EDUCATION JULY - DEC 06

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					                             Sindh govt’s bid to regain colleges’control hits snags
KARACHI: Plan to take back the control of government colleges from the city government and give under the administrative
control of the provincial government has hit snags, owing to slackness of Sindh Education Department.
A senior official of the education department told The News on Friday that the government colleges in the province would come
under the control of the provincial government from July 1 under the envisaged plan.

However, he said that despite fulfiling all legal and official obligations, the education department could not timely issue the
notification in this regard.

The government colleges had come under control of the district governments under the devolution plan of local government
system since 2001.
The official said that Sindh governor had earlier promulgated an ordinance amending the Sindh Local Government Ordinance
(SLGO), making provision for taking back the control of colleges.
He said that proper offices of the provincial education managers, regional education managers, and education managers for
administrative control of colleges was yet to be established.

The official notifications for proper appointments on the posts of regional education managers and education managers for the
new system of administration have yet to be issued.

Under the proposed system, five regional education managers would be appointed in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana,
and Mirpurkhas.

In other districts, there would be education managers for overseeing and running affairs of the colleges. A provincial education
manager would be an overall authority to look after the affairs of the government-run colleges in the province.
It is official learnt that the only official notification issued was regarding designation of the incumbent executive district officer
(higher education) Karachi as the provincial education manager.
The education department has yet to identify and designate sites for setting up of offices for provincial education manager.

Concerned quarters of colleges have expressed their uneasiness over the slackness of provincial education department to
assume charge of colleges in Sindh.
They said that due to indifference of the authorities concerned, smooth running of administrative and teaching affairs of
colleges would be affected, adding that teachers, students, and non-teaching staff of colleges would also face difficulties in
getting their just grievances mitigated.
(The News-3, 01/07/2006)



                                                          Home-icides
           It makes a gory picture, but there is no shortage of reasons for parents to take the lives of their children –
                                                  faith, poverty, family disputes

                                                          By Aoun Sahi
Violence against children is a painful reality. Powerless, children are most vulnerable to all types of violence. This observation is
backed by a research report of Madadgaar, a Karachi-based helpline service for children and women. It says that at least 4,000
children have been murdered over the last six years in Pakistan. The findings of the report also hint at a persistent upward
trend in the cases of child homicides in the country. This is no doubt an alarming situation. Even more awful are instances of
filicide, killing of children by their parents.

"People kill for a variety of reasons. But loving and caring parents taking the lives of their own children is incomprehensible,"
says Dr Muhammad Hafiz, Head of the Department of Sociology, University of the Punjab, Lahore. That is why, he says, the
news of a father, Ashraf Butt, murdering his three young daughters in Lahore recently fell like a bomb on most people.
On June 19, 2006, Ashraf, 38, a resident of Lahore's Pindi Rajpootan area, told police that he had slit the throats of his three
daughters very early that morning. Nine-year-old Iqra, five-year-old Samra and three-year-old Isha were, one by one, taken out
of the room they were sleeping in with their mother and murdered by their own father.

Out of guilt, Ashraf handed himself over to police where he was interrogated, among others, by Lahore police's deputy
inspector general (operations) Aamir Zulfiqar Khan. When Aamir was leaving the police station after the interrogation, An Elite
Force Constable Nadeem Rafeeque, who was accompanying the officer as a bodyguards, shot Ashraf pointblank, thrusting 15
bullets in his body and killing him instantly. Rafeeque was immediately arrested.

Rafeeque, himself a father of two, later told mediamen with tears in his eyes, "When I saw the girlsí bodies, it felt like he had
killed my three-year-old daughter".
Hardly a week earlier, a drug-addict had slit the throat of his 13-year-old daughter -- Sahar - with a pair of scissors in Lahore. In
Karachi, on June 24, a man murdered his wife and their seven months' old son.

Dr Hafiz tells The News on Sunday that motive in such cases is not honour alone. "There are multiple reasons behind such
crimes ranging from the socio-economic to the religious," he adds. For example, parents have killed because of poverty.
"Sometimes depressed patients kill their near ones to save them from the hardships of life," says Dr Mahmooda Aftab, a
psychologist and chairperson of the International Institute of Mind Body Sciences, Lahore.

The example of Shahbaz, 35, of Wazirabad, is a case in point. On November 7, 2005, he killed his children and wife just a day
before Eid. Shahbaz was unemployed for years. After killing his family members, he committed suicide. The reason behind the
tragedy was absolute poverty. His children had been demanding new Eid clothes from a father who could not even provide
them with food. Silencing the demanding wife and children was an easy way out for him and once they were no more, he had
no reason to live.

On October 4, 2005, Jaffer Hussain of village Qilla Ahmadabad, Pasrur slit the throat of his 8 years' old son, Ramzan. He later
said God had ordained him to do so. A night before the killing, Jaffer had told his wife that he wanted to gift his children to God.
In another incident in Sialkot in October 2005, Muhammad Arshad, 30, murdered his nine years' old son, Muhammad Akram,
on the orders of his spiritual leader, to ward off evil times. And a pir has figured in the investigation of recent murders by Ashraf

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Butt in Lahore's industrial area. His brother has been quoted as saying that Ashraf, a drug addict, would go to a pir who ordered
him to kill his innocent daughters.

Dr Mahmooda believes that in most such cases, the culprits do hint what they are going to do. If these signs are taken
seriously, such gory incidents can perhaps prevented. For example, in Jaffer's case his wife was not alarmed when he told her
that he wanted to gift his children to God. He had also expressed similar views in conversations with his friends. Yet no one
could see the impending danger. They felt secure in the knowledge that a father could never take the life of his children. "Most
of the people in our country hold religion close to their heart. But schizophrenia is caused by biochemical reasons," she says.

Syed Iqbal Haider, secretary general of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), however, retorts: "The pirs and the so
called religious leaders are provoking people to kill their innocent children in the name of religion. They must be taken to task."
He says never ever has any pir or spiritual leader been arrested for ordering his followers to kill their children. "This is because
these people serve the agenda of the establishment and feudals to spread ignorance in the society. And when parents kill their
children for failure to feed them...it is a slap in the face of the government and the society at large."

Fathers are not alone in extinguishing lives they had themselves kindled. They are accompanied in large numbers by the
mothers. On September 16, 2005, a mother pushed her four daughters between the ages of 8 to 1 into a canal before taking
the final plunge herself in frustration for not being able to give birth to a son. A passerby saved two of the girls while the mother
along with her two other daughters was drowned.

In Chunian, Kasur district, on September 11, 2005, a mother jumped into a canal, taking along an infant son and a three-year-
old daughter following a fight with her husband and in-laws. While she survived the attempt, she emerged from it the murderer
of her two offspring.

Sociologists say women easily fall prey to frustration arising out of social problems. "To kill one's own children is the worse form
of self-victimisation," says Dr Hafeez. "For such parents children are a liability more than a responsibility, a burden."
The longer the list of reasons, the less sense it makes.

Khuda Bukhsh of Dharki killed his four years' old polio-stricken daughter on November 22, 2005, for asking for sweets. On June
14, 2004, the father of Adeel Ashraf killed him in Okara for failing his exams. Reports say Adeel, a secondary school student,
had been threatened with dire consequences by his father, an intelligence agency employee, should he fail. The boy went into
hiding for ten days after the exam results were announced. On his return, his father first spanked him and then rolled his
motorbike over Adeel's body, killing him instantly.

On April 13, 2005, Kashif Saleem, poisoned his three children to death in Mozang, Lahore . Kashif's wife told the press she had
had an abortion without her husband's permission.
Filicide is not only a challenge to the law enforcing agencies but also to the entire criminal justice system of the country, says
Zia Ahmed Awan, President of Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA). "Our criminal justice system is not equipped
to tackle the complex problem," he says. "Courts do not have psychologists and treat such cases of murder like any other
murder case."

State Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights, Shahid Akram Bhinder, tells TNS that there is no need to make special laws
to deal with such incidents. "Murder is murder and it's up to the court to decide whether the murderer had been suffering from
mental illness or his act was pre-planned," he says. Bhinder says the court can even appoint a psychiatrist to examine the
murderer's state of mind if it want to. In cases of filicide, he says, "Both the plaintiff and the accused belong to the same family.
That's why they have to compromise on most of the occasions."

On the government's lack of will to arrest pirs who provoke people to murder their own children, he says the criminal justice
system is based on evidences and not emotionalism. "Courts cannot punish any one in the absence of evidence. Besides, we
cannot say that the whole system has collapsed, only on the basis of one or two cases."
(By Aoun Sahi, The News-25, 02/07/2006)



                                          Karachi as seen by Arif Mahmood
            "Every photograph is a painting," says photographer Tapu Javeri about Arif Mahmood's work. Now
  Arif Mahmood's rare collection of photographs capturing the mood of Karachi in his signature lyrical style are out in a book
                                          simply yet aptly titled Karachi 1989-2005

                                                       By Ahmer Ashraf
Arif Mahmood is respected for his photography work for more reasons than one. The lyrical essence of his pictures and a
distinct perspective that only belongs to Arif makes his work stand out. This individuality is hard to find.
Arif is one photographer who is committed to the traditional way of photographing and that is via transparencies and films. In
this age of digital photography, where photography has become much                                                     easier,
Arif continues to stick to his shutter and roll. He loves the black and white                                        medium
and is particularly inspired by the moods of light that the B&W pictures can                                         capture.
That is evident in his most recent collection of photographs on Karachi – a                                              black
and white "monograph of the city" as Arif puts it.

                                         The book is a collection of his
                                         seventeen years of photographs                                                        taken
                                         over the period 1989–2005 in
                                         Karachi. The photographer has
                                         caught the essence of this city in a                                                   very
                                         personal way.
                                         Arif resides in the serene and old
                                         Karachi locality, Lalazar, right next                                                to the
                                         Beach Luxury Hotel, a significant
                                         landmark of the city. It is away from
                                         hustle bustle of the city and inside his
                                         house, it is even quieter, despite having                                             three

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kids in the house. Arif lives with his wife and kids. It was sometime in the evening so they must be taking a nap.
Though, Arif has stayed true to clicking for almost two decades, his full–time commitment is for the national airlines where he is
a part of the ground sales team. He has a background in marketing and has no qualms declaring that photography is his hobby
                                   but a very good one at that. A hobby that takes him to wake up at early hours of the day and
                                   hunt for an interesting mood, a distinct character or anything that can make a good picture and
                                   that can be at any nook and corner of the city, "Morning is a good time to shoot, I like the light
                                   early in the day," says Arif sitting in his rather cosy couch smoking a cigarette. His drawing
                                   room has an artistic feel, with Dali's life and times collection resting at the side table and
                                   paintings placed all around the room – Nahid Raza's feminism speaking in one, Ali Azmat's wild
                                   side in the other – the house is every inch an artist's abode.

                                 Arif Mahmood has lived all his life in Karachi. He has seen Karachi through times of despair and
                                 joy and the blood wars of terror during the nineties. Living through the iron fist of the Zia regime,
                                 he has seen Karachi going through a flawed tenure of democracy, witnessing the game of
                                 power won through terrorism in this business hub of the country and finally giving in to another
                                 military rule, Arif has a story to each of his picture and all this is reflective in his best volume on
                                 the city to date. "This is my personal perspective, it wasn't any assignment, it's like how I see
                                 Karachi," says Arif regarding his coffee table book on the metropolis. He draws a comparison of
                                 'Karachi 1989–2005' with his other volumes done for an extensive exhibition of the city and its
                                 architectural/cultural history, Jewel in the Crown. What he enjoys about this one is the creative
freedom. The liberty to select any image and put them in the order he wanted to, after all, only the artist himself can be the best
judge of his work.

"This is something that I always wanted to do, but I didn't know who would invest in such a venture," says Arif, hinting that for
                                  assignments one always has funds, but for such books, nobody seems to be interested in
                                  investing. He talks like a true artist who never has the money or time to have his work
                                  printed. When one has time, one doesn't have money and vice versa. But does he agree
                                  with the statement that true artists never have finances or leisure to print their work? Arif
                                  laughs and partly agrees. So how did this book come through? "I have been thinking about it
                                  since 1991. It is every artist's dream to have their book printed. I did an exhibition last year
                                  at the Canvas Gallery (in Karachi) and Sameera Raja (the curator) asked me to have a book
                                  printed with the launch of the exhibition and my reply was that its too early, I told her to let
                                  me work on it and let me collect my photos                                                  over
                                  the years and then I would love to come out                                               with a
                                  book," says Arif and Voila! Karachiites have                                                 the
                                  book in their hands less than a year later.                                               There
                                  are few books on Karachi and no
                                  photographer has taken this initiative with                                                  the
                                  exception of a couple. Tapu Javeri released                                                   his
                                  collection of portraits but that had little to do                                           with
                                  the spirit of the city. Apart from that, Arif
Mahmood has done three volumes on the Jewel in the Crown exhibition. But                                                         all
three are assignment based. This is the artist's perspective of the city – it's                                              great
to have a book on Karachi and how Arif sees it.

In the book, the photographer has managed to keep the character of this city intact. A city which he describes in two words as
'innately unpredictable,' Arif steers the reader through this unpredictability, capturing the very effect it has on the residents of
the metropolis. Whether it is the picture of a boy shooting a toy gun at the beach, with the terrorism of the city feeding his raw
growing mind or a serene early morning photograph of the beautiful colonial architecture of Zebunissa Street where the clock
                                             seems to have stopped in the post–partition times - every picture has an intuitive eye
                                             behind it. "The city has never failed to surprise me," continues Arif with his comment,
                                             adding, "It always has something to offer, you just
                                             have to have the eye for it." And Arif surely has an
                                             eye for it. From the burqa clad women outside
                                             Karachi Zoo that he has cleverly titled 'Incognito
                                             Walk' to the devotees at the fascinating religious
                                             places like Abdullah Shah Ghazi's Mazaar on the
                                             Karachi seaside – which is an important
                                             geographical and religious landmark for the people
                                             of Karachi to the Maatam during Muharram in
                                             Kharadar – anybody who takes a look at the
                                             pictures is bound to get the mesmerising feel of
                                             this city through the pictures. And capturing the feel
                                             of this mammoth city is not an easy task.
                                             Arif has given hand–written captions/titles to each
                                             photograph featured in the book, which is all black
and white. These captions which are printed in Arif's original writing lend a more personal
feel to the book instead of printed ones. The layout of the book, which is done by a Zurich
based graphic artist is clutter free and each photograph faces an empty page. There is not much to the layout and that is
better.To Arif, the book also speaks for the people and how they live and have grown accustomed to the ways of this city. He
particularly finds the many minorities of great interest to his work, "It's great to see Bohris, Khojas, Ismailis, Christians and
Parsees – they all lend their flavour to the city. They have their own lifestyles and it contributes to the overall feel of the city. I
like this mix of ethnicities," Arif reveals one of the many motivation factors.

Among Arif's personal favourites from the book are, 'Incognito Walk' and 'Chalk Footsteps in Mithadar', where a mad man
draws steps with a white chalk every morning, what is the story behind that? One doesn't know but the photograph is
fascinating to look at and to make one wonder what goes on in the mind of that mad man, what has drawn him to the brink of
insanity?

Arif lists 'Fishermen of the Shores' among his personal favourites too, it is a photo where a fisherman is gathering his net
making a star shape on the shores of Karachi that serve as a livelihood to many people. Then there is, 'Cross Section' which

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shows various people's reflection in the mirror work on a mosque's wall – Arif managed to capture the diverse people through
these mirror pieces. The last two shots in the book are a permanent collection of the Museum of Art in Houston.
It is a pleasure to see Karachi documented in some way. We need to have more coffee table books like this of photographs or
reading material on Karachi. This is a step that everyone has to collectively take, for those who don't document history are
never remembered with the passage of time.
(By Ahmer Ashraf, The News-33, 02/07/2006)



                             Who will rid education sector of ignorant practices?
The reported displeasure of Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim over rampant corruption in Education Department
has shed ample light on the highly unsatisfactory and deteriorating state of affairs in the academic field.
When the chief executive of the province, who is seeking re-election to treasury benches for himself and his ruling alliance,
publicly conceded to unchecked evil of corruption and malpractices in the education sector then it becomes imperative for those
running the education affairs to adopt a serious and more realistic approach towards the issue. These candid words of chief
minister at a prize distribution ceremony should be taken as a wake-up call by the provincial education authorities and other
relevant quarters governing the education affairs. This is high time the education officials reviewed their self-eulogizing style
while speaking at public functions and official meetings, and delivered instead speeches based on ground realities and factual
position prevailing in the education sector.

The prize distribution ceremony in question, held on June 26 at Bahria Auditorium, was meant to present prizes and
scholarships to the tune of Rs 14.9 million among meritorious and deserving students of the province. Awarding prizes and
scholarship money in substantial sums while observing utmost transparency and merit was regarded as a major incentive
scheme of the government to promote education. Each of the 400 scholarship achievers - studying in intermediate classes -
was awarded Rs25,000 on merit-cum-poverty criteria.

However, the highlight of the ceremony remained the candid and fact-driven talk of the chief minister, no matter how
optimistically the education officials, including the provincial education minister, spoke at the event.

Certain concerned quarters, especially teachers and educationists, have repeatedly shown their serious discontentment over
the running of education affairs with corrupt practices. They have been wary of numerous shadowy practices rampant in the
education sector, which are leading to squandering of public exchequer and subjecting the meritorious students and teachers to
sheer injustices. Such circles concerned, being critical of the government‘s performance, have usually met unwelcoming and
stubborn attitude by the education officials who usually don‘t like criticism on their policies and decision as well as their way of
handling the academic affairs. However, things should now change for the better, particularly when the top boss of the
provincial setup is seen equally upset and uneasy over the growing menace of corruption in the education sector.

The representative associations of government school and college teachers have time and again expressed their concern over
the ―ever-increasing‖ instances of corruption and malpractices in the academic field. However, the education department
officials concerned have adopted almost a common and firm habit of forcefully rebutting and dismissing as false the allegations
of teachers‘ associations by terming them a mere political tool meant to secure vested interests of the so-called leadership of
the teachers. Even the teachers‘ representatives had pinpointed areas in the education sector where corruption and
malpractices have become order of the day, however, the education officials remained least bothered to such disclosures.

The newly introduced incentive schemes of the government for the promotion of education, especially among girls and children
belonging to underprivileged and backward sections of society, are equally prone to misadministration, mismanagement and
corrupt practices of the unscrupulous elements in the education sector. In the past too, such scholarships and other incentive
programmes of the government, mainly sponsored by international donor agencies, were largely exploited by the corrupt
elements. The chief minister too appeared wary and conscious about the fate of such latest schemes in the education sector
when he said that proper accountability and checks and balance system along with integrity and sincerity on the part of
education officials and staff concerned could save such programmes from corruption and embezzlement.

There is yet another serious angle to the issue when the chief minister appears hapless to confront the strong ―corruption
mafia‖ in the education sector. Despite having the support of the provincial bureaucracy and several agencies to combat
corruption, he could only verbally reprimand and warn the education officials and staff concerned from continuing with
malpractices and mismanagement. Although he warned of taking stern action against corrupt elements in future, his words bore
no substantial meaning for his target audience, for the government hardly initiated any neutral exemplary action against the
violators of law.

VICE CHANCELLOR of NED University Abul Kalam, at a meeting of the university‘s senate on June 27, expressed his
dissatisfaction over the treatment meted out to engineering universities by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

While addressing the senate meeting, where he also presented the university‘s annual report, he said that the HEC had been
objecting to the promotion and appointment criteria of the universities of engineering and technology without realising their
specific structure and needs.

It seems that after certain quarters from among the teachers, administrations and vice-chancellors became wary of the HEC‘s
policies, the situation could only be rectified through holding regular and meaningful consultations with the concerned quarters
in the universities.
(By Muhammad Azeem Samar, The News-3, 02/07/2006)



                                             Substandard food at schools
THE PCSIR‘s research findings regarding the quality of food and beverages served in 110 public and 380 private schools in
Karachi should confirm the worst fears of parents. About 44 per cent of the samples tested were found to contain non-food
grade colouring additives. Similarly, more than one-third of the water samples tested were contaminated. An even larger
proportion of beverages, other than water, was found to be undrinkable. All these fell in the category of unbranded items, while
items bearing company logos were found to be generally safe. Unfortunately, the kind of foodstuff that appeals to most students
and is generally considered more affordable is unhygienic ‗street food‘. Whether bought at the school canteen or at vendor

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stalls outside the school gates, the preparation — much of it involving substandard ingredients — of sherbets, fried snacks,
milk-based desserts and fruit and vegetable items is substandard and is often the cause of stomach ailments.

There are a number of food safety regulations to keep a watch on the preparation and sale of eatables. However, so far, the
city government has been unable to crack down on those involved in selling impure or substandard food. Hardly any visits are
made by food inspectors to check the quality of beverages and edibles and there is no effort to take action against those
responsible for preparing and selling impure or unhygienic snacks. This is taken by canteen and roadside vendors as a licence
to continue to flout food safety rules. Drastic intervention is needed, and school administrations and parents should step in to
call attention to the situation, and work out ways and means of ensuring pure, germ-free food and drink for their wards. It is only
when this happens that the government will be forced to take note and implement the rules.
(Dawn-7, 04/07/2006)



                                       Malir schools victim of govt’s neglect
KARACHI, July 3: The future of over 25,000 students enrolled in about 200 government primary and lower secondary schools
of the Malir Town is at stake owing to official neglect over the years. Similar is the case with over 15,000 students enrolled in
girls and boys secondary schools of the town.
Inadequate funds, lack of supervision, absence of facilities, shortage of teachers and other staff, insufficient security
arrangements, improper maintenance and sheer misuse of premises by unauthorised persons and other malpractices are some
of the major deficiencies of government-run primary schools in Karachi‘s suburbs, including Malir.

Missing enthusiasm among teachers and non-existence of parents-teachers association are also the hallmarks of the schools
administered by the city government and those established earlier by the Sindh government and the KMC.

The PTA, a watchdog meant for ensuring education standards, has never been given due importance by the officialdom over
the years owing to which conditions of most of the schools has deteriorated, inquiries by Dawn have revealed.
There are a total of 196 primary and lower secondary schools which are functioning in 139 buildings in Malir Town. Although
there is a shortage of more than 200 teachers, a majority of the required ones is the Sindhi language teachers, who are either
not available or have been on detailment.

As far as school buildings are concerned, some of these have more than four schools set up in just one building. This
contributes to congestion and indiscipline, besides lack of sense of ownership of the premises teachers and students.
A large number of school buildings have suffered wear and tear, with broken furniture and fixtures, owing to improper upkeep,
while owing to a poor law and order situation, addicts and encroachers have caused immense damage to many such
institutions.

The buildings housing the Faryal Model Academy and the Pakistan Public Boys School in Model Colony have been declared
‗dangerous‘ as they may collapse any time and, therefore, have become a potential threat to students and teachers, according
to officials.
In most schools of the town, doors and windows have disappeared whereas electric fans, fixtures, lights and other utensils have
been removed by anti-social elements, ultimately making students and teachers suffer.
There are no properly maintained playgrounds. Only seven schools have their own playgrounds, though these too are not being
utilised properly.

No IT lab exists in any of the schools. Instead, private labs have been set up with government‘s approval in girls‘ secondary
schools only while the same are non-existent in boys‘ schools.There are no libraries in primary schools and those in secondary
schools are not up-to-date. Though, the secondary sections have Science labs, these too lack equipment.

In majority of schools, washrooms are in a pathetic condition and need reconstruction. Other facilities, like water and sewerage,
are either non-existent or non-functional; electrical wiring needs a complete overhaul and buildings and rooms need whitewash.
There is no proper arrangement for cleaning of school premises, including washrooms, as sweepers have either retired or died
and no new postings have been made. Similar is the case with peons and watchmen, and in their absence anti-social elements
have been plundering whatever is available to them.

In many cases, encroachers have been occupying parts of the land belonging to the schools and according to area residents,
boundary walls of government schools have collapsed facilitating theft.
Those schools which are located near markets and shopping centers are the worst-hit as the land mafia has built shops outside
or within the allotted land of the schools. There has been no action taken by the relevant authorities, or school heads, nor have
the area NGOs and community-based organisations made a formal complaint.

Area residents said that the noise from the passing
vehicles, as well as by shopkeepers and vendors
around, creates a fish market-like din and causes
annoying disturbance to students. The worst-hit are
the half a dozen schools located near Liaquat Market
and Mohammadi Market.

According to the nazim of Malir Town, Ansar Sheikh,
a total of 12 schools have been declared model
schools to which due attention is being paid. Of
them, approval has recently been received for two
schools. Some others are being given a facelift with
town/MNA funds while plans are also afoot to give a
facelift to more schools during vacations.

―The major problem in handling schools is meager allocation by authorities. Hardly Rs100,000 is sanctioned for a school
annually. The second obstacle is non-availability of staff. Owing to a ban on jobs, various posts in schools have been lying
vacant for long and this has been resulting in problems, like absence of watchmen, intrusion by unauthorised persons
especially,‖ he said.


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Sharafat Ali, chairman of the schools committee, said efforts are also being made to give quality education to children, and
teachers are being asked to pay maximum attention to this factor. ―If they don‘t have chairs and desks, they can use mats, but
there can be no compromise on the quality of education. Teachers will have to attend schools and take classes regularly. In
case of their failure, the education authorities would be recommended to take action against them and provide committed
teachers in schools.‖

He said he and his colleagues were making efforts to give a facelift to some schools so that when students returned after
summer vacations, they feel delighted and at least schools are whitewashed and some broken chairs, stools, desks are
repaired for the convenience of the students. Moreover, attention is being paid to over a dozen schools which are functioning in
rented premises.

To a question, he said problems had piled up to such an extent that unless the EDO, DOs, and ADOs cooperate with the town,
no major improvement could be made. Besides, there is a need to merge many schools, especially primary, in one school in
various UCs, and establish model schools, at least two in each town, he added.

About the town funds, it came to limelight that improvement of sewerage network consumed huge funds during the last eight
months. Obsolete sewerage lines, the town officials pointed out, had been resulting in a stinking environment in most of the
areas. In some cases, schools premises and gates had remained under filthy water, and we had to put in extra efforts and
funds to replace such lines.

While visiting various schools, the area residents told Dawn that the ritual of giving permissions for holding of weddings in
school premises had been causing extensive damage to school buildings.In many cases, new buildings have been built in
different tenures and old blocks have been abandoned. A visit to the City District Government Elementary Boys and Girls Sir
Syed School 17/16 in Khokhrapar and some other schools revealed that as new block were constructed, the old buildings were
left to rot, and were neither repaired, nor dismantled. And students during school hours usually play in these rooms.

While looking for availability of water and washrooms in schools, it was revealed that even water-tanks were not properly
washed and cleaned or regularly filled with fresh water.

In some cases, either taps were missing, or leaking taps were resulting in wastage of water or in many cases emptying of tanks
and what to speak of availability of water for washrooms. In many boys‘ schools, there was no arrangement of drinking water or
ceiling fans were missing.

According to a social worker, shortage of teachers and lack of facilities, have led to the decline in enrollment in certain schools.
Another factor behind the falling standards of education in government schools is poor enforcement of discipline, absence of
teachers and a major complaint that teachers are more interested in tuitions rather than teaching students in schools.

Authorities are of the view that lack of enforcement of discipline has actually defamed education department and they are
making efforts to enforce maximum discipline in schools.

Description of Malir: Malir is a suburban locality with a population of about 600,000 where a majority of people from poor and
middle classes reside in seven UCs ie Saudabad, Model Colony, Khokhrapar, Kala Board, Ghazi Barohi, Jaffar Tayyar and
Gharibabad.

Owing to non-availability of quality schools, they are unable to provide their children quality education.

The schools which are in a dismal condition included: Double Story School, Apwa Govt Boys, Girls Primary School, Haji Dilbot
Goth, Malir, City Dist Govt Elementary Boys and Girls Sir Syed School 17/16, Faryal Model Academy, Arman GBSS Model
Colony, Pakistan Public GBSS Model Colony, CDGK‘s Lower Secondary School Mohammadi Dera, CDGK‘s Boys Primary
School No 7 etc.

UC-wise position of students
UC UC-1 UC-2 UC-3 UC-4 UC-5 UC-6 UC-7 Cant Total

Primary
Girls 107 695 2594 800 669 1129 706 739 7430
Boys 348 2168 1829 2813 1821 1908 2541 – 14428

Lower Secondary
Girls 31 501 268 414 174 0 104 0 1492
Boys 65 365 421 194 0 150 109 0 1304

Grand Total 24654
(By Zaheer Ahmed Khan, Dawn-18, 04/07/2006)



                                      Sindh govt takes control of 238 colleges
KARACHI, July 3: The Sindh education department on Monday notified that it had assumed the administrative control of
colleges in the province with immediate effect. A source in the department said the change in the control of about 238 colleges
had become due after an amendment by the Sindh governor in the Sindh Local Government Ordinance, 2001, over two months
back.

In the notification issued on Monday, it was said that the control of college education in Sindh stood transferred from district/city
governments to the Sindh government‘s department of education and literacy.

It was further learnt that under an immediate arrangement, the existing EDO (Higher Education), Karachi, Mohammad Ali
Shaikh, would perform as provincial education manager over five regional education managers, being installed at Karachi,
Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Larkana.
(Dawn-17, 04/07/2006)

                                                                 6
                                      Civil society for repeal of Hudood laws
ISLAMABAD, July 5: The civil society organisations here on Wednesday called on the government to repeal Hudood
ordinances instead of amending, what they called, a set of black laws in the history of Pakistan.
―Over the last more than two decades, we had been fighting hard to get rid of Hudood ordinances introduced by a despot just
for his personal interests. Therefore, total repeal is the only way out and those who talk about amendments, are actually
supporter of these laws,‖ women activists representing various civil society organisations said at a press conference.

―We don‘t know that why government has asked the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) to review these laws, because it‘s a fact
that they were irrational and have nothing to do with Islamic injunctions,‖ they said.

The Hudood ordinances, and other discriminatory legislation, such as Qisas and Diyat and the Law of Evidence, were
promulgated by late Ziaul Haq as part of his political agenda of so called Islamization.
These laws have been opposed by women rights and human rights groups because of their discriminatory nature against
women, minorities and the poor, they said.

During the 27 years that these laws have been in force, they have proved to be unjust, and have caused much suffering to
women, mostly those belonging to the lower strata of the society, they said.

The inquiry commission on women set up by the Senate during the Pakistan People‘s Party‘s government, Justice Nasir Aslam
Zahid Report, and the National Commission on the Status of Women instituted by the present government, have all
recommended repeal of Hudood laws.

It is only now after two-and-a-half decades of advocacy by human rights groups and the sufferings of thousands of innocent
women who have languished in jail, that the government has finally publicly recognised the discriminatory aspects of the
Hudood laws. The Council of Islamic Ideology, which recommended this legislation in 1979, has now acknowledged that some
of the clauses of Hudood laws are in conflict with the spirit of Islam.
The government has prepared a draft bill for amending the Hudood laws, which is to be discussed in the next parliamentary
session. No amendment will make these black laws acceptable to the civil society because the entire set of laws have so many
lacunas.

Therefore, it is up to the parliament to repeal these law forthwith and if government feels that the country should have some
legislation in this regard, then it should be done.
Representatives of Actionaid, Pattan Development Organisation, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Women Action
Forum, Sungi Development Organisation, Aurat Foundation, Rozan, The Network, Poda, Bedari, and SDPI were present on the
occasion.
(Dawn-2, 06/07/2006)



                                             Police grab school building
KARACHI, July 6: In a brazen act of trespassing, police have occupied a newly constructed double-storey school building
where classes were scheduled to commence in August.
The city government has established the school in North Nazimabad Town in view of the longstanding demand of local
residents. ―It is shocking to note that the police have taken over the building before our wards could have a seat for learning,‖
some of the upset people of the area said.

Located in Block-F of North Nazimabad on Rasheed Turabi Road, the building has been constructed at a cost of Rs11 million
put in by the City District Government Karachi over a period of three years.
It has 10 big classrooms, separate rooms for headmaster and teachers, spacious science laboratory, library, workshop, drawing
hall and an auditorium.
The school project was formally inaugurated by provincial Minister for Planning and Development Syed Shoaib Bukhari on
August 13, 2005.
―We were all set to launch teaching up to class X at the school, meant for 300 to 400 girls, from August 16 after summer
vacation, but the occupation of the building by police has upset the plan,‖ said a senior city government official. The Education
Works Department of the city government had been trying to sort out the issue for more than five months but in vain, he added.

The police have so far shifted a police check-post to the school building, but the residents feared their hectic activity and
increasing operation indicated that they were in no mood to vacate the place. They also feared that their wards might be
deprived of a great opportunity of having the high school education facility within the neighbourhood if the relevant authorities
failed to get the building vacated from ‗these uniform encroachers‘.

The Duty Officer of the Hyderi Market police post which has been housed in the school building said that after the police-post
was dismantled at the previous site, the police found the school building ‗appropriate‘ for their purpose.
―We know that the property is a school building and has to be restored to the education department of the city government, but
there is no harm in using it as a police station till the time we get some alternative place,‖ he argued.

The school has been named after Haji Mohammad Zakariya and built on an ST plot measuring about one acre. In official files, it
has been categorised as a double-section high school.

Police have been using at least two big rooms for their offices and some other rooms as retiring/living rooms.
Sources in the education department said that the building in question had been completed in all respects last year.
―In addition to undertaking new admissions for classes VI to IX, we have also planned to shift students of a school situated in
Block-6, F B Area, to the new school,‖ said the source, explaining that the school building in Block-6 was in a precarious
condition. He maintaining that in order to avoid any harm to the students and teachers of that school, the government has
already decided to reconstruct it.

Regarding restoration of the school building to the education department, an official confided to Dawn that all the forums
concerned had been moved during the past few months.
He stated that a senior minister had also written to the authorities that the matter be sorted out, but nothing could make the
police to quit the building, he added.
                                                               7
When contacted, the concerned DO of Education Works told Dawn that in response to a letter in January last, the than TPO of
North Nazimabad had replied to him that the police had taken over the premises after getting permission from the town nazim.
The DO quoted the TPO as saying that a request in this regard had been made to the town nazim who gave the permission
accordingly.
(By Mukhtar Alam, Dawn-17, 07/07/2006)



      Law changed to allow bail for women: Musharraf promulgates ordinance; 1,300 female
                                prisoners to be freed immediately
ISLAMABAD, July 7: President General Pervez Musharraf on Friday promulgated an ordinance to facilitate release of women
detained on various charges, including violation of Hudood laws.
About 1,300 women will be immediately bailed out under the new law.

During a meeting with women members of the cabinet and parliamentarians and prominent women from various fields at the
Aiwan-i-Sadr, the president said that women imprisoned in cases other than murder and terrorism would be released.
The president reaffirmed his commitment to promoting and protecting women‘s rights.
The ordinance will provide for immediate release on bail of about 1,300 women prisoners, Women Development and Youth
Affairs Minister Sumaira Malik said, adding that ―the ordinance will continue to provide relief to women in the future‖.

She said it was a ―great day in the history of Pakistan with regard to promotion of women‘s rights‖, adding that the government
would do away with the un-Islamic laws affecting women.
―We will do away with it. We are ready and prepared and women would no more be exploited in the name of laws,‖ she said.

The ordinance is called ‗Law Reforms Ordinance 2006‘ with an amendment to clause 497 of CrPC that relates to grant of bail to
women languishing in jails.
In reply to a question, Ms Malik said the government would not be blackmailed by anybody on removal of un-Islamic provisions
from laws. She said the Hudood Ordinance had been discussed by all segments of society and the government desired to
remove only un-Islamic provisions.

President Musharraf expressed support for efforts aimed at protecting women‘s rights and said that women‘s political
empowerment by the government had provided the basis for their emancipation.
―I am on women‘s side for their empowerment,‖ he said as women legislators hailed the ordinance.

Referring to the increase in women‘s representation to 33 per cent at grass roots and 17 per cent seats reserved for them at the
national level, he said the government was also striving for the economic empowerment of women and encouraging loans for
them through Khushhali Bank.

The president hoped that the Rozgar Pakistan programme would help achieve that objective.
He emphasised that education and capacity building of women through enhancement of their skills in various fields was
essential for their empowerment.
―Education will be a key factor in emancipation of women,‖ he said, adding that the increasing number of women getting
education at institutions of higher learning was a positive development.
He supported appointment of women on higher posts on merit.
AP adds: The Hadood Ordinance currently does not allow women‘s release on bail.
Currently, more than 6,000 women are awaiting trial in different jails of the country.
(Dawn-1, 08/07/2006)



                                           School under police occupation
IT is not unusual for law enforcement agencies to occupy school buildings and convert them into their offices. But it is an
altogether different matter when the police get permission from town nazims to ‗temporarily‘ set up office in a newly constructed
school building in Karachi — as was discovered on Thursday. Parents in the locality of North Nazimabad rightly fear that the
police may not vacate in time for the new school session which begins on August 16. In that event, not only will area
schoolchildren suffer but those from another locality, who were due to start their classes here while their building is being
reconstructed, will likely be left out as well. This must not be allowed to happen. The concerned authorities must ensure that the
police vacate the school premises well in time. They must also find out why the town nazim gave the police permission to move
in. The police may be pressed for accommodation at times but it is bad practice to allow them to occupy a school building for
temporary lodging. It is unclear in the present case whether the police authorities have actively been looking for a suitable
location for their offices. If not, they must be told to do so and vacate the school building well before the end of the summer
holidays.

This incident only reaffirms the authorities‘ utter disregard for education. Rangers have periodically occupied school and college
buildings and converted them into their offices for long periods. Efforts to remove them have rarely yielded any results. This
kind of arrogant attitude explains why parents are in a state of despair. They fear that the police may prolong their stay on one
pretext or another. The education authorities must use whatever clout they have to ensure that the matter is sorted out soon
and the school session starts on time.
(Dawn-7, 08/07/2006)



                                            Commercial marriages of girls
The recent apex court's judicial activism on exchange of girls to settle disputes is rather dramatic. Perhaps for another few
months, the chiefs, and the tribal elders will think before mediating marriage disputes. But very soon, life will normalise, and
exchanging girls for an odd buffalo, or an acre of land, or even a house, or using girls to settle disputes over a buffalo, or land,
or a house will go on, as if nothing ever happened.



                                                                 8
A political economy of trading and trafficking girls through marriage has strengthened and increased as the rights of Pakistani
citizens become vague with disintegration of state institutions, like the police and the judiciary, that protect and enforce these
rights.

A vast and intense trafficking of girls is taking place across the length and breath of the country with complicity of the family,
tribe, and implicitly by the state. A girl child sees her life pledged, negotiated, bartered, sold, long before she knows who she is,
and sometimes years before she is born.
In Upper Sindh, in times of scarcity and in times of plenty, Balochis sell their little girls. Herders come from far away lands,
loaded with sheep and buy girls and leave some sheep behind, and go back into the hills. Nomadic Pathans come down buy
girls, or leave them behind, and vanish into the hills. Girls from rural Punjab flee southwards, to Sindh to escape from the
vicious contracts through which their lives are pledged. Local Sindhis exchange women and girls across and through
generations, pledging even future girls which will be born. Women build their houses, and repair their fallen roofs, after selling
their girls. Vast trading networks of girls take place everyday and all the time. Girls are trafficked across provinces and borders,
sometimes taken as far out as Quetta, Loralai, Kandahar, or brought from here to there.

The old doddering men are the best bidders of the girls; they offer the best rates, rich with their properties, their buffaloes, and
their houses. Sometimes since they have plenty of girls to offer, they simply offer their granddaughters or grandnieces in
exchange for girls who would be their wives.

In Upper Sindh girls are regularly sold for a price averaging sixty thousand rupees, for some market factor I cannot figure out.
Sometimes a pregnancy, is pledged as part of the contract -- the first girl to be born is to be returned to the mother's brothers,
or the middlemen in marriage to be given in marriage to anyone they choose. However, such exchanges take place through
active participation of mothers, and fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers, and uncles and aunts of the girls.

Mothers, too, are complicit. A young woman, Janvri Baloch, about 30, came to me, weeping about her girl child who was only
16 but pregnant with a second child, and in a serious ante-natal condition. "I am poor, my husband is old and infirm, I gave my
girl for sixty thousand rupees, as I did not have a house, and I built my house," she confesses sadly. And now the little child is
producing her second child and is very sick.

Another woman, a Lolai Baloch, repaired the roof of her house from the sixty thousand she got when she gave away her
daughter to a man from the Pal community in the neighbouring village. The little girl soon ran away from the old man who wed
her after paying for the little bride. The woman came to me, to ask me to help with the divorce. I asked her to go to the court.

Some women do take a stand against the trafficking of girls. A Pitafi woman, a widow with four girls came to me, asking for
help, when her second daughter, Rukhsana, only 10 had already been pledged in marriage by her brothers-in-law Maula Bux
and Mehar, to Qasim for Rs30,000. A deposit had been given for this pledge by the bridegroom to be. Qasim, who is about fifty-
years-old, already married and childless, killed his father's sister as kari and took a fine of Rs200,000 from a neighbouring Rind
he accused of being karo with his dead father's sister. Rukhsana's mother's brother-in-law now calls him ghairatmand because
of this act and thinks he will be an appropriate husband for the ten-year-old niece.

Rukhsana's mother would like to have her brothers-in-law arrested to deter them from carrying out the contract. However, there
is no guarantee, that tomorrow Rukhsana's mother does not negotiate marriage of the same daughter by getting the money for
it from her own kin. As it is, Rukhsana's elder sister was sold by her father, when he was alive, to the Burriro community, also
for sixty thousand rupees. At that time, Rukhsana's mother did not resist. Most of the money from the first daughter's marriage
was gambled away. About ten thousand was loaned to his brother Maula Bux, who, by the way, has still not returned this
money to his brother.

The fate of these girls is tragic. Many who are very young, and wed to old men, often run away, in search of a better life. They
endanger their own lives, and also become vulnerable to further trafficking. Those who mediate between these run-away girls
or support them in running away, often resell them to another man, or marry them themselves. Sometimes these middle(men)
are fathers and mothers themselves.

A very young girl came on a bus and a train all the way from Okara. She was running away from her old and sterile husband,
that her father had wed her to, after taking Rs30,000 from the old man. She would run to her family to escape from the old man,
but her father would tie her to a charpai, and take her back to her husband, every time she would run away from him. This
happened regularly for three years. Now that her father broke his neck and died, after falling from a tree, this girl, who roams
the land, a lost child, is free but yet in danger of being trafficked again.

Several laws indirectly deter commercial exploitation of girls, or their forced transactions in marriages, but none do so directly.
Under the Muslim Family Law Ordinance, a girl must have attained the age of 16 and a boy must have attained the age of 18,
and both need to consent before the marriage can take place. Pakistan has also ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of
Child, which prohibits child marriages.

A recent law, 'The Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance' (promulgated in October 2002), applies to all
children aged less than 18 years and defines human trafficking to include recruiting, buying or selling a person, with or without
consent, by use of coercion, abduction, or by giving payment or share for such person's transportation, for exploitative
entertainment. The ordinance prescribes a punishment of 7-14 years' imprisonment and also includes parents if they are guilty
of the crime involving their own children therefore they are liable to the same punishment.

However, this law seldom applies to parents who sell their girls in marriage, as marriage is a sacred formal legal family rite, and
therefore masks trafficking, even when it is a commercial transaction.

In 2002, the chief justice of Pakistan declared the Pukhtoon custom of swara, giving women in marriage to settle disputes, as
un-Islamic and expressed concern over the rising number of these cases. The Chief Justices of the high courts were all given
instructions to ensure that trial courts do not allow for a woman to be given as compensation. The recent criminal law
amendment 2004 also disallows giving women as compensation for disputes or murders and therefore a complaint can easily
be registered under the amended law to punish those who give girls in compensation for settling disputes.

However the laws are silent on the specific issue of selling girls in and through marriage when no dispute is involved. And by
default, as the multiple laws and their interpretations stand today, the rights of girls are filtered through the family. The Pakistan
Penal Code, after incorporating the Qisas and Diyat Ordinance, empowers the legal and biological heir, the wali with powers to
compound        the     offence    or      killing,   with    powers      of     life    over       his    children    and     minors.
                                                                  9
The family is entrusted with law and with power to regulate individual rights. When the wali's close kin kill women, these walis
are given sanction to forgive them. On the other hand, the state does not offer any effective institutions to uphold individual
rights of men, women or children when these are violated by the proverbial walis. Hence, the family when it is the source of
strength is also the subject of vulnerability.

The courts are right to show anger when tribal elders negotiate such marriages on the stage of the jirga. Hazar Khan Bijirani will
probably not do it anymore. Or the Pir of Barchoondi Sharif will think twice before exchanging girls for settling disputes after the
wrath of the courts. But how will the courts show anger when countless fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers,
and uncles and aunts, willingly, and happily negotiate or pledge their little daughters, granddaughters and nieces, taking them
by their hand, or in their laps on any ordinary day, and leaving them behind to strangers for some everyday expense like cash
for cigarettes, for money owed in gambling, or for repairing fallen rooftops?
(By Nafisa Shah, The News-6, 09/07/2006)



                                     Code of ethics for NGOs to be introduced
ISLAMABAD, July 9: A comprehensive code of ethics for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) would be introduced soon in
order to make them more accountable and public welfare-oriented, Minister for Social Welfare and Special Education Zobaida
Jalal said here on Sunday.
―We are in the process of preparing code of ethics for NGOs with their consultation to make their registration and working
process more efficient and transparent,‖ she said in an exclusive interview with this agency.

She said in order to finalise the code of conduct there had been two meetings with the representatives of NGOs from Peshawar
and Islamabad in the first round, while several other meetings would be held with NGOs of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan as
part of the next round.

Zobaida Jalal said there were about 100,000 NGOs in the country and the government was in the scrutiny process to
distinguish between the efficient and defunct NGOs. She said all stakeholders, including major and small NGOs, regional
NGOs and civil society organisations throughout the country were being involved to finalise the code of ethics.
She said the government had also planned to table the Child Protection Bill during the next session of the National Assembly
which would really help safeguard the rights of children and protect them against social evils like child abuse and child
trafficking.
―We have also held meetings with parliamentarians belonging to both treasury and opposition benches and all of them have
extended full support in introducing this bill,‖ she said. The minister said Child Protection Bureau and Child Protection Centre
would be set up in the capital as well as in Turbat while five special education centres would be established in Sindh, southern
Punjab, Balochistan and tribal agencies.
(Dawn-2, 10/07/2006)



                                  Sharp slump in foreign student arrivals at KU
KARACHI: The number of foreign students studying at the University of Karachi has plummeted over the years, from around
one thousand plus enrolled a decade earlier to barely 150 now.
The decline in the number of foreign faces, who used to add colour and vibrancy to the larger body of local undergraduates on
the campus, is attributable to deteriorating security situation in the city and a general apathy of the KU administration towards
students coming from overseas.

The desolate ‗International Hostel‘ is a picture of monumental neglect which, in part, illustrates just why this seat of learning has
stopped attracting students from foreign shores.

Foreign Students Adviser Professor Kaleem Raza Khan acknowledged that the number of foreign students had declined
considerably. The horrible condition of hostel meant for foreign students had also not escaped his notice, though he chose not
to comment on this aspect.
He explained that a foreign students‘ adviser was just responsible for providing admission after nominations by the Ministry of
Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economic Affairs Division. The admissions were formalised according to the criteria
of different departments.
He said that he also forwarded applications to the offices concerned for the extension of visas of foreign students. He told The
News that a country- and department-wise record of students had been computerised.

A majority of students currently studying at the KU are from Somalia followed by Sudan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Nepal,
Bangladesh, USA, Denmark, Korea and Japan. Those who can afford city lodgings prefer to stay there in relative comfort.

The office of the Student‘s Adviser conducts English language tests of foreign students although this is not a criterion for
admission.

Hostels are the domain of Provosts who are senior academics. Dr Zafar Iqbal, Chairman, Department of Urdu, is the Provost of
the boys‘ hostel while Dr Nasreen Aslam Shah from the Department of Women‘s Studies is the Provost of the girls‘ hostel.

On being approached, Dr Zafar Iqbal, who assumed this additional charge only a month ago, came straight to the point. ―I was
appalled to see the condition of the hostel on my first visit. Everything was a mess. The makeshift kitchen had dirt and grime on
the walls and floors. Insects were crawling all over. One could see mice scampering about and looking for food. It was just
horrible.‖

When this reporter told him about the non-functional toilets in the hostel that have been under construction for about a year, he
nodded his head in agreement. ―I am trying to grasp the situation. There is some problem with the contractors and the work
remained halted for many months. The construction has resumed recently but it is yet to pick up pace.‖
He conceded that payment issues and lethargy of the departments concerned were to blame for this state of affairs.
Professor Muhammad Iqbal from Zoology department was the outgoing Provost who has now retired and could not be
contacted. Dr Zafar Iqbal said there was no check and balance in the affairs of the hostel, so it remained as a forgotten story.

                                                                10
He said that a recreation hall for the hostel was on his list of priorities ―that will bring some justification for calling it a hostel‖. A
small room has been converted into a recreation room that was a mess. There was no proper seating arrangement in the
recreation room and a few students there were sitting on the floor, others were standing while a few crammed into a dilapidated
sofa.

Dr Iqbal was of the view that a check and balance was needed to see what was going on in the hostel and whether those
connected with the maintenance of the hostel were doing there duties.

The general condition of the girls‘ hostel could not be gauged as a visit could not materialize. Dr Nasreen Aslam Shah, the
Provost, while talking to The News on telephone, declined to say anything because ―the university administration had not
authorised her to talk to the press‖.

The overall environment of the hostel was gloomy and lacked the usual energy and zest that characterise such facilities, with
students coming and going in great haste. This was in sharp contrast with the hostel blocks named Aiwan-e-Quaid-e-Azam
which are kept in immaculate condition. These blocks are currently occupied by the rangers.

Amir Karmacharya, a Pharmacy Final Year student from Nepal, was relieved that he had completed his degree requirements
and would be leaving for home shortly. He was annoyed by the absence of adequate toilet facilities in the hostel, where out of
six only two were usable. He informed this reporter that Mess was arranged by the Somali students who were in a majority. He
took his meals at the cafeteria or elsewhere when he had time to venture out.

Mukhtar Abdi Muhammad, a Final Year student in the Department of Microbiology, has come from Somalia. He looked mostly
contended with the hostel situation. ―You can see the condition yourself so what can I say? I am leaving the university after
completing my studies and I am glad to go,‖ Muhammad said resignedly.
(By Perwez Abdullah, The News-2, 10/07/2006)



                          Revamp of colleges a challenge for Sindh Education Deptt
KARACHI: The issuance of a notification by the Sindh Education Department on July 3 could be a routine and well-anticipated
administrative matter, but its contents had a direct and effective reverse impact on the devolution of power programme at least
in the arena of education.
The administrative control of about 238 government-run colleges in Sindh stood transferred to Sindh Education Department.
That‘s what the notification said and with this official move, district governments in the province possessed no more
administrative authority to control college education, which they were vested with some five years back under the devolution of
power plan and new local government system.

Interestingly, the same General Musharraf-led regime at the federal level had decided to take back administrative control of
colleges from the district governments, which wholly conceived, initiated, executed and vehemently promoted the whole
devolution of power scheme.

Speaking at a press briefing here in the metropolis in December 2005, Federal Education Minister Lt-Gen (Retd) Javed Ashraf
Qazi said that devolution of power plan had adversely affected functioning and standard of education in colleges. He said that
colleges had shown no improvement in their performance and in fact their standard had declined mainly because of undue
interference of district Nazims in the colleges‘ affairs.

No wonder the same logic and rationale could be applied to government schools for taking back their administrative control
from the district governments. The standard of education and academic facilities in government schools too under the newly
introduced devolved administrative set-up have not improved and remain highly unsatisfactory throughout functioning of the
new local government system. The chapter of education in the devolution of power scheme is prone to abrogation under the
new government-initiated precedent of taking back the colleges‘ control.

Ironically, undue interference of district Nazims, who were elected on a non-party basis, had been blamed for the declining
standard of college education but the situation would likely remain the same under the new administrative set-up as top
provincial authorities could unduly and excessively meddle in the colleges‘ affairs through political motivation.

In the past too, govt-run colleges in Karachi and the rest of the province were the target of uncalled for interference of influential
political parties and their affiliated student organisations.
The principles of merit and discipline in various teaching and academic affairs, especially in the admission process and
observing compulsory attendance rules, were seriously undermined and compromised due to undue interference of politically
motivated and undisciplined elements.

The uncalled for and undisciplined activities of the politically motivated students‘ organisations had often led to clashes and
adverse law-and-order conditions on the campuses, under which safety and security of bona fide and sincere students and
teachers largely remained threatened and compromised. In the last major incident of armed violence in a college, a student had
lost his life and his class fellow was injured due to an incident of firing at the Government College of Commerce and Economics
in the city, which is otherwise known for its meritorious, regular, and well-disciplined academic and teaching environment.

However, the biggest challenge for the provincial education authorities that have just wrested back control of the colleges is to
restore public confidence and morale in the education system and standard of government colleges. Even students of most
prestigious and sought-after government colleges of the city have made an obligatory practice to avail private tuitions or attend
classes at coaching centres. There is a largely accepted notion that securing above-average marks and grades in examinations
could not happen if a student has just relied on attending classes in college. Qualified and competent college teachers having
grasp of their particular subject have been well-known for offering tuition sessions at their residences or teaching more diligently
and regularly at the coaching centres.

They have spared least efficiency and efforts for covering prescribed syllabi in classes in the college. Some have been known
for encouraging and hinting to their students to take private tuitions from them at their home after college teaching hours
instead of just relaying on college education.
The culture and discipline of attendance, punctuality, and regularity among students of government colleges have become
largely diminished and in some cases have virtually gone missing.

                                                                   11
Concerned circles in college education said that a large majority of science group students mainly went to college in order to
take practical classes and laboratory sessions, which were normally not conducted by tuition and coaching centres. Regularity
and attendance of students in theory classes of compulsory subjects and optional courses remained highly unsatisfactory and
in large instances far less than 75pc mandatory attendance requirement for appearing in exams, they said.

The concerned college teachers said that in majority of the instances principals of the colleges had no option but to endorse
annual examination forms of the students without actually verifying fulfilment of the compulsory attendance requirement. At first
college principals largely lacked proper resources and manpower to scientifically evaluate attendance performance of each and
every student prospective to appear in the exams, said the concerned teachers adding that secondly principals were very well
aware of the overall academic, teaching, and law-and-order environment in their colleges and they knew that in such an
unfavourable situation students were not much inclined to fully observe the attendance rule.

The relevant quarters in college education said that in majority of the government colleges in the city, size of classrooms did not
cater and accommodate well the large number of students placed every year in the first year classes under the centralised
admission policy.

At a recently held high-level meeting, Dr Hamida Khuhro had also expressed her deep concern over acute shortage of teachers
in some colleges and irrational and unnecessary posting of teachers in other colleges. She directed the newly designated
provincial education manager to come up with a proper redeployment plan for teachers so that teaching strength in colleges
could be rationalised to fulfil education and academic needs of the government-run educational institutions.
(By Muhammad Azeem Samar, The News-4, 12/07/2006)



                                        15,000 children living on city streets
KARACHI, July 12: Over 15,000 children are living on streets of the metropolis without adequate protection, and this situation
demands coordinated efforts from all stakeholders to tackle the issue.
This was stated at a seminar on street children in Karachi, organised by Madadgar - children and women helpline service, says
a statement on Wednesday.
The speakers were of the view that the drug mafia was using street children. It was pointed out that Karachi experienced a
significant growth of street children in the recent decades.

This may be due to poverty, as well as limited employment opportunities in the city, they opined.

The speakers said that a majority of street children work and live on streets of Karachi and are thus vulnerable to become
victim of violence, sexual abuse and exploitation.

It was pointed out that civil society organisations are trying to rehabilitate these youngsters. However, impact is not much visible
due to enormous nature of the problem.
The participants deplored that drug mafia was using street children for committing crimes.

LHRLA President Zia Awan said that the Madadgaar provides appropriate service to children and women survivors of violence
through more than 200 referral partners.

The organization, after realising that street children were one of the most neglected sections of the society, decided to work for
ending or minimizing their miseries.
He said a majority of street children work and live on streets of Karachi, thus are vulnerable to violence, sexual abuse and
exploitation.

Mr Awan said his organization was drafting a memorandum to coordinate with other bodies to do some collective effort for the
betterment of street children and emphasized to develop centres or night shelters in those areas, where street children are
more vulnerable and are living on streets in a critical situation.

Rana Asif, President Initiator, in his presentation said street children were unable to access government facilities or services,
such as education and healthcare. He further said that despite several child friendly statues, conventions and laws, children
continue to suffer abuse and are sidelined from participating in matters that effect them.

Ms Rehana from PAVNH said they aim to improve knowledge of HIV transmission among school and street children in targeted
areas of Karachi. She said that street children were victim of neglect and exploitation, and are exposed to many dangers and
critical diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B, C.

Anwar Kazmi, representing the Edhi Foundation, offered his services to provide shelters to all DICs for the street children either
in day or night.
(Dawn-19, 13/07/2006)



                                             SSC-II (general) group results
KARACHI, July 15: The Board of Secondary Education (BSE), Karachi, on Saturday declared the results of regular and private
candidates of the SSC-II (general) annual exams, 2006.
Of 37,337 candidates who appeared in examination 24,807 were declared pass. The overall percentage of successful
candidates came as 66.44, which was 3.20 per cent lower than that of the last year.
The first position in the merit list was shared by a boy and a girl belonging to private sector schools. All the distinguished
students were handed over their SSC examination marks sheets at a ceremony presided over by chairman of BSE, Brig (retd)
Shafiullah Qureshi, at the board office.

Mohammad Abbas, roll no 665922, of Ghulaman-i-Abbas School, Lyari, and Aiman Tariq, roll number 734751, of Mama Parsi
Girls Secondary School, M A Jinnah Road, clinched first position by securing 767 (90.24%) marks out of 850.


                                                                12
Another two students of Ghulaman-i-Abbas School, Baqir Ali, roll no 665915, and Rizwan Ali, roll no 665930, bagged second
and third positions respectively by securing 760 and 754 marks respectively.

On the girls merit list, Ambreen, roll number 726972, of the Aga Khan Girls Secondary School, Karimabad, and Mahnoor
Ghazanfar, roll no 734761, of Mama Parsi Girls Secondary School, were bracketed for second position as each of them
secured 88.35 per cent of the total marks. Third position was secured by Samra Owais, roll no 732974, of St Patrick's Girls
Secondary School, Saddar, who secured 738 marks.

During a question answer session, position holder students of Mama Parsi School told newsmen that the use of unfair means
was considerable at the examination centre established at a private school in Saddar. However, they maintained that those who
were busy in cheating did not belong to their school and they belonged to another two schools located in Saddar area.
Other position holders also condemned the use of unfair means in examination and expressed the view that the over all
environment at the examination centres and invigilation system needed to be made more effective and foolproof.
A couple of position holders said that teachers should recognise their responsibility and stand against the cheats who
collectively brought scars to the credibility of the examinations.

Those who wanted to continue education and acquire knowledge and skill before entering practical life, in fact cared for a
serious system of education and never resorted to cheating, said the students, adding that they never used unfair means as
they were never encouraged for that by their teachers and parents as well.

Of the six position holders from among the boys and girls five said that they wanted to become a chartered accountant as it will
highly pay in future.

BSE chairman Brig Shafiullah admitted that cheating in examination was on the rise, but that could not be eliminated by
educational boards alone. Every character of the society has to think about the damages resulting from the use of unfair
means, he added, saying that a good number of students did cheat because they were not guided properly.
He, however, avoided making any quick comment on the role of teachers in checking or promoting the cheating menace. He
said that vigilance teams were set up every year, with the objective to ensure transparent and smooth conduct of examinations,
but, personally, felt that those were not up to the mark.

Apprising about the conduct of examination and compilation of results, the BSE controller of examination, Mohammad Saleem
Khan, said that he and his team had been able to release the matriculation examination results at least two week ahead of the
deadline set by the provincial education department, which was surely a tremendous job done.
He said that SSC marks sheets of general group examinations would be issued to students within two weeks.

Later the chairman, along with the controller and Secretary of the Board, Prof Asif Pasha Siddiqui, handed over marks sheets to
position holders. The marks sheet of Samra Owais was received by her father.

According to a BSE notification, a total of 28,171, including 20,666 girls appeared as regular candidates in the exams, out of
which 19110, including 13852 were declared pass. The pass percentage of regular students remained 67.84.

In the case of private candidates the pass percentage remained as 62.15, as of 9166 candidates, including 2,670 girls, taking
the examinations, 5,697, including 1,410 were declared pass.
A grade wise breakdown of successful candidates is as follows:
Regular; A-1 grade 369, A grade 1,828, B grade 3,719, C grade 6,633, D grade 5, 734 and E grade 827.
Private; A-1 grade 10, A grade 204, B grade 1,024, C grade 1,942, D grade 1854, E grade 272 and Pass 391.
Results of 47 candidates were withheld due to the use of unfair means, while another 2,275 candidates were asked to furnish
correct information for declaration of results.
(Dawn-19, 16/07/2006)



                                         Wanted: a sound education system
EVERYONE has their own perception of life. Unanimity in individuals‘ perception contributes to the overall progress of a
society. Acquiring education is the process that helps shape individuals their thoughts, strengthens their beliefs and makes
them come up with innovative ideas. According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, education means: ―The
knowledge and skills that you gain from being taught.‖ In a broader sense of the word, education widens your reasoning ability,
opens up new vistas of thought which enrich people‘s personalities and grooms them in a manner that enables them to meet
life‘s challenges with determination. Keeping this in mind, there wouldn‘t be any doubt that education is the most important
factor in helping an under-developed country to progress and prosper. Without a sound educational system, one cannot come
on a par with the developed nations of the world.

In our present educational scenario, one can clearly see that our existing educational system lacks the all-important elements of
knowledge and skills that could be implemented in practical life. This can be gauged from the fact that often a student who
claims to have passed his/her intermediate examination by getting reasonably good numbers, is completely oblivious to the so-
called knowledge that he has gained. Students are many a time found ignorant of what he has been taught in all the 12 years of
their learning, thanks to the rote-learning process which has become an integral part of our educational system.

