August 21 2014

Primary teachers form body to fight for rights

The teachers of government primary schools on Wednesday formed the Qualified Primary Teachers Association to fight for their rights. The development came during a meeting in Chakdara, where teachers from different districts were in attendance. The participants unanimously named Salim Javed the QPTA provincial chairman, while Abdul Aleem was made the association`s president in Lower Dir, Mohammad Arshad general secretary, Farid Khan vice president, Aftab Ahmad finance secretary and Izzat Khan press secretary. Salim Javed later said the provincial government had ignored qualified primary teachers, who desperately needed up-gradation of their posts. He said the government should announce grade 15 for primary teachers with a first division BA degree, grade 16 for those with BEd degree and grade 17 for those with a master`s degree. The QPTA chairman said the association would formally apprise lawmakers, education department and relevant provincial government authorities of the demands for necessary action.

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Literacy matters: PEF launches programme extension

The Punjab Education Foundation (Pef) has started the fifth phase of the New School Programme. A Pef spokesperson said that underprivileged children from nine districts would be provided with free quality education under the programme. He said that the foundation would partner with 125 schools in Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Vehari, Bahawalnagar, Dera Ghazi Khan, Lodhran, Khanewal, Bhakkar and Rahim Yar Khan among other districts. The spokesperson said that over 11,000 children were expected to benefit from the extension of the programme.

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Online system tests everyone’s patience

Hundreds of aspiring candidates and their parents protested outside the education secretariat on Wednesday against the new college admission policy, the Sindh E-Centralised College Admission Programme (SECCAP). They demanded from the Sindh governor and the chief minister to intervene in the matter to replace the “useless” online system. They called for bringing the old CAP system back under which admissions forms could be obtained and submitted directly at bank branches. The parents and students criticised education secretary Fazalullah Pechuho for having favoured a certain bank which had only 50 branches across the city, with most of them being in district South. They claimed that finding the bank branch in another part of the city was difficult and was made more cumbersome by the callous attitude of its staff.

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Blatant corruption: 211 extra teachers appointed with the blessings of CM, minister

The provincial education department had appointed 211 teachers in Hyderabad in the year 2012 – at a time when there were no vacancies to allow for their appointment, The Express Tribune has learnt. The appointments were made on the special recommendations of the chief minister and a senior minister of the provincial cabinet. The alleged illegal appointments were revealed during an inquiry conducted by the chief minister’s inspection team (CMIT) that is investigating appointments in various departments that have been made against the rules.

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Momentum or marking?: City’s top HSSC position holders fail college entry tests

Only two of the top 20 position holders of the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) exams in Peshawar managed to pass admission tests for medical and dental colleges and the University of Engineering And Technology in Peshawar. While some blamed it on the students’ lack of preparation, a few accused private colleges of manipulating board authorities into putting their students on the top. The remaining 18 position holders failed the Educational Testing and Evaluation Agency (ETEA) entrance test for 2014. The students who did pass the ETEA tests in Peshawar had earlier scored ordinary grades in their HSSC examinations. A similar pattern was noticed in previous years, when students who topped HSSC’s annual examinations failed their ETEA tests.

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Plan to set up sub-campus of UoG at Chakwal College shelved

The Higher Education Department of Punjab (HED) has put off the idea of setting up a sub-campus of University of Gujrat (UoG) on the premises of Government Postgraduate College Chakwal, officials told Dawn on Wednesday. Earlier after getting a hefty grant of Rs2.5 billion from the federal government the UoG sent a proposal to the secretary HED for setting up its three sub-campuses at the colleges of Chakwal, Rawalpindi and Narowal. The idea invited severe criticism from the administration and faculty members of Chakwal and Narowal colleges who opined that by setting up sub-campuses at these two colleges, the institutions would lose their identities and thousands of students of these two districts would be deprived of cheap higher education. However since Rawalpindi has a number of women colleges, the principal of Government Postgraduate College for Women Satellite Town has favoured the idea. The project was conceived by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal who also belongs to Narowal.

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Educational institutions re-open on 25th

All educational institutions working under Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) will open from August 25, after two week-long extension in the summer vacations due to the sit-ins. Schools and colleges in the federal capital were supposed to open on August 11 after vacations.

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Pakistan's street children

An estimated 1.5 million children live on the streets of Pakistan, according to various numbers from government surveys and private organisations. Rana Asif, who launched the NGO, Initiator, a decade ago to tackle this problem, said that inflation and refugee migration were the main contributing factors. According to Initiator’s recent survey, 66 percent of street children are runaways who were forced to leave their homes after experiencing violence in household, workplace and educational institutions.  Asif told Al Jazeera that in cities such as Karachi, mafia exploit the street children by forcing them into begging and stealing. "We provide some education, training and Eid gifts for these street children but as the mafia sees them stepping away from begging and stealing, the children are swiftly transported to other parts of the country. Some are even smuggled abroad, mostly to Iran," Asif said.

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Furthering education: Sindh allots 217 acres for veterinary university

The Sindh government decided to allot 217 acres of state land to the Veterinary University Sakrand for its development projects, during a meeting held at CM House on Tuesday. Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah asked the relevant officers to maintain the university’s status as an autonomous body. In this respect, an amount of Rs300 million has been allocated to the university this year. Shah added that the government would also give outside budget support to the management to facilitate the teaching faculty and students.

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Large turnout at AEO expo

 A large number of students poured into the AEO Pakistan office on Wednesday to learn more about studying opportunities in universities in Australia and other Western universities. The AEO and its specialists held the expo to facilitate and introduce the Pakistani students to Australian universities’ selection and admission procedures. Representatives of around 40 Australian universities and 10 universities in the UK, US and Canada entertained the students. Holding leaflets and guidebooks, students glided from table-to-table to get information about higher education prospects and opportunities abroad.

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On campus: Bridging gap between education & employment.

A YOUNG Pakistani entrepreneur has earned a rare honour of being selected by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, for a week-long MITx Entrepreneurship Bootcamp on his innovative idea of bridging the gap between education and employment in Pakistan. The MIT has selected as many as 50 innovators from around the globe for the quality of their ideas through a rigorous process of selection and has invited them to spend an intense week immersing in both the study and practice of innovation-driven entrepreneurship beginning from Aug 18. At seminars with the MIT entrepreneurship faculty, the participants are expected to gain exposure to the cutting-edge entrepreneurship research and methodologies. The participants will also meet with MIT engineers and scientists to get a close-up view of innovations that will shape world’s future.

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