First year students may have a very short session
Karachi, Sept 15: The new academic session (2010-11) for first year students of the city's public-sector colleges and higher secondary schools will probably be the shortest one as it will have hardly 147 days to complete the courses because of the delay in the issuance of placement lists of major groups.
Moreover, there are apprehensions that the academic year for first year students belonging to the public sector educational institutions of the city might further shrink to just four months (120 days) if the Saturdays - observed as additional weekly holiday with Sundays as a part of the government's electricity conservation plan - are also excluded from the academic year.
The new academic session scheduled to begin on Sept 6 could not start as the process of admission to the first year classes despite being initiated on July 23 remained disrupted for almost a fortnight in August in the wake of the poor law and order situation.
There was also a lukewarm response to the admission process and the Centralized Admission Policy (CAP) Committee had to extend the date for receiving placement forms at least four times.
Although the CAP committee issued the placement lists of only two groups - Home Economics and Computer Science - on Tuesday and Science (Pre-Engineering) group on Thursday, the placement lists of Science (Pre-Medical), Commerce and Humanities groups are now likely to be issued after Eid holidays.
It clearly indicates that the new academic session for first year students may begin in the last week of September as all those candidates whose placement was made on Tuesday and Thursday and even of those whose placement lists are still awaited will be visiting the colleges where they have admitted after Eid holidays i.e. after Sept 13 to complete the remaining admission formalities which normally takes about 15 days.
It means that the fresh entrants will have only 147 academic days (less than five months) or just 120 days (in case Saturdays holidays are to be observed) to complete their entire course till their annual examinations which are scheduled to start in the last week of April, 2011 as the number of holidays (including weekly, public and winter holidays) falling between Sept 25, 2010 (expected date of commencement of new session) and April 15, 2011 (when classes end) is 50.
These holidays include 11 public holidays such as Allama Iqbal Day, Eid-ul-Azha, Ashura, Kashmir Day, Shah Abdul Latif Day, Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A), Eid Milad-un-Nabi and Pakistan Day, 54 weekly holidays (27 Sundays and Saturdays), besides the winter vacation which are normally observed from Dec 22 to Dec 31 will this year be of 12 days because Jan 1 and 2, 2011 are falling on Saturday and Sunday which means colleges would be re-opening on Jan 3.
Describing the situation developing in the wake of forthcoming shortest-ever academic year as "mind-boggling", senior college professors said that it was beyond their comprehension that how they would be able to get the entire course of all subjects completed in just 147 days or 120 days to be available to first year students from the date of commencement of their classes and date of annual examination as the syllabus was normally devised keeping in view that there would be 210 academic days.
"Neither the teachers will be able to deliver lectures covering entire course, nor students will be able to digest the full course in such a short academic year," they said, adding that such a situation usually compelled more and more students either to take private tuitions or join coaching centers but those who could not afford exorbitant tuition fee might resort to unfair means in exams.
They said that at a time when the performance of a number of government colleges in the Higher Secondary Certificate annual examinations-2009 and 2010 was abysmal, the shrinking academic year would further deteriorate the standard of education of such public sector colleges.
They said that colleges were already facing a shortage of teachers and some colleges have ill-equipped laboratories or classes were not being conducted there properly. DawnYour Comments
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