FEB 24 2014

Half of Sindh children aged between 5-16 out of schools
There are 12 million children in Sindh between the ages of 5 and 16, of which 50 per cent are out of school, said a report confirmed by provincial educationdepartment. Drop outs were identified to be a major challenge as against 722,931 children enrolled in Class 1 in government schools of the province, during past five years or so, were found to had declined to just 228,015 of those reaching class six. This was cited to be a fall-off of almost half a million children.According to the educationdepartment officials there are 6,164 non-functional and ghost schools in Sindh while 77 per cent of functional schools are deemed to be in an unsatisfactory condition in terms of infrastructure. Learning outcomes in the province were also identified to be poor, with 59 per cent of Class 5 students unable to read a story fluently in Urdu or Sindhi, while 71 per cent cannot perform simple two-digit division.Senior Minister for Education, Nisar Khuhro commenting on the situation said the challenges in Sindh will not be overcome through documents or resolutions alone.
Complete Story: http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=234577
http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/02/23/city/karachi/half-of-children-aged-5-16-are-out-of-schools-in-sindh/

Prioritise education: ‘Liberal funding, technical training can boost literacy rate’
To bring a socio-economic revolution in Pakistan, drastic changes in the educational system are needed, such as liberal funding, curriculum development and technical trainings. Senior educationalist and Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association leader Prof Iftikhar Azmi said that if the government wanted to make Pakistan a literate country, it should spend more than five per cent of its GDP on education in the next 10 years. Azmi regretted that the limited funds are mostly spent on non-development activities. Prof. Azmi said changes in the curriculum are necessary to economically empower the youth and this objective could be achieved by giving priority to technical education. Pakistan Medical Association leader Dr S M Qaiser Sajjad, said that  education and health are the basic pillars of any society. “You cannot promote higher education by neglecting primary education but, in this country, we often put the cart before the horse.”
Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/675288/prioritise-education-liberal-funding-technical-training-can-boost-literacy-rate/

Women lawmakers for promoting gender equality in education
A three-day dialogue among women parliamentarians of the United Kingdom, Afghanistan and Pakistan ended on Saturday with a resolve to promote gender equality in education. The parliamentarians were of the view that investing in education for girls yields strong returns across other sectors, including reproductive health and economic growth. The three-day dialogue was the third meeting organised under the Parliamentary Partnership Programme between the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) of the parliament of Pakistan and the CPA UK. The first meeting in this regard took place in London in May 2012 and addressed the political empowerment of women, while the second meeting was held in Islamabad that reviewed the economic empowerment of women.  This was the third meeting held here in Islamabad from February 20 to February 22, which focussed on the maternal health and education of women in the three countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan and the UK.
Complete Story: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/islamabad/23-Feb-2014/tri-nation-moot-women-lawmakers-for-promoting-gender-equality-in-education

Back to school
17 schools which were destroyed in 2009 by militants in Lower Dir have been rebuilt by the Pakistan Army.
Complete Story: http://74.205.74.128:88/DisplayDetails.aspx?ENI_ID=11201402220226&EN_ID=11201402220182&EMID=11201402220025

Four sisters inducted as junior school teachers on merit
Four sisters belonging to a Hindu family from Nabi Sir Union Council of District Umerkot have been appointed as Junior School Teachers (JST) on merit – a pleasant surprise for all candidates who appeared for the test. Previously, it was reported that all seven sisters of the family had been appointed, but the women’s father and higher authorities confirmed that only four of the sisters had been recruited. Their appointment orders were handed over by the provincial education minister, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, at a ceremony held in Mirpurkhas on Thursday. The ceremony was attended by top officials of the division and public representatives among other notable figures of the area, where 779 successful candidates were given recruitment orders. After receiving the orders, the sisters’ father, Dr Om Prakash, had confirmed to The Sindh Express on Thursday, that all seven of his daughters had passed the required tests for the appointment, adding that they have received the appointment orders as well. “I am very happy. It shows that our daughters are educated and are able to compete,” he added proudly.
Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/675081/hard-work-pays-off-four-sisters-inducted-as-junior-school-teachers-on-merit/

Saturday holiday may be restored in schools
The Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) is considering restoring the two-day weekly holidays in the educational institutions working under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE). In May 2010, the federal government employees were given two weekly holidays due to the power crisis in the country. But on November 28, 2013, CADD declared Saturday as a working day for the 423 educational institutions. The decision was taken to complete the courses in the schools and colleges on time and produce good results. An officer of CADD requesting anonymity said in the first week of February, Professor Hamid Khan, the principal of the Islamabad Model College for Boys F-7/3, who also heads the principals’ forum, requested CADD to restore the Saturday holiday. Mr Khan in his letter stated that the decision to abolish the Saturday holiday was taken due to non-completion of courses in schools on time. “But now the educational institutions have completed the courses, so the two-day weekly holiday should be restored,” he added.
Complete Story: http://www.dawn.com/news/1089078/saturday-holiday-may-be-restored-in-schools-colleges

