November 3, 2014

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa


Education woes: 551 schools in FATA, FRs devastated by militancy, floods in 2013-14    

At least 551 schools were destroyed in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Frontier Regions (FR) in 2013-14 due to ongoing militancy and floods. This was revealed in official papers issued by the FATA Secretariat regarding the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for 2014-15. According to the documents, only 85 educational institutions have been constructed so far in the region. Moreover, 152 schools are under construction and 229 remain non-functional. Speaking to The Express Tribune, FATA Secretariat spokesperson Fazlullah said educational institutions in the tribal areas have faced increasing pressure as compared to other departments. As a result, the education sector has been given priority in the ADP for 2014-2015, he added.

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Seven universities functioning without statutes in KP

Seven public sector universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been operating without having their own statutes for the last few years, according to sources. It was very discouraging that of the total 19 public sector universities in the province, seven were yet to develop that important document. Sources said that using the statutes of another university was violation of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Act, 2012. Most of the public sector universities were functioning under the said Act, they added. Now the provincial higher education department has planned to amend the law by incorporating a clause under which the universities will use the statutes of other universities for five years.

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Issues pertaining to teachers will be given priority, says DEO

While addressing an event on Teacher’s Day in Loralai, District Education Officer, said teachers play a primary role in character building of students but have been ignored in Pakistan.

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Unchecked commercialization of education in Pakistan

OVER the years, the commercialization of education has been going on almost unchecked in Pakistan, be it school or higher education.Unfortunately, the two main players to curb this phenomenon i.e., the government and the civil society (represented through NGOs), to some extent, have been inactive unintentionally or otherwise. The experts see privatization in education as ‘a key emerging issue regarding the realization of the right to education’ and something ‘supplanting public education instead of supplementing it’. Dr Singh recommends that when privatization is permitted, it must be carefully regulated, and allowed only as a supplement to public education. Another important aspect in this debate about the commercialization of education is the missing voice of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs). 

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Edu models’ contest held

Female students of various schools exhibited their educational models based on their syllabus during the Professional Development Day observed at Government SK Girls High School. Teachers’ educator Shehbaz Rasheed visited the exhibition and lauded the efforts of Students, and announced appreciation certificates and prizes for the winning contestants.

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Holistic approach needed: ‘Stakeholders should educate youth to peacefully coexist’

Speakers at a six-day workshop organized by the Citizen’s Commission for Human Development (CCHD) on Sunday stressed on Sunday the need for the government and other stakeholders to educate the youth to live in peace and harmony. The participants said lack of education and skill development opportunities in south Punjab was rooted in history. They said this was due to poor education standards and lack of career counselling.  The speakers said this had prevented youth from constructively channeling their energy.

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Principals not allowing students to appear in SSC exam to face action

The education department has decided to initiate legal proceedings against principals who deliberately stopped some nine graders from appearing in the secondary school certificate (SSC) examination to avoid poor results. Officials are concerned about the dropout rate. Qazi Zahoorul Haq, the executive district officer (EDO) education said if any principal was found guilty, action would be taken against him under the Punjab Employees, Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability Act.

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District administration report on school

The district administration in Okara says there is a plan to merge the Government Girls Primary School, 14/1R with a boys’ school in the village. The district coordination officer claims in a statement that he ordered a site visit of the girls’ school and the report reveals that the building has been abandoned. The DCO says it was one of the buildings constructed as part of Tameer-i-Wattan programme in 1985-86 and no Schedule of New Expenditure (SNE) for the school was issued and no staff was appointed. The report says the school may be merged with the one for boys as the building is not in condition of repairs.

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2198 lecturers to be made permanent

Including 70 lecturers from Rawalpindi, recruitment policy of 2000 teachers has been suspended and a ban has been imposed on 5 year contracts by the provincial government.

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Teachers to improve educational standards in institutions

DPI Malik Riaz Hussain Goraya, while addressing education officers in Multan, pointed out that teachers should bear the prime responsibility for betterment in educational standards and establishment of conducive environment for studies.               

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‘Speaker at the Campus’ programme

Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) held ‘Speaker at the campus’ programme titled ‘Writing an effective research proposal’. The function was arranged by the Academic Staff Association and was designed for MPhil and PhD students and faculty members. In order to upgrade the university’s standard, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui said great focus will be laid to promote research culture at the university’s campus. Skill-based training series, distinguish lecturers by eminent national and international speakers and author on campus/book lunching functions will also be held on regular basis to increase academic activities at campus, he added.

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PM’s directive on syllabi renders academics nonplussed

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s directions to the Higher Education Commission have created confusion among the academics, wherein he asked the HEC to make amendments to curriculum of compulsory subjects of Pakistan Studies, English and Urdu of all primary, middle and secondary schools – as well as colleges and universities. The prime minister has given only two months to the commission to complete the job – that largely does not fall in its purview. After implementation of the 18th amendment, the academics say, the subject of curriculum was devolved to the provinces and the Punjab government had created Punjab Curriculum Authority, under an Act of the Punjab Assembly in 2012, to review and update curriculum from Class-I to XII.

