Sugar-coating education budget won’t do the trick
Sindh is expected to reserve around Rs122 billion for the educational sector in its budget for the fiscal year 2014-15, but even a record allocation of Rs132 billion last time had failed to make a difference. Here’s an example to help identify the problem. In a household, a cake is baked every year on a budget of Rs100. Of that Rs90 is spent on its ingredients and Rs10 saved to improve the recipe. Every year a family member increases. Each one has a different need: chocolate, vanilla, orange truffle, cherry topping. The law guarantees free cake for everyone. In a decade’s time, will there be enough cake for everyone? The provincial education budget is exactly like the cake which fills no hungry stomachs. A total of Rs132.2 billion were promised for education for the fiscal year 2013-14. Of that Rs118.74 billion came under the current expenditure head, while the remaining amount was reserved for development fund.
Less bucks for education angers Wattoo
Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Punjab President Manzoor Wattoo has flayed the federal government for decreasing allocations in the education sector by almost 11 percent in the budget 2014-2015. It speaks volumes of the level of the commitment of the present government in the education sector, he said in a statement released on Saturday. He said that there was hardly any need to emphasise that education played a pivotal role in the overall social development of a society and decrease in the allocation clearly suggested the flawed development strategy and erroneous priorities of the government. He maintained that the bureaucratic budget of the Punjab government would also reflect the same trend because they were in favour of outsourcing this important sector to the private sector and thus providing it the opportunity to swindle all and sundry.
A headmaster gets as much pay as federal minister but results are disappointing: Ahsan
Federal Minister for Planning and development Professor Ahsan Iqbal said that headmasters in my constituency are getting as much salary as a federal ministers but the results of governments schools are very disappointing.
We have trained 23,000 teachers across the province: Atif
We have trained 23,000 teachers across the province. Now children from impoverished backgrounds will have a chance to become doctors, engineers and to attain high office, said K-P Minister for Muhammad Atif Khan .
20,000 teachers for Karachi
20,000 new teachers are being appointed on merit basis in Karachi. The process is expected to end by June 15, according to Sindh Education Minister Nisar Khuhro.
Government should provide better facilities in public schools: PPPP
Qazi Ahmed Saeed, parliamentary lead of Pakistan People’s Party parliamentarians in Punjab Assembly, has said that despite all its claims, PMLN government is not doing enough for education in the province. He said 11% decrease in federal education budget is very disappointing. Government should focus on providing basic facilities in all government schools.
Complete Story: Daily Pakistan, Page No. 8, Islamabad edition
Resources will be allocated to education, health in the provincial budget: Mujtaba
Provincial Finance Minister of Punjab, Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman said that resources will be allocated to the important social sectors like education and health in the coming provincial budget of Punjab to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Complete Story: Daily Pakistan, Page No. 8, Islamabad edition
Situation of govt. schools is disappointing: Sardar Yaqoob
Teachers should pay heed to their responsibilities and work for the betterment of failing public education system. At this pace of deterioration, the private sector will take over public sector as far as education is concerned, said Sardar Yaqoob, President Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
Rs 1.2m issued for literacy scheme
Punjab Finance Department has issued funds of Rs 1.2 million for Bahawalpur district under Literacy Movement Project. According to the official sources, the funds will be utilized in improving literacy rate and capitalize on school recruitment. Overall funds of Rs. 4.02 million are issued to 36 districts of Punjab.
Six Pakistani teachers honored in global competition
Six Pakistani teachers were awarded in an international teaching competition held in Turkey. 344 teachers from different countries participated in the 2nd International Teaching Knowledge Competition to prove their skills in English, Turkish, mathematics, Biology, Physics, Computer Sciences, Chemistry etc. The performance of competing teachers was judged by twenty-eight judges. Last year Pakistan won one gold medal in the same competition. This year, Pakistan teachers won a gold, two silvers, one bronze, one honorable mention and one special prize. All the winners received certificates and cash prizes from the organizers.