The five-year paper, reference books, notes and the ready-made answers provided to students restrict them from working hard
and prevents them from having a keen interest in gaining more knowledge. Students‘ knowledge is assessed through a set
pattern which is easily accessible in the form of five-year papers. This pattern provides the young minds with a very easy
option, that is, to go for selective studies and thus acquire a marks-oriented education that annuls their bright future that can be
ensured by the right kind of education. In order to gain more marks, a student is compelled to follow this set pattern. In order to
be eligible enough to be a part of a technical/professional institute, one needs to secure good marks to acquire further
education. Good marks can only be achieved when one has to pass through the same process and if students fail to follow the
set pattern they end up getting B or C grade results. The dream of getting good grades is thus shattered merely because the
students did not follow the rote-learning system.

Recently, the Ministry of Education chalked out a plan to improve the standard of education at the matriculation level by
increasing the number of subjects. In order to have uniformity with the federal education system, the ministry at first declared
that schools would reopen from September 1 instead of August 1, giving students an extra one month holiday. Do these extra

                                                                13
holidays ensure a marked improvement in the education system? Later on, the ministry of education decided to reopen schools
from August 16.

The students who would already have enjoyed their two-month vacations would get bored staying at home and then it would be
extremely difficult for them to get back to studies after such a long relaxing period. Children are bound to be restless, and this
restless nature of theirs would be wasted in watching cartoons, sleeping extra hours to kill time, or fighting with their siblings.
Thus, to channelise their restlessness in a constructive way, schools should reopen in the first week of August giving students a
chance to celebrate the Independence Day with fervor. School days are the best days to develop love for the nation and to
build a sense of patriotism. The way children celebrate the Independence Day is worth seeing. Already, educational institutions
have to shut down because of unannounced holidays on a number of occasions apart from the gazetted holidays reducing
working days. This gives the youth of our country ample opportunity to indulge in frivolous activities.
It would be useless to increase the number of subjects in the curriculum unless it is matched with good teachers and less
holidays. The syllabus and the exam pattern of assessing students should be revised and improved keeping in mind modern-
day needs. The syllabus should be formed in a way that it should arouse interest of students in studies. Students should be
examined on the basis of their intelligence and knowledge and not by their ability to rote learn quickly. The best way to improve
is to plan question papers which could compel students to read reference books and explore their subjects. Multiple choice
questions and short research work should be added to enhance the IQ level of students.
(By Asma Siddiqui, Dawn-The Magazine-2, 16/07/2006)



                                             Anatomy of blasphemy laws
THERE was a time when religion kept a society together, and denial of its truth or efficacy could work as a disintegrative agent.
It had, therefore, to be protected from the invasions of non-believers and heretics. None could be allowed to ridicule the
dominant majority‘s religion, its doctrine and dogma. Those who uttered or published such insults would be punished. Thus
began the blasphemy laws in England and Europe.

Then came the time, albeit gradually, when the role of religion as a preserver of the social fabric diminished. Consequently,
blasphemy laws have been repealed, or made dormant and inoperative, in a number of societies during the last 50 years or so,
if not since even earlier.

I should like to say a word about the operation of blasphemy laws in England, a country with which we have had long and deep
associations, before examining their substance and workings in Pakistan. Until about the close of the 16th century church
authorities dealt with blasphemers under the canon law. Subsequently, blasphemy became an offence under the English
common law. In 1676, Sir Mathew Hale, the lord chief justice, maintained that ―Christianity is parcel of the laws of England,‖ and
that, therefore reproaching it amounted to subversion of the state and government.

English law made the following types of expression subject to imprisonment, fine, and/or corporal punishment: denial of God‘s
being and providence; ―contumelious reproaches‖ of Jesus Christ; ―profane scoffing‖ of the holy scriptures, or exposing any part
thereof to contempt or ridicule; reviling the sacrament of the Last Supper; rejection by a person professing to be Christian of the
belief that members of the Holy Trinity were God, or that the holy scriptures were of divine origin.

In its actual operation the law was used from time to time to persecute atheists, Unitarians, Quakers, and other non-
conformists. But it appears also that other persons punished for violating it were not all that numerous. The last such person
was John William Gott, sentenced to nine months in prison in 1921 for having satirised the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem
and for comparing him with a ―circus clown.‖

It should be noted that the English blasphemy law did not protect religions other       than Christianity as represented by the
Anglican Church. No penalties ensued if, for instance, anyone made fun of the Pope      or, for that matter, belittled Martin Luther
or John Calvin. Since the publication of Salman Rushdie‘s Satanic Verses, Muslims       in Britain have been asking for the law‘s
coverage to be extended to protect all religions. Other minorities have made similar    demands, but these are not likely to get
anywhere.

Many British liberals — including a good number of businessmen, members of parliament, academics, men of letters,
journalists, and creative artists — believe that the blasphemy law is harsh, outmoded, discriminatory, liable to be used as an
instrument of bigotry, contrary to the Human Rights Act of 1998 (especially clauses relating to freedom of expression), and that
it should therefore be repealed. On the other hand, conservatives, represented by organs such as the ―Christian Voice,‖ oppose
repeal.

The compromise to which successive governments in Britain have tended would keep the law on the Statute Book but not
enforce it. A large group of persons gathered outside the entrance to a church in Trafalgar Square (London) in 2002 to hear one
of James Kirkup‘s poems, which suggested that Jesus had been ―gay.‖ The police, however, left the sponsors of the event and
the audience alone.

The blasphemy law in Pakistan does not protect religions other than Islam. No penalties will be imposed on the man who
alleges that the attribution of divinity to Krishna is misconceived, or that the Hindu scriptures are nothing more than fiction.
Equally safe is the man who declares that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad‘s claim to being a prophet is false.

Otherwise the law is extensive in coverage and stringent in its terms. It takes the form of additions to Sections 295 and 298 of
the Pakistan Penal Code. Section 295-B provides that anyone who defiles, damages, or desecrates a copy of the Quran, or an
extract from it, and anyone who uses it in a derogatory manner or for ―unlawful purposes‖ (whatever that might mean), will go to
prison for life. Section 295-C has it that anyone who defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) through
any form of expression whatever, explicit or implicit, shall merit death or life imprisonment and fine.

It appears that any assessment of the Prophet‘s honour and dignity that falls short of the level that others may have assigned
him will probably be interpreted as blasphemous. It follows also that no part or aspect of his word or deed is to be open to
scrutiny.

Section 298-A prescribes imprisonment up to three years to anyone who ―defiles the sacred name‖ of any of the Prophet‘s
wives, members of his family (―Ahl-i-Bait‖), companions (―Sahaba‖), or any of the first four ―rightly guided‖ caliphs.


                                                               14
Additions to Section 298 (B and C) are addressed exclusively to members of the Ahmadi community. They will go to jail if they
do any of the following things: call their faith Islam and themselves Muslim; preach their faith; refer to anyone of their own
community as Ameer-ul-Momineen; designate such a man‘s companions as ―Sahaba‖ and his wife as ―Ummul Momineen‖;
invite Allah‘s blessings upon one of their chosen persons; call their place of worship a masjid or make the traditional Muslim call
for prayer. They are not to ―outrage‖ the religious sensitivities of Muslims. Subsequent developments forbid them to post the
Muslim declaration of faith (kalima) on their places. And, unless I am mistaken, they may not even greet a Muslim in the latter‘s
traditional language.

Parts of this law are vague and thus lend themselves to misapplication. It is, for instance, hard to assign the word ―defile‖ a
specific enough connotation. The dictionary says it means to corrupt the purity or perfection of a person (or object), debase
him/her, to denude him/her of chastity, to make him/her unclean with something that is contaminating, sully or dishonour
him/her. In another situation we might have dismissed this word as a bad choice, but here we are stuck with it.
Plain abuse or denunciation could be called defiling. For instance, anyone who calls Jesus ―gay‖ or compares him with a ―circus
clown‖ (as mentioned above) may justly be accused of ―defiling‖ him. But if one chooses to use the word loosely, many
harmless observations could be dubbed as defilements and therefore blasphemous. Consider a few possibilities.

There are Muslims who believe that our Prophet was partly divine, while others believe he was entirely human. In the former
view the latter are lowering his status and may be seen as defiling his sacred name. On occasion the Quran is critical of some
of the Prophet‘s wives, but if a Muslim asserted the same, he might be accused of defiling them.

We know as a fact that Umar bin Khattab and Ali ibn Abu Talib disagreed with Abu Bakr (the first pious caliph) on certain issues
and considered his decisions to have been inappropriate. Would we be defiling the ―sacred name‖ of Abu Bakr if we were to
agree with Umar and Ali?

One of the Prophet‘s wives, Ayesha, and two of his companions, Talha and Zubair, fought Ali ibn Abu Talib (―Jang-i-Jamal‖)
soon after he had become the fourth pious caliph. Muawiya bin Abu Sufyan also fought him (―Jang-i-Safin‖). Needless to say,
one of the sides in these battles acted wrongfully. Would it be blasphemous to say so?

Some of the Prophet‘s companions remained with him for several hours every day. Others visited him only once in a while and
that too briefly. Surely they cannot all be placed as equals in terms of their closeness to the Prophet. The law under reference
gives us no clue as to who are to reckoned as ―Sahaba‖ whose names are sacred. For instance, is Abu Sufyan, an inveterate
foe of the Prophet, who repeatedly led the Quraish of Makkah in battle against him, and who accepted Islam only after Makkah
had fallen, to be counted among his ―sahaba‖ and criticism of his conduct to be regarded as ―blasphemous libel‖?

Constraints placed upon the Ahmadis in sub-sections B and C of section 298 are perplexing, to say the least. They are
forbidden to follow Muslim expressions, observances, usages, and practices in spite of the fact that these are all parts of their
faith. Or, to put it in another way, the law says their faith must not be what it is.

The law says the Ahmadis must not call themselves Muslim and their faith Islam. This puts them in an impossible position. They
are not merely pretending to be Muslim. They honestly and truly believe themselves to be Muslim. The law requires them to lie
about their self-perception. It calls upon them to be duplicitous. This is incredible.

The law is repugnant not only to the universally accepted charter of human rights, to which Pakistan is a signatory, but also to
its own Constitution, which guarantees all citizens the right and freedom to profess and practice religions of their choosing. It
sanctifies horrendous intolerance and reduces Pakistan‘s professions of moderation and enlightenment to gross hypocrisy.

Islam is quite capable of ―protecting‖ itself, if we will let it be. Moves to ―protect‖ it, and the resulting controversies, have only
worked to divide us as a people. The blasphemy law serves no useful purpose. It is simply an expression of the majority‘s
anger at a small minority that is deemed to be heretical.

In its actual operation it has visited unspeakable suffering upon innocent persons. Men of ill will have used it to wage personal
vendettas, grab the weaker party‘s property, or simply vent their malice.
Yet, given the likely opposition of the Islamic parties, it may be politically difficult to repeal this law. The British compromise
might merit consideration: the law may remain on the Statute Book, but let it be ignored, and thus made inoperative.
(By Anwar Syed, Dawn-7, 16/07/2006)



                                                   College plot occupied
KARACHI, July 16: An amenity plot reserved for construction of a girls college in Lyari has been occupied and encroached
upon and commercial structures are built without paying any municipal taxes.
The amenity plot, measuring 12,600 square yards has been situated on Shah Waliullah Road in Darayabad Union Council area
and work onthe proposed college could not be undertaken by the concerned government department due to illegal commercial
structures which include godowns and shops.

Residents of the area have urged the city government to take urgent measures for removal of encroachments so that
construction work on the college could be carried out.
They also urged the city district government to remove all illegal workshops and mini-truck stands in Liaquat
Colony in the Daryabad Union Council area which are a permanent source of nuisance as transporters had already been
allotted plots in the new truck stand on the main Hawkesbay Road.
They said despite repeated warnings by the government, transporters had not shifted their businesses to the new site.
(Dawn-14, 17/07/2006)



                                                     NGOs under threat
IT should come as no surprise that clerics in Mansehra have asked NGOs to sack their female employees by July 30 or face
being forcibly stopped from working in their area. It is no secret that right-wing elements in the country, particularly the religious
ones, see NGOs as foreign-funded and inspired therefore un-Islamic in motivation. The lengths to which certain elements can
go to discredit NGOs is what is worrisome. Earlier this year, a woman NGO worker in the Kailash area was kidnapped in

                                                                 15
Peshawar and released only after she paid a ransom of one million rupees. She was still lucky compared to an NGO worker
who last year, along with her teenage daughter, was killed in Dir, her crime being that she worked for a women‘s rights
organisation. Dir was also the focus of much attention during elections when women were prevented from voting until the
Supreme Court stepped in and ensured against forcible prevention. NGO workers were then beaten for encouraging women to
exercise their right to vote. These incidents show the scale of threats and coercion NGO workers, especially women, face in
carrying out their work, especially in the NWFP. This makes it imperative for the authorities to provide security to NGO
personnel in Mansehra against threats of violence by bigoted elements.

It is unfortunate that while governments seem unwilling to undertake social work, those that do are often obstructed in every
possible way. It is perhaps futile to argue with the clerics on the valuable service NGOs render in promoting health and
education for the poor, for they are not open to reason. But they simply must be allowed to obstruct the good work the NGOs
are doing for the betterment of the people.
(Dawn-7, 21/07/2006)
                                               Educated, but unemployed
Sohail spent about half-a-million rupees on obtaining his MBA degree four years ago and is still looking for a job. Jabbar also
spent nearly that much amount on trying to get the same degree a year later. He was lucky to get a couple of projects, which he
undertook while looking for a job.
On the contrary, Muzzamil was fortunate enough to get into a government-sponsored institution and today occupies an
executive position — courtesy a close relative already there, who made things easier for him.

Academically, Jabbar and Sohail did not lack talent, nor was Muzzamil a celestial creature. The deplorable aspect is that the
former two had little opportunities, while the latter had access to the appropriate corridor.

Scanning through newspapers, we come across hundreds of advertisements offering jobs in various public and private sectors,
reflecting the job situation, tending to show that the advertiser is on a talent hunt campaign. Later on, this proves to be a hoax
and a bid to go through a formality, as the vacancies are already filled.

Today, we find every four out of five graduates having degrees in social sciences or applied disciplines without a job. The fact is
that every year we are adding an army of 10,000 to 15,000 graduates belonging to various disciplines of engineering, business
administration, finance management and computer science. This figure is part of those 80,000 aspirants who intend to take
admissions to public and private institutions and spend millions of rupees in about four years.
The addition of corporate culture is no doubt unavoidable and a welcome area that has changed the environment, created new
venues and used the talent to its best. But unfortunately, this too has fallen prey to the age-old system whose only criterion is
nepotism and public relationing. Today, corporate culture has taken a lot of our talent but in terms of productivity, it is again the
question of ―social rate of return‖ that culture can offer.

Let us take the examples of England and the United States. In the United States, education has undergone astounding
expansion in almost all fields, especially in administrative and economic management during the past two decades. The fact
that education has brought awareness among the people remains undisputed. But it has also created social, economic,
psychological and even political problems. The United States being a vast country and expanding economy, can manage
graduates, but not all of them are accommodated according to their qualifications. Their social scientists estimate that out of
five graduates, only one gets a job according to his talent and aptitude.

Similar is the case with Britain. Their politicians think that half the students who will complete their studies by 2010 should go to
work and a process should be adopted that no more graduates are churned out of the universities. They call this phenomenon
as ―knowledge economy‖ while social scientists believe that they need more graduates.

Dr Anthony Hisketh and Prof Philip Brown in a way think along the same lines but their argument is assisted by the political
situation. The economists in their governments think that most of the students who get degrees hope to get employment are left
behind. In their work ―The Mismanagement of Talent‖, they differentiate between skill and degree, holding the latter in higher
esteem. According to them, ―The reality is that one can be employed and unemployed. In such circumstances a university
degree is rather like a mortgage endowment policy — half returnees are no guarantee of future performance.‖ They also point
out towards the thinking of political economists who place such procedures by which a high degree holder gets such a lesser
job that he is hardly able to pay back the loan he got for his education.

The average social scientist especially discusses job opportunities with the private sector — the largest job-giver. They cite the
example of the selection process wherein business managers are faced with a heap of applications from graduates. Since there
is no particular method of selection, they prefer such graduates who have come out of prestigious universities. This is an
unsavoury practice when the selectors find that sometimes their nominees from prestigious universities lack skills needed for
the job required. When judged by scientists, they weigh it in terms of ―social rate of return‖. Secondly, it implies that only richer
families have a better chance to better jobs. To attain this objective, the British government has enhanced the fees only to
justify their dogmatic proposition.

In this perspective, Pakistan‘s position is not difficult to comprehend. At the time of independence, there was only one
university, the Punjab University. Today, we have almost 35 universities in the public sector and more than 100 universities in
the private sector, and this number is growing with newer disciplines being added every year. After the new concept of private
education has taken over, many private universities have shown their results whereas some of them have even left their mark
on world map. No doubt these universities are playing their role in promoting quality education, but at the same time some have
come up with the objective of earning money.

But again the question of finances rears its head. The prestigious few universities charge students such exorbitant fees that
only the moneyed class can afford it. This makes the difference. The other students coming from public sector universities are
unable to compete with the degree holders coming out of private universities for the simple reason that the latter ones are run
on a commercial basis and are more disciplined while public universities, except for a few technological institutions, retain a
poor academic record.

This makes the difference visible. There are many contributing factors to this. Private universities, with whatever student-
teacher ratio they maintain and whatever exorbitant fees they charge, lay emphasis on academic activities, management of
work and discipline, while public universities experience troubling situations, factional skirmishes and political interference all


                                                                16
year round, which result in the completion of the academic course by one to three years at least. This fact ruins the potential of
students and also lessens job opportunities that are available during that time.

Similarly, the public sector graduate takes education as a modular one and seeks any job, but the private university graduate
vies for prestigious and executive jobs. This situation, in other words, implies that degrees and money are related to each other.
This creates a class conflict from which we are already badly suffering.

The one who suffers most is the graduate from the rural areas. A farmer‘s son from Babarloi (Khairpur district) graduating from
the Khairpur University has to compete with an industrialist‘s son educated at Baharia will definitely find it difficult to cross the
bridge of success no matter how intellectually good he is. His family background, mode of educational, environment and
privileges all contribute to his character. Even when he proves to be more skilled, he cannot go through.
As a result of this, the student from the rural areas becomes disappointed. Thus the job market for him shrinks which otherwise
is expanding. It is here he considers his degree as a piece of paper, only to be hanged on the wall.

Our politicians often make tall claims about the growing economy, the opening of new job venues etc. Our Higher Education
Commission (HEC) boasts of introducing modern techniques of education, offering scholarships to the deserving students etc.
But what is the end result? Our political leadership recalls its achievements almost every day, but what has been achieved? For
the first time in the country‘s history a retired teacher has committed suicide since he could not get his pension papers prepared
without giving bribes to the authorities concerned. He lost his life because he became a victim of the discriminating system.
(By Shaikh Aziz, Dawn-The Magazine-3, 23/07/2006)



                                         HRCP, lawyers, teachers resent ban
KARACHI, July 22: The Sindh government‘s decision to ban associations of teachers and staff in academic institutions of the
province has been strongly condemned by human rights organizations, political parties and people from a cross-section of
society.
In a statement, the secretary-general of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Iqbal Haider, expressing his shock
and condemnation stated that the decision of the Sindh government had exposed its utter disregard to rights and entitlement of
teachers and staff to form associations, and it is violative of Articles 16, 17 & 25 of the Constitution, as well as violation of all
norms of civilized governance, human rights and all laws.

Mr Haider stated that already the teachers and staff in the academic institutions of Sindh were working under most
unfavourable and appalling conditions and now the Sindh government wanted to deprive teachers and employees of their right
to pursue their demands and seek relief to their grievances, through concerted efforts from the platform of their unions and
associations. ―There cannot be any two opinions that peace, harmony, congenial atmosphere, protection of rights and interests
of the people and staff was imperative for smooth and productive functioning of the academic institutions.

Such decisions of the Sindh government would further deteriorate the working conditions and atmosphere in academic
institutions of Sindh, he said. Consequently, not only teachers and staff but also all students studying there would suffer
irreparable harm and loss.

Mr Haider warned that the Sindh government had no authority to deny teachers and staff of their rights guaranteed under the
Constitution. He called upon the Sindh government to forthwith withdraw this imprudent unconstitutional and most harmful
decision in the interest of the people of Sindh, as well as the academic institutions.

The provincial government‘s decision has also been criticised by the Pakistan People‘s Party. Taj Haider registered his party‘s
condemnation and termed it a dictatorial decision.
He said the provincial government had claimed that teachers and non-teaching staff in the province were engaged in politicking.
He asked whether in Pakistan only the army chief a few generals had the right to do politics.

BAR COUNCIL: Chairman of Human Rights Committee, Sindh Bar Council Aaqil Lodhi, strongly condemned the ban on unions
of teachers and education department employees in Sindh.
He was of view that the Sindh government had failed to clarify under which law the ban had been imposed. He felt this was an
open violation of basic rights guaranteed to citizens by the Constitution, and Article 20 of UN Charter for Human Rights.
He demanded of the government to immediately remove ban on teachers' unions.

Pasban Pakistan leaders Usman Moazam and Rafiq Ahmed Khaskheli condemned the ban on teachers' organizations.

The government was paving way to privatize educational institutions by banning teachers' organizations and to turn them into a
profit-giving industry.

Usman Moazzam and Rafiq Ahmed Khaskheli accused the government of depriving the country of young leadership by
banning unions and association and thus weakening the foundations of the country.

Teachers: Teachers in the city have expressed concern over Sindh government's decision to debar teachers from undertaking
"union activities" and held that it was aimed at only giving protection to individuals at the helm of affairs.
They said teachers had never been a threat to academic activities or educational standards in the province, but it was the
education department hierarchy itself which was feeling itself endangered due to its wrong policies and faulty implementation of
plans.

The decision to impose ban on group activities of teachers was the worst kind of rights violation and gives a clear message that
the education department wanted to victimise teaching and non-teaching community throughout the province.

Prof Manzoor Chishti, senior vice-president of All-Pakistan Professors and Lecturers' Association, said the notification
pertaining to imposition of ban on associations of teachers and other employees of the Sindh education department was
uncalled for and a sheer unjust move to undermine the democratic norms and was meant to deprive teachers of their
constitutional right.
―There is no such ban in other provinces and government teaching and non-teaching staffs of education department were
enjoying freedom, along with employees of other departments,‖ he added and said that teachers would challenge the decision
in the courts of law.

                                                                17
A broad-based meeting of the office-bearers of APPLA in other province will be held soon to discuss the issue and soon a
country-wide movement would be launched to rectify the situation.
The chief of the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association said a meeting of the provincial executive council of the
association would be held in a couple of days to consider the education department's move and to formulate a future action
plan against the ban.
(Dawn-17, 23/07/2006)



                                            10m children engaged in labour
ISLAMABAD, July 25: Some ten million children were engaged in various kinds of labour, and the ever-increasing poverty was
the main reason for this dismal state of affairs.
This was stated at a seminar on ―Child Labour-The End of Innocence‖ organised by the Society for Human Rights and
Prisoners Aid (SHARP) Speakers challenged government‘s poverty estimates and criticised it for funding figures.
They criticised the government for not following the national and international commitments and taking concrete steps to
eliminate poverty, the route cause of forced labour.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Saifullah Chaudhry of International Labour Organization (ILO) said, there was a pressing need to
streamline the educational system according to the market‘s requirements.

Presently the education system only provided work force for the formal economy, and a yawing gap of informal economy was
being filled through untrained child labourers.
He called for the need of setting up more vocational training centres which could provide labour according to the present needs
of the market.

Tahira Abdullah, a human rights activist, said that the number of child labourers was much higher than the government claimed.
She said that government and international agencies did not include informal, seasonal and transitional workers into the figures
and surveys.

She said that the existing laws totally failed to protect the rights of children and prevent the child labour.
She appreciated th role of ILO and UNICEF for their service towards combating child labour. She lamented that child Labour
was not on the agenda of the government in its millennium development goals. Mr Bashir Tahir of Asian Development Bank
stated that not only a large number of local children were engaged in the child labour but a considerable number of Afghan
refugee children were also part of child labour.
He said that these children were not counted in the surveys and figures being refugees in the country. He said that exploitation
starts when a person was forced to leave his place/ country and then she/he has endless miseries. He said that approximately
90 per cent of workers at brick kilns were Afghan refugees who were badly exploited by the owners.

Speakers stressed the role of government and the society to work together for combating this evil. Speakers suggested proper
survey to find real facts and figures of child labours, control of population growth, utilisation of reasons for elimination of child
labour, better facilities of education and proper and effective implementation of constitutional and legal instruments.
Earlier, Mr Syed Liaqat Banori Chairman (SHARP) welcomed the participants and highlighted the activities of his organization.
(Dawn-2, 26/07/2006)



                                                 Dental college hardships
THIS is with reference to a letter published on May 24 in your newspaper on the above subject. I was expecting some
measures to be taken by the PMDC or the HEC after the letter was published, but to date nothing has been done.
I am one of the students who are required to submit Rs100,000 extra as more funds are requested by the Fatima Jinnah Dental
College (FJDC) management. The rumour that the FJDC management is building a dental college in Dubai and all these funds
are being collected for the same purpose is very strong in the college. If the rumour is true and a college is being built overseas,
why should we pay extra fees?

Please note that I am a student of final year and like other final year students had submitted my total fees in 2004. But now we
are told by the management that if we do not submit the extra amount, we won‘t be given a degree and without a degree all our
years of study will be wasted. Private medical and dental colleges already charge exorbitant fees from the students.

This extra fee is simply too much to bear. I humbly request the Higher Education Commission and the PMDC to take
strict measures against such unfair demands of the management of the FJDC. I also request Dr Atta-ur-Rehman, the chairman
of the HEC, to personally look into the matter.
AN AFFECTED STUDENT, Karachi
(Dawn-6, 26/07/2006)



                                      Hamida warns against protest over ban
KARACHI, July 25: Sindh Education Minister Dr Hamida Khuhro told the executive district officers (education) in the province
on Tuesday that the government wanted implementation of its decision of banning union activities by teachers and employees
of government schools and colleges in its true spirit.

Talking to Dawn, Secretary Education Ghulam Ali Pasha said that a meeting of the EDOs was held with education minister in
the chair at Sindh Education Foundation Office. The participants were told that the issuance of notification pertaining to
imposition of ban on all sorts of association and unions formed by the employees of the Sindh education department, including
those by teachers, was one of the measures aimed at improving the state-of-affairs in the education sector.

The officials were asked not to hesitate in initiating actions against all those who were found breaching the Sindh Civil Servants
Act, 1973 and Removal from Service Ordinance, 2000, without any discrimination. Teachers and other employees of the
education department have once again been warned that they should not bring out rallies or hold meetings criticising the
decision on ban, otherwise they would be held liable to punishment under rules, the secretary added.

                                                                18
The Sindh education department in a notification issued on July 21 had said that it was expedient to disallow the illegal
activities under unions and associations in educational institutions for better education and future of students.

If any civil servant is found involved in union activities disciplinary actions will be taken against him or her under the ―Removal
from Service (Special Powers) Ordinance, 2000, it was included in the notification.

The Sindh education minister has ordered the EDOs (education) to take stern action including lodging of FIR and termination
from services against those union leaders who are taking law in to their hands in the name of protest against the ban on
unions/associations, adds PPI.

During the meeting, while announcing the establishment of a ―monitoring cell‖ at the secretariat, the secretary education asked
the EDOs to not only report the cell about every protest along with video recording of the event but also take immediate
disciplinary action under RSO 2000 against the union leaders violating the decision and protesting over the issue.
He further directed the EDOs to provide name list of district level office-bearers and other activists of each and every union. He
said that action against officials above grade-16 would be taken at the secretariat level.

The meeting decided to immediately impose a ban and close down all the union offices illegally established in government
buildings.
The EDOs were directed to immediately solve the genuine issues including pending cases of promotions of teachers to address
the wrong impression that the union leaders truly works to solve the problems of the teaching community.
(Dawn-17, 26/07/2006)



                       EDOs directed to strictly implement ban on teachers’ unions
KARACHI: The Sindh Education Department on Tuesday asked the executive district officers (education) in the province to take
all-out steps for ensuring implementation of the department‘s imposed ban on associations and unions of teachers and other
education employees.

Sindh Education Minister, Dr Hamida Khuhro, chaired a meeting of the EDOs (education) of the province here at the
department to review the situation evolving after the Sindh government imposed a ban on the associations and unions of
teachers and other non-teaching employees of the education department. A source privy to the meeting said that setting up of a
cell had been announced at the meeting in order to monitor activities of the teachers and other education employees who were
actively associated with the associations and unions at the educational institutions and also had come under crunch of the ban.

The provincial education minister directed the senior district education officials to keep a strict vigil on the teachers and
education employees who had been planning to brazenly violate the government‘s ban on associations. She said that
necessary precautionary measures should also be taken to pre-empt any incidents of shutting down educational institutions by
such teachers and employees to protest against the ban. Steps should also be taken to nullify effects of any imminent strike
calls by the so-called leaders of the banned associations and unions of teachers and other education employees, she directed.

She directed the relevant education officials to further take into confidence the media persons, writers, scholars, and other
eminent personalities in the society about intended positive affects of the government‘s move against associations in the
educational institutions.

Also speaking at the meeting, Sindh Education Secretary Ghulam Ali Shah Pasha directed the EDOs (education) to
immediately forward names to the education department of the school and college teachers and other non-teaching employees
who were intending to violate the provincial government‘s ban. Strict disciplinary action would be taken under the concerned
government rules against such teachers and non-teaching staff who will violate the ban.
(The News-2, 26/07/2006)



                                    Individualism is the new mantra for youth
KARACHI: ―Pakistan‘s largest city, Karachi, is plagued by recurring violence which has claimed thousands of lives over the past
two decades. Sadly these are mostly of its youth,‖ comments a die-hard Karachiite living in the US for the past 5 years.
Umer Beg, a consultant for Microsoft in Dallas, TX, USA, was very eager to talk about his city, ―which has seen a lot of blood
shed‖, he recalled in an online discussion. A general view which has emerged in talks with a variety of people is that while
Karachi has become more depoliticized, it has also become more violent in this period.

―With the change in the education system and the Islamisation of society during General Zia-ul-Haq‘s rule, some of the youth
developed extremist tendencies. As a result, young girls enclosed in veils are a more common sight in educational institutions
as compared to twenty years back. Pardha has become more common in girls of Karachi now than it was ever in the history of
this country,‖ comments academic Tauseef Ahmad.
He added that the youth have become completely de-politicized, devoid of the fire of political activism, which was common
amongst the youth of the 60s and 70s.

The youth of the 70‘s had democratic grounding. They used to vote, participate in elections and accept victory or failure with
grace-these things are missing in today‘s youth who have become intolerant and violent.

There are also extremes found in today‘s youth: highly religious veiled girls and bearded boys on the one hand and
Westernized young men and women whose attire and demeanor is strikingly different on the other.

Over the past twenty years we have also seen a transition from consciousness to careerism. ―Today‘s youth is more career
oriented‖, said Rashid, 30, an artist and a graduate of the Karachi Arts Council, who added ―And since most careers are very
skill oriented, today‘s youth are more into skill development and less into reading.‖
He said that Karachi today is divided in three sections. The upper class read English novels and mystery books, the middle
class read Ibn-e-Safi and the lower class didn‘t read anything.
Increasingly, however, today‘s youth in Karachi, regardless of background, don‘t read at all. Their reading habit has been
replaced by the visuals of cable TV and internet-which is more for surfing and chatting than reading.

                                                               19
Rashid is of the view that since the youth in the past were well read and well versed in literature, philosophy and politics, they
were more conscious of national and even international issues whereas the youth today seems oblivious to politics and current
affairs as they are more focused on their careers. He believes that their thinking has become mechanical now.

Former Karachi University student Saleha Murad says ―What has happened in the last twenty years in Karachi is that a large
portion of the youth has migrated to foreign countries for education and for employment.‖
She adds that the fear which gripped the city during the violent clashes between two political parties and the pathetic condition
of our education system caused this migration.
Having lost some of her friends in those clashes, she was one of the victims who suffered a nervous breakdown and left the
country for Canada. Saleha recently returned after a decade. Today, she finds the Karachi youth to be completely different.

Individualism has become the norm and the influence of the collective/community has significantly decreased. With the boom in
flats and high-rise apartments in Karachi, the ‗Gali‘ and ‗Muhalla‘ culture has been affected.

Earlier there was a sense of ownership amongst youth of a ‗gali‘, which they used to decorate on Eid and Independence Day
and even in weddings all youngsters of the neighborhood used to help out in all the ceremonies.
There was a sense of community amongst the youth, but this culture has been replaced by individualism. The high rises and
apartment culture has changed much. To add to the ills in the city, drug consumption is at its peak. One concern is ever
increasing drug consumption. Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine and Ecstasy pills seem to be extremely popular. Smoking has also
increased considerably.

At the same time, the youth today are more aware of their sexuality than the youth in the 80‘s. ―They have the media and
internet to educate them whereas in the past they used to read it in literature‖, said Bilal, VJ of a famous radio station.

―The pattern of relationships has also changed amongst the youth. A youth of the early 80‘s was bit more innocent and shy to
attempt relationships; they used to communicate through their eyes or hand written letters, if that was possible‖, he said
laughingly ―But now these kids are very bold and have all the means to communicate with each other-SMS, internet, dating
etc‖, he added saying ―I wish I was a youngster again‖.

However, a website carrying an article on Karachi youth quoted a helpline created for Karachi youth as ―the youth today are
more depressed than their previous generations‖, it read.
―This is because life has become more mechanical now because of technology and all the external forces are affecting the
mind of our youth‖, said Rashid.

Karachi is a more and more culturally arid place, starved for entertainment, increasingly religious, intolerant, lawless, and
intellectually bankrupt. On a given day, it is highly unlikely that there is live music to be heard anywhere, or there is a poetry
reading, or a theater performance, or anything else for that matter (in a city of over 14 million souls!).
(By Husna Ali, The News, 27/07/2006)



                                      Harassment of girl student stirs unrest
KARACHI, July 29: The University of Karachi on Saturday failed to conduct LLB Part-I examination as non-teaching staff did not
turn up for duties in protest against beating up of one of their colleagues, who was accused of behaving disgracefully with a
female candidate on the campus on Friday.
Sources on the campus said that in view of the employees‘ agitation and threats, the KU administration decided to put off the
Paper-III (Constitutional Law) scheduled for Saturday.

KU authorities feared that the candidates would be unnecessarily disturbed by the agitating employees during the examination,
and snatching of question papers and scripts could also take place. In the meantime, a KU notification said that due to
unavoidable circumstances the LLB paper had been postponed and a new date for it would be announced later.

Sources said two sisters, who had come to the Islamic Learning department, the female centre for LLB examination, were
sitting there before the commencement of the paper on July 28. A KU employee arrived there and interrogated one of them and
finally took away her admit card when the examination was to begin in 40-50 minutes.
The student followed the man upstairs and reached a computer room, where he talked to her further on the subject of cheating,
and finally insisted on her body search.

Sensing the employee‘s bad intentions, the candidate ran out of the room. She also received some injury while rushing down
stairs, said the source, adding that the incident took place when a majority of the staff had gone for Juma prayers.
The girl refused to appear in the examination, saying that she felt insulted. However, after intervention by women teachers, she
took the exam, the sources said.

On Saturday, some students attacked the employee in question, who is stated to be an official of the dean‘s office of Islamic
Learning. The students said the incident was a ―clear case of eve-teasing‖.
A source said the employee was seriously beaten up by students, which made other non-teaching staff furious. As a result, they
stopped work in some departments.

A number of classes in the evening were also disturbed by employees on the campus on Saturday, a source said. On the other
hand, students on the campus also held a demonstration against the attitude of the employee. When contacted, Pro-vice
Chancellor Dr Akhlaque Ahmad said he had a meeting with the Islamic Learning department and other senior teachers in
connection with the alleged misconduct. ―I have also heard the employee in question and received a statement from the
chairman of the Islamic Learning department and if needed further detailed enquiry would also be ordered by the vice-
chancellor.‖

Commenting on the Saturday unrest among students and non-teaching employees, Dr Akhlaque said students should not take
things into their own hands.
The president of the Karachi University Teachers‘ Society, Sarwar Nasim, told Dawn that the disturbance on the campus on
Saturday was not a good development and the university administration should take disciplinary action against all concerned.
He said an inquiry should also be conducted into the alleged act of body search of a female candidate.
(Dawn-17, 30/07/2006)

                                                               20
                                              Child protection plan ready
KARACHI, July 30: The National Plan of Action on Child Protection has been drafted and approved by the federal cabinet and
now it is in the process of implementation.
This was stated by Federal Minister for Social Welfare and Special Education Zubaida Jalal during her visit to the Madadgaar
Helpline office here on Saturday. She said a centre for child protection would soon be established in Islamabad with the help of
Madadgaar Helpline. She appreciated the services of Madadgaar, saying that such services were essential in every major city
of Pakistan.

The minister said that the issue of child protection was a major concern for her ministry and formation of the South Asian
Ministerial Forum on violence against children was a major breakthrough.
Welcoming the minister, President of LHRLA Zia Ahmed Awan elaborated unique nature of the Madadgaar project, and said
that a lack of coordination among civil society organisations and government departments made it difficult for needy children
and women to receive immediate help.
(Dawn-15, 31/07/2006)




AUGUST
                                               Composite exam opposed
KARACHI, July 31: The position holders of the SSC science group annual examinations here on Monday were unanimous in
disapproving a federal government‘s decision to hold one composite examination of the students of class IX and X after two
years of studies.
They were talking to newsmen after receiving their marks sheets from BSE Chairman Brig (retd) Shafiullah Qureshi at a
ceremony held at the board‘s conference hall. The toppers suggested various measures for improving the system of education
and conduct of examinations as well.

Those who were interviewed by newsmen during the ceremony included Qurratul Ain Yakoob, Wajiya Zafar, Summiya, Ahmad
Ali Ansari, Sajida Najam, Mudassir Ajmal, Syed Sufian Ahmed and Arham Shafiq.

When questioned about the government‘s intention to make applicable its policy of holding composite examination from the
ensuing academic session and onwards, a majority of them pointed out that two separate exams for two classes compelled the
students to study mindfully every year.

They were of the view that the system of composite examination would not only overburden the students, but would also affect
their performance and talents. Surely students will not pay the required attention to studies if the examinations for class IX were
put off for the next year, they mentioned, disliking the one examination system and urged the controlling authority of the board
to ensure that justice was done to the students, while the government was failing to come up with any concrete and convincing
explanation in support to its idea of composite examinations.

Qurratul Ain, who wanted to become a medicine doctor, said that co-education in schools had been a source of problem, but
students who concentrated on studies only did not have to face any problem at all.

Wajiya wanted to do her graduation in business administration as it will be a more paying qualification. She said that education
in English medium ensured a competition urge among students and access to a lot of information and education.

Summiya, aspiring to become a doctor, said that more MCQs should be included in the SSC examination question papers.
Ahmad Ali wanted to be an engineer in electronics maintained that boys and girls equally worked hard for their exams.

Sajida, who wanted to be a neurosurgeon, maintained that parents should not allow their young wards to use computer or
internet independently or without proper guidance.

Sufian Ahmed, who wanted to become a computer engineer, was also critical about misuse of computers by young children.
Arham, who wanted to be a telecommunication engineer, said that poor electricity supply and water shortage were the two
major problems of Karachi.

Giving his remarks the BSE chairman said that the board would surely submit the comments and recommendations of the
position holders to the controlling authority of the board, ie Sindh governor for his consideration and actions.

To a question, he said that his board had not so far been issued instructions about holding of a composite examination for class
IX and X students next time. He said that his board set up question papers in a way that more and more talent and capabilities
of candidates could be judged.
(Dawn-18, 01/08/2006)



                              Girls outshine boys in SSC (Science Group) exams
KARACHI: Girls clinched top two positions and shared the third slot in the Secondary School Certificate Part-II (Class-X)
Science group Annual Examinations-2006.
The Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK), on Monday announced the results of SSC Part-II (Class-X) Annual
Examinations-2006 with an overall pass percentage of 75.19 which is 3.3 per cent less than the last year‘s result.

Two girl students from different private schools shared the first position. As many as 96,582 candidates including 54,438 boys
appeared in the examinations and out of them 72,619 candidates including 40,240 boys passed the exams. The pass
percentage of boys and girl candidates remained at 73.92 and 76.83 per cent respectively.


                                                               21
Qurat-ul-Ain Yakoob, roll number 557915, of Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan School and Wajiya Zafar, roll number 580812,
student of Mama Parsi Girls Secondary School, shared the first position with 791 marks (93.06 per cent) out of 850.

Sumiaya, roll number 552582, of Hilton Public School, scoring 789 marks (92.82 per cent) clinched the second position. Third
position was shared by Ahmed Ali Ansari, roll number 415493, from Ata Turk Public School and Sajida Najam, roll number
557923, from Sultan Mohammad Shah Aga Khan School. Both the students secured 788 marks (92.71 per cent).

Among the male candidates, Muhammad Mudassir Ajmal, roll number 413762, student of Karachi Public School, secured the
second position at 786 marks (92.47 per cent). Syed Sufyan Ahmed, roll number 401685, of Programmer Secondary School
and Arham Shafiq, roll number 403173, of Froebal Grammar Academy bagged the third position among boys securing 784
marks (92.24 per cent).

As many as 10,235 candidates got ‗A-1‘ grade including 6,436 girls, 16,766 students including 8,908 girls secured ‗A‘ grade.
While 19,536 candidates including 10,494 boys secured ‗B‘ grade. As many as 17,287 candidates including 11,150 boys got ‗C‘
grade, 8,173 candidates including 6,387 boys obtained ‗D‘ grade and 440 candidates including 396 boys passed in ‗E‘ grade.

Last year, some 8,304 candidates including 5,130 girl candidates secured ‗A-1‘ grade while 14,902 students including 8,147
girls got ‗A‘ grade.
Talking to newsmen, at a ceremony at the board office, the position holders opposed the proposal of holding composite
examinations in Class-X saying that it would be highly advisable and suitable to hold separate exams for Class-IX and X for
better learning, education, and testing of the secondary classes‘ students.
Qurat-ul-Ain said that she never availed private tuition or attended coaching centre as she diligently and consistently done her
studies. The first position holder, who desires to become a cardiologist in future, said that she had no objection or saw no
difficulty in attending the system of coed.

Wajiya Zafar said that frequent power failure was the major civic problem faced by residents of the metropolis. Sumiaya, the
third position holder, called for inclusion of more multiple choice and objective-type questions in the secondary classes exams.
She also suggested that computers should be involved more in the system of examination and assessment of answer scripts.

Ahmad Ali Ansari, the third position holder, said that students of private schools generally excelled in education and secured
distinctions in exams due to significantly better quality of education in the privately run institutions.

Sajida Najam, who also shared the third position, said that medium of instruction should preferably be English in order to
compete at the international level.

Chairman BSEK Brig (retd) Shafiullah Qureshi said that setting up a centralised examination board in Sindh, as proposed by
the government, could create problems in smooth conduct of exams. He, however, expressed hope that difficulties in
introducing a centralised board in the province would be of the nature that surfaced while introducing and experimenting a new
system and henceforth they would be duly tackled by the examination managers.
He observed the board would conduct separate Class-IX exams in future too as and when it would be duly directed by the
higher authorities concerned.

The board‘s chairman said that affiliation of 17 schools had been withdrawn in the board as they were found operating with
deficiencies and shortcomings to the affiliation rules and the board‘s criteria.

Muhammad Saleem Khan, Controller of Examinations BSEK, said that last practical examination of the Class-X Science group
had been conducted on July 19. The marks sheets would be issued in 15 days, Saleem observed.
Meanwhile, the BSEK has notified that applications for scrutiny of answer scripts of SSC Part-II (Class-X) Science group
Annual Examinations-2006 will be accepted till August 10. The applications for scrutiny will be accepted at National Bank,
Board Office branch and Habib Bank, Rizvia Society branch with a fee of Rs 100 per paper/subject.
(The News-4, 01/08/2006)



                                   Education project continues to suffer delays
KARACHI, Aug 2: The Sindh education department is yet to accelerate its activities under a plan finalized in early 2004 for
achieving the goals of Dakar framework of action: education for all.
Sources said that pace of activities remained slow owing to unwillingness of the higher-ups and inadequate working capacity of
the Directorate of Literacy and Non-Formal Education which is the focal institution in the province for the plan.

The provincial plan was approved in February 2004 at a meeting of the Provincial Forum on Education for All, presided over by
Sindh education minister, Irfanaullah Khan Marwat.

Under the provincial plan, which is to be accomplished in phases by 2015 at a cost of Rs78.02 billion, the target of
universalizing primary education in case of boys would be achieved by 2010, while in respect of girls it would be fulfilled up to
2015. The funding would be done by the Sindh government, the federal government and donor agencies,The plan also calls for
expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable disadvantaged
children.In order to achieve the target of the universal primary education, the Sindh EFA (education for all) forum has approved
opening of 282 new primary schools, 864 mosque schools, 1,034 community supported schools and 11,138 non-formal and
basic education centres every year in the province in the public sector, in addition to others established in the private sector.

In the Adult Literacy area, it was planned that the rate in the case of 10 plus age group should be enhanced from 49 per cent in
2004 to 80 per cent till 2015, for which 128,910 literary centres in the public sector, other than private sector‘s institutions and
thousands of non-formal schools were required to be set up.

For promotion of early childhood education, besides many other related facilities, Sindh is also required to establish centres at
10,600 government schools and construct one additional classroom at 13,134 schools.
The first phase of Sindh plan, from July 2004 to June 2006, has seen no significant development towards the fulfillment of EFA
goals. As the pace of activity remained slow, experts blame the Sindh EFA Forum too for its failure to meet after 2004.


                                                                22
Although the Sindh Directorate of Literacy and Non-Formal Education was provided some funds needed under the EFA Plan, it
failed to utilize owing to reported procedural complications.
The officials have still been working on a PC-1 for last over one-and-half year for establishing early childhood education centres
in all districts, but things are yet to materialize. The adult literacy sector development is also not on ground as yet, said a
source.

At a preparatory meeting regarding Provincial EFA Forum, held in May 2006, it was felt that understaffing, lack of technical
facilities and shortage of office accommodation were the root causes of slow pace of EFA activities and there was a need that
high-ups should take up issues seriously for a better delivery by the Directorate of Literacy and Non-Formal Education.
(By Mukhtar Alam, Dawn-19, 03/08/2006)



                                                     Hudood draft bill
AT long last the much awaited draft amendments to the Hudood Ordinances were approved by the federal cabinet on
Wednesday. A ministerial committee has also been set up to ensure its passage in parliament. Although one would have liked
to see a repeal of these draconian and discriminatory laws that were promulgated under General Zia‘s rule, one only hopes that
the draft bill does not include the offensive portions which discriminate against women and minorities. This is imperative for a
mere cosmetic change will prove inconsequential for the scores of women who have been targeted under these unjust laws.
Over the last few months, there has been a discernible change in the government‘s attitude towards the controversial
ordinances. The most recent step was the presidential ordinance ordering the release of women prisoners involved in crimes
other than murder, robbery and terrorism.

The next step — the actual passage of the bill — is not likely to be smooth sailing given that the religious parties have said they
will oppose any move to amend the Ordinances which they describe as divine laws. It is the religious parties‘ ability to galvanise
public support — and letting that support turn violent — that has made the government retreat on many issues in the past; the
deletion of the religion column in the passport is one such example of the religious lobby‘s perceived might. However, on this
issue the government has the support of the Council of Islamic Ideology so it should not waver in its commitment to amend or
repeal laws that do not quite conform to Islamic principles of justice — as indeed the Hudood Ordinances do not. One hopes
that once this battle is won, other contentious and discriminatory laws — like the blasphemy law — will to be addressed. No
society can progress if its people feel that some laws are unjust and arbitrary.
(Dawn-7, 04/08/2006)



                                        82,510 will get admission to colleges
KARACHI, Aug 5: As many as 82,510 seats in different faculties have been allocated for first year (class XI) admissions at 119
male and female colleges and 31 higher secondary schools in the city.
The admission process will begin on Aug 7 with the sale of admission forms and brochures at 40 branches of HBL, while the
first merit list is expected to come out in the last week of the month.

Briefing newsmen about the admission process and related measures, the provincial education manager (colleges), Dr
Mohammad Ali Shaikh, said on Saturday that arrangements had been made to give admission to all applicants, coming from
different streams of education, ie, secondary school certificate examination, technical education examination and GCE-O level
or its equivalent examinations. The briefing took place at the PECHS Foundation Govt. Girls Degree College, which has been
declared as the admission committee‘s headquarters.

He said that in view of the drop-out rates of the previous years, it was likely that 14 to 19 thousand candidates, out of the total
97,000 successful candidates of the SSC examinations, would not apply for admissions to first year classes.
―So we think that accommodating 78,000 to 83,000 candidates of the major SSC stream and another 5,000 successful students
of other examinations in government colleges and higher secondary schools will not be a difficult task‖, Dr Shaikh added saying
that the existing allocations of admission seats at 150 government institutions can be aincreased by some percentages if the
applicants were more than our projection.
He said that the salient features of the admission policy, under which the centralised admission committee work in the case of
Karachi colleges of the Sindh government, were almost similar to those of the previous years.

This year we have added a commerce college located in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, in the admission list, for which staff would be
available from among those who had been withdrawn from St Patrick‘s College, which was denationalised, along with St
Joseph‘s College for Women, by Sindh government in May, 2005, he informed.

Replying to a question, Dr Shaikh said that he had been informed that over 900 regular posts of college teachers were vacant
in city colleges and as such he had decided to allow the college principals hire faculty as per there needs, under ―cooperative
teacher scheme‖ in the ensuing academic session as well.

―However, we are to get 200-250 teachers through public service commission, besides some ad-hoc appointed teachers, and
as such the teaching situation would hopefully remain manageable‖, he mentioned.
To another question, Dr Shaikh, said that he personally felt that educational buildings and facilities should be solely used for
educational purposes and as such he would surely approach the law enforcing agencies, including Rangers, to vacate the
college education buildings which were in their use, so as to improve the teaching environment and overcome the space
problem, he added.

Flanked by college Prof Mohammad Asghar Khan (secretary CAP), Prof Sabiha Parvez (member CAP) and Mohammad Afzal,
an official, Dr Shaikh told newsmen that the entire admission process would be kept transparent and all placements for
admissions would be made only on the basis of marks the applicants carried. There will be no second merit or placement list for
any faculty, but applicants who felt that they had been deprived of their right will be allowed to submit ―claim forms‖ at
designated centers to be set up at ten colleges, he added.

According to the admission schedule, issuance and submission of placement forms will be observed from Aug 7 to 19, while
placement processing will continue for a month after and the last placement list would be released latest by Sept 25. Colleges
would finalise the admission in a week‘s time, while teaching for newcomers will commence in the first week of October.

                                                               23
In addition to a website (www.cap.edu.pk), the provincial education manager (colleges) office has also dedicated telephone
help-lines (4313551 and 4313552) for related information and guidance of students in regard to admission process. Officials on
telephones will be available from Aug 9 and onwards, said Prof Mohammad Asghar.
(Dawn-17, 06/08/2006)



                                                   An abhorrent practice
IT is hard not to admire a father in Jhang who is fighting to safeguard his three-year-old married daughter‘s future against her
in-laws who seem determined to perform the child‘s rukhsati. That children can be married off by families is unimaginable and
inhuman, and also it is in clear violation of the existing laws that forbid child marriages. What separates this story from the run
of the mill cases is the unusual stance of the girl‘s parents. Her father was always against his daughter‘s marriage to a child in
his wife‘s family, but ultimately succumbed to pressure and agreed to nikah but not rukhsati, despite a panchayat decree in
favour of it. Meanwhile, the girl‘s mother was so incensed at her husband for refusing to go ahead with their daughter‘s rukhsati
that she divorced him. This only shows how deep-rooted some ancient customs are, and how, unless they are challenged,
peoples‘ blind adherence to them will further contaminate society. The father has now sought the protection of the police —
which should be immediately given as his life as well as his daughter‘s may well be in danger. Those who solemnised the nikah
along with those who participated in the panchayat should also be held answerable for breaking the relevant law. Unless
effective action is taken, such barbaric acts will continue to take place affecting society and its people.

Of equal importance is society‘s role in such matters. Unlike neighbouring India where community activism is widespread and
effective, there is virtually no sign of enlightened opinion asserting itself in Pakistan. It is always the NGOs that step forward to
highlight unjust acts but they need to be supported by the intelligentsia and the middle class whose views must reach out to
those who are still steeped in a mediaeval social milieu.
(Dawn-7, 06/08/2006)



                                 Admissions to first year classes from tomorrow
KARACHI: The process of admissions to the first year classes (Class-XI) of around 150 government-run colleges and higher
secondary schools of the city will commence from August 7 (Monday) with sale of placement forms.

Provincial Education Manager (colleges) Sindh, Dr Mohammad Ali Shaikh told newsmen at a press briefing on Saturday that
some 82,510 seats were being offered under the centralised admission policy (CAP) for admissions to Class-XI for session
2006-07. Admissions are being offered in 119 government colleges and some 30 higher secondary schools in the metropolis.

The PEM (colleges) said that sale and submission of placement forms will take place from 40 designated branches of Habib
Bank in the city. The price of admission brochure and placement form was not increased this year and will remain Rs75, he
said.

Dr Shaikh said that he had convened a meeting of managers of 40 bank branches where they had been advised to provide best
possible service to the candidates. He said that each of the members of CAP committee has been assigned two bank branches
where the committee members would frequently visit for overseeing process of sale and submission of placement forms and
providing guidance and advice to the candidates.

He said that the claim process for the candidates having objections over their placement in the merit lists will be carried out
from selected male and girls‘ colleges, five each, where members of the CAP committee and senior college teachers would be
available in person for providing on-the-spot guidance.

The provincial education manager (colleges) said that candidates were not required to produce their marks sheet of the
matriculation examinations at the time of procuring admission brochure, however attaching photocopy of the mark sheet of SSC
exams would be necessary at the time of submitting the placement forms.

The candidates passing Class-X exams from the examination boards other than the Board of Secondary Education Karachi
(BSEK) were required to produce their original matriculation mark sheet at the time of submitting placement forms, he said.

Dr Shaikh said that they had anticipated over 1,00,000 candidates passing matriculation examinations or equivalent exams,
eligible for Class-XI admissions. He informed that some 97,000 students have passed the SSC examination from in Science
and General groups.
He said that deficit between number of seats available in the colleges and eligible number of candidates would be around
20,000 and it would be minimised owing to probable 15 to 20 per cent dropout of students keeping in view admission trends of
the previous years.

However, he said that number of seats could be increased by five per cent in each of the available colleges in order to
accommodate qualifying candidates.
The PEM (colleges) said that presently the government colleges in the city were facing shortage of 900 teachers and they
anticipated that colleges would hire 400 cooperative teachers on their own to overcome the shortage.

Out of 82,510 seats available for admissions, 40,300 are for male candidates and 42,210 for female candidates. The number of
seats in Pre-Engineering faculty are 22,495, including 14,890 for male candidates and 15,935 seats will be available for Pre-
Medical faculty including 10,785 for female candidates, 1,255 seats for Computer Science group including 690 for male
candidates, 22,090 for Commerce faculty including 14,440 for male candidates, 20,135 for Humanities faculty including 15,005
for female candidates and 600 seats are available for the Home Economics faculty.

The last date for submitting placement forms is August 19 and first placement list would be issued one week after the expiry of
deadline of accepting the placement forms.

The CAP committee has set the target of September 25 for issuing all the placement lists and the classes would commence in
the first week of October, said Dr Shaikh.
(The News-5, 06/08/2006)

                                                                24
                                             20,000 rare books in jeopardy
KARACHI, Aug 6: Over 20,000 books, including a number of precious and rare ones, of the Central Archeological Reference
Library have been shifted to yet another location in the city for the fifth time in nearly a decade, it is learnt reliably on Sunday.
Sources said that the library books, which were earlier kept at the department‘s head office on Shaheed-i-Millat Road, had been
shifted to the excavation and exploration branch as the head office had been moved to Islamabad and the old head office
building had been vacated.

The books of central archeological reference library, known as one of the best on the subject in the entire South Asian region,
located on the ground floor of the department‘s head office were first shifted during mid 1990s after torrential rains. The library
was inundated with knee-deep rainwater that ruined a number of rare books.

The books were shifted to the exploration and excavation branch office on Sharea Faisal, where they were kept for long. Later,
these books were shifted to the Flag Staff House Museum and after remaining there for some time these books were shifted
back to the exploration and excavation branch. The authorities seemed least concerned with the fate of rare books once again
ordered their relocation. This time the books were shifted to the department‘s head office on Shaheed-i-Millat Road. However,
as the head office had been shifted to Islamabad, thousands of rare books were transferred back to the exploration and
excavation branch.

The sources said that with each shifting a number of rare and precious books went missing while many others had been ruined
owing to the repeated relocation and transportation exercises on which a huge amount of public money was spent. Besides,
they said, the library remained closed for long each time the books were shifted.
They said that the excavation and exploration branch had already been facing accommodation problem, as it had insufficient
space to store artifacts that kept on pouring in from excavation sites. At present, the precious books wrapped in bundles and
library furniture were dumped in the same office occupying rest of the space.

PUBLICATIONS: Over 70,000 publications of the federal archeology and museums department have also been shifted from
the Shaheed-i-Millat Road office building to the corridors of the National Museum, which is infested with termite.

When this scribe visited the museum, water seeped from the ceiling had gathered near the publications. Sources said that the
department planned to shift these publications to the rooms, where Contemporary Art Gallery was set up, next to the Quran
Gallery in the museum. Ironically, major portions of the Contemporary Art Gallery have been closed since long owing to the
termite attack. The shifting of these publications from the corridors to the art gallery may save them from rainwater but not from
termite attack.

The sources said that though the National Museum, which was under continuous termite onslaught since long, had spent large
sums to control the menace, it had never been eliminated completely. It reoccurs shortly after the anti-termite treatment is
carried out. Neither the organisation carrying out the anti-termite operation nor the department officials had been taken to task
for their failure to control the termite, thus, raising doubts that they wanted to keep the issue alive so the department continued
spending funds.
(By Bhagwandas, Dawn-13, 07/08/2006)



                                            Commercialisation of education

                                                       By Neal Lawson
VARIABLE tuition fees for university students are New Labour's worst domestic policy mistake. This is why: "The social class
gap among those entering higher education is a national disgrace. Students from middle-class backgrounds were three times
more likely to go to university than those from poorer backgrounds. That vicious statistic has to be reversed." So said former
secretary of state for education Charles Clarke in January 2003.

That was then; this is now. You are 18. You have slogged your guts out to be the first in your family to go to university. Next
Wednesday is A level results day. You know you have done well. But that's not good enough. £3,000 annual fees, to be
introduced next month, create debt and a fear of debt that mean it's a gamble you just can't take.

With fees totalling £9,000, and average living costs of £12,000, you know you can't afford to walk away owing more than
£20,000. University is out of reach -- not of your ability, but of your pocket. You think about your better-off friends getting ready
to go. They have the confidence, and the mummies and daddies, to pay off large debts. This is the summer of friends, places
and ideas that will never be yours.

Before the tuition fees act was passed, Professor Claire Callender, author of a study commissioned by education ministers,
wrote: "Variable fees increase both the costs of higher education for students and their debt. Both deter low-income groups'
participation." She said the new reforms would "reassert elitism in higher education. Privileged students who populate top
universities will pay high fees, but get highly valued degrees. Low income and access students who populate universities at the
bottom of the hierarchy will pay less and get less, but still end up with large debts."

Now official figures show she was right. The percentage of students going to university from poor families has fallen. The
number from all state schools has fallen too. Little wonder, when 47% of sixth formers questioned by the Universities Marketing
Forum said that inability to afford fees was likely to put them off a degree. Poorer students' debt has already risen dramatically -
by two and half times since 1998 - and is on average 43% higher than that of children from better-off families.

A Higher Education Funding Council report said teenagers in the richest areas could expect a better than 50% chance of going
to university, while in the poorest neighbourhoods it is 10%. Universities are an expanding closed shop, filled by more stupid
middle-class children. Why has a Labour government made that "vicious statistic" worse?

The answer lies in New Labour's uncritical acceptance of globalisation. The elite universities endlessly badgered the prime
minister for funding freedom to compete with America's Ivy League. It is an argument for entrenched elitism that will be made
worse by variable fees.

I was told at the time by a minister that the government had looked at 76 varieties of funding. Variable fees were picked

                                                                25
because they most resembled the operation of a market, allowing the "best" universities to attract the "best" students, ie those
who can pay most. The successful universities could then distinguish themselves from the competition. Where price equals
value, competition can drive efficiency and encourage the survival of the fittest. This is what untrammelled globalisations
demands.

This commercialisation of higher education serves a bigger purpose, though. It softens students up for the rigours of
globalisation. By creating a market, young people are encouraged to think and behave like rational economic man. They
become "human capital", calculating the rate of return on their university investment. A degree becomes a share certificate.
Commercialisation conditions students to expect no help from others, or society, and therefore never to provide help in return.
Debt and economic conditioning discourages graduates from going into lower-paid caring jobs - and instead into the City, where
the real "value" is. It fashions a Britain that competes rather than cares.

Tony Blair has said that universities are the "coalmines of the 21st century". This is a grim, dogmatic economism that fails to
chime with the beliefs of many young people who are trying to turn away from the long-hours culture of many jobs, who aren't
only interested in maximising profits, but keen to work for social enterprises and charities. They want to do good, not just make
good.

Variable fees haven't yet worked as well as the government hoped. With a cap of £3,000, most universities have stuck at the
highest level. A few have "sold" places at £2,000 to encourage take up. But do we want universities that in effect pile them high
to sell them cheap? The pressure is on to lift the fees cap, so real variability can kick in. Then the market can sort the wheat
from the chaff. One former head of the funding council is predicting £5,000 by 2010. Others think £10,000 is more likely.

