Home
About Us
Literacy in Pakistan
Activities
Projects
Publications
Pacade EFA Monitors  
Newsletter
Sponsorship Scheme
Chairman's Literacy Column
Useful Material
News
Contact Us
   
   
 
    EFA Monitors 
 

27 Nov 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 399 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

Varsities' ads of sub-campuses rile HEC

THE University of Management and Technology last week conferred degrees on 1,004 graduates including two PhDs at its 10th convocation. As many as 57 students received gold medals and eight graduates got special awards for showing extraordinary performance.
Nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, delivering his keynote address, said education alone was a catalyst for real change and the path to put country on the road to peace and prosperity.
Recalling the laying of UMT’s foundation stone 15 years ago, he said it was a barren land but now the varsity had developed serious educational atmosphere, which was growing day by day. He said he also belonged to a middle-class family and his entire team was graduated from Pakistani universities but worked together and made Pakistan a nuclear power.
Dr Khan announced giving Dr AQ Khan Hospital to the ILM Trust, which is currently under construction near Minar-i-Pakistan, where UMT’s School of Health Sciences students and faculty would be engaged for teaching.
UMT Rector Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad said the university was striving for the cause of Muslim Ummah and looking forward to extending its best contributions for Muslim leadership in knowledge and to discover new possibilities in all spheres of life.

Dawn, November 26th, 2014

Federal Directorate of Education gets new chief

ISLAMABAD: 

A district management group (DMG) officer was given charge as the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) director-general (DG) on Monday.
The FDE has been going through a multitude of crises in the last couple of years as several DGs were appointed and relived at short intervals, some for barely a few weeks. These stopgap arrangements took a toll on students and overall education activities in the capital’s educational institutes.
Teachers often make beeline to the FDE and CADD seeking resolution of issues, which in turn takes a toll on overall education quality.
CADD has been lackadaisical in resolving education issues as six secretaries have been appointed in barely one year. Cabinet Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad currently occupies the post on additional charge.

The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2014

'No change possible without education'

Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has said Pakistan can learn from Chinese experience for socio-economic development as China has given priority to education and health sectors.

Addressing a seminar “Pakistan China Trade Ties” here on Monday, he said: “There was no shortcut to solve our problems and no change could occur without investment in education and health sectors”.

Prof Dr Ka Lin of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China was the guest speaker on the occasion while Director, PSC, Prof Dr Massarrat Abid, senior faculty members and a large number of students were present.

Dr Kamran said the government at the highest level must realise the importance of creation of new knowledge, adding China was spending 200 to 300 billion dollars on research and development and now had become second largest economy in the world.

In his keynote speech, Prof Ka Lin pointed out that social quality in China was primarily due to good governance which itself was based on diverse elements such as participation, rule of law, transparency, equity and inclusiveness, effectiveness and accountability of all segments of social society.

Prof Ka Lin said it was through close collaborations between the quadrangular agencies, the individual, social groups and family, institutions and the civil society that helped achieve social cohesion, socio economic security and empowerment. He said an active state policy which has been instrumental implementing various measures was the main vehicle of social transformation in the historical perspective of China.

“Chinese government has faced serious challenges of urbanisation, migration of the rural population and the rapid pace of industrialization; however, by exempting the agriculture from excessive taxation and through building new villages, the government is able to improve the living standards of the rural population along with the urban centres. The Chinese are now enjoying diverse lifestyles along with basic enjoyments and pleasures,” he stated.

The News International,November 25th, 2014

Punjab Finance Minister speaks about education

PROVINCIAL Minister for Law, Excise, Taxation and Finance Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehmansaid that Rs. 274 billion will be spent on education sector during the current fiscal year which is 26.25 percent of the total budget of the province. He said that improvement of higher education is the priority of government and Rs.14.5 billion has been provided for the developmental work of higher education. He said that Rs.3.42 billion has been provided for the establishment of new colleges whereas Rs.1.36 billion is being spent on the provision of missing facilities in colleges.

He expressed these views at a distribution ceremony of laptops among the PhD and MPhil students at Punjab University New Campus under Prime Minister’s Youth Initiatives Programme. University Vice Chancellor PU Dr. Mujahid Kamran, Prime Minister’s Youth Programme Coordinator Aneeza Fatima, officials of Higher Education Commission and principals of the university colleges and others officials were also present.

Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman said that financial grant is being provided for upgrade of higher education, especially to the institutions of women whereas new women universities are also being established in Bahawalpur, Multan, Sialkot and Faisalabad while three new women universities at Rahimyar Khan, Sahiwal and Okara will be established during the current fiscal year for enhancing the ratio of higher education among the women.

Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman said the Punjab government distributed solar lamps among the 200,000 students during the last tenure at a cost of Rs. 2.5 billion under the Ujala Programme so that load-shedding cannot disrupt their study. He said that during the current fiscal year laptops and solar lamps are being distributed among the students on merit under a transparent system. He said the government has given special attention to the improvement of school education during the last six years and 140,000 schoolteachers have been recruited purely on merit in the province.

Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman said that 101 new colleges have been constructed while missing facilities have also been provided to 96 colleges during the last five years. He said that IT labs have been set up in more than 5,000 high schools and 515 in middle schools during last five years. He said that scholarships of 12 billion rupees are being provided to more than 50,000 students within the country and abroad from Endowment Fund. He said that terrorism and unemployment can be wiped out through promotion of education and provision of jobs to the youth. He said the DFID has granted in aid Rs.351 million to construct 15,000 additional classrooms, one additional classroom for each public sector school having deficient facilities.

The News International,November 25th, 2014

Probe into unlawful appointment of teachers

FAISALABAD: The Punjab government has initiated an inquiry on a complaint that teachers who were allegedly recruited unlawfully and whose documents were also found bogus are still serving in schools in Faisalabad.
Officials have summoned on Saturday (today) for inquiry former district education officer (elementary) Naseem Zahid, now serving as EDO (Education) in Jhang; teachers Mubashir Iqbal of Government High School, Chak 105-GB; Rizwan of Chak 34-GB; Khalid Mehmood of Chak 33-GB; Ali Ahmed of Chak 109-GB and Asif Iqbal of Government Primary School, Chak 198-RB.
Additional Secretary (Schools) Mirza Mehmoodul Hasan will probe the issue on a complaint filed by Punjab Teachers Union president Hafiz Ghulam Mohayuddin.
The applicant submitted that Naseem Ahmed Zahid had made appointments of teachers on bogus and fake academic certificates in 2010.
Finding no action on the issue, he said the case was filed in the Anti-Corruption Establishment which initiated an inquiry and found academic certificates of four teachers Mubashar Iqbal, Rizwan, Khalid and Ali Ahmed bogus.
On Sept 24, 2012, the ACE director had submitted a report (ACE/FR-2012/10765) to the director general for further action. But the matter is still pending with the ACE for some unknown reasons and teachers are still serving in violation of rules and regulations, damaging the merit policy of the Punjab chief minister.
He further mentioned that according to rules regarding selection of EDOs/DEOs any officer who has been proceeded against under the PEEDA Act cannot apply for the said post.
A proceeding under the PEEDA Act vide letter No. SO (E & D - II) 1 - 23/2011 dated 27.03.2013, is pending against Naseem Ahmad Zahid, but the officer is still enjoying an executive post by concealing facts and through political pressure.
Hafiz Mohayuddin said that appointments of teachers and their documents had been proved illegal by the ACE, but they were still serving in different schools.

Dawn,November 22nd, 2014

 

22 Nov 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 404 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

Village school: untold story of times bygone

The story of village school in Punjab that existed in the first two decades after independence may sound like a piece of fiction born of a mind obsessed with the past; past that has no contemporary relevance and thus offers nothing to our young generation. The story needs to be narrated precisely for the reason that it has no relevance to the school being run these days by the government in rural areas.
During 1950s a primary school used to be equidistant from two villages in Vehari, the then one of the most backward sub-divisions of Multan district in South Punjab. The school was spread over more than two acres. It had a mud boundary wall with two gates in the middle. Three mud rooms served as classrooms. The open space was neatly divided into assembly ground, playground and two types of sitting areas for students; one for the summer season with lot of shady trees and the other for the winter that allowed sun all the day. The compound had two wide brick-lined paths that formed a cross. Along the paths one could see riot of colours throughout the year as the carefully marked and nurtured flowerbeds gave you a sense of being in a sort of garden.
The morning in the school would always start with dusting the ‘Taat’, the jute mats the students sat on. The school for some moments would look as if wrapped in a mini dust storm. After the settling of the dust and with mats in place, the students would gather for assembly, a kind of daily ritual observed religiously. A senior student would recite a prayer followed by recitation of some poems. The headmaster would say a word or two if and when needed. The students not in school uniforms (dark grey shirt and baggy trousers made of cloth called Malayshia) were reprimanded. The teachers would always be punctual and take their classes regularly. If a teacher was on leave, the headmaster would direct another teacher to take care of his class making sure that no student could slip away. The teachers were strict but caring and always went an extra mile to help the students who lagged behind. They were very particular about the class discipline and were not shy of using ‘soti’, the stick. ‘Chalk and talk’ was the teaching method usually employed. The syllabus was liberal. History had not yet been murdered by ideology. There was no concept of ‘home work’ as the parents, most of them illiterate, could not help or guide their children in the matter of education at home. Recess called ‘tafrih’(entertainment/fun time) at mid-day was a moment of excitement when students would raise a joyful noise while having their lunch wrapped in cloth called ‘pona’ a simple bread wrapper.
Another delightful sight was the ‘karah’, a large round shallow pan. The gardener would pour dry milk into it. He would add a lot of water and shake it with a wooden ladle till it was ready to serve. Each student would get a glass of milk just before the recess was over. The students would make faces while having it as they were used to having fresh or boiled buffalo milk at home that tasted quite different from what they got at the school.
Every three or four months would come a special day; the day when everything had to be spick and span; compound clear of litter, walkways properly marked with lime-ash, colourful charts and painted objects of clay made by the students on display. The teachers and the students would wait with baited breath for the arrival of someone out of this world, a feared alien in shirt and trousers accompanied by one or two guys. This alien was in fact inspector of education department who descended on the school with the intention of doing a ‘muaiyna’ (inspection). He would inspect classrooms, playgrounds and also would ask the students questions to gauge whether they were being taught properly or not. Future of the teachers depended on the report he submitted to his superiors in education department.
Once or twice a year, there used to be another unusual event. The students would be scared like freshly caged birds when a small team carrying strange looking boxes entered the school. ’Oey loday walay (vaccination team) young children would whisper among themselves with grinning faces. The team comprised paramedics who vaccinated the students. They used simple cut or scratch for smallpox inoculation (variolation) that caused itching pain frightening the children out of their wits. But the pain ensured the pleasure of smallpox free life.
Visit any primary village school in a far-flung area of Punjab these days. You will not find anything there mentioned above. Punctual teachers, clean grounds, flowerbeds, glass of milk for each student, yearly vaccination and regular inspection were surely the vestiges of colonial rule which we have proudly scraped from our village school’s palimpsest. And what now stares us in the face is the inscribed absence of a dream that haunts the ‘children of lesser god’ found in millions in the countryside. 

