August 28 2014

Balochistan unrest has deprived 70,000 children from education: CM

Chief Minister Balochistan, Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has revealed that worsening law and order situation in different parts of the province has deprived around 70,000 children from education. Wrapping up the debate over deteriorating law and order situation during Balochistan Assembly session on Wednesday evening, he said mass migration and worsening law and order situation in sensitive parts of the province deprived children from schooling. Dr Baloch said his government was determined to ensure provision of quality education to those students deprived of education, the basic fundamental right. Most of the Baloch dominated areas in Balochistan were “no go” areas, he said. “Right from the Sariab road area of Quetta to Mand in Turbat, nobody feels safe to go there,” he told the house.

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa prioritises education for girls

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) officials won't let the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) destroy the province's education system, officials say, and they are emphasising the availability of schools for girls in their commitment to re-establish the militant-damaged infrastructure. "The Taliban's desire to send women back to the Stone Age won't succeed, as there is an increased public awareness of the significance of education," KP Education Minister Atif Khan told Central Asia Online, as he discussed plans to rebuild schools in the province and to establish more for girls. "The Taliban damaged 640 schools in KP, which included about 400 for girls," he said.  As the province embarks on a rebuilding plan, about 70% of the new school buildings will be for girls, he said. "We are building 160 new schools in the current fiscal year [2014-2015], which includes 112 for girls. Each school can absorb at least 500 pupils." Building girls' schools and boosting enrolment, Pakistan aims to improve its education numbers through the undertaking. About 60% of school-aged girls are enrolled, compared to 84% for boys, and only 32% of girls make it to secondary school, according to UNESCO.

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Protesting decision: Teachers reject rationalisation of education dept

The All Teachers Association Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday rejected the provincial government’s move of rationalization in the education department and asked it to reconsider the step. The association’s president, Mian Fayaq Kakakhel threatened to announce a strike following the end of summer vacations in schools across the province after presiding over a meeting on the issue. Office bearers of adjoining districts were also present at the meeting and urged the government to take concrete steps for implementation of a service structure and a time-scale formula for teachers to overcome their sense of alienation.

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Armed men set fire to school in Panjgur

 A group of armed men torched a private school in Panjgur and threatened to close down all the 23 private schools if the co-education system continued in the region. The assailants entered the school – which was closed due to a strike – on two motorbikes. They doused petrol and set the principal’s office on fire. Two computers, 25 chairs and cabinets with records were burnt to ashes. “A group called Tanzeem-ul-Islam-ul-Furqan had been threatening us. The group had also beaten up the driver of the school van and harassed two students,” Major Hussain, the school’s principal, told The Express Tribune. An officer at Panjgur police station said an FIR was lodged against unknown assailants.

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Can E-learning Solve the Education Crisis in Pakistan?

Over the past decade, education has been a low priority for the Pakistani governments; and economic poverty, natural disasters and religious extremism have further worsened the situation. With 5.5 million out-of-school children, Pakistan has the second worst performance in the world when it comes to enrollment (after Nigeria). Of course, disadvantaged girls are first to drop out: in 2013, 66 percent did not receive any education at all. For children enrolled in government schools, the prospects for the future are almost as bleak. Public education is in a disastrous state, and student achievement is outrageously low. 36 percent of the 10-year-old pupils cannot read a sentence in English, which they are supposed to learn at 7; and, in the underdeveloped Balochistan province, only 45 percent of the primary school graduates can solve a two-digit subtraction.

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Class 4 student’s death due to falling of school gate

 The death of a class 4 student a few days ago has exposed the tall claims of the Education Department about maintenance and provision of missing facilities in government schools across the district. Tayyaba, a class 4 student at Government Girls Primary School, Chak 497/JB, Shorkot, was entering school when its iron gate fell on her. She was critically injured and taken to hospital where she died for want of treatment. After getting information, Shorkot Assistant Commissioner Ahmad Nawaz Gondal and Education Department officials visited the school and suspended three female teachers of the school for the dilapidated condition of the gate.