The government has put a financial support package together - but it's clearly not working. Instead young people are calculating
that the size of debt means it's not worth the risk. Not least when globalisation ensures that many graduate jobs are being
outsourced to places like India where the better qualified work for less.

If New Labour has a social philosophy it is of a meritocracy. Here the state provides the opportunity for everyone to flourish to
the best of their ability. But unchecked markets mean social mobility is already declining. Variable fees will make it worse. —
Dawn/Guardian Service
The writer is chairman of the left-of-centre pressure group Compass.
(Dawn-6, 11/08/2006)



                                     10 federal varsities to be set up this year
ISLAMABAD, Aug 11: Minister for Education Lt-Gen (retired) Javed Ashraf Qazi here on Friday told the Senate that 10 federal
universities will be established across the country during the year 2006-07.
Replying to a question raised by Senator Nisar Ahmad Memon, the minister said the main campus of National University of Law
would be established in Islamabad while its sub-campuses in each province.

The estimated project cost is Rs415 million, and out of the total amount Rs365 million had been allocated under the Public
Sector Development Programme 2006-07.

Two universities of engineering, sciences and technology, will be established at Lahore in collaboration with Austria and
Germany. The estimated cost to be incurred on these universities is Rs10 billion and Rs11.5 billion, respectively. Similarly,
Rs50 million and Rs75 million have already been allocated for these projects in this year‘s PSDP.
Two universities of engineering, sciences and technology, will be established in Karachi with the collaboration of France and
China. The universities‘ estimated cost is Rs12 billion and Rs10 billion, respectively. For the projects, Rs50 million and Rs10
million have allocated in PSDP 2006-07.

One university each will be established in Peshawar with the collaboration of Korea at a cost of Rs11 billion, in Multan with
collaboration of the Netherlands at a cost of Rs9.5 billion, in Sialkot with the collaboration with Sweden at a cost of Rs13 billion
and in Uthal Balochistan with the collaboration of France at a cost of Rs9.5 billion. Similarly, Austria will help set up another
university at a cost of Rs10 billion, but so far the project site has not been finalised.

The minister said there were 10 federal government universities — seven in Islamabad and one each in Karachi, Gilgit, Lahore
and Rawalpindi. Virtual University of Pakistan at Lahore is still in development phase and no separate recurring funds are being
provided.

Answering another question, the education minister said 108 federal government high schools were located in Islamabad
Capital Territory (ICT) and their recurring cost for the year of 2006-07 was Rs619.1 million. He further said that the number of
federal government middle schools located in the ICT was 55 and their recurring cost was Rs142.2 million for the same period.
Similarly, 214 federal government primary schools are located in the capital with recurring cost for the year 2006-07 at Rs462.1
million.
The minister said four federal government secondary schools - one for girls and three for boys - and one federal government
model school would be established in sectors G-11/1, G-11/2, F- 11/1, I-8/4, and Margalla Town. The estimated cost of the
schools is Rs192.884 million.

Replying to a question raised by Senator Chaudhry Mohammad Anwar Bhinder, he said an amount of Rs6.5 million had been
provided in the financial year 2005-06 for upgradation of four primary schools to middle level.
(Dawn-5, 12/08/2006)



                                    900 scholars to earn PhD degrees this year
KARACHI: More than 2500 scholars have been registered with various universities of Sindh province for PhD program and it is
expected that some 900 of them would earn their PhD degrees this year.
This was announced at a high-level meeting of the vice-chancellors of the state-run universities of the province, held at the
Governor‘s House on Saturday with Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan in the chair.


                                                                26
The meeting reviewed the pace of implementation of the decisions taken in recent chancellors‘ committee meeting held in
Islamabad. It was told that some progress was achieved in the state-run universities of Sindh, regarding introducing the four-
year Bachelors Degree program and other academic benchmarks of the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

On the occasion, a five-member committee was formed to submit recommendations on various standards and benchmarks
introduced by the HEC. The committee comprised of the vice-chancellors of the Karachi University, Sindh University, NED
University of Engineering and Technology, Dow University of Health Sciences, and Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam.

The committee would also submit its recommendations regarding streamlining the state-run varsities of Sindh with standards of
the HEC and other professional bodies like Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and Pakistan Engineering Council
(PEC).

The governor said that coordinated steps were being taken to improve the standard of higher education in the province. He said
that the educational institutions were being streamlined with the requirements of modern times.
He pointed out that the power to appoint vice-chancellors in the universities rests with the governor and in this regard, a search
committee had already been formed by him. He said that final decisions would be taken in the light of the report of this
committee.

Ebad said that the ‗grading system‘ for private universities had been abolished, as it was creating confusion. He said that now
other ways and means would be used for determining academic standards and available facilities in these varsities.
(The News-3, 13/08/2006)



                              Lack of awareness about intellectual property rights
MANY singers, musicians, writers, film and TV play producers and poets have suffered because of the piracy in our country,
poor implementation of copyright laws and lack of awareness among these artists and scholars about how to protect their
intellectual property rights.
Though these artists did not lobby for the protection of their rights, a light can be seen on the other side of the tunnel. This light
has been lit under growing international pressure and strong lobbying by the foreign and local industry at home.

The story started some 10 years ago when majority of the countries in the world committed to take measures for protecting
intellectual property rights (IPR). WTO gave a whole decade to countries like Pakistan to take effective measures to check the
violation of IPR.
Little progress was made on this front in the first eight years, but then the government rushed to meet the deadline set at the
close of 2005 for streamlining the IPR laws and the delivery system. The good news is that it did make it to the photo finish on
time.
It took quite a while for the government to bring all the IPR related departments under one organisation. Copyright registration
was under ministry of education, trade marks the ministry of commerce and patent registration under the ministry of industry. In
the first place it was a battle with various ministries who wanted to protect their respective turfs — they fought overtly and
covertly.

When the government bulldozed all the objections to meet its international commitment, another tussle started. This time on the
issue that who should control the newly formed Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan (IPO). The issue was finally
resolved by the prime minister and IPO has been placed directly under the Cabinet Division. This means that IPO would be
answerable directly to the PM.

According to IPO Director General Mr Yasin Tahir, ―three parallel actions were taken by the government to meet its commitment
to protect IPRs: one, establishment of the IPO as a policy making and regulating organisation; two, Federal Investigation
Agency (FIA) was given the authority to enforce the IPR laws and regulations; and three, customs was activated to check inflow
and outflow of counterfeit and pirated products.‖

Raids by FIA on major producers of pirated films, music and software CDs and an effective check on the smuggling of pirated
material to developing countries paid back. It brought kudos to the government from international bodies for its ―outstanding
performance,‖ Mr Tahir said.

All these efforts have brought some success. Pakistan‘s name was struck out from the ―priority watch list‖ of the US Commerce
Department. Pakistan had remained on this 14-countries list for a long time as one of the major source of pirated and
counterfeit products. Pakistan is not in uncomfortable company of such countries as: Russia, China, India, and Philippines. Now
we have been moved to the ordinary watch list of a larger club of 45 countries.

It‘s a long journey ahead. ―The most important task ahead,‖ says the chairman of the newly-formed IPO, Mr Waseem Haqqie,
―is to create awareness, first about why intellectual property rights should be protected. It is not only the general public which
has to be informed and educated on this subject. I have come across a number of decision-makers in the government and high
judiciary who think that, ―intellectual property rights protection is the racket of MNCs to protect their fat profits.‖ And that as a
developing country we cannot afford to indulge in what they call, ―an expensive moral luxury.‖
There are three popular arguments against the protection of IPRs. One well-meaning argument against protection of copyrights
of books and software is that we are a poor nation and to educate our children ―we should beg, borrow and steal.‖

Similarly, this section of populist intelligentsia says that we cannot afford expensive medicines hence patent rights should not
be given to pharmaceutical companies who develop these medicines. There are also many opinion makers who say that people
make counterfeit because big companies make expensive products and high profit.

Almost all the protagonists who are against IPR protection have one common concern: the welfare of the poor.

Basically, there is a confusion about the whole issue of public welfare. The right of people to have education, the right of the
people to have access to knowledge and the right of the people to have inexpensive healthcare and to have less expensive
consumer products cannot be undermined.

But it is the duty of the state to provide education and healthcare to the people and not of the private sector, writers, artists, and
scientists who suffer at the hands of counterfeiters and copyright pirates.

                                                                 27
Because of piracy of books and artworks, how many of our creative people can live off the income from the wonderful artworks
produced by them? Why our text books are shoddy? Isn‘t it because we don‘t pay our scholars decently and their books are
pirated overnight?

As for the foreign text books mostly used at a higher educational level, why the government cannot buy their publishing rights to
produce them cheaper. In many cases it is only the middleman and those who indulge in piracy who actually make the money.
The issue of patented medicine is identical. Much is said about patent protection that it bars the local producers from the market
and gives the companies the rights to sell at high prices. The fact is that out of around 1000 basic drugs registered with the
ministry of health, only five per cent are patent protected. So there is a vast field open for the local industry. The patent rights
are also not for a life time, but a for fixed period.

Finally, the argument that counterfeiting is encouraged because big companies sell their products at high prices. The fact is that
nobody stops other entrepreneurs to introduce their products and sell them at any price But they have no right to take a piggy-
back ride on other companies who make investment in building brands.
(By Babar Ayaz, Dawn-Economic & Business Review, Page-IV, 14/08/2006)



                                       CM orders reopening of 2,900 schools
KARACHI, Aug 16: Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim on Wednesday ordered that 2,900 closed government
schools in the province would be opened at the earliest.
Speaking at a meeting about development projects of the education, agriculture, irrigation, communication, mineral
development, Auqaf and forestry departments in the Chief Minister's House, he said the Sindh government was focusing on
raising the standard of education as well as literacy rate in the province.
He said 12 per cent of the total development expenditure in the budget of Sindh had been earmarked for the promotion of
education. He instructed officials that database of all villages still devoid of schools should be prepared so that planning could
be made to open schools in those areas.

Dr Arbab said special attention be paid to teaching English in all government schools from primary level.
Regarding the uplift projects in the communication sector, he said that Rs6 billion was being spent on them. He said that
complete monitoring of these projects should be ensured.
He said the Sindh government had allocated Rs1 billion for water and power besides raising uplift budget of the agriculture
sector by 130 per cent so that a boost could be provided to this sector. He said Sindh was an agriculture-based province and
development in this sector meant overall progress and prosperity of the whole province.
Dr Arbab said that Allah the Almighty had bestowed Sindh with rich mineral resources. He said a master plan be made to fully
utilize these resources.
He said that on the instruction of President General Pervez Musharraf the performance of all departments was being improved.
He said he would continue to get briefings on the steps being taken in this regard. He said the pace of work on all uplift projects
in Sindh should be accelerated, but their adequate publicity should also be ensured so that the people and the media could
know about them.

He said the Sindh government had earmarked Rs10.7 million for Urs celebrations of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Shah Abdul
Latif Bhitai and Sachal Sarmast so that their Urs could be celebrated in a befitting manner. He instructed the provincial Auqaf
minister to chalk put a comprehensive programme for providing facilities to devotees of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar during his
Urs to be held next month.

Sindh Education Minister Dr Hamida Khuhro, Irrigation Minister Nadir Akmal Leghari, Population Welfare Minister Syed Pappu
Shah, Women's Development Minister Dr Saeeda Malik, Works and Services Minister Syed Sadaruddin Shah, Mineral
Development Minister Irfanullah Marwat, Law Minister Chaudhry Iftikhar Ahmed, Auqaf Minister Manzoor Panhwar, Adviser for
Agriculture Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, Forest Adviser Ijaz Shah Shirazi, Special Education Adviser Manzoor Ali Shah, Sindh Chief
Secretary Fazalur Rehman, Principal Secretary to CM Ayub Shaikh, and provincial secretaries of various departments were
present.

Separately, Dr Arbab toom a serious notice of a report regarding the condition of graves of Pakistan Movement leaders
Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani and Allama Sulaiman Nadvi and directed the Sindh culture secretary to carry out urgent
repairs of the graves. He said the respect of Pakistan Movement leaders was a duty of all of us.
He also directed the Sindh Adabi Board to reprint Allama Sulaiman Nadvi's famous book on relations of India and the Arab
world, in both Urdu and Sindhi.

Meanwhile, the Sindh chief minister on Wednesday met Balochistan Minister of Sports Younus Changezi at the CM House.
Both leaders discussed matters of common interests.

Sindh Assembly Speaker Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Deputy Speaker Rahila Tiwana, Irrigation Minister Nadir Akmal
Leghari, MPA Afshan Imran, Tando Allahyar district nazim Dr Raheela Magsi, Chairman Anti-Corruption and IGP Sindh also
called on Dr Arbab at the CM House.
Separately, Dr Arbab inaugurated tree-plantation campaign in Sindh province, by planting a sapling in the Chief Minister's
House. He appealed to the citizens to plant more and more trees to make the campaign a big success.
(Dawn-17, 17/08/2006)



                                 Napa ordered to stop work at Hindu Gymkhana
KARACHI, Aug 16: The Karachi Building Control Authority has directed the parties concerned that the illegal construction being
carried out at the Hindu Gymkhana be stopped, it is reliably learnt.
According to sources, the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa), the present occupant of the Seth Ramgopal
Goverdhandas Mohatta Hindu Gymkhana, had first demolished an open air theater at the gymkhana building and now intended
to construct a building at the protected site using the funding from the United Arab Emirates.

Nobody, even the concerned property owner, is authorised to carry out any demolition, repairs or new construction at a site


                                                                28
protected under the Act, which prescribes long prison terms and heavy fines for a violator. If inevitable, any such activity
requires permission from the cultural heritage advisory committee headed by the chief secretary.

A fresh letter issued by the KBCA on the subject ‗Construction Against Approval For Addition/Alteration Work at the Hindu
Gymkhana, M. R. Kyani Road,‖ said that during an inspection, it was found that the construction work was being carried out
without the mandatory approval.
―You are directed to stop further construction and see the undersigned along with the concerned engineer/architect and the
NOC from the lesser to clarify the ownership as this premises is in the list of heritage buildings.‖

The sources said that though the KBCA could not issue any permission for carrying out any kind of construction activity at a site
protected under the Act, Napa had somehow managed to get the permission from the KBCA for the purpose.

The sources said that Napa wanted to start the construction work earlier, but had not been able to do so for want of funds until
it got the sponsorship from the UAE government. The UAE government‘s contractors, M/s Technical Associates Pak (Pvt) Ltd.,
also wanted Napa to get the permission from the government organisation concerned before starting the work. As such, Napa
tried to obtain the same and it succeeded in its efforts by getting approval for the addition/alteration from the KBCA. The UAE
government and its contractors probably did not know that the Hindu Gymkhana was a protected site, and the Culture
Department‘s NOC was also required even before the KBCA‘s approval.
The sources argued that the contractors, being technical people (engineers, architects, etc.) should have known that razing an
entire open air theater and raising a new building with a 15-feet deep basement and 50 feet high structure above the ground
level at the site did not mean just ‗addition/alteration‘.

Conservationists have demanded a high level probe into the whole affair to ascertain how did the KBCA allowed
addition/alteration without having the authority and how did the parties involved managed to get the theatre razed in violation of
the Act. They stressed on restoring the gymkhana building to its original shape.
(By Bhagwandas, Dawn-18, 17/08/2006)



                                 Proposal to convert schools into dispensaries
SIALKOT, Aug 17: The education department has sent proposals to the federal, provincial and district governments to convert
the schools closed down due to rundown condition of their buildings into dispensaries or community centers.
The school buildings in Bajwat are being used as cattle sheds.
Official sources told Dawn here on Thursday that the proposal had been sent following mounting political pressure on education
department. They said the department could not reopen these schools as their future seemed bleak.

They claimed that the schools were located in the bordering villages along the working boundary and no teacher wanted to go
to these schools. Whenever a teacher was appointed, he used his political influence and cancelled his appointment. Due to this
reason, these schools were finally closed.
The schools were opened during the reign of prime minister Muhammad Khan Junejo.

Meanwhile, 50 of 2,852 government schools, with 13,000 teachers, have been closed in the district due to teachers‘ shortage,
sources added. They said of these 50 schools, the local villagers have converted 10 into cattle sheds.
Meanwhile, 58 girls and boys high schools in the district have been running without head teachers since long and the
department failed to fill in these posts.

OMBUDSMAN: The Punjab ombudsman taking suo motu notice of a news item has directed the EDO (education) to reopen
the schools in Bajwat. He directed the EDO to personally ensure that staff was posted in these schools and appear in his
secretariat in Lahore on September 20 with progress report.
(By Abid Mehdi, Dawn-4, 18/08/2006)



                                    Man abandons daughters at Data’s shrine
LAHORE, Aug 21: The Punjab Child Protection Bureau on Monday took into custody four sisters, aged between nine month
and 11 year, allegedly abandoned by their father at Data Ganj Bukhsh shrine.
The bureau said in a statement that officials of its Open Reception Center at the shrine reported to its team about the girls.
The team took the sisters in custody, who said they belonged to Lahore.
They added that they, together with their father, lived in a rented house.

As their father had been unable to pay the house rent for some months, the owner evicted them two days ago. ―Our father left
us at the shrine and never returned,‖ the statement quoted the sisters as saying. It said the girls‘ mother had died some years
ago.
Chief Minister‘s adviser on child rights Dr Faiza Asghar said the bureau had provided shelter to around 2,000 children in the last
one year. The bureau would do everything possible to make these children respectable citizen, she added.
(Dawn-4, 22/08/2006)



                                         Women at shelter home in distress
KARACHI, Aug 21: The fate of a shelter home for women hangs in the balance, as owner of its premises wants it back but the
organisation running the shelter home has not yet been able to get another premises where it could shift its office and over 20
shelterless women, presently living there, it is learnt here reliably.
A few years back, some non-government organisations feeling that there was a pressing need to establish a shelter home for
the women exposed to domestic violence and those without shelter had founded an organisation. They wanted to set up a
shelter home for women Panah, but did not have any funding to get an accommodation.

At that time, another NGO, Ida Rieu Welfare Association came forward and generously offered its premises of the Old People‘s


                                                               29
Home, located at Purani Numaish, for two years without any charges. The sources said that the Panah considered two years to
be sufficient time to arrange for permanent premises.

The Old People‘s Home had been constructed by the Infaq Foundation and there were conflicting reports saying that it was
either under utilised or was not being utilised for over a year, before the Ida Rieu handed it over to the Panah early in 2002.

The Panah, however, could not generate or get enough funds to get some other premises and requested Ida Rieu for one-year
extension, which was given. Again when other premises could not be arranged, another extension was sought, which was also
given and finally Aug 15, 2006 was set as the last date for vacating the premises.

The sources said that the due date had passed, but the Panah had not vacated the premises. The utilities to the Panah have
been disconnected.

They said that the Panah had approached the Sindh government to get the possession of the Social Welfare Department‘s
Darul Aman, where the government put shelterless women. But still negotiations were being held and nothing concrete had
come out. Efforts are being made, but it might take a few months before any other premises could be arranged where the
Panah could be shifted.

The sources said that the Ida Rieu, one of the oldest and most credible NGOs that had been operating the largest educational
facility for the handicapped in the city for over half a century, wanted the premises back to re-establish the Old People‘s Home
– the original purpose for which the building had been constructed by the donor.

The Panah, set up in 2002, has so far provided shelter to over 450 women and their accompanying children. It provides legal,
medical aid to the inmates besides providing education as well as training in different trades to them so that they could earn a
respectable livelihood after leaving Panah. Financial assistance is also provided to the deserving inmates for rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, the women, who have been provided shelter at Panah, have appealed to the concerned authorities to extend the
lease period and allow functioning of the facility, within the premises of Ida Rieu School, Purani Numaish, till it gets an
appropriate site.
(Dawn-19, 22/08/2006)



                  Protesting teachers thrashed by police: Classes boycott announced
KARACHI, Aug 22: After undergoing harassment and police torture at a demonstration staged by thousands of teachers on
Tuesday, the protesting employees of government-run schools and colleges decided to boycott academic activities for an
indefinite period throughout the province from Aug 24.
Police in their attempt to refrain thousands of teaching and non-teaching staffs from marching towards the Chief Minister‘s
House for demonstration resorted to teargas shelling and baton-charge in the vicinity of Bagh-i-Jinnah. They also picked up a
number of teachers, including the central leadership of Sindh Employees Alliance, and detained them at different police
stations.
The teachers and non-teaching staff, who survived the police action, gathered for the second time at the Karachi Press Club to
stage a sit-in that lasted till Tuesday night and condemned the Sindh government for harassment of school and college
employees.

Teachers are in a lurch for over one month as the Sindh Education Department, with the approval of chief minister, notified
about imposition of ban on union or association activities by employees of the education department.
The ban had already been described as unlawful, illogical and arbitrary action by politicians, intellectuals and human right
activists, who said that the ban deprived teachers of their constitutional and basic human right of freedom of expression.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday evening, Sindh Employees Alliance office-bearers Abdul Ghani Qumbar and
Hussain Bakhsh Khaskhelli said that teachers would put off academic activities from Thursday till the ban on teachers‘
associations was lifted and the education minister and secretary were removed from their posts.

They demanded immediate release of teachers arrested by police, action against police personnel for committing torture on
teachers and employees, and acceptance of their long pending demands.
―There will be no teaching in educational institutions throughout the province while rallies and sit-ins will be staged by teachers,
non-teaching employees and students,‖ they said.

One of the speakers said that despite the threats of suspension and removal from jobs over 4,000 school and college teachers
participated in the grand demonstration at Karachi, irrespective of massive use of state machinery and police interruptions at
Dadu, Matiari, Jamshoro, Sukkur and other districts of Sindh. ―Now, we are ready to take any extreme step against
government‘s move to suppress teachers,‖ said an enraged school teacher.

Earlier in the morning, as per plan given by the SEA, hundreds of primary, secondary, college and university teachers from all
over the province gathered at Karachi Press Club to protest against the ban imposed by the education department. They were
also joined by a good number of Karachi-based teachers. Several political leaders, including leader of the opposition in Sindh
Assembly Nisar Khuhro, also addressed the gathering and condemned the government.

After the demonstration, the teachers who were well-guarded by police started marching towards the CM‘s House around 12.15
noon through M.R Kiyani Road. As they reached Arts Council roundabout, police used teargas shells and resorted to baton
charge to disperse the rally.

However, according to an eyewitness, some teachers carrying banners and placards managed to reach in front of Bagh-i-
Jinnah, which further caused concern among the police ranks. Finally, physical obstructions and aerial shots, besides teargas
shells and batons, were used by police. A group of teachers was seen at PIDC roundabout as well.

During the hide-and-seek, teachers and employees also entered Bagh-i-Jinnah, which was finally surrounded by police. Police
action continued for 30 to 45 minutes during which a number of teachers sustained injuries and several teachers were arrested
from the Bagh area, PC limits and Artillery Maidan Police vicinity. Till late in the night teachers‘ leadership, which escaped the
police, was uncertain about the exact number of their arrested colleagues. However, according to SEA, those arrested included
Rafiq Ahmad Jarwar, Prof Liaquat Aziz, Taj Joyo, Imtiaz Ali Lashari, Fahim Soomro, Khalilur Rehman, Yar Muhammad Brohi,

                                                                30
Liaquat Ali Ghangro, Asadullah Memon, Mohammad Bukhsh, Jali Soomro, Siraj Lakho, Bakhsh Ali Bhutto, Aftab Ahmad,
Asghar Ali Shah, Faqir Ali Bakhsh Soomro, Mohammad Ayub Mari, Abdur Razzaq Sehto, Akbar Khawaja, Mirza Dahri and
Rasheed Ahmad Memon.

When contacted, Saddar Town Police Officer Tahir Naveed told Dawn around 9.15pm that about 30 teachers had been
detained by police for violating law and causing nuisance to public.
―We had allowed the teachers to hold rally near the KPC and present their point of view before the media,‖ he said maintaining
that police action against teachers was effected only when they tried to march towards CM‘s House and Governor‘s House for
protest, which was a serious offence.

Meanwhile, former senator and HRCP secretary general Iqbal Haider, PPP (SB) chairperson Ghinwa Bhutto, Nihal Hashmi of
PML (N), Siddique Rathore and leaders of Jamat-i-Islami visited the protesting teachers, who staged a sit-in at the Karachi
Press Club in the evening.

An office-bearer of the SPLA said that teachers and non-teaching staff coming from different districts of Sindh dispersed in the
night, with the pledge that government school and college employees would observe strike against the indifferent attitude of the
government.
(By Mukhtar Alam, Dawn-17, 23/08/2006)



                                        New modes of cheating in KU exams
KARACHI: Some students have devised new methods to cheat in the ongoing examinations in the University of Karachi that
includes change of photograph to allow others to take the examinations in place of the actual candidate.

Though four imposters were caught in the university on Monday, the practice goes on unabated under the patronage of some
unscrupulous employees of the Registration Section and some students‘ groups.

In a recent incident, a person was caught on the suspicion and he was taken to the Registration Section for the verification of
identity. An employee of the section brought the file of the actual candidate for verification. Before the verification could go any
further, the imposter took out a handgun and threatened to blast the employee if he went ahead with the verification process.
Doing this, the imposter walked off with a nonchalance that comes with very strong supporters behind.

The News talked with an officer of the Campus Security on Wednesday to ask what they were doing to protect the campus from
such lawlessness where the offenders were engaged in such nefarious activities. The officer expressed his department‘s
inability to do anything as they were not asked by the Vigilance Committee (for the examinations) to help as it was the case in
the preceding year.

In most of the cases, the invigilators lacked the conviction, willpower and special training to check the admit cards that had their
photos changed.
(The News-4, 24/08/2006)



                              1,000 girl students selected for teacher scholarship
KARACHI: The Project Director, Decentralised Elementary Education Project (DEEP), Sindh Education & Literacy Department,
on Wednesday announced the results of the eligible candidates of Class-XI (female only) selected through test for award of
teacher scholarship under DEEP. College of Business Management conducted the test. The result notification contains the roll
numbers of 1,000 successful students, hailing from 16 districts of the province. According to the district-wise breakdown of
candidates, 105 students from Badin district passed the test, 61 from Dadu, 22 from Ghotki, 50 from Hyderabad, 106 from
Jacobabad, 61 from Karachi, 57 from Khairpur, 69 from Larkana, 78 from Mirpurkhas, 43 from Naushehro Feroz, 71 from
Nawabshah, 52 from Sanghar, 64 from Shikarpur, 28 from Sukkur, 38 from Tharparkar and 95 from Thatta. The successful
candidates have been advised to open their bank account with parent/guardian, preferably in any branch of the National Bank
of Pakistan immediately.
(The News-3, 24/08/2006)



                                   School, college teachers observe black day
KARACHI: Sindh Professors and Lecturers‘ Association (SPLA) has called upon the provincial governor to intervene into the
current education scenario as to resolve the unrest and discontent among the teachers agitating against the ban on their
representative unions and associations.
Teachers from over 200 government-run colleges in Sindh observed black-day and boycotted teaching and non-teaching
activities on Thursday, on the call of SPLA to protest against the undue police action against a rally of teachers and education
employees, here in the metropolis on August 22 (Tuesday).

The college teachers held protest meetings and passed resolutions condemning manhandling, using teargas, baton-charge and
detention of rally participants.
The protest meetings conveyed Sindh governor the lack of confidence and resentment of the school and college teachers
against the provincial education minister and urged him to replace the sitting minister with a more education-friendly and
sensible personality.

Participants of the meetings also called on the governor to exercise his authority and power to get withdrawn the unlawful,
illegitimate, and unconstitutional order of the Sindh governor banning the activities of teachers‘ activities.
The resolutions passed on the occasion also demanded action against police officials and personnel who were responsible for
arbitrarily attacking the participants. They also called for quashing the FIR unduly lodged against the protesting teachers.
A press release of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) said that students of the educational institutions of the city on the call of IJT,
observed black day against suppression of the teachers rally on Thursday.


                                                                31
Meanwhile, the teachers of the University of Karachi observed black day on Thursday in protest against the harassment of
school and college teachers of the province, who were demanding withdrawal of ban on teachers‘ associations.
The black day was observed in response to the call given by the Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS). Teachers wore
black bands on their arms, while performing their academic and other administrative responsibilities.

Later, in the afternoon, teachers gathered at the Arts lobby where KUTS President Prof Sarwar Nasim, addressing the
gathering, strongly condemned the police baton-charge on a peaceful rally of teachers. He demanded stern action against
those responsible for the shameful incident.

Prof Nasim also criticised the role of the provincial education minister and commented that her actions during the last few
months were totally anti-teachers, anti-students and anti-education.
It seems that the education minister had forsaken the propriety to indulge in such a manner. He demanded that the chancellor
should take notice of the educational affairs of the province and initiate a dialogue before taking any decision regarding the
educational reforms in the province.

Prof Riaz Ahsan, the central leader of the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA), Prof Dr Aqeel Ahmed,
Secretary, KUTS and Manzoor Chishti, Vice President SPLA, also spoke on the occasion. Later, the protestors marched from
Arts lobby to the post office and the rally terminated outside the administration building of the campus.
(The News-4, 25/08/2006)



                                               Brutality against teachers
THINGS took an ugly turn on Tuesday in Karachi when teachers protesting against the ban on teachers‘ union activities in
Sindh were treated to the usual highhandedness of the police — baton charged, tear-gassed, beaten and over 40 protesters
detained. While the education department had warned the teachers of strict action if they participated in any protest against the
government‘s action, it was downright wrong and thoughtless to rough them up and mistreat them the way they were on
Tuesday. No wonder some rights groups and political parties have condemned the police brutality. The group was protesting in
a peaceful manner but the administration claims that they were not granted permission to march towards the chief minister‘s
house and that action was taken against them for creating a ―public nuisance‖. That the police action was uncalled for is not
surprising for it typifies the strong-arm tactics that are usually employed to silence those seen as trouble-makers. The protesting
groups announced a province-wide boycott of classes for an indefinite period which may prove disastrous for government
schools. This makes it all the more necessary for the government to address the protesting teachers‘ concerns immediately so
that loss of valuable academic time affecting the future of thousands of students can be avoided.

Both the chief minister and the provincial education minister are adamant that their decision is not likely to be changed and they
remain adamant on taking action against those who are agitating for the lifting the ban. Given the unhappy experience with
student unions, the government may have some reason to believe that teachers unions too may become politicised, for that is
bound to have adverse effects on education. However, an outright ban is not the answer. The best option is to enter into
negotiations with teachers‘ representatives, concede to their right to form unions but expect them to keep the unions free from
politics. Besides, the Sindh government must take note of the fact that no other province has banned such unions as they are
well aware of the valuable role teachers play in shaping the future of the country through education. The Sindh government
must engage the protesting groups in a constructive dialogue and find a way out of this quagmire so that classes can
commence at the earliest.
(Dawn-7, 25/08/2006)



                                          100 teachers sent on forced leave
KARACHI: The Sindh Education Department has summarily exercised its powers against teachers participating in the agitation
against ban on their unions and associations and sent on forced leave over 100 school and college teachers from across the
province.
Sources in the provincial education department said that a majority of teachers sent on forced leave faced the stern action after
participating in the joint teachers and education employees rally in the metropolis on August 22 (Tuesday). Over 25 school and
college teachers were arbitrarily detained and a number of their colleagues received injuries and fainted due to the intense
baton-charge and use of tear-gas by the police. The detained teachers remained lodged in lock-ups of different police stations
for over 24 hours.

Official sources concerned at the education department said that majority of the teachers who were sent on forced leave
belonged to different school cadres and Sindh education secretary or executive districts officers (education) of the districts
concerned issued the forced leave orders depending on the seniority and grades of the targeted teachers.

The education authorities concerned have mainly invoked Removal from Service (Special Power) Ordinance-2000 for sending
the teachers on forced leave. Sources said that teachers were sent on forced leave as a first step of the proposed disciplinary
action against them and they would likely face suspension or removal from service after being served show-cause notices and
facing inquiry proceedings. The officials concerned have hinted that further disciplinary proceedings against the affected
teachers would soon start.

The teachers who have been sent on forced leave belonged to the districts and towns of Badin, Sukkur, Larkana, Jamshoro,
Shaikarpur, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Naushero Feroz. Some 17 college teachers out of the total 100 were also sent on forced
leave and 90 per cent of the college teachers facing action belonged to the districts other than Karachi.

The Sindh Education Department, while notifying the ban on union and association activities by the teachers and employees of
the department last month, said that teachers and education employees found violating the government‘s order of ban would
face disciplinary action under the provisions of Removal from Services (Special Power) Ordinance-2000.

Meanwhile, the protest movement of the affected teachers‘ and education employees unions and associations in the province
has been gathering momentum. A number of schoolteachers associations and unions have been observing boycott of the
academic and administrative activities in the government-run schools and education offices in the province on the call of Sindh


                                                               32
Employees‘ Alliance (SEA). The SEA, which was the principal organiser of the August 22 rally in the metropolis, announced to
boycott teaching and non-teaching activities in the government-run schools after facing the arbitrary police action.

The teachers and education employees‘ associations and unions concerned, constituting the SEA, have announced to hold a
general protest meeting at Karachi Press Club on September 5 and bring out a major rally and stage sit-in at the Chief Minister
House to agitate against the Sindh government‘s ban on union and association activities and arbitrary police action against
teachers at the earlier rally.

The concerned teachers and employees‘ associations have expressed their firm resolve that their struggle and agitation would
continue till the ―immoral, unconstitutional, illegal, and in-humane order‖ of the provincial government was withdrawn.
(By Muhammad Azeem Samar, The News-3, 26/08/2006)



                                   Free legal assistance for detained children
KARACHI: Free legal assistance service for children detained in Karachi was launched by Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed, Chief
Justice High Court of Sindh, at the British High Commission on Friday.
The service named ‗Project Advocate‘ is part of a project in Pakistan managed by the Law Society of England and Wales in
partnership with the British Pakistan Law Council (BPLC).

The two year long project is aimed at establishing a network of lawyers in Karachi and Lahore working on a pro bono basis,
meaning for the public good, to provide legal assistance to children in detention through the sharing of expertise and resources.
Lawyers that join the network will review the cases of children in detention and provide representation for them where needed
to avoid unlawful detention and overcrowding in juvenile prisons.

The launch coincided with the first training course held earlier in the day for lawyers joining the pro bono network where
representatives of key stakeholders in the juvenile justice system in Karachi briefed the participants. The course will include
skills training from UK lawyers provided by Advocates for International Development, a UK initiative coordinating the
international pro bono work of major UK law firms. It hopes to take up more than 400 cases in two years.

The government officials fully lent their support on the issue and Project Advocate has signed Memoranda of Cooperation with
the Home Department of Sindh and Chief of Citizens Police Liaison Committee, Sharfuddin Memon, to effectively implement
this scheme, including display posters at police stations and courts in Karachi with key legal rights of children upon arrest and
detention.

―Our goal is to work together with the government and civil society to further build upon the efforts to improve access to justice
for the vulnerable in Pakistan,‖ said Project Leader Mahnaz Malik.

She also said that the project would encourage the involving of law students on a voluntary basis and provide them with
assistance and experience.

Sharfuddin Memon said that he was glad to come forward to help advocate the move they were not able to initiate for long. He
admitted that not much attention was being paid to the young detainees and especially after the recent release of the female
inmates they were further neglected.

The launch was attended by local lawyers, judiciary government, law students and civil society. Guest of honour included Sindh
Advocate General Anwar Mansoor Khan, Brigadier (retd) Ghulam Mohammad Mohatarem, British Deputy High Commissioner
Hamish Daniel and EC acting head of delegation Balthasar Benz who also addressed the audience as representatives of the
donors of the project.
(The News-2, 26/08/2006)



                                        Legal aid for children plan launched
KARACHI, Aug 26: Chief Justice of Sindh High Court Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed on Friday launched a free legal assistance
service for children in detention in Karachi. The service, named ‗Project Advocate‘, is part of a project being managed in
Pakistan by the Law Society of England and Wales in partnership with the British Pakistan Law Council.

The project will establish a network of lawyers in Karachi and Lahore working pro-bono, meaning for the public good, to provide
legal assistance to children in detention.

It has received international support from the European Commission, under the European Initiative for Democracy and Human
Rights, and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, under the Global Opportunities Fund.
The launching ceremony, held at the British High Commission, was attended by local lawyers, judiciary, government officials,
law students and civil society.

The guests of honour included Advocate General Sindh Anwar Mansoor Khan and CPLC Chief Sharfuddin Memon.

British Deputy High Commissioner Hamish Daniel and EC Acting Head of Delegation Balthaser Benz also addressed the
ceremony as representatives of the donors.

BPLC Project Leader Mahnaz Malik said: ―Our goal is to work together with the government and civil society to further build
upon the efforts to improve access to justice for the vulnerable in Pakistan.‖

The Project Advocate has signed a memoranda of cooperation with the provincial home department and the CPLC for its
effectively implementation, that includes display of posters at police stations and courts in Karachi with key legal rights of
children upon arrest and detention.

Fiona Woolf, President of the Law Society of England and Wales said: ―The Project Advocate offers British and Pakistani


                                                               33
lawyers an opportunity to work together and provides vital legal assistance to extremely vulnerable children in detention. This
initiative will ensure that more young people in Lahore and Karachi have immediate access to legal advice.‖

The Law Society was represented by Ms Charlotte Ford, International Projects Officer, and Sylun Ali, International Executive
Assistant for South Asia.

The launching of the project coincided with the first training course for lawyers joining the pro-bono network in Karachi. The
same programme will run in Lahore next week.

Representatives of key stakeholders in the juvenile justice system in Karachi gave participants a briefing about the project
during the first day of the course, which will go on to include skills training from UK lawyers provided by Advocates for
International Development (A4ID), a UK initiative coordinating the international pro-bono work of major UK law firms.

―The A4ID‘s first set of volunteers -- Aamir Khan (Richards Butler), Safora Syed (Warwick Chambers), Simon Lawrenson
(Linklaters) and Shiraz Aziz (Sheikh & Co) -- will be in Pakistan to share ideas and expertise regarding the rights of juveniles
and detainees, the criminal justice system in England and Wales, case management and advocacy skills,‖ explained Katie Hutt,
Director of A4ID.

The project was launched by Cherie Blair, Governor Lt-Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool and llkka Uusitalo in Lahore in April this year.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed said the subject of juvenile justice had always remained dear to
him.

He emphasised that our first priority should be to verify the statistics like those of children in jails. He said he was told that these
run into thousands in Karachi alone.

Justice Ahmed also made mention of the Sindh Juvenile Assistance Rules which provide that sessions judges will keep a panel
of lawyers to represent juvenile offenders.

He noted that the Sindh Children Act was far more progressive and provided protection to children whereby children below the
age of 16 years could not be kept in jail at all.
(Dawn-18, 27/08/2006)



                                       Thrashing teachers, denying textbooks
EDUCATIONAL institutions in town have reopened after what may be regarded as a controversial 10-week vacation. It should
have been time enough for all concerned to have sorted out matters, and given to students, teachers and parents thereby, a
feel good factor, but evidently not. Not just in between the lines, but the writing on the wall also clearly implies that unresolved
issues still remain.

On 16th August, the day that the schools and colleges reopened, in the midst of a monsoon havoc that the city was fighting,
came the headline that ‗STB fails to meet demand for books‘. Let me underline that even before the schools reopened after the
summer vacation, there were skeptical opinion and anticipation about the availability of textbooks. There was a cynical attitude
which seemed to prepare the parents for what would lie ahead. Students being naïve and inexperienced, generally did not
imagine what actually happened. The Sindh Textbook Board, not surprisingly, disappointed and did not meet the market
demand for textbooks for students from Class I to X.

A week later, on Aug 23rd came the news that ‗Protesting teachers thrashed by police‘ following which a boycott of classes had
been announced – an indefinite boycott from Aug 24. Teaching community observed ‗black day‘ and now a grand rally would be
held in this city on Sept 5. One may remember that 6th September is the Defence Day of Pakistan. While the recurring textbook
shortage is both disappointing and enigmatic, the teachers‘ unrest is not.

Not just television channels showed how teachers were being thrashed by policemen for protests and demonstration against
the ban on teachers‘ union activities, but newspapers also showed the baton-charge on protestors to disperse teachers when
they wanted to the Chief Minister‘s House to present their case on Tuesday last.

To realize that school textbooks are not available once again and that in another context protesting teachers have been beaten
and tear gassed is, besides being a matter of shame, also a sorry reflection of the state of education in this society. And much
more, in fact. In a way, it is nothing new to even mourn the hiccups that the educational institutions experience.

One parent, Badaruddin, a resident of Gulistan-i-Jauhar, meekly lamented that his son, a class ninth student, had been
repeatedly doing the rounds at the three bookshops, authorized by the school management but the textbooks are still
unavailable. This happens every year with schoolchildren is a statement of the unembarrassing obvious. This gentleman is
patient and mild about such an issue possibly reflects the weariness of the citizen, rather his helplessness.

But in addition to outwardly cool exterior that many citizens demonstrate there is an inner discontent that is very much there.
This is also reflected in the fact that the police action against teachers has been strongly condemned by a cross section of
opinion makers. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan secretary general condemned ‗police brutality on a peaceful
demonstration of teachers protesting against the ban on unions‘.

He said: ―The Sindh government ban on teachers association was not only a clear violation of Article 17 of the Constitution, but
also against all international charters of human rights as well as local laws.‖

The HRCP spokesman also referred to the shortage of textbooks in Sindh and said that the provincial government must ensure
that textbooks were supplied to hundreds and thousands of students as promised before the summer holidays.

He demanded strict disciplinary action and registration of FIRs against all the officials who were responsible for Tuesday‘s
baton charge, tear gassing, injuring and arresting the teachers. He further said that education department officials who were
responsible for denying textbooks to students should also be taken to task.
There have been other such statements from political parties and individuals mirroring the fact that the government‘s policy of a
ban on teachers associations and textbooks unavailability has evoked criticism.

                                                                  34
The subject of textbook shortage created by the Sindh Textbook Board; the ban on teachers union and the police action against
protesting teachers is such a contrast to the television commercials as the Punjab government has been showing for almost
over a year highlighting the perception that steadily the province is becoming educated, as literacy spreads.

Why are these hurdles and this frustration in Sindh? For years now, every year almost, there is a textbook shortage that hits the
government schools in particular. Why can‘t the Sindh Textbook Board be made to function efficiently, which includes being
prompt.

Earlier this month, we noticed that Sindh Education Minister Dr Hamida Khuhro had ordered that free textbooks should be
supplied to all schoolchildren in Sindh. She presided over a high-level meeting and directed the Reform Support Unit and the
Sindh Text Book Board to provide the schoolchildren with these books free so that they are encouraged to get enrolled in
educational institutions. This is both familiar and stereotyped talk, remarked one parent who is worried about the overall quality
of work being done in the educational sector.

Students have reasons to be worried at what is happening around them. But civil society is wondering at the overall direction in
which matters are heading – whether the ban on teachers right to freedom of expression is just the beginning of what society or
authorities are likely to hand over to them in the days to come. The point about freedom of expression makes it relevant to
mention here that there are reports that there is not only administrative action that may be taken against the leaders of
teachers, but there are news reports that the pesh imams sermons (khutbas) in mosques are also to be monitored and
recorded.

Let us conclude with what the president of the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association Prof Riaz Ahsan has said:
―Measures against teachers are being taken as authorities have some hidden agenda as well.‖ Another teacher who has seen
many teachers‘ struggles against the authorities for decades now, felt that this was the first time that the teachers‘ community
was facing such a challenge to its organisations – even to its existence. From the look of things, the restlessness is not to be
ignored.
(By Nusrat Nasarullah, Dawn-17, 27/08/2006)



                                        Visiting Urdu Bazaar a grimy ordeal
KARACHI: Visitors to the Urdu Bazaar are confronted with a multifaceted dilemma - streets are slushy after the recent rains,
there is scant space on the pavements for pedestrians to walk, and the shortage of textbooks.
The last-mentioned problem is persisting despite claims by the authorities that such is not the case.
The centre of book business presented a desolate and grimy look though it was ―flooded‖ with parents and students eager to
get the books to begin their new academic year, a visit to the bazaar revealed.

Random enquiries with the shops revealed that it was rare that a complete set of books of a certain class could be acquired. At
least one or two books were not available and the shopkeepers showed their disgust through negative comments on the
performance of the Sindh Text Book Board (STTB) and the Sindh Education Department.
Some book traders expressed their frustration about the sewerage and rainwater that had entered the shops and damaged the
books and stationery, bringing them considerable loss.

Nasim Ahmed, President, Urdu Bazaar Welfare Association, minced no words when he accused the STTB and the Education
Department of being responsible for the shortage of books in the market.
He was of the opinion that the rains that had played havoc in Urdu Bazaar had done the same in the previous years. ―It needs a
long-term and careful planning to stop the phenomenon of water-logging in the area that occurs every year.‖
He praised the City District Government (CDGK) for their good work in the area. ―Nasreen Jalil, the Deputy-Nazim, also visited
the area that proved a moral-booster for our trader community,‖ he commented.
He said that 70 percent of the books of classes I to XII were not available in the market and attributed it to the wrong choice for
the beginning of the new academic year.

According to him the books were printed in the January-March interregnum when there was no load-shedding and no
monsoons to disrupt the process. This enabled the publishers to sell the books in the month of April. Now the books are printed
in June, July, and August — the time the city experiences maximum power cuts as well as faces the vagaries of the monsoon.
The two factors prevent the printing of the books on time. But again, he hastened to add, the two factors alone could not be the
reason for the shortage. One other factor was the neglect of all the stakeholders responsible for the supply of books to the
students.

It is on the record that in a recent statement, Dr. Hameeda Khuro, the education minister, had pinned the blame on the STTB,
saying her department was responsible for the free distribution of books. That done, her department‘s responsibility was
fulfilled. The blame game, sadly, goes on unabated.

In a recent statement on August 16, Prof. Abdul Aziz Mehrani, Chairman, STTB, had assured the book traders that the books
would be available within 10-15 days. Now the traders are waiting for the promise to be turned into reality. Nasim suggested
that new publishers should be included in the printing process and the existing ones be told that there was no room for
complacence.
―Complete your work in time or seek new pastures as you would be fired if you do your home work in a lethargic manner,‖
should be the message, Nasim said.
(By Pervez Abdullah, The News-3, 28/08/2006)



                  Sindh to surrender Rs65m lapsed fund: Madressah Reforms Project
KARACHI, Aug 28: In view of what appeared slackness on its part, the Sindh education department has been asked to
surrender a good chunk of funds supposed to be spent on facilitation of madressahs to the federal government, said sources in
the government. It is likely that Sindh government will return an amount to the tune of Rs65 million to the federal government,
which it failed to utilise as financial assistance to madressahs in the province since 2004.



                                                               35
It was in 2002-2003 that the federal government decided to give an incentive package for religious education institutions
(madressahs) to make arrangement for imparting modern education to their students, in addition to religious studies. The
government allocated an amount of Rs6,500 million for the facilitation of about 8,000 madressahs in the country.

The Sindh education department, under a federal government funding, had announced launching of a five-year plan aimed at
facilitating about 2,000 institutions of religious education in the province for imparting the modern education, including
information technology, in phases.

Out of a fund of Rs92 million received from the federal government in two installments till the financial year 2003-04, Sindh
education department could spend about Rs2 million in the name of establishment of related office and purchase of vehicles, it
was learnt.

After receiving the first installment, the Sindh education department formally launched ―Madressah Reforms Project‖ in 2004 for
arranging teachers, provision of textbooks, sports material, stationary, furniture, computers and other facilities for religious
schools, if they opted.

Under the scheme, the willing madressahs were required to teach Mathematics, General Science, Social Studies/ Pakistan
Studies, and English from primary to matriculation level, while subjects like Pakistan Studies, Economics, Computer Sciences
and English at intermediate level.

According to a source in the education department, madressahs are continuing to apply for the promised incentive package
despite the fact that not a single madressah has been benefited yet under the five-year project, which will culminate with the
completion of ongoing fiscal year if the project is not renewed by the federal government.

Not a single madressah even after coming up to the terms of the government has been geared up for the ―much emphasised
education‖, said a madressah organiser, adding that initiatives and interests of the education department‘s official counted a lot
in the implementation of any project.

When contacted an official of the federal education ministry, who is also coordinating for the madressah project, denied to talk
in detail on the issue saying that it was a very sensitive subject. However, with the condition of anonymity, he said that the pace
of madressah project in all other provinces, except NWFP, had not been up to any considerable extent and now all the
concerned were being asked to give an account position and return the unutilized fund.

According to some sources, there is likelihood that federal government will re-launch the fund again with some modifications.
During the years, out of total 193 madressahs which applied for government assistance in Sindh, around 101 were cleared by
the law enforcing agencies and intelligence agencies. Following the clearance, physical inspection of only 26 madressahs could
be made by the project officials, said a source privy to the reforms project.

When approached, Madressah Reforms Project Manager Munir Ahmad Shaikh expressed hope that some of the madressahs
would start getting support in the shape of teaching faculty, equipments and goods and books soon, as the Sindh education
secretary had approved the cases pertaining to 26 madressahs recently.
―We have estimated an expenditure of Rs25 million for the year 2006-2007, which will also cover provision of various facilities,
including posting of teachers at the madressahs found fit after different exercises,‖ Mr Shaikh added. He said that the criteria
and mechanism for appointment of about 100 teachers for the year would be finalised at a higher forum of the education
department soon.
(By Mukhtar Alam, Dawn-17, 29/08/2006)



                                    Delay in books may cost govt Rs4m more
KARACHI, Aug 30: The inordinate delay caused by the Sindh Textbook Board in the supply of books to government schools for
free distribution will cost an extra amount of Rs 4 million to the Sindh education department.
Poor homework and ill-advised decisions of the Sindh Textbook Board have been attributed as the major factors behind
delayed printing of books and their supply to government schools as well as in the market. It is on the one hand causing
problems for parents and students, and on the other resulting in wastage of funds and resources, sources said.

The sources further said as the STB has again revised its schedule for supply books for Class IX and X to government schools,
the Reforms Support Unit (RSU) which is responsible for ensuring smooth, foolproof and cost-effective supply to heads of
schools would have to prepare a fresh schedule for distribution of books among students of Class IX and X for the third time.

The unit has to monitor the entire process of lifting and distribution of books from STB‘s warehouses to students in schools.
―The unit is presently implementing its schedule for supply of books to Class VI to VIII in government schools, and till Aug 29, in
addition to completing the exercise for distribution of primary school books, we have been able to send books to seven districts
and four to six towns of Karachi,‖ said an official of the unit.

A sources said as the printing is being delayed, the unit would have to spare more time and resources. Had the STB printed the
books in time, it could have saved the RSU from undertaking three different exercises, added the source, saying originally
about Rs 5 million were allocated for distribution, transportation and payment of honorarium to heads of schools and other
officials, which is now going to be doubled at least in the given situation.

Situation pertaining to supply of books to market is also not different, as market has not been able to meet the needs of
students of private schools because of slow pace of printing of books by the registered publishers.The booksellers need an
entire range of textbooks, particularly for secondary and matriculation levels, but they were sitting helpless as the STB has
failed to meet the market demand and release books in time, said a bookseller in Urdu Bazaar.

Market sources said the STBB had handed the publishing job to the registered publishers, but there were some who were
actually interested in bringing out their own publications first to meet the market needs for their onward sale to students of
private schools.

The source emphasized that publishers are actually overloaded as they have to bring out not only their own books for private
schools but also those of the STB‘s meant both for free distribution and market release within a limited period.

                                                               36
The other problem is that as books published for free distribution yield quick profit to the publisher, there are publishers who
prefer bringing out such sorts of books. The books for market sale have become a second priority during the recent years as it
involves major investment and relatively slow profit owing to royalty and some other issues.

While giving a revised schedule for delivery of books to RSU and the market on Aug 16, the chairman of STB Prof Abdul Aziz
Mehranvi, had stated that the entire range of free distribution books for Classes IX and X would be made available to RSU for
onward transmission to districts and talukas latest by Aug 28, while the entire range of books pertaining to Class-I to X would
be available to booksellers latest by Aug 26. However, the STB failed to fulfill the revised deadlines.

Another source said allocation of books to publishers was delayed up to May, while a decision to publish Class VI to X books
for government schools students was also not given a heed by the authorities concerned, which, among other things, also
resulted in handing of massive printing jobs to a limited number of publishers, in addition to paving room for ―high-ups‘
recommended publishers.‖

Justifying his stance, the source said good quantity printing job was given to new, inexperienced and some dummy publishing
houses as well, which in turn delayed the job.
The ―fermaishi‖ printers did not know how to discharge the responsibilities, but they were eyeing on lucrative business and
commissions and that was why they passed on STB‘s print orders to those already overworked at Karachi, the source added.

An official of STB said both books for free distribution and for market were almost ready. It is hoped that class IX and X books
for free distribution will be handed to the authorities now on Sept 6, while books for market sale will also be floated in full range
in the first week of the coming month.

Talking on the issue of textbooks, chairman of the Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers‘ Association, Abdul Aziz Khalid, said
books in the market started pouring in on Aug 29 with the supply of two titles and it was understood that about 70 to 80 per cent
of the books for market would be available within a week.
He claimed that publishers of Karachi had already completed their work pertaining to free distribution books and handed over
those to the STB.

Admitting that the issue of delayed supply of books takes place every year and as such there was a dire need to make efforts
and prepare a well thought out plan, ensuring complete coordination between the STB and registered publishers.
He said only a systematic working and elimination of ―arbitrary decisions‖ in the allocations of books to publishers can help
bring books in time, i.e. in April.
(By Mukhtar Alam, Dawn-17, 31/08/2006)



                                         Slashing of HEC’s budget criticised
ISLAMABAD, Aug 30: Members of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) have expressed their concern over the slashing of
the HEC‘s budget by Rs5.7 billion, fearing a devastating effect to development projects the commission had initiated, official
sources told Dawn.
They were furious during the commission‘s 11th meeting held this Monday over the decision and asked HEC Chairman Dr
Attaur Rehman to request Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to personally intervene to restore the budget, they said.
The original recurring budget agreed by the Finance Division for universities was Rs15.7 billion. Subsequently, the government
announced a 15 per cent increase in the salaries of teachers amounting to Rs1.2 billion, making the total requirement of Rs16.9
billion.

However, later on the Finance Division cut the recurring budget to Rs11.28 billion and suggested that the difference of Rs5.7
billion be met by self-generated funds.
They were of the unanimous view that cut in the budget had put the public-sector universities in precarious position, and
demanded immediate reversal of the government‘s decision, the sources said.

The grave situation caused by these cuts will directly affect the fate of an additional 60,000 students enrolled during the last 18
months due to the expansion of university enrolments and the introduction of four-year undergraduate degree programmes.

However, these steps have been taken to implement decisions taken at the chancellor‘s committee meeting chaired by the
president to expand access to the higher education sector to a much larger number of deserving students, they said.
Concerns were also raised at the future of 120 development programmes completed last year but will require recurring funds
for their continuation otherwise they may have to be abandoned.
When contacted, HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail Naqvi said the commission was actively pursuing the Finance Division in
this regard and hopefully the issue would be resolved.
(Dawn-2, 31/08/2006)




SEPTEMBER
                                             Teaching activities suspended
KARACHI, Sept 1: Teaching activities remained suspended almost in all the educational institutions of the city due to strike
observed on a call by opposition parties on Friday.
At the University of Karachi, examinations of BEd, BA, BSc (physiotherapy) and others for affiliated institutions‘ students were
held as per schedule on Friday.

Attendance was around 95 per cent and as such we think that there is no need to hold any second examination for the left over
candidates, said a senior examination official.
However, teaching could not be held on the KU campus as students failed to turn up for the purpose due to the non-availability
of transport and unpredictable law and order situation. The attendance of teaching and non-teaching staff was also thin during
the day, said an employee adding that the varsity buses were also not plied on roads.

                                                                37
Teaching at the two campuses of the Dow University of Health Sciences, ie the Dow and Sindh medical colleges, remained
suspended as teachers and students were not present in adequate numbers. The authorities refrained from bringing students
buses on roads.

Teaching at the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology campuses also could not resume on Friday due to
negligible number of students, teachers and other staff.
In the case of the NED University of Engineering and Technology, it was learnt that the administration had run the buses but
15-20 per cent of the students reached the campus on Friday. Teaching staff was almost present but classes could be held
partially due to inadequate turn-up of students, said an official of the varsity.

Due to the non-availability of public transport and school buses, students in almost all the private schools failed to report for
education, while teaching strength was also not up to mark in a majority of the schools.

Sensing an absence of transport and inconvenience to students and teachers a number of private schools had already
announced a holiday for Friday, with the directives that the schools would be opened on Saturday.
The government-run educational institutions gave a deserted look on Friday due to the strike. Students and teachers did not
turn-up for academic activities due to the absence of public transport. At some schools the students of nearby localities
managed to report but were dismayed finding the school gates closed.

Attendance of employees at the educational boards and different offices of education under the city government also presented
a deserted look due to poor attendance of staff concerned. Examination staff did come but staff pertaining to other sections
failed to turn up due to strike, said an official at one of the education boards.
(By Mukhtar Alam, D-17, 02/09/2006)



                                     HSC toppers see lack of proper facilities
KARACHI, Sept 2: The Board of Intermediate Education (BIE) Karachi has planned strict action against those affiliated colleges
which have failed to show good results or maintain the minimum number of admissions as per the board‘s criterion.

Speaking at a ceremony to announce results of the HSC examination on Saturday, BIE Chairman Prof Iftikhar H. Zaidi said the
board was concerned over the poor performance of some colleges in the public and private sectors. He said the board was
already working towards disaffiliating the colleges that would fail in getting less than 10 per cent of its students passed in the
HSC examinations 2006.
He said the board would definitely withdraw recognition of or affiliation with the colleges which had less than 25 per cent
students in any faculty and had also failed to meet other criteria for affiliation.

Mr Zaidi said that as many as 24 educational institutions were disaffiliated for not meeting the board‘s rules or running deficient
of qualified and experienced teaching staff or facilities.

Later, BIE chief appreciated performance of the candidates who secured top three positions in the examinations.

Meanwhile, the position-holders of HSC Pre-Medical examinations, in their interviews on Saturday, maintained that the quality
and sincerity of teachers and the overall discipline of any institution played the key role in grooming up students. Government
should pay special attention to the private sector institutions which lacked experienced teachers and related facilities.

Madiha Kanwal (Seat No.90968), has secured first position and wants to become a doctor, said that she worked hard at college
and also took tuition at coaching centres to see the success. She was of the view that intermediate class textbooks and
curricula of Physics and Chemistry needed improvement.
Shanza Waqar (Seat No.85405, who has secured second position and also wants to become a doctor, said that she had
secured 89 per cent in matriculation examinations and had now got 87.55 per cent marks in HSC. She said she could not have
secured the position had she been at some other college. However, she said, one thing was clear that her college, which had
been denationalised by the Sindh government last year, did not possess experienced or senior teachers.

Rabia Anwar (Seat No.88339), who shared second position with Ms Shanza, said that perhaps she was the first student of her
college to have secured a position in Pre-Medical examinations. I switched over from the Cambridge System to the HSC
System in order to get a higher percentage, she said, adding that the O-levelers were deprived of certain pass percentage
when they were issued equivalence under the local system.

The third position holder, Hiba Asad (Seat No.85319), said that girl students normally secured positions in Pre-Medical
examinations as they worked hard and had an aptitude for that. Talking about some civic problem, she said that frequent power
breakdowns upset the students preparing for examinations very much.

The position-holders of HSC (Home Economics) 2006, whose results were declared some time back, were also present at the
ceremony. They were Fatema Hatim Ghadyali (1st), Samina Badar (2nd) and Areeba Fuad Siddiqui (3rd).
(By Mukhtar Alam, Dawn-19, 03/09/2006)



                        Teaching of Pakistan Studies, Islamiat in colleges opposed
KARACHI, Sept 2: Participants of an interactive educational workshop on Saturday suggested introducing more optional
subjects at high school and intermediate level, and giving more choices to students from a wide variety of subjects to select
what they want to read at college-level education.

Most of the participants opposed teaching of Islamiat and Pakistan Studies at college level or rearranging them by introducing a
new subject of social studies, having components of Islamiat, Pakistan Studies and other related subjects.
The workshop on ―what subjects should be taught in colleges‖ was organized by the office of Sindh Education Manager and its
recommendations would be sent to Federal Ministry of Education through Sindh education department.

Participants of the workshop, including people associated with Sindh education department and government-run colleges,

                                                               38
educationists and students, were of the opinion that subjects being taught at the colleges these days were neither helping
students in becoming good citizens nor qualified enough to become active members of the society.
They said subjects being taught at college level and combinations were restricting students ability to adopt a variety of
professional fields and getting specialization in many other subjects at graduate and postgraduate level education.

Provincial Education Manager Sindh Dr Mohammad Ali Shaikh, who presided over the moot, said the holding of workshop was
aimed at bringing reforms at college-level education and to develop consensus for teaching of subjects at colleges in
accordance with changing demands of time and modern world.
He said currently students having biology at intermediate level could not get engineering education while those studying
mathematics could not take admissions at medical colleges while on the other hand, they were repeatedly being taught similar
things since start of their education in the name of Islamiat and Pakistan Studies.

―Our great leaders who founded Pakistan had not studied Pakistan Studies during their education while there are very good
Muslims in our rural areas, who never studied Islamiat, which we teach students at our educational institutes‖ he claimed.He
also spoke of improving and introducing modern teaching methodologies, upgradation of educational curricula, giving students
more choice of selecting 'unconventional combinations of subjects' at colleges so that they could be able to go to any
professional field of their choice.

Earlier, participants of the workshop, including teachers, college principals and students said that the range of subjects optional
for students should be enhanced as subjects like nursing, ethics, sociology, political science, environment, gender issues,
music, art, political science should also be included in the list of optional subjects at college level.

Some of the participants were of the view that all compulsory subjects at college level should be made optional and called for
conducting a survey to ascertain market requirement of subjects and their introduction at college level education.