Dawn, November 21st, 2014

Medium of instruction

URDU needs to be the medium of instruction in schools in Pakistan if for no other reason than at least for knowing Iqbal’s and Ghalib’s poetry. The former is an epitome of our historical culture and the latter depicts the social culture of the subcontinent.
Unless our children know our culture and history, they cannot be expected to practise them in their lives.
Most of educated parents these days are sending their children to English medium schools.
These schools do not care to promote proficiency in Urdu. Our Urdu medium schools at least give basic education in Urdu poetry and literature. Children going to these schools have greater chance of knowing their culture by reading Urdu poetry and literature.
However, unfortunately Urdu medium school’s standard of education is not up to the mark. Thus, our children suffer in any case.

(Letter to the editor) Dawn, November 21st, 2014

Book fair

GOVERNMENT College University, Lahore, does its best to promote education in every which way it can. Recently, a book fair was held in its ground for three days.
Almost all known publishers had set their camps here with books on a variety of subjects. It was a pleasure for students to visit it as few book fairs or exhibitions are held. Besides, it gives them an excuse for an outing; however, a worthy one.
I was extremely happy to see a massive gathering of students there.
They were not just Ravians but also those from other educational institutions. Many books were purchased on the occasion.
The book fair proved to be most successful. The entire credit for organising it goes to the educational institution’s Chief Librarian Abdul Waheed who always struggles hard for holding such exhibitions.
Our government should also take the initiative for conducting such educational events. If the government doesn’t do so, then educational institutions should conduct book exhibitions on their own — like the Government College University — to promote literacy and education.

Dawn,November 21st, 2014

Dutch envoy stresses promotion of education

QUETTA: Dutch Ambassador De Vink has emphasised the need for special measures for girls’ education in the country.
Addressing an event titled Balochistan Education Programme organised by Save the Children on Thursday, he praised Malala Yousufzai for her role in promotion of education and said it was now the government’s responsibility to fulfil her dream of `education for all’.
The diplomat said his government had provided $13.4 million to Balochistan under a five-year programme (2009-2014) for easy access to quality education.

Dawn,November 22nd, 2014

Action against absentee schoolteachers continues

— Reuters/File

QUETTA: Services of another seven government schoolteachers have been suspended in Quetta during a campaign launched by the Education Depart­ment against absentee teachers.
Officials in the Educa­tion Department told Dawn on Friday that thousands of teachers had been reported absent from their duty over the past several years, but they were drawing their salary regularly.
They said most teachers had affiliation with political parties and that was the reason that campaigns in the past failed to make them attend their duties regularly.
Some teachers were even members of central executive committees of political parties, they added.
On instructions of Adviser to Chief Minister on Education Sardar Raza Mohammad Baraich, Secretary Education Abdul Sabboor Kakar recently paid a surprise visit to Sandeman High School and found that the headmaster and six teachers were absent from their duty.

The secretary issued directives to suspend services of these seven persons.
Mr Kakar had earlier also placed under suspension some teachers during similar visits to different schools. In a report, he mentioned large-scale misappropriation in accounts of some schools.
Talking to media personnel, Mr Baraich said he himself faced political pressure for favourable postings and transfers. “When the Education Department launches a campaign against absentee teachers they use political pressure to influence officials,” he added.
He said a majority of teachers did not have professional capability to teach and they had poor understanding of their subjects.

Dawn,November 22nd, 2014

 

20 Nov 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 406 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

Rights of the child

ON Nov 20, 1989, the world agreed that rights of children needed to be protected. The resulting Convention on the Rights of the Child is ratified by a record 191 States. It is the world’s promise to children everywhere.
The convention has inspired and guided national legislation, policies and programmes to respect, protect and fulfil child rights in South Asia. Yet, pervasive poverty and inequities prevent millions of children in South Asia from living in dignity and reaching their full potential.
In Pakistan there are still 6.5 million children out of school and those in school have poor learning outcomes where one out of two children in the fifth grade cannot read Grade 2-level text in their local language. In Pakistan the death rates within the first 28 days of life in 2012 still stood at 202,000 children.
On this 25th anniversary we ask ourselves, what else can we do to transform the lives of children in South Asia? The response is getting children and their mothers health services, good nutrition and proper toilets. We also need to provide quality schooling and create opportunities for their future. The good news is that we have the know-how and innovative approaches to make positive changes in the lives of children in South Asia.
We envisage that 10 million additional children, especially girls, will attend school at primary and lower secondary level. The percentage of girls who are married before age 18 will be reduced.
Therefore a large-scale response is not only necessary, it is urgently needed to stop stunting, end open defecation, bring millions of children into the classrooms, reduce neonatal mortality and end child marriage.
On this special occasion, our appeal is a call to join forces so that no child — boy or girl — in South Asia sees his life or her opportunities undercut because of persistent deprivations.
Borrowing the words of children “we are not the sources of problems; we are the resources that are needed to solve them. We are not expenses; we are investments. We are not just young people; we are people and citizens of this world”.

Dawn, November 20th, 2014

Pitfalls of English

LAST week, the Society for the Advance­ment of Education launched its report on English-language learning in Sindh schools. The ambiguity that marks parents’ and educators’ understanding of the role of language — especially English — in school education was evident on this occasion.
SAHE’s executive director, Abbas Rashid, however, was spot on when he identified his concerns: does the early introduction of Eng­lish in school help or hinder learning? What happens to the learning of English itself?
A common misconception in Pakistan is that those who speak of teaching children in their mother tongue are opposed to English. That is not true.
In my opinion, children must learn English if their education is to be complete. But I also believe that learning English does not mean that they must be taught all the subjects they are required to study through the medium of English.
According to Montessori “children placed in an environment where activities were designed to support their natural development had the power to educate themselves”.
Montessori placed immense emphasis on language that is integrated in the child’s cognitive development and is basic to the communication that takes place among children and between them and adults.
The problem is that ours is not a child-centric society. The focus in education is at the adolescent’s level when children are about to leave school. It is forgotten that what goes into children’s primary school experience determines their learning skills in adulthood.
Yet our educationists insist that English should be the medium of instruction from the start. Punjab tried this experiment in 2013 and had to rescind its decision with the SAHE report confirming its failure. Now KP has plunged into the same foolish experiment. Hopefully SAHE will venture into that province too.
Worse still, the language factor entrenches the class divide which blights our society. As the ‘language of power’ — to use Pakistan’s leading linguist Dr Tariq Rahman’s words — English serves to exclude the underprivileged from the circle of privilege. It determines social attitudes and limits economic opportunities. This phenomenon is replicated at the international level where English is pushed to the detriment of the poor. Prof Chomsky, who champions the case of the underdog, would be able to confirm that.

Dawn, November 19th, 2014

PEELI train thousands of teachers in English in a year

LAHORE: The Punjab Education and English Language Initiative (PEELI) has trained 400 master trainers as well as 1,240 newly inducted subject specialists in Secondary English Language Teaching in the one year of its implementation.
Of the 400 master trainers, 190 have directly provided training to 17,000 primary schoolteachers. Similarly, 579 education managers have been trained in leadership in English Medium Instruction. Overall, the PEELI has directly trained 3,257 education individuals that led to indirect training of 86,280 teachers as well as touched the lives of 3.128 million.
The PEELI, which works in close collaboration with the Punjab Schools Education Department and the Directorate of Staff Development to bring about successful transition to English Medium Instruction, has also developed well-equipped resource centres in Lahore and Multan and plans to replicate them in more districts. The programme aims at reaching 300,000 teachers by 2018.
This was the crux of the PEELI report launched by the British Council on the completion of its one year on Monday.
Speaking at the launch, British Council Chief Executive Sir Martin Davidson said the PEELI must continue doing its excellent work of improving educational outcomes, something of crucial importance for Punjab and Pakistan.
Punjab Education Minister Rana Mashhood outlined the commitment of the Punjab government to education and explained numerous initiatives being taken to improve the education system and hoped that PEELI would contribute to improve education in the province.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Governor Chaudhry Sarwar said Pakistan has enshrined the right in the Constitution for all children to have a quality education and safe and healthy environment.
According to Unicef estimates, over 1.4 million Pakistani children with disabilities are currently out of school. This is even more prevalent for girls, Sarwar said while speaking to participants at British Council’s policy dialogue on ‘How to foster a more inclusive education system in Pakistan’ at Governor House on Monday.
He said Punjab had some excellent special education institutions, but they were not enough to meet the growing demand. He said the situation in Punjab was slightly better with special education schools in every sub-district, with the investment of over Rs1 billion every year.
In order to facilitate such children at post-graduate level, he said the Higher Education Commission had encouraged universities to ensure one per cent quota for students with disabilities.
However, he observed, there was a need to ascertain whether this was actually observed or the quota was enough.
The governor stressed the need to increase efforts in both inclusive education and special education across the country.

Dawn,November 18th, 2014

 

13 Nov 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 413 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

'Health, education sector given priority'

Lahore: Excise and Taxation Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman said on Saturday that Rs2 billion had been allocated in the annual budget to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
He was speaking to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers at his residence. Rehman said that the PML-N government had allocated record sums to the education and health sectors in the budget. He said that Rs274 billion and Rs122 billion had been allocated for the education and health sectors respectively. 
" The government distributed solar lamps among 200,000 students last year to ensure that load shedding did not affect their education"
Punjab Minister Mr. Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman

The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2014

War on education

The ferocity with which Islamist militants have been attacking educational institutions in Nigeria makes the efforts of their ideological comrades in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria pale by comparison. A suicide bomber in the northern Nigerian town of Potiskum attacked a school assembly on Monday killing almost 50 students. Though Boko Haram — Nigeria’s most lethal extremist group — had not publicly claimed the attack at the time of writing, the outfit has carried out similar attacks in the past The extremist group has burnt down schools, massacred students inside campuses and, in its most audacious attack, kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in April. Not just that, the Boko Haram leadership has openly instructed followers to destroy schools. Of course, Pakistan is familiar with such patterns of violence, as local militant groups, most prominently the banned TTP, have bombed or attacked hundreds of schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata, while extremists have also threatened and attacked schools in Balochistan. In Afghanistan, though things have improved since the Taliban’s fall in 2001, the harsh restrictions the militant group placed on girls’ education while it ruled Kabul are still fresh in the mind. Moreover, media reports indicate that the self-styled Islamic State has closed down schools in parts of Syria it controls in order to ‘Islamise’ the curriculum.
The unfortunate truth is that these extremists are jeopardising the future of countless children in the areas they control. If left to their devices the militants will create an entire generation of children with little knowledge or skills other than rote learning of scripture and a very narrow interpretation of Islam. Or the youngsters will be left illiterate. While Syria is in the midst of a bloody conflict on various fronts and Afghanistan is not very stable at the moment, there is a lot that Nigeria and Pakistan can do to stamp out militancy within their borders. Or else apart from the other effects of militancy, we may lose an entire generation to the obscurantists.