Turkish contribution to education in Pakistan termed as great service
Chief Commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory Jawad Paul has lauded the Turkish contribution to education in Pakistan terming it a great service by the brotherly country. Pak-Turk is supporting quality education in our country which will have a lasting and positive impact on millions of lives and the society in general, he said. Talking to a group of students who won gold and silver medals in international science competitions recently held in Kenya and Georgia, Jawad Paul said that we are thankful to those who have been sacrificing their time and energy with an aim to make Pakistan a better place. The group of students led by Pak-Turk official Ahmet Efiturk included Alam Khatoon and Vishah Nazim, winners of gold medal in Kenya and Aqsa Amber Malik and Kokab Yusaf who won silver medal in the Georgian contest.
Complete Story: http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=243835
Bodies flay ‘fake’ case against school
Various associations of private schools, lawyers, and journalists have condemned the registration of a “fake” case against a private schools for not accepting an “illegal demand” of the applicants. “A fake case has been registered against Pakistan Public School’s administration with the local police station by the elements led by Nasir Saeed,” alleged owner Zubair Mehmood Ch, Principal Muhammad Mushtaq and Private Schools Association leader Abdullah Bhatti during a press conference. The administration revealed that a few days back Nasir Saead had threatened them of dire consequences and cancelling of the school registration when they refused to let their students participate in a rally organised by him. The school administration also provided video proofs against the elements during the conference. One of the video reveals the petitioner demanding Rs100,000 for withdrawal of the case, it was said.
Govt plans to expand network of Sweet Homes
The government plans to expand the network of Sweet Homes to the entire country to provide free education and accommodation to the orphans and other deserving children. According to Radio Pakistan quoting an official source, thirty-two Sweet Homes are currently operational in different parts of the country. Over three thousand children are being provided free education, meals, medical treatment, boarding and lodging at these homes, he added. He said a comprehensive policy will be introduced to start public private partnership scheme to get funds for Sweet Homes.
HEC, British Council Sign LoI for Internationalizing Education Partnership
The Higher Education Commission and the British Council Pakistan on Thursday signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to further strengthen the existing cooperation between the two organizations in the field of higher education and research. The agreement was signed by Dr. Mansoor Akbar Kundi, Executive Director HEC and Mr. Peter Upton, Country Director, British Council Pakistan. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, presided over the ceremony held at HEC Secretariat. The LoI relates to Internationalizing Higher Education Partnership Programme. The partnership will cover Knowledge Exchange Programme, Leadership Programme, Policy Dialogue, Transforming English Language Skills, Researchers Links Initiative, Inspire Transnational Education Partnerships, Quality Assurance Training Programmes for University Quality Enhancement Cells, International Training on Advocacy for Greater Public Ownership of HE Sector, Outreach and Networking.
Complete Story: http://www.brecorder.com/pakistan/general-news/176527.html
Government increases higher education budget
Pakistan’s federal government has increased the budget for higher education, allocating Rs20 billion (US$200 million) compared to last year’s Rs18.5 billion – a rise of 8.11%. The increase matches inflation, but has been welcomed after years of financial crisis and as a sign of good intent on the part of the new government. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced the annual budget amounting to Rs3,936 billion (US$39.36 billion) in the national assembly on Tuesday 3 June. The Higher Education Commission budget is part of the government’s Public Sector Development Programme, or PSDP, for which Rs525 billion has been earmarked for development work in government-run institutions and departments. The higher education budget comprises 3.96% of the PSDP budget, and the rest goes to other ministries and institutions working under the federal government. The funds earmarked for the development of higher education will be spent through the central Higher Education Commission, or HEC, which regulates and funds universities in Pakistan.
HEC, PTCL to provide Internet services to students
Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) have signed agreement for provisioning of wireless Internet services (EVO) to talented students under Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme. Anwar Amjad, Director General (IT) HEC and Muhammad Basharat Qureshi, Executive Vice President (Corporate Sales) PTCL signed the agreement. Walid Irshad, CEO and President, PTCL and Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC were also present at the occasion. Both the organizations have agreed to establish and define a collaborative relationship, to provide white labelled EVO Wireless Internet Services to the students designated by HEC on special monthly rates. The provision of services shall be made on terms and conditions specifically customized for the said scheme.
