Punjab education, dengue & school uniform

Educational institutions reopen in Punjab
Lahore, Sep 27: The educational institutions across the provincial metropolis reopened after a 10-day break, causing massive traffic jams on roads of the City on Monday.

Though Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has himself relaxed condition of school uniform for students for one month, from September 26 onwards, as a preventive measure against dengue mosquito, a number of schools have directed the students to attend schools in proper uniform from Tuesday (today). The government had set new school timings from 9am till 3pm from Monday. As the closing timings of schools coincided with closing hours of government offices, an unprecedented rush of traffic was observed on various roads especially near schools and colleges.

Various branches of a private school system and a private school at Johar Town, on Monday directed the students to come to school in winter uniform from Tuesday, ignoring the Punjab government's instructions in connection with uniform.

Similarly, a number of schools have asked the parents to drop their children at 8:30am instead of 9am especially those enrolled in play group and other junior classes. It was also observed that many students did not follow the instructions of wearing full sleeve-shirts and full-length pants, and were in proper school uniform of summer season.

The schools and colleges of Lahore were closed recently till September 24 on the directions of Punjab government in order to ensure proper fumigation and other preventive measures against dengue virus on the campuses.

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NCA boycott for extension to teachers
Lahore: An unpleasent situation was witnessed at the National College of Arts (NCA) on Monday when students boycotted classes and protested against the college administration.

Dozens of students from the college s Architecture and Fine Arts departments gathered on the campus and announced a boycott of classes as protest against the principal for not renewing contracts of some of their teachers. The situation got worse when some of the students opposed the protesting students and did not join the protest while a minor scuffle also broke out among the both the groups.

The protestors chanted slogans and criticised the college administration, especially the principal.

It is learnt that term of four contract faculty members had expired and they were not given extension or new contracts which annoyed the students.

However, it is further learnt the decision was taken by the NCA Board of Governors and the principal had no say in the process.

Meanwhile, the faculty of the National College of Arts (NCA) announced a boycott of the classes until fulfilment of their demands, which included the immediate removal of the officiating principal and withdrawal of the termination orders of for faculty members.

In a press conference held at the Lahore Press Club on Monday, the NCA teachers made the following demands to end the boycott. They demanded the removal of the current Officiating Principal Bashir Ahmed, alleging that he was put in position against the rules and regulations which stated that appointment to acting principal be made on a seniority basis or merit. They demanded that the new acting principal be appointed according to the rules in a transparent manner.

The second demand of the protesting NCA teachers is that the illegal order of termination of the contracts of following faculty member be withdrawn immediately. They are Arfan Ghani (Assistant Professor, Dept of Architecture), Syed Aqeel Kazmi (Assistant Professor, Dept of Architecture), Laila Rahman (Associate Professor, Dept of Fine Arts) and Maryam Hussain (Associate Professor, Dept of Fine Arts).

They also demanded that the current process of the selection of the new principal of the NCA be abrogated and a new transparent process be started in accordance with rules and regulations.

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PU under pressure to reverse BCom decision
Lahore: Ever since the Punjab University (PU) allowed private candidates to appear in BCom examination last year, the private sector involved in commerce education has been trying hard to get the decision reverted, it is learnt.

The PU s decision was aimed at ending exploitation of students by the private sector which, besides charging hefty fees, used to fleece students in the name of sending admissions for examinations, especially if someone failed in one or more subjects.

A couple of months ago, the private sector, which has a prominent presence in the Board of Studies in Commerce at the Punjab University, unanimously passed a resolution, urging the university to stop allowing private candidates to appear in BCom exam.

It is pertinent to mention here that the student-friendly decision to allow private candidates to appear in BCom exam was taken by the PU syndicate on recommendations of the then chairman of the university s Affiliation Committee Prof Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal.

He had informed the syndicate that some private colleges were exploiting students at the time of sending admissions as the failing candidates were required to send admissions for annual and supplementary exams through their respective colleges.

However, in April 2011, Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal was abruptly removed from the post of the chairman Affiliation Committee of the university under mysterious circumstances when he was away from the country though his tenure as chairman of the committee was to end in June this year.

Sources privy to the development said that over the years PU officials, especially from its Hailey College of Commerce, were bent upon encouraging private sector involved in commerce education and were also against the decision of allowing private candidates to appear in BCom examination. They said it was only because of such individuals that a mushroom growth of private sector in commerce education was witnessed. They disclosed that the Federal College of Commerce was not awarded affiliation for the Punjab University s MCom programme despite the fact that the public sector college had applied for the same in the year 1991 and had constructed a state-of-the-art building for the purpose. It was only in 2010, during tenure of Dr Hafiz Iqbal, that PU Affiliation Committee visited the college and it was subsequently awarded affiliation for MCom programme. The sources further said that a couple of years ago the members of the Board of Studies from the private sector had organised a meeting of the board at a hotel at Bhurban. They said it was first time in the history of the PU that a meeting of the Board of Studies in Commerce was held at such a place. They also said that over the years, the private sector had minted huge money through commerce education, adding that the sector was opposing the decision to allow private candidates in BCom exams as the same was causing huge financial loss to them.