An educationist Fazl Suleiman was of the view that Persian and Arabic languages which used to be taught previously at our
educational institutes, economic geography of the country and provinces, Constitutional history of the country, IT education and
more importantly English language should form some of the optional subjects at college level.

Another expert, Tariq Kaleem said he was in favour of allowing students to select subjects of their choice at college level as in
developed countries students were free to study whatever they wanted.

Prof. Ravi Shankar, Principal of DJ Science College said mathematics and biology should be taught simultaneously at college
level education as it would enable students to get medical and engineering education at graduation level.
(Dawn-18, 03/09/2006)



                                                       Urban studies
Policy shifts and market-based decision making are leaving the disadvantaged sections of urban dwellers vulnerable to multiple
                                              natural and man-made disasters

                                                    By Dr Noman Ahmed
The World Urban Forum (WUF) concluded in Vancouver in the last week of June 2006 with renewed promises and hopes for
city dwellers. It marks an important milestone in the attempts to deal with urbanisation through United Nations style
approaches. The UN process on urbanisation issue began in 1976 with the First UN Conference on Human Settlements
(HABITAT I) which co-incidentally was also held in Vancouver. The conference recommended to the central/federal
governments to develop spatial plans for the cities to consolidate the zoning and land use provisions. Sizeable activity was
generated as a consequence of this event. Many governments prepared human settlement policies with a focus to support
disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. Second UN Conference on Human Settlements was held in Istanbul in 1996.
During this conference, the emphasis shifted towards local governments under the overall approach of decentralisation.

The World Urban Forum 2006 was launched with an objective to take stock of the global situation during the past 30 years in
respect to housing, community development and sustainability of urban poor settlements. This aspect is very relevant to
Pakistan where more than 40 per cent of the population lives in urban areas and a major number of these dwellers exist without
basic urban services. Meetings on the scale and profile of urban forum usually provide an opportunity to scan the impact, with
new commitments and the revival of the previous ones. The World Urban Forum 2006 was no different. Participants and
stakeholder agencies deliberated at length on some of the core matters that the cities of the world are currently grappling with.
Slum expansion, limited supply of affordable housing for the poor, schism between the decision making elite and the urban
poor, vulnerability of urban masses against natural and humanly activated disasters, subservience of urban planning and
management to market economy doctorines as well as the issues pertinent to energy crises were on the top of the list of
concerns for the delegates from the North and the South. It is important to note here that the most of the participating
international agencies at the forum had their respective shares in promoting incongruent approaches that seldom worked in the
contexts of developing countries. But instead of undertaking an objective analysis of past attempts and correcting them, they
are continuing to promote the same approaches as an instant recipe for resolving the complex urban problems in the
developing countries.

Slum upgrading and affordable housing provision for the low income urban communities was a key area of input at the forum.
According to UN estimates, over one billion people in the world live in slums. In Pakistan, the situation is no better. As the
possibilities to access proper land for housing are diminishing fast, the urban poor are now forced to live in the hazardous
terrains and vulnerable habitats. Lower banks of nullahs or creeks, landfill or garbage dumping sites, swamps, shoulder spaces
of active railroad tracks and unprotected boundaries of sea are some examples. These communities are periodically affected
due to natural calamities, accidents and hazards of all sorts. Besides, the urban administration simply refuses to provide
alternative locations to these people due to the so called illegal nature of their settlements. These communities are forced to
leave their settlements whenever any development project on the land they use as their habitat. Even otherwise, the possibility
for them to acquire urban infrastructure is fairly remote. There was a tradition of launching slum upgradation projects in the
1980s and afterwards. The kachi abadi regularisation programmes that were launched in several cities are now exist only as
example from the past. Provision of water supply and sanitation, ownership rights and pavement of streets were some of the
important ingredients of this programme. The local and provincial governments, however, are finding it extremely difficult to
venture again into this terrain. Extremely high land prices reduce the chances for acquisition or allocation of land for any social
purpose. The pressure from donor agencies has reduced the possibility of extending any subsidy for slum upgradation. In
Pakistani cities, one finds that the poor are being elbowed out to survive at the urban peripheries. Rising commuting costs,

                                                               39
unavailability of basic urban services, fears of evictions, high crime rates and absence of hope for an appropriate upgradation of
living conditions are some of the predicaments that continue to haunt these marginalised communities. Situation in medium
sized and small cities is even worse. While the federal and provincial governments initiate some projects/programmes for larger
cities, the smaller settlements simply remain invisible to the concerned decision makers.

There is a lot of lip service being paid about people's participation in development works. It also made a cornerstone of the
agenda for discussion at the World Urban Forum. The situation on the ground is entirely the opposite. At present, major urban
development projects are undertaken without any consultation with the stakeholder groups. In many cases, even the direct
affectees are not informed. In Karachi, the Lyari Expressway evicted more than 26,000 families from their houses without taking
into account their legitimate and moral rights. Dislocations are also caused under the real estate development schemes in
Gwadar. In secondary cities, one finds expansion of highways and infrastructural projects being implemented without
consultation with the inhabitants of the affected area. Whereas the elected representatives now run local government units,
they are found usually conniving with the real estate developers, investors and builders without giving due regard to the
aspirations and needs of their own constituencies.

Municipal finance has emerged as a core issue in the normal functioning of cities. With the passage of time, the life styles
prevalent in cities have become resource intensive. They require an increasing proportion of monetary, material and human
resources to fulfil the citizens' aspirations. There are drastic changes that have taken place in municipal finances in developing
countries such as Pakistan. Under the pressure of donor agencies and demands from the investor and business community,
the present regime in Pakistan introduced an elaborate decentralised system of urban governance. But the independence to
mobilise revenue at the local level is non-existing. The district governments and lower tiers of government are entirely
dependent upon federal transfers. The local taxation base is extremely fragile. Traditionally, local taxes include property tax,
conservancy tax, fire tax, utility charges (as per tariffs), advertisement levies, taxation on entertainment, municipal enterprises
and betterment levies. Actual collection is dismal on all these counts and is hardly compatible even with establishment costs.
The federal government (and provincial governments in some cases) fund the development projects or arrange for donor
finances for such ventures. It is obvious that since the key control of financial policies rests with the upper tiers of government,
they automatically acquire control on all levels of strategic decision making. This reduces the decentralisation approach to a
great extent. In other words, financial subordination gives rise to functional and administrative subordination.

World Urban Forum (WUF) also brought under discussion issues related to urban disasters, safety and security. In this respect,
crime, violence and lawlessness were deliberated as they are important issues especially pertinent to developing countries.
Experts at the forum reported that these ailments harm investment, delay vital developmental projects, reduce public access to
basic services, diminish the chances of lower income groups to escape from poverty and endanger democratic progress and
sustenance. Despite these grave consequences, most of the cities in developing world do not have any adequate mechanism
for grappling with urban disasters, crime or violence. Hefty budgets are kept for maintaining large personnel in law enforcing
agencies but little benefit is derived from their presence. Crime and violence are by-products of social injustices, inequalities
and disparities. Without addressing the root causes, few achievements can be expected from the expenditures on surface
measures. Disaster preparedness and mitigation obviously fall at the lowest of official priorities. Recent rains completely
paralysed Karachi -- the largest metropolis of the country and their impact was as colossal as the entire urban or provincial
budget but there is still no serious plan being discussed to avoid a repeat.

With the passage of time, cities are developed around projects without reference to overall urban master plans. This approach
suits investors, builders and real estate entrepreneurs who wish to undertake urban projects as profit making enterprises. This
approach is in contrast to the interests of less privileged people who often suffer due to the skewed list of priorities drawn for
such schemes. For instance, banking sector, automobile manufacturers and civic agencies are promoting the production and
sales of cars. Transportation projects are transforming public access ways into exclusive fast moving tracks to facilitate those
moving in cars. Pedestrians, operators of non-motorised transport and users of public transport are at a complete loss. In most
cases, road improvement projects are implemented at the cost of public transit projects. Under the ruthless doctrines of market
economy which assess every initiative on the yardstick of profits, urban planning becomes a low priority exercise. Sanity need
to be restored to reinstate public interest over and above petty gains and benefits to a few.

One cannot deny the significance of issues raised in the World Urban Forum. What needs to be done is to undertake an
objective assessment of these issues especially with reference to local realities. Situation in Pakistani cities can only improve if
certain pre-requisites are applied. A process of consultation is vital before any project, programme or initiative is approved for
implementation. Constitutional cover needs to be sought for the distribution of government revenue to make devolution of
power meaningful. Essential rights -- housing, mobility and basic urban services -- must be made accessible to all citizens
irrespective of their income and locational merits (or de-merits). If these core matters are not seriously addressed, expectations
from meetings like the World Urban Forum shall remain a distant illusion.
(By Dr. Noman Ahmed, The News-Political Economy-III, 03/09/2006)



                               Girls bag top positions in Inter (Pre-Medical) exam
KARACHI: The girl candidates have clinched top six positions in HSC Part-II Science (Pre-Medical) group Annual
Examinations-2006. The Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) on Saturday announced the results of Class-XII Pre-
Medical group Annual Exams-2006 with an overall pass percentage of 54.90, which is 4.17 per cent higher than the last year.

Two candidates among the top three position holders, belonging to the St Joseph‘s College for Women, said at a ceremony
held at the board office in their honour that after studying for one-year in a denationalised college they experienced serious
dearth of well qualified, experienced, and competent teachers. The position holders from the St Joseph‘s College said that they
had benefited a lot from the presence of highly experienced and qualified teachers in the college in the pre-denationalised
period.

As many as 15,298 candidates, including 11,570 girls appeared in the exams of whom 8,347 students, including 6,846 girl
candidates passed with the pass percentage of 54.90. The pass percentage of boys and girl students remained 40.78 per cent
and 59.41 per cent respectively.

Some 401 candidates, including 336 girls and 65 boys secured A-1 grade, and 1,895 candidates, including 325 boys and 1,570
girl students clinched A-grade. Besides, 2,407 candidates, including 2,056 girls and 351 boy students obtained B-grade, 2,390
students, including 1,995 girls and 395 boys secured C-grade, 1,213, including 335 boys and 878 girl students got D-grade, and
26 candidates, including 21 boys passed in E-grade.

                                                                40
Madiha Kanwal, student of Karachi Intermediate College Gulshan-e-Hadeed, clinched first position by securing 980 marks
(89.09 per cent) out of 1,100. Shanza Waqar of St Joseph‘s College for Women and Rabia Anwar, student of DA Degree
College for Women, both shared second position, scoring 963 marks (87.55 per cent). Hiba Asad also student of St Joseph‘s
College for Women bagged third position with 960 marks (87.27 per cent).

Results of 15 candidates were withheld on their reported involvement in unfair means during the exams, while the board also
did not declare the results of over 90 students for want of correct information or necessary documents from them. Speaking at
the ceremony in the honour of position holders, BIEK Chairman Prof Iftikhar Hussain Zaidi held out unequivocal assurance that
due action would be taken against the affiliated colleges who were not fulfilling the defined criteria of functioning or showing
highly unsatisfactory performance in the exams.
He said that the procedure and action against colleges not functioning up to the mark, especially with fewer number of students,
were well defined in the rules and regulations of the board but the BIEK had not been able to finalise action against the
defaulting educational institutions in the deserving fashion. He conceded that continued affiliation of such undeserving colleges
clearly showed slackness on the part of board‘s authorities.

The board‘s chairman said that last year too he had instructed not to extend affiliations to the colleges with much less number
of students but they were awarded affiliation at the eleventh hour in order to save academic year and future of the students
enrolled in such private-sector educational institutions.
He said that there was a need of reactivation and beefing up of the monitoring and inspection system of the board in order to
timely identify deficient colleges and proposing due action against them. He said that certain external pressures and influences
mostly of the political nature had also added to the gravity of the situation and the board was compelled to continue awarding
affiliations to the non-bona fide mainly private-sector educational institutions.

To a question, he said that punitive action amounting to disaffiliation would be taken against the colleges showing less than 10
per cent results in the intermediate exams.
The BIEK chairman said that it would be a challenge for his board to declare the results within the stipulated time in view of
much greater number of candidates and enormous size of the city and distance among the examination centres.
The board‘s Controller of Exams Prof Dr Syed Abdul Aziz said that unprecedented spell of monsoon rains; severe crisis of
electricity, and other-related problems faced by the board in terms of logistic facilities in fact delayed declaration of results of the
intermediate exams.
He said that results of all the HSC Part-II exams would be declared by the board within the current month. He said that the
board would start issuing marks sheets of the candidates of Class-XII Pre-Medical exams after 10 days.

Speaking at the ceremony, the first position holder Madiha Kanwal, who desires to take admission to the Dow Medical College
for MBBS education, said that curricula and textbooks of Physics and Chemistry subjects prescribed at the intermediate-level
were not updated and not according to the international standards.

Shanza Waqar of the St Joseph‘s College said that students at the college suffered due to replacement of senior and well-
qualified teachers after the denationalisation decision.

Rabia Anwar said that she had switched from the O-levels‘ system to intermediate education, as the students of Cambridge
system were not given fair and deserving treatment, while determining equivalency of their marks at the time of admission to
the higher education institutions.

Hiba Asad, the third position holder and student of St Joseph‘s College, said that the teachers appointed at her college after its
denationalisation phenomenally lacked confidence and required experience for the college teaching.
She said that the teachers in the pre-denationalisation period were very sincere and dedicated to their job and as such their
union and association-level activities, which were lately banned by the government, did not affect their performance and
discharge of duties.

The position holders of HSC Part-II (Class-XII) Home Economics exams, whose results were earlier declared by the board,
were also present on the occasion.
(The News-5, 03/09/2006)



                                 Schools in Orangi reflect apathy of government
KARACHI, Sept 3: Owing to lack of staff, insufficient classrooms, furniture and other basic necessities, the primary schools of
Orangi Town, which had been upgraded to the lower secondary schools three years back, could not start middle level classes
yet.
The authorities concerned seem least interested to ensure proper functioning of the schools, as despite huge allocations the
institutions are playing no worth mentioning role in imparting education.

During visits to some 24 government schools in Orangi Town, it was observed that the number of teachers was not in
accordance with the ratio of students and classes.
In some schools, teachers are taking extra classes while in others teachers pass their time in gossiping. The time of arrival and
departure is at the teachers‘ own free will and every one is wise enough to give a legal cover to the absence of his/ her
colleague.

It was observed that some of the principals had maintained the standard of their schools by having a close contact with the non-
governmental organizations, area notables and well-to-do people.

Al-Hamra Government Boys‘ Primary School (Aligarh Colony UC-12) is one of the glaring examples of government‘s
negligence, where six teachers have been posted just for 30 students.

When this reporter visited the school at 10am, there was no student present while the principal along with two lady teachers
was taking tea in the veranda. About the absence of students, the principal said that there was only one room and as such five
classes could not be conducted there. He said that they had to take the rest of four classes in the open air, but in the inclement
weather it too was impossible. There was neither any sweeper nor any watchman, he added.
The school is located on the third floor of a disputed rented building, which lacks water, electricity and toilet facilities.

                                                                  41
Similar is the situation at Iqra Govt Boys‘ Primary School (Mujahidabad), which has 10 teachers just for 70 students. The
condition of the four-room building is very pathetic, where sewerage water has entered classrooms and two of the classrooms
on the first floor have no furniture. A portion of the building has developed wide cracks, which can fall anytime.
The principal said that water supply had been disconnected recently for unknown reasons.
The facilities at Govt Boys‘ Primary School, Pathan Colony (Aligarh Bazaar UC-12) are next to nil.

According to the school record, 250 girls and 355 boys are getting education in 12 rooms. Owing to shortage of rooms the
school‘s administration has managed to take double classes in a single room by compromising on the quality of education
being imparted. In such a situation, at least four more rooms are required to accommodate rest of the students.
The school where hundreds of people spend hours daily does not have water and toilet facilities. According to the school
administration, the water supply had been disconnected a couple of years back for reasons best known to the authorities
concerned. The school has a staff of 15 teachers and a principal, but there is neither watchman nor any sweeper for its
maintenance.

In UC-7 of Orangi Town, about 150 students are enrolled at J.M. Madina Primary School located in Raja Tanver Colony. When
this scribe visited the school, only three teachers and the principal were present.

The principal disclosed that 30 ceiling fans and a water pumping motor were stolen from the school premises recently, as no
watchman has been posted there since the death of a watchman some months back.

Arafat is another government primary school situated in the same union council near Rais Amrohvi Colony, where only six
teachers are available for about 240 students while the teacher for Sindhi subject and peon has so far not been posted there.
The situation in the Noor Govt Primary School, Sadiqabad is also pathetic, as the teacher for Sindhi subject, peon and
watchman are yet to be posted. Owing to non-availability of a peon, teachers and students have to clean classrooms. There is
neither water available nor toilet facility in the building.

Makhdoom Shah Primary School has only three teachers for about 150 students. The principal said that a plot measuring
200sq-yard had been donated by the area people, where a temporary shelter comprising three rooms had been erected on self-
help basis which could not fulfill all requirements. The school needs proper furniture, water supply and a peon.
The situation at Pak Islamia Govt Boys‘ Primary School, Mujahidabad, Sector-6/E (UC-12) is not different. Around 120 students
are getting education at the five-room building. Two of the rooms have no floors and as such students have to take classes in
other three rooms whenever it rains. There are eight teachers available for 120 students.

The school is located in a rented building, which too has a very interesting story regarding its ownership. The principal said
once a group of people had occupied the building, but the administration managed to re-occupy it by involving police. ―The
litigation resulted into decreasing number of students,‖ he said.

Electricity has been drawn through an illegally hooked connection. Since its inception, the school has been functioning without
any watchman. Furniture too is in pathetic condition.

In UC-7, Mustafa Govt Boys‘ Primary School has seven teachers for 150 students. The total number of classrooms is five, but
two of them without ceiling were observed full of rainwater. In rest of three rooms, there is no furniture and students sit on mats.
A wide crack has appeared in the building structure. The school has neither water nor toilet facility. Besides, hanging electricity
cables in the school put the life of students and teachers at risk.

Lower Secondary School Orangi Town No 13-14, which is located at Disco More, has nine teachers for 500 students. Though
there are 10 classrooms, the students sit on mat due to lack of proper furniture. The boundary wall had already collapsed
during the rains while the sewerage system has also failed.
For 1,136 students, there are 14 classrooms in J/M Boys‘ Primary School, Mohammadi 13/H. There are 18 teachers at the
school.

According to the school principal, at least three more rooms and 10 more teachers are needed to meet the current requirement.
The school has no boundary wall while the leaking water tank needs immediate repair. Four classrooms have no furniture.
In UC-10, Al-Khalil Primary School has seven teachers for 332 students. The school has neither any watchman nor the
boundary wall. There are total five classrooms without proper furniture and fans.
The girls‘ primary school in Sector-11/E has seven teachers for 320 students and the school has neither watchman, nor water
and toilet facilities. It has only five rooms for six classes with their doors and windows destroyed by termites.
In UC-4, J.M. Khulfai Rashdeen School has four teachers for 107 students. Water and toilet is not available.
The recently constructed building of Lower Secondary School in Mohammadi Nagar has 10 rooms for 90 students. The school
has managed to get power supply through illegal connection.

In Jinnah Colony, the girls‘ primary school has been functioning with five teachers for 100 students. The building is in dismal
condition, as the boundary wall has collapsed and the school is exposed to drug addicts, who have taken away the doors, a
portion of the iron grill as well as furniture and fans. There is no water facility available while the toilets needs repair.
The five-room boys‘ primary school in Orangi No 10 has eight teachers for 135 students. It has neither water nor toilet facility
while the furniture has also got broken. Cracks have appeared in the building structure. The watchman and peon of the school
are reportedly serving at EDO office.
In Sector 11/A, Pak-Medico Primary School has seven rooms without windows and doors. Two of them are without furniture. To
fulfill the academic requirement of 235 students, teachers for the subjects of Sindhi and English are required.
(By Ali Hazrat Bacha, Dawn-14, 04/09/2006)



                                             Tanneries violate labour laws
KASUR, Sept 3: Labourers working in tanneries in Kasur should be paid in accordance with the new labour policy revised by
the government. This was stated in a circular issued by the local tanneries association here on Sunday.

Meanwhile, PML-N‘s labour wing district president Nasir Mahmood Khan said the child labour laws in Kasur tanneries were
being violated. He demanded that minimum wages of workers should be fixed at Rs4,000.
He also blamed that factory owners in connivance with social security officers did not get registered workers thus depriving
them of their legitimate right.

                                                                42
In several leather tanneries, he claimed that only 12 workers were bearing the burden of 20 workers.
To add to their miseries, he said these workers were also not being provided safety gadgets like gloves and masks, which itself
was a clear violation of human rights.
Denying charges, factory owners Khalid Hussain, Muhammad Abid and others said that only few workers were below 15 years
of age as their parents were too poor to send them to schools and depend on their income to meet basic needs of life.
(Dawn-4, 05/09/2006)



                                         AKPBS-P wins World Habitat award
ISLAMABAD, Sept 5: The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan (AKPBS-P) has won the World Habitat Award
2006 for its efforts to improve housing conditions through its Building and Construction Improvement Programme (BACIP), said
a press release issued here on Tuesday. It is the second time that a Pakistani organisation has won the prestigious award. The
previous award winner was the Orangi Pilot Project in 2001.

World Habitat awards are presented each year on the occasion of World Habitat Day, observed on the first Monday of October
by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.
Two awards are given annually to projects that provide practical and innovative solutions to current housing needs and
problems. Every year a prize of 10,000 pound sterling is presented to each of the two winners.

AKPBS-P was established in 1980 as an agency of the worldwide Aga Khan Development Network. In March this year, it
received the $1 million Alcan Prize for sustainability for its efforts to improve housing conditions as well as water and sanitation
facilities in Pakistan.

BACIP is designed to improve living conditions by developing solutions to issues relating to housing and the built environment.
The programme has developed low-cost, seismic- resistant, energy and resource-efficient housing construction methods and
standards. Over 15,000 fuel-efficient products have been installed in 7,000 households to date, benefiting more than 50,000
people.
(Dawn-5, 06/09/2006)



                                Illegal appointments in education dept cancelled
KARACHI: Taking serious notice over the illegal appointments in Education Department, Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam
Rahim has directed the newly-posted Secretary Education to cancel all offer letters which were issued in violation of merit.
The order to cancel the appointment offers to the teachers was issued to Secretary Education Sohbago Khan Jatoi, who
replaced former education secretary Ghulam Ali Pasha.

According to an official handout, the chief minister approved the transfer order of Ghulam Ali Pasha on the recommendation of
Sindh Minister for Mines and Minerals Irfanullah Marwat.
The chief minister had assigned him the task to investigate the complaints received from the ministers and the people to the
authorities concerned about the irregularities in the appointments in the Education Department.

After conducting investigations, Irfanullah Marwat, ex-education minister, submitted that it was found correct that irregularities
were committed while issuing appointment offers, which was in violation of the government policy as well as the merit.
According to an official handout it was also found that the offer letters were issued to those candidates who got less marks in
the written tests, while those who obtained highest marks were not considered.

The chief minister, taking notice over the inquiry report, ordered for the transfer of the secretary education and posted Sohbago
Khan Jatoi in his place.
Meanwhile, former minister Imtiaz Shaikh called on Sindh Chief Minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim at the Chief Minister‘s House.
According to the officials they discussed political and party affairs during the meeting.
(The News-3, 08/09/2006)



                                                    Necessity or taboo?
REPRODUCTIVE health education or sex education is considered a controversial and taboo subject in our society. Although
we are well aware that it is the process of acquiring or imparting information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual
identity, relationships and intimacy, there still is a large group of people who find it extremely inappropriate. They feel
uncomfortable in discussing sex education with their children, but do not mind the same being taught to them by their relatives,
peers of either sex, and through the internet and television.

However unreasonable that might be, the truth remains that sex is as much part of our lives as anything else. All over the world,
it is widely accepted that young people have a right to sex education, partly because it is a means by which they are able to
protect themselves against abuse, exploitation and disease and partly because it helps in making the individual aware of the
social, moral, psychological, spiritual and physiological characteristics of human sexuality in a holistic manner.
―Parents should know that sex is not always a dirty word. It is an important aspect of our life,‖ explains a reproductive health
expert, Shahid Athar, in his paper titled ―Sex Education: an Islamic Perspective‖.

According to Athar, sex education is a necessity in schools. ―Effective sex education develops young people‘s skills in being
able to recognise pressures from other people and to resist them, deal with and challenge prejudice, seek help from experts on
sensitive issues like sexuality, abortion and contraception.‖

The consequences of not giving proper sex education to students at a young age make them highly defenceless and vulnerable
to rape and abuse. Attempts to impose narrow views about sex and sexuality on young people at home by their siblings or
parents have always failed. Professor Dr Sol Gordon, an expert on sex education, says in his book, What Kids Need to Know:
―Ignorance and unresolved curiosity, not knowledge, are harmful. Our failure to tell children what they want and need to know is


                                                                43
one reason why developing countries have high rates of abuse, out-of-wedlock teenage pregnancies and abortion.‖ According
to him, rather than trying to deter or frighten young people, effective sex education should be imparted at school level.

Here in Pakistan, there are two ways of acquiring information regarding sex for teenagers — formal and informal. The first
refers to pre-planned sex education imparted by teachers at schools via course books, religious leaders, health team members,
hospitals, schools and community centres, etc. The second method includes parents, siblings, and relatives at home, media,
the internet, friends or peers, etc. Romesa Hasan, a young mother of two sons aged 12 and 19 is getting increasingly worried
about the kind of exposure that they are getting regarding sex and the message that it is sending out to them: ―With the internet,
life has become so much more difficult for parents. One click of the mouse and a thousand pornographic pictures pop up on the
computer screen. How can you keep a check?‖ she wonders.

The problem here is that adolescents get everything but the right information about sex. Most of them admit to relying on their
peers, the internet and foreign movies in order to get information on the subject. Marium Syed, a student at a prestigious
convent school in Karachi, reveals that she first found out about sex from older girls in her school when she was 11. ―I was
devastated; I couldn‘t eat for a week. Another cousin, living abroad, was educated about the whole thing at school along with all
her classmates and that seemed like a much better way of finding out,‖ she says.

The school management only makes things worse in this regard by separating the sexes as soon as they are promoted to
higher classes. The mental divide, curiosity, the sense of gender bias and discrimination, all starts in that very classroom,
eventually leading to frustration. If children are allowed to grow and develop and are educated as human beings instead of
being categorised as boys and girls, their future social and sexual behaviours can be improved upon tremendously.

Maulana Shariq Azeem, a teacher at a local madressah, says that he tries to keep a balance between worldly matters and that
pertaining to the hereafter. He is concerned that students in ―prestigious‖ schools discuss all sort of ―immoral‖ things during their
lunch break. Punishing them only makes matters worse, he adds.

It is a fact that as children become teenagers, their curiosity about themselves and their bodies increases. It is for this reason
that they must have appropriate information about the physical and emotional changes associated with puberty and sexual
reproduction, including fertilisation and conception. Gradually, as they get older, they also need to learn about contraception,
birth control and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS.

Reproductive health experts and psychologists say sex education must be initiated during early childhood in order to save
children from sexual abuse. Studies show that children start recognising their sexual identity as early as preschool and
awareness should be created right there and then. The content, however, should be suitable for their age. ―Sex education that
works starts early, before young people reach puberty, and before they have developed established patterns of behaviour,‖
says Aarfeen Ibrahim, a child psychologist. ―Providing basic information lays the foundation on which more complex knowledge
is built upon over time.‖ For example, when they are young, children can be told how people grow and change over time and
how foetuses turn into children and then adults. This provides the basis on which they can absorb other information on the
subject during the pre-teenage years.

Some parents feel that providing information about sex and sexuality arouses curiosity and can lead to sexual experimentation.
There is no evidence that this actually happens if the right information is put across. The question is what is the ―right‖ sex
education? ―When it comes to sex, teenagers need to have limits set; they must be told what is acceptable and what is not.
Their education needs to be more in the form of providing information and guidance,‖ says Zahida Tabassum, a senior social
studies teacher at a local government school.

Providing effective sex education can seem like a daunting task because it means tackling potentially sensitive issues. Dr
Sumair Durrani, a sex educationist in an NGO working for reproductive health, explains that teenagers is group most vulnerable
to false information regarding sex and sexuality as they are surrounded by grown-ups who mislead. ―They have no idea how
much psychological damage these little mistakes can cause,‖ he exclaims.
In most developed countries, there are two types of sex education classes: Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and
Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programme (AOP). These programmes represent two completely different schools of thought.
CSE starts in kindergarten and continues through high school. It brings up age-appropriate sexuality topics and covers the
broad spectrum of sex education, including safe sex, STDs, contraceptives, body image and more. AOP begins much later and
emphasises abstinence from all sexual behaviours, not covering information on contraceptives, STDs, etc.

The right sex education is something between CSE and AOP, where the children are taught the way their body functions and
the changes it goes through initially. As children grow up to be teenagers, they are given manuals and illustrations on puberty
and sexuality. By the time teenagers reach high school, they are given abstinence courses along with details on babies,
pregnancy, contraceptives and STDs. At the end of high school, a final CSE course discussing HIV/AIDS, unprotected
intercourse and homosexuality is imparted. So by the time children graduate from school, they are sexually aware, can
distinguish right from wrong and protect themselves from any sort of physical or verbal sexual abuse. Hence, there is a
consensus that formal education should include sex education.

However, that is easier said than done. Baria Naeem, a teacher at City School, Karachi, is of the opinion that sex education
seems very impractical as far as Pakistani schools are concerned: ―The kids in class seven and eight are mature and know just
about everything — sometimes even things they shouldn‘t know.‖ According to her, children today are exposed to way too
much information through the internet and, in turn, don‘t really take such sensitive issues seriously. ―Gaining their attention is a
monstrous task on its own, let alone getting the right message across as far as reproductive health is concerned,‖ she claims.
There are, however, NGOs working on reproductive health and sexual abuse, and are constantly debating with the government
over providing sex education in schools. Parents, on the other hand, need to realise that both their sons and daughters deserve
to acquire sex education.
(By Rabail Qadeer Baig, Dawn-21, 10/09/2006)



                                Govt indifferent to plight of Baldia Town schools
KARACHI, Sept 11: The basic facilities at government primary schools of Baldia Town are next to nil and the authorities
concerned seem least concerned to ensure provision of the same to improve the education standard.
Owing to shortage of staff and funds, the number of students in the government schools is on the decline. Though teachers
admit the fact that the enrolment is on the decline, they advocate their helplessness to bring about any improvement in the

                                                                44
absence of basic facilities. They claim that besides teaching they are overburdened with so many other tasks like preparation of
electoral lists, polling and examination duties, that they are unable to improve the education standard.

In 86 government primary schools of Baldia, 140 posts of teachers have been lying vacant. There are five schools in the town
where only teacher is posted. Similarly, 14 schools have two teachers and eight schools have three teachers. There are four
teachers posted in eight schools, five in 16 schools, six in 10 schools, seven teachers in 10 schools, eight in three schools, nine
teachers in three schools, 10 in eight schools. There is only one school in the entire town, where 11 teachers are performing
their duties. It was observed that most of the schools had no teacher for the subject of Sindhi.

According to the jurisdiction of union councils, there are eight schools in UC-1, 12 in UC-2, seven in UC-3, 13 in UC-4, eight in
UC-5, 12 in UC-6, 14 in UC-7 and 12 in UC-8.
As many as 49 schools are coeducation in Baldia. Besides, there are 18 primary schools for boys and 19 for girls.

Most of the school buildings are in dilapidated condition. There are four government primary schools in the town which are
being run in one-room structure.

Seven schools are functioning in two-room building. There are three schools having three rooms and eight having four rooms.
As many as 47 schools are being run in five-room building. Similarly, there are 17 schools, located in the town, which have
more than five classrooms.
It is interesting to note that there are two government schools functioning in the same building. Both Government Girls Primary
School Naval and Girls School Lassi Para have only one teacher each for around 30 students studying in five classes.
Fans, stationary and record files have already been stolen. Besides, there is neither watchman nor any peon at the schools.
Water and toilet facilities are next to nil.

Similarly, there are two primary schools running in the same building at Mohammad Khan Colony. The building has five rooms
where five classes of both schools are held. There are three teachers in all for 50 students.
The power supply to both schools was disconnected for the reasons best known to the authorities concerned. There is no
watchman at the building. Students and teachers have to suffer owing to lack of water and toilet facilities.

The Government Boys Primary School, Lassi Para, has three teachers for 35 students studying in five classes, which are
conducted in four rooms. It lacks non-teaching staff as well as water, power and toilet facilities.

The Pak English Primary School for Boys, located in Madina Colony, has six teachers. There are 187 students enrolled for
whom the school has no provision for water and toilet facilities.

Similar is the situation at Boys‘ Primary School, Baldia No 3, where four teachers are available for 120 students. In the absence
of non-teaching staff, proper maintenance of the limited existing facilities is not possible.

In Makkah Colony, Mohammad Hussain Boys Primary School is functioning in five-room building. For 75 students, there are
four teachers. However, on inquiry it was revealed that three teachers are available to the students, as one has been working
somewhere else.

In Anjam Colony, Haji Qasim Girls Primary School has three rooms for 185 students. Owing to the shortage of rooms, classes
are conducted in veranda. The principal said that at least three more rooms were urgently required. He said that enrolment was
on the rise but it was not possible due to lack of space.

Two teachers are taking five classes in the Girls Primary School, Ittehad town. For 129 students of the school, there is neither
water nor electricity. Even the furniture is insufficient.

Since the building has developed wide cracks, two rooms are not in the use. In the absence of watchman and peon, fans, grills,
windows and doors have been stolen.

In Baldia Sector 4/D, the Boys Primary School, located in a five-room building, has three teachers for 83 students. In the
absence of a watchman and a boundary wall, fans, a gas cylinder, wall clock, stationery and iron gate of the toilet have been
stolen. The furniture of the school is also in poor condition.

In Sector C/3, the Rasheedabad Boys Elementary School has 11 teachers for 600 students studying in eight classes. The
school has neither water nor toilet and electricity. The boundary wall has developed wide cracks and near to collapse. The
school‘s administration has already requested for posting of at least five more teachers, but the required posting is yet to be
announced.
The condition of the rest of schools is also the same, where the shortage of staff and facilities is a common problem. The
situation is turning worse if the authorities did not take serious steps in this regard.
(By Ali Hazrat Bacha, Dawn-18, 12/09/2006)



                                           Over 0.1m schools lack facilities
ISLAMABAD, Sept 12: Over 100,000 schools in the country lack basic facilities such as classrooms, toilets and clean drinking
water, said Federal Education Minister Lt-Gen (retired) Javed Ashraf Qazi on Tuesday.
He was speaking at an award distribution ceremony at the National Library auditorium here.

Presidential awards categorised as Izzaz-i-Sabqat, Izzaz-i- Fazeelat and Izzaz-i-Kamal were conferred upon students, teachers
and academicians selected from throughout the country for their performance in their respective fields.
―Army has been engaged in surveying such schools throughout the country and after this exercise the missing facilities would
be provided in phases,‖ the minister said, adding this was not an easy task and could not be completed overnight.
The country has both kinds of problems at the school level; in spreading educational institutions to the far-flung areas and
ensuring quality education.

About quality of education, he said over the years the country had not kept pace with the changing world. As a result, it has
lagged behind in producing skilled manpower mainly due to lack of proper education.


                                                               45
Under the curriculum revision, which is in its final stage, more focus has been given to the technical subjects. Computer
education would be made compulsory from class VI, and until a certain grade, mathematics would also be taught.
The minister warned that teachers remaining absent from duty and not taking their responsibilities seriously would be punished,
while those producing better results would be rewarded.
He advised students and parents to be very careful in selecting their subjects, as the future was very demanding and mere
getting a degree would not help them meet the challenges.

About the new scheme of studies, the minister said it had been worked out with the consent of the provinces. He dispelled the
impression that there would be any restrictions on teaching of Pakistan studies and Islamiyat.

In the revised curriculum, Islamiyat would be taught more comprehensively and unlike in the past students would complete their
Quran reading by the time they are in class VIII, he said.

Similarly, Pakistan studies would carry lessons from the Indus civilisation to present day politics, which ―I believe is very
necessary for students to get awareness of their past and present.‖ he said.
Besides improving upon curricula, the examination system is also being reviewed with lesser choice of questions and grace
marks, which would further improve quality of education, the minister said.
He also informed the gathering that a new education policy would soon be unveiled with new targets and goals.
(Dawn-5, 13/09/2006)



                      Govt urged to lift ban on teachers’ bodies: Move to end conflict
KARACHI, Sept 12: Retired professors have called for an immediate end to the conflict between the Sindh government and
teacher community, urging the government to lift the ban on teachers‘ association and advising teachers to stop their campaign.
Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday, Prof Dewan Aftab Ahmed Khan, a former director of
colleges, Sindh, Prof Haroon Rashid and other retired professors also appealed to the provincial government to stop victimising
teachers.
―We appeal to the Sindh chief minister and education minister that the controversial ban on teachers‘ associations be lifted,
victimisation of teachers be stopped and all curbs on the legitimate rights of teachers be done away with,‖ they said.

They also asked agitating teachers to stop their protest against the ban and disciplinary action to pave the way for negotiations
for an amicable solution to the problem.
They observed that the agitation by teachers must not be allowed to be used by any political group or party for some other
motives. They maintained that teachers should focus on their genuine problems and demands.

The professors said that in order to hold a discussion on the issues relating to education in Sindh, the problems being faced by
teacher community and the handling of affairs by the education department, they were organising a seminar later this month.

Retired judges, educationists, lawyers, intellectuals, writers and journalists would be invited to deliberate upon the issues, they
added. They said that Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad had obliged them to discuss with him the ongoing confrontation between the
two sides on Sept 29.
―We have also requested the chief minister, education minister and chief secretary of Sindh for similar meetings to sort out the
issue,‖ they added.

The professors, who have remained associated with various teachers associations or held positions in government
departments in the past, expressed the view that the ban on teachers‘ associations and unions was illegal, immoral and a
violation of fundamental human rights.

Condemning the insertion of irrelevant Sections, including that of attempted murder, in the FIRs registered against protesting
teachers, they said that such actions by the education department were bound to affect performance of teachers badly and also
cause deterioration of educational standard and law and order situation in the province.

The professors described the statements and actions by Education Minister Dr Hamida Khuhro as ‗autocratic‘, and said that the
attitude was detrimental of the promotion of education.
Regarding changes in curricula, they said that the move amounted to shaking the ideological base of the educational system.
―Nobody is against a revision of curricula, but instead of modernising it, the authorities seem trying to trigger controversies.‖
Prof Anis Zaidi, Prof Qazi Siraj, Prof Sarfraz Ali Khan and Prof Imtiaz Ahmed were among those present.
(Dawn-17, 13/09/2006)



                                   Karachi University considers tuition fee hike
KARACHI: The University of Karachi is considering increase in semester fee from the next academic session after intimation
from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) that the government had slashed recurring budget for universities by Rs4.5
billion, besides refusing to provide Rs1.2 billion for 15 per cent increase in teachers‘ salaries, PPI learnt.

The HEC in a letter to vice-chancellors of all the public sector universities of the country, including KU, had asked them to
prepare a contingency plan to meet the shortfall after finance division refused to provide Rs1.2 billion needed for payment of 15
per cent increase in teachers‘ salaries.

Officials at the KU said that although currently the university was facing no financial constraints in carrying out its activities and
in meeting its recurring expenses, but any cut in varsity‘s recurring grant by the HEC will result in revision of budget to meet the
shortfall.

They said the HEC like other public sector varsities of the country had asked the KU to prepare a contingency plan to meet its
probable budget deficit, as it was unable to provide the required funding for provision of 15 per cent increase in teachers‘
salaries due to cut in its grant by the government.
According to them, original recurring budget agreed by the Finance Division for universities was Rs15.7 billion, while later the
government announced a 15 per cent increase in teachers‘ salaries, amounting to Rs1.2 billion, making the total Rs16.9 billion.

                                                                 46
However, later on the finance division cut the recurring budget to Rs11.28 billion and suggested that the difference of Rs5.7
billion be met by self-generated funds. The KU officials said the suggestion that universities should ―meet the difference through
self-generated funds‖ explicitly means that they should increase tuition fee, reduce their expenses and abandon several of their
development projects.

Director Finance KU, S M Khalid, when approached by this scribe said the university could only generate funds to meet its
expenses by increasing the tuition fee, as it had stopped granting admissions to wealthy students by receiving donations from
them.

―Ultimately we will have to revise our semester fee structure as it is the only way to generate required funds after any possible
slash in varsity‘s recurring grant by the HEC. This will be applicable from the academic session-2007, but we have not so far
started working on it,‖ he said. The finance director said other ways to meet the financial shortfall were reducing the expenses,
but they were not as much helpful as generation of required amount indigenously by increasing or revising the varsity‘s fee
structure.

It is worth mentioning here that KU increased semester fee by 10 per cent last year, authorised to it once after every three year
as per varsity rules and regulations.

President Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) Sarwar Nasim confirmed that varsity was considering increase in tuition
fee but claimed that the KUTS was opposing the move in the interest of higher education and students.
He said the KU was going to start 4-year degree programme from the next academic session but if its grants were reduced, it
would be unable to launch the programme as per HEC‘s directives.
To a question, he said the KU administration will have to seek approval from the academic council and the syndicate before
enhancing semester fee and added it will have to face stiff resistance also from the KUTS as well as students in this regard.
(The News-4, 14/09/2006)



                              Sindh Madressah celebrates 122nd foundation day
KARACHI, Sep 13: The Sindh Madressatul Islam celebrated its 122nd Foundation Day with great zeal, said a statement issued
here on Wednesday. The occasion is being marked as an annual festival of the Madressah, which was founded on Sept 1,
1885, it said.

Principal of the Madressah Lt-Col (r) Taj Mohammad Memon read out the message of President Pervez Musharraf at a
ceremony held on Tuesday evening.
―I believe a tree is known by the fruit it bears and the Sindh Madressatul Islam has every right to feel proud of the achievements
of its former students, of whom the illustrious Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, was the most
prominent,‖ the president remarked, adding, ―any institution could justly be proud of being the alma mater of so great a leader.

The president said that he considered this an appropriate opportunity to applaud the teachers of this great institution, which had
played significant role in shaping our destiny. This institution has remained a force in the advancement of Muslim education and
its usefulness has not decreased with the passage of time.

The laurels earned by Sindh Madressah are fabulous and mostly it is the teachers who make it so.

He wished them all the success in their endeavours, and assured them of all possible help by the government.
―I also urge upon the philanthropists of our country to extend all possible assistance to this great institution, thereby promoting
the cause of education. My best wishes are with the Principal, faculty, staff members and students of the Sindh Madressatul
Islam and I pray for its sterling future,‖ the president said.

In his message, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said that the Sindh Madressatul Islam was an institution of which the whole
Pakistani nation felt proud, not only because it was the alma mater of our founding father, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah,
but also because it had produced a whole galaxy of national personalities during its existence.
―It is my firm belief that such educational institutions are national assets and real treasures, and, therefore, must be maintained
with great care. They are the bedrock on which stands the edifice of youth power and that is why it is the duty of both
government and the civil society to sustain them at the standard that has made them famous.‖

Mr Aziz said his government was committed to the promotion of higher education and would do all that was possible to enable
these institutions to go on rendering quality service.

Speakers on the occasion highlighted the role of the institution and described the efforts by its founder, Khan Bahadur
Hassanally Effendi, and his colleagues towards promotion of education as ‗Sindh Madressah Movement‖ like the ‗Aligrah
Movement‘.
They said that Khan Effendi and his colleagues carried forward and accomplished their mission all odds, including a big
challenge from their own Muslim community and resistance from other communities of the region.

The Sindh Madressah has not only educated hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Pakistan, particularly Sindh, but also spread
and strengthened national consciousness in the country.

Lt-Col (r) Taj Mohammad Memon, in his welcome address, said that the SMI also enabled Muslim community of Sindh to strive
for their independence from the British rule.

―This movement had been led by the Madressah‘s old students -- Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Sir Abdullah Haroon,
Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto, Shaikh Abdul Majeed Sindhi, Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, Mohammad Ayub Khuhro – and other
great leaders,‖ he recalled.
He also highlighted the services rendered by Allama I. I. Kazi, Dr Daudpota, Allama Ali Khan Abro, Justice Tufail Ali Abdul
Rehman, A. K. Brohi and other such students of the Madressah. Shamsherul Hydri and Syed Zafar Hassan Zaidi were among
those who spoke at the ceremony.
(Dawn-18, 14/09/2006)


                                                               47
                          Further amendments to Women’s Protection Bill decried
KARACHI: The government‘s decision to further amend the Women‘s Protection Bill due to objections raised by the Muttahida
Majlis-e-Amal was strongly opposed by various civil society organisations. The Women Action Forum (WAF) and various other
NGOs accused the government of ―reneging on what it had earlier promised to do.‖

Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday, members of civil society, lawyers and human rights
activists demanded that the bill be repealed altogether instead of complying with MMA‘s proposal of amending three points in
the re-drafted bill. Expressing her discontent and anger, Anis Haroon, resident director of the Aurat Foundation, said that the
WAF is outraged by the political expediency shown by the government in this matter.

Danish Zuberi, a lawyer and women‘s rights activist, explaining the impact of the amendments proposed by the MMA in the
Hudood and Zina laws said that equating Zina and Zina-bil-Jabr in Hadd would not benefit the accused woman because in the
case of Zina-bil-Jabr (rape), the punishment of which is not mentioned in the Qur‘aan, the victim would not under any
circumstances be able to produce four witnesses.
―The crime of rape would never be committed in the presence of four witnesses hence Zina and rape offences should be
separated and the latter should be considered as a Taziri offence punishable according the to Pakistan Penal Code,‖ she said.

Moreover, added Zuberi, the vindication of the accused would depend on the interpretation and understanding of the judge
about the offence and the Hudood Ordinance, ‗which is unfair because that would mean the judge would make decisions
according to his or her convenience and that if the prosecution fails to prove the rape victim as innocent, then she would be
convicted regardless.‘

The gathering was told that the MMA has also rejected the point of an automatic punishment according to the Qazf Ordinance
that applies against those who falsely accuse someone of Zina.

Sarah Zaman, Project Coordinator for War Against Rape (WAR), argued: ―The MMA‘s proposed amendment that no automatic
punishment should apply is actually contradicting the teachings of Islam because the punishment of 80 lashes on failing to
provide evidence against the accused is mentioned in the Holy Qur‘aan itself so at this point their stance is actually ‗against‘ the
religion.‖

Justice Shaiq Usmani, former SHC judge, said that he was pleased to hear that the bill has been shelved again for that would
further urge activists to remain committed to their struggle for women‘s rights in Pakistan, which spreads over several years.
―The acceptance of more amendments would lead to further chaos and confusion in court proceedings and this delay would
increase the imprisonment time of women held under trial because by the time any women are vindicated, she would have
spent a few years in prison.‖

Anis Haroon in her speech said that the WAF has been campaigning against the ―discriminatory and fundamentally flawed law‖
for the past twenty-five years that justifies their demand to repeal the ordinance. Earlier the amended bill presented by the
National Assembly‘s Select Committee was welcomed by the activists, which provided some relief that women could benefit
from.

―The political parties have long been using the issue of Hudood Ordinance as a bargaining chip to serve their political interests;
in truth, they have no intention of fighting injustice gainst women in Pakistan. They are simply bartering away women‘s rights,‖
said Haroon, adding ―political parties have never before walked out on other important issues during the parliamentary process.
Half-hearted measures taken by the government and MMA are a clear evidence of their non-serious stance on the issue.‖

She added that by giving the MMA an extraordinary advantage in these proceedings the government has subverted all
constitutional and parliamentary processes.
―It has also undermined constitutional bodies such as Council of Islamic Ideology, the National Commission on Status of
Women and has ignored the decision of the Cabinet Committee and the Parliamentary select committee, which MMA had
boycotted.‖

Earlier, Project Coordinator War Against Rape, endorsing the argument proposed by Danish Zuberi said that the government
instead of complicating the ordinance further should repeal it. ―We fail to understand why the decision of the National
Assembly‘s Select Committee select body, which had the authority to pass the final approval, was rejected and that
amendments proposed by the MMA, who was not a part of the committee were taken into consideration‖
She refused to accept the claim of the government on delaying the passing of the bill due to the need for consensus and said
that it is merely trying to exploit women to appease the opposition and gain their support on the other political issues.

The WAF further urged the mainstream political parties to continue lobbying against the amendments stick to their original
stand of repeal rather than amendment. They also condemned MMA‘s proposal of including the Hasba Bill in the ordinance.

Present on the occasion was a recently married couple, Faraz and Qurat-ul-Ain, who have been charged against a similar
offence by the Qurat‘s family, who have been accused of performing Nikkah over Nikkah. Qurat said that she had been falsely
accused of Zina with her husband and is fighting her case in court for ten months now. The couple has taken refuge in the Edhi
Centre.
(The News-4, 15/09/2006)



                                          Repeal of Hudood laws demanded
KARACHI, Sept 14: Various civil society organizations on Thursday demanded repeal of Hudood laws owing to which a large
number of women had been victimized over the years.
The demand was made at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club by the Justice (retd) Shaiq Usmani, Anis Haroon,
Danish Zuberi, Nuzhat Kidwai and Sarah Zaman who were representing various NGOs, including Women Action Forum, War
Against Rape etc.

They said though nothing good had come out of the present exercise of doing amendments to the Hudood Ordinances, one
good thing had emerged that the government and the religious parties by agreeing to make the amendments have accepted
that the Hudood Ordinances were man-made laws and could be amended.
                                                                48
They said the original amendments to the Hudood Ordinances suggested by the government and recommendations made by
the National Assembly‘s Select Committee – though did not totally met their demand of repealing of the Hudood ordinances --
did provide some relief to women but then the government succumbed to pressure of religious groups and gave in to their
demands.

They said if amendments suggested by religious parties – Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal – were included in the law, it would become
more dangerous for women and they would be more vulnerable to victimization. They said the amendments suggested by the
MMA were not according to Quran and Sunnah.

They said that MMA had suggested that the Qazaf punishment should not be given automatically if the accuser did not produce
four witnesses. If the accuser fails to produce four witnesses to Zina, the accuser should be punished under Qazaf immediately
without making a fresh case.
They said that the MMA‘s demand that adultery be tried under the Hudood Ordinances as well as PPC was not fair.
They said that the move to throw the proposed Women‘s Protection Bill in limbo indefinitely in order to appease the MMA was
nothing but the political expediency on the part of the government as it has to negotiate with the MMA on various other issues
also.

They said that their the Gen Zia‘s Hudood ordinances had many flaws and making amendments to it would further complicate
them more and women would be victimized more, so it was better to repeal the Hudood Ordinances.
They said the women‘s rights were not negotiable, so they would continue to struggle against the discriminatory laws.
(Dawn-19, 15/09/2006)



                                                      Women’s shelter
The announcement by a senior official of the National Volunteer Movement (NVM) that the organisation plans to provide shelter
and employment to destitute women sounds good on paper. At the same time, though, one needs to treat such an
announcement with a degree of scepticism given that the government is seemingly unable to pass its own Women's Protection
Bill, despite having a clear majority in parliament to pass any bill of its choosing. Provision of basic amenities to underprivileged
women is a task that requires priority both by the government and society in general. Dignity and rightful provisioning for
underprivileged women is something that clearly is the obligation of the government.

Apart from building shelters for women, what Pakistani society needs is a sea change in its attitudes towards women. This can
come about partly through the passage of good and well-intended legislation and partly by educating people about the need to
respect women and to treat them as more than objects. Of course, what also needs to be done is to close the yawing gender
gap in education, particularly in the rate of basic literacy and the rate of primary school enrolment. As far as the shelters are
concerned, it would be a good idea if some kind of work skills and vocational training could also be taught to the women
residing in them. The relief that these centres provide should be aimed at their future rehabilitation and should enable them to
become self-sufficient and independent.
(The News-7, 16/09/2006)



                                                     For love or money
          What distinguishes a missionary from a project manager or a field worker of a non-government organisation

                                                By Muhammad Badar Alam
Professional activists fear to tread where volunteers dare. The former never venture into anything unless they have their flanks
completely secured, most importantly the financial ones. The latter on the other hand strive to break fresh ground in areas
where little money is available to start with. It's after they have established their credentials first through their sustained
presence and then by their enduring performance that money starts rolling in for them to keep doing the good work. It's as
much true for volunteers engaged in ensuring people's participation in political and social activities as it is for those who deliver
which the government and market do not or cannot or for those who run campaigns which find little, if any, financial support.
Certainly this is what the civil society, or that part of it which is called non-government organisations (NGOs), should be doing.
After all, most NGOs can trace their origins back to the good old days when God-fearing individual do-gooders roamed around
the world, spreading the message of 'civilization' through the agency of divine word, social welfare, fight against disease,
literacy movements and even through collecting and collating data and information about societies the rest of the world knew
little about. To be fair to them, many NGOs around us have, more or less, successfully stuck to this original idea. Among them,
there exist groups involved in n-number of campaigns on n-number of issues including religious ones, organisations delivering
essential services like health, education, sanitation and even food and housing and forums for gathering, analysing and
disseminating data/information about communities which somehow escape notice or on issues which otherwise may fail to
make it on to the public radar screens.

But what distinguishes a missionary from a project manager or a field worker of an NGO? If we can leave aside the debate
around the contention that NGOs are only an advanced institutional form of the charities and missions of the old, something is
certainly lost in this transformation. The spirit of doing something for someone who does not even belong to one's own group or
community without having to get paid for that and doing it in the field of one's own choosing are rarely, if at all, found among
most of the NGO staff anywhere in the world.

And there are solid reasons for that. The foremost among them being an enabling environment or its absence for someone to
be able to do something without having to worry about financial gains. Secondly, even in its heyday, volunteerism was no mass
phenomenon. Only extremely self-effacing people were able to take off the yoke of their daily personal and familial
responsibilities to become globe-trotting carriers of development, hope and redemption. And lastly, very few outstanding
individuals have been able to sustain their enthusiasm for social activism for long. For many others it has remained and will
remain a diversion, occasional and temporary.

Now how do NGO staffers fit the bill? They don't, because the enabling environment is fast eroding, all over the world in
general and in developing countries like ours in particular; an overwhelming majority of them are working because they have to
make ends meet for themselves as well as a number of dependents; and the enthusiasm for change is increasingly losing
currency because change itself has become a casualty of an economic and political system which thrives in status quo. The


                                                                49
process of change has assumed such great proportions that even mass organisations are failing to affect it, let alone
individuals, no matter how well meaning they may be.

Here arises an important question? How do some people still manage to do it, that is, how have a number of very prominent
social activists thrived as volunteers even when the circumstances were as adverse for them to operate as for anyone else?
Through sheer grit, focus and determination. At home, people like Akhtar Hameed Khan and Abdul Sattar Edhi have shown that
a bit of tenacity, innovation and steadfastness can be extremely rewarding when it came to bearing the final fruits of their efforts
at ensuring the well-being of their fellow human beings.

But at the same time their examples show that lesser individuals would have faltered sooner rather than later given the
enormous roadblocks. The two great men have always been haunted by the paucity of resources; they have suffered long
smear campaigns before they were able to establish their credentials for honesty, altruism and self-sacrifice in a long and
sometimes painful vista of constantly being under the scanner of public scrutiny. But most importantly both of them have
successfully exhibited that things can be made to change for the better irrespective of the strength and enormity of the forces
and factors opposed to it.

Coming back to the causes of paid work taking over voluntary efforts in the social sector, one factor stands out for its ubiquitous
presence — that is, money. Volunteers don't just do anything because there is money available. They are volunteers, first and
foremost, because they volunteer to do something which they believe will contribute in human well being. To be a volunteer, the
passion for some cause is essential. The rest, including the money, can follow, though not always easily. In the case of NGOs,
their existence is predicated upon the availability of money. No NGO exists because there are issues to be addressed. They
come into being because there is money available for addressing some of those issues. Most of them hardly survive once the
money is exhausted. Those that do, manage it by finding out other issues still having vast funds attached.
This is not to say that NGOs don't have causes and agendas to pursue. To be honest, many of them originated around very
specific issues and some others can easily be identified with the issues they work for. But this is true mostly of big,
transnational NGOs which have their own vast resources. Most of the others, being on the receiving end of their generosity, are
bound to follow causes espoused by these big players.

While voluntary work is supported by donations, the activitism of the NGO type survives on funding. You can gather the
courage to ask others to donate to your cause only if you have a reputation of already doing well and doing it honestly and also
you feel for the cause so strongly that you don't want to let it go away for the want of effort on your part, even if it means
begging others to chip in with their money. To elicit funding, though, it's not necessary to have an established reputation of
being the best and the most transparent in the field; it does not also require a certain level of commitment. The donor wants the
job done. If you don't do it somebody else will. The consideration to remain on the donor's funding list is far more important for
most NGOs than being able to deliver for general good, by employing the most honest means possible and with an indisputable
commitment to social welfare. It should, therefore, not be a surprising conclusion that NGOs have become career options, with
most of their staffers interested in advancing their careers without having to bother about cause, passion and change. They
might have started as volunteers, feeling passionately about something and wanting to do something about it, but once they opt
to work for that cause through an NGO, their enthusiasm for it is taken over by other considerations, like, for instance, a stable
job amid the sea of economic uncertainty.

And this, finally, may explain why money has become the single most important factor in ensuring the demise of voluntary
social action and the phenomenal rise of paid activism? Volunteerism is strongly linked to the amount of time that can be
spared after bread and butter are ensured. With the kind of economic circumstances that now prevail, this spare time is
squeezing everywhere. Certainly this squeeze is happening faster and fiercer in the developing world but even in the
industrialised, developed countries social safety nets and publicly provided services are gradually being done away with,
leaving little time for most of the people there to do little else but maintain their living standards somehow.
In circumstances like these, it would have been very surprising if professional activism had been as daring as its predecessor
and competitor has always been.
(The News-29, 17/09/2006)



                        St Joseph’s College students excel in HSC-II Science exams
KARACHI: The Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) on Sunday announced the result of HSC Part-II (Class-XII)
Science Pre-Engineering Group Annual Examinations-2006 with a pass percentage of 54.90 — 3.55pc higher than the last
year. Girl candidates of St Joseph‘s College for Women clinched two of the top three positions.
Umme Aiman of St Joseph‘s College for Women clinched first position with 967 marks (87.91pc) out of 1,100. Muhammad
Hassam of Adamjee Government Science College and Munawer Ali of Aga Khan Higher Secondary School shared second
position by securing 964 marks (87.64pc). Sana Siddiqui, of St Joseph‘s College for Women, scoring 963 marks (87.55pc)
clinched third position.

As many as 2,1875 candidates including 1,5319 boys and 6,556 girls appeared in the exam out of whom 1,2006 candidates
including 8,398 boys and 3,608 girl students passed.
The pass percentage of boys remained 54.83pc and girls 55.06pc.

Some 509 candidates including 314 males and 195 female candidates clinched A-1 grade; 1,936 students including 1,199 boys
and 737 girls secured A-grade; 3,162 students including 2,065 boys and 1,097 girls obtained B-grade; 3,644 candidates
including 2,579 boys and 1,065 girls got C-grade; 2,561 students including 2,064 boys and 497 girls secured D-grade and 164
students including 158 boys passed the exams in E-grade.

The board this time could not hold the traditional ceremony for formally announcing the results and honouring the position
holders, their parents, teachers and college principals and arranging their formal interaction with newsmen, in order to avoid
further delay in announcement of the result.

The unusual delay in results this year, which was supposed to be announced by August 31 under the deadline set by the
provincial education department‘s steering committee, has also caused postponement of the pre-admission test of the NED
University of Engineering and Technology, originally scheduled for September 21.
The board‘s decision of not holding the ceremony at its offices also deprived the position holders of the opportunity to get
themselves recognised and appreciated for their distinguished performances.


                                                                50
Results of some 21 candidates were withheld for their stated involvement in unfair means during the exams or for want of
correct information or necessary documents. The result gazette issued by the BIEK showed that none of the candidates from
17 colleges and higher secondary schools could pass the exams.

Furthermore, eight colleges and higher secondary schools in the city were just able to get less than 10pc and some 83 colleges
and higher secondary schools showed less than 30pc result.
Taking to this scribe on phone the first position holder Umme Aiman said that she attended classes at a coaching centre for
getting proper help and guidance for preparing for the exams. She said that there was enormous gap between the syllabus
taught in Class-X and that prescribed in the intermediate classes and as such curricula of secondary classes should be duly
revised and updated for safeguarding the academic interests of students.
She said the process of denationalisation had affected a lot the teaching and academic environment of her college as the
teachers hired by the new administration of the college were not able to deliver lectures in professional manner.

Muhammad Hassam said that he had also availed private tuitions and added that solely relying on college education could not
be enough. He said that academic environment at his college had been improved and overhauled due to strict observance of
disciplinary rules by the new principal.
He said that after getting BE degree in Electrical or Electronics Engineering from the NED University, he would go to the UK or
the USA for further studies in engineering.
He said that he was not in favour of functioning of students‘ associations in colleges and other educational institutions as it
caused grave consequences for the safety and security of the students.

Munawer Ali who also shared the second position said that after getting proper pre-qualification in the intermediate-level studies
the practice of conducting aptitude or entry test for the aspirants of admission in the engineering colleges and universities was
frivolous and futile exercise.
He said that Internet facility was widely misused by the youngsters for trivial and leisure-oriented causes and instead it should
be used for getting information and knowledge.

Sana Siddqui said that the decision of denationalising of her college had deprived her of highly experienced and qualified
teachers earlier available from the government. She said that curricula at the intermediate-level should be properly revised and
updated according to the developments in the fields of science and technology in the developed part of the world.
She said that more objective-type questions should be included in the question papers.
She said that the government should not have arbitrarily banned the associations and unions of teachers as they should also
be given the due opportunity and forums for raising their grievances and problems.
(The News-4, 18/09/2006)



                                       Girls clinch top positions in HSC exams
KARACHI, Sept 17: The Board of Intermediate Education, Karachi on Sunday declared separately the results of HSC pre-
engineering and Science General groups‘ annual examination 2006.
The overall pass percentage of candidates in the pre-engineering examinations remained at 54.90, almost 3.5 per cent higher
than that of the last year, and it was 41.32 in the Science General group.