Dawn, November 12th, 2014

Survival of the fittest

“One of them bound my hands. The other covered my mouth; another took off my clothes, then one began to punch me, and another one began forcibly having sex with me,” recalls Tanveer. “If I had access to poison I would have taken it. Afterwards I could not talk to anyone about this, nor did I have the words to describe what had happened to me.”
More than 1.2 million children live on the streets of Pakistan. Most of them are physically and sexually abused and end up finding solace in drugs.


More than 1.2 million children live on the streets of Pakistan. Most of them are physically and sexually abused and end up finding solace in drugs. — AFP/File

Tanveer left his house at the age of 12 after having a disagreement with his father. He roamed the streets washing cars and running errands; anything to help make ends meet. “Saddar has a lot of hotels so breakfast and lunch is available. You can eat three meals a day if you look for the right places,” he says. But living on the streets did take its toll on him. “The children with whom I used to live were all addicts, they used to indulge in drugs and they encouraged me to join them.” There was immense peer pressure on him to begin using hard drugs. He took up smoking and eating gutka but refrained from “powder” and inhaling Samad Bond. One day a friend of his overdosed and died in front of his eyes.
That was a rude awakening for Tanveer. He vowed to give up everything. “I began to cry and from that day I stopped smoking and using any intoxicants. I did not want to end up like him,” he says. Then Tanveer says something that puts his life and the life of children living on the streets in perspective: “A street child cannot say anything. He has no one to turn to. He bottles up all his frustrations, and starts indulging in drugs, and this is how he ends up dead at the Edhi centre; where an unmarked grave is prepared for him. That is our end.”
When I met Tanveer he had turned his life around. He was working with Initiator Human Development Foundation (BIHDFB) a non-profit organisation that works to rescue children from the streets and re-integrate them into society. Tanveer is now a street motivator. He encourages those that are homeless to develop skills, find jobs and works to re-integrates them into their families.
He works tirelessly to plant the idea in the heads of the children that their lives can change. He gives his own example of how he was able to turn around his life with the help of IHDF.
Imagine being abandoned or leaving home to live on the unforgiving streets of Pakistan. The boys we see washing our car windows, scrounging for garbage and asking to eat our left overs have names, families and a story. We just see their faces peering through our car windows and often wave them away.
Tanveer’s story opened up my eyes about the kind of lives these children lead. More importantly, it instilled in me hope that their lives can be turned around. That a simple act of kindness on our part, a job, an offer of education, a helping hand can really go a long way.
Tanveer didn’t do this alone, a man who has dedicated his life to helping street children got him to turn his life around. Rana Asif Habib, who heads IHDF, has worked tirelessly for years to rehabilitate children. This is a thankless job; there are no awards or accolades for his non-profit struggles to make ends meet. Yet, he smiles and approaches every day with a ‘can-do’ attitude. He knows he is making a difference and that’s all that counts.
“I like my life … When I started my job I was earning Rs7000 and now I earn Rs15,000. This is not just a job and an office, for me, it is my home. I will never be able to forget the memories I have created here,” Tanveer says with a smile.
“What they have done for me, I doubt anyone else would do it for me. I think that now I am doing a good deed and I hope Allah rewards me for the work that I am doing over here.”

Dawn, Sunday Magazine, November 9th, 2014

Child Rights

IT will soon be 25 years for the Convention on the Rights of Child to which Pakistan became a signatory on Dec 12, 1990. The convention is eloquent about applying rights to children equally and ensures that they survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential.
In Pakistan, the convention is only enforceable if it is adopted through domestic legislation. Unfortunately, Pakistan has not introduced any such legislation and the convention cannot be invoked in any domestic court of law.
What we do have is a host of non-unified federal and provincial regulations on issues of family law and child welfare. While the National Commission for Child Welfare and Development (NCCWD) oversees the application of the convention in Pakistan and the country has enacted laws to limit child labour and indentured servitude, 11 million children aged four to 14 still work illegally under squalid conditions. The Constitution provides for free and compulsory education for children aged five to 16 years, but Pakistan still has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world.
Polio is a potentially fatal infectious disease that strikes children mainly under the age of five and can cause irreversible paralysis and sometimes death.
Pakistan was able to control the crippling disease owing to its stringent and well organised polio drives. Unfortunately, the virus is on the increase because of Taliban attacks on polio health workers.
More than 200 children have been reported with the illness and hundreds of thousands of children remain unvaccinated and vulnerable to contracting polio.
The essence is to understand that with a plethora of laws at our disposal, we are still after so many years, finding it challenging to provide and facilitate for the most defenceless among us.
With poverty that forces children to pick up tools rather than books and a deadly rampant disease around them, all laws that are meant for the protection and transformation of children into healthy, productive adults become useless.
Mobeen Shah

Dawn, November 12th, 2014

 

11 Nov 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 415 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

Health issues affecting children's IQ level

LAHORE: Most school students are facing health issues like stunting and iodine deficiency that reduce their IQ level by 5 to 15 points leading to reduction in their learning capacity and cognitive abilities, as well as increasing propensity of repeated years and dropouts.
This was a consensus among the participants of a consultative meeting by Nur Centre for Research and Policy on Monday. The participants, including the representatives of UN bodies, civil society organisations and health and education departments, also pledged their commitment towards institutionalisation of the School Health Programme in the province.
The discussion focused on the findings from the research conducted in the province, the existing provincial and strategic frameworks guiding the school health and nutrition programme and the inclusion and implementation of laws concerning school health in the current child protection policy and school reform road map.
Speakers said children below 19 years of age were more than half of the population of Pakistan, while a whopping 25 million were still out of school, while the remaining 35 million children in schools were facing health issues.
The speakers acknowledged Punjab Chief Minister’s School Reforms Road-map created urgency and a crisis situation of now-or-never in education, saying the programme should have also mentioned school health components.
Currently, the school health programme comes under the domain of the Ministry of Health, specifically under Punjab Health Sector Reform Programme.
‘There is a need for innovation in management of the school health programme,” said Unicef Nutrition Officer Dr Qurat Ul Ain.
“The government took an innovative step by working on the multi-sectoral nutritional policy. A similar approach is required to address the issue of school health.”
Speakers highlighted the impact of parents’ education on girl students’ enrollment, the significant differences in health and nutrition knowledge and practices between students exposed to a school health and nutrition programme and those who were unexposed, and the role played by exposed students in health information dissemination to their families and communities.
Though civil service organisations are working on increasing enrollment, decreasing drop-out and improving quality of education, no one is focused on the health component in schools. Next to home, children spend most of their time at school where they learn the sample that shapes their mind.
“Securing their (children’s) future is of pertinent importance at this time,” said Iftikhar Ahmed, former secretary establishment, former d dean of the National School of Public Policy.
“We need to ensure that the children stay in school and to achieve that, quality nurturing has to be provided,” he stressed.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the government and support their efforts to ensure optimum implementation of school health and nutrition programme in the province,” said Shahima Rehman, president of Nur Foundation and chairperson of the executive committee, Fatima Memorial System.

Dawn, November 11th, 2014

Villagers' self-help projects set example for others

RAHIM YAR KHAN: Basti Tabu, a village having 60 houses, 14km north of Sadiqabad on the Jamal Din Wali Road, is an example for the rural areas as its inhabitants have taken it upon themselves to resolve their issues with the help of non-government organisations as well as the government.

RAHIM YAR KHAN: Women get dairy farming training.– Dawn

RAHIM YAR KHAN: Women get dairy farming training.– Dawn

Women, aged 16 to 49 are being trained for dairy farming besides they are being given education to raise the level of literacy. This project is mainly sponsored by the Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) while the LPP and other organisation have also provided support. A female teacher qualified from the University of Veterinary Sciences delivers a four-hour lecture daily to 22 women in the months long training course which will end in December.

Dawn, November 11th, 2014

IVS students give their street a facelift

 

KARACHI
Karachi, once known as the city of lights, has now been blighted by the general apathy of its residents. The streets wear the look of a garbage dump and no wall is allowed to remain void of graffiti.
But for students of the Indus Valley School (IVS), keeping the city clean is one’s own responsibility. Armed with broomsticks, paint brushes, garbage disposal bags and a whole lot of energy, the students as well as volunteers from the corporate sector took up the daunting task to uplift Street 33 of Clifton Block 2.
What started as an assignment for the orientation class, quickly evolved into a monthly activity after the students were inspired by the ‘Ugly Indian‘ campaign from across the border.
On Saturday, the class of more than 85 students managed to clean an area stretching over 500 metres. The garbage was collected into 107 bags, which were later taken away by municipal workers of the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC).

The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2014

Read history, politics, literature. Ask questions. Form your own conclusions. Don’t be intellectually lazy and swallow everything your elders tell you. They made huge mistakes; don’t perpetuate them by blindly imitating their prejudices and narrow vision. You want a better Pakistan? This is the real way to obtain it.

BINA SHAH: DAWN

 