5 Karachi students all set for LA science fair
Five students from Karachi are all set to represent the country at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2014 in Los Angeles in May. Each year, around seven million high school students across the globe develop original research projects and present their work at local science competitions with the hope of making it to the Intel ISEF. However, only the best and the brightest – 1,600 winners of local and national competitions – are invited to participate in the week-long celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. These students also compete for more than US$4 million in awards and scholarships. Apart from the five Karachi students, Syeda Minahil from Forward Girls College, Peshawar, and Shazia Khair Muhammad, Iqra Irshad and Sana Batool from Punjab Danish School, Hasilpur, will be participating in Intel ISEF 2014.
Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/674658/global-audience-5-karachi-students-all-set-for-la-science-fair/

Opp leader vows to strive for making Punjabi compulsory at schools
Opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mahmoodur Rashid has said that his party will try to motivate the provincial government and the ruling party legislators to introduce a bill in the assembly to declare education of Punjabi language compulsory from primary level to secondary level.  He pledged that if treasury benches’ legislators would not cooperate in this regard, the combined opposition in the Punjab Assembly would bring in a resolution in the House to declare Punjabi language a compulsory subject. While addressing the gathering at a Punjabi language rally on the eve on International Mother Tongue Day, he said that mother tongue was being given preference everywhere in the world, but it was unfortunate that Punjabi, which is the language of more than 62 percent of the population of the country, had been ignored by all previous regimes. A large number of Punjabi-speaking inhabitants, including civil rights organisations, students, lawyers, teachers, literary bodies, poets, intellectuals, writers and common men participated in the rally.
Complete Story: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/punjab/22-Feb-2014/international-mother-language-day-observed-opp-leader-vows-to-strive-for-making-punjabi

Learning through play
An Open Day was celebrated at The City School, I-8/2 Kindergarten Branch, where learning through play and its significance in early years education was displayed, says a press release. It is believed that play is a powerful learning experience, engaging the interest of children and enabling their creativity and imagination. This is the start of child’s learning adventure. The event had fun-filled activities. Parents were allowed to discover how these six areas of learning and development in the early years nurture child’s social, emotional and academic development. Ms. Shaheen Khan, the headmistress of I-8/2 Kindergarten Branch, and Ms. Mahlaqa Mubashir, headmistress of the I-8/3 Nursery Branch, led the event.
Complete Story: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-234639-Learning-through-play

Giving voice to mother language
Like the other part of the country, the International Mother Language Day observed in Lahore with a pledge to gain due status to the ‘Maa Boli’. A rally was taken out from the Lahore Press Club to the Punjab Assembly to mark the day in which a large number of people including civil rights organizations, students, lawyers, teachers, literary bodies, poets, Punjabi intellectuals and writers participated. The participants demanded of the Punjab government to make Punjabi as medium of education. The rally led by Pakistan Punjabi Literary Board was participated by more than 25 organization working for the promotion of mother tongue. Participants were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans for the promotion of Punjabi language. They were demanding for the implementations of charter of demands presented by Pakistan Punjabi Literary Board vide a memorandum. According to the charter of demand presented by the Pakistan Punjabi Literary Board, activists of Punjabi language rights asked the government declare Punjabi Language a compulsory subject from class one like other provinces of the country where the native language is being teaches from primary class.
Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/lahore/22-Feb-2014/giving-voice-to-mother-language

More than 10 million children are enrolled in 12,000 schools of Balochistan
Number of male schools is 8938 while female schools are 4312. Only 0.43 million children are enrolled in government schools. Government is trying to improve health and education departments, said Secretary Education Ali Baloch.
Complete Story: http://www.nawaiwaqt.com.pk/E-Paper/islamabad/2014-02-24/page-9
 
EDITORIALS 

25 million by Dr Farrukh Saleem 
The United Nations (UN) has a total of 193 member states. Of all the countries in the world, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children (and adolescents). Lo and behold, Pakistan, with 25 million out-of-school children and adolescents, stands just behind Nigeria. Gender discrimination in our education system is alarming. Imagine: primary school ratio of boys and girls is 10:4. Regional disparities in our education system are alarming. Imagine: the literacy rate in Fata is 29 percent for males and three percent for females.The lack of focus on technical education is alarming. What is alarming is that 55,000 primary schools have no drinking water (40 percent of the total). What is alarming is that 55,000 primary schools have no toilet facilities. What is alarming is that more than 82,000 primary schools have no electricity (60 percent of the total). What is alarming is that 55,000 primary schools have no boundary walls.
Complete Story: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-9-234364-25-million

