Exhibition at Canvas KARACHI: An exhibition of artworks by Iqbal Hussain opens at the Canvas Gallery at 5pm on Tuesday.

The show will remain open till May 10, daily from 11am to 8pm (except Sunday).

EMINENT LAHORE BASED ARTIST IQBAL HUSSAIN SHOWCASES HIS NEW WORKS AT CANVAS GALLERY ON MAY 1ST 2012 FROM 5 PM – 8 PM.

THE SHOW OF THE MASTER PAINTER INCLUDES FIGURATIVE AND LANDSCAPE WORKS ON CANVAS AND BOARD.

THE SHOW CONTINUES DAILY UNTIL MAY 10TH 2012, FROM 11 AM – 8 PM (excluding Sunday)

Exams suspended

In the meantime, the Board of Secondary Education Karachi suspended the SSC annual examinations in six centres in Lyari on Monday.

The BSEK controller of examinations, Rafia Mallah, said the breakdown of law and order did not allow the board to conduct the examinations at the examination centres set up in
Lyari Town schools.

Any decision regarding the conduct of the examinations in the area on May 2 will be taken on Tuesday night.

KARACHI, April 30: The ongoing police operation in Lyari has literally brought the activities of health and educational institutions in Lyari to a standstill.

Residents of the area told Dawn on Monday that the violence-hit parts of Lyari presented a battlefield look and educational activities, including the Secondary School Certificate
examinations, and patient care at government dispensaries and hospitals had stopped.

While there was a serious shortage of basic public amenities, the people over the past three days were unable to get any medical interventions due to their high immobility, they said.

Dr Lutfullah Baloch, the medical superintendent of the 530-bed Government Lyari General Hospital, said that in view of the present law and order situation, he was unable to report to the hospital, but issuing directions on phone to a small group of doctors and paramedical staff who lived in Lyari and somehow were managing the casualty section of the hospital.

“What I could know is that different wards of the hospital have been abandoned by patients as well as doctors since last Saturday,” Dr Baloch said, adding that the operating theatre, the nursing college and the medical college were not functioning for the time being.

“The gynaecology and paediatric departments which catered to a large number of patients in normal days do not have any staff or patient.”

He further said that only a limited number of patients suffering from gastroenteritis, respiratory diseases and high fever were brought to the hospital from within Lyari.

“There are about 400 medical and paramedical staff members, a majority of whom lives outside Lyari. But most of them do not find it possible to report to work,” he said, adding that doctors and other staff were complaining of insecurity in the area.

Speaking to Dawn, an official from the Civil Hospital Karachi said that attendance of doctors and paramedical staff coming to serve at the hospital from Lyari areas considerably decreased on Monday.

On the other hand, the load of regular patients coming from Lyari had also decreased, the official said, adding that people with gunshot wounds and shrapnel injuries, however, were being brought to the hospital from Lyari.

A month into school year, students remain bookless

* Pupils opt to stay at homes to escape punishment for not doing homework

By Arsalan Haider

LAHORE: One month has passed since the new academic year began for classes till the 9th grade, but the Punjab Textbook Board (PTB) remains unable to provide textbooks to students, increasing the dilemma and panic among students, teachers as well as parents, Daily Times learnt on Monday.

The new academic year begins in April, but like every year, PTB authorities failed to ensure the availability of books on time, which is making the students suffer.

Although several books have failed to make it to the shelves this year, a survey conducted by Daily Times revealed that mostly the books of classes 3, 8, and 9 are not available in markets. On the other hand, the free books, which were supposed to be provided to students at their schools, are also not available.

Meanwhile, the booksellers in Urdu Bazaar and other markets blamed the PTB for not providing them books. They said that the non-availability of textbooks were not just hampering academic activities but were also ruining their businesses, which had already been disturbed by other problems, including price hike and increase in load shedding.

Sadia, a student of Class 8, said she had been left behind in her studies just because she did not have textbooks, and was unable to complete her homework assigned by teachers. “It is not possible to study without books. I am not going to the school to save myself from punishment.”

Moreover, the shortage of textbooks has also affected the teachers, who say it was useless to teach when the students did not have books.

Rana Liaqat, a member of the Joint Action Committee for teachers and the Punjab Teachers’ Union, while showing concern over the issue, said teachers had been suffering more than others, as they could not move forward in lessons because half of the students did not have books.

He said the shortage was expected, as the Punjab government had announced provision of free books to students at public schools.

“The PTB authorities don’t have any information regarding the increasing number of students every year,” Rana said.

“We had ordered books of several classes in large quantities in March, but many of them have not been provided by the PTB so far,” said Irfan, a bookseller in Urdu Bazar.