The sources said that among others from private sector, this group, despite owing two universities as well, was one of the strongest opponents to the decision of allowing private students for BCom.

The executive director of a leading group of colleges having 20 campuses and affiliated with PU, Sohail Afzal, said that all the members of the Board of Studies in Commerce had unanimously opposed the decision of allowing private students for BCom exams. He said representation of private sector in the board was not as strong as those of members from the Punjab University itself. He said the decision of PU would lead to deterioration of the standard of commerce education as the students could not be trained well as was the case earlier. He said the private candidates could not be trained well as BCom had subjects like Business Taxation and Business Law.

Marketing Department s Head of another group of colleges, Hafiz Abdul Rehman, also said the decision was not favourable, claiming that BCom degree would lose its worth.

However, when contacted, a senior PU official, who requested not to be named, said the administration was aware of efforts of the private sector to get the decision reverted. He claimed the decision would not be reverted at any cost. He confirmed that though Board of Studies had passed a resolution yet revoking the earlier decision was not possible as it had to be approved by the PU s Academic Council and finally from the Syndicate. He expressed resolve that the university would continue facilitating students by allowing private candidates to appear in BCom exam.

The official, however, could not give a reasonable reply to a question regarding the abrupt removal of Prof Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal from the post of the chairman Affiliation Committee.

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PU results
Lahore: Punjab University's Examinations Department on Monday announced the results of various examinations.

These exams include MPhil Economics, Semester System, Session 2008-2010, MSc Business Statistics and Management, Semester System, Session 2008-2010, MSc Actuarial Science, Semester System, Session 2008-2010, MSc Geography (Morning), Semester System, Session 23007-2009, BSc (Hons) Physics, Semester System, Session 2007-2011 and BA Special Annual Examination 2010 (Hearing Impaired). Detailed results are available on PU website www.pu.edu.pk. The news

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LLB Part-I results declared
Lahore: The Punjab University has declared the results of LLB Part-I annual examination for 2011 showing a pass percentage of 36.74.

A total of 4,994 candidates appeared in the examination out of whom 1,835 were declared successful.

PU Law College Principal Samee Uzair said the university had adopted the central marking system and declared the LLB Part-I results in record time of five weeks.

The PU also declared the results of M.Phil Economics, semester system, session 2008-10, MSc Business Statistics and Management, semester system, session 2008-10, MSc Actuarial Science, semester system, session 2008-10, MSc Geography (morning), semester system, session 2007-09, BSc (Honours) Physics, semester system, session 2007-11 and BA Special Annual Examination 2010 (Hearing Impaired).

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PU sets up dengue research group
Lahore: The Punjab University has established the "Dengue Research Group", comprising researchers, for accurate information about diagnoses, preventive and curative measures as well as other issues regarding dengue fever.

PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran presided over a meeting on Thursday which was attended by PU Syndicate member and MPA Khawaja Imran Nazir, registrar Prof Dr Muhammad Akhtar, Centre for Applied Molecular Biology (CAMB) director Dr Tayyab Hasnain, Dr Shahida Hasnain, Dr Saeed Akhtar, Dr Muhammad Idrees Khan, microbiologists and other researchers of the relevant field.

The vice-chancellor asked the researchers to submit their proposals and projects for research on dengue and added that the administration would take all-out measures for the earliest release of funds for this cause.

He also announced the allocation of a separate budget for doing research on dengue. Currently, PU Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics (MMG) and Centre for Applied Molecular Biology (CAMB) are jointly researching on dengue mosquito.

The VC said the objective of the meeting was to coordinate among all researches being carried out on dengue.

He said the PU had the capabilities to face the challenge of dengue virus because a number of teachers not only knew about the work but also had the ability to express it in the fittest manner.

Microbiologists and other experts opposed the Sri Lankan experts on the point that there was no need of spray in winter to curb the dengue mosquito and said Pakistan and Sri Lanka carried different environment.

Dr Saeed Akhtar said the dengue became inactive at a temperature below 23 degree Celsius and stopped seeding below 20 degree Celsius. Therefore, he said, such places must be sprayed which could help control dengue mosquitoes.