Education targets
There are conflicting claims about just how many children are in school in the five to nine age group, and how many are not. Disparity in the figures is highlighted by the Punjab School Education Department (SED) saying that it is likely to achieve 100 per cent enrolment of children in this age bracket by 2015 — which on the face of it is very good news indeed. There has been a drive across the province to get children into school and by most accounts, it is having a measure of success. The provincial government has exceeded its official target for new enrolments in 2013, which was 2.8 million children and this is to be applauded, but as with everything associated with education in Pakistan, there are caveats. The conflicting figures supplied by the government and an independent source are one such. A recently released report indicates a stagnation in the enrolment of children in the target group, and that the percentage of children out of school aged six-16 is currently 16 per cent, which is precisely what it was in the previous year. The ASER report for 2013 also finds that 8.3 per cent of children in the six-10 bracket have never enrolled in any school and another two per cent in the same bracket have dropped out. The Punjab government is rather more optimistic and the statistical tussle looks set to run and run.
Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/675231/education-targets/

To read is to write by Musharraf Ali Farooqi
Some of the most invaluable learning experiences in any creative activity are the doubting and reflection we undergo that leads us to review and rework something we have created, in order to make it better. Needless to say, what raises the doubts in the first place, and help us reflect, are our prior exposure and understanding of the field in which our own creative effort is made. Through this intellectual vacillation and reworking we learn complex processes which become part of our consciousness, and this accumulated knowledge allows us to negotiate our way past similar difficulties in the future. In short, a lot of time needs to be fruitfully wasted, for us to create something of significance and value. My understanding of creative writing activities in some of our schools leads me to believe that we have not been paying sufficient attention to this important stage in learning. Furthermore, we tend to think that creative writing can be taught at the expense of good composition. We make the mistake of teaching one through the other, unaware of how it puts children under an unnatural pressure, that does not serve the cause of creativity any more than it does the cause of good writing.
Complete Story: https://www.dawn.com/news/1089124/to-read-is-to-write

Half of Sindh children aged between 5-16 out of schools

There are 12 million children in Sindh between the ages of 5 and 16, of which 50 per cent are out of school, said a report confirmed by provincial educationdepartment.Drop outs were identified to be a major challenge as against 722,931 children enrolled in Class 1 in government schools of the province, during past five years or so, were found to had declined to just 228,015 of those reaching class six. This was cited to be a fall-off of almost half a million children.According to the educationdepartment officials there are 6,164 non-functional and ghost schools in Sindh while 77 per cent of functional schools are deemed to be in an unsatisfactory condition in terms of infrastructure. Learning outcomes in the province were also identified to be poor, with 59 per cent of Class 5 students unable to read a story fluently in Urdu or Sindhi, while 71 per cent cannot perform simple two-digit division.Senior Minister for Education, Nisar Khuhro commenting on the situation said the challenges in Sindh will not be overcome through documents or resolutions alone.

Complete Story: http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=234577

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/02/23/city/karachi/half-of-children-aged-5-16-are-out-of-schools-in-sindh/

 

Prioritise education: ‘Liberal funding, technical training can boost literacy rate’

To bring a socio-economic revolution in Pakistan, drastic changes in the educational system are needed, such as liberal funding, curriculum development and technical trainings.Senior educationalist and Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association leader Prof Iftikhar Azmi said that if the government wanted to make Pakistan a literate country, it should spend more than five per cent of its GDP on education in the next 10 years. Azmi regretted that the limited funds are mostly spent on non-development activities. Prof. Azmi said changes in the curriculum are necessary to economically empower the youth and this objective could be achieved by giving priority to technical education. Pakistan Medical Association leader Dr S M Qaiser Sajjad, said that  education and health are the basic pillars of any society. “You cannot promote higher education by neglecting primary education but, in this country, we often put the cart before the horse.”

Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/675288/prioritise-education-liberal-funding-technical-training-can-boost-literacy-rate/

 

Women lawmakers for promoting gender equality in education

A three-day dialogue among women parliamentarians of the United Kingdom, Afghanistan and Pakistan ended on Saturday with a resolve to promote gender equality in education. The parliamentarians were of the view that investing in education for girls yields strong returns across other sectors, including reproductive health and economic growth. The three-day dialogue was the third meeting organised under the Parliamentary Partnership Programme between the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) of the parliament of Pakistan and the CPA UK. The first meeting in this regard took place in London in May 2012 and addressed the political empowerment of women, while the second meeting was held in Islamabad that reviewed the economic empowerment of women.  This was the third meeting held here in Islamabad from February 20 to February 22, which focussed on the maternal health and education of women in the three countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan and the UK.

