Private schools in Thatta, Makli closed since June
Thatta, Sept 17: Some 8,000 students of private schools of twin towns of Thatta and Makli have been deprived of education due to continuous closure of their institutions since June.
The schools were closed for two months on June 1 on account of summer vacation, but could not reopen on Aug 2 as the district administration directs to keep the schools closed due to floods.
According to a survey conducted by this correspondent, about 36 private schools in the two towns were imparting education to around 8,000 students, right from pre-primary to matriculation.
These schools were to reopen on Aug 2, but the DCO of Thatta through a notification directed administrations to keep schools closed for one week further due to flood situation, and these consecutive notifications for the closure of further one week continue till date.
However, none of these private school buildings were used as shelter for IDPs, and the twin towns were not inundated under floodwater.
When contacted, vice-president of the Private Schools Association Ms Almas Khatri said that office-bearers of the association had a meeting with DCO on Sept 14 and briefed him, but he did not withdraw the notification. He promised to allow functioning of the schools soon, she said.
Nasreen Awan, principle of a private school, said: "No doubt, we are braving national disaster, but obstruction to academic activities is creating another disaster."She said that the administration was asking them to set up makeshift schools in IDPs tent settlements while on the other hand it did not allow the established schools to run, damaging future of the generation.
A number of parents Samiullah Qureshi, Asadullah Shah, Usman Khushk, Sarfaraz Qazi, Yar Mohammad Shaikh, Abdul Karim Memon, Shahbaz Bhatti, Jamil Ahmed Qureshi and others said that private schools were imparting education under term-wise syllabus system and due to extension of about one-and-a-half-month in holidays, exams for the first semester which was due in October could not be conducted.
Some school head mistresses said that some parents phoned them and threatened not to pay fees to schools, saying that "go and ask the DCO for the fees"!
Situation in other towns of the district, which were not directly hit, was similar.
Towns of Gujjo, Gharo, Dhabeji, Mirpur Sakro, Var, Ghulamullah and Jangshahi also have private schools and administrations of these schools were awaiting the DCO's directives to allow them function their school.
Temporary Schooling: The Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) has established 58 girls and boys primary schools in the tent settlement for flood survivors in Makli and other parts of the district.Your Comments
Varsities extend deadline for admissions
Larkana: Managements of three professional universities told Larkana circuit bench of the Sindh High Court on Thursday that they were ready to extend the dates of purchasing and submitting admission forms for the forthcoming academic session, in the wake of massive floods.
The bench, comprising Mr Justice Ghulam Sarwar Korai and Mr Justice Imam Bakhsh Baloch, was hearing three identical petitions filed by advocate Asif Abdul Razzak Soomro.
He sought extension in dates for submission of application forms in the NED University of Engineering and Technology of Karachi, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Medical University of Larkana and the Quaid-i-Awam University of Engineering, Science and Technology (QUEST) Nawabsah.
He said that floods had ruined the right bank of the Indus, displaced and disturbed candidates intending to get admission in professional colleges and universities. Currently, the revenue staff was engaged in emergency duties while schools and colleges were lying closed.
Students seeking admissions would undergo a long process for collecting duplicate academic documents, permanent residence certificates, and domiciles, besides fulfilling various formalities.
But the staff concerned is busy in emergency flood duties which could delay issuance of documents required by affected students and they might miss the dates fixed for admissions.
The petitioner said that education was the fundamental right of every citizen as per the Constitution of Pakistan, praying for two-month extension in dates for submitting application forms and entry tests.
He said the rescheduled dates should be published in newspapers to avoid ambiguity.
In response to the petitions, the QUEST of Nawabshah has extended the date for selling admission forms for the 11-batch from Sept 14 to Sept 24 and the last date of submission has been fixed as Sept 30. The entry test will be held on Oct 17.
Missing documents could be submitted up to Oct 30.
The chairman of the academic committee of NED University, in a written statement, prayed to the court to allow conducting the entry test on schedule.