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KU, CBSCR to offer research facility to pharmaceutical industries

The Centre for Bioequivalence Studies and Clinical Research (CBSCR) and the University of Karachi (KU), for the first time in Pakistan, offered a unique facility of a certified reference laboratory to conduct bioequivalence evaluation. The laboratory would also develop generic pharmaceutical products in full compliance with the regulatory authorities in Europe, USA and Japan. The improved quality of products would add to the reduced cost of treatment consequently providing a treatment of diseases at affordable prices.

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‘Teardrops’ that inspire: Simple village girl takes on challenge to educate the world

Ansoo, which literally means ‘teardrop’, is physically impaired and belongs to one of the most marginalised Hindu communities in the country – the Kolhi tribe. The brave girl lost one of her legs at just two years of age and has since been dependent on crutches. She set up her own school which now caters to over 200 students and is the only female in her village who is this close to receiving her bachelor’s degree this year. Aansoo’s feat has made her a legend of sorts in the education sector in the country.

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PMA against devolution of bodies regulating medical education

The Pakistan Medical Association has strongly opposed the devolution of bodies regulating medical education being mulled by the Sindh government. PMA Karachi President Prof M Idrees Adhi chaired an emergent meeting of the association held here the other day to discuss at length issues related to decentralization of the Pakistan Medical Dental Council (PMDC), College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) and other regulatory bodies reportedly under consideration by Sindh government through the office of the governor and the provincial assembly. The senior doctors showed their concern saying if the institutions like the PMDC and CPSP were made provincial bodies, it would be disastrous for the medical education and to the process of medical practitioners’ licensing.

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Teachers protest for delaying in salaries

A protest was staged by the JST and HST teachers in Jacobabad for releasing salaries.Zahid Ali, Ansar Ali Jakhrani and others protested before the press club to release the salaries which have not been given for last seven months. They appealed the concerned education authorities to resolve the issue on immediate basis.

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Protest was observed by the teacher Liaqat Ali Mirani in Hyderabad

Liaqat Ali Mirani who is teacher has been continuously struggling for education promotion in Sindh through highlighting the education related issues on social media. Yesterday he protested for education promotion before the press club of Hyderabad pointing out the ghost teachers and those who are doing job in print and in electronic media. He strongly condemned the protests and strike of GSTA to stop the education process in schools. He appealed the media owners to terminate those persons who are government teachers but doing the job in media for several years. He appealed the Bilawal Bhutto to make him education minister for three months only. Talking to media he indicated that he will commit suicide at hyder chauk Hyderabad if he failed to take results.

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Education stoppage in government girl’s middle school Rawat Legari                                                                     

The government girls’ middle school Rawat Legari has no female teacher since its established year of 2002, however; 80 girls child students are enrolled in the government boys middle school. Most of them do not attend the school. On the other hand 1600 rupees has been deducted from the yearly stipend by the teachers. None of the education administration took notice of the corruption. The local people demanded for appointments of female teachers in the school to resume the education.

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Girls’ students protest against illegal deduction from stipend by the head mistress

A girl’s students and parents protested against the head mistress of government middle school Chhachro district Umer Kot madam ParveenHajam who has deducted 600 per students from total amount of stipend of 3600 which is an open violation. Bakhtawar daughter of DoongarMeghwar ,Jeevi daughter of PhulooMeghwar and many others are the students whose amount have been duped by the head mistress. Students and parents appealed the concerned high authorities to take against the corrupt head mistress. On the other hand ADO Irshad Bajeer ensured for inquiry of the matter.

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Villagers protest against closure of school in Kaloi District Sanghar

Government school sis closed for last 4 years in a village of Kumhalo near Kaloi where villagers protested for reopening the closed school. Above 100 children are deprived of the education. Talking to the media reports RazaHaloo told that many times they have reported the issue to concern authorities but none of them paid any attention to the issue. He appealed the education authorities for reopening the closed school.

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School building ruined due to absence of private contractor

In a village of Ghulam Muhammad Chandio near Ghora Bari district Thattawhere school is closed due to private construction contractor who has not appeared for since three last 6 months to keep continue the construction of the school building. The old school building is no safer for the students for sitting in. Villagers demanded for immediate action against the contractor.

Ghost teachers must be clutched by the people: Says Nisar Khuhro

In a statement minister for education Nisar Khuhro has asked the people to put pressure on the ghost teachers. He further told the media that a private school teacher is best to teach in a low amount of only 4000, however; teachers who take above 40000 salaries are absentee which shameful act is. GSTA is no more favorable for education in Sindh.

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Lecture program was organized in Tando Allhayar on Situation of education in Sindh”

In a lecture Muhammad Ismail Khaskheli an intellectual shared the view that the education in Sindh had deliberately been destroyed by the land feuds. His of the view, those international capitalists are intervening in the Islamic states through fake slogans of democracy. It is tact to control the natural reservoirs.