Complete Story: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/islamabad/23-Feb-2014/tri-nation-moot-women-lawmakers-for-promoting-gender-equality-in-education

 

Back to school

17 schools which were destroyed in 2009 by militants in Lower Dir have been rebuilt by the Pakistan Army.

Complete Story: http://74.205.74.128:88/DisplayDetails.aspx?ENI_ID=11201402220226&EN_ID=11201402220182&EMID=11201402220025

 

Four sisters inducted as junior school teachers on merit

Four sisters belonging to a Hindu family from Nabi Sir Union Council of District Umerkot have been appointed as Junior School Teachers (JST) on merit – a pleasant surprise for all candidates who appeared for the test. Previously, it was reported that all seven sisters of the family had been appointed, but the women’s father and higher authorities confirmed that only four of the sisters had been recruited.Their appointment orders were handed over by the provincial education minister, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, at a ceremony held in Mirpurkhas on Thursday. The ceremony was attended by top officials of the division and public representatives among other notable figures of the area, where 779 successful candidates were given recruitment orders. After receiving the orders, the sisters’ father, Dr Om Prakash, had confirmed to The Sindh Express on Thursday, that all seven of his daughters had passed the required tests for the appointment, adding that they have received the appointment orders as well. “I am very happy. It shows that our daughters are educated and are able to compete,” he added proudly.

Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/675081/hard-work-pays-off-four-sisters-inducted-as-junior-school-teachers-on-merit/

Saturday holiday may be restored in schools

The Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) is considering restoring the two-day weekly holidays in the educational institutions working under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE). In May 2010, the federal government employees were given two weekly holidays due to the power crisis in the country. But on November 28, 2013, CADD declared Saturday as a working day for the 423 educational institutions. The decision was taken to complete the courses in the schools and colleges on time and produce good results. An officer of CADD requesting anonymity said in the first week of February, Professor Hamid Khan, the principal of the Islamabad Model College for Boys F-7/3, who also heads the principals’ forum, requested CADD to restore the Saturday holiday. Mr Khan in his letter stated that the decision to abolish the Saturday holiday was taken due to non-completion of courses in schools on time. “But now the educational institutions have completed the courses, so the two-day weekly holiday should be restored,” he added.

Complete Story: http://www.dawn.com/news/1089078/saturday-holiday-may-be-restored-in-schools-colleges

 

5 Karachi students all set for LA science fair

Five students from Karachi are all set to represent the country at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2014 in Los Angeles in May. Each year, around seven million high school students across the globe develop original research projects and present their work at local science competitions with the hope of making it to the Intel ISEF. However, only the best and the brightest – 1,600 winners of local and national competitions – are invited to participate in the week-long celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. These students also compete for more than US$4 million in awards and scholarships. Apart from the five Karachi students, Syeda Minahil from Forward Girls College, Peshawar, and Shazia Khair Muhammad, Iqra Irshad and Sana Batool from Punjab Danish School, Hasilpur, will be participating in Intel ISEF 2014.

Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/674658/global-audience-5-karachi-students-all-set-for-la-science-fair/

 

Opp leader vows to strive for making Punjabi compulsory at schools

Opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mahmoodur Rashid has said that his party will try to motivate the provincial government and the ruling party legislators to introduce a bill in the assembly to declare education of Punjabi language compulsory from primary level to secondary level.  He pledged that if treasury benches’ legislators would not cooperate in this regard, the combined opposition in the Punjab Assembly would bring in a resolution in the House to declare Punjabi language a compulsory subject. While addressing the gathering at a Punjabi language rally on the eve on International Mother Tongue Day, he said that mother tongue was being given preference everywhere in the world, but it was unfortunate that Punjabi, which is the language of more than 62 percent of the population of the country, had been ignored by all previous regimes. A large number of Punjabi-speaking inhabitants, including civil rights organisations, students, lawyers, teachers, literary bodies, poets, intellectuals, writers and common men participated in the rally.