05 Nov 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 421 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

PM's directive on syllabi renders academics nonplussed

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s directions to the Higher Education Commission have created confusion among the academics, wherein he asked the HEC to make amendments to curriculum of compulsory subjects of Pakistan Studies, English and Urdu of all primary, middle and secondary schools – as well as colleges and universities.
The prime minister has given only two months to the commission to complete the job – that largely does not fall in its purview.
Many senior academics wonder as to why the prime minister has directed the HEC to amend primary, middle and secondary schools’ curriculum when it has never been within its purview. The HEC had been established for the supervision of curricula and textbooks beyond Class-XII.
The confusion not only prevails in Punjab and other provinces, the officials at the HEC, Islamabad, also admit that the task for amending school-level curricula does not fall in their jurisdiction nor do they have any expertise to perform the task. They also say, if compelled, the HEC will only be able to request provinces and relevant bodies to perform the job and submit the approved draft to the commission. “Still, the HEC will be at a loss to implement prime minister’s direction in letter and spirit with regard to “making amendments in the curriculum after due consultation and approval of the provincial governments,” said a senior official in the HEC.
After implementation of the 18th amendment, the academics say, the subject of curriculum was devolved to the provinces and the Punjab government had created Punjab Curriculum Authority, under an Act of the Punjab Assembly in 2012, to review and update curriculum from Class-I to XII.
The PCA had reviewed and upgraded curriculum following a competitive process among authors and private publishers. However, an internal tussle based on vested interests led the abolition of the PCA. The Punjab governor had promulgated an ordinance, which has now been tabled as Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Bill 2014 in the Punjab Assembly. The bill has been referred to the PA Standing Committee on Education for debate.
The prime minister’s Oct 30 order says the HEC should coordinate with academics, universities and textbook publishers to develop grade appropriate material including fables, stories, essays, speeches, teaching guides, teacher training material, activities, extra-curricular activities, examinations and other relevant interventions for all classes from the earliest years to the university level, for public and private institutions – for discussion and adoption by the federal and provincial governments for the next academic year.
The prime minister’s order also elaborates the task saying that amendments shall include chapters aimed at promoting the appreciation of the vital necessity of constitutional democracy for Pakistan’s progress and identity; deepen the understanding of the merits of the constitutional democratic process and pluralism in international and national context.
He wishes the updated curriculum should strengthen the knowledge base of students to comprehensively counter the common misunderstandings surrounding constitutional democracy and enhance critical appreciation of modes of accountability within the constitutional process like judicial oversight, media, freedom of speech, right to information, elections etc.
Commenting on the objectives, the academics say the federal government itself has not implemented the Right To Information Act in its jurisdiction before asking provinces to educate younger lot on the subject matter.
Former Punjab University faculty of education dean and federal ministry of education’s advisory committee member, Prof Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal, says the HEC cannot perform the task of amending curriculum at schools level because neither it comes in its mandate nor it has relevant expertise.
Prof Iqbal, however, says the PML-N manifesto did refer to the establishment of a National Curriculum Council (NCC), which has been approved unanimously by the inter-provincial education ministers’ conference held recently. He says the prospective NCC will be the relevant body to act upon prime minister’s order.
Punjab School Education Department Secretary Abdul Jabbar Shaheen and Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Chairman Nawazish Ali preferred to keep mum about the subject despite calls and short messages sent to them.
The HEC has awarded “W” category, the highest rank, to the Virtual University of Pakistan under an assessment released by its Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), a body working to monitor the standard of higher education in Pakistan.
The VU has earned the honour after its Quality Enhancement Cell met 94.6 per cent of the quality benchmarks in terms of research, faculty development, industry-academia linkages, academic freedom, ensuring standardised syllabi across all sections of a course, streamlining processes across campuses according to international standards and ensuring compliance of HEC guidelines.
Meanwhile, the VU has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) to promote academia-industry linkages that would facilitate the advancement and innovation in industry and education sectors.
Virtual University Rector Dr Naveed A Malik and GCCI President Khwaja Khalid Hassan have signed the MoU. Both organisations have agreed to enhance mutual collaboration in online training and development for capacity building of industrial workers and to assist in placement and training of students. GCCI will assist in identification of companies that may be interested to get benefit from VU, whereas the varsity will provide solutions to industry’s problems by research and development.
The Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (Tevta) in collaboration with National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) will offer free of cost three-month short courses to train the youth of rural areas of Muzaffargarh, Layyah and Rajanpur in various trades.
Tevta Chairman Irfan Qaiser Sheikh and NRSP, Punjab, Director Iqbal Ahmed Raja have signed a memorandum of understanding to train some 450 students in 20 months.
The NRSP will support to strengthen training curricula, enhance instructor capabilities and increase the training facilities of selected Tevta institutes. It will also provide Rs100 per day to each trainee during the course to meet the transportation and food expenditures. The Tevta will provide infrastructure for smooth conduct of courses in the three selected districts. The authority will also provide master trainers to impart vocational skills and completion certificates.
THE Bestway Foundation has donated Rs50 million for the extension of the Forman Christian College’s Business and Social Sciences building.

Recognising the contribution, FCC Rector Dr James Tebbe last week presented a shield to Bestway Group’s founder and chairman Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk. Dr Tebbe says the extension will allow the programmes housed in the building to increase student enrollment as well as the number of degree specialisations, contributing to the education of future business leaders as well as producing responsible citizens of Pakistan. An additional Rs100 million has also been pledged by the UBL for extension of the building.
mansoormalik173@hotmail.com

Dawn, November 3rd, 2014

An ideological education

The recent controversy regarding curriculum reform in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) is not a mere instance of political compromise and appeasement, but rather a struggle to yield ideological power and control through the instrument of instruction.......
That school education is a powerful tool capable of fashioning student’s beliefs and attitudes. A recent study conducted by the US National Bureau of Economic Research has concluded a direct causal effect of the school curricula introduced by the Communist Party of China from 2004 to 2010 on children’s political, social and religious views......

The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2014

Curriculum concerns

EXPERTS and educationists broadly define curriculum as ‘all the learning that is planned and guided by the school, whether it is carried on in groups or individually, inside or outside the school’.
If we consider this definition valid, we see that the curriculum does not only include content but also the way learning takes place as well as the academic environment. Put simply, curriculum includes the syllabus and the process of teaching it. Hence, a standard curriculum is designed according to certain objectives that focus on the cognitive, psychological and physical development of students.
Unfortunately, in Pakistan, instead of making learning a positive experience that brings out the best in students, successive governments have tried to harness the academic aspect of curriculum development for the purpose of indoctrination. At no other time has this approach been embraced with more fervour than during Gen Ziaul Haq’s era.
That period saw languages, Islamic studies, social studies and even the natural sciences infused with content geared towards developing an isolationist mindset. Moreover, the materials and content disregarded academic research while four main concepts were incorporated into the curricula.
First, the glorification of war and war heroes. Pick up any elementary or secondary language/social study book, and you will find only a few heroes who were not known for their martial prowess. Second, the denigration of other religions, nations, countries and races. Third, the representation of women as lesser humans unable to participate in social, political or even academic fields. Fourth, the distortion of indigenous history and neglect of indigenous civilisations and personalities known for their intellectual, political and social achievements.
Over the years, curriculum content, academic environment and the method of teaching have coalesced into a behavioural system that resists acceptance of the ‘other’. This leads to isolation and acts as a trigger for tensions not only with other countries but also along racial, linguistic and religious lines. In this way, the curriculum in Pakistani schools contributes to the country’s strained ties with India and Afghanistan.
Several studies have consistently highlighted problems in the curriculum here and suggested changes. The Education Sector Reforms Committee formed in 2006 consisted of eminent scholars, educationists and psychologists from all four provinces. It offered workable recommendations to bring about some changes and standardise curricula.
After the 18th Amendment in 2010 devolved education policy, planning, governance and curriculum to the provinces, the governments of Punjab and KP attempted to incorporate only a few of the recommendations. Some changes were planned to be gradually introduced.
The proposed changes had not discarded content related to basic Islamic teachings, biographies of Muslim heroes or Pakistani cultural values. In fact, repetition and overlap had been minimised. However, a campaign by some religious circles was initiated to block even those changes.
These religious circles, mostly belonging to the Jamaat-i-Islami, a party that has only eight members out of 124 in the KP Assembly, have since then been resisting the standardisation of curriculum in KP. As a result of these pressure tactics, it almost seems as if the JI’s senior partner in the provincial government, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, has capitulated and become a minority as the JI seeks to impose its own interpretation of Islam and culture on the majority.
In KP, the JI appears to have embarked on the next part of a radicalisation agenda through an education curricula campaign that it began in the 1980s under the military dictator Ziaul Haq. As mentioned earlier, in that era the educational curriculum was particularly instrumental in forging a mindset that perpetuated the stereotyping of the ‘other’ and engendered a culture of intolerance. The climate provided a fertile ground for the militant discourse that, along with other factors, laid the foundation of Talibanisation in Pakistan. Sectarianism, which is eating into the very vitals of Pakistani state and society, is one of the by-products of this process.
When the 2006 reforms committee shared its recommendations with the government, media and civil society, the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, of which JI was a component, was governing KP (then NWFP). The MMA ruled the province from 2002 to 2007. Ironically, one cannot recall any difference of opinion officially expressed or alternative recommendations suggested by the JI at that time, let alone protest demonstrations.
It is important to realise that curriculum development is a specialised field and needs to be viewed through an academic lens. The cognitive, psychological and physical needs of elementary and secondary school students have to be understood before deciding on the content and method of teaching.

Dawn, November 3rd, 2014

Dist admin report on school

OKARA: The district administration says there is a plan to merge the Government Girls Primary School, 14/1R with a boys’ school in the village.
The district coordination officer claims in a statement that he ordered a site visit of the girls’ school following publication of a news about it in this paper on Oct 29 and the report reveals that the building has been abandoned. The report says the school may be merged with the one for boys as the building is not in condition of repairs and its material after demolition could be used in the construction of boundary wall, additional rooms and washrooms.
The DCO says it was one of the buildings constructed as part of Tameer-i-Wattan programme in 1985-86 and no Schedule of New Expenditure (SNE) for the school was issued and no staff was appointed. “This school is not
functional according to the data of the Planning Management Information Unit (PMIU) and no Education Management Information System (EMIS) code is allotted. The building has no legal existence in the record of the district education department and 85 girls study in the boys’ portion of the school.”
On the request of local community, he said, a temporary transfer order of Ms Shagufta Bibi was issued in March 2013 and the girls were studying. The school building was dangerous so the teacher and students were shifted to the boy’s school on the order of the district education officer.

Dawn, November 3rd, 2014

 

01 Nov 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 425 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

A PERSONAL VIEW

ALTERNATIVE LEARNING SYSTEMS

INAYATULLAH

According to a recent report released by Alif Ailaan which works for the education of election in Pakistan, 25 million children of school going age are not enrolled in the schools. This, despite the commitment of the government of Pakistan to achieve hundred percent primary education both in terms of the UN Millennium Development Goals and the World Education Forum Dakar Education For All targets.

Again this, despite Pakistan 1973 Constitution’s requirement (Article 38-A) that provision of free and compulsory education up to secondary level and illiteracy must be eradicated within minimum possible period, as also the addition of new Article 25-A added to the Constitution under the 18th Amendment making Right to Education mandatory for the central and provincial governments. How serious the governments in Pakistan have been in meeting the educational challenges may be gauged from the fact that less than 2% of the GDP is spent on education for all level, primary, secondary and tertiary. No wonder millions of children today are out of school and there are close to 60 million adult illiterates in this country.

How can Pakistan catch up with the rest of the world literacy-and-education wise? Of course giving education high poverty and at least doubling the financial allocations. For accelerated results, Innovative ways and means especially alternative learning systems will have to be pressed into service.

Earlier this month, a Regional Conference on ALS—Alternative Learning Systems was held in Lahore. Unesco, Unicef, JICA officials and educationists representing Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan participated in the meeting.

Mr. Hakeem A Hameed Director Unesco in Pakistan elaborated the theme of the conference and dilated on the rationale for ALS. An important driving factor for ALS according to him is that out of school children represent an unconscionable underinvestment that prevents nations from reaching their full economic and social potential.

ALS provides a flexible route to education for those to whom formal education access is denied for various reasons.

Key feature of ALS spelt out by Mr. Hakeem include reaching the unreached, flexible methodologies, intensive learning of literacy & numeracy, relevant learning content, learning to learn, civic education, problem solving and equivalence to existing formal schooling.

The unreached are the children in poverty, girls, ethnic minorities, children with disabilities, refugees, children living in post-conflict settings, immigrant/internally displaced.

Responding to diverse interests and needs of children, flexible methodologies relate to pedagogies developed for ALS schools and centres, learning environments, languages and contact hours. Appropriate approaches include distant learning, weekend and night—schooling, tutoring and community learning centres. Some of the plus points of non-formal centres are small and intensive classes as also individual learning programmes.

India, Indonesia and Philippines have a long history of ALPs in primary education while ALPs for primary education have been expanded considerably in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal. The duration of education programmes is less than that of formal education schools. For instance in Indonesia 2 years education in non-formal school provides the same courses imparted in formal schools in 6 years. Similarly in Cambodia 3 years, in 2 years in Myanmar against 5 years of formal schooling.

The most amazing performance is to be found in Bangladesh where Brac has established an enormous network of educational and related institutions. This NGO established in 1972 is the largest in the world. It has a budget of $ 650 million, has a staff of 12000 and works in many countries. It runs 39000 schools where 9.3 million students are enrolled. It has branches in a number of countries in Africa and Asia including Pakistan. Brac programmes consist of pre-primary and primary schools, Clcs, inclusive education and a number of school support services.