He accused the PTB of showing negligence towards the provision of books on time, and said that the same issue arises every year.

On the other hand, parents have expressed grave concerns over the shortage of new textbooks in markets. They have urged the authorities concerned to ensure the availability of textbooks so that children could start studies without wasting time.

Zulfiqar, the father of a Class 5 student, said that he had searched almost every bookstore in Urdu Bazaar and several in other markets but textbooks were not available anywhere.

He said that his daughter was also very worried due to the pressure by her teachers.

He said that the authorities were taking no action to address the issue, while schoolteachers were also not understanding the problem, and pressurising parents to get the books as soon as possible.

A PTB spokesman clarified that there was no shortage of PTB-published books, adding that the board had published more than 40 million books this season.

paintings and drawings by artist Jamil Naqsh Naqsh’s solo show concludes on May 3

ISLAMABAD: The solo show of unique paintings and drawings by established contemporary artist Jamil Naqsh will conclude on May 3 at Tanzara Art Gallery. The show entitled “Bird of Time” exhibited a collection of as many as 23 extraordinary canvases to demonstrate Naqsh’s way of paying tribute to his early days. He created fascinating images of newspapers and against this backdrop painted pigeons, parrots, faces or a supine form, old buildings and images from the Mughal era. These words, faces, and forms all appear to reverberate the bygone days and offer a nostalgic glance into the past with glimpses of the familiar, domestic and soothing moments of pleasure that might have been left behind in the artist’s life. The 16 graphite drawings of the female form displayed have an extraordinary sculptural quality and almost seem to invite one to touch them. He renders them with great dexterity and possesses that unique inherent sensitivity to the power of line. Jamil Naqsh holds a key position in the world of contemporary art at home and abroad. For the past several decades he has worked with various artistic themes, including women, doves and horses, in a symbolic way. app

‘Soul Searchers’ – a group show on display in press preview

ISLAMABAD: Soul Searchers – a group show of paintings by Ahmed Ali Manganhar, Imran Channa and Aqeel Solangi – was put on display on Monday in a press preview.

As many as 15 series of works have been displayed by the artists in mediums like graphite on paper, acrylics on board, acrylic, charcoal and graphite on paper and acrylics on canvas. Aqeel Solangi’s work deals with ancient beliefs, rituals and collective. “Most of the contemporary art practices find their roots within these human sensibilities. I address these visual and conceptual concerns in my work,” Aqeel said about the work.

“I create locations which might not relate to the physical world and take elements from actual location and transform them in another location. In this way each work opens new pictorial episode in my portfolio,” he said.

The “Memories” series of Imran Channa tries to show that photograph is the most perfect picture of the past. It is a record of reality and a way of informing as a very reliable object from history. “My work deals with the historical perspectives, questioning the authenticity of the history which is manipulated and constructed by the power,” Imran said. The body of work is based on visual investigation, by questioning the authenticity of historical records. The display of large graphite drawings are a deliberate act of making and erasing records from history, until it merges into single plan by compressing time and motion.

The distinction between objects and time are blurred which draw attention to the feeling of vanishing of history. Ahmed Ali roughly reworked the repertoire of received images from art school education, mostly European and vintage film posters of Pakistani cinema from its hiatus in the 80s. Aiming to explore issues of interiority and exteriority, the artist painted scenes of fraught domesticity and the turbulent world out there, encoding and encircling each other.

The show continues till May 8 at Rohtas Gallery. app

Students of FDE-run schools without textbooks

ISLAMABAD: The new academic session had started two weeks ago but the students of the Federal Directorate of Education- (FDE) run educational institutes are still waiting for the delivery of textbooks to begin their studies.

The students have received books of some subjects, but parents fear that their children would not be able to cover the syllabus in time without all the textbooks.

Shahina Ahmed, a mother of two children who are studying at Islamabad Model College for Girls (IMCG) told APP that her children have only received books of four subjects so far.

Model Colleges Director Tariq Masood said that the National Book Foundation was the book publishing authority and it had delivered textbooks to the directorate but there were some objections of the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) on the published books. The directorate will hold a meeting with the FBISE officials and resolve the matter. app

Missionary schools fleece parents with high fee

* Parents allege no authority in place to check unjustified increase in fee structure

ISLAMABAD: Parents of the students studying in missionary institutions of Rawalpindi have expressed resentment over the manifold increase in fee, compelling them to discontinue their education or admit them in a public school.

These missionary institutes were established to provide low-cost education to the children of Christian community, living below poverty line and hardly able to bear their living expenses, but have turned into money-minting machines.

