Girls sweep all the top positions
Peshawar, Sep 27: Female students, all from Jinnah College for Women, grabbed all top three positions in the University of Peshawar (UoP) B.A./B.Sc. examinations whose results were announced on Wednesday.In B.Sc. examinations, Hafiza Saadia Rehman stood first by securing 498 of the 550 marks, while her sister Hafiza Areeba Rehman clinched second position with 487 marks.
The third position went to Ruby Shakoor, who secured 470 marks.
In BA examinations, Sana Shah secured the first position with 410 marks, followed by Aleena Hashmi with 409 marks and Samreena Khan with 408 marks.
Controller (Examinations) UoP Iftikhar told reporters that 50,068 students sat the B.A./B.Sc. examinations but only 18,445 of them (38.14 per cent) remained successful.
He also said 17,927 regular students appeared in the examinations and 8,159 (45.15 per cent) passed them.
Iftikhar said 32,141 private students, too, sat the examinations but 10,286 (32 per cent) of them were successful.
He said the exam results would be posted on the university's official website, www.upesh.edu.pk, today (Thursday) in the morning.
The controller (examinations) said students could apply for re-checking of answer sheets and re-totalling of marks until October 13. "Those applying for re-checking (of answer sheets) until September 30 will get the results on October 10, while the results of those, who do so from October 1 to 7, will be announced on October 17. The results of the mark rechecking will be made public on October 23," he said.
Iftikhar later presented the UoP merit certificates to the top three position holders, who were invited to the function along with parents.
The university had invited parents of position holders to the event for the first time in its history.
Hafiza Saadia and Hafiza Areeba dedicated their success to blessings of Almighty Allah, prayers of their parents, and hard work of theirs and their teachers.
They said they were committed to excel in the field of research to make their parents and the country proud.
Sana Shah, who is also a Hafiz-e-Quran, said she wanted to be a judge. appYour Comments
143 graduates to get degrees on Oct 1
Peshawar: A total of 143 graduates will get their degrees in the sixth graduation ceremony of the Peshawar Campus of the Foundation for Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST)-National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NUCES) here on October 1.
In the graduation ceremony overall 26th convocation of FAST-NUCES degrees will be conferred on students of batch 2007 on completion of their four-year bachelor degree in computer science, telecommunication engineering and business administration. Medals will also be awarded to distinction holders of these disciplines, says a press release issued here on Monday.
In addition, the graduates of MS Maths, Ms Computers and MBA batches 2008 and 2009 will also be awarded degrees and medals. Parents of graduates, guests and senior management at head office of FAST in Islamabad and other three campuses will attend the convocation, which will be an occasion for celebration and jubilation for all participants, at the FAST-NUCES premises in Hayatabad Industrial Estate.
FAPUASA calls off strike at universities
Peshawar: Employees of the public sector universities have called off their strike today (Tuesday) after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor and vice-chancellors of such varsities assured them provision of increased salaries.
Academic and non-academic activities in all the universities and their constituent schools and colleges would resume today, declared an emergency meeting of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA).
The meeting chaired by provincial head of the association Prof Dr Jauhar Ali was held at the Islamia College University.
The participants of the meeting lauded Governor Masood Kausar, who is also chancellor of the public sector universities, for the interest he showed in resolution of the problems of the universities employees.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the vice-chancellor decided to provide 15 percent increase on their salaries as per revised basic pay scales of 2011 as announced by the finance division.
The increase will be paid to them from salaries of October 2011 and onward, the meeting decided.
The arrears on account of increase in salaries from July-September would be paid on receipt of additional grant from the government for which the relevant quarters have been taken on board, the meeting further declared.
Held at the University of Peshawar, the meeting was presided over by Vice-Chancellor University of Peshawar Prof Dr Azmat Hayat Khan. Vice-Chancellor University of Engineering and Technology Imtiaz Gilani, Director Institute of Management Sciences Prof Dr Naser Ali Khan, registrars and nominees of the vice-chancellors of all the public sector universities in the province attended the meeting.
The participants of the meeting expressed firm resolve to follow the directives of chancellor and adopt the revised pay scale for all universities employees from July 1, 2011.
The cost of an 'A'
I ran into an old high school acquaintance Mohsin last week. We decided to get together to catch up. He was in his second year of medical school, just starting, and was doing well for himself. Mohsin had never been, at least from what I remembered, a brilliant student, so it was a pleasant surprise when he told me that he had topped his first year exams. I was not only very happy for him but also quite curious as to how the transformation had taken place, and what he had done to score such excellent grades. He initially tried to pull a Sarah Palin on that one, but then caved. I was utterly shocked to hear what he said next, "Yar getting to the top is easy. I just paid some money, and got the papers out. I knew all the answers and then, if I wasn't going to get the highest grade who was?"
Perhaps what was the most shocking was the fact that Mohsin was becoming a doctor, and that he would be seeing patients. What would the quality of his treatment be if he got through medical school by cheating? How many lives would be in danger? Cheating is something that exists, yes. However, it being so close to home was something I hadnít thought about before. I decided to investigate a little further. I conducted a facebook survey, as an in-person survey would have made getting the right answers difficult due to the sensitivity of the subject matter.
The findings were as follows: out of 4,850 respondents 3,926 (almost a whopping 81percent) replied that they had cheated in an exam; 51 percent of them said that they had gotten the exam paper out, or at least seen someone getting an exam paper out, and five percent said that they cheated because their parents had forced them to. A good indicator at least was that a majority of them did think that cheating was wrong.
