HYDERABAD, April 25: The Sindh University Teachers Association have described as incomplete an inquiry report on the murder of Prof Bashir Channar and urged governor of Sindh to order a fresh probe covering all aspects of the murder, particularly the mess in the admission cell.

In a statement E-mailed to Dawn on Wednesday SUTA President Dr Azhar Ali Shah and general secretary Dr Arfana Mallah said the report prepared by additional district judge of Kotri Mr Khalid Hussain Shahani failed to expose the elements responsible for corruption and mismanagement at the admission cell, which was the major reason behind Channar’s murder.

They called for arrests of the culprits and said the SUTA had demanded inquiry by a team of judges headed by a senior judge of the Sindh High Court.

They said the government assigned inquiry to a single judge at district level who reported “statements of a few witnesses and on its basis responsibility is fixed on three former students of University of Sindh Meenhal Rajar, Bachal Narejo and Hamz Ali whose entry in the university was banned by disciplinary committee meeting held on Dec 4, 2011”.

They said the inquiry officer was supposed to conduct thorough probe into the admission process, how seats were distributed among culprits and why Prof Channar was made vulnerable while he was not even director of the admission cell.

They said that the officer should have investigated whether proper procedure regarding rustication of 18 students and banning three was followed by the disciplinary committee.

They questioned under what procedure a few students were taken off the the list of rusticated students by then VC Dr Nazir Mughal and why Dr Mughal shifted the responsibility of rustication to Prof Channar alone.

They said that it was surprising the report was silent on lack of precautionary measures by university officials including then VC to prevent entry of the banned students.

The students barred from the university on Dec 4, 2011 easily entered the university on Jan 2, 2012, chased Prof Channar, killed him and escaped with utmost ease, they said.

The culprits had not yet been arrested despite the inquiry report’s naming them as responsible

ISLAMABAD, April 25: Prof Dr Syed Nawab Haider Naqvi was paid rich tributes during a book-launch ceremony held at Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) on Wednesday.

“Haider Naqvi is very close to the mood of our classic poets,” said Prof Fateh Mohammad Malik in chair while launching his book titled “Majmooa-e-Khiyal” in the ceremony co-arranged by the PAL and Federal Urdu University.

Chairman PAL Abdul Hameed, Iftikhar Arif, Syed Mansoor Aaqil and Mukhtar Ali Khan (Parto Rohilla) expressed their views on the occasion while the proceedings were conducted by Dr Fahmida Tabassum.

Prof Malik further said we knew Haider Naqvi as an economist so his poetry gave us a happy shock. Abdul Hameed said Haider did a worthy job in his profession for which he had been conferred with a number of awards. However, his interest in Urdu Ghazal was encouraging and appreciable.

ISLAMABAD, April 25: More than a year has passed but education officials have yet to implement the prime minister’s directive to upgrade teachers and bring uniformity in the educational institutions in the federal capital.

In February 2011, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, in response to the long-running demand of the teaching community, issued a directive to introduce reforms in the education system of the federal capital.

Under the reforms package, the teaching staff was to be upgraded, uniform educational system was to be introduced, allowances and facilities to the teaching community were to be enhanced. Since then, the education officials have been making promises to implement the directive but the issue is getting delayed.

On a query about the delay, Director-General Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Atif Kiani said about 50 per cent of the directive had been implemented while the rest was under process. He said it was a huge task as the FDE was managing about 423 educational institutions having thousands of teachers.

“It takes time because we have to check Personal Evaluation Reports (PERs) of all the teaching staff,” he said, adding that another problem was the shortage of funds.

“We have to improve the conditions at various schools and colleges. Similarly, teachers’ upgradation, transport facilities and increase in allowances for the teachers require money which will be allocated in the upcoming budget,” Mr Kiani said, adding that the order would be implemented fully.

On the other hand, the teachers have reservations as they feel that they are being deceived through hollow promises. In the wake of the contempt case against the prime minister in the Supreme Court, they fear that the directive may be pushed to the cold storage if the PM calls it a day.

In this connection, Association of Heads of Federal Government Schools held an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

The meeting, which was attended by headmasters and principals, expressed their dismay over the apathetic attitude of the FDE. They accused the officials concerned of the FDE and Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) of putting stumbling blocks in the way to implement the prime minister’s directive.

One of the leaders of the association, Tariq Khattak, told this reporter that none of the five points included in the directive had been fully implemented. “Our patience has petered out and teachers will once again be on the roads if the directive is not implemented within 10 days,” he warned.

Rawalpindi: The annual examination of HSSC Part-I under Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE) would start on May 8, while papers of Part-II will commence on 28 May.

 

A total of 52,000 and 62,300 candidates, including male and female, will appear in the HSSC Part-I and Part-II examinations respectively. As many as 190 examination centres have been set up.