It has been learnt through a survey that a number of children have left these schools as they were unable to pay high school fee, and the school authorities were not ready to listen to any excuse or giving relief to the deserving ones.

Parents Action Committee General Secretary Asif Barnard told APP that the missionary schools, including Saint Mary’s Cambridge High School, Saint Teresa Girls High School and Saint Patrick Boys High School, were working under Catholic Church and funded from across the world.

More than 20 students have left these schools during the current academic session due to increased fee and there is no regulatory authority to keep vigilance on the unjustified increase in fee.

“I wrote to the Punjab chief minister and tried to approach the federal minister for minorities to save the children’s future, but no one paid any heed to this problem,” he said, adding, “I also tried to have an interaction with Bishop Rufan Anthony and Perish Priest Father Nasir Javed to discuss this important matter of our community, but they didn’t spare time.”

When Pakistan came into being in 1947, the church took the responsibility of setting up missionary institutes to provide education to the children of poor people and successfully upheld their goal for a long time.

Now these institutions have made education a business and commercialised this noble cause to earn money, Asif Barnard commented.

The fee of class prep has been increased from Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,900 this year and the fee of class one has raised to Rs 2,000 from Rs 1,500, which is not affordable, said David, whose children studying in Saint Mary’s Cambridge High School.

The annual fee has been increased by up to Rs 2,000 and the school management is extracting money on one pretext or the other, he lamented.

“I am doing a low paid job and I can’t afford such high fee and now I am left with no option but to have my children work,” he said.

“My two children have been removed from the school during the annual exams for delay in paying the school fee,” said another parent while urging the government to take stern action against those who are playing with the future of the nation. app

PESHAWAR: The Honorary Consul-General of Japan Nawabzada Fazal Karim Khan Afridi inaugurated a school in Khyber Agency on Monday.

 

The ceremony was attended by large number of tribal elders and relatives of the students. The construction of the seven-room school building in far-flung Raziq Killay of Jamrud tehsil cost Rs7 million. The school will impart education to over 150 girls and boys of the area.

 

Nawabzada Fazal Karim said the project had been carried out under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects as part of Japan’s Official Development Assistance to developing countries.

 

Under the programme, the government of Japan supports non-government and community-based organisations working in the social development sector.

 

He said before the construction of the school the children used to study in the open or travel four to five kilometres to attend other schools.

 

The Learning and Motivation Programme (LAMP), a local NGO, took the matter with the embassy of Japan which provided funds for its construction, he added. He read out a written message sent by the Ambassador of Japan in Islamabad, Hiroshi Oe, who congratulated the residents on the inauguration of the school.

 

He said Pakistan and Japan enjoyed friendly relations and assured that the Japanese government would continue assistance in the field of education, health and vocational trainings to the people of Fata.

International Labour Day being observed today

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The International Labour Day, known as May Day, will be observed today (Tuesday) to commemorate the Chicago labourers who sacrificed their lives for the rights of workers 

On the day, the workers across the world renew their pledge to achieve their rights. In Pakistan, the government has set a worker’s minimum salary at Rs 7,000 per month, but majority of labourers are underpaid in the private sector. For the working classes, the situation is very tough which is evident from growing social problems and poverty in the country.

On May 1, 1886, several workers were killed in Chicago while demanding eight-hour workday instead of 12-hour.

Daily Times has learnt that there are over 800 daily wagers in the federal capital and over 75 percent of them are outsiders. It is estimated that 55 percent of the workers are children from 10 to 13 years of age.

Talking to Daily Times, Pakistan Workers’ Federation (PWF) General Secretary Sajjad Hussain said that labourers from different rural areas of country migrated to Islamabad for better living, but their economic condition remains poor. “Even if a labourer earns Rs 400 a day, it will be difficult for him to make both ends meet given the high rate of inflation in the country,” he said, adding that labourers are not familiar with the importance of this day and their rights A Mazdoor Mela is being organised at Rawalpindi Railways Colony, while a May Day rally would be taken out from the Zero Point to Aabpara Chowk in which workers from the Pakistan Post, PTCL, Pakistan Railways, Public Works Department and the Radio Pakistan would participate. The activists of the National Students Federation, Workers Party and the Labour Party are also likely to participate in the rally. The government departments, trade unions, social organisations will arrange workshops, seminars, conferences, discussions, besides holding rallies to mark the day.

Talking to Daily Times, Aasim Sajjad of the Workers’ Party said that the May Day had lost its significance because of the pro-government unionists, which dominate the workers’ movements. He said that the historic policy of demobilising of workers had begun more than 30 years ago, yet there had been no meaningful success due to fragmentation of progressive activism.