August 15 2014

Education dept fails to retrieve encroached land

The education department Rawalpindi has failed to retrieve school lands from the possession of the land mafia. The land mafia has occupied lands belonging to 11 schools worth billions of rupees but the education department seems helpless to get it back. According to education department’s documents, the institutions whose lands have been encroached upon are: Government Islamia Higher Secondary School No 1 opposite Liaqiat Bagh, Government Boys High School Pehlvi Faizabad, Government Christian Higher Secondary School Iqbal Road, Government Boys High School Islamia number 2 Circular Road, Government Dynis Higher Secondary School Saddar, Government High School Islamia number 4 Liaqiat Bagh, Government High School Faizul Islam number 1 Trunk Bazaar, DAV High School College Road and Shimla Islamia High School Raja Bazaar.

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‘Promote teachers based on the performances of their students’

 Promotions of teachers should be linked with the Standardised Achievement Testing that evaluates what students have learnt throughout the academic year, said Sindh education department’s reform support unit (RSU) head Saba Mahmood. She was chairing the media briefing on Wednesday at the Narayan Jagannath Vaidya (NJV) School that holds the offices of the reform unit that was formed in 2005 with a mandate to improve institutional capability of the education department through planning, research and policy formulation. Mahmood felt that teacher absenteeism and lack of motivation are the major hindrances in improving public-sector education in the province. “In order to rectify the issue, the RSU has forwarded its recommendations to the education department’s additional chief secretary, Dr Fazlullah Pechuho, for linking teachers’ promotion with the learning outcomes of the students,” she said.

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Schools with no students, students without schools

It is a mystery of the missing students from the schools that even Sherlock Holmes might find hard to solve, but the education department and our provincial lawmakers must have a clue to.  What are three schools doing in such close proximity in Long Khan Brohi village in Ghand Tar UC in Shaheed Benazirabad district and why was there not a single student there? “Well, what are students going to do without a teacher?” said Syed Adnan Ahmed, the drawing teacher appointed at the middle school. The middle school, in fact, had three staff members — an office boy, a sweeper and the art teacher. As for the two primary schools, one on the left for boys and the other for girls, only a few feet from the middle school, they had no one there. “If the primary schools get a teacher or two, the students will go there, of course. But right now there is no one there to teach children at the primary level here and what of this middle school when no one here has passed class five to be promoted here?” the art teacher said.

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Reforms in education sector

Sir: Today, education, not weapons, is considered the real power. Being a symbol of superiority, it has been the reason for the rise and fall of many societies. The level of development of a society can be judged easily by its education system and its rate of literacy. The importance of education can be seen through the sayings of Quaid-e-Azam. He said on September 26, 1947, in Karachi: “Education is a matter of life and death for Pakistan. The world is progressing so rapidly that without requisite advance in education, not only shall we be left behind others but may be wiped out altogether.’’ In spite of these facts, our governments couldn’t increase the education budget to facilitate and encourage students to get education. I request the government to increase the education budget for primary and higher education. Pakistan’s progress depends on a good education system.  

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Edu Deptt, Rotary to improve quality of education

United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Education Department government of Sindh and Rotary International signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve access to and quality of education in Sindh. Rotary International Pakistan (Sindh and Balochistan) will set up computer and science laboratories in schools constructed by USAID. US Consul General Michael Dodman, USAID acting provincial Director Dr Randy Hatfield, Dr Fazalullah Pechuho Secretary Education and Faiz Kidwai Chair National Committee of Rotary Pakistan Literacy Mission signed on behalf of their respective organisations.

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Celebrating freedom: August 14 a day to remember freedom movement says UAF VC

 August 14 is a day to remember the sacrifices rendered by our forefathers, under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, to attain freedom from the British Raj, said the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan on Thursday. He was addressing the flag-hoisting ceremony held at the Iqbal Auditorium. “It is our duty now to work for the progress of our homeland. The message of Allama Iqbal and Quaid-i-Azam must be spread among the people,” he said. He urged students to become good citizens. “Education is necessary for the country’s uplift. We have to promote education at all levels,” he said. He said that the UAF had given recommendations for the government’s vision 2025. “Last year, 116 new faculty members were inducted and 179 support staff regularised in service or promoted,” he said. “For the first time in its history, the UAF has developed a comprehensive action plan for the next 15 years. It is based on achieving a sustainable agriculture sector,” the VC said.

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That time of the year: As politicking consumes capital, students discuss their Cambridge results

With talk of political rallies and Independence Day celebrations doing the rounds, students of the capital spent the day discussing how they fared following the announcement of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) results on Tuesday. CIE reports Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as the most popular subjects among its courses in Pakistan and reported a seven per cent increase in entries for these subjects in 2014. Twitter and Facebook were the main forum of discussions for young students where they exchanged their views on grades and shared doodles and pictures congratulating each other.

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School enrolment is not enough

For the past decade, both donor agencies and governments of developing countries have been trying to increase school enrolments in the effort to improve the dismal state of education. According to the World Bank’s latest report on “Student Learning in South Asia”, governments in our region have managed to increase net enrolment from 75 per cent in 2000 to 89 per cent in 2010. Pakistan’s net enrolment rate has also jumped up from 58 per cent to 74 per cent between 2000 and 2011, even if it lags a bit behind the regional average. Pakistan, like the other South Asian countries, is still struggling with the problem of learning outcomes, since the average level of skill acquisition in the region remains rather low in both absolute and relative terms. School enrolment does not automatically translate into securing goals it aims to achieve. Schooling is only meaningful when it enables students to lead fuller lives, both as individuals and as labour market participants.

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Reforming education in Pakistan

As part of its efforts to portray itself in a positive light, the PML-N government at the federal level, and in Punjab, has been engaged in a campaign to highlight the importance it places on education. As such, much has been made of relatively large amounts of funding that have been allocated to the Higher Education Commission, and the government has also been quick to stress its commitment to providing an increasingly large share of the budget to education over the next few years. At one level, the government’s emphasis on education makes complete sense; there are obvious benefits that could accrue to society from investing more in education, and it is seen by many as being a panacea for all of Pakistan’s problems. It is assumed that education holds the key to developing Pakistan’s economy, lifting people out of poverty, and producing more informed citizens and voters.

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