 

RBISE spokesman Arsalan Cheema, while talking to ‘The News,’ said that roll number slips of all regular and private candidates have been dispatched. He said if any student is facing problem regarding the roll number slip he could contact Assistant Controller Examination Majeed Bhatti on telephone numbers             051-9290527       and            0300-9793740      .

Islamabad

 

Medals were conferred upon students of the READ Foundation who excelled in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) Examinations 2011 in the ‘Academic Excellence Awards’ ceremony held here on Wednesday.

 

Dr. Marilyn Wyatt, the wife of US Ambassador Cameron Munter, was the chief guest of the awards ceremony sponsored by the P&G Pakistan. Jubilant students of 340 READ Foundation Schools and their parents and teachers attended the ceremony.

 

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Marilyn Wyatt said: “We respect you. We value your culture. We honour your sacrifices. Americans want a Pakistan that is vibrant, stable and secure.” She added: “We have a relationship that is rooted in mutual interest and mutual respect.”

 

Congratulating the position-holders, she said: “You have been privileged to receive a great education through the READ Foundation. Many, if not most of you, are on track to attend some of the finest universities in Pakistan, if not the world, where your horizons will expand even more. I hope you all look for ways to use your knowledge and advantages to make your community, your country and the world we share in common a better and happier place.”

 

The United States is focusing on Pakistan’s priorities like energy, education and economic growth, she said. “We are building schools and providing education to thousands of Pakistanis. We are giving scholarships to Pakistanis to attend universities in Pakistan, and giving more scholarships to Pakistanis to study in the United States.”

 

READ Foundation CEO Fayyaz Khan said that the READ Foundation firmly believes in the power of education to change. “That’s why we are totally focused on education. We experience every day that it is very difficult for common people to afford good education. I am delighted to share that the READ Foundation is striving for playing its active role. In our schools, we are helping more than 72,000 boys and girls without any discrimination. We are there with a conviction to make a difference.”

 

“Children are the great gift from Almighty Allah to us and education is the greatest gift we can give our children. The students being recognised today are some of the finest examples of how READ Foundation is fulfilling its mission of building futures through education. I am excited to see what the future holds for these talented youth who have made academic excellence a priority in pursuit of their education,” he maintained.

 

Sharing his thoughts, Omeir Dawoodji, external relations manager of the P&G Pakistan, said: “Every child has a fundamental right to education. With the help of our long-term NGO partners like READ Foundation, P&G has made quality education a reality for thousands of underprivileged children across Pakistan. Over 3,000 children have benefited from the quality education provided by the P&G-READ schools. P&G’s partnership with READ started 6 years back and it is truly gratifying to see children from our schools excelling academically. On behalf of P&G, I congratulate all students who have received awards today.”

 

Prominent guests who attended the ceremony included Human Appeal International Chief Executive Officer Dr. Othman Moqbel and a trustee of the Muslim Charities Forum, UK, Fahaad Saad Al-Qahtani, Head of Emergency Response at King Abdullah Relief Campaign for Pakistani People, Chairman of Rahma Islamic Relief Pakistan Saghir Qamar, Country Manager Islamic Help, UK, Habib Ahmad, World Assembly of Muslim Youth regional director Ibrahim Anwer Ibrahim and Martin Daltry from British Council Pakistan.

IST to host youth carnival

 

Our correspondent

 

Islamabad

 

The Institute of Space Technology (IST), Islamabad, is organising a three-day ‘IST Youth Carnival’ in which about 50 universities from all over Pakistan will take part. The event will be held from April 26 to 28. The programme features a diverse blend of events providing means of interest to a wide variety of aptitudes. A total of 18 events will be conducted over a period of three days. Salient events include bilingual debate competition, documentary and short film competition, math-o-meter, the artist challenge and chess competition, journalism competition, quiz competition, drama competition and e-gaming. Teams from all over Pakistan are welcome to join the mega event.

RAWALPINDI, April 25: The four-day group painting exhibition on Wednesday commenced at Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC).

Raja Hanif Advocate member Punjab Assembly along with Naheed Manzoor and the RAC’s Resident Director Waqar Ahmed inaugurated the event.

Mehmood Ali, Hameed Falak, Ali Shaukat, Irfan Asif, Altaf Ahmed, Quratulain Pasha and Mohammad Afzal displayed their 55 art pieces which were applauded by the visitors.

Paintings were done on landscapes, historical buildings, scenes from common life, nature and abstract art. The medium of the work was oil and water colours while colour combinations made it a unique event.

Mehmood Ali, a senior artist, preserved the heritage of Rawalpindi in his work. “I work for the coming generation who will not be able to see Rawalpindi in its present form.” he said.