As far as the top three positions were concerned, according to the BIE notification, it was a fifty-fifty affair in the pre-engineering
group while all the merit positions were clinched by girl students in the Science General group. It remained a neck and neck in
the pre-engineering as there was a difference of four marks between the first and third position holders.

As many as 21,875 candidates, including 6,556 woman candidates, appeared in the pre-engineering examinations, out of which
12,006, including 3,608 women, were declared successful. Umm-i-Aiman, seat no 397374, of St Joseph‘s College for Women,
bagged the first position by securing 967 marks out of 1,100.
The second position was shared by two students, Mohammad Hassam, seat no 383376, of Adamjee Science College, and
Munawer Ali, seat no 390573, of the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karimabad, who secured 964 marks each. The third
position went to Sana Siddiqui, seat no 397360, of St Joseph‘s College for Women, who secured 963 marks.

In the Science General group the first three positions in the merit list were secured by the students of DA Degree College for
Women. They are Hina Mohammad Yasin Manekia, seat no 449260 (first position), Sana Mohammad Yasin Manekia, seat no
449280 (second) and Sundus Yahya, seat no 449276 (third).

The breakdowns of successful candidates of the two examinations are as follows:
Pre-engineering; A-1 grade 314 males and 195 females, A grade 1,199 males and 737 females, B grade 2,065 males and
1,097 female, C grade 2,579 males and 1,065 females, D grade 2,064 males and 497 females and E grade 158 males and 6
women.
Science General; A-1 grade 6 women only, A grade 3 males and 64 women, B Grade 46 males and 177 women, C grade 141
males and 202 women, D grade 132 males and 28 women and E grade 7 males only.

Results of 21 candidates of the pre-engineering group were withheld either for want of correct information or on account of use
of unfair means. The conduct of examinations for the pre-engineering and Science General examinations was stretched over a
period of over 3 months, said a BIE notification.
The number of candidates appearing in pre-engineering group has been recorded to be on decline. Last year a total of 23,161
students had appeared, while in 2006 the number decreased to 21,975.

However, there is an increase of about 22 per cent in the number of candidates who have been placed in A-1 grades in the pre-
engineering group.
In the pre-engineering group there were 16 colleges run by government or private concerns, which failed to give any result
while another 67 institutions which gave results ranging from 4.35 to 29.63 per cent. Nine of the 214 colleges and higher
secondary schools which sent up their candidates for HSC pre-engineering examinations gave 100 per cent results, but
interestingly four of them had an enrolment of one student each.
In the science general group, as many as 101 colleges sent 1,953 candidates, including 884 women, for examinations, out of
which 24 had to see zero per cent results, while another 25 gave a result below 30 per cent. Seven of the institutions with
enrolment ranging from 1 to 10 gave 100 per cent results in the examinations.
(Dawn-15, 18/09/2006)

                                                                 51
                                          Body set up for upgrading KMDC
KARACHI, Sept 17: For the purpose of upgrading the Karachi Medical and Dental College to the status of a university, a
committee has been set up as announced by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad at the time of KMDC convocation.
The decision to set up the committee was taken at the meeting of the new governing body of the KMDC held here on Saturday
under the chairmanship of City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal.

The committee is headed by Dr Waqar Kazmi and its members would be Vice-Chancellor of Karachi University Prof Pirzada
Qasim Raza Siddiqui, AG Sindh Qazi Khalid, KMDC Principal Prof M. Abbas Hussain, a former KMDC principal Dr Ishtiaq
Ahmed, Prof Mahmood Haider and Dr Mussarat Hussain.
The committee will look into the administrative and legal aspects with regard to the proposed upgrading, and is supposed to put
forward its recommendations at the earliest.

On the occasion, Syed Mustafa Kamal expressed the hope that the KMDC would maintain high university standards after being
upgraded.—APP

Our Staff Reporter adds: City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal has exhorted the officials concerned to expedite the patchwork of all
battered roads in the city in order to make them motorable before the advent of Ramazan,
A number of major thoroughfares has developed deep potholes and craters due to recent rains and flooding and the patchwork
has become necessary for ensuring a smooth flow of traffic, particularly in Ramazan as heavy rush on roads two to three hours
before Iftar time is always witnessed.

Sources in the city government said that on the directives of City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal, all town administrations had
launched anti-encroachment campaigns which would help ease traffic congestions on roads.
They pointed out that the removal of encroachments in Saddar and Liaquatabad towns had widened many roads arteries.They
said that the city nazim had impressed upon the land department officials to ensure that the encroachments removed in the
campaign did not emerge again and if this happened, stern action would be taken against the encroachers and the officials
showing negligence.
The sources said that the work for building and mending the roads was under way at a fast pace, in this regard, cited the
examples of Hassan Square-Jail Chowrangi section of University Road and Yasinabad Bridge-Aisha Manzil section of
Yasinabad Road where patchwork had already been completed.

Regard other damaged roads, the held out the assurance that citizens would see marked improvement in movement on these
arteries before Ramazan as the city nazim was personally monitoring the uplift work.
(Dawn-13, 18/09/2006)



                              City Council rejects ban on teachers’ associations
KARACHI, Sept 18: A rare show of unity was witnessed in the City Council session here on Monday when the treasury and
opposition benches strongly opposed the provincial government‘s action of imposing a ban on teachers‘ associations and
described the move ‗unconstitutional‘.
They also deplored the coercive methods adopted by the authorities concerned to suppress the protest against the ban by
teacher community, and demanded removal of the provincial education minister Dr Hamida Khuhro.

Barring two women members, belonging to the PML-Q, the entire house opposed the ban, indicating that no such ban had
been imposed by any other provincial government.
A resolution adopted by the house, maintained that the Constitution recognised citizens‘ right to form an association at their free
will. Therefore, it said, the ban on forming an association or participating in its activities stood illegal and unconstitutional.
Expressing solidarity with the teacher community, the house held that teachers were a very important segment of the society
and if the image of teachers was tarnished, the society would stop making progress.

The City Council slammed the brutal use of force by police against protesting teachers, when they stated demonstrations in
different parts of the city. It noted that many of the protesters had sustained injuries while many others were sacked or facing
trials after being arrested.

Condemning all such actions, the house demanded action against all those policemen who had subjected the peaceful
protesters to violent action.
The council also urged the government to stop targeting the protesting teachers and taking disciplinary action, including
sacking, against them.

Earlier, when the house started the day‘s proceedings, with Naib City Nazim Nasreen Jalil in the chair, opposition leader Saeed
Ghani tabled a resolution on the issue. Some treasury members proposed amendment to this resolution which was not
opposed and the house accepted it for discussion.

Leader of the house Asif Siddiqui, senior presiding officer Masood Mehmood, Sheikh Mehboob Rehman, Juman Darwan,
Ramzan Awan, Rafique Ahmed, Rafiq Baloch, Mohammad Ismail Khan, Sarwat Arif and Ishrat Jehan, and several other
members from both the sides, besides Mr Ghani, took part in the debate.
They condemned the government‘s policy towards teacher community, saying that in all civilised countries, teachers
commanded great respect, but the provincial authorities had no respect for them.
They described suppression of teachers‘ protest by police and other law-enforcement agencies as ‗shameful‘, and said that the
government must take appropriate measures to restore their prestige and rebuild their image.

Asif Siddiqui and Masood Mehmood from treasury benches appeared categorical in slamming the police action, saying that
there could not be two opinions about the harsh treatment meted out to the teachers. It was a shameful act and could in no way
be justified, they added.
They urged the government to lift the ban on teachers‘ associations and replace the education minister, besides taking stern
action against those responsible for the coercive methods adopted to suppress the protests against the ban.
The two PML-Q members, Shagufta Jehanzeb and Zaibunnisa, who did not support the resolution, told Dawn later that they did
so in order to avoid violation of their party‘s policy.
(By Latif Baloch, Dawn-17, 19/09/2006)
                                                               52
                             Cooperation urged between universities, industries
Karachi: Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi, Prof Pirzada Qasim, has urged the university and the chemical and
pharmaceutical industries to initiate a meaningful working cooperation and interaction to accelerate the speed of scientific and
economic progress in the country.

The VC, who is the proponent of the relationship between the academia and industry, was giving his keynote address to the
participants of the inaugural session of a two-day workshop on ―University-Industry Interactions: Chemicals and
Pharmaceuticals for the National Development,‖ at the university on Wednesday. The workshop is jointly organised by Higher
Education Commission (HEC) and International Centre for Chemical Sciences (ICCS), University of Karachi.

Prof Qasim said that the nation‘s progress was detracted and the political will, funding, exchange of views and sharing of the
experience should be used to retract and recover the lost opportunities.
The process should be adopted by all the Pakistani universities, lurch forward and sustain the pace of progress. ―We have
prepared an industrial incubator for the pharmaceutical industry,‖ he said proudly.

Waseem Akhtar, Advisor to the chief minister on city government admired the good work by the pharmaceutical industries that
had manufactured value-added goods that were exported abroad and earning precious foreign exchange for the country.
We have the material and human resources, what we need is careful planning and its execution, he said.

Dr Rozina Tufail, MNA and Chairperson, Scientific Advisory Committee, acknowledged that there were profound opportunities if
the university and industry took part in the useful partnership where university supplied high quality graduates and researchers
and invaluable knowledge to the industry while the industry reciprocated with financial compliments.
(The News-3, 21/09/2006)



                                Govt plans to hire 500 teachers on ad hoc basis
KARACHI, Sept 20: Sindh education department is working on a plan for ad-hoc appointment of about 500 teachers in city
colleges for the academic session 2006-07.
Speaking at a press conference called for dissemination of data pertaining to Class XI Commerce admissions at PECHS
College for Women on Wednesday, Provincial Education Manager Dr Mohammad Ali Shaikh said that the government was
already aware of the fact that city colleges were facing shortage of lecturers and that was why at a recent meeting of the high
ups of the department it had been agreed in principle that about 500 lecturers should be appointed as stop-gap arrangement.

He said that over all there was need to appoint over 800 new teachers for posting at old and newly established colleges. Since
the sanctioned new expenditures of new colleges established during the last couple of years were yet to be approved it was
found necessary to get teachers appointed on ad-hoc basis against payment of an amount equal to the basic salaries offered to
a Grade-17 teachers of the mainstream, he added saying that the ad-hoc appointment was necessary as cooperative teachers,
normally appointed by principals on payment of Rs4,000 to Rs4,500 through college funds, were inadequate.

He said that the education minister and secretary had appreciated his proposal for appointment of ad-hoc teachers and things
would be moved formally to the education department so that teachers in question be appointed and posted to colleges on
emergent basis to meet the shortage of teachers in colleges.
Besides, the ad-hoc teachers, it was likely that another 200 teachers would come through the Public Service Commission to
colleges.

In replying to a question, he said that as soon as the admission process was over the colleges would also be provided with
necessary teaching aids, including equipments and chemicals for laboratories, particularly at 30 new colleges made function
during the last three years.

Dr Shaikh said that the decision not to place applicants having passed their SSC exams in D or E grades for admissions to
colleges in the first run had been taken in consultation with some senior college principals and all the leftover would be
accommodates at colleges where seats were available at some later stage.

He said that there were enough seats to offer admissions to all of the applicants in line with the centralised admission policy of
the education department but the D and E graders had been dropped from the first lists of placements only to make the
students in question to realize there shortcomings and work hard in future.

―We sold 82,510 admission brochures and forms, out of which 79,910 were received back, while the admission committee has
as many as 82,500 seats at city colleges and higher secondary schools. As such, accommodating all the students irrespective
of their passing grades will not be any problem at all,‖ he added.

About the commerce faculty lists for female students which was finalized and handed over to the media on Wednesday, the
provincial education manager said that since the number of students desiring admission to first year commerce group was
higher than the seats allocated at colleges the admission committee had to increase the seats by 10 to 15 per cent at colleges
where classrooms were available.

―Even after the changes, we have been able to accommodate 8,628 female students having passed the examinations with A-1,
A, B and C grades at 38 colleges and higher secondary schools, while remaining about 1,160 students with D and E grades will
be tried for admission to humanities faculty of colleges,‖ he said.

ADMISSION LIST: The maximum and minimum marks in the commerce admission list for women in different institutions are as
follows:

Abdullah College for Women (714/572), College for Women Nazimabad (744/614), Sir Syed Govt College for Women
(746/649), H.I. Osmania College for Women (645/466), APWA College for Women (751/546), Shaheed-i-Millat Degree Girls
College (683/453), Girls College Al-Noor, Bl-19, F.B. Area (631/425), College for Women Bl-16, F.B. Area (695/443), Premier
Girls Commerce College (742/559), Girls College North Nazimabad, Bl-M (646/511), Girls Science and Commerce College, Bl-
K, North Nazimabad (694/484), College for Women, 11-B, North Karachi (639-425), Girls College, 11-I, North Karachi,
(651/425), Girls College, Sector-15/C, Orangi Town (746/428), Girls College Liaquatabad, Sindhi Hotel, (639/425), Degree Girls
                                                               53
College Metroville-3, Site (643/425), College for Women Shahrah-i-Liaquat (695/575), Girls College Lyari (689/425), Raunaq-i-
Islam College for Women (742/509), Karachi College for Women, Chand Bibi (693/456), College of Commerce and Economics
for Girls (768/635), Girls College Zamzama, Gizri (690/481), College for Women Korangi-6 (686/426), College for Women
Korangi-4 (713-564), Degree Girls College Ibrahim Hydri (620/433), Girls Comm/Arts College C-1 Area, Malir, (684/427),
College for Women Saudabad (658/426), Khursheed College for Women (763/541), Allama Iqbal Girls College (612/438),
Degree Science College, Malir Cantt (756/595), Girls College Industrial Area Landhi (686/426), HRH Agha Khan Girls College
(693/425), Islamia College for Women (689/448), PECHS College for Women (773/695), Khatoon-i-Pakistan College for
Women (729/607), Degree College Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Bl-7 (742/594), Girls College Gulshan-i-Iqbal Sheikh Zaid (701/550), and
Keamari Girls Higher Secondary School (533/435).
(Dawn-18, 21/09/2006)



                     500 lecturers to be inducted into govt colleges on ad hoc basis
KARACHI: A proposal has been finalised for inducting 500 lecturers on an ad hoc basis in the government colleges to
overcome the shortage of staff, especially in the newly established colleges.

Provincial Education Manager (colleges) Sindh Dr Mohammad Ali Shaikh said on Wednesday that hiring of teachers was
required on immediate basis in order to ensure smooth and regular teaching activities in the government colleges of the city in
view of the current academic session and new admissions in the first year classes.

He was addressing a press conference at the Government PECHS College for Women called for issuing the placement list for
the girl candidates selected for admissions in the Commerce faculty of the first year classes of the government-run colleges in
the city. He said that the proposed scheme had been discussed with provincial education minister and education secretary who
had agreed in principle with the proposal.

He said the proposal had envisaged induction of college teachers on ad hoc basis within next one-and-a-half month.
―We are expecting that vacancies of the college teachers would be filled permanently through the regular process of public
service commission next year but we could not afford to neglect the academic interest of college students for one more year,‖
Dr Shaikh said.

He said the ad hoc college teachers to be inducted under the scheme would be given salary equivalent to that of a college
lecturer of grade-17 and would be hired for a period of one year on initial basis.
He said that transparency would be maintained in the recruitment and which a neutral third-party institution, like any university
or institute, would be chosen to undertake the selection process.

Dr Shaikh said currently 800 posts of college teachers were lying vacant in the government colleges but around 300 such posts
would be filled by the current year through the public service commission.
He said that 29 new colleges in the city, which had started functioning in the last three to four years, were run without proper
planning and ensuring availability of proper academic facilities, infrastructure and teaching faculty.

Dr Shaikh said that he had constituted eight monitoring teams for overseeing and supervising the process of finalisation of
admissions to first year, so that irregularities and unmerited practices were detected.

Meanwhile, the placement list issued by the centralised admission committee (CAP) for the Commerce faculty of first year
classes cleared 8,628 girl candidates for admission to Class-XI of the city‘s 38 government colleges and higher secondary
schools.

The girl candidates having secured minimum 50 per cent marks in the SSC exams were selected for admission and as such
1,160 candidates bearing D and E grades were not offered admission at this stage, said Dr Shaikh. Some 9,790 girl candidates
had applied for admission in the Commerce group.

He said that initially 7,615 seats were offered for the girl candidates in the Commerce faculty but the number of seats was
increased by 10 to 12 per cent in some of the college with available additional resources and infrastructure.

The leftover candidates would be considered for admission in the Humanities faculty.

The placement list showed that admissions were closed at PECHS College for Women at 695 marks, which is the highest,
followed by 649 closing marks at Sir Syed Govt College for Women and 635 minimum marks for admission to the Govt College
of Commerce and Economics.

The maximum and minimum cut-off marks for admissions in various colleges are as under:
Abdullah Govt College for Women: 714,572; Govt College for Women Nazimabad: 744,614; Sir Syed Govt College for Women:
746,649; HI Osmania Govt College for Women: 645,466; APWA Govt College for Women: 751,546; Shaheed-e-Millar Govt
Degree Girls College: 683,453; Govt Girls College Al-Noor, Block-19, FB Area: 631,425; Govt College for Women, FB Area
Block-16: 695,443; Govt Premier Girls Commerce College: 742,559; Govt Girls College North Nazimabad, Block M: 646,511;
Govt Girls Science/Commerce College North Nazimabad, Block-K; 694,484; Govt College for Women North Karachi-11B:
639,425; Govt Girls College, North Karachi 11-I: 651,425; Govt Girls College Orangi Town, Sector-15/C: 746,428; Govt Girls
College Liaquatabad Sindhi Hotel: 639,425; Govt Degree Girls Metroville-03 SITE: 643,425; Govt College for Women Shahrah-
e-Liaquat: 695,575; Govt Girls College Lyari: 689,425: Runaq-e-Islam Govt College for Women: 742,509; Govt Karachi College
for Women Chand Bibi Road: 693,456; Govt College of Commerce & Economics (morning): 768,635; Govt Girls College
Zamzama Gizri: 690,481; Govt College for Women Korangi-06: 686,426 ; Govt College for Women Korangi-04: 713,564; Govt
Degree Girls College Ibrahim Hydri: 620,433; Govt Girls Commerce/Arts College C-1 Area Malir: 684,427; Govt College for
Women Saudabad: 658,426; Khursheed Govt College for Women: 763,541; Allama Iqbal Govt College Girls College: 612,438;
Govt Degree Science College Malir Cantt: 756,595; Govt Girls College Industrial Area Landhi: 686,426; HRH Aga Khan Govt
Girls College: 693,425; Govt Islamia College for Women: 689,448; Govt BAMM PECHS College for Women: 773,695; Khatoon-
e-Pakistan Govt College for Women: 729,607; Govt Degree College Gulshan-e-Iqbal Block-7: 742,594; Govt Girls College
Gulshan-e-Iqbal near Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre: 701,550; Kemari Govt Girls High Secondary School: 553,435.
(The News-4, 21/09/2006)



                                                              54
                                   Ban on teachers union is in public interest
KARACHI: Ban on teachers‘ union and associations by the Sindh government is in the best interest of public, Sindh Education
Department told the High Court of Sindh (SHC) on Tuesday.
―They (teachers‘ union) ruined the educational atmosphere of institutions and proved themselves as bargaining agents rather
then contributing towards improvement of educational system and betterment of teaching community,‖ deputy secretary of
education department submitted filing his comments on petitions against ban on unions and associations of government
teachers in Sindh.

The petitioners including other teaching staff are civil servants and their terms and conditions are regulated by the Sindh Civil
Servant Act 1973 and there is no provision in Societies Registration Act 1860 for registration of civil servants‘ union and
association in Sindh, he added.
It was also mentioned that rights of employees are secured and protected under Sindh Civil Servant Act and there is no need of
such union which is against the law and petitioners and others who have proceeded under Removal of Service Ordinance 2000
have been found indulged in unlawful activities and acts of misconduct.

The court was prayed to dismiss the petition as not maintainable because government‘s notification regarding ban on teachers‘
union is in accordance with rules and after its issuance a better change in education department was observed and attendance
of teachers and other staff also improved.

A Sindh High Court‘s division bench comprising Chief Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed and Justice Yasmeen Abbasey adjourned the
hearing till October 10, as additional Advocate General Sindh Ahmed Pirzada told the court education department wanted to
engage its own private counsel to contest this petition.
(The News-2, 27/09/2006)



                                          Illegal Universities to face action
KARACHI: The Sindh Education Department has devised a strategy against universities, and institutes of higher education,
operating illegally in the province.
The strategy was formed in keeping with decisions taken at a meeting of chancellor‘s committee held earlier this year, under
the chairmanship of President Pervez Musharraf and directives of the Higher Education Commission.

According to the officials of the provincial education department, the strategy had been divided into two discreet parts for
devising action against various kinds of illegal institutes and campuses.

Under one part, the academies of higher education whose functioning in the province was deemed totally illegal were given a
timeframe of 60 days for getting properly registered with the education department. Most of such illegal institutions have
affiliations and linkages with foreign varsities.

In case, such illegal institutions failed to get registered within the stipulated time, they would be closed down through legal
action. In the other part of the strategy, the properly chartered and registered universities and institutes of higher education,
which have been running illegal campuses in Sindh, were given timeframe of one year to wind up their unauthorised academic
activities in the province.

An official of the education department said that the draft of strategy and plan of action against the illegally operating
universities and institutes had been formally vetted by the provincial law department in order to get rid of legal ambiguities or
loopholes.
He said that the provincial home department had also been taken fully into confidence in order to invoke proper law-
enforcement support and cover for the action against the illegal educational institutions.

Recently, Sindh Chief Secretary Fazul Rehman had chaired a high-level meeting attended by secretaries of the Sindh
education, home, and law departments where plan of action against the illegal universities was discussed.

According to the sources, 23 institutions of higher education were operating illegally in the province having unauthorised
affiliations and linkages with foreign varsities. On the other hand, some 15 other campuses were operating illegally in the
province having affiliations with the chartered institution among which the highest numbers of campuses were operated by the
Azad Kashmir-based Al-Khair University.

An official of the education department said that illegally functioning institutions had been served notices intimating of legal
action against them after the expiry of the deadline.
(The News-3, 28/09/2006)




OCTOBER
                                               Another army man as VC

I FULLY endorse the editorial ‗Another army man as VC‘ (Sept 29) and would like to put forward some personal experience to
elaborate on the capabilities of an army officer in dealing with professional matters like education, engineering, medical
sciences and else.
At my first job after graduating I was employed in a Wapda distribution company and a serving brigadier was heading the entity.
As a young engineer in charge of one of subdivisions I had many interactions with my boss.
Once while a group of engineers were travelling with him in his land cruiser, he suddenly asked the driver to stop and asked us
why the poles and conductors were in such shabby condition. We were quite surprised by his question and kept silent as due to
many conductor tapings this was normal and had nothing to do with the disruption of electricity.
                                                              55
He ordered one of SDOs to accompany the crew and clear the conductors. This was when Lt-Gen Zulifiqar Ali was heading the
largest public sector company in the country (Wapda). During his tenure no major project was completed, and unable to
improve the system capability we witnessed a major breakdown in the system.

Next I worked in a team which had a retired lieutenant-general. His style when visiting an industrial plant was the same as that
of an army commander visiting forward checkposts. The general depended on his aides for information and if they had told him
that a compressor was a turbine he would have agreed with them.

No doubt military personnel live a disciplined life but this is no guarantee that they will be able to steer a different kind of ship.
Expertise in war studies has nothing to do with the cricket board, steel mill, or the foreign service. It is continuous research that
makes the academic a man of knowledge. Dr A. Q. Khan is not an army man, neither are others like Dr Abul Salam and Dr
Adeeb Rizvi (SUIT) who represent Pakistan retired army generals.

The appointment of a retired brigadier as the VC of a public sector university is a black day for all the nation‘s academics. Let
us develop trust and confidence in our high qualified professionals to steer the country‘s various institutes. A retired professor
can‘t be appointed as corps commander, so too does the vice versa apply.
N. H. BALOCH, Karachi
(Dawn-6, 01/10/2006)



                               Who will reveal the truth behind curricula revival?
After startling disclosures of President Pervez Musharraf in his memoirs about the United States‘ grim threat to Pakistan and
other compelling tactics used to win Pakistan‘s support for the war against terrorism, the nation should also be informed about
the truth that prompted the authorities to bring changes in the existing curricula.

Addressing to the Pakistani community in the US capital last week Musharraf yet again reiterated the resolve of his government
to change the entire syllabi of Islamiat in order to purge the subject from extremism. He said a new and entirely revised syllabus
for Islamiat would be introduced so that students in their early years of education could not be indoctrinated and influenced to
adopt extremist tendencies.

He said that Gilgit witnessed sectarian clashes after the followers of a certain sect became outraged over a chapter in the
Islamiat textbooks as how to offer prayers. According to another news report, during the meeting of George Bush and
Musharraf in Washington DC, the US administration once again showed strong reservations against the curricula of Islamiat
being taught in Pakistan.

Earlier, the incumbent Federal Education Minister Lt Gen (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi and his predecessor Zubaida Jalal had time
and again expressed the government‘s plans to incorporate substantial changes in the curricula of Islamiat and Pakistan
Studies.

Some two years back certain textbooks prescribed at school and college level in Sindh and Punjab were published after
omitting Qur‘aanic verses and diminishing the contents bearing Islamic references and teachings. The concerned stakeholders
among the students, parents, teachers and political parties had lodged a strong protest at that time over the exclusion of Islamic
references and contents from the curricula and described the government‘s move as a hastily step taken to change the
curricula under an agenda influenced and dictated by foreign powers. Javed Ashraf Qazi had said on many occasions that the
education ministry and its curriculum wing had completed its exercise to revise the curricula and bring changes in the
textbooks, which would be introduced from the next academic session in 2007.

The revelations of Musharraf in his memoirs ―In the Line of Fire‖ and related interviews with the foreign media about the
circumstances that led to Pakistan‘s joining the international coalition against terrorism, have stirred a national debate on the
merits and demerits of lending support to the US-led action in Afghanistan in the 9/11 aftermath.

Certain quarters among politicians, security and defence analysts, intellectuals and journalists have been actively weighing the
chances of Pakistan‘s survival in October 2001 in case it did not lend unconditional and unqualified support to the US-led
invasion of Afghanistan.

At this juncture it appears most appropriate to introduce change in curricula and textbooks after conducting proper debates and
discussions by the relevant quarters in education, including curriculum experts, educationists, teachers, parents and
representatives of the civil society and political parties.

The revised contents in curricula and textbooks should also be devised and finalised through a broad-based brainstorming
exercise among the curriculum and education experts. If the Musharraf-led government is convinced to fully scrap the syllabi of
Islamiat and introduce a revised curriculum in order to sow the seeds of ―enlightened moderation‖ in society then it is imperative
to take the concerned quarters into confidence and persuade them about the relevance and urgency of incorporating
amendments in the existing curricula.

The government is fully committed to ensure freedom of expression and speech in the country and in this regard both the state-
run and private sector media have been actively holding debates and discussions on the vital national issues. The issue of
revising syllabi and textbooks bear equal significant national importance and needs the attention of the concerned quarters in
govt, civil society, political organizations and media.
(By Muhammad Azeem Samar, The News-4, 01/10/2006)



                                        KU student served show-cause notice
KARACHI: The University of Karachi (KU) has issued a show-cause notice to the offending student involved in the alleged
misbehaviour with a lady teacher.
According to Dr Ahmed Qadri, Students‘ Adviser of the university, the show-cause notice had been issued to a student of
Education Department. The student has three days to give his side of story after appearing before the Disciplinary Committee
of the university.

                                                                 56
The vice-chancellor is the chairman of the committee but he has nominated Dr Abu Zar Wajdi, Director of the Evening
Programme, to represent him, the students‘ adviser is the secretary and two senior professors are members of the committee.
The Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) has deplored the incident and appreciated the fact that the VC had already
taken the appropriate action to curb such tendencies.
(The News-3, 01/10/2006)



                                                     Lower expectation
                                           By Dr Shamsul Haque & Dr Noman Ahmed
ACCORDING to a new report published on Sept 1, 2006, President Pervez Musharraf is trying his best to save the Federal
Urdu University from a serious crisis. It will not be out of context to mention that this institution has been used as a test case
after the controversial Model University Ordinance was faithfully adopted, and was strongly supported by the Higher Education
Commission (HEC).

During the present regime‘s tenure the higher education sector has gone through several such crises. Some of the noteworthy
examples include the Boston Group-inspired reform package, the task force on higher education, the new approaches to the
selection of university vice-chancellors and the extraordinary emphasis on research work. The intentions of the Higher
Education Commission (HEC) — the new body that replaced the much-criticised University Grants Commission (UGC) — are
well placed. However, as it continues to happen in this country, the approaches devised to set the objectives and their
concurrent methodologies are deeply flawed. Several matters have been overlooked during the course of overzealous strides
attempted by the HEC.

Universities‘ autonomy is an important factor as far as their effective functioning is concerned. It is guaranteed by the respective
laws and regulations. The universities, especially those in the public sector, used to enjoy this status in the past. It would be
hard to imagine if any public sector university misused its autonomy through its syndicate, though in any university some
relaxations might have been necessary in its best interest. Moreover, the UGC — knowing the difference between the
requirements of a general and a professional university — allowed some relaxations for professional outfits. The UGC used to
keep its role confined to the disbursement of funds, basic monitoring and ancillary support wherever needed. The most visible
handicap in this arrangement was the shortage of funds for normal disbursement to the universities.

The ground realities of the education sector have been continuously disregarded in the ongoing reform process. Let us take the
domain of research and the new-found interest of the government in it. The HEC wanted to increase the number of PhDs to at
least three-fold than the existing number. This is an international norm but can only yield results when applied in a rational
manner keeping in view the peculiarities of our country. Faculty members mostly undertake teaching work which requires a
good understanding and knowledge base in the subjects taught at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. PhD, which is the
most expensive degree to obtain, prepares the degree-seeker to undertake research work. Besides, no university can excel in
academic performance without a sound administration. Senior faculty members have spent their lives devoted to good teaching
and whatever research they could do in the absence of required facilities, apart from sharing the very demanding administrative
responsibilities. Each of the three — teaching, research and administration — are of equal importance. Making any criteria on
the basis of research alone, it would be negating the importance of the other two.

Recently, the HEC advertised its overseas scholarship scheme for PhDs in the national press. Many individuals concerned
were surprised to find that the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) was made part of the eligibility criteria. Similarly, a well
known private university in Lahore invited applications for PhDs through its own eligibility criteria with the possibility of HEC
scholarships for some chosen candidates. On many previous occasions, the HEC had made it a policy not to entertain any
other test except the one conducted by the National Testing Services (NTS). Whereas the HEC did not pay heed to the
requests by many public sector universities for considering the GRE as the standard pre-requisite. It seems to have turned its
back on its stand for unknown reasons.

There are many other issues where HEC-formulated policies have faced severe criticism from stakeholders for their lack of
appropriateness. The minimum qualifications for faculty appointments; the eligibility criteria for acquiring funding; the semester
system versus the annual system; the enhancement of time duration for Bachelor courses in general disciplines; and the
preparation for model curricula are a few of them. Much of this criticism has evolved as the HEC did not adopt a proper
consultative process with stakeholders and unilaterally went ahead with decision-making. It is common sense that consultation,
at least with directly related stakeholders, widens the choice of options and paves the way for informed decision-making. The
HEC has appointed a large team of administrators and each of them has to do something — easiest being to make policies
without any analysis going into them. The results are that the policies are irrational and inconsistent. An example of irrationality
is that there are the same recruitment rules for general and professional universities. There might have been different rules
discipline wise — there are disciplines in which the number of research papers in the credit of a single person in Pakistan may
be more than total number of research papers of 20 persons in another discipline in Pakistan. The nature of discipline and the
pre-requisites to carry out research work vary. For instance, a few domains in engineering would require enormous time and
material resources input to generate any worthwhile research output. In contrast, certain disciplines in pure and natural
sciences yield laboratory-based results in a quick fashion within a short time. For this reason alone, no single domain can be
played up against the other.

Complying with the president‘s advice, the HEC has decided to set up six new engineering universities in the country. This
approach is similar to the attempt made by India several decades ago when they founded the institutes of technology in
different cities in collaboration with various technically developed countries. Given the time frame and status of development of
that country, these institutes proved to be very useful in promoting high quality technical education and research. The human
resource that was developed through this process was instrumental in the manufacturing, engineering, technology and other
related sectors. However, one finds the president‘s decision incongruent given the peculiarities linked to Pakistan. The first
proper engineering university could only be set up in Pakistan after 15 years of independence. The number remained below 10
till the turn of the millennium. One does not foresee any unusual turn around in the job market given the fact that the country‘s
economy has become trade-oriented. When it took more than five decades to set up seven universities, one fails to identify any
super capacity which would enable the government to set up almost the same number in two years.

The best way to evaluate the performance of universities and other higher education institutions is through self assessment.
Assuming that each of these institutions comprises learned people having a forthright approach, the task of identifying the
weaknesses, strengths and potentials should be left to the universities. The HEC may assist these universities if they request


                                                                57
so. That done, the reform programmes may be launched according to the highlighted needs in each context. Willingness is the
key to making any reform successful.

The agenda for research must be drawn through mutual consultations. Pressing issues pertinent to the nation must be given
priority. For instance, instead of blindly submitting to the World Bank-sponsored poverty alleviation programmes, economists
and social scientists may be assigned to pinpoint the root causes of poverty at various levels, their possible solutions and the
opportunity to test the solutions through pilot projects. The government must be advised to take notice of these exercises. A
sound research outcome without a receptive administration is of little consequence.

The social and economic status of faculty members must be analysed in detail. Suitable boost must be given to them to regain
pride in their profession. The country in which teachers have less respect can hardly generate a confident future generation.
Imposing conditions without giving any financial benefits would make qualified persons stay away from public sector
universities. Those desirous for easy life would resort to jobs in government colleges where the ranks and salary structure is the
same as that of universities. In due course, one becomes professor and gets grade 20 through promotions and the lucky ones
are able to get even grade 21. Others may find better prospects elsewhere. At present, fresh PhD degree-holders from
Pakistani universities are being offered twice and even more salary in private universities. It may be inferred that only worldly
unwise qualified persons shall seek the job and those who already have jobs may stay for unknown reasons in public sector
universities. It may not be out of place to mention that some well qualified and well meaning incumbents have already left. New
and reasonably attractive pay-scales must be devised for university teachers. Keeping track of service tenure is not the
solution. Whereas one or two faculty members may be satisfied in a department, the remaining lot shall become disgruntled.

The HEC has been desperate to achieve overnight results of bringing public sector universities to the level of reputed
international universities. This is not possible under the present regime. The HEC has put the blame on universities and come
out with another policy of establishing new universities with foreign faculties — which eventually will drag qualified faculties of
present public sector universities leaving them in a miserable position. While taking this decision, it‘s believed, no consultation
process was launched at any level.




                                                                                                                    280 killed
                                                                                                                    on pretext
                                                                                                                   of karo-kari
                                                                                                                       in 9
                                                                                                                     months


                                                                                                                   (Dawn-
                                                                                                                   Magazine-1,
                                                                                                                   01/10/2006)

                                                               58
KARACHI, Oct 2: At least 375 women, including 19 minor girls, were murdered and 143 others were injured in the province
during the first nine months of 2006, says a report.
The report, prepared by the Aurat Foundation, issued on Mondays said more than 280 people, including 176 women, were
murdered on the pretext of karo-kari in different parts of Sindh during the year.

At least 10 women were raped and murdered, and 20 others were gang-raped, whereas 66 were raped in sindh during the
period, and attempt to rape was made on 35 women.

At least 123 women committed suicides while 153 others made attempts to commit suicide owing to increasing unemployment,
forced and under age marriages, domestic problems and conflicts, said the NGO study, adding at least 128 women were
kidnapped while 56 others were missing.
The report says at least 128 couples married through courts after leaving their homes and 126 women were seeking shelter
owing to threats to their lives.

At least 140 women were arrested by the police under different allegations or in place of their relative male accused who could
not be arrested, whereas 51 women, including young girls, were injured during raids in different villages in the interior of Sindh.
The report says that despite the ban imposed on jirgas, at least 60 jirgas were held on the women related issues.

At least five women were given as compensation to settle bloody conflict over karo-kari through a jirga decision near Thul in
Jacobabad district. At least 30 women were sold during the first nine months of the year.

Zarina and Dildar Hussain who had left their homes and had married were murdered in Khairpur district. Two women of Shar
tribe were kidnapped and gang-raped in revenge by a couple – Khan Sher and Gul Zareen Pathan.

The study says Rehana was the first victim of the cruel custom of karo kari. She was killed by her husband near Khanpur in
Shikarpur district.

Two couples who remained in jail for two to five years under the Hudood laws were freed under the court orders.

Khair Mohammad and Arbabzadi of Hala committed suicide after failing to get permission for marriage by the their relatives.
Shahar Banu, her husband, who had married on their will over eight year back were murdered with their daughter and son in
Garhi Khero.
The step-daughter of Sindh chief minister‘s adviser was alleged to have been kidnapped from Karachi by a nephew of a
minister. She was recovered from Mirokhan. Four youth arrested under allegation of her kidnapping were later released.

Nazia Rani Malik was arrested under allegation of robbery on complaint of a military officer Shafqat. She was released on bail
later in Hyderabad. District Police officer Sukkur Shabbir and others were fined Rs 2 million for killing two brothers in an
encounter.
(Dawn-19, 03/10/2006)



                                          Seats available in 50 city colleges
KARACHI, Oct 2: As many as 19 boys and girls colleges and 31 higher secondary schools in the city, where seats are still
available have been permitted to grant admissions to first year classes for the session 2006-07 on their own.
This was announced by the Provincial Education Manager (Colleges), Sindh, and in charge of CAP committee, Dr Mohammad
Ali Shaikh, here on Monday.

He pointed out that as per resolution of the CAP committee- 2006, permission was accorded to the principals/heads of those
colleges and higher secondary schools, where seats are still available in various disciplines, to grant admission in XI classes for
the current academic session 2006-2007, at their own level, subject to the condition that the students are eligible for admission.
The institutions being granted the permission are Govt Degree Girls College Orangi Town 11 1/2, Govt Degree Girls College
Ibrahim Hydari, Govt Degree Girls College Korangi 2 1/2, Govt Degree Girls College Shah Faisal Colony, Govt Degree Girls
College C-1, Malir, Govt Degree Girls College Landhi Mill Area, Govt Degree Girls College Metrovill SITE, Govt Degree Girls
College Orangi 7 C, Govt Degree Girls College Quaid-e-Millat, Govt Degree Girls College Mehmoodabad, Govt Degree Boys
College Konkar Gadap, Govt Degree Boys College Surjani Town, Govt Degree Boys College Manghopir, Govt Degree Boys
College Landhi Quaidabad, Govt Degree Boys College Baldia Town, Govt Degree Boys College Razzaqabad, Govt Degree
Boys College Murad Memon Goth, Govt Degree Boys College Shams Pir Baba Bith, Govt Degree Boys College Gungle Shah,
Keamari.

It was also announced that those candidates who had applied for pre-medical group and have secured at least 45 per cent
marks but had been placed in humanities group, may change to pre-medical group.
The students are advised to contact the principals/ CAP members at Govt College for Men, Nazimabad, Karachi (for male
candidates) and Shaheed-i-Millat Govt Degree Girls College, Azizabad (for female candidates).
(Dawn-18, 03/10/2006)



                                      SITE schools face staff, funds shortage
KARACHI, Oct 3: Shortage of funds, staff and infrastructure has forced primary school teachers of SITE Town to stop granting
further admissions. Getting admission in private schools is very difficult for the children with poor family background and if they
are denied to enter government-run schools they will be left illiterate.

Teachers say that it is their compulsion to keep the number of students limited. They say that officials concerned are well aware
of the problems arising from the shortage of staff and rooms, but nothing concrete has been done in this regard.

During visits to different schools of the town, it was observed that teachers were reluctant to give admissions in KG class. In a
few schools, there are separate classrooms for KG students while in majority of the primary schools KG and class-I students sit
together.
It was observed that students of different classes when seated together could hardly understand what they were being taught.

                                                               59
There are many schools where the number of classrooms is either one or two. Similarly, many schools have one or two
teachers each, compromising the standard of education, but the authorities concerned seemed least concerned to solve the
problems. The details of facilities in some of the schools, which were recently visited by this correspondent, are the following:

Government Girls‘ Primary School, situated in Pathan Colony near Metroville, which has four teachers for 160 students in five
classes needs at least three more teachers. The school located in a six-room building has been without sweeper, peon, and
Sindhi language teacher since its inception. Electricity is drawn through an illegal hook. No new admission in KG class has
been given so far mainly owing to the shortage of teachers.
The school headmistress while talking to Dawn admitted that people were frequently visiting the school for admissions of their
kids. However, she said, new classes could not be started unless the number of teachers was increased. She said that the
authorities concerned had already been informed about the situation.

Govt Boys‘ Primary School, located in Pathan Colony, has five teachers for 290 students. The headmaster said that three more
teachers were required to meet the shortage.

Power supply to the school has been disconnected following which it is being drawn through illegally hooked connection.
Neither water was available nor there was any toilet facility for hundreds of students and staff.

Govt Girls‘ Primary School, situated in Pathan Colony No 2, has six teachers except the Sindhi language teacher for 351
students of five classes. It was informed that the classes were overcrowded and at least two teachers were required to increase
the number of class sections. Water is not available there, and the furniture also needs repairs. Almost all the classes are
overcrowded and a bench meant for two or three students is being used by four to five students. There are 111 students in KG
class and 103 in Class-I. Teachers say that there is no room to accommodate more students.

Govt Boys Primary Model School, located in UC-4, has six teachers with the exception of Sindh language teacher. The
headmistress urged the officials concerned to post at least four more teachers.

At present, the school has only three rooms while its upper portion has been in the use of district officer education for the last
seven years. The staff informed this scribe that the officials concerned had acquired the rooms for DO (Education) offices on
temporary basis, but it was not shifted from here as promised.
They said that the primary school was in dire need of the rooms, adding that the number of students could not be increased due
to shortage of class rooms and staff. There are no ceiling fans in classrooms.

According to the teaching staff, the education department has failed to ensure proper distribution of free textbooks to all
students. They said that the school needed 20 sets of textbooks for Class-III, 29 for Class-IV, and 37 sets for Class-V.

Govt Girls Primary School, ST-32, is situated on the first storey of another school (ST-31), where 401 students are taught by six
teachers. Classes are overcrowded, which can be judged from the fact that there are 90 students in KG and Class-I each.
The posts of Sindhi language teacher, watchman, sweeper and female servant are vacant. A sweeper, basically employed in
another school, told Dawn that he was hired to sweep only one school, but he had been asked to serve both of them, which he
said was unjust.

Besides, water is not available and the furniture needs repairs, which has been dumped in the corridors. The cemented sheets
of three rooms needed replacement.
A total of 125 new admissions were given in the Govt Girls Primary School ST No 32. Owing to shortage of rooms, no further
admissions could be given. Teachers of both the schools propose that the vacant rooms of the nearby secondary school should
be given to the primary schools so that the overcrowded classes could be divided into sections.

Govt Girls Primary School, ST-17, is situated in Asifabad old Golimar, where four teachers are available for 202 students. The
new admissions reported till Sept 25 was 34. Though the school has good number of classrooms, it has only one toilet for all
students and teachers. Sindhi language teacher and a peon are yet to be appointed. It is situated on the first floor of another
school.

Government primary school for girls, situated in UC- 4 of SITE Town, has six teachers except the Sindhi language teacher for
214 girls studying in five classes. The number of new admissions so far given was reported 30. The school has no sweeper and
watchman. A teacher said that students were asked to clean and sweep classrooms, which not only wasted their precious time
but also made their uniform dirty. Another five-room building is situated in the same compound, which has not been in use
reportedly for the last seven years. Teachers said that the area was in need of a secondary school and the five-room building
was a suitable place for it, if authorities concerned gave approval to the proposal.

Govt Girls Primary School, ST-36, is located in Frontier Colony No 1 (UC-7 of SITE Town). It has seven teachers with the
exception of Sindhi language teacher for 250 girls studying in six classes. The school lacks water facility. Students have to sit
on mats as the damaged furniture has not been repaired.
The school building is situated along the main Banaras stream and the monsoon floods have washed away the school‘s
boundary wall. Without any protective wall, the stream water in case of floods would enter into classrooms. The school gets
power supply through illegally hooked connection.

Govt Girls Primary School, Ghausia Mohalla is also located in UC-7, where the number of students is about 300. The school
has been upgraded to middle level, but owing to lack of staff and classrooms middle level classes could not be started so far.
There are seven teachers in all except the Sindhi language teacher. It has 12 classrooms, with some rooms on second floor
directly exposed to sunlight in the absence of roof. Peon is not available. Electricity has been drawn illegally without proper
connection.
The headmistress said that in the past the number of students was about 400, which decreased to 300 mainly due to the
shortage of staff.

Govt Boys Primary Khyber Muslim School, Frontier Colony No 1, has seven teachers for 301 students. The posts of Sindh
language teacher and watchman have been vacant since long.
The headmistress said that due to teachers‘ shortage the existing staff were taking extra classes. There were 125 students in
Class-II, she said, adding that at least two more teachers were required to meet the shortage.

Govt Girls Primary School, Labour Square, has only four teachers for 153 students. The students of class 7th and 8th are also
taking classes here, as there is no lower secondary school in the area. There is no peon at the school having five classrooms.
                                                               60
The school needs at least three more teachers and proper furniture. The secondary level school is far away from the area and it
is need of the hour to upgrade it. It is one of the very few government schools, which has a playground for students. The school
gets power supply through illegally hooked connection.

Govt Girls Primary School, ST-27, is situated in Hasrat Mohani Colony (UC-1 of SITE). It has seven teachers for 109 students.
There is no Sindhi language teacher. The new admissions of students reported till Sept 15 was 25. The school has neither
peon nor any watchman. The principal complained of water and sewerage problems.

In UC-3, Govt Boys Primary School, Haroonabad, has five teachers for 96 boys studying in five classes. The school gets power
supply through illegally hooked connection. The posts of Sindhi language teacher and watchman have been lying vacant since
long. The number of new admissions till Sept 19 was reported 26.

Govt Girls Primary School, ST-14, located in the same union council, has five teachers for 72 girls studying in five classes. The
school has no Sindhi language teacher, watchman and peon. The furniture was reported insufficient and the existing one
needed repairs. The staff told this scribe that on different occasions thieves took away two water motors, 12 ceiling fans, iron
grills and windows. The headmistress stressed the need of posting a full time watchman so that the interruption being created
by the outsiders could be stopped.

The Sindhi-medium Govt Boys Primary School, Bunde Ali Mukhi, located in old Golimar (UC-2) has four teachers for 91
students. Water and toilet facilities are next to nil. The posts of sweeper and watchman have been vacant since long.

Govt Boys Primary School (J/M) Aqsa is situated in Bawani Chali, UC-4 of the town. There are nine teachers for 240 boys
studying in seven classrooms. The new admissions reported till Sept 25 was 100. The school has no toilet for the students. The
posts of Sindhi language teacher and sweeper are lying vacant. The furniture needs to be repaired. It was learnt that the free
textbooks have not been provided for the Class-IV and Class-V.

Govt Girls Primary School, ST-16, situated near Bismillah hotel in old Golimar, has 11 teachers for 300 students. The new
admissions till Sept 26 were reported as 150. The school has no watchman, Sindhi language teacher and peon. The insufficient
furniture needed repairs. The staff disclosed that 20 sets of free books for the Class-II were yet to be provided. The school also
needs nine ceiling fans.

Govt Girls Primary School, ST-1, situated in old Golimar, has 10 teachers for 372 students. It has no watchman. There are 10
classrooms. The staff disclosed that 12 sets of the free books for the Class-IV had not been provided so far.
(By Ali Hazrat Bacha, Dawn-18, 04/10/2006)



                               Hudood law can’t protect women victims, SC told
ISLAMABAD, Oct 3: The Supreme Court was told on Tuesday that the Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance
1979 in its present shape cannot protect women victims of ‗Zina-bil-jabr‘ (rape).
Advocate Dr Babar Awan, who was summoned by the Supreme Court as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) to assist it in a
rape matter, suggested certain amendments in the Hudood law to provide legal cover to women who are victims of rape. ―It is
unfortunate that poor girls have to suffer while offenders go scot-free,‖ he deplored.

―Let there be a full-fledged debate to determine whether the Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction
to decide cases involving innocent girls, who are kidnapped and prosecuted against as adulteresses when they become
pregnant,‖ a two-member bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and Justice
Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi observed.

The bench was hearing a case of a 13-year-old girl called Nazia who was kidnapped by one Zahoor Ahmad and made pregnant
during captivity as a result of which she become mother of an illegitimate child.
―Amendments in the Hudood Ordinance as suggested by the counsel cannot be examined unless placed before the Shariat
appellate bench of the apex court,‖ the chief justice observed and asked Attorney General Makhdoom Ali Khan to assist it on
this sensitive issue on November 1, 2006, the next date of hearing.

President Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Malik Mohammad Qayyum who was also summoned by the court to help it,
however stated that the jurisdiction of the Shariat appellate bench should be determined first before fixing the matter for
determination.

In his formulations, Babar Awan suggested that section 10 (4) of the Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance 1979
was against the injunctions of Islam as well as the principles of justice as this was contradictory to other provisions of section 10
of the ordinance where lesser punishment had also been provided for similar offences.
This section should be amended in a way that the trial court should award punishment other than death to meet the ends of
justice, the counsel emphasized.

In the present form every accused under sub-section 4 of section 10 is bound to face singular penalty of death or is liable to be
acquitted, he said, adding this provision was also violative of Article 25 (equality of citizens) of the constitution and infringed
upon different fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

This also provides a punishment under Tazir (penal code), greater than the Hudood, thus violating Islamic laws.
He also suggested that section 11 should also be amended in a way that if a woman conceives pregnancy, the man
responsible for such pregnancy should deem to be a father of the child allowing the child to enjoy all rights in the estate and
legacy of such a man. For determination of parentage of such a child, the court may order for a DNA test.

Section 2 (definitions) of the ordinance should also be amended by saying that complainants means a woman against whom
offence of rape or gang-rape was committed. Similarly, Section 8 should also be amended in a way that no woman should be
punished unless she makes a true, voluntary confession of the commission of offence before a court competent to try the
offence. Such confession should also be made thrice before such a court with reasonable intervals of time.
It should also provide that no woman will be arrested, prosecuted or punished for becoming pregnant against her will, no matter
whether the offender responsible for such pregnancy is traceable or not, he suggested.
He also suggested amendments in Sections 9, 11, 12 and 17 of the Hudood Ordinance.

                                                                61
Referring to the Nazia case, Additional Advocate General Punjab Khadim Hussain Qaiser told the court that a first information
report (FIR) earlier registered on the complaint of the girl had been amended and a separate case had been booked against the
culprit at the Okara.

However, he himself was of the view that there was no need of a new case when already a case had been registered at the
Police Station Sattu Qatla (Lahore) on June 23, 2005 under Section 11 of the Hudood Ordinance. After the recovery of the
abductee, the case should proceed on the basis of the case that had been registered earlier, he said.

However, the court allowed the state to continue in whichever manner it deemed fit under the law. The court was also told that
the physical remand of Zahoor Ahmed and his wife had been taken and they were being investigated.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court again admonished the police officers concerned for poor handling of the case and directed
them not to assign field jobs to the Superintendent Police (SP) Investigation Lahore Ali Arsalan and former SP Lahore Dr Inam
and complete inquiry into the matter within a week.

At the last hearing the apex court had ordered to send the two police officers back to the federal government while the
provincial chief secretary and the inspector general were asked to take proper steps in this regard.
So far, except writing a letter to the secretary establishment by the advocate general Punjab informing him about court orders,
no step has been taken, the bench noted and ordered the chief secretary to pursue the matter.
(By Nasir Iqbal, Dawn-1, 04/10/2006)



                                     An intellectual giant recedes into the past
The literary circles are condoling the death of renowned writer, Khalique Ibrahim Khalique, who passed away on Friday after a
protracted illness. Khalique, 80, not only served the cause of literature, but also won laurels as a seasoned film-maker.

He made several documentary films such as Ghalib, Pakistan Story, Architecture, Cultural Heritage of Pakistan, One Acre of
Land, Pathway to Prosperity, and Coconut Tree. Those who saw these documentaries said that Khalique had put his artistic
talents into the ventures. The work on Ghalib is considered to be more worthy and according to some critics, even though such
beautiful film could not be released in a befitting manner and people of the sub-continent were deprived of seeing this artwork, it
spoke volumes for the aesthetic sense and in-depth study of the era of Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib. The film, according to film
critics, on the one hand depicted the life and poetic wisdom of the bard and on the other, it gave a critical view of the life and
the conditions amid which Ghalib lived his life. People say that even though the film, made by Kaifi Aazmi, is a great
presentation of acting and depiction of Ghalib‘s life in India, the project undertaken by Khalique in Pakistan was also a big one.
Besides, Khalique produced many meaningful literary books including his memoirs entitled ‗Manzilain Gard Ki Manind‘ which
was of high literary value. The book published in 2000 was appreciated by writers and critics equally and also gained ground
among the readers of Urdu literature. The memoirs brought to light many important literary events, social and political
movements and the role of the writers and their organisations and, above all, the impact of literature on the life of a society.

Khalique Ibrahim Khalique was born in February 1926 in Hyderabad Deccan where his father Hakim Muhammad Rafique
Ibrahim (who died in 1963), ran a clinic and later the family preferred to settle in Lucknow. Khalique acquired his early
education in Lucknow. The Ibrahim family also established the Takmeelut Tibb College. Both Khalique‘s grand-father and father
had been advocating the cause of the freedom movement in India.

Khalique graduated from the Punjab University, Lahore, and started his career in Mumbai with the Information Films of India.
Later when the family shifted to Pakistan, Khalique joined the Department of Films and Publications and served the department
for about 25 years, retiring as the Director, Films.

Khalique emerged as a poet and writer in the 1940s and his English and Urdu works got published during the same period and
they influenced the readers across the subcontinent.

He also produced a large number of papers, translations and books. He had the honour of being a pioneer documentary film-
maker in Pakistan and he had received many national and international awards for his distinguished services in the filed. Being
a poet, he was considered more progressive and enlightened. In his ‗ghazal‘, according to critics he gave unique dictions and
metaphors to the Urdu readers and also experienced his creative feelings by giving other forms of poetry. One of his poetry
collections titled, ―Teen Taveel Nazmain‖ is taken as a part of the history of Urdu poetry depicting very sensitive feelings in Urdu
poetry and no doubt his observation, poetic vision, and social, political and economic clashes and contradictions made very
interesting images of life and its now up to the critics to work, examine, and determine the literary worth of the symbols and
metaphors of Khalique Ibrahim Khalique.
(By Zabe Azkar Hussain, The News-4, 04/10/2006)



                                    1,200 enrolled to mark World Teachers’ Day
KARACHI, Oct 5: To mark the World Teachers‘ Day, more than 150 teachers from various schools in Taisar and Hawkesbay
resettlement sites of Lyari Expressway project took part in a major drive to enrol new students. They went door to door and
enrolled 1,200 new children by filling up their admission forms.

Educated girls of the families living along the banks of Lyari River are today working as community teachers in the schools of
these resettlement sites, showing signs of a social change in the area.
These area community teachers are working with a missionary spirit to introduce modern educational concepts in order to
educate the new resettlement sites so that a bright future for the children of these resettled families could be ensured.

Ms Amna Jabeen, headmistress of the Government Girls Elementary School, commenting on the campaign and her
participation in it, said that the objective of this drive was to make the area children and their parents realise the significance of
education. She said that before shifting here, they had been living in Liaquatabad and had never thought of having such a good
environment and living.
She said that in a survey of these new settlements, teachers with the help of students had been going house to house to
ensure that every children was enrolled in school. Special focus was on girl students, she added.

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She spoke of some problems in the initial stage in enrolling girl students because most families in the Basti did not like female
education.

Besides, in the absence of their mothers, who would go to work, many of these girls had the responsibility of looking after their
household and family affairs, leaving no spare time for schooling.
―We persuaded them to send their daughters to school and today, there are 600 girls enrolled in various schools of the area.‖
Amna said.
On the occasion of World Teachers‘ Day, the project administration has decided to award the ‗Best Teacher Award‘ next year.
(Dawn-18, 06/10/2006)



                                     12,737 ghost schools in country: census
ISLAMABAD, Oct 6: The first ever National Education Census (NEC) conducted by the federal education ministry has come up
with shocking revelations like the existence of 12,737 ghost schools in the country.
Out of 164,579 government schools covered by the census, 6.8 per cent lack building, 32.3 per cent are without drinking water,
56.4 per cent without electricity, 40.5 per cent without toilet and 37.8 per cent without boundary walls.

The findings of the census were shared with journalists by Federal Minister for Education Lt-Gen (retired) Javed Ashraf Qazi on
Friday.

The total number of educational institutions covered in the NEC was 245,682, 164,579 (67 per cent) in public sector and 81,103
(33 per cent) in private sector. After excluding ghost schools, and those which refused to share the information, the net number
of institutions which formed the database of the census is 227,791.

The minister said that some of the 12,737 ghost schools ‗exist only on papers, others have buildings but no student or teacher,
The largest number of non-functional institutions — 7,442 (58.5 per cent) — was found in Sindh, with 4,126 refusing to provide
information.

Another finding is that only 1.4 per cent of government schools offer English as medium of instructions; 68.3 per cent follow
Urdu as medium of instruction and 22.4 per cent Sindhi medium.

NEC data reveals that out of 26,809 urban blocks, 6,149 have schools and colleges, and out of 50,585 villages, 10,908 have no
institution. The overall enrolment in 227,791 institutions is recorded at 33.38 millions with the teaching staff of 1.357 million.
(By Khawar Ghumman, Dawn-16, 07/10/2006)



                                                       Izhar's resolve
                            Five years after the amputation, he kept thinking what to do with his life.
                                Till he decided to educate and train the deaf children of his area

                                                      By Gulbaz Afaqi
After being diagnosed with gangrene, he went in a state of denial. Then he went back over his life. There he gathered from his
earliest memories what an active child he was. Cricket, kabadi, he played everything and would fool around the entire village...
but before he could trot along his memories further, many of his friends followed him into the hospital. "They were talking --
Izhar is brave; yes he is very brave." Amidst the talks that demanded him to show courage, he was administered anesthesia.
When consciousness returned he discovered that half of Izhar-the brave was amputated. Izhar was crippled.

"This happened, all in five days," he recalls adding "...was that a coincidence or that some higher wisdom wanted me
acclimatise to disability I didn't know. But the day I developed an infection in my urinary tract I had started reading Helen
Keller's biography -- a woman (1880-1968) from the small farm town of Tuscumbia, Alabama who taught the world to respect
people who are blind and deaf -- and, had read its first few chapters already. My doctor had referred me to PIMS, Islamabad
where a swift session of various tests helped the doctors to establish it as gangrene. Both your legs and hands must be
amputated."
"There was no choice for me to survive. I said, 'Get on with the amputation'. At the end of the day the projected loss, however,
was cut down significantly: a thumb survived the amputation. It supports me in writing, eating and I can perform all my daily
chores."

Gangrene struck him in 1992 -- a year after he did his masters from Punjab University which earned him a gold medal as well.
For five years after the amputation, he kept thinking what to do with his life. In 1996, he got a lectureship in Government
College of his village, but he wanted to do something more. The realisation had led him to join two welfare organizations of the
area at two different times but both the ventures were a failure. The reason as he states, "the people who ran these
organisations were part-time volunteers, and I was working behind the scene."
As time moved on, Izhar's impatience to do something for the people of his areas grew. Nevertheless, he hesitated on two
scores: to do something for his people; and to resist temptation to join organisation in which he would have no say.
In 2001, together with his college students he conducted a preliminary survey to ascertain the number of disabled in his village.
The results were shocking. "In an area as limited as our village the numbers of school age deaf children was 75. It was apart
from other disabilities," he says. From there, he resolved to educate and train the deaf children of his area. Thus, IRADAH was
born in 2002.

IRADAH -- Initiative for Raising Awareness Development and Assimilation of the Handicapped -- was conceived to establish:
Rehabilitation centre for the physically disabled; School for Deaf children; Vocational centre for women; Training centre for the
disabled; Hostel for the helpless disabled. It aims at taking care of some 1200 disabled in Izhar's area (Wanhar) and something
more than that -- taking care of 80, 000 disabled people in district Chakwal. The government had established one school for the
deaf and blind, which is non-functional since long.

The centre now schools 29 deaf children --18 boys and 11 girls. Its physiotherapy centre provides physical aid to the physically
disabled -- 950 disabled have been registered with it. 39 tricycles, 108 wheelchairs and 290 different items like CP chairs,
crutches appliances etc. have also been delivered to the disabled of the area; a few camps and some seminars for the disabled
too have been arranged with the help of various NGOs. Details of IRADAH are available at: http://www.iradah.org.

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The hostel that IRADAH wants to establish will be for those disabled "whose parents are very old, weak or that they have
passed away." Because according to Izhar "parents alone take care of their disabled children. All the other relations fail in doing
so."

Besides IRADAH, Izhar is in-charge of his college cricket team, editor college magazine, member college counsel, incharge
students affairs and controller of the examination (internal). Meeting him was a pleasant experience. A bespectacled, nicely
dressed, holding a cup, writing a paper or puffing a cigarette but all with a thumb, tucked on a wheel chair yet laughing and
making his presence felt is professor Izhar Hussain Awan from Chakwal. Full of life, brimming.
(By Gulbaz Afaqi, The News-27, 08/10/2006)



                                                 Some higher than others
    Universities revel in giving scores, but the test gets tougher and a bit messy as well as they find themselves sitting in an
                                  examination hall manned by the Higher Education Commission

                                                By Muhammad Badar Alam
Waqas Umar has just done his bachelors in commerce from a private college in Lahore and is now seeking admission for a
masters level degree. A ranking of the Pakistani universities, issued by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on September
29, 2006, might have come out in the nick of time for him to decide where to get admission. Not quite. "I want to study business
administration but the (HEC) ranking does not tell me which university has the best department in the city for the study of the
discipline," he tells The News on Sunday.

