FEB 27 2014

First-grader tortured to death by school mates

A six-year-old boy was tortured to death by his classmates following a dispute over the unlocking of their school’s main gate in Tandlianwala town.  Shahzaib, a pupil at the government-run Primary School No 7 and a resident of Islam Pura neighbourhood, wanted to return home during recess but the students deputed as gatekeepers punched and kicked him, police said. Shahzaib was seriously wounded in the attack and died on the spot. His grandmother Meraj Bibi told reporters that the boy was stopped and thrashed by “Arsal, Sher and other students when he was trying to leave the school to go home during recess”. “When Shahzaib insisted on opening the gate, the other students rained down blows and sticks on him,” she cried. Muhammad Muazzam, a resident of the neighbourhood where the school is located, said, “When Shahzaib was being beaten, his screams were heard in the locality but the residents could not help him as the school gate was locked from inside.”

Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/676647/brutality-in-faisalabad-first-grader-tortured-to-death-by-school-mates/


57% married women and 29% married men are illiterate

According to Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS), 57% married women and 29% married are illiterate in Pakistan. A seminar was held in Karachi by Mir Khalil ur Rehman Society in which this survey was discussed.

Complete Story: http://e.jang.com.pk/02-27-2014/pindi/page3.asp


Grade system introduced in SSC practical exams

The Punjab Boards Committee of Chairmen has introduced a new marking system for practicals in the Secondary School Certificate Examination, which would be enforced from the current academic year. According to official spokesman of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Rawalpindi, Arslan Cheema, grades would be awarded instead of 20 marks in the SSC practical examinations. Though the practical examinations would be held in the same manner, the system of 20 marks has been abolished. According to the new system, the students would be asked to answer two questions during practical examinations of science subjects. Each question would have 7 marks. While 3 marks would be meant for practical copies and equal number for viva voce. Moreover, laboratory examinations would also be taken for which no marks would be given. Only grades would be given in the marks-sheet and certificate. The new system would be enforced from the current academic session, he stated.

Complete Story: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-235125-Grade-system-introduced-in-SSC-practical-exams



Several teachers found absent during inspection

Several male and female teachers were found absent from duty when an official paid surprise visits to public sector schools in Kurrum Par area, Lakki Marwat, on Wednesday. Following public complaints about absence of employees from schools and health facilities in the remote rural localities, deputy commissioner Syed Zafar Ali Shah tasked assistant commissioner Qayyum Nawaz to take action in this regard. In Government Girl’s High School Landiwah all Class-IV employees, except a sweeper and two teachers, were found absent from duty. Besides, only two subject specialists out of 10 were on duty in the Government Higher Secondary School for Boys Landiwah. Four posts of certified teacher and a post of drawing master were vacant since long in the higher secondary school. The assistant commissioner also went to primary schools in the locality and found the teachers present and engaged in teaching activities. During a visit to the rural health centre, it was revealed that several employees had left the facility to perform polio duty. Nawaz also checked the work of transit and mobile polio teams and finger marking of the vaccinated children.

Complete Story: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-235105-Several-teachers-found-absent-during-inspection


Private school blown up in NWA

Unknown persons blew up a private school in Darpakhel in North Waziristan, official sources said on Wednesday as the people continued to shift to safer locations fearing a military operation in the tribal region. The sources said unknown persons had planted explosives inside a private school in Srai Darpakhel in Miranshah tehsil, which went off early in the day. Two rooms of the school were destroyed in the blast. No group claimed responsibility for the blast. Meanwhile, more than 1000 families left Mir Ali on Wednesday as the tribespeople continued shifting to safer places on ahead of possible operation in the tribal region. Tribespeople said around 1000 families had left their homes in Mir Ali tehsil. The sources said that families in Miranshah had also started moving to other places, adding that around 15 families were leaving homes on daily basis.

Complete Story: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-7-235113-Private-school-blown-up-in-NWA


Teachers aren’t Taliban

Police Wednesday used force to disperse protesting professors and lecturers who took to the streets for their rights. On the call of Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA), scores of teachers staged a sit-in in front of the secretariat for promotion and other rightful incentives. According to officials, the government opted for police’s action after talks to woo troubled teachers failed. The SPLA leaders said over half a dozen teachers got injured as police used teargas-shelling, baton-charge and water cannon to disperse the protesters. Police also arrested more than 30 teachers, said the leaders. Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association President Prof Shahjehan Panhwar and General Secretary Siddique Unar said police also manhandled female professors and injured them in baton charge. Condemning the torture and use of force against the protesting teachers, the SPLA leaders have announced boycott of educational activities across  the province today (Thursday). The SPLA leaders said that they were protesting for promotions of the lecturers and professors in 18 and 19 grades and elimination of corruption in the education department, which drew the education secretary’s anger. The babu called the police who stooped to torture, they added.

Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/karachi/27-Feb-2014/teachers-aren-t-taliban




Right to education by Arif Azad

There have been several initiatives on education in recent years in the wake of the publicity generated by the education emergency task force. These have ranged from enrolment campaigns to investment in school infrastructure. This development has coincided with the passage of the 18th Amendment which has not just moved education from the concurrent to the provincial list but also made the right to education part of the Constitution in the form of the Article 25-A which requires the state to provide free and compulsory education to children from five to 16 years.On the heels of this amendment, right to education campaigns are surfacing in different projects. This has led to greater awareness. Historically the right to education has been part of various international covenants and conventions long before we woke up to its importance. The right to education, and the different dimensions of this right, figure prominently in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in Articles 28 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in Articles 13 and 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Complete Story: https://www.dawn.com/news/1089753/right-to-education


Ease up on English… at least up to Grade-3 by Abbas Rashid

The Punjab government announced recently that it was reversing an earlier decision to introduce English as the medium of instruction (MoI) from Grade-1 for public sector schools. Now, up to Grade-3, the mother tongue or Urdu will be employed as the MoI. The decision will go into effect from the next school session starting in March or April. The decision had apparently been taken some time back, soon after the publication of two reports. One was the British Council report, “Punjab Education and English Language Initiative” (PEELI) and the other was the Campaign for Quality Education (CQE) publication, “Policy and Practice: Teaching and Learning in English in Punjab Schools”. The PEELI report carried findings based on test results of a large number of teachers of English and found the great majority lacking in competence in the subject. The CQE report observed and analysed actual language use in over a hundred Math, Science and English classrooms and found again that teachers lacked competence to teach English as well as other subjects in English, as required by this policy. Both reports, in different ways, have convincingly endorsed something most of those working in the education sector are fairly familiar with: the problem of English language competence in the great majority of public as well as private sector schools.

Complete Story: http://tribune.com.pk/story/676439/ease-up-on-english-at-least-up-to-grade-3/