According to a Brac representative stationed in Pakistan, the key features of Brac education system are: Centre based approach with one teacher for 25-30 children, the one teacher school is operated by the same teacher for the same cohort of children for the entire period of four years and delivers lessons in all subjects, sixty percent female students, no tuition fee, flexible class hours, one local female teacher with +10 years of schooling experience, school located on catchment of mainstream primary school, fun and activity based pre-school education, mother forums with a mandatory one day per month session, ensure community participation thought SMCs, tracking former students during their study in the mainstream primary school, training of government and private school teachers.

In Pakistan Brac has opened 955 schools with an enrollment of 25000 students. It has also trained 655 teachers. A special feature of its programmes is the establishment of Mother Forums where more than 22000 mothers have been sensitized and trained in basics of pre-primary and primary education. Brac’s programme for the future, in Pakistan aims at setting up 50000 schools where 1.5 million out of school children will be enrolled, 10,000 Government and private school teachers trained, 5,000 adolescent development centers to support 150,000 young girls in life skills and sensitization and training of more than a million mothers in early and primary education Presentations at the Regional Conference were also made by Afghanistan representatives, JICA (Ms. Chiho Ohashi Project Advisor JICA Nfepp-Paksitan), by a Unicef education specialist and the Punjab Department of Literacy and Non-Formal Basic Education. Punjab non-formal programmes and the support provided by JICA in developing non-formal learning curriculum and material were highlighted.

Some of the systemic challenges in regard to ALS programmes in Pakistan, as pointed out by Unicef representative, are lack of collaboration between Formal Education and Non-Formal Education Systems, inadequate funding, lack of federal government national standards and absence of catering for outreach/scattered communities. Realistic strategies need to be developed to address these challenges.

A ticklish issue regarding the non-formal basic education is the question of Accreditation and Equivalence. There is much to learn for Pakistan from the experiences of countries mentioned above where Alternative Learning Systems have been run with success for the last many years. Unesco and Unicef would be well-advised to bring in experts from some of these countries to help develop improved programmes, proper procedures and relevant skills as also opportunities for key personnel engaged in non-formal education to visit ALS centres abroad.

Non-formal programmes are very much needed because they, compared to the formal system, cost less, are innovative and flexible and involve communities at the local levels.

Pakistan very much needs to expand its non-formal education programmes and learn from the good practices successfully managed abroad.

Universal education stressed for every child
LAHORE

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has stressed the need for greater commitment and urgent steps to ensure that universal and compulsory education as guaranteed in Article 25-A of the Constitution is available to every child.
The demand was made at a consultation HRCP organised in Lahore to discuss the state of universal education across Pakistan and highlight prospects and challenges to enroll every child.
The participants highlighted that Pakistan had a very high rate of out-of-school children of primary school going age, particularly girls.
They said the rate of literacy was dismal, with equally poor survival and enrollment rates in the country.
Participants at the event included Dr A.H Nayyar, Imran Khan (Alif Ailaan), Dr Tariq Rehman (BNU), Ali Qasmi (LUMS), Baela Raza Jamil (Idara-i-Taleem-o-Aagahi) and educationists from Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The discussion focused on provincial legislation and implementation of laws concerning universal education, ensuring gender parity and the role of madaris in achieving universal education.
The participants called for greater allocation to the education budget as well an increase in capacity to efficiently utilise the budget so that the aims of Sustainable Development Goals and the Accelerated Framework could be realised.
The need for mass mobilisation was stressed, with a view to bring together government, concerned citizens, NGOs and the media so that the right to education for every child of school-going age was ensured by enrolling them in schools.

Dawn, Nov 1st, 2014

Sindh govt to set up Rs5 billion endowment fund for SEF
KARACHI

The Sindh government has decided to establish a Rs5 billion endowment fund to strengthen the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) so that education could be imparted in areas where government schools do not exist.
The Rs5bn seed money for the fund is in addition to Rs2.2bn allocation made in the current financial year for the administrative and operational expenditures of the foundation.
Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah reviewed the performance of the foundation and its achievements during a meeting held here at CM House on Friday.
Speaking on the occasion, the CM, who is also the chairman of its board of governors, appreciated the efforts of the SEF management for adding 318 new schools with 40,000 enrolments in their existing cluster of 3,000 schools with 350,000 students across the province in the current month.
He asked them to expand the foundation’s educational network, especially in backward areas, to achieve the target of one million pupils’ enrolment by 2018 in the province on their part.
“An active participation of the community and qualitative teaching faculty can ensure the standard education to meet the challenges of the modern world,” he said.
The chief minister also directed the SEF management to consolidate their achievement and expenditure reports of the last two to three years with future plans of educational network within a week, so that they could be facilitated accordingly.
Earlier, the SEF Managing Director Aziz Kabani said that at present as many as 350,000 student were being provided free-of-cost qualitative education with a faculty of 9,000 teachers in its 3,000 schools across the province.
Besides, he said, 350 government schools had been adopted and 150 early childhood learning schools had been established by the SEF.
He said that another cluster of 664 schools were being run by his organisation under the promoting private schools in rural Sindh (PPRS) project, where 90,000 students were getting education free of cost.
He said that the education network of the SEF was spread over even in the arid zones of Tharparkar and Nara in Khairpur where the management of the schools was trying to recruit teachers from the local community on merit.
“In order to ensure the delivery of qualitative education to the children the SEF is spending Rs42 million to Rs60 million per year to provide training to between 5,000 and 6,000 teachers under the learning support programme.
He also recalled that 80 per cent of the total budget was being spent to support the schools while only 20pc was utilised for the operational purpose.
Providing further insight into its working, he said that the foundation was spending Rs450 per student per month, which was four times less than around Rs2,200, being spent by the provincial education department.
However, he recommended to raise the amount to Rs700 due to high inflation rate.
Mr Kabani also briefed the meeting about problems being experienced by the foundation, including a financial crunch and administrative problems.
He also informed the meeting that as many as 318 new schools were also being added to the cluster of the SEF schools in November 2014 to facilitate 40,000 more students and create jobs opportunities for hundreds of teachers.
Welcoming the announcement of the endowments fund, the MD recommended its early materialisation for the benefit of the poor students.
Earlier, participants in the meeting prayed for the departed soul of eminent educationalist Anita Ghulam Ali and paid tribute to the services she rendered in the field of education especially from the SEF’s platform.
The participants observed that the legacy of Ms Ali would remain alive in the hearts of millions of people and beneficiaries of her services.

Dawn, Nov 1st, 2014

 

29 Oct 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 428 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

Way forward after passage of free education bill

LAHORE

The lawmakers have opted to make free and compulsory education a basic right for children between the ages of five and 16.

In the wake of the bill’s passage, there is a strong agreement among stakeholders about the benefits of the law. However, certain reservations persist. The Express Tribune explores these in detail. The bill, introduced in 2010 with the inclusion of Article 25-A that made free and compulsory education a right for all children, had long been under discussion at the provincial level. In 2012, a commission was established to formulate a legislative framework to implement the provisions of the article. It took almost two years to pass the law.

Iftikhar Mubarak, a spokesperson for the Childs Rights Movement (CRM), believes that enacting a law that offers a framework for the implementation of the provisions given within the article is just the first step. “It is welcome news. This should have already been done,” he says. “What is important now is how we go about providing a monitoring and implementation mechanism,” he says.

The CRM represents 26 non-government organisations working for the welfare and rights of children. Mubarak says the real challenge for the government will be to bring forth an effective mechanism that would reflect the provisions and the framework of the law. “That has always been a problem in Pakistan. We have laws but then we either lack capacity or the intention to actually ensure their implementation,” he says.

The government says it is well on its way to practically implementing the provisions of the law. The government has been carrying out the universal primary enrollment drive across the province. The enrollment drive aims to enroll out of school children in the five-to-nine age group. According to Qaiser Rasheed, the School Education Department deputy secretary, the drive has managed to enroll 4.3 million children this year.

“We enrolled 3.8 million children the previous year. The retention rate has been more than 80 per cent so far. This and providing missing facilities, are attempts to ensure provision of education to all children under the provisions of the Article 25-A,” he says.

“The legislative framework will make it necessary to deliver results. It is a question about delivering a basic right now. The government has been working in that direction. However, it will become all the more important to deliver on those commitments now after the passage of the law,” he says.After the promulgation of the Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Ordinance in May this year, the Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (ISAPS) presented a list of more than 20 recommendations in various provisions within that ordinance. The report touches upon several issues including that of the role of the private schools.

Ahmad Ali, a research fellow at the ISAPS, believes that the provisions, making it binding on private schools to either enroll disadvantaged children equivalent to 10 per cent of the strength of each class or alternately to provide vouchers for disadvantaged children in other schools, shall raise several questions. “The government has failed to regulate and monitor private schools in the province so far. How does it now plan to execute a greater monitoring mechanism?” Ali asks. He says the clause can offer major hurdles in the implementation phase of the law because a majority of the private schools were low-fee. Baela Raza Jamil, the Idara-i-Taleem-o-Aagahi programmes director, finds the inclusion of pre-school and vocational education encouraging. “The government has proved itself progressive in terms of its perception of learning by expanding those goals beyond a traditional framework,” she says.

However, she asks whether the government is ready to do all that it is committing to do, especially by the year 2015. “By the next academic year, we should be ready to implement the provisions of the law,” she says. Without this, she says, there is always the danger of a law being in place without rules to carry out its objectives, as was the case with the Punjab Compulsory Primary Education Act 1994. “If Punjab leads the way, the other provinces will follow suit,” she says.

The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2014.

Tevta to train teachers
LAHORE

TECHNICAL Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) will train its 2,237 in-service male and female teachers during the current financial year to enhance their professional skills.

Chairperson TEVTA Irfan Qaiser Shaikh said this while addressing the staff of Government Staff Training College Gulberg during his visit on Tuesday. Other officers of TEVTA were also present.

Irfan Qaiser said TEVTA teachers would be trained in 152 batches out of which 85 would be trained at Government Staff Training College at Lahore, Faisalabad and Murree while 67 in TEVTA institutes with relevant facilities.

Chairperson TEVTA further said 3,047 male and female TEVTA teachers had already been trained during the last financial year through its different Teachers Training Programme. They will be given training in I.T, web designing, call centre training, software programming, electronics, mobile repairing, T.V. and A.C. repairing and servicing, baking and confectionery, rice processing, nursing and house keeping. TEVTA, as per requirement of the new curricula, has arranged the training of its teachers in different industrial organisations, he concluded.