Some university teachers, and even people in the administration of a number of public and private institutions for higher
learning, share Waqas's concerns about the list. In fact, they don't just confine themselves to raising questions about the
inability of the ranking (http://www.hec.gov.pk/new/QualityAssurance/Ranking_of_Universities.htm) to adjudge individual
departments and disciplines. "The ranking does not take into account the fact that some universities have many thousand
students while others cater to only a few hundred," says Inam Bari who teaches mass communication at the University of
Karachi. "Also, there should be no comparing the public sector universities with those in the private sector," he tells TNS by
telephone. "For instance, a public sector university may be charging as low as Rs 3000 per semester from a student whereas a
private one may be receiving many hundred thousand rupees in fees for a similar period of time. While the latter can
concentrate on quality, the former cannot because of resource constraints," he says. "The public sector universities cater to a
section of society different from the one that can afford private education."

Shafiq Ahmed, a teacher at the University of Punjab, takes the argument about distinction among universities forward by saying
that the HEC ranking should have also considered the size of an educational institution. "The University of Punjab has almost
70 departments and institutes but it is being compared with universities which offer higher education only in a few subjects," he
says.

It's mainly for this reason that Shafiq is highly critical of the ranking which puts his university one rung lower than the Quaid-e-
Azam University in Islamabad. But he has other concerns as well. "The Quaid-e-Azam University is a specialised institution
offering studies mainly in social sciences and some pure sciences. Its comparison with the University of Punjab, which offers a
range of subjects and disciplines from physics to Persian, is not justified."

Shafiq also believes the Quaid-e-Azam University got a better ranking because some of its institutes generate research funded
by resources not provided by the university. "This research is funded by the government to probe issues related to foreign
policy and strategic concerns." He says the vice-chancellor of the Punjab University would express his his reservations about
the ranking in a press statement, though the university administration could not confirm it.

U. A. Isani, vice-chancellor of private Iqra University and a former head of the HEC when it was still the University Grants
Commission, is another critic of the rankings. "It's not objective; it fails to tell which university runs the best department in a
certain discipline and it fails to give universities credit for being cost efficient," he tells TNS by telephone from Karachi. "A big
public sector university has a recurring annual expenditure of Rs 100,000 for a student. If another university is imparting
education for less than that, the HEC should have given it some extra points on this basis," says Isani.

The HEC acknowledges that most of the criticism of the ranking is inevitable, if not fully justified. "University rankings are
inherently controversial," says an entry posted on the commission's website. But the main reason it gives for the controversy is
different from those being offered by the ranking's critics. "The controversy associated with rankings essentially arises from the
question of whether the quality of universities can be precisely measured by numerical indicators."

The commission then goes on to explain why university rankings are still done the world over despite this inherent flaw. "This is
similar to the complaint of whether the quality of a student can be precisely measured by scores." So, if the "universities and
professors are continuing to score the performance of students without any significant changes" in the time-honoured
procedures, then there should be no trouble in assigning scores to the performance of the educational institutions, so goes the
HEC's argument.

That this is the first time in Pakistan that a university raking has been done and made public necessitates that people know its
whys and hows. This is how the HEC explains its rationale: "The primary purpose of the ranking exercise... is to share with the
General Public comprehensive data on the key issues that determine the state of higher education in a particular institution.
This information is being published to disseminate information on key indicators of higher education institutions in Pakistan to
allow students, parents and all other stake holders to make informed decisions on higher education institutions," says the
commission's website.

But it also cautions against taking the ranking as a final word on the state of higher education in Pakistan. "(Just as) students
are usually not judged by scores alone -- universities and potential employers tend to make sophisticated, independent
judgments... all readers should be cautious about any ranking, and should not completely rely on the ranking list as being
definitive. Instead, rankings are to be used simply as one kind of reference to assist in decision making processes."
This cautious approach apart, officials in the commission point out that they have taken meticulous measures to make the
ranking as objective as can be possible. "The process started in late 2003 when a Quality Assurance Committee was set up to
decide on the criteria for the ranking. This committee considered all the various criteria being used in the rest of the world and
after long deliberations came up with five quantifiable indicators for the purpose," says Dr Riaz Qureshi, an adviser of the
commission on learning innovation and quality assurance.
                                                                64
The indicators that the committee came up with are: students, faculty, facilities, research and finances. "Some other factors, like
student satisfaction and employer satisfaction which form a part of university ranking in the United States, were not considered
due to the peculiarity of Pakistani circumstances," says Dr Riaz Qureshi, in a telephone conversation with TNS.

Each of the five factors used in the ranking is assigned a weightage (maximum score) in calculating the ranking of a university
(students: 17, faculty: 27, facilities: 15, research: 26, finances: 15). The cumulative score for all the five factors is put at 100. But
this is not as simple as it sounds. The formula for calculating weightage of these factors is fairly complex and involves a lot of
number crunching. Within each factor, a number of sub-factors were assigned weightage. For instance, finances do not tell just
how much money a university has or needs. In fact, four sub-factors are considered in gauging the financial position of a
university (total points 15). These are: Money generated through own sources as percentage of total budget (2 points); money
spent on library and research as per cent of total budget (4 points); recurring expenditure per student (4 points) and non-
recurring expenditure per student (5 points).

After the criteria was finalised, the HEC sent the universities a questionaire to elicit data for the financial years 2001-2002,
2002-2003 and 2003-2004 about the five factors. "It was a tedious process. Some universities took more than a year to provide
the data which was not always correct, others were honest enough to admit that they had never gathered the statistics the
questionaire asked for," says Dr Riaz. It was because of these reasons that "the commission cross-checked this data and sent
its own teams to the universities to verify the statistics provided through the questionaire."
Quite deliberately, some universities were left out. "We have ranked only those universities which were given a charter before
2001. We have also excluded all those higher education institutions which do not fulfil basic minimum requirements, as
prescribed by the federal cabinet, to perform as such," explains Dr Riaz. This leaves out more than half of 116 or so universities
operating in the country

Collecting data is one thing but to come up with the ranking quite another. "The data collected through this exercise was
processed through the ranking methodology to obtain preliminary ranking lists for universities. The rankings generated through
this process were presented to the Ranking Board, a board of eminent educationists constituted by the Chairman of the HEC
under the directive of the Prime Minister, for final review and approval," is how the HEC explains the process on its website.
According to Dr Riaz, the board changed nothing except raising the weightage for faculty in ranking. "It has not been an
overnight process. It's not that some people have come up with this ranking in some secret meeting. It has been an open and
transparent process and we have all the data available with us for anyone to see."

When his attention is drawn to the fact that five heads of the universities being ranked are among the 11 members of the
Ranking Board as shown by a newspaper advertisement on September 29 issued by the HEC, he responds that some other
members of the board, like former State Bank of Pakistan governor Dr Ishrat Hussain, could not participate in the final meeting
of the board though they were part of the whole process. "The board contains enough number of people from sectors other
than education to make it credible."

Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, the HEC's member (Operations & Planning), says the critics of the ranking should not raise the issue of big
versus small universities. "The ranking gauges the quality, not the quantity." He also claims that the commission is already
working another ranking. "The current ranking is just a first step. Next we will rank individual departments within the universities
we have ranked now," he tells TNS and adds this is how it ideally should be. "Ranking departments is the ideal solution for the
people wanting to compare the teaching of one discipline at different institutions."

Dr Riaz says the HEC ranking is facing some criticism because it is the first of its kind, though he says it will not be the last. "It
will become an annual feature, covering almost all the universities in the country except, of course, for those which do not meet
the criteria for working as an institution of higher learning."
When that comes to pass, students like Waqas will have a better guide to choose the university that suits them best.
(By Muhammad Badar Alam, The News-25, 08/10/2006)



                                                    A ray of light in Orangi
Karachi: Initially, Aftab Alam used to teach the children of his neighbourhood, charging minimal amounts from them. After
encouragement from friends and family, he now runs his own school in sector 11 of Orangi Town. They suggested that by
starting a school of his own, not only will he be able take help from the expertise of his father, who had served as a government
teacher for 30 years, but would also be self-employed. An MSc in Economics, Aftab then approached the experts at Orangi
Pilot Project (OPP) who initially gave him a grant of Rs7000.
―I had a target of 50 children in mind but 153 children turned up in the school. I then realised the need for more money for which
I again contacted OPP and took an interest-free loan of Rs25,000 and bought the neighbourhood house and constructed more
rooms for the school. Now, I have 450 students and this year the first batch for class nine appeared in the board examination,‖
he said proudly.

Aftab‘s is one of the stories of different individuals who were well-guided and supported by experts at the OPP towards
achieving a more stable and secure method of earning. Unfortunately, this is an area of Karachi city where education started off
late. While half of the people of Karachi were far ahead in educational field, the residents of Orangi Town were busy fighting the
menaces of poverty and misery. Education came into this part of the city as late as 1995, when a group of friends initiated the
idea of ‗one room - one teacher‘ with the help of Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan - the main brain behind the concept of the OPP.
Since then, the organization has never looked back.

Initially, OPP started with the goal to facilitate individuals with small schools and private tuitions. Salma Mir, manager for
education affairs at OPP, said that at first ten schools were given the grant. ―Out of these, 10 schools failed to show the output
that left us with only three successfully running schools. Later, we looked into the reasons for the failure, and kept our focus firm
on just the three schools and made sure that children attended regularly,‖ said Salma.

When the schools showed positive signs, they were given some more help by OPP as the needs persisted. Some needed
money for construction of new rooms while others needed it for furniture and other necessities. The encouraging sign that came
forward was that people were including their own money and resources as well and not completely depending on help from
OPP.

Salma said that a fixed grant of Rs12000 was given to these new schools to improve their infrastructure as well as bring in the
necessary items required by schools. Keeping in view the sky high prices, the amount now has been increased to Rs15000.

                                                                  65
―Currently, the OPP is supporting 350 schools in Orangi, helping them not only financially but also providing technical help in
this regard. If they need more money other than the grant, they take an interest-free loan which can be taken just twice. After
that, they are supposed to pay interest,‖ elaborates Salma.

A majority of the schools being supported are private since the government ones have their own allocated funds. The average
amount of fee charged in these schools is around Rs150-200. With the arrival of schools within Orangi Town where children
can get basic education, the emphasis now shifts towards colleges within the area. ―For this we look towards the government
as this is not a job of just one individual.

The most that can be done with joint efforts of individuals and OPP is to set up good schools, but with the first stepping stone,
the government should move ahead with the plan of setting up colleges in Orangi. ―Many students have to travel to the nearby
colleges for further education after Matric,‖ said Salma.

Another challenge awaiting the school owners and the OPP is the quality of education and teachers in the operational schools.
The teachers that are recruited are mostly only educated up to the matric and intermediate levels. Those who are graduates
have other better options ahead of them. This, of course, leaves the schools with teachers who are not well qualified. ―We force
them to undergo the Teacher‘s Training Program under the OPP, which would equip them with modern techniques of teaching,‖
said Salma.
The deficiencies in these schools persist with the lack of facilities such as libraries, laboratories and playgrounds - the core
requirements for a good school. Furthermore, keeping in view all the possible social problems confronting the Orangi residents,
fee recovery is also a big problem at times. This, ultimately, further compromises the quality of education offered.

The OPP conducted a survey in 50 schools supported by it. They showed positive signs of improvement with an increasing
amount of primary schools moving towards the secondary level of education. Another ray of hope observed during the survey
came in the form of a rise in teachers taking up the teacher‘s training course at the OPP.

Mohammad Suleman Khan runs his own school Sunrise Public School in sector 16 of Orangi Town. He, too, took a grant from
the OPP for furniture and fitting a water tank. His school has more than 300 students and the 4th batch of class nine appeared
for the board exams this year. ―Who would give you even Rs10 in these times? If OPP is sincerely helping, individuals here
need to be sincere and cooperative in return.‖

In the end, such instances are a much-needed sign of progress, with individuals participating in activities aimed at betterment of
their own community. Conversely, however, it is disappointing to see the absence of support and recognition from the
government in this regard, especially while the need for government colleges still remains unfulfilled.
(By Sidra Rafique Gooda, The News-2, 09/10/2006)



                              Schools must not be run on commercial basis: CJ
ISLAMABAD, Oct 9: The Supreme Court has observed that private educational institutions can be of great help to the
government provided they are not run on commercial basis.
―The education sector should not be allowed to run on commercial basis,‖ Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed
on Monday during suo motu proceedings on complaints regarding high fee structures of different private schools.

One Rafiqul Islam of Faisalabad and some parents of students of CAS School Karachi had sent applications to the chief justice
inviting his attention to fees of these institutions.
―I can tell you there are certain schools in our country where there are only one or two teachers available for all students,‖ the
CJ observed, adding that there was also mushroom growth of private schools in bungalows or houses without proper
playgrounds or indoor games facilities.
The bench also appreciated the Sindh government initiative of enacting the Sindh Private Educational Institutions
Regularisation and Control Act 2003 to regulate private educational institutions.

Advocate General Sindh Anwar Mansoor Khan informed the court that directions had been issued to different schools to adhere
to the provisions of the law. He said it was in his knowledge that certain schools in the province did not have the subject of
Islamic Studies. He submitted that Section 6 of the act was aimed at regulating fee structure and checking ratio between fees
and salaries of teachers. He stated that his office was also cooperating with the provincial education ministry in implementation
of the law and issue of abnormal fee structures would soon be resolved.

Additional Advocate General Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Hussain submitted that the Punjab government had formed a
committee to examine relevant rules. He sought a copy of the Sindh government‘s law for guidance.
The court directed the Punjab government to take effective steps and file a report within four months.
Advocate General Balochistan Salahuddin Mengal submitted that he would recommend to the provincial government to
constitute a similar committee to look into the issue.

Advocate M Bilal representing the NWFP government sought time to examine existing provincial laws regulating educational
affairs in the province.

Deputy Attorney General Raja Irshad said he would file a statement on behalf of the federal government on the situation in
Islamabad.
(Dawn-3, 10/10/2006)



                                     SPLA criticises move to sell college land
KARACHI, Oct 11: The Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association has condemned Sindh education department authorities for
moving a summary to the chief minister to sell property worth millions of rupees of Govt Degree College, Shireen Jinnah
Colony, to a commercial organisation which is already running several schools in the city.
In a statement issued here on Wednesday, SPLA leaders Prof Syed Riaz Ahsan, Prof Liaquat Aziz Solangi, Prof Manzoor
Chishti, Prof Athar Mirza, Prof Agha Khalid and Prof Ayub Marri alleged that taking advantage of ban on teachers‘ unions and
associations, the education department was trying to deprive Karachiites of one more intermediate college.

                                                               66
They said that the same organisation had tried to purchase a building of public school in the past but the then secretary
education Nazar Muhammad Mahar had refused to do so and foiled an attempt to deprive students of a school building.

SPLA leaders alleged that Education Minister Dr Hamida Khuhro, who was taken on a visit to Turkey recently by the firm along
with Additional Secretary Mehboob Shaikh, and employees Hannan Shaikh, Abdul Qadir Junejo and Mahesh, agreed to sell the
college building for heavy commission and kickbacks.

According to them, the value of land was worth Rs200 million on which Govt Degree College Shireen Jinnah College was built
while the government spent Rs50 million over construction of the building.

The college was ready to grant admissions under centralised admission policy, they added.
They charged that the education minister was directly to blame for this scam as she got a report prepared from Karachi
Regional Office that there was no need for more colleges in the city although this year, D-graders were deprived of admissions
in science and commerce colleges due to lack of seats.

SPLA office-bearers urged chief minister, governor and chief secretary to take notice of the sale of educational institutions in
Karachi otherwise students and teachers would be compelled to initiate joint struggle against this illegal business.
(Dawn-18, 12/10/2006)



                                        Banker to the poor gets Peace Nobel
OSLO, Oct 13: Bangladeshi economist Mohammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded won the 2006 Nobel Peace
Prize on Friday for grassroots work to lift millions out of poverty that earned him the nickname ‗banker to the poor‘.
Mr Yunus, 66, set up a new kind of bank in 1976 to lend to the neediest, particularly women, in Bangladesh, enabling them to
start up small businesses without collateral.

In doing so, he pioneered microcredit, a system copied in more than 100 nations from the United States to Uganda. UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan, presidents and prime ministers hailed the award, the first Nobel Peace Prize to a Bangladeshi.
―Eradication of poverty can give you real peace,‖ Yunus told reporters at his home in Dhaka, after he won from a field of 191
candidates.
―Now the war against poverty will be further intensified across the world. It will consolidate the struggle against poverty through
microcredit in most of the countries,‖ he said. ―There should be no poverty, anywhere.‖

In awarding a prize more traditionally given to those who sign treaties to end wars or fight for human rights, the secretive five-
member Norwegian Nobel Committee said eliminating poverty was a path to peace and democracy.
(Dawn-1, 14/10/2006)



                                                   A true man of peace
"I work with real people in the real world. The night before a woman is going to get her thirty-five dollars from the bank, she will
be tossing and turning to decide whether she is really going to be able to repay the loan. Or scared that maybe something
terrible will happen to her. And then she holds the money and she will tremble and tears will roll down her cheeks and she won't
believe we would trust her with such a large amount of money.

Thirty-five dollars! And she struggles to pay that first instalment and the second instalment and she goes on for fifty weeks in
sequence and every time she is braver. And when she finished her last one, she can say, she did it. It's not just a monetary
transaction that has been completed. She felt she was nobody and she really did not exist. Now she can almost stand up and
challenge the whole world, shouting, 'I can do it, I can make it my own'".

Muhammad Yunus's Grameen Bank currently has 6.6 million clients, 97 per cent of whom are women in rural areas in some of
the poorest countries in the world. On Friday Yunus and his bank were awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Those women,
those dispossessed and hungry, are no longer passive agents in their own misery. They are success stories; proof to the world
that economic justice is possible and further proof that the economic fascism meted down by organisations such as the IMF and
the World Bank, whose conditions directly disenfranchise those whom they claim to be serving, is no longer sustainable nor
welcome among the poor of the developing world.

Allow me a brief comparison: Yunus, a professor of economics, made poverty elimination his business after the 1974
Bangladesh famine. His micro credit initiative was born out of his own pocket -- the Grameen Bank's unofficial first loan of $27
was given from Yunus to women in the Bangladeshi village of Jobra who were struggling to make and sell bamboo furniture.
The bamboo makers not only repaid Yunus but also made a profit of five Bangladeshi Taka -- less than 50 American cents. The
Grameen Bank was founded two years later and Yunus's work has been emulated through the Bank in over 20 countries
around the world.

Paul Wolfowitz, current president of the World Bank, made his mark in a significantly different manner. One of the architects of
the neo-conservative Bush foreign policy doctrine, Wolfowitz engineered America's illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. Wolfowitz's
war has so far, according to a report, cost the lives of 655,000 Iraqis. Released last week, the report claims that one in every
forty Iraqis has been killed since America launched it's monumentally criminal Operation Iraqi Freedom war plan three years
ago.

Wolfowitz had been writing and lobbying for a military engagement in Iraq since the early 1970s, the same time when half way
around his world Yunus was fighting for poverty alleviation and socio-economic justice -- true democracy. His resume continues
unabashedly -- in the 1980s Wolfowitz was America's ambassador Suharto's Indonesia, at the time reeling from the state's
atrocities in East Timor where tens of thousands of Timorese were killed in brutal army reprisals. Wolfowitz kept quiet. Jeffery
Winters, Northwestern's Professor of Indonesian studies summed up the Indonesia years by taking Wolfowitz's alleged
democratic allegiance to task "Indonesia's citizens across the spectrum had been struggling against authoritarian rule. They
had been tortured. They had been jailed. They had been ruined in various ways, and the Wolfowitz embassy didn't speak up for
them -- not once."


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In the 1990's Wolfowitz spoke against opening a dialogue between the United States government and the Palestinian
Liberation Organisation, in the aftermath of 9/11 he led his government in a plan to invade Afghanistan, and currently, his head
in the sand denying the gross human rights violations and brewing civil war in Iraq, Wolfowitz is under way with a new pet
project –-- 'liberating' Iran.

Wolfowitz's appointment to head the World Bank in 2005 was heralded by the Institute for Policy Studies as "a slap in the face,
it's a poke in the eye. It's bad for the international community in general, and particularly for people already pushed to the brink
in poor and marginalized communities," while Yunus's Grameen Bank has amazingly continued its efforts in redefining the
nature of sustainable socio-economic development.

The Bank has widened its scope from using credit as the most economically viable means of combating poverty, which it gives
without taking collateral of any kind, and has branched out to deal in-housing loans, financing for fisheries, giving grant money
to support literacy projects and education schemes and has a decidedly South Asian tinge towards the IT industry -- Grameen
Telecom is planning to bring cellular phones to 100 million rural Bangladeshis in 68,000 villages and has cyber and software
technology drives planned under Grameen Cybernet Ltd and Grameen Communications.

A previous Nobel Peace prize winner, Timorese Jose Ramos Horta, called Wolfowitz 'humane and sensitive'. The Nobel
committee has come a long way in the selection of its laureates. Not since Nelson Mandela's selection in the early 1990s has
such a deserving man been awarded the Peace Prize. Of course many other champions of peace and socio-political justice
have taken home the medal and prize money, but let's not forget that Henry Kissinger, Shimon Peres, and Yitzhak Rabin have
also walked away after being lauded as men of peace. Ten years ago in an interview Yunus said, "One day our children will go
to museums to see what poverty was like" -- today he is closer to ensuring that that dream and many others will be realised
within our lifetimes.
(By Fatima Bhutto, The News-6, 15/10/2006)



                                           How not to judge the universities
  A realistic, purpose-based ranking of the institutions of higher learning in Pakistan should look much different from the one
                                     issued recently by the Higher Education Commission

                                                    By Dr Noman Ahmed
The ranking profile of universities, released by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), is a classical example of comparing
apples with oranges. Involving a select group of faithful institutional heads, a half backed list of ranking was issued. Neither the
scope and purpose nor the terms of reference of this exercise was made known to the 'assessed' universities. The most
deplorable aspect of this assignment was the fact that few of the 'judges' apparently gave the top ranking to their own
institutions -- thus demolishing any trace of credibility and objectivity that such exercises normally possess.

The HEC has been trying to put this measure in practice since December 2003. It may be worthwhile to put on record that the
erstwhile University Grants Commission (UGC) had launched a rating proforma for all the public sector universities in the
country several years ago. But that proforma was found incongruent particularly by engineering and medical institutions. It only
focused on general academic standards without adequately recognising fields of specialisation. The HEC, while following its
spread out reform programme, has resurrected the process.

From whatever information that has been disclosed about this ranking exercise, the HEC wishes to take stock of the
performance of various universities through a loose ended process of self assessment. Whether this stock taking (or ranking)
shall in any way affect the ensuing policies of funds disbursement or correctional/remedial steps is not clear. It shall be
appropriate to review some of the vital aspects related to a ranking exercise pertinent to the Pakistani context.

Under normal circumstances, ranking is used as a tool to provide the performance measure of an institution on a comparative
scale. It is conventionally aimed at informing the stakeholders (and the society at large) about the status of various institutions,
empirical reasons behind the relatively better or worse performances, potential case studies for replication based on
success/good performance and a support instrument for the respective stakeholders to re-position their goals and strategies.
Universities and colleges, being the prime knowledge dissemination mechanisms, benefit greatly from such exercises.
But looking at the past performances of Pakistani universities and the endemic conditions that are all vital to be considered, a
careful approach for ranking must be worked out.

Unlike the universities in the United States or elsewhere in the developed world, the decision making by the prospective
students in Pakistan to join an institution is governed by very different considerations. It is not necessarily the academic merit or
performance of an academic institution that helps in making these choices. Public sector universities open admissions to
residents of the are they are located in. It is next to impossible for a student from Punjab to study in the University of Sindh or
vice versa. Well aware of this captive clientele, some of these universities do not attempt to enhance their academic potential.
The post-degree employability which is confined to some disciplines is also a very important consideration. The disciplines
which are in market demand are chosen, even if the quality of their instruction or research is not up to the mark. For this reason
many well performing departments in social sciences and humanities are not able to attract bright students. On the contrary,
computer and information technology or telecommunications related departments are flocked by hundreds -- certainly not
always due to the overall teaching quality in those disciplines. This factor becomes a prominent characteristic in labeling a
'good' and 'not so good' academic institution. For instance, a department teaching a regional language is looked down upon,
irrespective of its teaching and research capabilities.

Often research by the university departments and faculty members is conventionally mentioned as a yardstick in ranking.
Practically, it is an absolutely grey area to be applied for judging their performance. A convenient medium to judge this attribute
is to count the number of papers published in journals. The faculty members usually find the easy way out. They limit to the
bare minimum level of publications to obtain promotion or appointment in a higher grade. In some cases these publications are
merely restricted to their doctoral or masters thesis reports. The faculty never bothers to take interest in new research work
once their mandatory requirement of publications is met. If a review of PhD holders in Pakistan and their status of publications
is separately conducted, it is likely to paint a very bleak scene. Self motivation towards research does not make a determinant
in any of these assessments. Avenues for research funding are also limited to select areas.

A lot of emphasis is laid on self-assessment in ranking exercises. But the criteria of self-assessment need to be thought about
carefully. In a culture where boasting about the non-accomplished feats is a common practice, it is possible that these

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exercises may not generate the expected results. Some form of peer review with properly laid down parameters is an important
pre-requisite. This review must remain objective, neutral and task oriented -- an uphill task indeed. The only possibility to make
it happen is to initially detach the determination of ranking status from the various administrative decisions. The exercise should
constitute a process that leads to avenues of improvement in a pro-active and constructive manner.

Needless to say that the ranking exercise that has been unveiled by HEC has done more harm than good. It needs to be
revisited. It may be worthwhile at this juncture of time to develop a rational method of ranking the universities, based on a
realistic and purpose-oriented criteria (see table above). The objectives of the ranking process must be clearly spelled out to
generate consensus among the universities. The Vice-Chancellors Conference under the HEC auspices may be a good
launching platform for the purpose. Thereafter, a draft document prepared through such an exercise, may be sent to all the
participating universities for the consideration of their academic councils and boards. The determination of ranking must
comprise teaching, research, publications academic services and interface with industry/market/society. The statutes governing
the routine functioning of each university/institution possess a well formed set of rules and regulations. The prescriptions for
performance determination are clearly laid down in them. Every university may be encouraged to come up with a self-
assessment report covering the aspects given in its own statutes. External support for detailed review and analysis may be
sought whenever required. But the aim of external input must be largely kept as proactive to help the concerned
university/institution take correctional steps.

It may be pragmatically hoped that the ranking done on the basis of above-mentioned formula is used as a baseline study in
order to review the condition and performance of the universities. This should help identify common problems of all the
universities as well as specific problems as observed by individual institutions. This strategy can evolve a support criteria for the
universities to assess whether they need any help to improve their ranking.
(By Dr. Noman Ahmed, The News-Policy III, 15/10/2006)



                                       Six-member body for VCs appointment
KARACHI: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan on Saturday constituted a six-member ―search committee‖ for selection of
suitable persons for appointment as Vice Chancellors/Directors of public sector universities/degree awarding institutes in the
province.
The Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi, Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, was appointed as convenor of the committee by
the governor.

Other members of the committee include Dr SM Qureshi Chairman Sindh Chatered Inspection and Evaluation Committee,
Rector International Islamic University Islamabad Dr Zahoor Ahmed, Advisor COMSATS Islamabad AQ Mughal and Vice
Chancellor Dow University of Health Sciences Dr Masood Hameed.

Principal Secretary to Sindh Governor Muhammad Salim Khan would act as ex-officio member/secretary of the committee. The
terms of the reference for the committee are to advertise the post of the Vice Chancellor/Director as and when required, short
list and interview the candidates, forward a panel of three names to the chancellor (governor) for consideration.
(The News-4, 15/10/2006)



                                                    Banking for the poor
In 1974 a young Economics professor of Chittagong University had just returned from the US after his doctorate in an exoteric
topic when the famine struck Bangladesh. He approached the people of a village near the University as to how he could help
them and discovered that their biggest problem was that they were so heavily indebted to the moneylenders that they had
almost lost their freedom of individual action. The moneylenders were charging exorbitant rates of interest that were multiplying
the outstanding amount exponentially beyond the paying capacity of the poor villagers. He offered to provide his own personal
funds to them so that they could pay off the moneylenders. Professor Yunus felt that this was a kind of donation from him to get
the villagers out of an adverse situation. To his utter surprise, he found that the villagers paid back the full amount to him. This
experience led him to think that the poor were better borrowers and the loans extended to then were relatively safe and secure.
Unlike the influentials they were in no position to delay a default on their loans because if they did so they would be cut off from
access to funds in the future and this will destroy their earning capacity.

The question that arose in Professor Yunus‘s mind was as how to persuade the bankers to replicate this limited experience of
one village without requiring any collateral – the standard recipe of conventional banking. With the help of his students he
experimented with the idea of creating a new type of agricultural cooperative – Three share farm. The landlords would
contribute the use of their land during the dry season, share croppers their labor and Professor Yunus the cost of running the
deep tube wells. But in this experiment he realized that the widows, divorces or abandoned women with children to feed were
too poor to be even share croppers. They were landless and assetless and without hope.

So Professor Yunus turned his attention towards this group of the poorest of the poor – the women. He took out a loan of $ 300
from a state – owned bank on his personal guarantee in December 1976 and the Grameen Bank was born.

The rest is history. From a zero base in 1976 the Microcredit movement has reached out to more than 100 million people in the
developing world. Bangladesh itself has 22 million borrowers and a number of non-governmental organizations are spread over
every nook and corner of the rural areas of Bangladesh providing the credit. Grameen, BRAC and ASA are the three largest
providers of microcredit, schooling, health facilities, water supply etc. to the rural poor. Their network and impact are much
greater than the government. While political bickerings and rivalries, frequent hartals and other similar disruptive activities have
preoccupied the successive governments in Bangladesh the civil society drawing upon the innovative work of Professor Yunus
has taken upon itself the challenge to alleviate poverty and made impressive headway.

Grameen and Professor Yunus‘s work has shattered some popular myths about banking. Unlike the rich, the poor particularly
women are more reliable and better credit risk. The banks do not have to reply upon collateral and securities as the only tool to
recover their loans. A knowledge of the borrowers‘ needs, staying close to them, monitoring their performance and helping
them out when the conditions turn adverse are the critical success factors for ensuring almost 100% recovery. Litigation and
chasing the borrowers in the courts for executing the decrees and realizing the securities are counterproductive.


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Doesn‘t this monitoring impose higher costs upon the banks for lending to the poor? It sure does. Grameen Bank has charged
20% from its poorest of the poor borrowers and all successful microfinance institutions (MFIs) such as Bank Rakyat of Inonesia
have lending rates much higher than offered by the conventional banks. But the record speaks for itself. The non-performing
loans or defaults among MFIs are among the lowest. Politicians all over the world make rhetorical speeches blaming MFIs that
they are charging more from the poor than the conventional bankers charge from well to do commercial borrowers. Little do
they realize that for the poor it is not the pricing but access to credit that is the main problem.

What is the alternative available to them? The poor cannot borrow from commercial banks because they have no collateral to
borrow.
They can only resort to moneylenders or arhthis (middlemen) who extract their pound of flesh and turn them into virtual
servitude with the principal amount outstanding for ever while exorbitant interest rate of 50-60% exhaust the entire installment
payments made by the borrower.

While the MFIs charge 20% which is higher than the average lending rate prevailing for the commercial borrowers this is the
best option available to them.
The sooner our policy makers and politicians understand that it is not the pricing of loans that is the main culprit but the
preferential practices of commercial banks for people with property, steady income, land or factory or other assets that keeps
the poor away from the banks. Microfinance institutions modeled after Grameen Bank are the only viable solution for catering to
the credit needs of the poor.

Pakistan is a late starter in this field but the growth and demand for credit by the poor have been impressive.
Pakistan is one of the pioneers that has brought Microcredit under the regulatory and supervisory ambit of the State Bank of
Pakistan. This ensures that the savings and deposits of the poor in the MFIs remain secure and the activities of the MFIs are
carried out under the vigilant eyes of the regulator.

No charlatans or fly-by-nights can now enter microfinance and take the poor for a ride because of the stringent licensing
requirements required by the State Bank.

Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Khushali Bank, Rural Support Programs and Kashf Foundation are some of the leading
players in microfinance in Pakistan today but the out reach so far is only 600,000 out of a potential client base of 6 million
households. We have a long way to go but Professor Yunus has shown us the way.
There couldn‘t be a better person to deserve the Noble prize for poverty alleviation than him. We in Pakistan should be
particularly proud of him because he is a friend, guide and mentor for most of us working in this field.
The writer, former Governor, State Bank of Pakistan is currently Chairman, Kashf Foundation, a non-governmental organization
based in Lahore providing microfinance to poor women.
(By Dr. Ishrat Husain, Dawn-1, 15/10/2006)



                               Law to protect women’s rights to housing urged
ISLAMABAD, Oct 15: Concerted efforts are needed to improve the lot of rural women by strengthening national, legal and
policy frameworks for protecting women‘s rights to adequate housing, land and inheritance, and ensuring non-discrimination
and gender equality.
These suggestions are part of the recommendations made by UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Miloon Kothari,
released by the Women‘s World Summit Foundation on the occasion of World Rural Women Day observed on October 15.

Dogged by stifling age-old traditions and outdated socio- economic system, the women living in rural areas of Pakistan are still
living in stone-ages with lack of access to education, better health facilities and denial of their basic rights. They are even
subjected to sexual and economic exploitation, most of which remains obscured and hidden behind the smoke-screen of our
feudal system.
Their miserable state has been further exacerbated by draconian laws such as Hudood Ordinances. Pakistani women have a
long way to go in achieving rights recognised by world women and human rights organisations and watchdogs.

Despite the fact that women play a major role in agricultural production in rural areas, their own condition remains miserable as
they are forced to live in abject poverty.

Keeping in view this scenario, the recommendations made by the UN rapporteur need to be implemented in letter and spirit.
In this regard, Mr Kothari has stressed ensuring both at the policy and legislative levels, harmonisation between provisions in
international human rights instruments and religious and customary law and practices in relation to women‘s equal rights to
housing, land, property and inheritance.

The UN rapporteur called for developing gender-sensitive housing policies and legislation, taking into account the situations of
specific groups of women who are particularly vulnerable to hopelessness and other housing rights violations due to multiple
forms of discrimination.
He also stressed enhancing rural women‘s access to affordable utilities such as water, electricity and heating, as well as access
to education, employment and health facilities.
It was also recommended to prevent, investigate and punish acts of violence against women, given the link between violence
against women and women‘s adequate housing.

Another recommendation was to introduce anti-violence provisions in housing legislation and policies, and ensuring that
domestic violence laws include provisions to protect women‘s right to adequate housing.

The UN rapporteur also stressed that homeless women should not be discriminated against in accessing adequate housing on
the grounds of a criminal record.
―Each year for the past 10 years, WWSF raises awareness about the importance of your contributions to sustainable
development, household food security and peace, and to finding creative ways to promote your basic human rights,‖ says the
World Women Summit Foundation in an open letter released on the occasion of World Rural Women Day.

This year‘s theme ‗claim your fundamental, inalienable right to adequate housing‘, is another right women are entitled to, the
letter says.


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It is estimated that about 1.2 billion people in developing countries do not have access to drinking water; 1.8 billion people live
without access to adequate sanitation, and 1 billion live in inadequate housing, with over 100 million living in conditions
classified as homelessness.
―This is totally unacceptable in a world as prosperous as ours where close to $1,000 billion are spent every year on defence. A
mere fraction of this could build adequate housing for all‖, the letter says.

The women‘s right to adequate housing, as an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of all human rights, has been
recognised, implicitly and explicitly in a range of international and regional human rights instruments.

Given the importance of housing in our lives, the distinctive relationship between women and housing and the fact that for many
women worldwide, home is their primary sphere of activity, placing women at the centre of housing rights is indispensable in
enabling significant change.
(By Zeeshan Qamar Sheikh, Dawn-2, 16/10/2006)



                                  Drastic steps needed to save schools in SITE
KARACHI, Oct 16: The standard of education has started falling with each passing day and as a result the number of students
in many institutions has decreased at an alarming rate.
During visits to some government secondary and lower secondary schools in SITE Town, it was observed that only drastic
steps by officials could save the schools from closure.

According to school teachers, ever increasing corruption, poor infrastructure, shortage of staff and mushroom growth of private
schools in every nook and corner of the city are some of the major factors contributing to the disappointing situation.
They say that the education department seemed least interested in solving the problems. Had the officials ever inspected the
schools during assembly hours and counted the students in classrooms, many schools might have been declared closed so far.

Teachers are of the opinion that the situation would improve if the government effectively implemented the rules and purged the
education department from the corrupt elements. They demand the government to order probe into the funds allocated every
year for maintenance of infrastructure and development.

The survey shows that there are 26 high schools in the eight union councils of SITE Town. However, the schools have not been
established on the basis of area-wise population. There are six high schools each in UC-2 and UC-4. Similarly, UC-3, 5 and 8
have two schools each. UC-1 has four high schools and UC-6 has three while there is only one high school in UC-7.

The government boys‘ secondary school, Asifabad (UC-1), speaks volume of official negligence and indifferent attitude of the
education department. Situated in Pak Colony, the school has 10 spacious rooms without furniture. Ironically, there are three
teachers for the students, who are yet to get admission as the school has no student enrolled at present. Teachers say that
there is no other staff available.

Wiring of the entire building has been stolen. Almost all doors and windows have been hollowed by termites. There is neither
water nor electricity.

In the same compound, government boys‘ lower secondary school is located. The school has three classrooms for 60 students.
The headmistress said that at present there are three teachers available at the school. She said that the posts of Sindhi
language teacher, Arabic teacher, watchman, drawing master and sweeper were lying vacant, while the peon had been
detailed somewhere else. Water and electricity facilities are next to nil.
Iron grills, stove, and water tank have been stolen adding that there was a shortage of furniture.

Instead of paying proper attention to improve these schools, the education department opened six new primary schools at the
same location with a distance of only a boundary wall. These schools are GBPS Asifabad, GBPS Asifabad Colony, GBPS
Jamia Masjid Hari Wilayatabad, GGPS Asifabad No 2 (morning), GGPS Asifabad No 1 (afternoon) and GBPS Rehmania
(afternoon). All these schools lack water and toilet facilities. Electricity has been drawn through the illegal hook. School
teachers say, ―The supervisors inspect the schools just to register their visits, as their grievances were hardly redressed.‖

The Govt Boys High School, Bunde Ali Mukhi, Golimar was once a popular centre of learning. However, owing to official
neglect, its condition is deteriorating day by day.

It is surprising to note that there are 16 teachers for only 18 students presently enrolled at the school. When the headmistress
was asked about the decreasing number of students, she refused to give any details.
The school lacks water and toilet facilities. Neither there is power supply nor any fan.

The Govt Boys High School, Crescent Grammar, has 22 teachers for 200 students. Situated in UC-3, the school has been
functioning in a rented building without water and toilet facilities. Teachers said that the school was located in a congested area
where people had no other option and stressed the need on early supply of water and construction of the toilets, adding that
their repeated requests in this regard had proved useless.

The school having 10 classrooms gets power supply through an illegally hooked connection. Heaps of garbage is seen
everywhere in the corridors and stairs, as the post of sweeper has been lying vacant since long.

The Govt Girls Model High School, located in UC-4, has 238 students and 22 teachers. The spacious building consists of 16
classrooms.
The headmistress said that contaminated water was being supplied to the school. She said that ceiling fans were required for
the classrooms. A computer teaching programme had been started but it could not be continued as majority of the students
refused to pay the monthly fee of Rs150.

She said that the parking of loaded trucks and movement of the labourers in front of the school was a constant problem for the
students and teachers as well. ―Once a student was crushed under the wheels of a truck, but the owners of the factories
despite our requests did not stop parking the trucks in front of the school‖, she complained.

The Govt Girls High School, KB Contractor, located in old Golimar UC-2, has 14 teachers for 400 students.

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The headmistress said that eight posts including that of biology teacher and PTI were vacant. She demanded posting of at least
four teachers on emergency basis. She further said that six more ceiling fans were required at the school. Besides, the
construction of overhead water tank and repair of furniture was also needed.
She said that eight computers, five fans, water nulls, iron grills had been stolen. She said that during the last 10 years 25 theft
cases had been recorded, but the police despite reports had not arrested the accused yet.

The Govt Girls High School, ST-1, is located in Asifabad UC-2, where 436 students are enrolled. There are 15 teachers in all
excluding Sindhi language teacher. The school lacks water, power and toilet facilities.

The Govt Girls High School, ST-3, has 10 teachers for 154 students. The posts of Sindhi language teacher, peon, lady servant,
and watchman have been vacant since long. Fans have been stolen while the limited furniture needs repair. The supply of free
textbooks as promised by the government has not been ensured.

The only high school for girls located in UC-7, Pathan Colony, has nine teachers for 182 students. The posts of biology,
mathematics, Sindhi, physics teachers, a sweeper and a peon are lying vacant. The science lab needs equipment and an
attendant. ―At least six more teachers are required,‖ the headmistress said. The free books for the matric classes have not been
provided so far.

The Govt Girls High School, located in UC-8 (Qasba Mor), has 19 teachers for 1132 students.
The school has only six classrooms while nine rooms have been temporarily acquired from the government boys high school,
which is situated in the same compound. The school has no teacher for mathematics, English and general science subjects.
Water and toilet facilities are next to nil. There is a dearth of furniture and students are required to bring mats from home for
seating purpose. The overcrowded classes lack fans.

The science lab has been set up in a small room where students hardly find space to stand while doing their experiments. The
science teacher said, ―We have to purchase them from our own pockets.‖

Electricity has been drawn through an illegal hook, which is limited only to the headmistress office.

The boundary wall has collapsed and the school building has developed cracks. The headmistress said that computer classes
had been started, but could not be continued as the students refused to pay the monthly fee Rs30.

The Govt Boys High School (Qasba) is also situated along the girls high school, where 10 other primary schools and a lower
secondary school are functioning.

The GBHS has 11 teachers for 270 students. It is a two-storey building, where water is available, but the sewerage system has
failed owing to which toilets could not be used. Electricity has been drawn through an illegal hook. Two of the nine class rooms
(6th and 7th) have no furniture at all, where the students use mats, while in the rest of classrooms too the furniture needs
repairs.

The principal told Dawn that that the posts of Arabic, Sindhi language and science teachers had been vacant since long.

A teacher said that the statement of new expenditures (SNE) of the science room was yet to be approved, where the chemicals
for experiment purposes were arranged on self-help basis.

A source in education department disclosed that a piece of land had been acquired in the past for establishment of a college
near the two high schools, but the idea fell prey to politics and a portion of the land was occupied by area influentials.

The Govt Girls Lower Secondary School has four teachers and 40 students.

Electricity has been drawn through an illegal hook. The boundary wall collapsed during the monsoon rains.

The Govt Boys Secondary School, Hasrat Mohani Colony (Bara Board), has seven teachers at present while two teachers have
been detailed somewhere else. The number of students is 410.

The headmaster told Dawn that seven posts of teachers including Sindhi language teacher, Arabic teacher and science
teachers were vacant, adding that two posts of clerks and one of a sweeper were also vacant. Water and toilets facilities are
not available.

A teacher pointed out that the science laboratory was lacking the chemicals and other experimental equipments. It was
informed that Rs55,000 had been paid to the KESC for installation of power meter but the meter could not be installed even
after two years.

The Govt Girls Secondary School, Hasrat Mohani Colony, has nine teachers for 300 students. The facilities of water, electricity
and toilets are next to nil. The furniture is also in poor condition and needs repair.

The Govt Girls Secondary School, ST-5, (Yasir Zubair Colony) has 19 teachers except Sindhi language and Arabic teachers.
There are 340 students in 11 classrooms. The posts of sweeper, female servant and peon have been vacant.

The headmistress said that the ceiling fans had been out of order since long, adding that at least 22 fans for classrooms were
required. She said that due to shortage of teachers and other facilities no new admission was given.

Teachers say that the areas of Qasba, Asifabad, Hasrat Mohani, and Yasir Zubair colonies have many schools from primary to
secondary level, but there was no college for girls. It was suggested that girls colleges should be established in Qasba and
Asifabad.

The Govt Boys Lower Secondary School, situated at Bawani Challi, (UC- 4) has six teachers. There are three rooms for 55
students. The new admissions reported till Sept 26 were 28. Electricity has been drawn through an illegal hook, while the
furniture is insufficient and needs repairs. There is no water and toilet facility. The headmaster said that three ceiling fans were
required for the classrooms.
(By Ali Hazrat Bacha, Dawn-18, 17/10/2006)

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                                               Who is to educate our youth?

                                                       By Zubeida Mustafa
LAST Friday Prof Muhammad Yunus, nicknamed the banker for the poor from Bangladesh, was nominated for the Nobel Peace
Prize 2006. It is an honour that he and the Grameen Bank, the institution he founded, fully deserve.
Though it has not been generally noted, Prof Yunus has moved on from his original initiative of providing easily accessible
micro credit without collateral to the poor, especially the doubly oppressed — that is the women.

Now he has postulated his theory of the social entrepreneur (SE) becoming a social business entrepreneur (SBE) to make his
projects self-reliant.

Prof Yunus is critical of the market (which we call the private sector). He describes it as ―an exclusive playground of the
personal gain seekers‖ who ―overwhelmingly ignore the common interest of the communities and the world as a whole‖.
He sounds the alarm bell when he warns that with the dizzying speed of expansion of the economies, with personal wealth
reaching unimaginable heights, globalisation threatens to wipe out the weak and the poor.

But he appears to have accepted the fact that the marketplace is there to stay. Hence he proposes an approach to avoid this
catastrophe: recognise the role of the social entrepreneur who is social-objective driven. Prof Yunus starts from the premise
that the SEs are not interested in profit maximisation. ―They are totally committed to make a difference to the world and give a
better chance in life to other people,‖ he observes.

According to him, these entrepreneurs seek to achieve their objectives by creating sustainable business enterprises. They thus
emerge as social business entrepreneurs (SBE) which is a moment worth celebrating since they have overcome, what he calls,
―the gravitational force of financial dependence‖ and moved from the world of philanthropy to the world of business.

The social business enterprise will strive for profits but the qualifying factor will be its over-arching social goal.

Prof Yunus has already put his philosophy into action. The Grameen Bank has 20 companies in its network and now it has
entered into a joint business venture with the French food giant, Danone, that had a sale of $16 billion in 2005. Prof Yunus says
he will use the prize money to finance this project.

Can the Nobel laureate‘s ideas be implanted in Pakistan‘s conditions? This should be food for thought especially at a time when
the thrust is towards entrusting the private sector with the responsibility of fulfilling the social needs of the people. Take the
education sector. A few days before the Nobel prize was announced, the federal minister of education released the findings of
the first national education census held in 2005.
This sheds interesting light on the division between the public and the private sectors of the responsibility of educating
Pakistan‘s youth. Of the 245,682 institutions covered by the survey, 81,103 (33 per cent) were found to be in the private sector.
In other words, the government is rapidly moving towards its goal of shifting the load of education to the private sector.

Significantly, the pattern of ownership of educational institutions that emerges from the census is also somewhat worrying. The
institutions in the private sector are not evenly spread out at all levels.
Thus the private sector has more schools at the secondary and middle levels (61 per cent) than the government has. Again the
private sector operates more technical, vocational and professional institutions, such as polytechnics and monotechnics, (70
per cent) than the government is running.

Obviously, the private entrepreneurs are investing their money where the profit is. These institutions are the ones that teach the
skills which make a person employable. Hence they are in greater demand. Since ours is now a market driven society, people
wishing to enrol in these institutions have to pay the relatively high fees demanded by them.

A comparison between the private and public sector institutions at any level finds that as a rule the private schools/colleges and
universities impart education of a better academic standard.
The paradox in the situation is that the government is spending a hefty sum per capita — more than the private sector — on the
poor quality education it is imparting to the masses. Thus the government‘s expenditure is calculated to be Rs9,746 per head
on educating 21.258 million students from the primary to the post-graduate and professional levels.

The private sector‘s expenditure is more difficult to calculate because, as the census document states, 9,000 institutions did not
provide the financial information (for reasons of tax evasion?). But according to a rough estimate the private sector spends
Rs8,940 per head to educate 12.121 million students.

Yet the private institutions are performing better. They have more accountability and the parents feel that they get a hearing
and their complaints are addressed.
A mother from the low-income class who withdrew her children from a government school in Korangi and had them enrolled in
a private school in the same locality said that in the government institution the headmaster/class teacher was not even present
to listen to what she had to say.

It is also felt that the private institutions have a more effective administration and are relatively efficient in their working. Since
they are result oriented, the teachers and the management are more focused and motivated.

Even though they operate in a sellers‘ market and face little competition, they have to show a reasonably good track record to
attract their clientele.

These advantages notwithstanding, the private sector institutions, barring a few noble exceptions, exhibit the typical
characteristics of an entrepreneur operating in a free market. Their fiscal management is directed towards maximising profits.
They stretch each rupee to by charging relatively high fees and in many cases exploit the teachers. The high fees make many
private institutions unaffordable for the masses.

On the contrary, in the public sector educational institutions the fees are a nominal Rs 10 or so a month and the teachers are
not under so much pressure. If anything, those who are not too conscientious take advantage of the lack of effective monitoring
and many of them actually become partners in the corruption that is rampant in the education departments. Where school
management boards exist their role is not very effective. Small wonder the education authorities have failed to deliver in spite of
their massive spending.

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The census reports that 12,737 institutions in the public sector are ―non-functional‖. This is not a small number. The biggest
failure of our education managers has been their inability to motivate the teachers and sustain their motivation to put in their
best performance.
In this dichotomy between the private and the public sector, it may not be easy to find a solution that protects the interest of the
user. As Prof Muhammad Yunus observes, ―The market is always considered to be an utterly incapable institution to address
social problems. To the contrary, the market is recognised as an institution significantly contributing to creating social problems.

Since the market has no capacity to solve social problems, this responsibility is handed over to the state. This arrangement ...
did not last long... we are back to the artificial division of work between the market and the state.‖ This is what has happened in
Pakistan as the education census amply demonstrates.

Are we ready to introduce Prof Yunus‘s revolutionary concept of the social business entrepreneur in Pakistan? The problem is
that the worlds of philanthropy and of business are so far apart in this country that they do not meet institutionally. The social
entrepreneurs depend on public donations to sustain their enterprises.

Many big businesses donate to them generously. But this relationship is an ad hoc one. The government has now been
encouraging the corporate sector to donate at least one per cent of its pre-tax profit to philanthropy.
Can we ever hope that the private schools that make hefty profits will divert a substantial share of their profits to set up
institutions that charge modest fees to impart high class education to the children of the poor and impart equally good education
to them?
(By Zubeida Mustafa, Dawn-7, 18/10/2006)



                                        Lal Haveli offered to women varsity:
                                      Turning heritage buildings into varsities
RAWALPINDI, Oct 18: The Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) added another jewel of a building to its present historic
Sri Nivaas location on Wednesday when the city‘s star politician Sheikh Rashid Ahmed secured it propriety rights over the
Soojan Singh Haveli situated in Bhabra Bazaar.

―I am ready to will my portion of Lal Haveli, to which I am greatly attached, to the university also,‖ declared the self- proclaimed
―Son of Rawalpindi‖ at the documents handing over ceremony. The Haveli was symbolically handed over to the university by
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in April.

FJWU Vice Chancellor Dr Najma Najam received the documents.

Sheikh Rashid owns 19 portions of Lal Haveli which served as the centre of gravity of his political power. He hoped to persuade
other occupants of the Haveli to part with their possessions like him, and promised them compensation.

Apparently the city‘s prodigal son was in a giving mood as he also announced a grant of Rs50 million for the rehabilitation of the
old Soojan Singh Haveli and asked Dr Najam to start repair work on its decaying parts.
―It would be a landmark educational institution‖, he remarked.

Located in thickly populated Bhabra Bazaar, the Haveli would be named as ‗City Campus‘ of the university that would house
schools of Islamic teaching, culture, heritage, arts, architecture and jewellry design in addition to fine arts.

A number of students, however, feared that congestion surrounding the Haveli would be a major problem for their smooth
passage to the City Campus.

The railways minister, a close aide of Pervez Musharraf, said that another building of historical significance located in Bagh
Sardaran would also be given to the university, and pledged to use his influence in the federal and provincial governments. If he
succeeds, the three historical buildings of Rawalpindi would come under the custodianship of Fatima Jinnah Women University.
The minister said he wanted the city to be known as a centre of learning and vowed to open colleges for girls in all ‗Dhokes‘ (old
villages).

In this connection, he said Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Illahi would inaugurate a postgraduate college for girls at Dhoke
Matkal after Eidul Fitr.

About Lal Haveli, Shaikh Rashid disclosed that he had declined an offer by famous Indian film producer Mahesh Bhutt to use it
for one of his films.

Shehla Shams, a student of the university who has written a thesis on the Haveli, said all the three buildings are significant for
the city. These buildings not only reflect traditional architecture of this region but also reveal the colourful history of the city.
Ms Shams further writes that the Soojjan Singh Haveli was initially built as a residence for the Rai Bahadur‘s family but then it
was given to the Sikh generals to be used as a residential headquarters. It is a two-storied building with two viewing decks on
the third and fourth floors that were probably built as lookout posts by Sikh soldiers in the 19th century.

Made from brick and timber, the Haveli reflects traditional building styles of the Sikhs of that era.
The timber used was local and must have been easily procured since the Singh family had a flourishing timber business. The
iron used in the pillars and embellishments of the doorways was imported from UK.

One thing that stands out about this building is that the staircase remains the same from the ground floor up to the fourth floor.
The embellishments of the Haveli borrow a lot from Central Asian and European architectures. One finds intricately carved
wooden false ceilings on the first floor. The pattern on the panels is clearly Central Asian and follows the same patterns as the
Sethi Mohallas in Peshawar.

There are two parts of the Haveli, one being completely damaged. The roofs have caved in at some places. The haveli requires
extensive restoration and renovation and to restore it to its original glory.
(By Amin Ahmed and Khalil Ahmad, Dawn-2, 19/10/2006)



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                                   Govt urged to provide security to minorities
KARACHI, Oct 19: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has urged the authorities to provide safety and security to a
large number of minority Hindu community members who were being forcibly evicted from their homes in a residential
compound in Lyari.
A report of the HRCP‘s fact-finding team says that not only the minorities were being evicted, but a temple in the century old
Hindu community compound, located opposite the Kakri Ground, had been taken over by a Pir whose disciples claim that the
temple used to be a mosque before.

The HRCP report says that over 100 Hindu families used to live in the compound, which also has a Lord Shiva Temple,
constructed in 1901. After the partition, this compound was exclusively earmarked for Hindus by the Government of Sindh
under the Evacuee Property Act 1957.

The Hindu residents of the compound were paying rent to Pakistan government under an 1958 agreement which is
administered under the auspices of the Evacuee Property Act 1957. The Act prohibits a person(s) who was granted a land,
from selling it. The land grabbers, with the help of Baghdadi police, Lyari Town, had been forcibly evicting residents in that
compound. As a result, only 35 families had been left.

A local minority councillor who tried to raise the issue with the local government as well as with the chief minister, has been
harassed by police, the report says.
The HRCP‘s team comprised Ejaz Ahsan, Asad Iqbal, Amarnath Motumal, Abdul Hai and others.
(Dawn-18, 20/10/2006)



                       Free education plan falls prey to lack of amenities in schools
KARACHI, Oct 22: The government‘s policy of free education has largely encouraged the poor to send their children to schools,
but long standing problems like shortage of staff, classrooms, furniture and other basic facilities at the schools have only
aggravated the situation.

The secondary schools located in Orangi Town are not an exception. Even the decades old schools are running short of staff
and other basic requirements. Though the government has stopped charging admission fee and started providing textbooks
free of cost to students up to secondary level, owing to lack of proper facilities at these schools the number of students could
not be increased.

Schoolteachers say that increasing the number of students means to multiply the problems for themselves. They admit that the
government‘s policy of free education has encouraged the poor to send their children to the schools, but it is impossible for
school administrations to accommodate them. It was for this reason that majority of schools avoid offering new admissions.

During a survey, it was observed that the secondary schools of Orangi while facing the shortage of teachers or classrooms
have planned to accommodate students of different classes in one room. Teaching students of different classes in one room
appears more like a public meeting. The classrooms are not spacious in all the schools to bifurcate the classes and in such a
situation the quality of education is hard to be maintained. Non-availability or shortage of basic requirements like water,
electricity, furniture and lab equipment are common grievances of students and teachers.

The government provides a limited fund to the schools through the Schools Management Committees or Parents Teachers
Association for meeting the urgent expenditures and maintenance of minor nature every year, but very few school heads are in
a position to show where the funds were used.

Teachers suggest that honest officials should be assigned duties to probe into the mismanagement of funds and exemplary
action should be taken against all those involved in the malpractices.

Opposing transfers and postings on political grounds, they mention that those having a political influence can have posting at
any station of their choice. Apparently, the most affected are the female teachers because majority of them have to travel to far
away stations. On this pretext, teachers come to the schools at least an hour late.

When this reporter visited the Govt Boys Secondary School, Aligarh Colony, on Friday at 10.50am, about 30 students and a
watchman were present but none of the teachers had come. Students played cricket and left the school following which the
watchman closed the main gate.

The Govt Girls‘ Secondary School, Mujahid Colony, located in Orangi Town‘s Sector 8-L, has only two teachers for 250
students. The school has eight classrooms but owing to shortage of teachers, students of different classes sit together. Water
and lavatories are not available in the school premises. Electricity has been drawn through an illegal hook. Termites have
hollowed the doors, windows and furniture.

The teachers said that there were no ceiling fan in classrooms and students sometimes get unconscious due to suffocation. At
least 10 fans were required for the time being, they said. Students sit on mats as the furniture is insufficient and that too needed
repairs. Despite the students‘ demands, there is no arrangement for science and computer labs.

The posts of PTI, watchman, clerks, sweeper and teachers of different subjects have been vacant since long.

The Govt Boys Secondary School, Mujahid Colony, has five teachers for 50 students. However, the school lacks proper
furniture and mostly students sit on mats. Water and toilet facilities are not available while electricity has been drawn through an
illegally hooked connection.

The Govt Boys Secondary School, located in Sector 13/G of Orangi, having 12 classrooms is comparatively in better condition.
There are 22 teachers for 475 students.

The science and computer laboratories have been established but regular classes could not be started due to non-availability of
computer operator and instructors. The teachers told Dawn that the science lab was lacking chemicals, as the government paid
only Rs2,000 for purchase of chemicals. For the power supply, the school use illegal connection.
                                                                75
The Govt Boys Secondary School, Sector 8/L Orangi No 9, has seven teachers while the number of students is 120.
The teachers said that the school had been upgraded from lower secondary about one year ago, but the facilities and number
of the staff was yet to be increased. They said that once the students were given admission in Class IX, but due to shortage of
teachers the high classes could not be continued.

Power supply to the school has been disconnected due to non-payment of bills. There is no toilet facility for the staff. Windows
and doors have been hollowed by termites. Besides, there is no arrangement for water supply.
The posts of watchman, sweeper and teachers of different subjects have been vacant since long.

In Govt Boys Secondary School, Ebrahim Ali Bhai, located in Orangi Town No 9, has 14 teachers for about 400 students. Ten
more teachers were required to meet the requirement. There is an acute shortage of furniture in classrooms.
Teachers said that computer systems had been provided to the school but regular classes could not be started due to non-
availability of instructors.

The Govt Girls‘ Secondary School, Ebrahim Ali Bhai, Sector 9/E has around 1,022 students. Twenty teachers posted at the
school have to take extra classes as more teachers were required to fulfil the school‘s requirement. All the students could not
be accommodated easily in the existing 16 classrooms and teachers suggested that their number should be increased to 35.

The water supply has been stopped due to damaged supply line, while the water tank has also been demolished by the works
department for its reconstruction which could not take place for unknown reasons.

The Govt Girls‘ Secondary School, Raees Amrohvi, has been functioning since 1996, but its statement of new expenditures
(SNE) has not been approved yet. For over 100 students, there are three teachers at the school. At least five more teachers are
required. Despite having a laboratory, science subjects are not taught in the school owing to lack of staff.

The Govt Girls‘ Secondary School, Ebrahim Ali Bhai, Orangi Town‘s Sector-10, has 35 teachers for 1,200 students. The school
has 20 classrooms, but the furniture is next to nil. The overcrowded classrooms lack ceiling fans.
For 1,200 students, the school neither has water supply arrangement nor any toilet facility.

Computer classes had been started, but suspended due to lack of resources to hire a private instructor and operator. Besides
other teachers, the post of physical training instructor and peon has been vacant since long.

The Govt Boys Secondary School, Ebrahim Ali Bhai, located in Orangi No 10, has 39 teachers for 700 students. The school
has neither water nor electricity and the classrooms have only 30 desks, while the rest of classrooms are empty. Teachers
disclosed that an application to the concerned officials had been forwarded for provision of 500 desks, 45 ceiling fans, and two
watchmen for the day and night duties. It was said that drug addicts used to enter the building by scaling the boundary wall and
had taken away furniture from the classrooms as there was no watchman posted at the school.
Teachers said that there was no higher secondary school in the locality. They said that two secondary and four primary schools
were functioning in the same area. They said that there was a need to establish a higher secondary school so that students
could continue their education.

The Govt Girls Secondary School, Qatar Mor, has seven teachers for 454 students. There are only four classrooms and rest of
the classes are conducted in the veranda. The head mistress disclosed that the four classrooms had no furniture and students
were asked to sit on mats.

Pointing out that the posts of peon, watchman and teachers have been lying vacant, she asked for posting of at least five
teachers and construction of as many class rooms in the school. She said that her school showed 84 per cent result in the last
SSC exam and a student also obtained outstanding position in the board, but despite that the school‘s problems were not
solved.