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Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui a role model in Sindh

An immortal personality of the founder of IBA Sukkur Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui has indeed achieved a marvelous work for the generations of Sindh in quality education provision. His birth in small village not guaranteed that a child who got his early education in government schools will be an icon in education history of Sindh. His journey to provide quality education began from two rooms of public school. He established IBA when he closely observed the violation in merit during 1995. Initial funds were released from district government when he was the commissioner of Sukkur. The 1st batch of the IBA was 10 BBA students. More than 3100 students are getting quality education in IBA. The institute was upgraded in the year of 2008 as an autonomous university which provides the education in Business Administration, Electric Engineering, Alternative energy, Computer Science and in other disciplines. 40% of the students are girls in the University of IBA Sukkur. More than 90% students are enrolled belong to elite class in IBA Karachi, however; 90% of the students are getting quality education in IBA Sukkur. Says Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui. The IBA qualified students are employed in a different companies and taking lucrative salaries. IBA has become the 3rd national recognized university.

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Villagers protest against the ADO Tharoo Shah district Nausheroferoz

Villagers of Faqeer Usman Tuion erupted against the unresponsiveness of the ADO male and female Tharoo Shah for the provision of school teachers in the middle school. Villagers Istiaque Ali Tuion , Ameer Bux Bhati , Mevo Khan and others  including hundreds of students protested and raised slogans against the ADO male and female for their unresponsiveness. They told the media that appointed teachers are taking regular salaries but do not visit the school. They appealed the higher authorities to resume the education in school and save hundreds of students from deprivation.

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Crack down will be effective after Muharam Sahrif: Says the Sindh Education Department

Secretary education has intimated in a statement that the crackdown will be made against the all ghost teacher soon after the Muharam Sharif. No one among the ghost teachers will be left behind. All the directors of the education departments have been directed to send the complete lists of all the ghost teachers that their services can be dismissed as per the rules of RSO/2000. More than 2000 names have been declared ghost teachers through social media network by the active group of the social workers. According to the reports that thousands ghost teachers are working in press clubs that have been black mailing the government departments.

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Ruined school building in Sammaro district Umer Kot left more than 650 students deserted

The main primary boy’s school Sammaro is unsafe for the students to keep continues education in the school building. The school building was declared dangerous during the surprised visits of judges and directors of education but still no one from education department has took the notice of the situation. More than 650 students are not attending the school.

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More than 70 schools are closed in Jhudo district Mirpurkhas

According to the reports 5 of the union councils of Jhudo district Mirpukhas are completely destroyed. No school buildings and if are somewhere but without furniture and other facilities. Thousands of the students of these areas are deprived of the education. SMC fund and other development budget is dumped by the school administration including higher authorities. Many schools of the UCs of Ahori, Roshan Abad, Dilawar Hussain, New Kot , Fazul bhanbhro and Jhudo where most of the school buildings are turned into cattle yards and Otaques. On the other hand ADO Nabi Bux Gurgez told the media that NTS passed teachers will be appointed in these schools very soon.

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Ruined school building left hundreds students deprived of education in Kunri Dsitrcit Umer Kot

Government primary school in Deh Rana Wah has become now no safer for the education to be continued. Imran Gaffar a teacher of the school told the media that future of above 60 students is at the stake. School building was built in 1985 and since then has not been repaired. MPA Nawab Yousuf Talpur has ensured to renew the building but he didn’t water the promise.  

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Broken promises by Zubair Torwali

A non-governmental nationwide education campaign in Pakistan, Alif Ailaan, recently launched its report ‘25 million broken promises – the crisis of Pakistan’s out-of-school children’. The very title of the report points to the fact that in Pakistan 25 million children are out of school. Only one country, Nigeria, lags behind Pakistan in this ‘honour’. Along with other wanting measures, Alif Ailaan recommends “generating a national narrative on education” in order to save Pakistan from an imminent uneducated future.

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A missed opportunity by Sidrah Roghay

One wonders why education figures remain dwindling in rural Sindh, a stronghold of the liberal Pakistan People’s Party, which hates the Taliban for opposing critical thinking and secular education. More than half of Sindh’s children remain out of school, states a recent report on out of school children titled “25 million broken promises”. When it comes to sending its children to school, even terrorism-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa does better. Sixty six per cent children in KP attend school. In their election manifesto for this term, the PPP had promised to achieve universal primary education. It vowed to declare an education emergency in the province. For a party which has been in power for decades, educating its largely rural vote bank should have been a priority. That does not seem the case.

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Curriculum chaos

The recent changes made in the school curriculum for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, according to reports under pressure from the Jamaat-e-Islami, have drawn a considerable amount of concern. The result is that children end up being taught versions of history which may not be entirely objective. Instead they are designed to fit specific agendas and meet the needs of the government of the time. This is a crime against knowledge. Curriculum and education should be left in the hands of the experts in the field rather than with governments which may use it to meet their own purposes. 

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