SU to hold 'open house' to guide admission seekers
Hyderabad: The University of Sindh will hold an open house at the Institute of Sindhology to guide candidates who wish to seek admission to the university under the academic session of 2011.
The university's director of admissions Akhtar Ahmed Memon said on Thursday that the open house would function from Sept 18 to 22 from 9 am to 5 pm.
Staff members of the Directorate of Admissions as well as faculty members of various teaching institutes and department would be present at the house to provide guidance to candidates about admission, courses, co-curricular activities and importance of various disciplines, he said.
He said the university had invited the candidates who had submitted their admission forms or those who wished to apply for admission to attend the open house.
20pc students attend schools in flood-hit areas
Muzaffargarh: Only 20 per cent of students attended schools in flood-hit areas of Muzaffargarh district after Eidul Fitr, said EDO (revenue) Muzaffar Sial.
On Tuesday, the district government asked the displaced families to vacate the government schools.
Executive District Officer (education) Masood Nadeem told this correspondent that 1,180 schools were affected by devastating flood. As many as 685 schools were being used as relief camps for affected families, accommodating nearly 120,000 people there.
The EDO-R said about 98 percent of schools had opened after the summer vacation and the rest located in kaccha area of Alipur were still being used by the flood-ridden families. He said with the help of Unicef, those schools would be functional by next week through makeshift arrangements.
This correspondent visited Government Primary School, Station Budh, and observed that out of 153 children, only 34 were present. According to school headmaster Malik Sajjad Husain, most of the families were still living in other cities because water had not receded in low-lying areas. He said some parents informed them that their children were absent because of eye infection and other diseases. Others said their children were helping them in reconstruction.
The school teachers were busy discussing flood and their personal experiences with students who were showing excitement.
Another visit to Government High School, Pir Burkhurdar, Government Model School, Fareedabad and Government Girls Middle School, Nawan Budh, showed thin attendance. In these schools, 100 per cent teachers were present.
Education officials said despite floods schools would be functional. Classes were being held at alternative places where school buildings had damaged or were inaccessible because of water.
Muhammad Ismail, a class-I student at primary school of Station Budh, said the flood swept away his books and his father had bought a new school bag and shoes for him on Eid. District Coordination Officer Tahir Khursheed said he had sent teams to get the schools vacated. "The Unicef will set up tent camp schools shortly."
Voluntary educators to teach Fata youth
Peshawar: The government has approved a new initiative of opening learning centres for promoting literacy with the help of educated youths in the tribal region.
Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani, being chairman of Fata Education Foundation (FaEF), has approved the plan -- Support of Voluntary Educators' Community Schools -- in a recent meeting, an official said.
Under the programme, the official said, local educated youths in various communities would be supported to open learning centres and work as 'educators' there to provide basic education to their respective community.
"The programme will only be applicable to willing persons and communities and the government will provide support in shape of teaching aids including books, furniture and other fixtures," he said.
The governor has directed the authorities to work out an implementation plan for the initiative and submit it for the approval of Board of Directors of FaEF.
Capt (retired) Sikandar Qayyum, Secretary to Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mohammad Abid Majeed, Secretary Administration and Coordination Fata, Fazle Manan, Director Education Fata, and others attended the meeting.
The meeting also approved a roadmap for realigning the objectives of the FaEF, giving priority to sponsorship of public private partnership initiatives in education sector in Fata, regulation, monitoring and support of existing model schools in public sector and private schools, training of teachers, headmasters and other stakeholders and special measures for promotion of literacy with particular focus on female education.
It was agreed that the cornerstone of the public private partnership initiative would be 11 Model Schools, being run by the political agents under local administrative arrangements and nine under construction as of now, the official said.
The FaEF would work on linking them and propose a uniform administrative structure for them besides improving standards through provision of teaching aid, wherever was required.
Furthermore, it will work on framing by-laws and regulations to standardise the administrative working of these schools besides providing them a platform for proper monitoring and evaluation against benchmarked baselines. Dawn