FEB 28 2014

Minister for Early Reconstruction of Schools in Malakand

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Education Atif Khan directed to resolve the delaying factors in reconstruction of few schools in Malakand Division. At a meeting at the the office of Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDM, he directed secretary Education Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to coordinate with all stakeholders to expedite the process of reconstruction.. He said that 136 schools were completed with the support of international donors and assured the participants that reconstruction is carried out on approved standards and infrastructure-built is disaster resilient.

Complete story at: http://www.nation.com.pk/national/28-Feb-2014/minister-for-early-reconstruction-of-schools-in-malakand


FDE makes mess of class VIII scholarship exam

Mismanagement by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) not only led to the cancellation of the computer science paper of class VIII scholarship examination but also caused trouble to hundreds of students on Thursday. The scholarship exams are being held in nine centres in the federal capital in which around 900 students from 200 private and government schools are taking part. On Thursday, after handing over the question papers to the students, it was realised that the questions were out of course and had been taken from an old book. The management then cancelled the paper and asked the students to go home.

 Complete story at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1090015/fde-makes-mess-of-class-viii-scholarship-exam


British lawmakers sensitise youth at GCU : ‘Education, end to terrorism vital to economic growth’

Pakistan needs to curb terrorism and promote education for its economic development, said British politicians of Pakistani origin while addressing the youth at the Government College University (GCU), Lahore. Lord Mayor of Manchester, Naeemul Hassan called on ‘millionaires’ to contribute towards promotion of education. Former Lord Mayor of Manchester and candidate for the European Parliament, Mohammed Afzal Khan urged government to create an economic ecosystem to utilise human resource.

Complete story at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/punjab/28-Feb-2014/british-lawmakers-sensitise-youth-at-gcu-education-end-to-terrorism-vital-to-economic


Schools and universities increasingly subjected to violence, study finds

Schools and universities have been subjected to increasing violence in recent years, an international study has found. The survey of conflicts in 70 countries between 2009-13 – published on Thursday by the US-based Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) – reveals that violent assaults on educational establishments are far more widespread than previously reported. A total of 9,600 schools in the period were documented as being damaged or destroyed by attacks that included air and missile strikes, burnings, looting and armed occupation by army or guerrilla groups. The worst-affected country was Pakistan, where more than 800 schools were deliberately attacked between 2009 and 2012 alone, with many destroyed through explosions. The director of the GCPEA, Diya Nijhowne, said pupils and staff were not merely caught in the crossfire in many countries but were actively targeted.

Complete Story: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/feb/27/schools-universities-subjected-violence-study


Prices of books and fee increase amid new educational year

50% increase has been seen in fee of most of the private school in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Transporters have also increased the fare of vehicles who are used for school pick and drop. A visible increase in the price of books has also been seen.

Complete Story: http://express.com.pk/epaper/PoPupwindow.aspx?newsID=1102110956&Issue=NP_ISB&Date=20140228




One history, two narratives  by Beena Sarwar

How does a math student turned tech entrepreneur get involved in putting together a history book for children in India and Pakistan – a book that juxtaposes and highlights two conflicting narratives with a view to creating greater understanding? The seeds were planted, if you’ll pardon the pun, some 13 years ago when a bunch of 14-16 year old students from India and Pakistan met at the annual Seeds of Peace camp in Maine, USA. Launched in 1993 by journalist John Wallace, the programme brings together teenagers from countries hostile to each other – UK, Ireland; Israel, Palestine; India, Pakistan, Afghanistan to name some. “We were really excited to be going to America, to this beautiful camp – and then we learn that guess what, a bunch of Indians is going to be there too, and that we’d be sharing a living space with them. We got there before them – and none of us slept that night, waiting for them to arrive”, recalls Qasim Aslam, one of the young initiators of The History Project.

Complete Story: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-9-235344-One-history-two-narratives


Innocence lost

The report that a six-year-old was beaten to death by his classmates as the result of a children’s dispute about the unlocking of a school gate, gives us a chilling insight. Violence in the adult world is commonplace and has to be extreme before it is remarked upon. But violence among children is relatively unusual — or so one might think and assume — beyond the scraps and playground fights that happen in every country and every culture. Violence of such savagery being inflicted by a group of children on a contemporary that it leads to his death, really should give us all pause for thought. The child, a pupil at a government-run primary school, was trying to leave school during a break but the children deputed as gate guardians would not let him do so and then set about beating him with their fists, kicking him and then using sticks to beat him. He died of his injuries.

Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/676861/innocence-lost/


Closing of the Pakistani mind by Faisal Bari

A FRIEND showed me a class four Pakistani textbook from the 1960s. It was on famous personalities. In the first section there were four chapters, including one on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Others included Gautam Buddha, Hazrat Issa and Baba Guru Nanak. In the second part of the book were chapters on a number of political/temporal leaders from various parts of India. Apart from many Muslim kings and leaders, it included chapters on Ashoka as well as Raja Ranjeet Singh. Recently, I visited a school in Lahore. A group of students presented a power-point presentation, as part of an exhibition of the school’s extra curricular/co-curricular activities, on outstanding human beings from across the world. The presentation had some of the same names given above. But, one of the patrons of the school mentioned that there had been other guests at the school who, after seeing the presentation, had said that it should not be chronological and that the Prophet should come first. One eminent jurist, it seems, even suggested that there was no need to cover any other personality.

Complete Story: http://www.dawn.com/news/1089894/closing-of-the-pakistani-mind


We’ve learnt nothing

The bleak future of this country is guaranteed by the simple fact that the welfare of its children is nowhere to be found on the priority list of the leadership. The alarming state of the education system in Sindh is a result of consistent disinterest, incompetence and of course, corruption. Half of the children aged between 5 and 16 do not attend schools, an overwhelming 6.1 million girls amongst them. Then, there is the little matter of educational apartheid in the province. Like the rest of the country, there is a great disparity between the private and public sector. The condition of the public schools is shameful. The structures violate safety standards. The teachers are unqualified, or suffer from a serious lack of work ethic. If the Sindh government really wishes to improve the state of affairs as it claims to, it will have to work on an emergency basis. Be it ghost schools, unethical teachers or corrupt management staff – all must be done away with.

Complete story at: http://www.nation.com.pk/editorials/28-Feb-2014/we-ve-learnt-nothing


Education for Enlightenment

Imparting sex education to girls, that too in Johi, a conservative part of Sindh, is indeed a commendable act on the part of the Village Shadabad Organisation that has taken the initiative. The girls’ parents too need to be appreciated for brushing aside any taboo attached to the idea, as do the teachers tearing down the walls of inhibition to teach their wards about sex. A total of eight schools with 700 girls enrolled are being imparted sex education as part of their regular curriculum in Johi. Unfortunately the government has been loath to allow sex education in Pakistan. In view of the situation of women in Pakistan, it is imperative that the government seriously consider imparting sex education to girls and institutionalize it through legislation so that no adverse results emerge, as is feared by traditional circles.

Complete story at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/editorial/28-Feb-2014/education-for-enlightenment