HRCP dismayed at Panjgur schools’ closure
Dismayed at the forced and continued closure of schools by militants in the Panjgur town of Balochistan, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) sees this as the latest sign of extremism gnawing at the vitals of the country. A statement issued by HRCP on Monday said a previously unheard of militant group, Tanzeemul Islamal Furqan, had distributed flyers in Panjgur at private schools against what it called western-style education on April 25. Masked assailants then ransacked three schools, set a school van on fire and manhandled teachers and other staff to stop girls’ education, which they said was ‘haram (prohibited) in Islam’. These events intimidated most private schools -- at least 35 private schools and 30 English language centres – and forced them to close their doors to about 25,000 students.
Educational institutions in different tribal areas were closed indefinitely on Monday on security grounds.The relevant officials said the political administration of Bajaur, Kurram and Khyber agencies through separate notifications informed the heads of schools and colleges in their respective areas to close their educational institutions immediately for indefinite period.They said the development came as a precautionary measure in the wake of the launch of military operation against militants in North Waziristan Agency.
Complete Story: http://www.dawn.com/news/1113297/schools-colleges-closed-in-fata
Reservations over allocations: ‘Metro Bus budget exceeds funds for education uplift
The budgets for education development and police, and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s claims of austerity came under fire from the opposition in the Punjab Assembly on Monday during a discussion on the budget. The opposition lashed out at the chief minister’s claims of good governance and austerity. The treasury defended the budget and criticised Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s budget in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Leader of the Opposition Mian Mehmoodur Rashid said the budget should have been prepared by elected representatives rather than “bureaucrats loyal to Shahbaz Sharif”. He said standing committees should have been empowered to present budget proposals to the government six months ago. “The budget does not reflect the will of the people.”
It’s budget season again — the numbers are being sliced and diced not only based on reality but also political affiliation. The affiliation of the budget itself, whether it is friendly to the cronies or to the masses, is questioned by those who know little about numbers. Anyway, my focus today is not the budget as a whole but the recent discussion on its impact on higher education. First, it is great to see that there is a clear commitment from the federal government towards higher education. The fact that higher education has been prioritised and provided the highest budget in HEC’s history is something highly commendable. While the overall budget for education, and in particular, higher education, is still far from what it needs to be and a lot more needs to be done, but this is the first step in the right direction.
PMFRS to benefit 570 postgraduate students today
Prime Minister's 100 per cent Fee Reimbursement Scheme (PMFRS) for more than 570 postgraduate students of less-developed areas presently studying in the HEC recognised public sector universities of Islamabad and Attock would be initiated today (Tuesday) at Murree under the auspices of Prime Minister's Youth Programme (PMYP).
A high-level meeting to give a go-ahead to the award of Prime Minister's Fee Reimbursement Scheme presided over by the Chairperson of the PMYP Maryam Nawaz Sharif here on Monday, decided that the chairperson PMYP will present fee reimbursement cheques amounting to more than Rs 37.5 million today (Tuesday) at Murree to the students hailing from the less-developed districts of southern Punjab, entire Balochistan, KP, FATA, Interior Sindh, GB and AJK currently undertaking MA, MSc, MS, MPhil or PhD courses from the HEC recognised public sector universities of Islamabad Capital Territory and Attock.
Syllabus situation: Most private schools using unapproved textbooks
Most Rawalpindi private schools affiliated with the government board are not using textbooks prepared by the Punjab Text Book Board at primary and middle-school levels, and instead they are using books by private publishers. A senior government official requesting not be named said all private schools affiliated with a government board — the Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education in this case — were bound to cover the syllabus with board-approved books.
Gender parity in primary education improves by 0.89 pc
Pakistan has witnessed an improvement in gender parity in education for primary from 0.82 percent in 2001-02 to 0.89 percent in 2012-2013. In secondary education, the increase is from 0.75 percent in 2001-02 to 0.89 percent in 2012-2013. Youth literacy Gender Parity Index (GPI) has also witnessed has also witnessed increase from 0.65 percent in 2001-02 to 0.82 percent in 2012-13.
Complete Story: http://epaper.pakobserver.net/201406/17/national.php