Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) is preparing to set up a big educational data centre to provide increased access to its students and tutors across the country. This is part of the largest distance learning university’s ongoing efforts to transform the entire academic network and provide online access of educational materials to millions of students. The stone-laying ceremony of the centre was held at the university’s main campus, said a press release issued here on Monday. Addressing the ceremony, Vice-Chancellor Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi said that AIOU website is currently being visited by over four million students every month. The data centre will include information relating to examinations, results, admission and mailing of books, tutors, lectures and students’ assignments. Through this data, electronic version of the printed material will also be available to the students. Dr Sangi further said that the centre will be completed within one year.
Education policies and plans show nothing but repeated rhetoric
Leave quality aside. The quantity promised in the education policies has never materialised. If one has to trace back why the country failed on the education front so badly, it will lead you to the policies that are produced year after year with little substance. State Minister for Education Balighur Rehman accepted on several occasions that Pakistan will not be able to meet the goal of achieving Universal Primary Education of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). According to a recently launched Education for All Global Monitoring Report, Pakistan is ‘very far’ from meeting the 2015 deadline and ranks among nations like Mali and Niger.
Minister for new schools in Sindh
Provincial Senior Minister of Education and Literacy Nisar Ahmed Khuhro has directed the higher up of the Sindh Education Foundation to open more schools under the SEF’s Integrated Education Learning Program (IELP). He stated this while paying a visit to the Sindh Education Foundation Head Office in Karachi here on Friday. During his visit, he was given a briefing on the educational framework of the Sindh Education Foundation and its various programs and discussed SEF’s Integrated Education Learning Program (IELP) in detail.
President stress for promotion of education to steer Pakistan towards prosperity
President Mamnoon Hussain while terming illiteracy as a big challenge to the country has underlined the need for the promotion of education to steer the country towards socio-economic development and prosperity. Addressing the 18th convocation of the Hamdard University, here on Saturday, he said that there was a lot of talent in Pakistan, which needs to be tapped in a positive manner through enhancing literacy rate in the country. The President said that facilitating provision of education to the citizens was the responsibility of the Government, however, the private sector also has a major role to play in complementing Government's efforts towards provision of education to the people.
The Federal Minister for Defence and Water & Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, this Saturday said that a collective effort were required for the increased promotion of education which will lead to positive changes in the society. While addressing ground breaking ceremony of a new block of the Government Hajipura Degree College for Women in Sialkot this Saturday, he urged the students to avail maximum opportunities to acquire their higher education and to gain maximum skills and knowledge to play their vital role in the development of the country. Khawaja Asif said that the education of girls was a key to building a strong economy and overcoming all major social problems that prevail in Pakistan.
Survival depends on mass education
We have been in perpetual state of crises — social, economic and political — and have not yet realized that our future as nation is linked to fair governance and mass education that make a child an intelligent, progressive and law-abiding citizen as well as an honest, bold and strong defender of motherland,” say city olds who claim they never experienced in their life “such mind-shaking loadshedding, food and energy price hike, poverty and crime”. They also talk about the vision of the architect of Pakistan and those millions who sacrificed their lives for a noble cause. They want to tell the so-called leaders the father of nation attached great importance to education, health, defence and economic self-reliance.
Capacity-building talked to highlight academia’s woes
Pakistan’s education and academia reporting within the industry is fairly weak. Alarming factors contributing to the knowledge deficit is the media’s limited exposure to real challenges being confronted by education sector in Pakistan and lack of relevant training in the media sector. “Most of the issues related to education and literacy are being reported not in the right context; this not only undermines but also diminishes the importance of educational, training and child development challenges faced by the society. Govt Degree College Mirpur Principal Dr Muhammad Arif Khan stated this while addressing the inaugural session of ILM-o-Agahi education journalism workshop held at Kasmir Press Club here the other day.
A state-run girls primary school was damaged in a blast in Mughal Khel village of Wana, South Waziristan, late Thursday night, an official of the agency’s political administration told The Express Tribune. Two rooms of the school were completely destroyed in the blast while the windows of others were shattered. No one has claimed responsibility for attacking the school located close to the Wana bazaar. Government and private schools in the Wana sub-division are usually not targeted compared to other educational institutions in the tribal areas. Nevertheless, at least three similar attacks have taken place on schools for girls in the agency in the past two years.
Saving Education in NWA: Students demand end to curfew
A number of students from North Waziristan on Sunday demanded the government take action against repeated unannounced curfews in agency which effects their education.
16 teachers sacked in Torghar
The services of 16 male and female teachers of the Torghar district were terminated after a scrutiny committee found their documents tampered, an official said here on Sunday. Gohar Ali, district education officer of Torghar, told reporters that 16 teachers had been sacked so far after a scrutiny process and another 18 would soon meet the same fate as it had been proven that they had also submitted fake domicile certificates and other documents at the time of appointments. The official said provincial government wanted to put this highly less-developed and remote district on the road to prosperity and development by spreading education. “We have also launched the process to dismiss those teachers who have been absent from duties since long but are receiving salaries.