Stressing the need of collaboration among Sri Lankan and local experts, they said the mutual cooperation would provide an opportunity to extract maximum information from the Sri Lankan team.

He said a two-credit hour compulsory course on 'arboviruses' (such arthropods which are responsible for spreading diseases) should be included in the MBBS curriculum.

He said there was a dire need of in-depth research to identify habitats of dengue virus which were responsible for causing the disease.

Dr Muhammad Idrees Khan said there was enough indigenous technology which could diagnose either a patient was a victim of dengue fever or not. He said the research should also be taken if papaya (papeeta) juice and other local prescriptions had required effects. He said there was four types of dengue virus and the research must be carried out on all types. Dawn

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PU admissions schedule
Lahore: Punjab University's Examinations Department has issued the schedule for submission of admission forms and fee for various examinations.

Last date for submission of admission form and fee for Pharm-D, One Year Condensed/Deficit Course, Annual Exam 2010, with single fee is 03-10-2011 while the forms can be submitted with double fee till 07-10-2011. The exam will commence from November 14, 2011.

Similarly, the last date for submission of admission form and fee for BS Computer Science, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Year, Second Annual Exam 2010 & First Annual Exam 2011, and BSc (Hons) Computer Science, 4th Year, Annual Exam 2010, with single fee is 07-10-2011 while the forms can be submitted with double fee till 11-10-2011. The commencement date of the exams will be announced later.

construction of residences: Punjab University s Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran laid the foundation stone of construction work of J-Type triple-storey residences for the varsity employees on New Campus on Friday.

VC Dr Mujahid Kamran speaking issued instruction for the earliest completion of the construction work. He also issued instructions to the concerned officials to plant maximum saplings to keep the environment green. Earlier, University Engineer Col Pervez Khurshid gave a detailed briefing about the construction project. He said that the project, comprising 12 houses in two blocks, would cost Rs 22.88 million and each flat would comprise of a living room, bath, kitchen, store and lobby. The news

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UHS declares entrance test results
Lahore: The University of Health Sciences has declared the results of Entrance Test 2011 for admission to medical and dental colleges of Punjab.

A total of 33,703 candidates appeared in the test held on Sept 13, out of which 12,374 scored more than 60 per cent marks. As many as 5,581 students scored 50 to 59 per cent marks and 5,214 secured 40 to 49 per cent marks. A total of 10,534 candidates scored less than 40 per cent marks.

According to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council's regulations, the pass/fail criteria has been abolished for the medical colleges' entrance test.

Maham Ali (Rahim Yar Khan) clinched first position by scoring 1058/1100 marks and Humera Javed (Gujranwala) and Muhammad Salman Ashraf (Rahim Yar Khan) bagged second and third positions by securing 1055 and 1052 marks, respectively.

The eligible candidates will compete for 3,205 MBBS and 216 BDS seats in 18 public-sector medical and dental colleges.

Besides, there are 1,500 MBBS and 350 BDS seats available in 15 private-sector medical and seven dental colleges of the province. UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Malik Husain Mubashar briefed the media on Tuesday on the outcome of the results and other details. He said applications for admission to the public-sector medical/dental colleges would be invited from Oct 5.

He said all those candidates who had secured at least 77 per cent aggregate marks according to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council's formula would be eligible to apply for admission. The last date for submission of application forms is Oct 15.

The first selection list would be displayed on Oct 30 whereas classes in all public-sector medical colleges of Punjab would commence on Nov 21, he added.

Prof Mubashar further said a Grievance Redress Committee had been constituted to deal with the complaints and queries regarding the entrance test results. Candidates could lodge complaints before this committee till Oct 5.

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MBBS exams postponed
Lahore: The Punjab government has postponed the first professional MBBS Part-II annual examination for one month due to dengue fever outbreak.

This exam was earlier scheduled to commence on Sept 27. Health Secretary Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan announced this on Saturday after a meeting with students of some medical colleges.

The new schedule for the examination will be issued by the University of Health Sciences on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the students held a demonstration outside the CM Secretariat and pressed the UHS to postpone the exams owing to dengue outbreak.

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Cheating in PPSC exam
Lahore: Candidates appearing in the Punjab Public Service Commission's written test for lecturers in journalism have complained about a massive cheating in the examination centre on Lawrence Road.

Some candidates, after the examination on Saturday said that there were only two invigilators and a superintendent in the examination hall, where students' distance was much less than admissible.

Some candidates also complained that a number of questions in journalism paper were about Pakistan Studies.

They said the candidates, however, faced hardships due to loadshedding and non-availability of drinking water. The PPSC had conducted a written test for lecturers in journalism, sociology, physical education and Punjabi. Dawn

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