The Cosmopolitan Girls School, Aligarh Colony, has been upgraded from the lower secondary level some years ago, but
neither the number of teachers was increased nor the required facilities had been provided so far. The school has seven
teachers for 609 students. Out of 13 classrooms, three are without furniture.
The headmistress told Dawn that the posts of sweeper, watchman and many teachers had been vacant. She said that the SNE
for the secondary classes had not been approved so far. She pointed out that there was no water even in the washrooms.

The Govt Girls Higher Secondary School, Baba Wilayat Ali Shah, has been upgraded but the intermediate classes are yet to be
started as the staff and other requirements have not been fulfilled so far. It has six teachers for 426 students.
The headmistress said that there were no water and toilet facilities. She said that at least five more teachers were required
including the PTI, Arabic teacher, Sindhi language teacher and science teachers. She asked for supply of electricity and
provision of 12 ceiling fans for classrooms.

The Govt Boys Secondary School, Baba Wilayat Ali Shah (afternoon shift) has a total seven teachers, while the number of
students is 250. The school has neither watchman nor sweeper. The electricity, water and toilets facilities are next to nil. The
headmaster disclosed that free textbooks had not been provided to the school yet.
(By Ali Hazrat Bacha, Dawn-14, 23/10/2006)



                                                   University ranking
THE recent HEC action of ranking universities is a good effort and will help improve standards of teaching and research. At
least, the performance of universities has been brought under public spotlight.
This is a healthy sign and bound to promote vigorous competition amongst various public and private universities.

But the important thing is that the ranking should not be limited to mere adjudging the academic performance. Instead it should
serve as a basis for holding universities accountable for poor performance and carrying out further academic and administrative
reforms as there are many public sector universities which suffer academically solely due to bad governance, corruption and
lack of accountability and transparency. Here Shah Abdul Latif University is a case in point.

Shah Abdul Latif University stands at number 20 — lower than its contemporary campuses such as Bahawalpur University,


                                                              76
BZU, Multan, and Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan. Shah Abdul Latif University has a history of bad governance and
corruption to which, unfortunately, neither Islamabad nor Karachi has paid any attention.

There is an argument that deviation from established rules and procedure spawns bad governance and, in turn, bad
governance breeds corruption, and corruption undermines development. This is true of SALU. Its first project fell victim to the
evil of corruption and about Rs90 million was devoured by the monster of sleaze and fraud.

The brand new campus without a single class being held was abandoned due to faulty construction that caused huge cracks in
the building and some of them were raised on the gutter pipes and collapsed.

After the failure of Shadi Shaheed project, it was expected that some system of checks and balances would be imposed on the
university from Islamabad and Karachi. But nothing of the sort happened and the rot continues and deepens, playing havoc
with the growth of the university and future of poor students.

Financial indiscipline is still a major problem faced by the university. A special audit party report 2001-2002, released recently,
says: ―There are lots of flaws and instances of misappropriation, non-observance of codal requirement, non-maintenance of
accounts record and submission of false statement of accounts in the meeting of syndicate and senate due to lack of either
internal check and control in the university‖.

Despite this, no action has been taken against financial irregularities. The level of bad governance has reached the point where
indiscipline and mismanagement are eating into the vitals of the university. Teachers are divided and run after perks and
privileges only. They are used for the realisation of petty interests by the university administration. And those who dare to
expose the irregularities and extra-administrative action of the varsity administration, they are victimised. This is having a
negative impact on the healthy growth of the university as a viable institution of higher education.
Hope the HEC and the Governor‘s House will wake up to the situation and respond accordingly.

MANZOOR ALI ISRAN
Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur
(Dawn-6, 29/10/2006)



                                    Hope rekindled in the darkness of despair
KARACHI: The Ghulaman-e-Abbas School, located in the backwaters of Lyari, could serve as a case study of schools that
have achieved high educational standards armed only with sheer dedication, hard work and strict discipline.

The school has an impeccable record of success in Secondary School Certificate Final Examinations. In 2004 its students
scooped all the three positions in the General Group; 2005 saw them secure the second and third positions; and in 2006 it was
another a grand slam as the students of the school once again took all the three positions in the General Group. Overall, the
School grabbed 7 positions out of ten. The success is even greater when compounded with the fact that three students were
from the orphanage run by the Ghulaman-e-Abbas Educational and Medical Trust headed by the Habib family.

―Our distinction lies in the fact that our students come from the poor and lower middle class. We teach, train, prune and chisel
them to make them the finest in the city,‖ says A.K. Khatri, Chief Executive and Principal, beaming with pride. ―Our driving force
is discipline, motivation and a sense of purpose that guides us to reach for the sky. We are a full day school, an 8:30am to
4:00pm affair, with an eye on the physical activity of the children as well, aiming to keep both body and mind healthy‖.

The presence of a spacious playground and a swimming pool, a dining hall where subsidised and free lunch is served and a
vast praying hall complete with a place for ablution were proof of the Principal‘s proud statement. The Board of Secondary
Education, Karachi, has allowed the school to charge Rs1400, with the actual cost per-student being Rs1428. However, the
school charges an average of Rs386 from the students leaving a deficit of Rs.1042 per-student per-month. The total annual
deficit, according to the school Principal, reaches a staggering Rs17,843,208, which is balanced using donations.

The school has 1427 students from Nursery to Class 10. All the students belong to the Asna Ashri (Shia) community and come
from the families with bleak economic backgrounds. The teaching and non-teaching staff mostly comprise of the Sunni
community. The school was founded in 1955 as a Primary Gujarati Institute but was handed over to the Ghulaman-e-Abbas
Educational and Medical Trust in 1958.

―We believe in educational standards and for that we have well-paid teachers who are accomplished in their subjects and
inspire their students with their all-round performance that includes interaction with the students. We are taking steps to
enhance the linguistic prowess of our students. For that we have recently hired a teacher with a Canadian education on a
relatively high salary,‖ Khatri elaborated.

The Principal narrated to The News the success story of one of this school‘s students who was an orphan and who, after
passing through this school, pursued higher education, and today is a ship owner. He currently lives in London in affluence but
had not forgotten his alma mater. His bond with the school remains intact. Moreover, he sponsors the education of many poor
students and has asked the school to hire the best teachers regardless of the high wages, for which he will pay.

Shahid Raza Badami is the youthful Headmaster of the school. He has a stack of degrees at a very young age and his
competency is unquestionable. ―The school received the best school award in 2004 and we are trying hard to maintain the
status quo. Our teacher-student ratio is 1:25, which enables the teacher to personally interact with his students.‖ Badami was
proud of the fact that his school‘s students were obtaining the highest positions since 1975 with only a few years that did not
see any position holders from his school. The school has a working clinic where a physician attends to the students‘ minor
ailments and a dentist takes care of their dental hygiene.

The school has two hostels that house the orphans who are taught, fed, clothed and taken care of by the trust. These orphans
live in very good conditions, far above the national level, according to the Principal of the school.

In the end, the school represents a bright beacon of hope amidst an overarching environment of despair.
(By Perwez Abdullah, The News-2, 30/10/2006)


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                                                      Army man as VC
THIS is with reference to the Higher Education Commission‘s recommendation for a military man as university VC. What seems
to have been ignored while taking this decision is that having a uniformed background does not guarantee good administration
and sound planning of educational policies.

Similarly, this imposition also does not guarantee an upward growth in the standard of education at university level. The HEC
ought to realise that university staff and students are not battalions or companies of jawans in the battlefield who a uniformed
gentleman would command and set everything right with his boots.

It is not a question of heading an institution alone; it is the question of bringing reform to our already dilapidated structure of
education. Will the HEC or for that matter the army recommend a competent VC to replace a brigadier for a position in the
military service? No. Because it remains a question of defence of the country‘s borders and educationists are not qualified for
that.

Thus, it needs to be realised that only an educationist can suggest and implement effective measures for the good of the
educational institutions. And to take such well-informed decisions on educational planning and reform, a person with a sound
background in education, not military, is the fittest choice. It is a known fact that there are faculty members in many
universities who are not sincere with their duties. Will the higher authorities call in the army then to carry out their duties as
well? There has been caustic criticism of the policies of the HEC itself. Dare I then ask when Dr Atta-ur- Rehman is to be
replaced by a military man? Or is this already on the cards? Why are we being given to understand that deputing military men
on every civilian seat is a panacea for all prevailing ills whereas the results of such actions have proved horrendous in many an
arena?
SHAHRIAR DAUDPOTA
Hyderabad

(II)
THIS refers to your editorial ‗Another army man as VC‘ (Sept 29) and Dr Hassan Askari Rizvi‘s letter on the same topic (Oct
10). Both of you are correct in arguing that a retired army man having a one-year MSc in defence and strategic studies from the
National Defence College (NDC) is by no means suitable for the position of a vice-chancellorship of a university. The first and
foremost qualification of a vice-chancellor is to ―have a recognised track record in research‖ (Economist, March 25).

A 100-page paper submitted at the NDC does not confer scholarship on its author. The scholarship comes after a dedication to
research for decades. It is ironic that when the appointment of generals is criticised, the performance of a retired bureaucrat as
the vice-chancellor of Sindh University has not come under scrutiny. His qualification for the post is also a master‘s degree from
the NDC. It is also paradoxical that for running a university a general has to satisfy only one constituency: the GHQ. But the
retired bureaucrat has to please three constituencies.

First, the GHQ, which has thrice elevated him to this position. Second, the chancellor, who has to implement his party‘s
programme about higher education. Third and most significant, the elected members of the syndicate. He has been trying to
please them all. In 2005, he invited Gen Musharraf to deliver a lecture on the Kalabagh dam and also implemented the much
despised four-year degree programme which has blessings of the GHQ.

In order to please his second constituency, he has opened the Badin, Mirpurkhas, Dadu and Larkana campuses, whereas the
university main campus lacks sufficiently trained human resources.
In order to please his third constituency, the bureaucrat VC has to appoint anybody in the academia and administration that
enjoys the approval of the ‗leader‘. He also harasses the critics of the ‗leader‘. Indeed, the vice-chancellor of Punjab University,
a retired general, at the expense of the institution, forced Dr Hassan Askari Rizvi to seek an early retirement because of his
non-conformist views about the army intervention in politics.
The university has declined so markedly that the HEC has ranked it as number nine out of 23 general universities, 11 of them
were established less than 10 years ago.

DR MEHTAB ALI SHAH
Jamshoro
(Dawn-6, 30/10/2006)



                                 Prince may defuse row over interfaith marriage
LONDON: One unusual meeting that Prince Charles is to have during his visit to Pakistan is with Bishop Alexander John Malik
who, like a traditional loving father from the East, yielded to the wishes of his daughter Nadia to let her marry a Muslim of her
own choice in a church despite opposition from followers of his faith.

The newly wedded couple has already left Pakistan after receiving threats from different quarters, both Muslims and Christians.
Nadia, one of Pakistan‘s most glamorous models, and her husband Dr Daniyal married in August in an opulent Lahore
cathedral wedding led by her father Bishop John Malik, and attended, among others, by the elite of the film and fashion world of
the country. Like a traditional love story in Eastern culture, a beautiful Christian girl and a handsome Muslim boy had fallen in
love five years back. But both had to fight a long battle for all these years to convince their respective parents to agree to this
inter-faith marriage which is quite unusual in Pakistan.

Rival bishops have called for Malik‘s resignation and claimed that he has betrayed his flock. On the other hand, leading Muslim
clerics are being quoted as saying that the marriage ceremony of the girl in a church led by her father Bishop John Malik
himself is an insult despite the fact that Nadia had converted to Islam, and that her Muslim husband Dr Daniyal was wrong
while agreeing to receive a Christian blessing.

Prince Charles is likely to extend moral support to Bishop Alexander John Malik for his unusual act of giving preference to his
daughter‘ wishes to marry a Muslim of her choice, ignoring the pressure of his Christian fellows.

A media report published here suggests that the Prince of Wales in his trip to Pakistan will support President Musharraf‘s policy
of ―enlightened moderation‖, and encourage a better understanding between the country‘s Muslim majority and its Christian
minority. Thus he will be trying to end a row between the followers of two faiths in Pakistan, triggered by the unusual marriage.
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Prince Charles‘s itinerary will include a meeting with Alexander John Malik, who is caught in the crossfire between leading
members of his own flock and Islamic fundamentalists over the marriage of his daughter Nadia to the son of a prominent
Muslim family. The Prince of Wales will encourage a better understanding between the country‘s Muslim majority and its
beleaguered Christian minority.

Last week Nadia denied she had converted, but agreed both families had struggled to accept an inter-faith marriage. She and
her husband have since moved to Glasgow from where she told The Sunday Times she was relieved to be out of Pakistan.
―We‘ve been very lucky because we‘ve managed to move away. Discrimination would have caught us if we‘d continued to live
in Pakistan. It happens to every mixed couple because both communities feel betrayed, especially the Christians because I‘m
the bishop‘s daughter and I‘ve married a Muslim,‖ she said.

She had resisted marrying her husband for almost five years because she would not give up her faith. ―Danyal‘s family is very
religious. It was difficult for them to come to terms with the match. It was difficult to get them to come to the church, it was a
struggle from beginning to end. Both families made sacrifices for us. It was a very stressful wedding,‖ she said.

The Christian community‘s sense of betrayal, she said, was linked to the persecution it has suffered in recent years, including a
number of brutal attacks on churches. More than 30 Christians have died in acts of terrorism and violence in the past five years.

Against this backdrop, rival bishops from the country‘s Methodist and Presbyterian churches are outraged by Bishop Malik‘s
gesture. ―Some Christian parents are protesting against this precedent,‖ said the spokesman for the Methodist Bishop Akbar
Khokhar. In an article in the Pakistan Christian Post, Presbyterian Bishop Timotheus Nasir argued that Bishop Malik should
resign. ―You have cheated and betrayed the flock of Christ. You have deceived the Christian community,‖ he wrote.

Islamic clerics were also angered by the marriage. Last week Mufti Asghar Ali Rabbani of the Farooqia College, a leading
Islamic jurisprudence centre, said Nadia Malik was guilty of becoming an infidel if she had converted, and that her husband
should not have taken part in the marriage ceremony in a Christian church. ―She has become an infidel and the punishment for
it is death,‖ Rabbani declared.
A spokesman for Prince Charles declined to comment on the Malik family‘s troubles, but emphasised that the prince was
respected in Pakistan for his long-standing support for understanding between the faiths.
(By Rauf Klasra, The News-1, 30/10/2006)




NOVEMBER
                                            The bane of domestic violence
WHILE lawmakers in Pakistan are still grappling with the challenge of humanising — if not actually striking off from the statute
book — the ghastly Hudood Ordinances, India‘s parliamentarians have moved much faster to provide protection to their
women.
A new law, described as ―landmark‖ by observers, has been adopted by the Lok Sabha and has come into effect to protect
women from domestic violence. It also bans harassment for dowry and empowers a magistrate to issue protection orders where
he feels they are needed.

Domestic violence, defined as violence that takes place within the confines of the home and in private, has for long been a
major problem that women have had to face in practically every society. It refers not only to the singular act of ―wife-beating‖, or
worse still, of physical violence resulting in injury or threat of violence that has to be addressed. Even more devastating is the
continuous pattern of behaviour that causes the man — or his family — to attempt to exercise control over a woman by
resorting to physical, emotional, psychological and economic abuse.

Given the similar cultural background of South Asian societies in terms of the status of women, India has indeed taken a bold
step by adopting this law. In Pakistan, where women face a similar problem the PPP-P had introduced the Prevention of
Domestic Violence Bill, 2005, in the National Assembly early last year. This bill, which is underpinned by extensive research, is
designed to rectify the lacunae in the law by recognising domestic violence as a crime. But as was not unusual for our
parliament, the Speaker sent the bill summarily to ―the relevant committee‖, which is a euphemism for shelving something
indefinitely.

Interestingly, the bill when it was brought before the House created an uproar when the parliamentary affairs minister, Mr Sher
Afgan Niazi, opposed it on the grounds that ―the Quran permits wives to be beaten‖ and, therefore, the bill on domestic violence
is not Islamic. He was probably referring to the 54th ayat in Surah Nisa although this has been interpreted unanimously by
enlightened scholars ―as deprecating any sort of cruelty, even of the nagging kind‖.

In most oriental societies where women are not highly educated and they internalise their subordinate status, they do not like to
disclose the violence they have to suffer. A survey held in India reported that as many as 70 per cent of wives are beaten by
their husbands, yet 56 per cent of Indian women believe that this behaviour is ―justified in some circumstances‖ which vary from
―going out without the husband‘s permission to cooking a bad meal‖.

The situation appears to be worse in Pakistan where domestic abuse is often denied by the victims themselves. The Pakistan
Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad, states that ―over 90 per cent of married women report being kicked, slapped, beaten
or sexually abused when husbands were dissatisfied by their cooking or cleaning, or when the women had ‗failed‘ to bear a
child or had given birth to a girl‖.

It is not just the fact that domestic violence is shrouded in silence and concealed in the privacy of the homes that makes it so
worrisome. The laws in force are also insufficient to protect vulnerable women. Thus a woman who undergoes physical
violence is not provided any legal redress until she is actually harmed physically, that is, suffers ―grievous hurt‖. This would
mean that she should actually lose a limb or an eye/ear, suffer permanent disfigurement of the face, have a fracture or
dislocation of a bone or a tooth.

Even when violence has taken place and the matter is reported to the police, the attitude of the law enforcing agencies is to

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hush up the case and advise the parties to resort to reconciliation. They treat it as a ―domestic issue‖ in which they cannot
intervene.

The draft bill provides a protective mechanism in the form of the protective officer who is notified by the government for each
police station and should not be below the rank of inspector and should be a person of known integrity. He will determine the
gravity of a case and immediately intervene in the matter and assist the victim to obtain medical assistance if needed and
facilitate her shifting to a safe place of her choice. He will also help her obtain a protection order from the court. He will report
the case to the family conciliation council which will be set up under the bill by the DCOs. The council‘s function will be to
attempt to resolve the intra-familial disputes amicably. This is important in view of our cultural milieu and socio-economic
compulsions. The victim can obtain a protection order from a magistrate if she feels threatened.

This law, though sensible in its approach, may not see the light of day, given the mindset of a large number of our legislators.
While the struggle goes on at the legislative level, it would pave the way for change if women‘s rights activists launch a
campaign to create awareness about domestic violence. There is need to educate men about the rights of a woman as a
human being and do away with the prejudices and biases inculcated in them over the centuries.

But women also have to be told more about their own rights and the phenomenon of domestic violence . Since it has been
shrouded in secrecy and the issue is not publicly discussed, it is not generally acknowledged and evokes mixed emotions.
Victims are known to feel anger against their oppressor and also a sense of hurt apart from the physical pain that is inflicted on
them. But paradoxically they also suffer from a feeling of guilt, as though they are responsible for the violence inflicted on them.

What is badly needed is marriage counselling facilities which hardly exist in this country. The solution of the problem does not
lie in breaking up rickety marriages that abound in our society and thus disrupt the institution of the family. It would be more
sensible to provide counselling to men and also women to teach them how to live together in peace and harmony and take care
of their family. That is the only social support system our society has to offer and it should be developed into a healthy and
thriving institution. Domestic violence always negates this aim.
(By Zubeida Mustafa, Dawn-7, 01/11/2006)



                                               Fresh poll for YMCA ordered
KARACHI, Nov 2: The Sindh High Court ordered on Thursday fresh elections to the Young Men‘s Christian Association within
90 days under the supervision of the advocate-general, who heads the supervisory committee appointed by it earlier.
All members of the registered bodies claiming to represent the YMCA according to the record secured by the SHC nazir would
be entitled to vote, a division bench comprising Justices Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Sajjad Ali Shah directed in a consent order
disposing of a petition moved by the former president of the association and references made by AG Anwar Mansoor Khan in
his capacity as chairman of the supervisory committee.

Petitioner Kashif Khalid submitted through Advocate M.M. Tariq that he was elected president of the YMCA‘s board of directors
in 2004 but was not allowed to function.

For quite a few years, one group of members or another approached the social welfare department for cancellation of the
results and stay of notification of the new governing body and sought appointment of caretakers. The association was
registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, the Social Welfare Ordinance, 1961, and the Companies Ordinance,
1984, with a disputed list of members.
The high court had earlier appointed a supervisory committee headed by the AG and comprised its nazir and the member of its
inspection team. The AG moved six references seeking court orders on as many different matters relating to the affairs of the
association.

Thursday‗s order sent the references pertaining to misappropriation of funds to the investigation agency concerned and left the
matter of suspension of the YMCA school principal to the new governing body. Former MPA Salim Khurshid Khokhar, St
Patrick‘s Principal Father Joseph Paul and the provincial government were cited as respondents in the petition.

CONTRACT CANCELLED: Announcing a judgment reserved earlier by a bench comprising Justices S.J. Osmany and Ali Sain
Dino Metlo, the bench directed the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board to float fresh tenders for laying sewerage lines in the
North Karachi and Federal ‗B‘ Area industrial estates. Allowing a petition moved by M/s Ayaz Builders through Advocate Khalid
Jawed Khan, it set aside the contract awarded to M/s Mohammad Ayub Brothers.

The petitioner firm said that it was the lowest bidder and the respondent firm the highest but the bid was awarded to it at the
(lowest) rates quoted by it. If the bid was to be given at the rates submitted by it, it had a prior right, particularly in view of its
experience in the field, including execution of the KWSB‘s Greater Karachi Bulk Water Supply Scheme. The bench asked the
respondent board to ensure that the new bidding process was transparent.

MINING LICENCE: Another division bench comprising Chief Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed and Justice Faisal Arab, meanwhile,
stayed the cancellation of mining license till the next date of hearing of a petition moved by the licence-holder.
Ms Moona Ghamro, the petitioner, submitted through Advocate Chaudhry A. Rasheed she obtained a licence for exploration of
coalmines in the district of Dadu.
(Dawn-19, 03/11/2006)



                        Musharraf tells Sindh to follow Punjab: Educational reforms
KARACHI, Nov 4: President General Pervez Musharraf expressed his dissatisfaction over the performance of the education
sector in Sindh and directed the authorities concerned to take practical steps for its improvement.
The president observed that Sindh was not keeping pace with the advancements in the field of education and stressed the
need to impart standard education from the grassroots level in the province.

He was presiding over a meeting on education, infrastructure development, and ongoing development projects in Sindh here at
the Chief Minister‘s House here on Saturday.


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According to sources privy to the meeting, the president appeared to be virtually unhappy over the performance of the
provincial education department and asked the authorities concerned to learn a lesson from Punjab vis-à-vis education reforms.
"There is no need of theory. I want you to take practical steps", Musharraf was quoted as saying by sources.

The president was informed that free primary education would be provided to 1.6 million children. He was told that out of 35
students enrolled in Class-I, only 12 students were able to reach Class-10 and efforts were under way to raise the ratio.
The president was also informed that more than 0.3 million children started to go to school and Rs2.32 billion were being
provided to the district governments to improve the condition of schools in the province.

On the occasion, the president assured that the federal government would extend all-out support for the improvement of the
education sector in the province.

President Musharraf mentioned that the government had already increased budget allocation for the education sector
especially Information Technology and called for opening up of technical colleges and universities so as to help produce trained
manpower.
The president also pointed towards the conversion of the Marine Academy in Karachi into engineering university, which would
be imparting education in accordance with the international standards as well as syllabus.
General Musharraf said that faculty members for this institution would also be hired from abroad.
The president was informed that the Sindh government had prepared an Education Sector Policy Framework, supported by
many partners especially the World Bank.

This framework covers school education reforms for the period 2006-09 and it addresses governance and sector management
issues, improving access to quality education and improving teaching quality and learning

Speaking on the occasion, the president directed the authorities concerned to complete all the ongoing mega projects on time
to improve the living standards of the masses and said that no leniency would be tolerated in this regard.
The president, sources said, also asked the chief minister to "show" the video films of the construction work of various mega
projects worth Rs108 billion carried out by the provincial government in various districts.
The president also emphasised that the Lyari Expressway and the Northern Bypass projects should be completed without any
further delay and called for the completion of the RDOB Phase II and Rain Canal project.

President Musharraf said that the projects relating to the agro-based industries, cattle and dairy farming be prepared so as to
help generate economic activity and to create employment opportunities.
During a briefing on electricity by Wapda, General Musharraf said that the village electrification programme in the province
should be expedited.

Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad, Chief Minister Arbab Rahim, Federal Industries Minister Jehangir Tareen, Sindh Irrigation
Minister Nadir Akmal, Education Minister Hamida Khuhro, City Nazim Mustafa Kamal and others attended the meeting.
(Dawn-17, 05/11/2006)



                                 Political will a must to reform education system
President Gen Pervez Musharraf spent three days in Karachi. This time he did not come to save the coalition setup of the
province or for effecting a patch-up among the allied partners. The purpose of his visit was to review the overall situation of the
province including the progress on mega development projects which he had initiated on different occasions. President
inaugurated the first cruise liner from Karachi to Dubai to promote tourism in the country. He also reviewed the law and order
situation of the province, political situation and more importantly the education affairs.

Chairing a high-level meeting at the Chief Ministers House, Gen Pervez Musharraf expressed his dissatisfaction over the
progress of almost all the sectors. He expressed extreme disappointment over the performance of Education Department of
Sindh and its management.

Although the authorities concerned tried to satisfy him by putting forth some details of their achievement, the ―unhappy‖
President advised the provincial education administration to learn a lesson from Punjab with regard to streamlining the
education system.

There is a question as to why the President quoted the example of Punjab? Definitely, Punjab has brought improvement not
only in its education system but also in almost all the sectors, including industrialization, agriculture, livestock, health and
infrastructure development.

Political stability was the important factor in improving education system in Punjab as the province‘s political leadership showed
maturity in this regard. Education should be the first priority of any government whether it be governor role, martial law regime
or a political setup.

All political parties in Punjab decided in principle that there would be no interference in the education system. They were not
involved in promoting the ―copy culture‖ neither the political leadership supported student organizations to achieve political
goals. They also did not interfere in the appointments of teachers on political ground neither they backed any teachers with
regard to transfers and postings.

However, the situation is totally different in Sindh. It is a fact that Sindh has been witnessing political uncertainty for more than
30 years but it is also true that education never remained the top priority of any political party whether it hailed from rural or
urban areas.

Appointment of teachers had always been a scandalous affair in Sindh. Every government used to ―select‖ teachers for
appointment and it is an open secret that every selection was made on the basis of ―chamak‖ (bribe) and not on merit. Every
government did prepare lists of teachers for appointment, but each list was later cancelled after the malpractices became
evident and it is interesting to note that no action was ever taken in this regard.

Postings in the examination boards, particularly in the controller of examination office, have become ―gold mines‖ as most of the
student organizations utilize their energies in the posting affair instead of struggling for the rights of students.

                                                                81
Most of the student organizations are not only involved in copy culture but are also influencing postings in the examination
boards to gain further strength and the political parties are backing these organizations to achieve their goals.

As per various reports, the role of Governor House authorities in the postings affair in examination boards and controller of
examination offices in universities as well in the admissions in professional colleges and universities could not be ruled out.

Four months ago, Education Minister Dr Hameeda Khuhro, who belongs to a political family, imposed ban on teachers‘
associations with the claim that these teacher unions were responsible for the declining education system.

She is a strong supporter of the private education system without any check and control. Public sector schools are being
deliberately destroyed in the province, while most of the landlords and Sardars who are the part of political parties did not want
to open schools and educational institutions in their respective areas. Still 5,000 school buildings are untraceable and as per
official report most of these school premises are in the use of influential people. More than 300 school buildings are being
misused by landlords in the home district of Education Minister. Four education secretaries and four special education
secretaries have been transferred on political reasons during her over two years tenure as Education Minister.

The World Bank has disclosed in its report ―Sindh Economic Report Vision‖ that most of the teachers did not know even to
teach their subjects, while they were appointed for teaching English, Maths and Science. The WB issued this report after
conducting a survey of six ‗model‘ districts.

It is unfortunate that the Education Minister is using luxury vehicle, which was purchased from the money collected by the
Education Department under the head of recruitment form for teachers three years ago. The Education Department collected
millions of rupees as charges from the candidates who applied for the teaching job. Seven thousand vacancies were
announced at that time but not a single appointment was made. On the intervention of Chief Minister 2,025 appointment letters
were issued but there is a report that most of the appointment letters were issued to those who offered ―chamak‖ and this list
has also become disputed. Every coalition partner wants its share in the appointment of teachers. Posting of officers both in the
administration and teaching wings is made on political basis. The post of EDO has become a moneymaking office as this
authority was being used to assign favorite teachers for election work.

Besides, the Education Department has failed to complete its IT programme. Computers have been purchased but training of
computers is still a dream for students. The department seems to have no interest in enforcing Teachers Training Programme,
while the Girls Education Programme was also not completed. Majority of public sector schools are without basic facilities. Free
textbooks plan was not implemented, with majority of schools yet to receive the textbooks.

On the other hand private schools have become a money generating business and they were free to increase the fees at their
will. There is a system to check the private schools but the minister and other authorities are not bothered to clamp a check on
private schools. A similar situation existed before the 70‘s prior to nationalization and the managements of private schools are
using the same method that prevailed before the nationalization. Parents remain under threat from the managements of private
schools to pay tuition fee of their children. A large number of tuition centers cropped up in the cities, which are charging
exorbitant fee from the students. And the irony is that the teachers of public and private sector schools are running these tuition
centers.

Mr President it is not a matter to admit the failure of the system. It is not your feeling alone, the concern is equally shared by
every section of society, including parents, teachers and civil society. Everybody is worried over the declining education
standard for the last three decades. The situation definitely needs a drastic and revolutionary action. But the question is
whether this task could be achieved in a weak and unstable political system?

The civil society believes that the only solution to improve the education system and standard is to bind the ministers, officers
and all government dignitaries to admit their children in government schools. At the same time it is the responsibility of the
political parties to discourage the interference by their cadres in the education affairs, besides voters must reject such political
forces which violate this rule. And this whole lot of reforms would mean nothing if a legislation in this regard was not enacted
and enforced in the true spirit of education and in the most vital interest of nation.
(By Tahir Hasan Khan, The News-3, 06/11/2006)



                                      Reopening of 1,300 schools on the anvil
KARACHI: The Sindh government was making efforts to materialise the dream of 100 per cent literacy in the province and
steps were under way to reopen 1,300 schools of the province, said Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim on Monday.

Talking to media-persons at the CM House, he said that 1,200 more schools were being opened in the province, besides
setting up an English medium school in each Taluka. He said the Sindh government had tagged Rs41.70 billion for education
sector in 2006-07. The chief minister commented that proper utilisation of funds would brighten the future of 5.2 million students
of the province.

He informed newsmen that CM monitoring committees had been set up in 23 districts of Sindh to improve educational
standards. Arbab said that he had issued directives to make the curriculum of elementary classes more interesting for children.
He said that free textbooks of Rs758 million had been distributed amongst 4.2m children in Sindh, including 0.265m girls.
Scholarships of Rs500m were also granted to the talented and deserving students of the province, he added.

He said that teaching of English language from class one had been declared mandatory in the province. Responding to a
question, he said that a check and balance system on scientific lines was being chalked out to ensure constant monitoring of
educational standards. He said that district education officers and EDOs Education were asked to monitor abilities of students
as well as teachers.

Regarding banning union activities in educational institutes, he said that educationalists as well as concerned citizens of the
province had backed his decision. He said that this ban would help improve the standard of education. He said that government
employees had no right to union activities.
(The News-4, 07/11/2006)



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                                          1,300 schools to be reopened: CM
KARACHI, Nov 6: The Sindh government is making all-out efforts to materialise the dream of hundred per cent literacy in the
province and steps are being taken to reopen 1,300 closed schools of the province. This was stated by the Sindh Chief Minister
Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim here on Monday, while talking to newsmen at the Chief Minister‘s House.
He said that Sindh was the only province maintaining computerised data of the enrolled students. The chief minister said that
1,200 more schools were being opened in the province, besides setting up an English medium school in every taluka.
He said that a reform programme in the province had already been kicked off to improve the standard of education and for the
same purpose monitoring committees had been formed in the 23 districts of the province.

Dr Arbab said that the Sindh government had tagged Rs41.7 billion for education sector in 2006-7 and added that the proper
utilisation of these funds would brighten the future of 5.2 million students of Sindh.
He said that the three basic requirements to ensure improvement of educational standards were recruitment of teachers on
merit, training of teachers and reforms of textbooks and examination system and added that the government was focusing on
all these three requirements.

Dr Arbab said that presently 41,713 primary, 2,600 middle, 1,747 higher secondary schools, 406 colleges and 199 vocational
colleges were working in the province and some 5 million children were enrolled with these schools. He said that there was a
dire need to raise number of these children. He said that it would be a big success if some one million out-of-school children
were sent to primary schools of the province.

Dr Arbab informed that the provincial government had paid a tranche of Rs2 billion to the district governments to improve the
condition of schools adding that the second instalment of these funds would be given to the district government keeping in view
their performance in this regard.
He said that free textbooks worth Rs758 million had been distributed amongst 4.2 million children in Sindh including 0.265
million girls and scholarships worth Rs500 million were being spent amongst students of the province.

To a question, Dr Arbab said that a check and balance system on scientific lines was chalked out to ensure constant monitoring
of educational standards.
He said that the salaries of teachers in the province had been raised and presently a government primary teacher was earning
Rs7,000 per month, while a primary teacher of private school was not earning more than Rs1,500 per month.
(Dawn-17, 07/11/2006)



                                     Education commission for Sindh planned
KARACHI, Nov 9: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad has stressed on making serious efforts for promotion of education and to
bring it in commensuration with modern day demands.
In this regard, he called for setting up Sindh Education Commission on the pattern of Higher Education Commission,
strengthening of public-private partnership, toll free phone numbers for improved facilities besides better monitoring
arrangements. He was addressing a meeting held to of review the Reforms Support Unit of the education department at N.J.V.
School on Wednesday.

The governor said that strategy for educational system should be balanced one and this essentially warranted sustained check
of education system at taluka, town, district and city levels with proper feedback. He said all modern technologies including
information technology, should be used to overcome whatever problems were faced in making the educational system
effectively functional.
He was of the view that educational system could be synchronised with modern day requirement through public-private
partnership.

Referring to the educational statistics collected by Reforms Support Unit in the education department in a short period of six
months, the governor called for initiating process of planning in the light of the same and said liaison between district and
provincial governments should be started on the basis of facilities existing in the schools and details of teachers and students.

On the occasion, Sindh Education Minister Dr Hameeda Khuhro informed the governor that distribution of textbooks had been
done on scientific and organised basis, while scholarship amount for girls was sent by postal money order on their residential
addresses.
The governor was told that ghost and closed schools were identified with the help of Geographical Information System and
services of consultants hired to make them practically operational to get rid of this painful situation.

Ishratul Ibad asked the authorities to take all the steps to encourage private sector for active partnership. He particularly called
for seeking public cooperation to identify the areas having closed schools.

Talking to the media, the governor expressed hope that the categorisation of education system up to primary and secondary
education levels would be harmonised on scientific basis. He said education department was working hard round-the-clock and
results of these efforts would appear soon.
He said that there was need for reforms in the education system at grassroots level. For this purpose, while monitoring the
performance of district governments, more schools would be opened along with the posting of experienced teachers. He said
that jobs would be offered in education, population welfare and other departments on merit.
(Dawn-16, 10/11/2006)



                                     No govt hostel in city for working women
KARACHI, Nov 15: Though women constitute half of the city‘s population, there are only two hostels, none of them in the
government sector, with a total capacity of less than a 100 for the working women who come from all over the country to work
in the metropolis.
Both hostels are being operated by the non-governmental organisations. One, the Young Women Christians Association has its
premises in the centre of the city on M.A. Jinnah Road next to the Mama Parsi School and the other one being operated by the


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Pakistan Federation of Business and Professional Women in Clifton behind the old Mideast Hospital. Both of these hostels
admit only those women who come from other parts of the country.

With the increase in literacy rate and number of working women, the acute shortage of women hostels restricts their career
growth. The problem is aggravating with every passing day.

Interestingly, the managements of both these women hostels acknowledge that there was a dire need of such facilities for
women in the city, neither of them was ready to expand the housing capacity.
To ensure that the residents are really the working women or a student a certificate from the employer or the head of the
educational institution is required, besides presence of parents or brothers in case of an unmarried female and presence of
husband in case of married one is required at the time of admission to both these hostels. Only one of these hostels has
accommodation for tourists.

At the YWCA male guests are not allowed in rooms and only meet either in lawns or common drawing room.
There is no canteen, however, common kitchens are available for cooking. Bathrooms are also common. Some rooms, also
have small kitchens and separate bathrooms.

YWCA chief Prof Nuzhat Williams, who is also the principal of Govt Karachi College for Women, said that the ‗in‘ and ‗out‘
registers were maintained. Only one late pass is allowed per week, she said. If an inmate stays out without permission, she is
told to vacate the hostel the next day.
She said that owing to the centralised location and good security arrangements, families feel safe to send women to stay at the
century-old YWCA. The monthly rent is around Rs2,000 while tourists pay Rs200 (US$4) per day and could stay up to 15 days.

The Pakistan Federation of Business and Professional Women chief, Salima Ahmad, who is a former federal secretary, said
that the government had provided some subsidy for the establishment of the hostel which became operational in early 1980s.
But now there is no subsidy and the organisation runs it on self-help basis with the rent ranging between Rs1,500 to Rs7,000
per month.

The hostel also has a tailor shop, a beauty parlour and a store. There is a common kitchen and bathrooms for the inmates. A
few rooms, however, have separate kitchen and bathroom.

Ms Williams and Ms Ahmad agreed that there was dire need to establish more housing facilities in the seventh biggest
metropolis of the world for working women coming from other cities. More women will enter the job market in the port city and
the housing problem for working women will aggravate further.
(By Bhagwandas, Dawn-18, 16/11/2006)



                       Hameeda Khuhro faces strong criticism in Sindh Assembly
KARACHI: Education Minister Dr Hameeda Khuhro faced strong criticism in Sindh Assembly on Friday over the newly
introduced composite examination system for 9th-10th classes, as members from both treasury and opposition benches
described this system as unsuitable and a burden on poor parents and students.

The legislators from both the sides raised many questions about the new system while Speaker Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah,
who was on the chair, saved the education minister from embarrassment by rejecting many questions.

Dr Hameeda Khuhro assured the house that this system would help improve the education standard and it would not affect the
students and parents, adding that teachers had been directed to complete the syllabus of both the classes in time.
She said that the decision to introduce new system was taken in September 2005 but it was decided that the first composite
examination of 9th-10th class students would be started from 2007. She said the delay in enforcing the new system was
caused due to the pressure from different sectors as well as on the request of students and parents. Besides, the examination
boards were also not prepared to conduct the composite exam of two classes in one year, she added.

MQM MPA and former provincial minister Shakir Ali said that when there was no constitutional binding to follow the federal
government policy then why this new system was enforced in Sindh, adding, there were reservations over this system in the
whole province.
The education minister did not reply this question but informed the house that President Gen Pervez Musharraf had approved
this system and added that there were many complaints against the old examination system.

MQM‘s Bilqis Mukhtar asked as to how the syllabus of two classes would be completed in time while this system was
introduced on the reason of shortage of teachers. Another MQM MPA Ambareen and PML-F‘s Naila Inam asked as to why
hundreds of thousands of students were being punished by shifting the burden of teachers‘ shortage on them. MMA‘s Yonous
Barai asked the chair to allow moving resolution against this new system as the treasury benches were also against this system

Leader of Opposition Nisar Khuhro said that even the treasury benches were not taken into confidence before taking this policy
decision.

Earlier, the education minister told the house that opposition from various quarters was the main reason behind the delay in
implementing the decision. She said the examination boards were also not prepared for this new system, adding that the
government has taken various steps to provide maximum facilities to students and teachers to follow this system.
She assured the members that books were available in the market and students should have to struggle hard to improve their
education standard. The members from both the sides asked questions about the future of the new system and pointed out the
problems being faced by the teachers and students in this regard. They asked the education minister as to why this system was
adopted when neither the students nor the teachers and parents were ready for this.

In a written reply to a question of PPP‘s Dr Mehreen Bhutto, the education minister said that 378 schools (275 male and 103
female) had been closed in Khairpur district during 1st January 2004 to 30th June 2005. She said that the main reason for
closing these schools was the shortage of teachers while the appointment of teachers was completely banned during this
period.

The minister further told that 25 schools were closed in Shikarpur, 41 in Khanpur, 26 in Lakhi and 31 in Ghari Yasin, while 272

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schools were opened in Shikarpur, 223 in Khanpur, 279 in Lakhi and 375 in Ghari Yasin. Shortage of teachers was the main
cause for closing these schools, she added.
She also informed the house that 233 schools were closed in Mirpurkhas while only 23 schools were opened in the district and
the reason was again the same i.e. the shortage of teachers and ban on their recruitment.

In a written reply to the MQM MPA Iqbal Qadri‘s query, the education minister said that no budget was allocated for awarding
scholarships to students in Site and Orangi towns during 2001 and 2002, while 3425 students were enrolled in Site Town and
2113 in Orangi Town during 2002-3; 3888 and 3872 in Site during 2002-03 and 2003-04; and 4608 and 5309 in Orangi Town
during the same period.

To another question, the education minister said that a new governing body of the Sindh Text Book Board was constituted in
March this year and the official members of this board comprise Special Secretary Education, Mohkumuddin Qadri, Secretary
Sindh government and Allah Dino Bajeer, Talukha Nazim Mithi, while non-official members are: AW Kazi, Senator Abdul
Ghaffar Qureshi and Qazi Shaukat (Hala).

Dr Hameeda Khuhro also informed the house that the Sindh Text Book Board distributed 16,981,519 books to 3,383,229
students from class 1st to 5th in August 2006; 5,258,548 books to 5,53,646 students from class 6th to 8th; and 20,29,573 books
to 2,69,138 students from class 9th to 10th free of cost in all the government schools.
(By Tahir Hasan Khan, The News-3, 18/11/2006)



                            Treasury, opposition skewer composite exam system
KARACHI, Nov 17: The treasury and opposition benches in the Sindh Assembly on Friday demonstrated rare identical concern
over the decision of the inter-provincial education ministers conference to hold composite examination of the ninth and tenth
class from next year.

Members from both sides questioned the wisdom of the decision by asking supplementary questions pertaining to the
education department during Questions Hour on Friday. Despite repeated clarifications by Provincial Education Minister Dr
Hameeda Khuhro, the members, mostly women, continued to question her about the background of the decision. The minister
told the house that the decision was a part of the federal government‘s policy and Sindh was implementing it. The objective was
to raise the standard of education. However, the members did not seem satisfied.

When Leader of the Opposition, Mr Nisar Khuhro, drew the attention of the chair towards the unanimity of views of the treasury
and opposition benches on the matter, Speaker Syed Muzzaffar Hussain Shah said this was the beauty of democracy.

In response to a question by Nasrullah Shaji, the education minister said the department had adopted the decision made by the
federal government during the 8th inter-provincial education ministers meeting held on July 25 last year in Lahore. In pursuance
of the decision, the Sindh education department had notified that composite examination of class IX and X would be held from
2007 and there would be no examination of class IX in 2006.

Replying to supplementary questions, Dr Khuhro said the matter of raising examination fees by the board was the board‘s
decision which did not fall under her authority. However, she would recommend an inquiry about it.

She was of the view that holding separate examinations of class IX and X over burdened the teachers. She dispelled the
impression about non-availability of syllabus books in the market saying the old syllabus books were allowed as the new
syllabus was yet to be finalised.

She also said the duration of school vacations was curtailed to increase the number of days in the academic session. She said
this policy was to be implemented from last year but due to severe criticism in the Press, the Sindh government delayed
implementation for a year. She also said schools could conduct examination for class IX but in the board examination, students
had to appear in all papers including Sindhi compulsory.

Dr Khuhro evaded a question by MQM member Shakir Ali whether there was any constitutional obligation for implementation of
the decisions taken by pointing out that the policy was framed in the light of the decisions taken at the inter-province ministerial
moot and with consultation from educationists and other concerned experts.

Nasrullah Shaji in his supplementary question drew the attention of the minister that due to the educational standard in
government schools, it was difficult to clear three papers out of five, then how would students clear 10 papers in one attempt.
He said when the world was moving towards semester examination system, we were moving to conduct one examination in two
years.

He asked the minister why Rs 500 were being charged as fees from students by the board if class IX examinations were not
going to be conducted by the board?

Talib Imam of MQM recalled that composite examinations were conducted last time in Sindh in 1962 . Now when the world was
moving towards semester system, we were once again reverting to the past practice. He said instead of looking towards Punjab
, the logical situation and the realities on the grounds should be kept in view in formulating policy.

Nisar Ahmad Khuhro, leader of the opposition, asked the decision of composite examination was taken in 2005 then why it was
being implemented after a year. Naila Inam of PML-Q said that the government had transferred the load of teachers of
conducting examination and invigilation of papers on students.

Begum Bilqees Mukhtar of MQM said that already there were lot of vacations then how come students could complete the two
years syllabus in one year to prepare themselves for the composite examination.

Yunous Barai of MMA said when there were total harmony among treasury and opposition benches on the new policy of
composite examination, why not a unanimous motion should be moved?

Ferheen Ambreen of MQM said for composite examination rich parents could afford to send their wards for tuitions and attend


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extra classes but lower middle class families could not afford this. Their children would be the worst sufferers in the new
system.

Anwar Ali Mehar of PPP said why the assembly was not taken into confidence on such an important issue.

Shazia Marri asked what the education minister meant by saying that children would be forced to study. Is she meant that
children would be tortured to compel the to study?

Jam Tamachi of PPP asked if any study was carried in the neighbouring countries like India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh before
taking such radical decision?

Humera Alwani of PPP asked if stake holders, parents and teachers were taken into confidence before taking this decision.

Bano Saghir of PPP (Patriot) and Irfan Shah and Ayaz Soomro of PPP also criticised the composite examination system.

While another member from the treasury benches drew attention towards private schools where fees were charged on flimsy
ground and those children who could not make it were being punished.

Before some other members could engage the minister by repeating similar questions the chair called it a day at 12 noon to
reassemble on Monday at 10.am.

Earlier the House, which was called to order around 1.05 am ,two hours behind its schedule time of 9 am, offered Fateha for
Syed Wahab Kazmi, resident editor of The Nation, advocate Muhammad Ali Gorgev who was killed in Larkana in the session
court premises on Friday and for those who died due to Dengue fever.
(By Habib Khan Ghori, Dawn-17, 18/11/2006)



                                Legislation for home-based workers demanded
KARACHI, Nov 20: Speakers at a workshop on Monday demanded that special laws specifically dealing with the problems
being faced by home-based workers (HBWs) be formulated so that their rights could be safeguarded.

The workshop on ‗Situation of home-based workers – reference to their legal rights‘ was organised by the Aurat Foundation.

The speakers said that the condition of workers employed in the organised sector was also not good but at least there existed
laws which, if implemented properly, could protect their rights but the situation of these HBWs was even worse as there were
no laws regarding their problems, leaving such workers at the mercy of the contractors or the middlemen.

They also urged the authorities to sign the International Labour Organisation‘s Convention – ILO‘s Home Work Convention C
177-- dealing with the issues being faced by these workers and also formulate local laws in its conformity.

The definition, according to the ILO C 177, of Home-Based Work is: The work carried out by a person in his or her home or in
other premises of his or her choice other than the workplace of the employer for remuneration, which results in a product or
service as specified by the employer, irrespective of who provides the equipment, materials and other inputs used.

They suggested that the government should register all the home-based workers and it should be made mandatory on the
contractors etc to get their work done only from the registered workers. The government should also fix some minimum wages
for such workers. They said that at present the home-based workers were not organised so they could not bargain for better
wages. The speakers said that these workers had no facilities like medical, pension, insurance etc.

Some of the home-based workers present on the occasion told the audience that while the wages were increasing with time,
their earnings had declined by between 30 to 40 per cent a month.

They said that they earned between Rs30 and Rs50 a day. The materials are supplied by contractors at their homes and these
contractors then take the finished products and usually pay on weekly basis, they informed.

The contractor not only pay less but usually cheat also, they added. The workers – Rizwana, Kashifa, Sonia, Farhana,
Ambareen, Naushaba and others -- said that they were helpless and could not ask for higher wages, which had declined by
around 30 per cent in the past three to four years, as more women were ready to work for less. They said that the middlemen
made a huge profit. Citing an example they said that if they were paid Rs50 for an embroidery piece, it was sold for over
Rs1,500 in the shop. The shopkeeper and the contractor pocketed the profit.

Among others Mr Justice (retd) Shaiq Usmani, Shirin Khokhar, Nahid Syed and Malka Khan spoke on the occasion.
(Dawn-18, 21/11/2006)



              Closure of educational institutions for IDEAS 2006 irks students, parents
KARACHI: The education sector in Pakistan is one of the most neglected sectors and the students‘ future is the least concern
of our rulers. The latest example of this callousness is the unscheduled closure of the schools and colleges of Karachi on
Tuesday (today) - because the city is under siege by the law-enforcing agencies on the occasion of ‗Ideas 2006‘ to provide
foolproof security to the VIPs visiting the Karachi Expo Centre.

The school children and college students suffered immensely as all the roads leading to the Expo Centre were either closed or
the vehicles were thoroughly checked by the security personnel resulting in the traffic jams. Sniffing dogs were used around the
Expo Centre to detect bombs and other explosive devices. Gun toting, battle-ready Rangers and armed forces personnel were
everywhere as if ready for a battle around that area. The students and other commuters were stuck in the traffic for long
durations. Many of them reached their destinations after more than two or three hours, exhausted, mentally and physically.
The announcement of the Sindh Education Department for the closure of the schools and colleges came as a surprise to the
parents and the students. Shahid Hashmi, a student of class VIII in a government school was very upset about the holiday.

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―We are already having so many holidays. What will happen to our education? Why are they (authorities) playing with our
future‖, he fumed. Yet another student of class IX in a private school was of the opinion, echoed by many others, that the Expo
Centre should be shifted to some other place, far from the centre of the city to avoid such chaotic conditions that had become a
permanent feature.

Dr Abbasi, a university professor, who heads a research institute of the university, was aghast at the traffic congestion caused
by the unprecedented security around the Expo Centre. ―I pick and drop my son at his school on Shaheed-i-Millat Road and
normally it takes hardly one hour, both ways, but today I was detained for more than four hours‖. It is horrible. It is disgusting.
What is the enlightened moderation? To make it a police state and foist pain and misery on the citizens? She was really angry.

Many students of the University of Karachi were disturbed as the examinations are going on in the university. They wanted to
know if the university too was closed. Qazi Saleem, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the university said that it would be
opened on Tuesday. Haris Ashraf, a student in the Arts Faculty, said that the uncertainty about the holidays was very disturbing
and one could not concentrate on the studies.

Most of the students, parents, and others were of the opinion that the autocratic system of governance that had penetrated the
country and the educational institutions was undesirable. ―We cannot attain the progress and prosperity that has come to many
Asian countries by the hollow slogans and jingoism.

We do not need immorality and borrowed culture from other countries. What we need is decent schooling for our children, our
right to take three square meals a day, drink clean water and live freely in our country‖, an irate parent summed up the
sentiments of many others who nodded in approval in front of their homes in a residential colony.
(By Perwez Abdullah, The News-2, 21/11/2006)



                                            School adopters in a dilemma
                                                     By Zubeida Mustafa
THE adopt-a-school project launched by the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) under its dynamic managing director, Prof
Anita Ghulam Ali, in 1997 faces a dilemma.
Having peaked in 2004 when 251 schools enjoyed the benefits of sponsorship, the scheme now has only 150 institutions in its
fold. Having shown that a public-private partnership in education can work, the adopt-a-school system has opened the way for
others to follow suit.

There are a number of adoption schemes now in vogue at multiple tiers. For instance, there are schools that are adopted by
private individuals and still have their links with the SEF. There are other schools that have been adopted with encouragement
from the Sindh education department that has created partnerships to ease its own financial burden — the private sector enters
the scheme to pay for the adopted school‘s physical infrastructure.
Others have found adopters through the courtesy of the local government or even the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy. Now
the FPCCI has also entered the scene and has promised to improve the physical infrastructure of 50 schools, though they
seemed reluctant to use the word ―adopt‖ for their project. This is at the behest of the city government of Karachi.

Ms Ghulam Ali is happy that there is much public interest in the school adoption idea that has caught on and is providing some
benefits to the education sector.

But what is worrying — and she agrees with my concern — is that the underlying goal of the adopt-a-school scheme has not
always been kept in view. When Ms Ghulam Ali had conceptualised the project, she had expected private citizens who adopted
a government school to not only provide financial resources to improve its physical infrastructure but also to play a role in the
supervision and monitoring of its management and functioning.

Some of the sponsors had been so motivated that they would make it a point to visit their adopted school regularly to keep an
eye on its working. If they felt that the staff strength was not adequate they even paid the salary of a teacher. Others arranged
for training workshops for the teachers to improve their performance. True, there was friction — the schools with lax and corrupt
managements resented this intrusion and tried to resist it. But in those days, the schools came under the jurisdiction of the
Sindh education department, and in spite of all its failings, the department did not ignore the sponsors if they brought wrong
practices of teachers and principals to the notice of the authorities.

With devolution and the restructuring of the local bodies system, the organisation and management of the schools has been
transformed and not necessarily for the better. Today, the education department‘s job is restricted to that of policymaking. The
supervision and inspection roles have been transferred to the executive district officer, education, (EDO) who has usually been
co-opted from the education department but works under the city government. Previously, the education department would post
its own officer in every district to supervise the schools.

This has caused the working of educational institutions to be undermined. According to Ms Ghulam Ali, the education sector is
totally politicised now with the EDO reporting to a number of officials. In effect, he is caught in a tug of war between the
education secretariat of the government of Sindh, the nazims of the town governments, the district coordination officer
(previously the district commissioner) and the DPO who is a police officer. One can visualise the impact of this struggle for
power and influence on the adopter who is supposed to be supervising the schools and improving their quality. As a result, the
adopters are now spending mostly on bricks and mortar.

Previously, the SEF had developed a system of accountability in the schools‘ management by strengthening the school
management committees (SMC) that are mandatory under the law. But with the politicisation inherent in devolution, the SMCs
found their functioning hampered and in due course these committees were rendered ineffective. The interference by the
nazims became intolerable and the community — represented by the parents — that was supposed to be the backbone of the
SMC system lost interest and drifted away.

As a result, the adopters have also begun to pull out. Until last year, when Mr Naimatullah Khan was the city nazim of Karachi
and was responsive to the SEF‘s calls — at least verbally — Ms Ghulam Ali tried desperately hard to stem the slide. She would
convey the adopters‘ complaints to the nazim in no uncertain language, but to no avail. Her letters were hard hitting and one of
them even stated ―the condition in schools is deteriorating by the day and the quality of education is reaching irretrievable
depths.‖
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The city district government of Karachi under the MQM has ignored the SEF‘s position on the adopted schools. The latest
sponsor to pull out is Azra Karrar, the executive trustee of Helping Hands Trust. Her husband, Haider Karrar, the son of Prof
Karrar Husain, had adopted the Government Boys‘ Secondary School, Nazimabad #2, in 2001. The trust raised Rs 15,00,000
in donations and spent it on cleaning the premises and building a boundary wall. More importantly, a computer lab was set up
and the school library was renovated and equipped. A librarian and a computer instructor were employed. The students were
given a medical check-up and 118 teachers were sent to training workshops. A full time education adviser was appointed to
oversee the working of the school.

The school had begun to revive and enrolment was going up. All the effort and money have gone waste because Azra Karrar
feels that ―due to the non-cooperation of the directly related stakeholders, no substantial work‖ could be done in the school for a
year. She decided to pull out when her pleas evoked no response. If things continue as at present, more adopters will withdraw.

This would be a deadly blow to education in Sindh. The fact is that financial constraints are no longer the first problem of the
education sector at the macro level. With funds flowing in so generously — the country‘s education budget jumped up to Rs 163
billion in 2005-06 — one can hardly complain that the education department‘s hands are tied due to lack of financial resources.
It is management and supervision that is lacking. Having fallen victim to widespread corruption at all levels, the education
authorities have failed to ensure efficiency and conscientiousness in the working of the school system. Accountability is
minimal. The SEF-sponsored adopters were at least providing this to a certain level.

The only light at the end of the tunnel is the SEF‘s research project to ―re-envision the adopt-a-school system‖. Since July, the
foundation has been investigating the working of public-private partnerships in education in our environment. According to the
director of the Foundation, Mashhood Rizvi, his team is studying ―the various forms of adoption and what would be the best way
forward‖. The FPCC&I is also trying to devise a workable approach with the city district government. Whether a feasible
approach will be found we will have to wait and see. But this is clear that in the ultimate analysis the government will have to
take responsibility for the successful working of the education sector.
(By Zubeida Mustafa, Dawn-7, 22/11/2006)



                                     Centres for special children in poor shape
KARACHI, Nov 22: There is no proper official arrangement for rehabilitation of special children in Karachi. The social welfare
department has opened five rehabilitation centres in different localities for the deaf and dumb, but these centres are in a
pathetic condition. Shortage of funds and poor transport facilities are the main problems.
The former district government allocated Rs100,000, as a special fund but it was not released. The government is supposed to
provide the quarterly budget but it is often released late and the officials incharge bear the current expenditure from their
pockets. The food budget has also been stopped.

The existing rehabilitation centres are located at Asifabad (SITE Town), Al-Noor Society (Gulberg Town), Memon Goth (Malir
Town) and Lyari Town, where deaf and dumb and children aged between 5 to 14 years with minor physical retardation are
admitted. These institutions are basically rehabilitation centres, where primary classes, vocational training in carpentry,
electricity and embroidery are available.

The aim of the RHCs was to build special children‘s confidence so they could earn their livelihood and lead honourable lives.
The regrettable aspect is that the facilities given in the past, like physiotherapy, medical care and food, are no longer available.
Each of these centres has only one vehicle, which are always in need of maintenance and mostly out of order. The budget has
not been revised, despite the fact fuel prices have increased manifold, and the centres have to limit their transport facilities only
to close vicinity.

An official, seeking anonymity, told this scribe in the past advisory committees under the chairmanship of deputy
commissioners, used to arrange funds from the well-to-do. But with the devolution of powers system, none of the officials of
these centres can ask for donations directly from people.
The idea of opening of the centres was the brainchild of General Zia ul Haq, who had a handicapped daughter, therefore, he
paid much attention towards them.

Another officer said in a city like Karachi, four centres were insufficient, and such centres should be set up in more areas, so
that handicapped people of remote areas could be rehabilitated at their doorsteps.
Some parents have demanded boarding houses so their children who hail from far-flung areas can also benefit.

The Asifabad RHC was established in 1991 and has 50 students on its rolls. A Suzuki hi-roof is used to pick and drop students.
It has no physiotherapist and there is a shortage of furniture and water in the centre. The students are given training in weaving,
electrical work.

There is another rehabilitation centre in Block 20 in Al-Noor Society which was established in 1990. There are 20 regular
students while 27 students are enrolled. People throw garbage inside the centre‘s building, and the staff has no choice except
burn it, the smoke enters the classrooms and affects the children.

It has only one van and students reach the centre late. There is no sweeper in the centre. The centre has no boundary wall and
urgently needs an iron grill. The RHC in Lyari is situated opposite the Lyari General Hospital. There are 54 students, but the
transport facilities to pick and drop them are inadequate. Residents mostly belong to the low-income group and cannot afford to
transport their children, and the solution is provision of another vehicle. The centre also needs a physiotherapist for the polio-
affected children.

There is no night watchman and miscreants have broken all windowpanes. The centre is short of furniture. Termites have
attacked the doors and windows.. The incharge said two condemned vans have created a space problem, and need to be
removed. Land grabbers are trying to occupy the centre, and the centre in-charge alone is fighting a legal battle, and so far
protected state-land from the encroachers

There are two rehabilitation centre at Korangi, and an RHC at Memon goth which face the same problems. These centres need
proper transport facilities and funds.
The rehabilitation centre for the blind in Gulistan-e-jauhar is run by the federal government.
(By Ali Hazrat Bacha, Dawn-17, 23/11/2006)

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                                                School teachers’ protest
TEACHERS in Punjab are rallying behind their Government-School Senior Teachers‘ Association to press their demands that
include better pays and allowances as well as improving the working conditions of the teaching staff in public schools. The
association has chalked out a lengthy protest plan with peaceful demonstrations set to take place district-wide throughout the
province before culminating in a rally on January 10 in Lahore — unless, of course, their rightful demands are met by the
government in the mean time. The teachers‘ grievances are long-standing and many; most of the demands made by them also
make good sense. These include, for instance, the filling of what the teachers allege are thousands of vacant posts in the
provincial education department, not least those of head teachers and school headmasters. The posts have been lying vacant
for years while promotions on the basis of seniority are being held back. Successive governments have paid little heed to such
demands, opting, instead, for interventions in the public school system by non-governmental organisations at various levels.
Even the teacher training staff has been hired by the government on an ad hoc basis; they are paid much lower wages than is
their due for a permanent job in the same capacity. The policy, the teachers say, is based on the whims of ruling politicians who
are in the habit of paying lip service to furthering the cause of education, but doing nothing substantive.

The status of teachers in society, especially those employed in the public education system, leaves a lot to be desired. It is a
shame that nothing has been done to better the lot of those whose vocation it is to educate the nation‘s children. The deep-
rooted dissatisfaction found among public school teachers hampers the very noble task they are entrusted with.
(Dawn-7, 26/11/2006)



                                               Medical universities galore
THE Prague University is the oldest university in Europe. Universities of Paris, Heidelberg and Uppsala are also a few of the old
ones in the region. These universities have a long history of struggle for their survival, but carried on functioning in different
circumstances. Now these institutions are highly respected for they have, over a period of considerable time, produced some of
the finest individuals in the history of mankind excelling in their respective fields. Fortunately these universities‘ graduates did
their level best for the progress of the institutions from where they studied even at the cost of their own health, wealth and time.