Painting is her way of relieving stress. “I paint and find it extremely refreshing,” Quratulain remarked. “I was struck by the beauty of nature – the trees and flowers in full bloom,” she said.

After the inaugural ceremony, Patron-in-Chief RAC Naheed Manzoor referring to the contribution of the art council for promoting the art and artists said the saplings that were once planted by the council had grown up.

Raja Hanif admired the artistic work and was of the view that motto of the Punjab government was to encourage artists by all means. He said he was thankful to the RAC administration that provided him with an opportunity to see such a wonderful exhibition. The event will be open for art lovers till Aril 28.

LAHORE, April 25: Some 250 or so people with physical needs on their tricycles also took part in a walk arranged by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Wednesday in connection with its ongoing Shopping Festival 2012.

Scores of business people, politicians, civil society activists, students and their teachers gathered in front of the LCCI building and marched up to the Governor’s House on The Mall to show their resolve to take the country out of gloom and promote economic activities.

The participants remained in front of the Governor’s House for quite some time and were addressed, among others, by MNA Pervaiz Malik and LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh.

Appreciating the LCCI for arranging the walk, Mr Malik said such activities were necessary to tell the world that Pakistanis as a nation were determined to get their right place in
the global market and they would continue their struggle for the economic revival of the country. He said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was putting his best efforts for turning the province into a hub of business activities.

Mr Sheikh said by arranging various functions in connection with the Lahore Shopping Festival, the chamber had made an attempt to rejuvenate economic and cultural activities and would help promote the business and economic activities in the province.

He said the LCCI would continue to supplement the government efforts in the larger interest of the country.

He said though the energy shortage and high cost of doing business had spoiled the entire business atmosphere but businessmen were committed to the progress and prosperity of the country.

Crescent Model Higher Secondary School, Beaconhouse School System, Queen Marry College and Azam Garrison High School for Girls had set up stalls of various models along the route of the walk.

Punjab Industrial Estate and Trafco Tracking had also sent their floats.

LAHORE, April 25: The Forman Christian College’s History and English departments organized on Wednesday a reading and discussion session with renowned Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid, the author of two best-selling novels Moth Smoke and The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

To a packed audience of about 200 students and the faculty from FC College, Punjab University, Lahore College for Women and Kinnaird, Mr Hamid read excerpts from both his novels for about 20 minutes.

Answering a question about the creative process, Mr Hamid said at times it was as if the characters themselves took control of a story, and the author had to change his initial ideas about the book. ‘The original idea and the final novel are rarely the same,” he said.

About a sequel to The Reluctant Fundamentalist, he said “You, the audience, are the sequel” arguing that the author’s task is to ignite the creative person in the reader to further internalise and contemplate on the issues raised in the novel.

Regarding his future plans, he revealed that he had just completed the first draft of a new novel which should be in print early next year.

In the meantime, he said, the film version of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, directed by Mira Nair and starring Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland was at the editing stage and was
due to be released next year

PESHAWAR, April 25: Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman Dr Javaid Leghari on Wednesday said the government would encourage investment in higher education sector for its promotion.

He said this during a visit to Abdul Wali Khan University (AWKU), Mardan, where went to different sections and departments and examined teaching facilities.

Accompanied by HEC executive director Dr Sohail Naqvi and AWKU vice chancellor Dr Ehsan Ali, Dr Javaid said the commission would extend all possible technical support to investors eying higher education.

“We’re working on a plan to support the newly-established universities like Abdul Wali Khan University to open their doors for all. Education plays a key role in reformation of the society by equipping individuals with power of knowledge, skills and competence to excel,” he said.

The HEC chairman said support to universities for increasing enrollment and preparing youth for future challenges would continue. He called for allocation of four per cent of
gross domestic product for higher education and said an education emergency should be declared in the country to prepare youth for modern day challenges.

He appreciated the standard of education at AWKU and assured its administration of HEC support in future endeavours.

Dr Javaid said students of Malakand division in particular and the province in general would largely benefit from AWKU and thus, easing burden on other government universities of the province.

The AWKU vice chancellor apprised the HEC chairman of the university’s establishment, achievements and future plans.

He said the university had so far established eight campuses in different parts of the province and that 1,800 students were enrolled in the main campus, 1,024 in Charsadda campus, 1,001 in Pabbi campus and 539 in Ambar campus. He added that 37 per cent of the university students were women.

Dr Ehsan said new biological block in the University School of Sciences had been set up, while students were being facilitated without gender discrimination.

He briefed the HEC chairman on the AWKU master plan and said the entire infrastructure of the educational institution would be completed in three phases at the cost of more than Rs12 billion.

The vice chancellor thanked provincial Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti for taking keen interest in the development of AWKU, a leading university in the country.