Complete Story: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/punjab/22-Feb-2014/international-mother-language-day-observed-opp-leader-vows-to-strive-for-making-punjabi

 

Learning through play

An Open Day was celebrated at The City School, I-8/2 Kindergarten Branch, where learning through play and its significance in early years education was displayed, says a press release. It is believed that play is a powerful learning experience, engaging the interest of children and enabling their creativity and imagination. This is the start of child’s learning adventure. The event had fun-filled activities. Parents were allowed to discover how these six areas of learning and development in the early years nurture child’s social, emotional and academic development. Ms. Shaheen Khan, the headmistress of I-8/2 Kindergarten Branch, and Ms. Mahlaqa Mubashir, headmistress of the I-8/3 Nursery Branch, led the event.

Complete Story: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-234639-Learning-through-play

 

Giving voice to mother language

Like the other part of the country, the International Mother Language Day observed in Lahore with a pledge to gain due status to the ‘Maa Boli’. A rally was taken out from the Lahore Press Club to the Punjab Assembly to mark the day in which a large number of people including civil rights organizations, students, lawyers, teachers, literary bodies, poets, Punjabi intellectuals and writers participated. The participants demanded of the Punjab government to make Punjabi as medium of education. The rally led by Pakistan Punjabi Literary Board was participated by more than 25 organization working for the promotion of mother tongue. Participants were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans for the promotion of Punjabi language. They were demanding for the implementations of charter of demands presented by Pakistan Punjabi Literary Board vide a memorandum. According to the charter of demand presented by the Pakistan Punjabi Literary Board, activists of Punjabi language rights asked the government declare Punjabi Language a compulsory subject from class one like other provinces of the country where the native language is being teaches from primary class.

Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/lahore/22-Feb-2014/giving-voice-to-mother-language

 

More than 10 million children are enrolled in 12,000 schools of Balochistan

Number of male schools is 8938 while female schools are 4312. Only 0.43 million children are enrolled in government schools. Government is trying to improve health and education departments, said Secretary Education Ali Baloch.

Complete Story: http://www.nawaiwaqt.com.pk/E-Paper/islamabad/2014-02-24/page-9

 

EDITORIALS

 

25 million by Dr Farrukh Saleem

The United Nations (UN) has a total of 193 member states. Of all the countries in the world, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children (and adolescents). Lo and behold, Pakistan, with 25 million out-of-school children and adolescents, stands just behind Nigeria. Gender discrimination in our education system is alarming. Imagine: primary school ratio of boys and girls is 10:4. Regional disparities in our education system are alarming. Imagine: the literacy rate in Fata is 29 percent for males and three percent for females.The lack of focus on technical education is alarming. What is alarming is that 55,000 primary schools have no drinking water (40 percent of the total). What is alarming is that 55,000 primary schools have no toilet facilities. What is alarming is that more than 82,000 primary schools have no electricity (60 percent of the total). What is alarming is that 55,000 primary schools have no boundary walls.

Complete Story: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-9-234364-25-million

 

Education targets

There are conflicting claims about just how many children are in school in the five to nine age group, and how many are not. Disparity in the figures is highlighted by the Punjab School Education Department (SED) saying that it is likely to achieve 100 per cent enrolment of children in this age bracket by 2015 — which on the face of it is very good news indeed. There has been a drive across the province to get children into school and by most accounts, it is having a measure of success. The provincial government has exceeded its official target for new enrolments in 2013, which was 2.8 million children and this is to be applauded, but as with everything associated with education in Pakistan, there are caveats. The conflicting figures supplied by the government and an independent source are one such. A recently released report indicates a stagnation in the enrolment of children in the target group, and that the percentage of children out of school aged six-16 is currently 16 per cent, which is precisely what it was in the previous year. The ASER report for 2013 also finds that 8.3 per cent of children in the six-10 bracket have never enrolled in any school and another two per cent in the same bracket have dropped out. The Punjab government is rather more optimistic and the statistical tussle looks set to run and run.

Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/675231/education-targets/

To read is to write by Musharraf Ali Farooqi

Some of the most invaluable learning experiences in any creative activity are the doubting and reflection we undergo that leads us to review and rework something we have created, in order to make it better. Needless to say, what raises the doubts in the first place, and help us reflect, are our prior exposure and understanding of the field in which our own creative effort is made. Through this intellectual vacillation and reworking we learn complex processes which become part of our consciousness, and this accumulated knowledge allows us to negotiate our way past similar difficulties in the future. In short, a lot of time needs to be fruitfully wasted, for us to create something of significance and value. My understanding of creative writing activities in some of our schools leads me to believe that we have not been paying sufficient attention to this important stage in learning. Furthermore, we tend to think that creative writing can be taught at the expense of good composition. We make the mistake of teaching one through the other, unaware of how it puts children under an unnatural pressure, that does not serve the cause of creativity any more than it does the cause of good writing.

Complete Story: https://www.dawn.com/news/1089124/to-read-is-to-write