Bridging education gap by Naseer Memon
A district education ranking conducted by Alif Ailaan project depicts an abysmal state of education in Sindh. Even an insurgency-ravaged Balochistan has outshined Sindh. The recently issued report of 2014 mentions that of the total 12 million children between the age of 5 and 16 years more than half i.e. 6.1 million are out of school in Sindh. These include 3.5 million (i.e. 56 per cent) girls. The report reveals that Sindh’s children score poorly in reading and mathematics compared to rest of the country. 59 per cent students in class five cannot fluently read Sindhi or Urdu, 75 per cent cannot read a sentence in English fluently and 71 per cent can’t do simple two digits division. According to overall district ranking, no district from Sindh found place in top 50 districts of the country, whereas Balochistan has three districts in the list. In the ranking of primary schools, Karachi was the only district of Sindh that appears among the top 50 districts, whereas Balochistan has three districts in the list. Likewise in the middle school ranking, Hyderabad is the only district of Sindh among top 50 districts, compared to four districts of Balochistan.
Learning to learn by Faisal Bari
Enter a school and within 10-15 minutes you can tell if it works or not — whether it is an exciting place where children learn and are keen to learn or if it’s just a space where children and teachers park themselves to spend five to six hours a day because they are required to. Schools that work have a lot of energy: children and teachers are actively involved in learning; they exude the excitement of learning; they are involved in many activities that allow them to engage with their curricular material; there is a lot of extracurricular activity and the management of the school is purposeful. Schools that do not work or are just about functional lack this excitement and activity. Over the last few months, I have had the opportunity to visit a significant number of schools, across different cities, private and public, low-cost and high-fee, and the difference in schools, irrespective of the fee level, determines, to a significant degree, how learning is proceeding in these schools. It is exciting to see children excited about learning.
Complete Story: http://www.dawn.com/news/1110779/learning-to-learn
The street children by Saad Rasool
after promulgation of the eighteenth Constitutional Amendment, it is now the responsibility of the State functionaries to ensure that street children are provided free and compulsory education (under Article 25-A of the Constitution), so as to guarantee that their lives are not forever trapped in the vicious circle of illiteracy, crime and poverty. Despite the mandate of the Constitution, as well as the law, no special measures worth mentioning have been taken by the government for the protection of these children. Each one of us, at any hour of the day, any day of the week, can drive out to places, in different cities, where we know for certain that we will find children begging, or selling matchboxes, to collect whatever little money they can, at the behest of an alcoholic guardian. There are families (if you can call them that) who have turned child begging in to a profession. There are others still who inflict unconscionable cruelty onto borrowed and kidnapped children, just to make them more ‘appealing’ as beggars on our streets.
Complete Story: http://www.nation.com.pk/columns/08-Jun-2014/the-street-children
Pakistan indifferent to post-2015 education agenda
Pakistan’s absence vis-à-vis discussing and defining the post-2015 education agenda despite global attention and aid for the education sector over the years exposes not just an indifferent attitude of the political leadership but also a lack of commitment on part of those at the helm. In April 2,000, more than 1,100 participants from 164 countries gathered in Dakar, Senegal, for the World Education Forum. They affirmed their commitment to achieving Education for All (EFA) by the year 2015. Pakistan is also a signatory to Dakar EFA goals including expanding Early Childhood Care and Education, providing free and compulsory primary education for all, promoting learning and life skills for young people and adults, increasing the literacy rate by 50 percent, eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005 and gender equality by 2015, besides improving the quality of education.
Uniform curriculum, need of the hour
According to some news, Punjab has devised plan to implement uniform curriculum in all the public and private educational institutions of the province and it will be announced at the occasion of budget speech. Although it is hard to believe that government is actually going to implement the uniform curriculum yet it is the need of hour.