The News October 29, 2014

The education emergency

TWENTY-FIVE million Pakistani children of school going age are not currently enrolled in any educational institution. This number was released in a report developed by Alif Ailaan, an alliance that proposes to address Pakistan’s education emergency. It signifies, in numerical terms, just how little the country, its policymakers, its government officials and its people care about the task of educating the young or believe in the power of learning to deliver Pakistan from its current quagmire of ignorance.
The details of the report provide the nuts and bolts that have nailed down the coffin of education in the country. Of the 25 million deprived of learning, an unsurprising half consists of little girls, all of whom face disparities in access to learning that they are provided in their pursuit of education. If they are female and poor, there is even less hope for them.
For many boys and girls, the pursuit of education is often abandoned soon after it starts; of the children that do actually enrol in Class 1, nearly half drop out, with only some of those dropouts transferring to other schools. The dropout rate will continue to increase over the next several years of schooling, with higher grades corresponding to higher dropout rates. One major reason for dropping out, supplied by both the children themselves and their parents, is quite simply that they do not want to continue.
The report is a commendable effort. It takes pains to outline the methodology used in arriving at the numeric estimates, the absence of census surveys that makes any sort of statistical analysis challenging.
In keeping with its hope to galvanise policymakers and government administrators into actually doing something about the education catastrophe, it doles out qualified commendations: the new chief minister of Balochistan has earmarked 30pc of the province’s development budget for education; the new government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has pushed education and made it an issue of debate in the provincial assembly, etc.
None of it, the report concedes, is enough; there is currently no central institutional body that develops, controls and implements education policy in Pakistan. In terms of percentages of its GDP, the government currently spends a whopping 2pc on education. In an act of supreme benevolence, it has promised to raise this percentage to 4pc by 2018. The future of 200 million Pakistanis depends on this paltry increase.
Education, as the report points out, is something promised to the people of Pakistan in their Constitution; whose Article 25A states: “The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age five to 16 years in such a manner as may be determined by law.”
The report by Alif Ailaan does a comprehensive job of pointing out the structural, budgetary and policy impediments that lie at the root of the education emergency, making it essential reading for anyone who truly wishes to understand the dynamics and magnitude of the lapses. It is possible — going by the data which shows an across-the-board turning away from education by the poor and at best a meek commitment to changing this course by the rulers — to also reach some conclusions about the moral and aspirational position of education within Pakistani society.
First among these is the issue of what ordinary Pakistanis believes education will procure for them or their children. In some countries, education is the means for poverty alleviation; in Pakistan this is rarely so. The education that is provided rarely permits those who have sacrificed years in its pursuit any significant means of improving their lives.
A system built on nepotism, corruption and patron-client relationships combined with an education system based largely on rote learning rather than problem-solving produces large measures of hopelessness for those who do educate themselves.
Nor is the problem relegated only to the poor educated in government-run institutions. With the waiting rooms of offices, the queues outside embassies so replete with young people with degrees and no jobs, it is hardly surprising that others imagine education as a waste of time, unable to deliver on its promises.
The 2pc figure Pakistan currently devotes to education is an apt statement about the wave of anti-intellectualism that has the country in its grip. The educated are treated poorly in Pakistan, deans of universities are felled by armed men with impunity; others are imprisoned on trumped-up charges and many are forced to leave because their erudition poses a threat to the rest of the country.
The anger at education and more often the educated is real, palpable and deadly. Not many political leaders can boast of graduate degrees; even their basic declaration of being educated is in question in some cases. Yet, it is them and their progeny that rule the country, with the fearful educated relegated at best to the sidelines. It is no wonder, then, that the young, watching avidly, prefer to attach their devotions to other pursuits.
The education emergency is real, but it is also intentional and a choice made by the country and by definition its people. The darkness of Pakistan’s uneducated ignorance persists not just because the numbers aren’t obvious, or the policymakers are not interested, or the legislators lack political will, but because an uneducated and powerless majority is useful for an equally uneducated but powerful ruling class.
The disinterest in changing the status quo is because it works for those who know it is easy to rule the illiterate, dupe the addled and the darkened, and promote an anti-intellectual populism that serves their political agenda. If Pakistan and its 25 million children are illiterate today, it is because Pakistanis want them to be; because they choose this fate for them.
The writer is an attorney teaching constitutional law and political philosophy.
rafia.zakaria@gmail.com
Dawn, October 29th , 2014

 
Date:29/10/2014

28 Oct 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 429 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

Bill for free, compulsory education approved

LAHORE

PUNJAB Assembly on Monday passed three bills, including the Local Government (Second Amendment) Bill 2014 while rejecting all the objections of opposition benches.

The treasury benches, on the last day of the PA in its 10th session, once again faced no stiff resistance from Opposition over the issue of legislation and the agenda was completed successfully in which the bills, including Punjab Local Government (Second Amendment) Bill 2014, Punjab Strategic Coordination Bill 2014 and Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2014 were passed. The assembly session was prorogued.

According to Punjab Local Government (Second Amendment) Bill 2014, the Punjab government has been directed by the court to carry out delimitation of constituencies of the Local Government.

It states that after the demarcation of the local governments, under section 6 and determination of the number of union councils and wards, the Election Commission shall delimit and notify the union councils and wards. A union council, it states shall be an area consisting of one or more revenue estates and ward shall consist of a census block or adjoining census blocks. For the purpose of delimitation, the area of union council shall be a territorial unity, the boundaries of a UC shall not cross the limits of the metropolitan corporation, a municipal corporation or a district council. The population of union councils within a local government shall, as far as possible, be uniform. The EC shall delimit a UC comprising six wards.

The Opposition members, including Jamaat-e-Islami Parliamentary leader Dr Waseem Akhter, while participating in the debate over the bill stated that all the requirements of justice should be fulfilled in the process of legislation and the entire House should voice its opinion over it.

He stated that the nation had a bitter experience in the 2013 general elections over the performance of the Election Commission and warned that JI would ‘hit’ EC if it tried to manipulate the polls in anyone’s favour in any elections.

The Speaker, Rana Mohammad Iqbal Khan on the occasion directed to expunge these remarks from the proceedings. Waqas Moakkel, the Parliamentary leader of PML-Q while speaking on the floor of the House stated that proposed bill seemed a positive step but it shouldn’t be passed hurriedly. He stated that the confusions related to the bills should be removed and all the members of the House should have a clear understanding of the role of important bodies as proposed in it.

The second bill passed on Monday by the PA was Punjab Strategic Coordination Bill 2014 and the proposals of the Opposition members were rejected and the bill was passed with majority vote.

The most interesting thing related to this bill, which is meant to counter terrorism mentions no role of Punjab Home Minister. According to this Bill, there shall be a Provincial Security Council consisting of a chief minister who will be the chairperson of this body. Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs as well as two MPAs of Punjab Assembly nominated by the government would be its members.

At the moment, the Punjab government has assigned Law Ministry to Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman whereas the Home Ministry has been assigned to Col (R) Shuja Khanzada, who also heads the counter terrorism cell and has played a key role in establishing this body.

The Punjab Home Minister; however, has been given no role in this amendment bill. The bill was also opposed by the members from PML-Q and JI whose members held the view, the CM Punjab, who was always busy shouldn’t be made the Chairperson of the Provincial Security Council as mentioned in the bill. The Opposition members voiced for assigning important responsibilities to the elected members of the House rather than empowering bureaucracy. Besides, one bill which was passed unanimously by PA included Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2014. According to the Bill, every child shall have a right to free and compulsory education from Grade 1 to Grade 10, including non-formal education, vocational education or a combination of all. School, according to this bill, means an educational institution imparting elementary or secondary education to the children and includes a school owned or controlled by a government or a local authority, school receiving aid from government or a local authority, an unaided school not receiving any kind of aid or grant to meets its expenses from the government and a seminary or any school providing school education.

The News October 28, 2014

Girls schools in layyah closed due to lack of teachers

LAYYAH: Five girls schools in the district have been closed for quite some time, depriving hundreds of girls of education here.
During a survey conducted by Dawn in three union councils — two in Layyah tehsil and one in Choubara tehsil, five primary schools for girls were found closed. They were located in Bairon Riazwala, Angura goat farm of Khairywala Union Council of Choubara tehsil, Azizabad, Dera Hafiz Poodniwala of 164 TDA Union Council and Bairon Mirhan Riazwala of Mirhan Union Council, Layyah tehsil.
According to records, 20 students had been enrolled in different classes but when teacher Razia Nawab retired in September this year and no substitute teacher was appointed by the education authorities, the school was closed down.
The Punjab government had launched a scheme to build schools in the district. Provincial lawmakers from the ruling party asked their influential local supporters to give them land for the purpose. The landlords saw this as an opportunity and offered land in exchange for jobs for their children and other relatives.
The land was donated at outhouses in far-off areas due to which parents were hesitant to send their children, resulting in poor enrollment. The teaching staff posted in these schools would get transferred on political pressure and some took maternity leaves. Education authorities failed to provide substitute teachers and consequently the schools were closed.
The Government Girls Primary School No 2 in Angura farm was established in 1996 for children of the farm employees.
This school was closed due to zero enrollment.
“We indicated to the education authorities to use this school in Angura farm for children of flood-affected families of Jhang district, but they did not do anything,” said Syed Niaz Ahmad Shah of Alif Ailan Organisation.
The Government Girls Primary School of Sheroowala situated in Khairywala Union Council of Choubara tehsil had been established in 2011 at the outhouse of another local landlord. Initially, it had 42 students and Jaweria Rasheed was posted there as its sole teacher but due to her alleged perpetual absence the school was closed down.
Shah said dropout rate of students was higher in Layyah than in the neighboring district, which was alarming. But education authorities, parents or civil society were not paying any attention to this issue. One of the reasons of the dropout was absence of teachers, he added.
When contacted, the executive district officer (education) admitted some schools were closed as their teachers took maternity leave or were transferred to other schools.
“Now I’m posting teachers at all these closed schools to make them operational again. There is a shortage of teaching staff in the district education department, which was also adding to the problem,” he added.
Dawn, October 27th, 2014
Girls' school blown up in Bara