Jamia Azher of Cairo is another fine example, where spreading knowledge and research continued despite wars between
Jews, Christians and Muslims. History tells us that its academicians continued fighting and arguing about their opinions in
relation to scientific and unscientific theories, history, social sciences etc., but they never traded the land where their alma
mater was to become wealthy. Sadly, Pakistan is one country where the so-called highly educated graduates find no hesitation
in selling and buying educational institutions for their own benefit.

The University of London is a very young university compared to the above-mentioned institutes. The University College
London was established in 1827 and the King College London was founded in 1829. In 1836, William IV gave a royal charter to
establish the University of London comprising the above-mentioned two institutes. The government and the graduates of the
London University did their level best to make their institution one of the best in the world. After 170 years of its foundation the
university has five medical colleges - the Kings College Medical School, St. Bath Hospital Medical School, St. Thomas Hospital
Medical School, St. Georges Medical School, Queen Mary School of Medicine and Dentistry. They also have the renowned
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the School of Pharmacy, the Royal Veterinary College, Imperial College and
the famous Institute of Cancer Research.

It is interesting to read the history of prestigious universities and find out that different modern facilities have enhanced their
performance with the passage of time. The reasons are simple. Spreading education and knowledge was the main objective of
these universities. They were not there to promote and employ friends and project their personal desire at the cost of public
expense.

THE HISTORY OF MEDICAL UNIVERSITIES IN PAKISTAN
A group of professors at the Liaquat Medical College Jamshoro recently decided to establish the first medical university in
Pakistan in Hyderabad. They knew very well that the LMC as a medical college and civil hospital as a teaching hospital were
not functioning well. These institutions had failed to achieve their goals because of politics and unnecessary control of
bureaucrats in the Health Department over them. Instead of addressing these issues and trying to convince the authorities that
there was a need for fulltime medical colleges, they worked hard to have a medical university with many other things in mind.
Fortunately to them an LMC graduate retired general from the army medical corps became the Health Minister of Sindh.
Without going through consultation and proper planning, the graduate of the Sindh University in collaboration with the health
minister decided to create a medical university in the medical college affiliated to the University of Sindh.

The first medical university was established at the Liaquat Medical College against the advice of experts on the initiative of
some professors and the health minister who decided not to address the real issues of health in Sindh. They started a particular
project without knowing that all senior professors having vested interests would come along using government funding for their
own benefit, and not for the poor and unfortunate patients.

We have serious management issues facing our medical education system. We have part-time medical colleges with part-time
faculty members who are producing glorified MBBS quacks in the country. Our health delivery system is pathetic because our
Basic Health Units (BHUs), Rural Health Centres (RHCs), Taluka Hospital (THQs) and District Headquarters (DHQs) are not
functional. We are not producing well-trained nurses, midwives and paramedics. We have also failed to eradicate polio, malaria
and tuberculosis from society. Hepatitis B, C and HIV are spreading slowly. Our immunisation programmes are failing due to
the immense corruption that‘s not letting them work. Our people are not receiving primary healthcare nor do they receive proper
emergency care at our so-called tertiary healthcare centres.

Instead of addressing the above-mentioned issues our health planners, convinced by the so-called professors, started a new
game of opening medical universities. It is like purchasing a new expensive racing car for a 14-year-old boy who is not even
qualified to appear for a driving license test.

With the creation of a medical university in Hyderabad another minister of health and another professor of surgery came with
the idea of a Punjabi Medical University in Lahore. The Lahore University of Health Sciences was created to accommodate this
professor and his group before the return of politicians in the government under the governance of General Maqbool in Punjab.
With the formation of a political government in Islamabad and provinces, the MQM government in Sindh decided to create
another medical university in Karachi.
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With the establishment of a medical university at the Dow Medical College Karachi another group of professors close to the
chief minister of Punjab came with the argument that if Sindh can have two medical universities why not Punjab, which is a
bigger province. Overnight, the Kings Edward Medical College was converted into a medical university through another
executive order. In fact, Punjab is bigger and more populated and has more professors in the healthcare system with vested
interests compared to other provinces. Punjab can easily have more than five medical universities in the province. The Punjab
government has also announced the establishing of a veterinary medicine university in Lahore.

The professors in the NWFP and Balochistan with good political contacts have not been watching all of this quietly. The NWFP
government has announced the establishment of a medical university in Peshawar and a file is already lying in front of the chief
minister of Balochistan which is about the creation of a medical university in the province.

THE ROLE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
The Federal Ministry of Health should have noticed all of this. A committee or a commission should have been formed or at
least some experts from the country or abroad should have been appointed to come up with a report on the feasibility of these
universities. The Ministry of Health had all the time and resources to form committees and commissions to probe into the
matters related to the Pakistan Medical Dental Council, the Pakistan Nursing Council and the College of Physicians and
Surgeons Pakistan, but were not interested in it. Instead the Ministry of Health came out with the idea of two medical
universities, the Jinnah Medical University at the JPMC and another medical university at PIMS Islamabad.

THE ROLE OF THE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION (HEC)
The HEC also failed to understand or did not want to understand the purpose of the mushroom growth of medical universities in
Pakistan. Without going into the profiles of the professors concerned and knowing that none of them were able to run their
wards efficiently, it allowed things to happen.

Schools, colleges, and universities cannot come into existence through executive orders and political manipulation, for such
institutions cannot address the basic health issues of the people.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
    A powerful commission should be formed to identify the real health issues of the poor;
    The real challenges in medical education and training in Pakistan should be identified;
    There is a need for fulltime medical colleges with fulltime faculty members to run fulltime health facilities for the poor;
    There should be the provision of primary healthcare and activation of the BHUs, the RHCs, the THQs and Tertiary
       Care Hospitals;
    Why medical universities should be created and what goal they can achieve in future for the poor should be
       analysed.

Once we have taken into consideration all these pointers, a taskforce will be required to deal with these issues.
(By Dr. Shershah Syed, Dawn-The Magazine-5, 26/11/2006)



                                      HRCP seminar stresses on basic rights
KARACHI, Nov 29: Providing basic facilities like food, shelter, health and education is the basic responsibility of government
and unless this responsibility is fulfilled, the dream of putting the country on the path of progress and prosperity cannot
materialise. This was observed by speakers at a seminar held here under the auspices of the Human Rights Commission of
Pakistan (HRCP). The speakers included HRCP Director Mr I. A. Rehman, Mr Asad Saeed, Dr Qaiser Bengali and
representatives from various NGOs.

They noted that in Pakistan, government did not recognise the importance of fundamental rights. They stressed on reforming
the system and making new human rights laws, as well as effective implementation of the laws.

Pakistan spends a very amount from budget on education and health sectors and this shows that its rulers do not consider
health and education as important sectors, according to the speakers.
They observed that depriving people of their basic rights was the main reason for the political and economic backwardness of
the country and a cause of instability. Pakistan could not be developed until its governments recognised and restored people‘s
fundamental rights and ensured their social protection, they said.

The speakers pointed out that no government could deny food, shelter, education and health to its citizens as provision of these
essentials of life was a citizen‘s fundamental right. It was the responsibility of a government to ensure that people were getting
these basic facilities.

Dr Qaiser Bengali said that time had changed and people had now set up various associations to wage a struggle to attain their
fundamental rights. He observed that such struggles were, in fact, stronger than movements of other causes.
He suggested that social rights be included in the UN declaration on Human Rights as its integral part. He said that the right to
live was linked with the right to livelihood, health and education. He stressed that government should fulfil its responsibility of
provide a job to every deserving citizen. Similarly, he added, shelter was a citizen‘s natural right and government was bound to
ensure availability of a piece of land available to him for residential purpose.
The speakers also emphasised on identifying priorities and waging collective struggle to attain other basic rights.
(Dawn-17, 30/11/2006)




                                                               90
DECEMBER

                                               Ensuring education for all
PAKISTAN‘S education policymakers are in for a shock. Unesco, which has been monitoring the performance of countries in
the school sector, has released its report for 2006 and the findings on Pakistan are dismal. All the tall claims made by the
government notwithstanding, the intake of children in school is not increasing. Nearly 6.5 million children in the age group five
to nine years in Pakistan are out of school — they are either helping their family with housework at home, or are part of the
child labour force or are loitering in the streets. This is not taking the country anywhere close to the millennium development
goal of education for all. It is not boosting the literacy rate either. As the chief of the policy review team in the ministry of
education disclosed, the enrolment ratios can be quite misleading. Though 59 per cent of the children are enrolled in primary
schools, on an average the boys spend only 3.8 years and the girls 1.3 years in school instead of the conventional five years.
No wonder, the drop-out rate is phenomenally high.

What conclusion does one draw from this piece of information? It is now plain that at this rate Pakistan can never achieve the
millennium goal in education by the year 2015. The lack of education at the basic level will affect the country‘s progress in every
sector especially at a time when the relentless drive for globalisation is making trade, economic relations and other interaction
highly competitive. Even now the country is being overtaken by others which were much behind it a few years ago. What then is
the solution? More money for the education sector is the usual answer. But that is no solution if the policymakers have no idea
about the direction they should take. It is plain that poverty and the inaccessibility to education are keeping children out of
schools. By adopting innovative approaches such as flexible school hours, schools in every village, economic incentives for the
poor, improving the quality of education and a holistic approach to child development, the authorities can induct more children
into school. An increase in funds would help attain these goals provided the spending is carefully planned and channelled.
(Dawn-7, 02/12/2006)


                                         Murder of four women condemned
KARACHI, Dec 1: An NGO working for women‘s rights condemned the murder of four women in the name of honour and
demanded that the killers be arrested, tried and punished sternly.
In a statement issued here on Friday the NGO, Aurat Foundation, said that the four victims – Naseem, Shahzadi, Nasiba and
Safia – were killed in Abdoo Goth, Shikarpur, a few days back under the pretext of Karo-kari.

It also demanded that the provision of compromise available in the recently passed law regarding Karo-kari, be taken out as
owing to the loophole the murderers, who were close relatives, got away with the murder.
It said that at the time of passage of the Karo-kari law, civil society activists had pointed out that the provision of compromise
would be misused and it had been proved correct as the cases of Karo-kari killings had not declined.

It said that if the government was really serious about the protection of women it should withdraw the provision to compound /
compromise available in the Karo-kari law and should take stern steps against the culprits so that it could act as a deterrent and
discriminatory customs towards women could be stopped.
(Dawn-18, 02/12/2006)


                                Districts to get Rs100m for school infrastructure
KARACHI: The Sindh government has launched worth Rs2.3 billion Sindh Education Reform Programme (SERP) under which
every district of the province would receive Rs100 million for infrastructural improvement in schools.

This was told in a meeting on Saturday presided over by Sindh Education Minister Dr Hamida Khuhro. The Education Secretary
Sabhago Khan Jatoi signed terms of partnership (ToP) with EDOs (Education) of the 23 districts. Under this partnership,
performance of the district governments would be evaluated on an annual basis and future financing of reform programme will
be linked to the fulfillment of obligations under partnership and on utilisation of funds for activities for which these have been
earmarked.

These funds will be utilised in accordance with mechanism and institutional arrangements approved by Reform Support Unit
(RSU) Steering Committee for dealing with planning, release of funds and monitoring and evaluation of the programme. Dr
Khuhro noted that funds would be given categorically about 25 per cent for shelterless schools, 25 per cent for construction of
additional classrooms and 50 per cent to equip schools with missing facilities.

The total period of SERP is expected to be completed in three years, she added. Responding to a question about shortage of
teachers especially in rural areas, Dr Khuhro said recruitment of teachers was delayed owing to certain reasons but assured
that shortage of teachers would be resolved and advertisement in this regard would be published in newspapers soon.

She also stressed upon close association among district governments and the Education department for successful
accomplishment of SERP. Secretary Implementation Nazar Muhammad Mahar warned that in case of misappropriate use of
development funds, the district administration would compensate the amount.

He emphasised on giving priority to girls‘ schools and number of enrolment should also be raised besides imparting quality
education. Giving details of education uplift programmes, the secretary education apprised that Rs15 billion would be spent to
upgrading 475 schools across the province while with Rs1.1 billion facility of primary education would be made available in 136
Madaris.

Besides, Rs1.6 billion would be spent on teachers training programme, Mahar said. Over 206 computer labs would be set up
with cost of Rs1.2 billion in the first phase while another 1,000 schools would be linked to the IT project in the second phase.
According to ToP, the provincial government would arrange printing of textbooks for free distribution to students studying in
Class-I to Class-X of government schools. A stipend of Rs 1,000 per girl per year would be provided to all girls studying in
Class-IV to Class-X in government schools.
(The News-5, 03/12/2006)

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                                    Karachi University: a fortune worth reviving
  Karachi University's architecture is hailed by many as one of the finest pieces of modernist architecture in all of South Asia.
                                      What makes it so extraordinary? Kolachi investigates...

                                                        By Bilal Tanweer
If you are a layperson walking into the Karachi University (KU) campus, rest assured that you will not be awestruck by its
architecture. You will not find anything that is as awe-inspiring as the Badshahi Mosque or as daunting as the Shah Faisal
Mosque: no high-rise structures, no thick columns, no calligraphy on the walls and ceilings, and absolutely no surface
ornamentation. The buildings have nothing which would jump out to impress someone whose ideals of architecture lie in the
grand edifices of the Mughal era. In fact, the conspicuous feature of these buildings lies in the absence of anything outlandishly
spectacular. At the same time, in these buildings, there are some crucial things which the untrained eye fails to spot – indeed,
takes for granted: the perfectly proportioned spaces, repeated emphasis on spacious and airy corridors, comfortable
temperature in the buildings, and the presence of light and air throughout the built space, which keeps the buildings functioning
even without electricity.

It is perhaps due to its ostensible humility that this work of architecture has failed to catch the eye of those at the helm of affairs,
because the other thing which makes an impression on the untrained eye is a lack of maintenance. The green spaces have
been left to wild; the water-channels – which were supposed to be one of the central decorative features in the original design –
run dry; the once plain white walls now show the flora and fauna of paan-spits, while some of the original air-passages have
been amended to accommodate the air conditioners – and all this is just scratching the surface.
Background

Karachi University was designed by the French architect, archaeologist and town-planner, Michel Ecochard during 1955-58,
who is considered to be one of the most 'passionate missionaries of the modernist movement' in architecture. To really
appreciate Ecochard's vision, and hence these buildings, it is important to understand the modernist movement, and what
Ecochard was aiming to achieve.

The Modernist International style in architecture wanted to break with architectural tradition and design simple, unornamented
buildings. The most commonly used materials in such architecture are glass for the facade, steel for exterior support, and
concrete for the floors and interior supports; floor plans were, as a rule, functional and logical. At the same time, the modernists
laid great emphasis on using local materials, which are easily available and suited to local conditions. Therefore, the Karachi
University buildings were constructed using local materials predominantly sandstone and exposed raw concrete.

It is difficult to appreciate these buildings and their aesthetic if divorced from the functional aspect. Indeed, the function
assumes primacy in all modernist architecture. According to architects like Arif Hasan and Arif Belgaumi, Karachi University is
one of the finest pieces of modernist architecture in not just Pakistan, but all of South Asia (other notable mentions would be Le
Corbusier's Chandigarh and Louis Kahn's Capital Complex in Dhaka). Karachi University's buildings have a very strong
rectilinear plan with the linkage of open spaces, courtyards and corridors. The extended shades, which serve to create sharp
shadows but allow for light and air, have been exaggerated to serve as geometric patterns; cantilevers emphasize the
openness and fluidity of spaces; and throughout the buildings, primacy is on temperature and creating spaces which are
energy-conserving. "Even when there is no electricity, classes go on as usual. They are never too hot in summers or too cold in
winters," says a student. In the original design of the university, only laboratories were air-conditioned.

What went wrong?
It should be noted that an official comment on the matter could not be obtained by either the Vice Chancellor or the Registrar of
the University despite repeated written requests and phone calls. However, interviews with people related to the architectural
profession revealed that Ecochard's original designs were never wholly implemented in the first place. The most glaring of
these omissions and which a visitor cannot fail to notice is landscaping. Landscaping, in this case, is an integral part of the
whole plan and is vital to the effectiveness of the buildings. It was only scantly implemented: trees were chosen without any
thought, water channels, which were once functional, now serve as trashcans and 'green spaces' throughout the university are
vast barren areas. In the original designs, Ecochard went down to the minute details of studying local plants and chose flowers
and plants which were suited best to shape the ambience of the campus the way he imagined. Even here, Ecochard
emphasised the indigenous flora and fauna which was easy to obtain and suited the conditions.

The buildings, however, were constructed according to Ecochard's designs and the structures we see today were erected in
accordance with their conceiver's vision. During interviews with several architects, it was revealed that these buildings are no
less than great works of world heritage. None of them, at the same time, denied the constraints faced by the university: a
campus originally designed for 7,000 students has now swelled to over 20,000 students. Also, the number of associated
departments has outgrown the original plan, and so on. However, this is still not enough to justify the nature of construction
being carried out in the university.

The architects argue that the construction work was consigned to various engineering companies and architects have not been
consulted in the construction of newer buildings. The job, however, is not for engineers. All the professionals consulted are
unanimous in their opinion that new constructions have to maintain the language and the considerations of the original plan.
Indeed, while driving through the University, one is struck by the presence of many new edifices which, even to an untrained
eye, look no better than warts on a bald head. The most striking example is an attempted replica of MIT building in the midst of
the University which claims to be Umaer Basha Institute of Technology, constructed at a cost of 56 million rupees. Clearly,
money is not the issue here.

What is to be done?
"As a world heritage, we are sitting on a gold-mine," says Durriya Kazi, Head of the Department of Visual Studies, Karachi
University. "The possibilities are immense," says Durriya. "In an ideal situation we should build a museum exhibiting Ecochard's
original designs and invite students of architecture to learn from this work of this great master."

The historical legacy of these buildings, without doubt, is enormous. Aside from their importance as exemplary modernist
architecture, which can potentially serve as education for students and aficionados of architecture around the world, they are
also the markers of the spirit and mindset that the postcolonial countries embarked upon after their independence. The values
and ideals ingrained in these structures were the ones that the newly independent countries were aspiring towards: the
democratic institutions, the unwavering belief in science and technology, and a break with the colonial past.
"What is required is the involvement of architectural practitioners who can understand and appreciate Ecochard's vision, and
are competent enough to assess and interpret the original design to current needs. A competition will be a good idea," says Arif

                                                                  92
Belgaumi, representative of Institute of Architects Pakistan, Karachi Chapter, "but an international competition is not necessary.
We have enough competence here, and besides, if foreign firms come in they would look for larger chunks of money."

"Official buildings of each era reflect the mindset of the rulers of that time," says Arif Hasan, "a walk on Islamabad's
Constitutional Avenue will show the buildings commissioned by respective rulers reflecting their vision for the country." Indeed,
Karachi University's architecture espouses those ideals that have been sabotaged by our provincial concerns with time – also
quite symbolic of the direction that this country's history has taken. Looking at it even more broadly, these buildings also reflect
the dominant ideals of modernity and the twentieth century. Indeed, if the twentieth century was a 'terrible beauty', then walking
through these buildings shows how – and maybe even why.

But right now, the concern is that something needs to be done to excavate a forgotten treasure and to salvage Karachi's dying
heritage. Any takers?
(By Bilal Tanweer, The News-41, 03/12/2006)


                                           History on the shoulders of fiction
Creative writing has always been interpreted, valued and rated by criticism, while criticism is a specialised field in itself. The
competence of a critic always depends, apart from his inherent eye and imagination, not only on his command over the entire
literary background of the work under study but on his familiarity with trends in the literatures of other languages and in allied
disciplines of knowledge. There has usually been a definite compartmentalisation of art and its criticism, and the writer/poet has
always looked down upon criticism as something following the dictates of his creative pursuits. It has been rare to find a critic
trying his hand at creative work -- and the reverse has also been true.

Mohammad Hassan Aksari, perhaps one of the most celebrated critics in Urdu, has not received recognition for the very
impressive short stories he has written. The recent example of Shamsur Rehman Faruqi has proved a bit different. After
devoting a major chunk of his life to criticism (of a modernist inclination) he decided, a decade or so ago, to go all out for short
stories and fiction. The point in mentioning these big names is that their creative works are not directly related to their critical
views and concepts, and the mutual isolation of the two disciplines holds even here, in the same individual.

Retrospectively speaking, in the '30s of the last century an unprecedented trend emerged. This was the progressive writers'
movement. Ideologically committed intellectuals not only themselves wrote to support their leftist stance, but bluntly declared all
the other stuff irrelevant. The movement invited tremendous counterargument and heated criticism.

During the middle years of the last century, Urdu witnessed the emergence of the concept and practice of the critic-writer. The
parameters of modernism were defined, and those aligned to this theory created poetry and fiction to document and
authenticate their ideological stance.

One trend which has not been much discussed till recently as a matter of exceptional significance is the concept of the
historian-writer. To historians, it may sound ridiculous to associate history with fiction. They believe it is romanticisation and
distortion of historical facts when such matters of fact creep into literature, insisting on being historically correct.

Dr. Mubarak Ali writes: "The fictionalisation of history becomes an obstacle in historiography of events". It is an argument based
on a text-bookish definition and concept of both history and literature. The objection to such literature can only be declared valid
if history is distorted or incorrectly disposed in favour of fiction. As he saying goes, "There is nothing true in history except
names and dates. There is nothing false in literature but the names and dates." And interestingly, Urdu and the literatures of
other languages of this region have also proved the later observation true. Mullah Abdul Qadir Badayuni, a historian, proves far
less correct and authentic then the poetry of Shah Hussian in telling of the history of the same time. We all know what
happened during the years of the fall of the Mughal kingdom from history books, but the way Ghalib conveys the history of the
years around 1857 in his letters is far ahead of the reaches of dry historical data.

In relatively recent times we have 'Aag ka darya' by Quratul Ain Haider and 'Udas naslain' by Abdullah Hussain. 'Kar-e-jahan
darez hai' by Quratul Ain is another such example. 'Ali Pur Ka Aili' by Mumtaz Mufti remained a worthy and highly rated novel
till he declared himself that it was in fact his autobiography. Here again history is beautifully carried on the shoulders of fiction.

This trend has assumed a bolder posture during the last decade or so. The greats of Urdu poetry, like Mir, Ghalib and Mushafi,
were picked up by Shams ur Rehman Faruqi as the central characters for his long short stories. He not only unfolded the
personal traits of these poets but also successfully portrayed the time in which they existed and excelled. Just few months ago,
his voluminous novel, 'Kae chand thay sar-e-asman', has appeared, which is not only a captivating piece of fiction but of history
as well. The author has included references, footnotes, and the historical background of his characters and their times. It is
perhaps the first attempt of its kind, and has been highly successful.

And now we are witnessing books in the fictional style appearing on individual cities. It's a totally different experiment, since in
all such books, it becomes difficult to decide whether such writings belong to history or fiction or both. Additionally they cover a
smaller time and locale.

'Lyalpur Kahani' by Ashfaq Bukhari is a relatively recent example. Faisalabad was Lyalpur till 1977, when its name was
changed -- to which Dr. Aamer in an article published in The Nation reacted by writing, "our soul was sold for a few coins (which
were never received)... the town accepted a new father without establishing the credibility of his claim for paternity."

Ashfaq Bukhari is an intellectual and research scholar bent upon reliving a past which he never actually witnessed. A past
which surrounds and haunts him. His charged emotions led him to hard labour to find out exactly how this city was erected by
the British. He doesnít leave the question ëwhyí unanswered. He rules out his own nostalgia as a possible bias by using two
prominent Fabian intellectuals of Britain, Sidney Webb and his wife Beatrice, to tell the tale. The narrative is fluent, with a
fictional touch. It is not the dry account of a city appearing on vast 'sandal bar' (an area between River Ravi and Chenab) in
1896, but an involving literary piece which contains glimpses of the natives of the land, describes their anger, refusal, hesitation
and humiliation to the tune of the applause of this glorification and development of the area by others. In the detailed
introductory note, Prof. Ghulam Rasul Tanvir describes Ashfaq Bukhari as announcing "stage by stage I will recreate the old
city in full in its original colours." Ashfaq Bukhari is well on his way to fulfil, with dignity and talent, this dream, a few more books
already about to appear in this context.
(By Abrar Ahmed, The News-30, 03/12/2006)

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                                               Punished for taking Khula
KARACHI: On October 11, 2005, twenty-four-year-old Shazia Khan was attacked by her family near her house at Bin Qasim
Town. Her estranged husband, step-brother, brother-in-law were all accomplices in an attempt on her life in which she lost her
right kidney and her five-year-old baby girl was also injured in the fray.

Shazia was attacked because she took Khula (dissolution of marriage) from her husband Mohammed Aslam, an action her
family deemed ‗dishonorable‘ and hence warranting death.
Shazia filed FIR 235/05 and the case was registered under Sec 324/34. Despite this, the culprits have still not been brought to
trial despite strong and credible evidence against them.

Ten years ago, Shazia, who belongs to a Pakhtoon family and is a native of Mansehra, was forcibly married with Mohammed
Aslam on the will of her step-brother and father Misal Khan who paid a huge amount to her husband.
Her wedding, she said, was solemnized according to Pakhtoon traditions, and from that day on her former husband treated her
as a slave, beating her with hot iron, and threatening to kill her. Despite these strained nuptial ties, Shazia gave birth to a baby
girl.

After being tortured physically and mentally, she left home along with her minor child and finally obtained Khula from her
husband on October 19, 2005, from the family court, Malir. After the dissolution of marriage, she completed ‗Iddat‘, following
which she got married with Shujaat Ali and was leading a contented life with her. After her second marriage, her former
husband sent her various messages threatening her with dire consequences. One day he succeeded in abducting her child,
while she was playing in the street and threatened to kill her second husband.

She told this reporter that her husband sent several letters to senior officials demanding protection from these culprits but all in
vain. On September 25, 2006, her former husband hired some goons who shot at her husband resulting in the fracture of his
leg; an FIR 264/06 was registered in Shah Latif police station. After attempting to murder him, they did not sit idle and were
constantly issuing life threats.

Seeing the thorny situation, Shazia said her in-laws were worried and asking their son to divorce Shazia. However, both
husband and wife submitted written application to the Chief Minister, Sindh, IG Sindh, DIG, TPOs, SHOs and concerned
officials demanding protection and safety against culprits Qasim, (brother-in-law), Aslam (husband), and Firdous Khan (father-
in-law).

After getting no response from the government quarters, Shazia approached an NGO, the DK Foundation, for legal assistance.
When contacted, Arif Dawood said that he would file a case on the basis of FIR against the culprits and, most probably, the
case would be filed on December 5, to coincide with the International Day for Violence against Women.
(By Shamim Bano, The News-4, 04/12/2006)


                                            SITE colleges victim of neglect
KARACHI, Dec 3: Owing to the negligence of government officials and shortage of teaching staff in many colleges in SITE
Town have not been able to introduced degree courses since their inception.
Due to staff shortage, the existing lecturers have to take extra classes and teach subjects other than their own. Some colleges
have hired services of cooperative lecturers on fixed salaries, which are not paid during the seasonal vacations and in case of
their absence.

There is only one government girls‘ degree college in the entire town. Located in Metroville, the college has no permanent
lecturer for 600 girls studying in faculties of science, commerce and humanities. A few lecturers have been appointed
temporarily on a fixed monthly salary of Rs4,000.

Since its inception in 2002, the statement of new expenditures has not been approved. Water supply to the college was
discontinued a couple of months back. Power meter has not been installed due to lack of funds and power needs are met
through illegal connection.

College principal claimed she had been corresponding with the concerned officials for the approval of SNEs.
She said all problems would be solved with the SNEs approval. She said 270 admissions to first year had been given till
November mid. However, she said, degree classes had not been started due to non-availability of staff.

Without a permanent watchman, the under-construction portion of the college was exposed to all. When this scribe visited the
college, trucks and coaches were parked outside its main gate.
The degree college for boys is located in Asifabad, where 1,100 students are imparted lectures by 10 teachers. Established in
1994, the SNE of college has not been revised for last many years.

Admissions are given in science, commerce and general groups. Owing to the shortage of teaching staff, only intermediate
admissions are being offered.
The principal, when asked, said the college required at least 10 more teachers. Besides, two posts of laboratory attendant, a
watchman and a gardener have been vacant in the college since long.
Due to financial constraints, the principal said, cooperative teachers could not be hired. He said the existing staff was very
cooperative, but for such a large number of students the college was in dire need of lecturers.

Lecturers complained about shortage of furniture in classrooms saying that the problem aggravates in exams.

Shortage of chemicals and equipment in laboratories and non-availability of museum in zoology department was also reported.
The doors and windows damaged by termites needed repair.
The Government College of Technology, spread over 103 acres located near Labour Square on the main Shershah-Baldia
Road, is one of the oldest colleges of the country.

Established in 1954 with the assistance of Ford Foundation and Colombo plan, it offers diploma of associate engineer and
BTech. However, the institution is facing shortage of staff. About 26 posts of teachers in different departments have been
vacant since long.

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Sixteen technologies have been functional in the college and all of them are in need of staff. The posts of librarians have also
been vacant and the duties have been assigned to clerical staff.

During visit to the college, it was learnt that posts of two professors, nine associate professors, eight assistant professors, four
lecturers and three senior instructors had been vacant since long.
The machinery in different departments of the college installed about half a century ago cannot fulfil the present requirement. In
this backdrop, the departments are facing shortage of proper equipment and students are unable to carry out practical works.
It was learnt that 50 students were enrolled in electronics department. Three instruments at its disposal were insufficient for all
students to carry out their practical works.

In power department, the steam boiler has not been functional for last one decade and students instead of doing something
practical can only look at the giant machine to learn theoretically about it.

During a visit to the department, it was learnt that a 25KV thermal power plant with steam engine turbines has not been
functional for the last about 18 years. A source revealed that the turbine was started last time on the arrival of a former
governor General Rahimuddin in 1988. In the past, it used to supply electricity to the college and residential colony in case of
power failure. The supporting three generators have also got rusted.

All the machines are property of the public works department and its own staff used to run them very successfully till 1972-73.
Though computerised power generators having double capacity were purchased later, the college staff is unable to operate
them.
The department had seven teachers some years back while at present only two are left with the department. Both have not
been given the training needed for the latest machinery.

Owing to non-availability of technical hands and lack of teaching staff, heavy machines purchased for millions of rupees were
lying packed in different departments. Students and teachers fear the new machines would get rusted if not used and
maintained properly.

Ironically, the machine shop, where maximum practical works are carried out, has no mechanic. In case of any fault, the peon
tries to repair machines.

The college building has developed cracks. Due to poor condition of lavatories, students use toilets situated along a mosque.
The post of director physical education has been vacant and sports activities have come to a halt. Students said the
administration complained of funds shortage but never allowed sponsors to finance sports activities.

In diesel department, the number of staff has been reduced from 17 to six. The short supply of diesel to the department cannot
meet the practical need. The hostel facility has been in the use of Rangers personnel.
The principal was not available for comments and the vice-principal was reluctant to explain anything. When asked, he said
there was no need of hostel now, as people from different cities no more came to study here.
(By Ali Hazrat Bacha, Dawn-14, 04/12/2006)


                                            Who should head a university?
THE first university to be established on modern European lines in South Asia was the University of Calcutta. It started
functioning in 1858, one year after the great trauma of 1857 which left the British politically insecure.
Possibly for that reason and, of course, because of colonial exigencies, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the university,
called the vice-chancellor, was a functionary of the state — a judge.

The chancellor was the viceroy himself. The syndicate — the most powerful decision-making body — was dominated by the
functionaries of the state. In short, the model of the modern university in India was not Oxford and Cambridge or even London:
it was a new model — the colonial model. In this model, the faculty was not entrusted with too many decision-making powers;
that remained the prerogative of the state and was to be exercised by its own functionaries.

The university is changing very fast before our eyes. The private sector is investing in universities. The armed forces have
created their own universities. And, most significantly, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) is bringing about rapid changes
in public universities. One institution of the colonial university, the non-academic CEO, remains intact, however. Indeed,
whereas colonial vice-chancellors used to be from the judiciary and the bureaucracy, nowadays they are also from the military
and the corporate sector. Why did this happen? Is it desirable? These are some of the questions I will try to answer in this
article.

It happened because the CEO has power, a reasonable salary and perks. And, of course, individuals retiring from the elite
services (armed forces and the higher bureaucracy) want both power and benefits. As for the state, Pakistan being a garrison
state the ruling elite is most comfortable with CEOs from the establishment or at least those who the establishment approves of.
That such CEOs do not allow creative, seemingly radical, ideas to flourish is not a problem for the ruling elite. That, in fact, is
exactly what it wants.
The arguments against the appointment of non-academics as CEOs of universities fall broadly into two categories: the
pragmatic; the symbolic and psychological.

The first of these refers to the desideratum of efficiency. The argument is that non-academics, whether military officers,
bureaucrats or corporate executives and owners, have a long training in administration. Thus, they can administer universities
better than academics who, presumably, spend most of their time in archives, libraries, laboratories or the classroom. This
argument is based only on assumptions. Nobody has ever presented data to prove it.

A few people have mentioned the names of physicians and surgeons from the army who set up medical colleges or were
outstanding administrators. However, the number of civilian doctors who were equally competent is not mentioned. As for the
universities, anecdotal evidence suggests that non-academics do not perform better than academics. In some cases, famous
scholars have been targeted by such people presumably because of their intellectual independence. However, hard data is
hard to come by.

Another version of the argument is that, since the bureaucracy and the military enjoy inordinate power in Pakistan, they can get

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things done for their universities and individual faculty members more easily than academics. This, unfortunately, is true in
some situations but it is true only because the country is deviating from the rule of law, institutions are becoming weaker than
individuals and because a certain feudal, arbitrary kind of power manipulation is becoming the norm.

If academics are given power at all levels beginning from the rotation of the head of department in universities, they will become
competent in administration. If only such people are appointed CEOs it would mean refusal to succumb to the weakening of
institutional authority which reduces the power of academia in society. In any case, administration requires common sense,
decency and a sense of justice and fair play. These may be present in academics as well as non-academics. Thus, it makes no
sense to deprive academics of legitimate authority in academic institutions for unsure gains. In short, the pragmatic argument in
favour of appointing non-academics as CEO is fallacious.

Now let us come to symbolic reasons. A CEO of a university is a symbol of learning. He or she is respected not only because of
the authority conferred by the office but also because he or she is a scholar or scientist of repute. Anyone who is not known in
the academic world is not respected by university faculty the world over. Foreign visitors often only just manage to suppress
derisive smiles when they discover that a certain vice-chancellor has been a lieutenant-general or a federal secretary.
Moreover, the subordination of academics by non-academics gives the wrong message to everybody i.e. that a society
respects academia less than other elitist groups.

The highest rank in the military goes to military officers, the highest rank in the bureaucracy goes to bureaucrats, the highest
rank in the judiciary goes to a judge. However, in university the highest rank may go to someone who started their career as a
lieutenant or an assistant commissioner. This is symbolic of society‘s mistrust of academia and should be corrected.

Let us come to the psychological consequences of making non-academics heads of universities. The CEO is in a powerful
position, taking decisions which affect the lives of academics and the future of knowledge in the country. If such decisions are
made by non-academics they will be influenced by ways of thinking which are non-academic: the maintenance of the status
quo, the unquestioning assumptions regarding national interest, the conventional values of the establishment. Even the
understanding of the significance of publications, the citation of a scholar‘s work, etc, are unknown to people who have never
done this kind of work.

As such, non-academics, even if they are efficient in daily administration, cannot really take informed decisions or understand
what academia is all about. They can understand specialised training but not that of which academia is a symbol: the life of the
mind, the pleasure in ideas and the deconstruction of conventional stereotypes and belief systems.

Moreover, it is degrading for individual academics to feel that they do not enjoy power in the university. After all, academics are
not supposed to enjoy power in the military, the judiciary, the bureaucracy or the corporate sector. The university is the only
place where they can and should make the most significant decisions. To deprive them of this is unjust and makes academics
feel under-confident, powerless and dominated.

In this context, let us look at the appointment of non-academics in public-sector universities. The media has been full of reports
about non-academics being appointed VCs in certain public universities. The HEC has not yet reformed this colonial practice.
Some people argue that our universities need to be governed better so this is acceptable. However, most universities of the
western world, administered by academics as they are, function better than our universities. Institutions reform themselves
provided they are given the self-confidence to look to their own strengths and not bank on outsiders to get them out of trouble.

The Roman Catholic Church is governed by the clergy and was once a very corrupt institution. However, the Church did not
invite generals and under-secretaries to run it. It reformed itself and still retains the confidence to correct itself through its
internal mechanisms. Similarly, Oxford and Cambridge reformed themselves in the nineteenth century. Had they been taken
over by outsiders the dons would no longer be as confident as they are now.

In short, we must have new rules for the appointment of the CEO of Pakistani universities. The basic rule should be that the
CEO of a university should be a published academic who has held a professorship in a university for at least five years. Nobody
else, however competent, should be eligible for this position. A university may choose a CEO from another university or from its
own professors. Either a search committee may look for a CEO or the person may be elected by the professors just as the
pope is elected by the cardinals. However, the person chosen should be an academic and a full professor at that.

These conditions for the choice of CEO should be established by an amendment to the University Act so that they are not
deviated from. This will ensure that academics gain in prestige, pride, self-esteem and confidence. As these are necessary
qualities for the birth of new ideas, especially in the social sciences where such ideas disturb the status quo, our universities will
benefit from the change. As yet, none of our universities is in the world‘s top 500. Making academics proud of their vocation
might improve their ranking, or at least not make them any worse.
(By Dr. Tariq Rahman, Dawn-7, 05/12/2006)


                                               9 children ‘abducted, freed’
KARACHI, Dec 4: An incident of purported kidnapping of nine children on Monday took a mysterious turn after the Edhi
Foundation and the police made conflicting claims. According to a spokesman for the Edhi Foundation, the children were
‗kidnapped‘ from an ambulance which was shifting them from the Clifton centre to the Sohrab Goth centre of the foundation.

But a police official contradicted the Edhi account, saying that no kidnapping had taken place as the foundation was removing
the children against their will. The Edhi spokesman retorted by claiming that poverty had forced the children‘s parents to leave
them in the foundation‘s care.
The story took yet another twist late in the night when the Clifton TPO claimed that `unknown men‘ had succeeded in `freeing‘
the children from the custody of the Edhi Foundation‘s workers.

Earlier in the day, an Edhi official broke the story by informing Dawn that seven girls and two boys were kidnapped while they
were being shifted from the Clifton centre to the Sohrab Goth centre in an ambulance. When the vehicle was near the British
High Commission on Shara-e-Iran, it was intercepted by some people.
These people beat up the driver and manhandled the 60-year-old nanny accompanying the children, before forcing them into a
waiting car.
(Dawn-16, 05/12/2006)

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                               English to be compulsory from Class I next year
ISLAMABAD, Dec 7: The government has decided to make English a compulsory subject from class I countrywide with the
beginning of next academic year from Sept 1, 2007, Federal Minister for Education Javed Ashraf Qazi said.
He made these remarks while speaking at a dialogue on public- private partnership in education sector organised by Pakistan
Centre for Philanthropy (PCP), a civil society organization, here.

Criticising the late president Gen Zia-ul-Haq for switching the entire education sector over to the Urdu medium of instruction,
Mr. Qazi said the recent national education census had revealed that at present only 1.4 per cent public sector institutions
offered English as medium of instruction.
―This was shocking, therefore, the government has decided to start English subject from class I throughout the country,‖ the
education minister said.
He said both federal and provincial governments had already started recruiting English teachers and President General
Musharraf had assured all out support in this regard.

To provide missing facilities at school level, Rs100 billion have been earmarked under the President Education Sector Reforms
(PESR), the minister said, adding Rs1 billion had already been released in this regard.
―I have also directed the provincial governments to gradually switch over to English as medium of instruction except for the
subjects of Islamiyat and Pakistan Study, which will help improve our students ability to excel in higher studies,‖ he said.
―We might have some very good universities, but what about those 30 per cent students, who leave the school before
completing their primary level education,‖ the minister told the participants.

About the annual budget for education, the minister said over the last seven years, the spending on education had been
increased from Rs75.8 billion to Rs207.1 billion in the current year.
Calling for an increased investment by the private sector in education, which presently stood at Rs40 billion per annum, the
minister said, public-private sector partnership was need of the hour.
(Dawn-2, 08/12/2006)


                                 40pc children in cities not enrolled in schools
KARACHI: Education should be the first priority for all those who have been struggling for the creation of a classless society as
the political game of widening the gap between different classes in a society started from dividing education between the rich
and the poor.

Eminent social scientist and Chairman of the Indus Resource Centre, Sadiqa Salahuddin, said this while speaking on ―the
Crisis of Education in Sindh‖ at the weekly lecture programme of the PPP held at the party secretariat.

She regretted that while in the beginning schools run by the government had been imparting quality education in national
languages but for the last few decades these institutions had fallen victim to neglect and apathy.
She said education was a great equalizer but the quality of education imparted therein had now become miserable thus the
door of opportunity once open for the poor was now completely shut.

Sadiqa Salahuddin pointed out that according to the country-wise UNESCO survey of children denied their basic right of
enrolling in a school, Pakistan had the second highest such number in the world after Nigeria. According to the survey the trend
seen all over the world was one of rapid decrease in these numbers while in Pakistan this trend was not observed at all.

Quoting extensively from published figures of the provincial government the picture of the state of education in Sindh that
Sadiqa Salahuddin drew was indeed very bleak. She informed the audience that there were 40,559 primary schools in Sindh,
while 5,000 of schools were closed.

These closed schools at times were so large that they had 14 to 15 rooms, she said, and added that there were 6,000 schools
only for girls whereas 16,000 had coeducation in them. 2.7 million children were enrolled in these public sector schools.
130,000 of these children had been categorized as ―permanently absent‖ without explaining why such children should still be
treated as enrolled students, she added.

The social scientist said that the total number of students enrolled at the primary level in the province came to 3.9 million.
Giving the figures of those children who had never been enrolled in a primary school, Ms Sadiqa Salahuddin said that even in
urban centres like Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur, 40 percent of the children had never seen the face of a classroom. On the
rural side the enrolment situation was even more pathetic, she added.

Sadiqa severely criticized appointments of teachers on political grounds. She said that the number of teachers in Sindh in 2000
was 99,000 which in 2004 dropped to 96,000, mainly because the party-wise quotas of appointments could not be agreed
upon. Whenever the Education Department wanted to recruit new teachers the department secretary was transferred.

Sadiqa proposed that a principled policy decision to have a uniform system of education in the country was imminent. ―At least
we should start moving in the direction of removing disparities from our education sector,‖ she said.
(The News-3, 11/12/2006)


                                             School sans basic facilities
A REPORT published in this newspaper on two primary schools in Sumbrial is quite shocking. After being told about the
‗success‘ of the government‘s ―parha likha Punjab‖ programme, one did not quite expect the schools in the province to be in
such a mess. Inarguably, the physical environment is one of the key determinants, though not the only one, of the quality of
education imparted to students. The government itself has released data this year about schools without electricity (107,564),
without drinking water (68,211) and without toilets (82,200). What incentives will children have to attend a school which does
not even provide them the basic facilities? The large number of such institutions is intriguing because a huge chunk of the
education budget is shown as going into improving the physical infrastructure of the existing schools. One can easily guess
where the funds are going.


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What is more intolerable is the role of the teachers in undermining education in the public sector. Their frequent absence from
school is in some ways a bigger factor in driving children away from school and studies. A dedicated and motivated teacher,
even if he/she is not very highly trained, can work miracles in getting children to attend school and acquire the literacy skills.
According to official sources, there are 450,000 primary teachers in the government schools today, which is not a small
number. How well trained they are is another matter however. What is more worrying is the fact that many of them are not
working and absenteeism is pretty high contributing to the high drop-out rate. The need is for tighter supervision and monitoring
of the teachers and the school administration by the education department. The school management committees that
supposedly comprise the school staff and the parents representing the community also need to be activated. Since the parents
feel that their voice is not heard, they have ceased to act as a pressure group they are supposed to be.
(Dawn-7, 14/12/2006)


                                        Welcome verdict on teachers unions
One wholeheartedly welcomes the decision by the Sindh High Court on Wednesday vacating a ban imposed on teachers
unions by the Sindh government. A division bench of the court, headed by the chief justice of the Sindh High Court, ruled that
the ban imposed on the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association and the Government Secondary Teachers Association
was in violation of the constitutional guarantees provided to citizens, particularly the right to freedom of association and
expression guaranteed by Articles 17 (1) and 19 of the Constitution. The verdict should be seen as a major victory for
advocates of human rights and particularly by the teaching community. The court also ruled that certain changes introduced
following the ban, with regard to firing teachers were also "mala fide and of no legal effect". The is in reference to procedures
introduced by the Sindh government allowing it to fire any college or university teacher who violated the ban and continued to
be a member of a teachers union.

The ban's strongest supporter, apart from the chief minister himself, has been Sindh's education minister. While an upright and
well-meaning woman herself, the minister frequently defended the ban on the grounds that it was imposed to set matters right
in education and as part of an overall reform plan to improve the quality of teaching in Sindh's colleges and universities. While it
may be true that the professional conduct of a significant proportion of college and university teachers, especially in public-
sector institutions, leaves a lot to be desired, the solution to that should not be a knee-jerk blanket ban on teachers unions.
After all, if one looks at countries which have education systems that the rest of the world admires -- America and Britain -- one
will find that membership of a teachers union is an essential part of the professional life of most academics. Unions, just like
their counterparts for students, provide a good platform for teachers to pursue healthy governance-linked activities related to
their profession. They can also be good forums for members of the teaching community to debate and discuss matters directly
affecting their profession -- such as curriculum, examination or training related issues and so on. In addition, unions can be
used to form a collective opinion on various professional matters which can then be expressed and channelled upward to the
appropriate authorities for redressal.

The court's verdict is important in that it rejects the provincial government's contention that the right to form a union is not
available to government servants. It made a distinction on the right to form a political association or party, which government
servants are explicitly barred from, and said that the right to unionise was a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution to
all Pakistanis. The contention by the government's lawyer that the ban was in accordance with a proclamation issued by the
federal government in 1998 abridging some of the fundamental rights of citizens was rebuffed by the court which said the
following: "It appears wholly incongruous that all the citizens should stand deprived of their basic rights of movement,
association, business, expression and property in their ordinary evocation of life having nothing to do with a national emergency
or that the parliament and the federal government should assume complete control over all affairs of the provinces on the
pretext of a proclamation of emergency issued eight years ago". The Sindh education minister, who otherwise seems to be
doing many correct things shouldn't lose heart as far as imposing discipline and raising teaching quality in the public sector is
concerned. Instead of banning teachers unions, the correct approach always was to strengthen institutional and departmental
checks on teachers and ensure that those who do not do their job properly are held accountable. That's the way it's done in
civilised countries.
(The News-7, 15/12/2006)


                                   From garage to class in quest of knowledge
KARACHI, Dec 15: In a society like ours, where most of the endeavours revolve around fulfilment of one‘s own dreams, there
still are people working relentlessly for the welfare of others. Such characters serve as beacons of light and source of
inspiration in our society that is rapidly turning into a cluster of self-centred people.

Mrs Shabina Mustafa is one such selfless character, who has been running a charitable school in a one-room space. The
school is better known as Garage School, 95 Clifton as the one-room space was basically a garage. The school was opened in
1991 with only one student, and now 82 students are enrolled in two shifts.

Due to the increasing number of students, Mrs Mustafa has now shifted the school to an apartment on a monthly rent of
Rs30,000 in Neelum Colony, which was formally inaugurated by German Consul-General Kiderlen here on Thursday.

Imtiaz Rastgar, a social worker, has offered to pay one year‘s rent, while some other companies are assisting in the provision of
uniform, milk and biscuits, etc for the children.

Speaking to Dawn, the consul-general lauded these efforts and said that he had already extended support in this regard so as
to encourage more such projects.According to Mrs Mustafa, after passing their primary level examination the students are
admitted to different English medium schools and most of them are in the St Patrick‘s Technical School at our expense. One of
my students‘ Anil Singh has been admitted to the Bahria College, she informed.

Mrs Mustafa informed that she had established a trust Safi Benevolent Trust, basically after the name of her husband, who was
martyred during the 1971 war, but there was no regular source of income to meet the monthly expenditures amounting to
Rs60,000.
She urged the well-off people to extend financial support by sponsoring the students and play their role in educating the poor
children. A number of educationists, social workers were also present.
(By Ali Hazrat Bacha, Dawn-18, 16/12/2006)

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                                          Empowerment of masses urged
KARACHI, Dec 17: All the political parties and citizens including religious minorities and other disadvantaged groups should be
allowed to participate in the political process without any discrimination so that real democracy could be strengthened.
This was demanded in a resolution adopted at the conclusion of a two-day event organised by an NGO, Aurat Foundation, at
the YMCA on Sunday.

They urged the armed forces not to interfere in political matters, which were creating resentment among the masses against the
forces.

Through other resolutions, the participants further demanded that all laws discriminatory towards women, minorities and other
vulnerable groups of the society be abolished and legislation regarding domestic violence, customary practices like sawara,
Karo-kari, wani etc be formulated.

They called for starting a dialogue between the federal government and the provinces to work out a comprehensive framework
for provincial autonomy.

They also called for restoration of trade union activities in every sector. It called for a uniform educational system and equal
opportunities in employment and other fields. They also called for equal wages for women.

One of the resolutions urged the government to initiate a dialogue with all its neighbours including Iran, Afghanistan and India
etc as it was crucial for the country‘s security. It also criticised globalization and war on terror which had sharply divided
societies around the globe. It said that with free market economy poor nations were getting poorer and rich were getting richer.

Earlier, speaking at the peace assembly senior columnist M. B. Naqvi called for curtailing defence budget and increasing funds
for health and education etc.

Zahida Hina called for providing women with equal rights and called for abolition of discriminatory laws. She said that women
did not need protection; they needed equal rights and opportunities.

Shahid Fiaz criticised the government for taking dictate and forming its foreign policy on orders from the western powers owing
to which western frontiers of the country had become dangerous. He said that country‘s foreign policy be prepared for the
benefit of the citizens and steps be taken to improve relations with western neighbours – Iran and Afghanistan – which were
passing through a critical phase. He also called for expediting the peace process with India and initiating similar process with
brotherly Islamic countries – Iran and Afghanistan -- on the western border.

Father Joseph Paul called for initiating an inter-faith dialogue to spread peace and harmony among various religious groups
living in the region so that with peace in the region governments could work for the betterment of the masses.

Various sessions and workshops were held during the two-day event. Former chief of Women Commission Justice (retd)
Majida Rizvi, former Khairpur district Nazim Nafisa Shah, Rakhshanda Naz and Faiza Burney spoke at the women‘s assembly
held to discuss violence against women.

Former judge of the Supreme Court Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid, Noor Naz Agha, Mehnaz Rehman and others spoke at
the workshop on ―State violence – law as an instrument of violence‖.

Mariam Palijo, Kaiser Bengali, Dr Azra T. Saeed, Perveen Rehman, Malka Khan, and others spoke at the seminar on
globalization. Huma Baqai, Nuzhat Kidvai, Rafat Yasmin and others spoke on seminar on war on terror and its impacts
(economic violence). Workshops on domestic violence, women in media, reclaiming public space, feminism in South Asia,
health issues etc were also organised. Aisha Bedaar, Hina Tabassum, Arif Hassan, Naheed Syed, Seema Shaikh, Nasreen
Siddiqui and Zubieda Mustafa and others spoke. The event concluded with a cultural show where street theatre group led by
classical dancer Sheema Kirmani presented skits, qawwali, folk dances and a classical dance performance.
(Dawn-14, 18/12/2006)


                             Decision on composite exams is final: Javed Ashraf
KARACHI: A delegation of the National Education Council led by its Chairman Syed Khalid Shah called on Federal Education
Minister Javed Ashraf Qazi in Islamabad to present him an eight-point agenda, regarding problems being confronted in the
education sector in the country.

The agenda comprises problems regarding composite exams of IX and X classes, new academic session, revival of Education
Foundation, commercial electricity rates for education institutions in Karachi.

According to a press release issued on Wednesday, the minister expressed his willingness to talk and resolve all matters
except composite exams.

The delegation suggested to the minister to make composite exams optional for a two-year period so that the students could
make up their minds. However, he refused to withdraw the decision of composite exams saying only the Sindh province had
problem while other provinces have no objections regarding composite exams.
The delegation said that the Education Foundation was not working according to the guiding act while in Karachi private
education institutions were being supplied electricity at commercial rates contrary to the decision of the federal cabinet.

The federal minister allowed the private institutes to take examination of 1st to IX classes from April 1 keeping in view the
summer season while also permitted to start new academic year from 1st August to avoid four month summer vacations.

Qazi said that to revive the Education Foundation the authorities concerned would be contacted soon.

Regarding high amount of bills in Karachi, The minister said that the KESC should abide by the decision of federal cabinet and
added that directives in this regard would be issued to the KESC.
(The News-2, 28/12/2006)

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                                         472 women killed in Sindh this year
KARACHI, Dec 28: At least 472 women were murdered in Sindh during 2006 as compared to 384 in 2005, showing an alarming
increase in violence against women. Besides, 168 women were injured in different incidents this year against 212 last year,
according to a report compiled by the Aurat Foundation issued here on Thursday.

Giving a breakdown, the report said more than 219 women and 128 men were killed on pretext of Karo-kari in different parts of
Sindh.

According to reports and data collected from newspapers and the Citizens Action Committees (CACs) for women rights, Sindh,
12 women including minor girls were raped and murdered this year compared to 10 last year.
Thirty women were gang-raped in 2006 while 76 cases of rape took place this year.
In two to four incidents noses, lips and hair of women were cut or shaved.

At least 154 women this year and 179 in 2005 were kidnapped while 62 women went missing during the current year and 74
last year. Owing to violence and other reasons, about 155 women sought shelter this year and 203 women last year.

In Sindh, at least 153 women committed suicide this year while the number of such cases last year was 157. The reasons
behind the suicides were forced marriages, domestic problems/ conflicts, matrimonial disputes, poverty, underage marriages,
early marriages, etc. As many as 187 women attempted to commit suicide this year.

More than 200 women were arrested in current year and 235 women last year under minor allegations or as compensation of
male accused and 73 women were physically tortured by police in the province.

At least 26 couples were arrested by police who had left their homes for free will marriage.According to media reports, at least
89 Jirgas were held this year and 61 last year in violation of court verdict.
(Dawn-18, 29/12/2006)


                                Private schools vow to oppose composite exams
KARACHI: Senior Vice Chairman of Private Schools Management Association (PSMA) Sharfuzzaman has welcomed the
moves by the government for enhancing the standard of education in the province but questioned the unilateral decisions of the
Federal Education Ministry in imposing the composite examinations.
He was addressing a hurriedly-called press conference in a local restaurant, on Thursday. He criticised the educational
officialsand said the scheme of composite exams was the brainchild of 44-year-old ‗Shareef Commission‘ that had been
rejected by Sindh after only two years.

It was surprising that the federal education minister was trying to impose the old and discarded system, though new semester
systems were being introduced in the educational institutions. He requested the minister to accept the demand of the students,
parents and other segments of the society about the continuation of separate exams for Classes-IX and X.

Meanwhile, Syed Khalid Shah Chairman of APSMA has warned that if the Federal Education Ministry unilaterally pushed the
composite exams in vogue they will approach the court to seek justice.

Shah was speaking at a press conference, which was called to inform the journalists about the outcome of a meeting between
him and Lt Gen (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi Federal Minister for Education that was held in Islamabad last week. The meeting
could materialise only after the prime minister had written a letter to the federal education minister directing him to meet Shah to
discuss various educational issues.

He praised Dr Ishratul Ebad, who understood the problem and was acting to stop injustice being done to the thousands of
students of Sindh. The Sindh cabinet has included the issue on its agenda and hopefully it will come up with positive results
when the session reconvenes after Eid holidays.
(The News-3, 29/12/2006)


                                  Dismal picture emerges of child rights in 2006
KARACHI: An annual report released by Society for Protection of Rights of Child (SPARC) revealed that child rights continued
to be violated across the country in 2006, particularly in Sindh, due to the negligence of the government in upholding them.
As stated in their report, the factors responsible for violation of child rights were the Jirga system, Karo Kari, accidents, medical
negligence, incidents of kidnapping and disappearance, education, murder, suicide or attempted suicide, minor marriages,
sexual abuse and violence by law-enforcement agencies.

The jirga system continues to be conducted in the region despite a ban on Jirgas by the Sindh High Court. According to the
data compiled, SPARC reported 150 jirgas with the most recent one held on December 28, 2006.

This was conducted by Mohammad Khan Jonejo, a former MNA, who gave an official verdict to compensate an innocent three-
year-old girl of the accused to perform Nikkah with a two-year-old son of accuser. To add insult to injury, the victimized family
was forced to leave their village by the influential lords as a repercussion of them speaking to media and bringing this issue to
the light.

Of the 15 cases reported of Karo kari, 12 involved females under the age of 18. Three minor boys have also been reported
murdered under this heinous practice.

The report further highlighted the strong correlation that exists between educational systems and increased crime and
unemployment, not to mention the bonded labour, child labour and maintenance of class barriers. 150 cases of child fatalities
were reported due to different incidents like manhandling of children by their parents or children.

Moreover untrained drivers, unavailability of facilities for pedestrians and the masses‘ unawareness about traffic rules also led
to accidental deaths of minors.

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Victimization of children, as stated by SPARC, was also witnessed in the form of kidnappings for ransom, sexual abduction,
psycho-manic behaviours, family disputes and possible prostitution purposes. According to their statistics more than 130
children have been reportedly kidnapped in the region of Sindh, a majority of them girls.

Medical negligence was noted especially among families based in the rural areas. An increasing rate of child suicide was also
noted in Sindh due to lack of ability of parents to effectively counsel their wards.
In the case of sexual abuse, apart from girls, boys were also reported to be sodomized on a number of occasions. Furthermore,
extra-judicial treatment towards criminals at the hands of Police was a regular practice.

Although the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2000, comprehensively addresses these issues children continue to be a
target of such offences.
Data on child victims

Jirgas — 150
Karo kari — 15
Accidents & other incidents — 150
Kidnappings — 130
Medical negligence — 100
Murder — 65
Attempted suicide – 21
Suicide — 32
Sexual abuse — 104
Missing — 45
Violence by law enforcing agencies — 5

(Data collated from reports published in newspapers)

(The News-4, 30/12/2006)


                                   10,000 homeless children begging on roads
LAHORE: Speakers at a seminar, arranged by the Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society (Jang Group of Newspapers) and
the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau, said that the police were making an all-out effort for the protection of children and
child protection committees were under consideration at police station level across the province.

They said they had observed a remarkable decrease in beggar children on all intersections and roads of the provincial capital
during the last year.

Following the success of project in the provincial capital, the rehabilitation programme for children in other cities also came
under discussion.

The seminar on ―Responsibilities of mobile police squads and traffic police regarding child protection‖ at a local hotel also called
for society‘s collective responsibility for helping children in tough circumstances and providing them with better facilities.

CCPO Khawaja Khalid Farooq said that the police force had been directed to take steps for rehabilitation and protection of
street children. ―Some 172 unclaimed children have been handed over to the bureau while 155 cases of kidnapping of children
have been registered and challans of 87 cases have been finalised and sent to courts concerned during the period from
January 1 till date,‖ he said, adding that 63 cases of exploitation of children had also been registered during the period and all
suspects were arrested and tried.

Provincial Minister Dr Sohail Zafar Cheema observed that protection of children‘s rights was our collective responsibility. He
hoped that the decrease in poverty would leave positive effects on society and the rate of children‘s involvement in crime would
also decrease.

Provincial Minister Zil-e-Huma Usman termed CPWB a glorious deed of the Punjab government.
―Children who were seen begging or cleaning windscreens now have an opportunity to lead a better life,‖ she added.

Dr Faiza Asghar appreciated the performance of the mobile and traffic police for protection of children. ―To achieve the targets
set for protection and rehabilitation of children, the role of the police is very vital,‖ she added.

Punjab Constabulary commandant Khadim Hussain Bhatti said that the police could protect children from their homes to their
educational institutions. He underscored eliminating the negative image of the police in public.

CPWB director (operations) Zubair Ahmad Shad gave an elaborate view of the offences against children where police could
play its due role. ―There are seven such crimes, ranging from torture and forcing into beggary to sexual exploitation, where the
police can take cognizance of the matter,‖ he added.

UNICEF programme officer Shamshad Ahmad Qureshi said that 10,000 unclaimed children were still roaming on the City roads
and asking for alms. ―Their rehabilitation is the need of the hour,‖ he added.

SSP Traffic Robin Yamin said that whenever traffic police found unclaimed children, they sent them to CPWB.

Wasif Nagi said that the number of homeless children was the highest in Asia and it was rising in Pakistan.

Nawaz Waseer said that helping homeless children was a religious responsibility of all of us while Yawar Irfan said that the
police and the Citizen Police Liaison Committees could play an important role for protection of children. Sohail Mehmood Butt
and Captain Ghulam Azfar also spoke.

MKRMS chairman Wasif Nagi and Haroon Akram Gil hosted the event.
(The News-5, 30/12/2006)
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                                                      A long journey
It has been a long journey!
So many contradictions that I am tired.
Maybe our future generations will reconcile them.

These are last lines of a long poem by Arif Hassan written in 1993 in Karachi.        Thirteen
years later he says: "I don't know what has happened -- you talk, you write but no       body
listens."
The man who knows how to go about building and expanding cities may longe            for   the
wilderness of the hills in a desperate moment, yet his remains one of the most
respected effort against unbridled, thoughtless growth.
An Oxford educated architect, Hassan has remained in the forefront of the fight       against
injustice and has been highlighting the plight of all those condemned to a life in      urban
slums. He advocates home for the homeless and criticises urban planning that          plunges
Pakistani cities in a deeper mess.
He is currently director of Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) and Urban Resource Centre         URC.
Hassan has been conferred with several national and international awards             including
Hilal-i-Imtiaz and the Shelterless Memorial Award by the Japanese government.        He      is
also on the advisory board of many social organisations and educational
institutions including NED University, Karachi.
(The News-27, 31/12/2006)




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