APR 18 2014

Students asked to purchase books from market

Students of Rawalpindi schools are facing acute shortage of text books which are provided by the Punjab government free of cost as part of its policy to increase literacy and bring more and more children in schools. However due to poor management by the Punjab Text Book Boards, students are desperate to get their books but to no avail.  The concern authorities on their part seem to be least bothered as they have failed to ensure supply of required number of books in government run schools. The students and their parents have expressed serious concern over the situation, saying that almost 50 percent of the children are deprived of all textbooks.  They said that the students have been asked to purchase books from market, which is unaffordable for a large number of parents. Moreover, the shopkeepers have unilaterally increased prices of books and stationary with the raise in demand, they added.

Complete Story: http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=239868


Should corporal punishment be allowed?

When the helpless cries for mercy echo through the weary walls of a public school in Mansehra, when Haider Ali’s bruised body and broken arm portray a story of brutality, when Behram Khan’s wounded face questions the reason for his condition, when Waseem is thrashed by his teacher for petty, incomprehensible reasons, the question rises that, is accidentally breaking a flower pot an offence so serious to be treated this way? Does a student speaking in the middle of a lecture need his head to be smashed on a table to be set right? Is not turning up for school due to high grade fever a mistake so heinous to justify this brutality? No! A school, is a sacred place, a place where a child is fostered, a place where he is groomed, where his personality is polished to make him a responsible citizen of this country, where he learns how to read, write, understand how this world works, how he must fulfill his responsibilities, and demand his rights, a place where he learns how to live in society.

Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/national/18-Apr-2014/should-corporal-punishment-be-allowed


No higher secondary school in Torghar

The underdeveloped Torghar district has no higher secondary school while 159 girls schools are non-functional in the province due to lack of female teachers, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was told on Thursday. To a question of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s Mufti Said Janan during question hour, the education department admitted that 159 girls schools, out of which 147 primary, have been closed due to lack of teaching staff. Among the closed schools, 12 primary schools and one middle school have been non-functional in Peshawar due to terrorism. Twenty-eight schools in Battagram, 14 in Charsadda, 18 in Kohistan, 15 in Dera Ismail Khan, 15 in Hangu, two each in Shangla and Tank districts and three in Swabi have not been in operation due to absence of female teaching staff. In Swat, 41 schools destroyed in militancy and floods are yet to be opened.

Complete Story: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-244869-No-higher-secondary-school-in-Torghar


Cheating continues

Sindh Government has failed to curb cheating in the ongoing matriculation examinations (SSC Part I & II). Sources in the board say that the government could not keep the cheating mafia away from examination centres. “Members of cheating mafia were found in various examination centres while facilitating the cheaters”, said the source.  The Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSC) Part I&II Science and General Science Groups Examinations-2014 are to conclude on April 22, 2014. He said that teams of media along with officials have paid surprise visits to various examination centres, which only creates hurdles but could not stop cheating completely. The administration of BSEK has caught 256 candidates cheating during the last two days. Head of Chief Minister Vigilance Team for ongoing matriculation examinations, Nazeer Ahmad Chakrani has claimed that the government was making sincere efforts for improvement in educational system of Sindh province.

Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/karachi/18-Apr-2014/cheating-continues-karachi-board-claims-to-have-caught-256-cheaters-in-two-days


Teachers to face strict accountability on absence from duty: Atif warns

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education, Muhammad Atif Khan Thursday warned strict action against teachers if to be found guilty of absence from duty. Addressing a prize distribution ceremony here at Peshawar Public School and College, he said that a comprehensive monitoring system, Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) had been developed to ensure presence of teachers at school. He said the system of monitoring was independent and transparent enough; adding even the surprise visits of monitoring officers would also be monitored. The Minister said the government was paying full attention to education sector as it believes that peace and prosperity were not possible in a society without education. Atif Khan deplored that previous provincial governments of KP totally ignored the education sector due to which the required results were not achieved. He noted that if teachers started performing their duty with sincerity and honesty then the required positive results could be achieved.

Complete Story: http://pakistan.onepakistan.com.pk/news/city/peshawar/297809-teachers-to-face-strict-accountability-on-absence-from-duty-atif-warns.html



In K-P, 159 girls schools remain shut

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly was informed on Thursday that 159 schools for girls remain closed across the province. The issue was raised during the question hour. In response to a query made by JUI-F lawmaker from Hangu, Mufti Syed Janan, the primary and secondary education department shared data about the closure of schools. The written reply from the department stated presently there are no non-functioning girls schools in Chitral, Buner, Bannu, Malakand, Torghar, Karak, Dir, Haripur, Kohat, Abbottabad, Lakki Marwat and Nowshera. However, it provided a list of 12 middle and 147 primary schools for girls that are shut across the remaining 12 districts. A breakdown of this list shows 12 primary and a middle school were non-functional in Peshawar due to security threats. Fifteen primary schools in Hangu, 15 in DI Khan, 14 in Charsadda, three in Swabi, two in Tank and two in Shangla have been closed due to a lack of female teachers. Twenty-seven primary and a middle school in Battagram, and 17 primary and seven middle schools in Kohistan were also closed due to a dearth of teachers.

Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/697150/in-k-p-159-girls-schools-remain-shut/



Protest against banning admission in school

Residents, civil society activists, students and parents of the students staged a protest on Thursday in front of provincial assembly Khyber Pakhtunkhaw building against the government for banning admission in the Benevolent Public School. The demonstration led by the school Principal Syed Abu Zafar and elders of the locality were holding playcards and banners inscribed with slogans in favour of their demands and against government.

Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/E-Paper/islamabad/2014-04-18/page-15


In Pindi, promise of school buses seems forgotten

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif promised to equip all educational institutions in the province with modern transport facilities, but the promise has yet to be fulfilled. Students at many public sector schools and colleges are not provided with pick and drop facilities and a sizable number end up putting their lives at risk by travelling on the roof of buses. “CM Sharif promised to provide transport facility to all institutions, but in this country, promises and laws are made to be broken,” said Rana Liaquat, Punjab Teachers Union general secretary. Talking to The Express Tribune, Liaquat said the absence of transport facility causes leads to absenteeism among students in urban and rural areas. “The fund meant for such facilities are diverted to laptop and lighting schemes,” he said, adding that the reason behind high attendance at private schools is the availability of transport facilities, which parents pay heavy fees for.

Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/697138/pick-and-drop-in-pindi-promise-of-school-buses-seems-forgotten/


Opposition protests absence of education secretary in KP Assembly

Protesting the absence of secretary education in the Khyber Pakhtunkhaw Assembly, the joint opposition staged a walk out from the assembly session on Thursday. However, after adjournment of the session for 30 minutes by speaker, the secretary education was called to attend the session. Addressing the Assembly session, MPA Zarin Gul pointed out that despite a debate on an important issue of education, secretary education was not present in the assembly while speaker had made the presence of the secretary mandatory whose department was under debate in the assembly.

Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/E-Paper/islamabad/2014-04-18/page-15


Subject specialists seek share in duties

The subject specialists associations of Lakki Marwat and Bannu chapters have threatened to boycott the coming intermediate examination duties if authorities of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Bannu did not take practical steps to accept their demands up to April 19. “The decision to this effect was taken after the association office-bearers held meeting with BISE Bannu authorities in Bannu on Thursday,” claimed Taj Muhammad Khan, President of SSA Lakki chapter.  Giving details of the meeting, he said the associations’ leaders informed the educational board authorities about their grievances and complaints and asked them to stop injustices with subject specialties.

Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/national/18-Apr-2014/subject-specialists-seek-share-in-duties


Night falls on evening admissions in schools and colleges

A ban has been imposed on admission into state-run educational institutions in federal capital. In pursuance of orders of joint Educational Adviser, Federal Directorate of Education has issued directives to all schools and colleges operating in Islamabad that ban has been slapped on new admission in the evening therefore, no admission will be given to any student in the evening shift.

Complete Story: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/04/18/epaper/18th-april-2014-3/



Mamnoon for quality education

President Mamnoon Hussain Thursday emphasized the need for developing a strong relationship between higher education and economic development and urged for quality assurance of the research being made in various fields in the national universities and degree awarding institutes. The President said this during his meeting with the second group of heads of leading universities and degree awarding institutes of the country here on Thursday at Aiwan-e-Sadr. The heads of universities who called on the President included Dr. Muhammad Masoom Yasinzai, Acting Rector, International Islamic      University, Islamabad; Prof. Dr. Naveed Akhtar Malik, Rector, Virtual University, Lahore; Dr. Malik Akhtar Kalru, Vice Chancellor, NFC Institute of Engineering & Technology, Multan; Prof. Dr. Eatzaz Ahmad, Acting Vice Chancellor, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; and Prof. Dr. Ahmed Yousif A. Al-Draiweesh, President, International Islamic University, Islamabad.

Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/islamabad/18-Apr-2014/mamnoon-for-quality-education





Enrolment Drive

Shahbaz Sharif’s commitment to increase the enrolment rates of schools in the Punjab certainly sounds commendable but it is missing a few important pieces. Perhaps it was fitting that he compared the enrolment campaign to the construction of the metro bus service, because it exposes the limitation of how this government approaches complex issues: it deals in hardware solely. What about the big important questions that the government is not asking? Sure, they may successfully build thousands of new schools in the Punjab to accommodate the surge of enrolling students, but what incentives are they giving to these children to enroll in the first place? What incentives will their families get to sacrifice their young bread winners to the altar of the classroom? 

Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/editorials/18-Apr-2014/enrolment-drive


Long march for education

In terms of learning outcomes, 59 percent of class five students are unable to read a story fluently in Urdu or Sindhi while 71 percent cannot perform simple two-digit division. One wonders why, after paying billions of rupees, education in Sindh is in a state of the doldrums. The great French writer, Victor Marie Hugo, once wrote, “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” There are hundreds and thousands of schools in Sindh but what these schools are and what they produce is a matter of great distress. Cheating in examinations, mismanagement, ghost teachers, unavailability of the school syllabus, missing basic infrastructure, schools as headquarters of waderas (feudal lords) and a number of schools on record but absent on the ground — it may surprise many but all this is normal practice in Sindh. The output is: there is an army of certified and non-certified illiterate people in the province holding either a certificate or a pistol to beg for a job or to make a living out of the bullet

Complete Story: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/18-Apr-2014/long-march-for-education


Getting it right for education reforms by Prof Ahsan Iqbal

Post-18th Amendment, the devolution of Education to the provinces has resulted in the new challenges and opportunities. The task to create a uniform standard of education across the country has become more complex. Stark disparities between various provinces’ education sectors, that have always been present, though often resented, are likely to become even more pronounced, if corrective measures are not taken.

Complete Story: http://e.thenews.com.pk/pindi/4-18-2014/page5.asp