LANDI KOTAL: A government-run girls’ primary school was blown up in Bara on Sunday night.
Official sources said armed men forced a family out of the school building in Sultan Khel area of Akkakhel, planted a large quantity of explosives at several places in the institution and detonated it at around midnight. The building was razed to the ground. The evicted family had taken up shelter in the school building after having migrated from Tirah a few months back.
Earlier in the day, the spokesman for the banned Lashkar-i-Islam militant group, Saifullah, warned of attacking government installations if the military operation being carried out against LI was not stopped forthwith. Militants have destroyed 86 government schools in Khyber Agency.
Meanwhile, military planes on Monday bombed militant hideouts in Sanda Pal and Shokot areas of Tirah valley.
In Mandi Kas area of Bara, six-year-old Rizwan was critically injured when a mortar shell fell near a house. The family was busy collecting household items in order to move out of Bara when the projectile landed near the house. Fear-stricken families of Sipah, Malakdin Khel, Kamarkhel and Akkakhel continued to flee Bara and were trying to reach Peshawar and adjoining areas. Officials of the political administration said 3,000 displaced families had been provided transport and cooked food along with medical care. 
Meanwhile, a close relative of MNA Haji Shahji Gul reached Torkham border on Monday after he was released by his captors. Haji Hikmat was kidnapped from his house in Jamrud about two months ago and taken to Afghanistan.
Dawn, October 28th, 2014
'Faulty' marking: Students protest continues
LAHORE: A large number of intermediate students continued their protest demonstration on Wednesdayagainst what they said sub-standard marking of their answer scripts.
The male and female students, carrying placards against the board administration, staged a protest demonstration in front of the Lahore board. They also marched from Lahore board to the Governor House. They demanded that the government take a policy decision of re-assessing students’ scripts and save them from becoming victim of incompetence of the sub-examiners and their supervisor head examiners. Talking to Dawn on Tuesday, they said male and female students from different institutions like Government College University, FC College, Kinnaird College and Punjab Group of Colleges were protesting because they had been given marks particularly in English and Urdu far below than their expectations.
They said the existing laws did not permit re-evaluation of their scripts and they would continue suffering the inefficiency of the examiners throughout their lives.
“The low remuneration of sub-examiners has failed to attract the quality teachers as sub-examiners, while the `professionals’ assess papers with least care,” a concerned parent lamented. A father of a student said the board was charging Rs750 for the re-checking of each script and the cost kept many poor parents away from even availing the opportunity of re-checking.
“The government must waive off this fee or bring it to minimum level so that many parents could help their children verify their concerns,” he added.
A source in the board said it used to receive re-checking applications up to 9,000 but this year only 4,500 candidates had applied for re-checking. PPP’s Faiza Malik had also raised students’ issue on the floor of the Punjab Assembly. Punjab Higher Education Additional Secretary (Academics) Dr Shoaib said the department was constituting a committee and would do whatever could be done for the welfare of the students. He said any policy decision would ultimately be taken by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
A BISE spokesman said the board had so far re-checked 1,000 applicants’ scripts and only three of them had written applications to the board chairman that their answer sheets had been marked unfairly. He claimed that the protesters had not even applied for re-checking of their scripts and added that many of them had been declared fail in the examination. He claimed that only 50 out of 650 Kinnaird College students were protesting. To a question, the spokesman said the Lahore BISE candidates’ all scripts were sent to other eight boards in the province as part of inter-board marking policy. “Not a single script of Lahore BISE candidates has been assessed at the Lahore board,” he added. He said the candidates could apply for re-checking till Oct 25. He said the board offices would refund the re-checking fee in case of any mistake in the answer sheet.
Meanwhile, the BISE spokesman said the intermediate (supplementary) examination for 2014 would begin from Oct 25.
Dawn, October 23rd, 2014

 
Date:28/10/2014

25 Oct 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 432 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

Hakeem's prescription for achieving EFA Goals 

Director Unesco in Pakistan, Mr. Hameed A Hakeem, addressing the Regional Conference on Alternative Learning Systems at Lahore on October 23, made a spirited plea for making accelerated efforts to achieve EFA goals in Pakistan. Considering that Pakistan has been left far behind most of the rest of the world in attaining the 2015 Dakar EFA targets, said that walking or running will no longer do. Pakistan must "sprint" if substantial and rapid progress had to be made towards the achievement of EFA goals by the year 2015. Pakistan governemnts at the centre and in the provinces must heed Mr. Hakeems advice, upscale and speed-up EFA programme without further lost of time.    

The woeful state of education
When asked to answer for the woefully low literacy rate of Pakistan, the political elite often shifts the blame to parents, arguing that they don’t understand the importance of sending their children to school. This is, of course, a myth perpetuated to make the privileged of the country feel better about themselves. The real problem lies in the atrocious state of public schools in the country.
I knew that government-run schools have great flaws in the quality of education they provide, but this low-quality education was an abstract idea to me until I had first-hand experience with a student currently enrolled in one such school. My driver’s son is a student of second grade in a primary school located near Tariq Road, Karachi. Despite studying there for a couple of years, and despite his notebooks being filled with scribbling, he is unable to read or write in English beyond the basic alphabet. I found this surprising because his English notebook has plenty of exercises that use concepts like sentence-building, singular/plural and opposites. When I asked him about this, he said that his teacher just writes down the day’s work on the blackboard and asks the students to copy it without explaining it at all. For most students of his class, what they are writing is total gibberish. The situation is better, but not by much, in subjects like Urdu. He can read and write basic Urdu, but most of the work he is asked to do is nothing beyond copying entire passages from his textbook word for word, over and over again, or memorising the same questions and answers, and regurgitating them onto his notebook repeatedly.
If a student of second grade is not even taught to read and write properly, he is barely getting literate, let alone educated. There is no accountability of teachers and no overseeing body that investigates whether the students enrolled in public schools are learning anything at all. The syllabus is lifeless and monotonous, and students are not motivated to learn anything new. While Sindh’s education ministers are busy deciding whether the National Curriculum Council — a body that will set minimum standards for education in country— will have too much power, the children of Sindh are defying odds every day and going to school, only to be denied a worthwhile education.
The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2014.

Two girls 'go missing from school'

SAHIWAL: Two students of the Government Girls Model Pilot Secondary School allegedly went missing during school timings on Tuesday.
The parents of the girls took to Jogi Chowk in protest and blamed the sports teacher and the school administration for the incident. The school administration, however, claimed the girls did not come to the school on Tuesday.
The parents of a 10th class student (resident of Jail Colony) and an 8th class student (resident of 135/9-L) said the girls did not return home from the school. They rushed to the school and found a panic-like situation as parents of two other girls claimed their daughters had not returned home. These two girls were later found in the school and accompanied their parents.
The worried parents met the headmistress and the sports teacher who expressed ignorance about the issue. The school administration informed the girls’ parents that both of them did not attend their first period. It informed Fateh Sher Station House Officer Abid Bhullar and a team visited the school and quizzed the authorities.
Around 3pm, a brother of one of the missing girls told the police that he received a call from his sister who claimed that they had gone somewhere with their sports teacher’s permission and were now locked in a room after being given intoxicated tablets. She said her fellow student was not feeling well.
The F​ateh Sher police picked up the sports teacher in Junejo Colony but she denied having any information about the girls.
District Police Officer Syed Khurram Ali brought the school headmistress and eight teachers to the Fateh Sher police station for investigation.
SP Riffat Hyder is heading the two teams constituted to investigate the incident.
Scores of people gathered at Jogi Chowk and demanded early recovery of the girls.
Dawn, October 22nd, 2014

 
Date:25/10/2014

20 Oct 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 437 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

Appointment of secretary in Punjab HEC draws flak

The promulgation of ‘Punjab Higher Education Commission Ordinance 2014’ has drawn severe criticism over the induction of higher education department (HED) secretary as Punjab Higher Education Commission (HEC) secretary, as vice chancellors believe this decision will defeat the very purpose of the commission.
The ordinance issued by Governor Muhammad Sarwar was notified earlier this month following a debate in the Vice Chancellors Committee meeting at Government College University in March.
The ordinance says the higher education secretary shall be the secretary of the Punjab HEC, while administrative secretaries of health, agriculture and finance departments in Punjab its members.
A vice chancellor (VC) says the committee had debated the issue at length in the presence of the Punjab HED secretary and recommended that the HEC’s executive director should serve as the commission’s secretary.
“The ordinance has surprised all the vice chancellors that ignored their committee’s collective wisdom and recommendation,” he added. 
Meanwhile, academic staff associations (ASA) of different universities have also reacted against the composition of the Punjab HEC. 
mansoormalik173@hotmail.com
Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2014
Three examination boards, three stories!
AT least three examination boards of Punjab are faced with unusual situation and interestingly it is just because of the coveted post of secretary at each of the three Boards of Intermediate & Secondary Education (BISEs).

The recent among these three boards, is the BISE Rawalpindi where a controversy surfaced soon after the Higher Education Department (HED) Punjab posted an official from Lahore as secretary of the Rawalpindi Board on September 25, 2014. Khalid Mahmood, Associate Professor at Government Dyal Singh College, Lahore, had replaced Muhammad Javed Rana, Deputy Director (Colleges) Rawalpindi, who was already serving on additional charge basis.

However, the decision was, silently, resented by the BISE Rawalpindi authorities and propaganda was spread against the new incumbent on the basis that he was from Lahore and as to how he could be posted in Rawalpindi from Lahore. Consequently, Khalid Mahmood was called back on October 01 and the additional charge was once again given to Muhammad Javed Rana who has been holding this additional charge since August 15, 2014.

Nonetheless, rumours are going round the Higher Education Department, the controlling authority of the BISEs, that the abrupt posting and withdrawal of the orders basically involved efforts of the two said officials using their connections with two different bigwigs in the federal government. Rumour has it that Khalid Mahmood has acquaintance with the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui while Muhammad Javed Rana with Federal Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan.

Sources privy to the developments claim that Khalid Mahmood was called back after the Secretary HED Abdullah Khan Sumbal received a message from the top brass in the Punjab government. However, Sumbal denies any kind of interference and terms the same purely an administrative decision, very much in his jurisdiction. Separately, a controversy has erupted at the BISE Faisalabad, where all the board members have turned against the incumbent secretary of the board Prof Hamid Khalil. It is learnt on different occasions that the secretary was not even let attend the meeting by the board members.

According to sources, both the parties, the secretary and the members, have separately met the Secretary HED and informed him about their grievances against each other. The sources said, Prof Hamid Khalil was following ‘extraordinary’ strict policy which had annoyed the board members.

At the BISE Lahore, the stakeholders, including prospective candidates are concerned over the prolonged stay of the incumbent secretary of the board Faqir Muhammad Kayfi, Principal of Government Shah Hussain College, Township, Lahore, who has been holding the post on additional charge basis for almost a year now. Academic circles are of the view that the government should not delay appointment of regular incumbents. They argue that delay not only deprives eligible candidates of their right but also creates issues related to transparency and responsibility.
 Khalid Khattak
The News International. October 20, 2014

 
Date:20/10/2014

13 Oct 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 444 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
Malala youngest ever Nobel laureate
Malala Yousufzai holds a bouquet after addressing the media in Birmingham on Friday.—AFP

OSLO: Education activist Malala Yousufzai and Indian campaigner against child trafficking and labour Kai­lash Satyarthi won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.
Malala, aged 17, became the youngest Nobel Prize winner.
She and Mr Satyarthi were picked for their struggle against the oppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education, the Norwe­gian Nobel Committee said.
“The Nobel Committee re­gards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism,” said Thorbjoern Jagland, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
Kristian Berg Harpviken, head of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, described the joint award “an innovative prize that brings attention to the problems of the young”. Mr Satyarthi who has shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Malala, said he hoped to work with Malala for peace.
Malala later told reporters in Birmingham, where she now lives, that she found out about winning the prize from a teacher during a chemistry lesson, adding that the news had come as a big surprise.
“This is not the end of this campaign which I have started. I think this is really the beginning. I want to see every child going to school,” she said, adding she felt “really honoured”.
Malala was attacked in 2012 on a school bus in Swat Valley by masked gunmen as a punishment for a blog that she wrote for the BBC’s Urdu service as an 11-year-old to campaign against the Tali­ban’s efforts to deny women an education.
Dawn, October 11th , 2014
OBAMA LAUDS MALALA'S PASSION, DETERMINATION 
WASHINGTON - Himself a Nobel laureate from 2009, US President Barack Obama congratulated Malala Yousafzai on winning the coveted peace award, stating the teenaged activist has inspired people around the world with her determined efforts for girls right to education.
“On behalf of Michelle, myself and all Americans, I want to congratulate Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi (of India) on winning the Nobel Peace Prize,” he said.
The US President, his wife Michelle Obama and their elder daughter Malia met Malala Yousafzai at the White House in 2013, during her visit to promote her memoir “I am Malala”.
“We were awe-struck by her courage and filled with hope knowing this is only the beginning of her extraordinary efforts to make the world a better place,” he said, recalling that meeting.
“Today’s announcement is a victory for all who strive to uphold the dignity of every human being,” the US President said.
“At just 17 years old, Malala Yousafzai has inspired people around the world with her passion and determination to make sure girls everywhere can get an education. When the Taliban tried to silence her, Malala answered their brutality with strength and resolve. Michelle and I were proud to welcome this remarkable young woman to the Oval Office last year.” 
Meanwhile, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also congratulated Malala, stating that the United Nations will continue to stand with her against extremism and for girls right to education.
 "Malala is a daughter of the United Nations" :Ban-Ki-Moon
"Malala is a brave and gentle advocate of peace who through the simple act of going to school became a global teacher. She said one pen can change the world – and proved how one young woman can lead the way," the UN chief said in a statement. "With her courage and determination, Malala has shown what terrorists fear most: a girl with a book."
The Nation Oct 11, 2014