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Fixing staffing issue: Over 500 school teachers to be transferred  

Over 500 primary school teachers from across Hazara are going to be transferred as part of the provincial education department’s rationalisation policy, The Express Tribune learnt on Wednesday. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government circulated a notice to all DEOs to ensure the correct student to teacher ratio at government schools. According to those familiar with the matter, following “political meddling” there were many primary, middle and high schools which were “overstaffed” according to the 40:1 student to teacher ratio. This caused a shortage of staff at other schools, impacting learning, exam results and literacy rates.

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Country’s fate can be changed thru education

Multan—Vice Chancellor Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) Dr Khawaja Alqma said fate of the country could be changed by focusing on education. He expressed these views while addressing the PM’s fee reimbursement cheque distribution ceremony held here on Wednesday. He said over Rs 77 million had been distributed among 2,400 male and female students belonging from South Punjab in second phase of PM’s fee reimbursement scheme in which 115 PhD students, 877 Mphil and MA/Msc students were included.

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Anti-Education Activities at peak

In Panjgur Activities against Education is at their peak said by Baloch student Assosiation and this started a year ago on the name of religion.

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Fire safety training In Post Graduate College For Women

A three-day basic life support and fire safety training began at the Government Postgraduate College for Women. Talking to newsmen, Rescue-1122 District Officer Muhammad Akram Panwar said that the training would help women to control emergency situation in their institutions and homes.

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ZAB Medical College to remain in the city

The Peshawar High Court was told on Wednesday that the provincial government has decided to withdraw the notification to shift Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical College from Peshawar to Nowshera. The information was shared with a two-member bench of Justice Malik Manzoor Hussain and Justice Ikramullah Khan by Additional Advocate General Waqar Ahmad Khan. The court was hearing a petition filed by former agriculture minister Arbab Ayub Khan against the provincial government’s decision to relocate the college. Waqar Khan said the provincial government would officially withdraw the notification soon and the campus would remain in the city.

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Students participate in global cartoon competition

The Kingdom of Netherlands in collaboration with Sir Syed Institute of Leadership on Wednesday invited students to participate in a cartoon competition on the theme of ‘peace and justice’ by organizing a lecture and demonstration in cartooning by Nigar Nazar, the creator of Gogi, at Sir Syed Auditorium. According to a press release, the kingdom has always been a strong advocate for peace and justice–especially the peaceful settlement of international disputes and respect for human rights and international law. The Netherlands is proud that many important international legal institutions, such as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, have their seat in The Hague.

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Probe body exonerates QAU professor

The harassment probe committee of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) has exonerated a professor accused of sexual harassment by a female student. The committee “respectfully” absolved the professor as the student’s allegations were unsubstantiated by the evidence presented before the committee.In June this year, accusations were leveled against Ajmal Waheed, in-charge of the Quaid-i-Azam School of Management Sciences. A three-member probe committee was immediately formed to look into the accusations and the case was referred to the inquiry committee that was already probing another harassment case. Interestingly, the earlier committee which was officially functioning under the 2010 harassment law resigned when its recommendations to terminate a professor who was found guilty of sexual harassment were ignored by the varsity high-ups.

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The other Pakistan by Muhammad Hamid Zaman

According to a recent report, nearly two-thirds of girls under the age of 10 in Sindh and one-third of the total population in the province is completely illiterate. The report is part of the larger study looking at educational programmes in Sindh and the inability of the government to reach its said targets of education and creation of schools despite a grant of $155 million dollars. The poor performance of the government, while not surprising, is extremely sad, but the bigger problem is the future of our children. With more than four million children, between the ages of five and 12 in Sindh alone out of school, the future does not look particularly bright for these children, for their families and for the society as a whole. It is neither the fault of the PCSIR nor of the vulnerable children that they operate in a system where no one cares about them or their future. What we often forget is that it is not the future of just an organisation or that of poor children in a province, it is the future of the entire nation that is at stake. Those who sit in Islamabad (or other centres of power) and others who call for sit-ins only seem to be concerned about strategies to grab power or to retain it at all costs. Our national discourse is stuck in a container with thick curtains to block any rays of reality. Perhaps, a fitting campaign slogan for the next elections, whenever they may be, would be “My promise: Ego over Education”.

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