the medical college and Kust had to hire rooms in private guest houses and hotels at their own expense.
The students belonging to well-to-do families were living in furnished guest houses while the poor lot had to hire accommodation in dirty business centres of Kohat like chicken market and live as neighbours with the eunuch community in Teerah Bazaar. DawnYour Comments
HEC extends deadline for degrees
Islamabad: In a surprise move Higher Education Commission (HEC) has given a new deadline of September 24 to universities for verification of degrees of the elected representatives with its officials insisting that there is no political pressure involved in this development.
The sources said HEC has formally informed thirty-four universities about new deadline and directed them to complete the verification of degrees within the specified timeframe.
"We have the authority to ask for reasons, if any university fails to meet deadline and we can even cancel degree awarding status of any educational institution," said a senior Higher Education Commission official, who was of the view that they took the decision about new deadline at their own.
He claimed that the universities that have so far shown lukewarm response would hopefully accelerate their efforts for completion of verification process as Higher Education Commission has sent reminders to all of them.
The official data said HEC sent 1,085 degrees of legislators to 34 universities out of which 440 have so far been verified. Higher Education Commission has declared fifty degrees as fake while twelve legislators have moved courts regarding authentication of their degrees.
It is pertinent to mention here that HEC Chairman Dr. Javed Laghari in his statement couple of days ago said that Eid had been set the deadline for verification of the leftover degrees, but now new date has been fixed due to some unknown reasons.
HEC's focal person Rahim Bux Channa said that no political pressure is involved in extension in the deadline as the decision has been taken keeping in view various important factors. "First of all many parts of the country have been affected by devastating floods and now Eidul Fitr is also fast approaching so we decided to extend the deadline to give some more time to the universities," he said.
He said Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is yet to provide degrees of 12 legislators to Higher Education Commission, adding the issue would be taken up again in next meeting of respective representatives of HEC and ECP.
Rahim Bux Channa said that it is responsibility of ECP to ask those legislators to again submit copies of their degrees, who provided unclear and blurred copies before contesting in the general elections.
He said that ECP has started weekly review meetings in which representatives of the universities and legislators whose degrees have been termed fake present their respective viewpoint. "We are quite clear in our line of action as we will continue to work according to the rules and procedures.
The universities are cooperating with us and we will ask them to further accelerate this cooperation," he said. The news
The price of being a namesake!
Faisalabad: A primary schoolteacher has gone through one of the most trying ordeals of his career as the education department higher-ups and accounts officials stopped his salary for seven months by considering him dead.
Mr Mir Ahmad became a rolling stone between different offices to make the officials realise that he is alive and actively working and that his salary should be restarted.
The education department, declaring him dead, stopped his salary in July last year and transferred his general provident (GP) fund to another teacher who actually passed away owing to illness. Officials say it was just a computer mistake but they have no answer why it took seven months to rectify the wrong that placed the teacher under debt.
The teacher's trouble is far from over as the department has started issuing him salary but through the personal and GP fund number of the deceased (teacher). As only his account number is being used, he says, he may be deprived of the benefits that are given to any government employee after retirement.
Mr Ahmad has been serving at the Government Primary School, Chak 141-RB, II, Saddar-wala as PTC teacher and will retire after a few months. When his salary was stopped in July last year, he submitted an application to the district education officer, requesting him to issue his salary (along with arrears) that had been stopped by the department.
He sought restoration of the account that was wound up by the district accounts office on the orders of the education department authorities but his plea fell on deaf ears. He then approached the EDO (education) on June 22 this year and repeated his ordeal, mentioning in the application that he had contacted the deputy district education officer many times for solution to the problem but to no avail.
"I also contacted the accounts office where the employees claimed that I have been declared retired from the service. In fact, I didn't submit any application for retirement," said the teacher who again contacted the department and informed it about the situation.
The officials were kind enough to inform Mr Ahmad that he had been mistakenly declared retired in place of Mir Ahmad, a teacher of the Government Primary School, Chak 141-RB, Aqil. The officials assured him that his personal number would soon be restored but the promise did not materialise.
After six months, the education department officers asked him to contact the bank concerned as his salary had been transferred. However, this time another problem started for him as the officials just changed his personal number with the teacher who had expired. Now Mr Ahmad's salary is being released on the number of the deceased teacher.
Another shock awaited him as the department paid him Rs43,000 instead of Rs100,000 due to be paid to him. Of the Rs36,850 arrears amount, the accounts clerk had given him Rs28,000. He has also been forced to sign a bill of Rs20,394 under another head, though he has been given only Rs15,000.
Mr Ahmad alleged that the accounts branch clerk, Malik Anwar had been employing delaying tactics instead of resolving the issue. Owing to the department officials' mistake, he said, he had been facing difficulties in getting promoted to scale 14 that the government had recently announced.
Of late, the desperate academic has met District Coordination Officer Nasim Sadiq but a response is awaited.
It is learned that the department retired Mr Mir Ahmad, son of Abdul Ghani, on medical grounds as a medical board had on July 5, 2009 declared him unfit for further service. While issuing the medical certificate the board clearly mentioned the identification card number (33101-1698001-9) on the documents.
The education department officials were also well aware of the ID card number (33101-1350538-1) and father's name (Noor Ahmad) of Mr Ahmad but no attention was paid to his case.
EDO Sohaib Imran admitted that the teacher's salary had remained suspended because of a computer mistake. He said the names of both teachers and their fathers' names were same and that created confusion. The EDO's claim that the fathers of both teachers had same name was not corroborated by records.
When asked why no action was taken against the negligent officials, he said the clerk responsible for the case would be brought to book. As for the payment issue, he said the situation would be clear after an inquiry. Dawn