So, why do students cheat and why is it so easy for them to do so? First of all the problem stems from an over emphasis on ěgradesî in our society. Scoring good marks and good grades is important, but it does not signify the end of the world if a student gets anything below that. In real terms an A is meant for outstanding performance, a B is for an excellent performance and a C is for a good or average (by some measures) performance. The pressure that students face for A grades from parents, teachers and their peers forces them to abandon their morals and ethics and get into a win at all costs in the rat race. ěXYZís son got two Aís, why didnít you?î is a phrase that is heard so commonly in many families. The schools arenít helping either as where schools need to encourage character development along with academic excellence, they are leading this A grade race. Just pick up a newspaper when results are coming out. You see mug shots of children with the number of As they have received on top of their heads. When has a school ever advertised that one of their students organised a fundraising event for the flood victims which raised over a million? When have parents too ever asked this of a school?
Secondly, marking systems in Pakistan all run in absolutes and not relatives which can make getting a good grade without cheating impossible at times. In the UK or the US, grades are not absolute, in the sense there is no 90 percent for an A. Performance is all relative on the basis of the class and itís performance. So, the top 20 percent band would be given an A, the next 20 percent a B and so on. Setting absolutes is unfair to the students because not all question papers are the same, nor all classes are taught in the same way. Relative marking ensures that all these auxiliary factors are excluded, and an A grade never becomes unattainable.
Thirdly, students are able to cheat because it is very easy for them to do so. Low salaries for teachers and auxiliary staff in schools is a breeding ground for cheating. The teachers and auxiliary staff trying to fulfil the needs of their household in times of such high inflation turn to helping students cheat to earn an extra buck. At other times it is not the corruption of any staff member, but negligence and weakness of the system that enables cheating. From the way exam papers are designed, stored, printed, distributed and marked gives a lot of opportunities to those who choose to exploit the weakness of the system.
The solution to these problems is two-pronged. One is to tackle the reasons which force students to cheat in the first place and the second is to remove opportunities for cheating too. A change of social attitudes must happen.
Parents must begin to encourage their children to study and not run after just an A because sometimes both donít mean the same thing. Teachers too need to do the same. Schools must be restricted from advertising grades and children in the way they do in newspapers and billboards. The focus should be on character building, developing leadership and encouraging students to participate in co-curricular activities. When teachers, parents and schools change their attitudes it will automatically reflect in the students as well.
We also need a very strong system of examinations in the country. Standardisation of best practices needs to take place. Opportunities for cheating need to be minimised. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. Cambridge, for instance, only allows its examiners to work on a question paper at a dedicated and secure computer which is not connected to any network. The printing happens through automated machines which not only just print but produce sealed packets of exam papers which are then opened on exam day. These processes are not at all expensive to implement, Such machines only cost a little more than an average photocopier but save much more in the long run. These best practices should also include random checks on test centres to ensure no cheating is going on.
As for Mohsin we had a very long chat after that meeting, and I can proudly say that he decided to go to the dean and tell him the truth. The dean is arranging for him to retake his examinations, and I am sure he will become a great doctor the right way. It is high time that we remember that the cost of an A should never be the miseducation of our children. The news
University status for Khyber Medical College planned
Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is planning to upgrade the Khyber Medical College (KMC) and give it a status of university to facilitate specialised research work and meet the growing need for establishment of more medical colleges, official sources say.
"The plan is being made in consultation with the KMC faculty members and a proposal in this regard will be forwarded to the government soon," they said.
The officials said that the upgradation of the KMC to university level was announced by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 1989 after a long struggle. However, instead of upgrading the KMC, which has all the needed facilities at its campus, to the university level the Khyber Medical University (KMU) was established in Hayatabad Township in 2006 that left the senior faculty members of the KMC high and dry, they said.
The sources said that the plan was being considered in view of the growing needs of students and medical research in the province. They said that the KMC had more than four faculties, a minimum requirement of the Higher Education Commission for awarding charter to a university and there would be no problem in getting it upgraded.
If upgraded, the university would remain in the present KMC building in the campus where all the facilities required for a university already existed, they said.
"We are committed to building more institutions as we need more doctors and research work in view of the growing population and disease burden," a senior official said.
They said that the KMC already had a teaching hospital known as the Khyber Teaching Hospital, which was generating about Rs40 million revenues annually. After its upgradation, it can get affiliation of more medical colleges and teaching hospitals, the beneficiaries of which would be the students and patients of this province.
"The KMC when upgraded will attract people from other provinces for research work, which it cannot do presently because only a university can grant such degrees and affiliation to the medical colleges," he said.
The official said that the KMU at the Hayatabad Township would continue to grant degrees and oversee the medical colleges presently affiliated with it in the province and the upgradation of the KMC to university would not affect its operations.
"According to the initial concept, the KMC (university) would seek development of medical education by setting up more medical colleges in the province," he said.
The official said that the King Edwards Medical College, Lahore, had raised objection to the establishment of the KMC in 1954, arguing that it did have teaching hospital, which was a pre-requisite for a college. He said that the existing Lady Reading Hospital, then a district headquarters hospital, was upgraded for this purpose and today the KMC was a premier centre of medical education in the province.
"Upgradation of the KMC would cost nothing to the government because it already had full-fledged facilities," the official said. A meeting is likely to be held next month to make a decision about the KMC upgradation, he said, adding that given its academic and clinical potential it could become a self-sufficient university within a short span of time. Dawn