Pashto as compulsory subject in KP

Pashto recommended to be taught as compulsory subject
Peshawar: A cabinet committee on Tuesday finalised its recommendations under which Pashto would be introduced as compulsory subject in 17 districts. The recommendations would be placed before the provincial assembly for legislation after approval by the provincial cabinet.

"As per recommendations of the committee, Pashto will be included as compulsory subject in 17 districts from Class-I to XII, while in the remaining seven districts mother tongue will be included as compulsory subject in the curriculum," said a communiqu» issued after the meeting.

Besides Minister for Information and Public Relations Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the meeting was also attended by Secretary Administration Hifzur Rahman and officials of the Primary and Elementary and Higher Education and Textbook Board Peshawar.

It was decided that Pashto as compulsory subject would be introduced in 17 districts including Swat, Swabi, Buner, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Mardan, Charsadda, Shangla, Malakand, Nowshera, Hangu, Lakki Marwat, Karak, Bannu, Tank, Kohat and Battagram. It was also decided that mother tongues would be introduced in the remaining seven districts in class 6 from the next academic year 2011-12.

Pashto and other mother tongues will be included as compulsory subject in class 7 from 2012-13, in class 8 from 2013-14, in class 9 2014-15, in class 10 from 2015-16, in 1st year from 2016-17 and in 2 year 2017-18.

Besides nine districts i.e. Swat, Swabi, Buner, Dir Upper and Lower, Mardan, Charsadda, Shangla and Malakand of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where Pashto is already being taught as compulsory subject since 1984 in classes one to five, it will also be introduced as compulsory subject in another eight districts including Nowshera, Hangu, Lakki Marwat, Karak, Bannu, Tank, Kohat and Battagram from the next academic year 2011-12. The other mother tongues will be included as compulsory subject in the remaining seven districts from the next academic year 2011-12 in classes one to five.

The meeting also decided to look into the bifurcation of Peshawar district into urban and rural areas. In urban areas, the relevant mother tongue and in rural areas Pashto will be introduced as compulsory subject.

The chairman of the committee, Mian Iftikahr Hussain, directed the authorities of the Education Department and Textbook Board Peshawar to focus on the early preparation of curricula of Pashto as well as the other mother tongues and finalise timelines for preparation of curriculum, contents and script so that the students don't face difficulties in this connection. He added that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will follow the Education Policy 2009 in letter and spirit and curricula of mathematics and science subjects will be in English.

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UoP reluctant to revoke decision on increase in fees
Peshawar: Despite the assurance by the federal government to release funds to the public sector universities, the management of the University of Peshawar (UoP) is reluctant to withdraw its decision of increase in fees and reintroduction of self-finance scheme.

"Mere verbal assurance has been made by the federal government to release funds to the universities. No formal notification to this effect has been issued so far nor have funds been released. We can't review the decision of increase in fees at this stage," spokesman for the university quoted Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Azmat Hayat Khan as saying.

Several attempts were made to reach the vice-chancellor for his comments but to no avail. This correspondent tried to talk to acting registrar of the university Dr Fazle Hadi, who, too, could not be contacted. An official in his office told this reporter to call him on his direct phone number, which was done without being able to reach him.

The university had decided to raise fees for admission, examination, hostel charges and certificate and detailed marks certificate fees several times, sources said. The decision had been taken after the cut in grants to the public sector universities by the Higher Education Commission.

The admission fee has been increased by 20 to 25 percent, while the self-finance scheme was restarted in the evening shift. This time the fee for admission under self-finance scheme has been fixed at Rs50,000, which was Rs30,000 some years ago before the scheme was abolished on the directives of the then governor Iftikhar Hussain Shah who was also chancellor of the public sector universities.

The admission fee for various disciplines of Master's of Arts last year was around Rs11,000, which has been increased to Rs13,800 this year, according to the university prospectus. The charges for Master's of Sciences, Management Studies and other disciplines were Rs16,000 last year, which have been increased to Rs18,700, the prospectus stated.

Some changes were made in the fee structure even after the publication of the prospectus of the admission for the year 2010-11. A two-page notification is attached to the document, showing fees around 15 percent more than those stated in the prospectus.

The notification stated, "On the recommendation of Senate Task Force, the vice-chancellor is pleased to exercise power vested in him under section 13 (3) of the University of Peshawar Act 1974, to review fee and other related charges for the morning session." A separate notification of similar nature has been issued for the students of evening shift.

The fees projected in prospectus were Rs12,600 for MA and Rs17,000 for MSc and other disciplines, while the additional papers showed the admission charges for MA as Rs13,600 and Rs17,800 for MSc.

Similarly, fees at the university-run Jinnah College for Women and College of Home Economics have been increased several times. The examination section of the university has also made 100 to 200 percent increases in the charges for examination, certificate, mark sheets, etc.

A senior official of the university termed that increase in fee and other charges as illegal and ultra vires to the university statutes. According to the university act, the university administration could make only 10 percent increase in fees. More than 10 percent increase could only be made by the university's senate after the approval of the syndicate, the official said while wishing anonymity. The news

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Students block KKH over shortage of lecturers
Mansehra: Hundreds of students of Degree College in Battagram on Tuesday blocked the Karakorum Highway for over three hours to protest vacant posts of science professors and lectures.

"We are far behind in education sector as compared to other areas in the province as almost all posts of science teachers are vacant at the college since the last two years," Gulfaraz Khan, a student leader, said while addressing the gathering.

The students boycotted the classes and staged a protest rally. They up to the KKH and blocked the road by setting tyres on fire. Students were chanting anti-government slogans and demanding immediate induction of lectures.

The student leaders said that the posts of lecturers of biology, chemistry, physics, computer sciences and mathematic were vacant for the last two years but neither college administration nor the district authorities took the issue seriously as a result of which precious time of students of the sole college in the district was being wasted.

The road was opened for traffic after DPO Ghulam Hussain and ACO Mohammad Ali negotiated with the student leaders and assured them that they would take the issue at the appropriate forum and the post would be filled immediately. Dawn

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