MAR 06 2014

Report Launch: Public Financing of Education

The launch of a report and discussion on ‘Public Financing of Education in Pakistan (2010-11 to 2013-14)’ organised by the Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) in collaboration with Alif Ailaan and Department for International Development (DFID) UK at Marriot Hotel on Thursday from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

Report Launch: Public Financing of Education

The launch of a report and discussion on ‘Public Financing of Education in Pakistan (2010-11 to 2013-14)’ organised by the Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) in collaboration with Alif Ailaan and Department for International Development (DFID) UK at Marriot Hotel on Thursday from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

Complete Story: http://74.205.74.128:88/DisplayDetails.aspx?ENI_ID=11201403060550&EN_ID=11201403060292&EMID=11201403060078

 

CM sets up committee to appoint heads of edu boards

Though Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and his successors will no longer be able to make direct appointments for the top job at provincial education boards, the viability of this decision depends largely on the credibility of the search committee.  On Monday, the chief minister, who happens to be the controlling authority of provincial education boards, has approved a new mechanism for the selection and appointment of chairpersons at secondary and higher secondary education boards of Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Larkana. The selection board for the appointment of chairpersons  will, however, be conducted by the search committee for the selection of vice chancellors at the public-sector universities. In case of a future vacant position for a chairperson, the search committee will invite applications by advertising the post through the media. After scrutinising the applications, the committee will shortlist the best candidates, who will be invited for interviews. The name of the committee’s selected candidate will then be recommended to the chief minister for approval.

Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/679430/no-compromise-cm-sets-up-committee-to-appoint-heads-of-edu-boards/

 

 Scientific inquiry triumphs in broken education system

Eighteen-year-old Syeda Minahil wanted to grow up to become a detective, but somewhere along the way, she used her investigative ambition for medical research instead. It turned out to be a good decision. Minahil is one of nine students selected through a national science fair to represent Pakistan at the Intel Science and Educational Fair (ISEF) 2014 in Los Angeles, USA. The annual ISEF, to be held in May, is considered the largest international higher secondary-level science competition in the world. Minahil, a final-year FSc student at the Forwards Girls College Peshawar, won her place in the global contest through a project she did on the cure for piles, or swollen hemorrhoids. There is some debate in the scientific community about what exactly causes piles, but constipation is considered a significant factor and that is what Minahil, who did some research on the Internet before starting work on the project, picked up on. In a way, her applied project, which uses a mixture of two herbs with high fiber content to facilitate bowel movements, is not groundbreaking medical research.

Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/679419/doing-science-scientific-inquiry-triumphs-in-broken-education-system/

 

Students don’t like RBISE’s new course

Students and their parents have voiced protest against distribution of papers of new course instead of old course in matriculation examination by Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE). About 4,000 students from Rawalpindi city had sent their admission forms for appearing in matriculation examination under old syllabus but it came as shocking to them when they were handed over papers in new course. These boys and girls students returned answer papers blank with tears swelling into their eyes. Despite their protest the examiners did not distribute papers in old syllabus to them. They were of the view that it is binding on all the candidates to take examination as per new syllabus of matriculation.

Complete Story: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/03/05/city/islamabad/students-dont-like-rbises-new-course/

 

NGO undertakes construction work of mega Educational Complex for orphans

The construction work of mega Educational Complex has been started with a cost of Rs 200 million for orphans and shelter less children in Mirpur. The mega complex is being constructed under the auspices of the NGO Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust (KORT) with the donations of UK-based Kashmiri expatriates, besides the local philanthropists. This was disclosed by the Chairman of KORT, Ch. Muhammad Akhter, while briefing a delegation during the visit to under-construction KORT educational Complex at Jarikas at Wednesday.

Complete Story: http://epaper.pakobserver.net/201403/06/misc.php

 

Special squads to monitor SSC exam

Newly appointed Chairman of Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE) Dr. Muhammad Zareef on Wednesday formed a special squad to monitor Secondary School Certificate (SSC) annual exams 2014 commenced in Rawalpindi region from March 1. The special squad would prepare report of the exams which will be presented to the chairman on daily basis.

Complete Story: http://epaper.pakobserver.net/201403/06/islamabad-2.php

USAID distributes food packs to school children

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) delivered food packs to students of Mansehra Higher Secondary School.  The school was reconstructed by USAID as part of its Pakistan Reconstruction Program (PRP) under which 77 health and education buildings were rebuilt after the devastating 2005 earthquake in Bagh district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Mansehra district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Vice-Principal of the school, Muhammad Naseem Khan, thanked USAID for constructing an earthquake-resistant and spacious school.  “It is because of this remarkable and spacious building that enrollment has jumped from 450 students to more than 1000 students and our school still has a capacity to accommodate 400 more,” said Naseem. General Secretary of the school’s parent-teachers council, Javaid Kabeer praised USAID for the speedy reconstruction of the building. “We were pleasantly surprised when this multi-story school building spanning over 84,000 square feet was completed in just 18 months.” Javaid said.

Complete Story: http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=235471

 

Encouraging women

Women Research and Resource Centre and Placement Office in collaboration with Regional Transport Authority organised a seminar in connection with International Women’s Day at Fatima Jinnah Women University Wednesday. In her welcome address, Registrar and Director of WRRC Dr Humaira Ahmed said that FJWU has always encouraged activities that contribute positively towards the betterment of women in society. The FJWU is committed to the cause of female higher education in the country and is producing socially aware and responsible citizens. She also apprised the audience of  WRRC achievements within academia that focused on gender-based issues of women. She also talked about the history of international women day. The chief guest, PML-N MNA Tahira Aurangzib, said, "We need to change attitude and behaviour of the society if we want to excel." She also highlighted the various steps taken up by the government of Punjab towards women empowerment.

Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/national/06-Mar-2014/encouraging-women

 

Sindh High Court seeks comments on petitions against Sindh Higher Education Commission

The Sindh High Court (SHC) today directed federal authorities and High Education Commission (HEC) to submit comments on two identical petitions challenging establishment of Sindh Higher Education Commission by the Sindh government. A division bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar also directed federal and provincial law officers to reply to two petitions and adjourned the hearing till April 04, 2014. One of the petitions was jointly filed by former chief of the Higher Education Commission Dr Attaur Rehman and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Marvi Memon. Another petition was filed by Pak-China Foundation, a non-governmental organization. The petitioners suggested that the new law was moved to avoid verification of the lawmaker’s degrees which the Federal Higher Education Commission had initiated on the orders of the Election Commission of Pakistan. They said that the Supreme Court had already decided that the HEC was a federal subject and protected under a constitutional provision mentioned in the Federal Legislative List. He said any action by Sindh government to establish its own commission would be filed in the face of Supreme Court observations. They pleaded to the court to declare the Sindh Higher Education Commission Act 2013 as unlawful and unconstitutional.

Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/karachi/05-Mar-2014/sindh-high-court-seeks-comments-on-petitions-against-sindh-higher-education-commission

 

EDITORIALS

 

The illusion of Super Sindh by Adnan Falak

The alarming state of education and extent of illiteracy in Sindh is clear from the Annual Status of Education Report 2013, conducted by ASER Pakistan. The report evaluates the state of education in Pakistan, on a broad set of parameters, ranging from conditions of schools and student enrolment to the pupil performance in reading and arithmetic. The report declares that in rural Sindh, in the 6 - 16 year age bracket, around 30 percent of children are out of school. Only a quarter of grade three students can read Urdu, Sindhi or English, and only twenty four percent can do simple arithmetic. Now compare this with the tribal areas, a place many of us believe is surrounded by the forces of chaos, and where extremists are blowing up schools, flogging women and killing school girls. In FATA, more than half of lower primary students can read and 45 percent have satisfactory arithmetic skills, a percentage much higher than the performance of pupils in Sindh. Even student and teacher attendance ratio in war-torn FATA is better than the PPP’s bastion of democracy. Let’s put Sindh aside, and see how education is faring in Larkana and Benazirabad, the core constituencies of PPP’s top leadership. In Larkana, home of two former Prime Ministers of Pakistan, a staggering 80 percent of class five students cannot read properly, or do simple arithmetic. Benazirabad (formerly known as Nawabshah), is the same, and its most notable political luminary is PPP’s co-chairman, and former President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari.

Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/E-Paper/Lahore/2014-03-05/page-6/detail-4

 

Beyond conventions by Atle Hetland

When Professor Johan Galtung, the world renowned founder of peace research as an academic discipline visited Islamabad last week, he shook up the social scientists and politicians; those who try to know and say all the right things, but do little. All of us belong to that category, at least to a certain extent and in many concrete cases. Don’t rug the boat, we say. Don’t speak up against authority, the principal, the old politician, the religious leader, and others in power. But then they may not always be right. Indeed, in many cases they are not, and it is my duty and yours to speak up against injustice and wrongdoing- otherwise we become accomplices, and we don’t contribute to the change that would benefit ourselves and others. There are groups and forces in any town, city and country that don’t want change; they are the ‘pillars of society,’ resisting change which is not in their own interest.

Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/columns/06-Mar-2014/beyond-conventions

 

Research and education for all by Muhammad Omar Iftikhar

Where the economic and the industrial sector of any country is responsible for generating revenue and employment, the education sector, however, is equally imperative in creating the brains to run those economies and industries, and steer the country towards progress. Where education is the key to success, higher education and research are the doors leading to countless opportunities that benefit the nation. Where the distinguished faculty members and men of letters from Pakistan’s academia are rendering their tireless efforts in conducting research in the areas of their choosing, it seems that the findings of related research are not enlightening the masses. Here the masses, or the ‘common man’ are unaware of the developments happening in various sectors. The term common man is quite challenging to define as, today, it has become a victim of class conflicts. The self-glorification of the elites and the powerful has, therefore, buried the common man under a pile of socioeconomic class stratification. 

Complete Story: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/06-Mar-2014/research-and-education-for-all

 

Case for public health and education by Ally Memon

In response to the recent recommendations made for a 30 per cent cut in the non-development budgets for health and education as part of an austerity measure, it is important to emphasise that the health and education improvement agenda should carry prime importance for Pakistan as a developing welfare state. It is critical to understand that any improvement in public health must go hand in hand with developments in other public-sector services, such as education. To put this in perspective, if people are educated about malaria symptoms and the lethal effects of contracting dengue fever, then the chances are they will be more aware of preventive health measures against them. Vice versa, better health among children and adults may ensure better productivity at school and the workplace. If we were to think of this interdependency and interconnectedness in terms of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for health, these health outcomes cannot be achieved without progress in other MDGs that are education driven (i.e., achieving primary education and promoting gender equality).

Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/679311/case-for-public-health-and-education/