MAY 29 2014

Draft bill to be perfected by all stakeholders, says education minister

Minister for Education Atif Khan has said the provincial government is working day and night to enact an effective law that will ensure free education for children under Article 25-A of the Constitution. He made the statement while addressing a consultation meeting on a draft education bill at a local hotel on Wednesday. The meeting had been organised by Khwendo Kor, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Unicef. Participants included educationists, lawyers and other members of the civil society. Speakers at the gathering said a draft law regarding free education had been tabled before the provincial cabinet and was sent back with reservations, adding the bill has been pending for four years. The minister emphasised the need to pass the bill so children can benefit from free education. But not without perfecting it, he added. Khan said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government will include all stakeholders to improve the bill, as some errors had been highlighted in the meeting. “PTI’s priority is to minimise the proposed law’s shortcomings and pass the bill in the provincial assembly,” he said, adding they will not send it to the cabinet again till all necessary changes are made.

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Urdu medium tested in English

Once again the students of different colleges affiliated with Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) taking Bachelor's examination were delivered question paper of History in English instead in Urdu on Wednesday. The principals called History teachers for translation to facilitate the students. The teachers said over 90 percent students had opted the subject in Urdu but question papers only in English shocked everybody. 'Majority of students study subjects like Pakistan Studies and History in Urdu in colleges of the capital and it is understood that the question paper would also be prepared in Urdu except for a few students who give papers in English. As most of the students are not familiar with several terms of English so they found it difficult to solve it,' said the examiners.

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Mature educationist can groom youth

Lahore Corps Commander Lieutenant General Naweed Zaman has said that academic institutions equipped with a team of mature, dedicated and motivated educationist can play a vital role in grooming the youth. He was addressing a gathering at the Scholarship Award Ceremony of Lahore Garrison Education System (LGES) on Wednesday. The corps commander urged the teachers that they have a vital role to play in nation building and advised them to dispense their responsibility towards the society with even greater sense of commitment. He asked the teachers to improve classroom environment by introducing more conducive and interactive atmosphere as academic standards and general environment of an institution reflected the calibre of its teaching faculty.

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Urdu literature festival kicks off tomorrow

A two-day Urdu literature festival will kick off at Comsats Institute of Information Technology on Friday. The afternoon session will be held at Islamabad hotel. The festival, being organised by Perveen Shakir Trust, will provide an opportunity to writers, intellectuals and academics to discuss the challenges being faced by Urdu language. Prominent personalities including Mustansar Hussain Tarar and Talat Hussain will also attend the festival. Poetry and short stories will be narrated in an interesting way. Talat Hussain will recite the poetry of Noon Meem Rashid. A gazal evening will also be arranged where famous singer Sara Raza Khan will perform. “The main objective of the festival is to promote Pakistani literature and young writers,” Mazharul Islam, a noted writer and concept director of the event said sharing the salient features of the event at a press conference here on Wednesday.

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The War Against Education in Pakistan by Malik Siraj Akbar

Throughout the years of turmoil and instability in Pakistan, the education sector has remained a central target of all parties engaged in armed conflicts. Enraged over the threats from an underground Islamic extremist organization that led to the forceful closure of girls' schools in Pakistan's largest province of Balochistan earlier this month, the public has come out on roads to expostulate over the ban. The government's response to the extremist group's warnings has been totally unsatisfactory which has, in a way, sent a message of encouragement to those who want to keep girls away from education. Dozens of girls' schools remain shut in the Pakistan-Iran border town of Panjgur simply because the government is either unwilling or unable to provide them security from armed religious fanatics. Pakistan's federal and provincial governments' response is inadequate to push back the opponents of girls' education and inculcate a sense of security among the threatened young female students.

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