Teachers' associations over stepping limits
Teachers unions are a double-edged sword. They can be used for pressing forward the rights of teachers. But sometimes they can also become a tool for maneuvering and intrigue. Islamabad Model School, G-7/3-3, suffered the same situation due to repressive role of some of the teachers who are the active members of Federal Government Teachers Associations (FGTA). According to information, these teachers have managed to transfer six principals of the school in three years, while the academic activities also suffered I the school due to political activities.
Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/E-Paper/islamabad/2014-03-16/page-5
Education a pre-requisite for development
Education for sustainable development is a pre-requisite for the development of conflict-affected areas. This was the slogan of six day training workshop for the teachers hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhaw and tribal areas being arranged at the South Asian Center for International and Regional Studies (SACIRS).
Complete Story: http://e.thenews.com.pk/pindi/3-17-2014/page3.asp
Last week, the employees of the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE), protested against the chairperson, Shaheen Khan, and also announced a boycott due to which Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations, starting from March 18, could be delayed. A clash took place between the employees and some outsiders, which prompted the education secretary to intervene. Subsequently, Shaheen Khan was sent on forced leave and FBISE Secretary Rao Attique was appointed the acting chairperson. Senator Saeeda Iqbal, who belongs to PPP, asked the government to take notice of the mismanagement in FBISE and appoint a competent person as the chairperson.
Taking notice of complaints of students and parents, the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Rawalpindi chairman on Friday directed officers concerned to issue roll number slips to more than 300 private candidates. The BISE Rawalpindi refused to issue slips to students who were either under 13 years old or had applied under the re-admission category to appear in Secondary School Certificate (SCC) Part I exam. They had been directed to submit late fee for registration despite the fact that they had already registered themselves with the board when they appeared in the exam the first time.
The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Rawalpindi, has fixed April 3 for the examination of three matriculation papers in Murree. The papers of physics, Islamic Studies and Advance Islamic Studies had been canceled due to heavy snowfall. They were scheduled to be held on March 12 but due to bad weather, the board had to cancel them.
Complete Story: http://www.dawn.com/news/1093616/three-ssc-papers-on-april-3
The assistant district education officers of southern districts have reiterated their firm determination to utilize all-out energies for promotion of education and achieving the goals of bringing improvement in learning environment and other relevant affairs of public sector schools. They expressed the determination at a meeting held here on Saturday with ADEO Qadeer Shah in the chair. Assistant district education officers from Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Tank, DI Khan and Karak were in the attendance. The meeting hailed provincial government for putting education sector on top of priorities and said that recent promotions of education officers and teachers showed government's commitment in this regard.
At Mashal Model School, Self-Help is Part of the Curriculum
The Mashal Model School for underprivileged children organized their annual charity art bazaar to help raise funds for the students on Saturday in Islamabad. Located in the suburban Bari Imam, the school also offers free-of-cost education to children of internally displaced families from Kashmir, Mardan and Buner among other parts of the region as well as refugees from Afghanistan.
Bigger than books
Quite often, the normalisation of affairs between Pakistan and India is linked with changing the curriculum of the educational systems on both sides of the border. The suggestion makes sense considering that what you teach children in school tends to stick with them for the rest of their lives. Textbooks in both countries contain contrasting accounts of common events. More often than not, both versions are inaccurate, and published for propaganda. Sure, this policy worked when the politicians needed it to. But it has affected our populaces in a sustained way over the years, cultivating mindsets which find it impossible to comprehend peace with the ‘eternal enemy.’ That must change. Of course, differences will always remain. That is just the collateral of history. But as we talk of opening trade and travel between the two countries, an education that deals in some measure of objectivity, might be a good idea.
A New Direction
Curriculum has a key role in shaping society. Pakistan’s people have learnt this fact quite well over the past few decades, as our textbooks have played a major role in the creation of our current predicament. Emphasis on aggression, glorification of militarism, singling out the ‘other’ and introducing religion into unrelated subjects are some of the features of our educational system which have contributed to the making of a violence-prone, intolerant society. Hence a call made at a recent event in Islamabad by Pakistani and Indian activists to cleanse the curricula in both countries of matter coming under the category of ‘hate-mongering’ is a highly timely one. Changes have been attempted, but it has been argued that not enough has been done, while it will take time before results are visible in society. The new curriculum was introduced in 2006, but has not yet been fully implemented.
Complete Story: http://www.dawn.com/news/1093468/a-new-direction
Dream of uniform education by Yousuf Abbasi
Government of Punjab is trying hard to improve the education standards in province. For this particular purpose, it is providing international facilities to the students besides promoting qualified teachers in the schools. The dream of uniform education system is still to be materialized and it will take lot of time in implementation.