 

Malala the 'pride of Pakistan': Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
The Nation Oct 11, 2014
Swatis rejoice at Malala's Nobel

SWAT - There was a predominant sense of celebration and pride in this picturesque valley that was home to Malala Yousafzai before the assassination attempt that almost took her life almost two years ago.
The region of Swat was wrested out of militants control after the military launched a military offensive in 2009, which forced the militants to flee. But terror still lurked in some corners of the valley and raised its spectre on October 9, 2012 when two armed gunmen shot Malala after she was returning home from her school.
The shooting sent shivers across the globe and was widely condemned in the country. There were, however, some voices in disagreement and last year when Malala was nominated for the peace prize, some people in the valley questioned her nomination.
But on Friday as the news of her co-winning the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize reverberated through the valley, most of the people expressed joy and pride, hailing the girl as the pride of the region. 
It was a day to once again own Malala Yousafzai.
The elders of the valley said, "Malala Yousafzai has proved that the people of Swat valley are peace lovers and want education, peace and they hate terrorism". 
The Nation Oct 11, 2014

 

 
Date:13/10/2014

10 Oct 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 447 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

'Extra duties' at the cost of education
THE Punjab Higher Education Department has failed to deliver as the quality of education is not being improved nor is any initiative being taken to do the job.
The public colleges showed poor results in the previous degree examination but no action was taken. The only performance Higher Education Department Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbal wants to boast was his “surprise visits” to colleges to check preparations for the control of dengue.
More importantly, Mr Khan presented his performance through handouts and TV tickers that he had suspended Government Boys College, Ghaziabad, Lahore Cantt, principal for not holding zero period for creating awareness about elimination of dengue among students and not implementing the government instructions regarding anti-dengue campaign.
While the teachers association leaders have criticised the HED secretary for taking action against the principal, they wonder why the secretary never visited to check the imparting of education in colleges – the basic duty he has been assigned.
A teacher leader said HED Secretary Abdullah Sumbal seemed least concerned about his department as we was busy in other duties. “Mr Khan is away from his office most of the time either for visiting Ramazan bazaars and flood-hit areas in other cities or looking after anti-dengue campaigns,” he said.
On a serious note, he said, teachers were also being engaged in different activities other than academic duties as they were even asked to be present in their colleges even on Sundays for anti-dengue drives. “At the end of the day, the teachers are asked about their performance in their basic duty of teaching but the secretaries get away with wrongs for serving to please the chief minister,” the teacher leader observed.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Teachers Union leaders have rightly said the government has kept teachers engaged to eliminate polio but did not realise that their absence from their workplaces is crippling the whole nation.
Teacher leaders say the schools as well as colleges are facing acute shortage of facilities but teachers are being ‘threatened’ to produce results as well as serve additional duties more actively than teaching.
Teachers’ repeated demands that they should be allowed to do their academic duties with peace of mind have never been met. Teachers are being punished more for non-performance of additional duties.
Many women schoolteachers were recently warned of serious consequences leading to transfers or termination of jobs, when they protested against the anti-polio vaccination drive duties for being not fit to do the jobs.
The HED secretary has rarely been seen taking notice of corruption, mismanagement and high-handedness of officials while performing their duties in his domain. Many corruption stories in public universities have been revealed in newspapers but the department just failed to initiate any action.
The only initiative of launching BS (Honours) classes in colleges in the near past was also not taken care of by successive HED secretaries and students just completed their degrees without enjoying proper lab facilities and qualified teachers that were needed to be hired from the open market.
Top slots of different boards of intermediate and secondary education are vacant but the postings, officials concerned claim, will be done when deals will be finalised as the officials will be required to serve more the political head of the department. Recently, BISE, Bahawalpur, acting chairman locked the door of board secretary as he was questioned for allowing distribution of question-papers before time at a particular examination centre, allotting ‘safe’ examination centres for the students of academies being run by his favourite as well as near and dear ones, transferring a lots of board employees to get desired results and other charges. But no inquiry or action has so far been taken although the board secretary’s office was de-sealed.
As the higher education department has failed to perform its duties accordingly, it is now also being relieved of its duties of looking after the affairs of the universities as the Punjab governor has promulgated an ordinance of creation of the Higher Education Commission, Punjab, which will look after the affairs of the universities.
The HED will now be looking after the affairs of the colleges and boards and other autonomous bodies working under its jurisdiction.
Historically, the Punjab Education Department headed by a secretary used to look after the affairs of whole education system ranging from universities, colleges, schools, literacy, technical and special education institutions to sports about one-and-a-half decade ago. “The quality of education in public institutions has gone down during the past one-and-a-half decade though it is managed by five administrative secretaries,” a senior educationist commented.
THE nation celebrated World Teachers Day on Sunday and students sent text messages to their teachers to pay their gratitude for what they learned from them to transform their lives.
Teachers are playing a critical role in society by shaping the lives and minds of the children but they themselves are facing enormous challenges and getting little or no support to tackle them and perform their jobs properly.
According to Alif Ailaan team, in many government schools across the country, teachers are hired, transferred and posted not on the basis of merit but on political grounds alone.
Such teachers fail to show up to work and are rarely held accountable. Their actions damage the reputation of the profession and weaken the resolve of the many hard-working teachers who serve our communities and our children.
It says the government schoolteachers are also called upon to perform a host of non-teaching tasks, from dengue walks and vaccination drives to festivals and election duties. This eats into class time, distracts teachers from their main duties and affects their ability to teach our children.
At the same time, it says, thousands of dedicated and outstanding teachers across the country work tirelessly and in difficult conditions to make sure the pupils in their care receive a good education. “We do our children and society as a whole a great disservice by failing to acknowledge their contribution,” says Alif Ailaan team. – mansoormalik173@hotmail.com
Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2014
Amateur teachers responsible for declining standards: Unesco
ISLAMABAD: Educational standards in many countries are declining rapidly and progress being compromised because of hiring of untrained teachers, says a policy paper prepared by Unesco’s Institute for Statistics (UIS) and EFA Global Monitoring Report (GMR).
The paper’s release coincides with the World Teac-hers Day, being observed on Sunday.
The document revealed that 93 countries were required to recruit some four million teachers to achieve the goal of universal primary education (UPE) by 2015.
An extension in deadline to 2030 would need more than 27m recruitments with 24m to replace natural shortfalls, the paper said, adding that the present trend showed that 28 to 30 per cent countries would not meet the needs.
Millions of children would be denied their fundamental right to primary education in coming decades if concerted steps were not taken to address massive and persistent shortage of trained teachers.
The UIS, projecting demand and supply, said that four million teachers would be needed for achieving the UPF by 2015. Of this, 2.6m will replace retirees and those switching occupation or leaving the profession because of illness or death, while 1.4m would to be needed to ensure one teacher for every 40 students.
The report further said the UPF might not be achieved by 2015 because 58m children were still not enrolled in any schools while countries would need to recruit 12.6m teachers to meet the target by 2020.
The UIS after evaluation noted that education budget was increasing at the rate of 7pc since 2000 in 27 states across the region.
Most countries, it was noted, were capable of achieving the UPE if they hired extra teachers and made efforts to accommodate the growing number of school-going children.
However, this pressure led many states, especially in sub-Saharan Africa to hire untrained teachers.
Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2014
Centralised administrative system a nightmare for teachers
RAWALPINDI: The education sector in Punjab is plagued with many structural problems, the administrative authority’s incompetence being the root cause, claim teachers and principals across the province.
Muhammad Arif, a retired professor of Government MAO College, Lahore, told The Express Tribune that the organisational culture at the Higher Education Department Punjab (HEDP) offers little respect to teachers. “Usually, the top officials are either inaccessible or unresponsive and the lower staff is habitually contemptuous,” he added.
Hence, he said, there was a dire need to re-conceptualise the relationship between teachers and the administrative staff.
Identifying the problem
The administrative system of education is overly centralised which makes it almost impossible for people to reach to higher-ups.
Elaborating, Arif clarified that each request mobilised by a person had to be decided at the centre. “For instance, even for a no-objection certificate (NOC), the application has to be sent to the higher education secretary which not only takes a lot of time but becomes expensive for a person who needs to go through different channels in the corrupt system.”
Terming centralisation the root cause of all evils, Arif said concentration of power at the higher level needs to be rationalised.
“Principals of colleges should be authorised to issue routine NOCs like ones for passports, studies, leaves and applying for jobs because essentially it is the principal who gives the approval in all these cases and is supposed to manage the workload,” Arif said.
Principals were given much of these powers during 2003-07 but these were later withdrawn due to unknown reasons.
“The administration should be held accountable for inordinate and deliberate delays,” he said, suggesting that an ombudsman be appointed to check such abuses.
We struggled for the delegation of power to the principal and director level in 1993 but our efforts ended up in waste, he claims, saying that “A teacher could not even think to meet with the secretary education.”
The ‘proper’ channel
Ghulam Muttaza, a lecturer at the Government Post Graduate Asghar Mall College Rawalpindi and the Rawalpindi division president of Teachers Unity Forum Pakistan, told The Express Tribune that despite loopholes, colleges are compelled to strictly follow the ‘proper channel’ in case of any complaint.
There are three intermediary offices between the principal of a college and the HEDP secretary: the deputy director colleges at the district level, director at the divisional level and director public instruction (DPI) Punjab.
He revealed that the clerical staff in these offices mostly resorts to holding files to mint money and as virtual gatekeepers unnecessarily block communication lines.
“HEDP should undertake a cost-benefit analysis of keeping these post offices [clerks]. They should devolve powers so basic requests can be settled by those directly senior to principals,” he suggested.
The DPI office is the most obstructive office which usually hinders onward transmission of requests on flimsy and at times ridiculous grounds, he said. Citing an example where a case of retirement was turned down with the objection that the applicant had sent four set of applications instead of three.
Traditional file system
A serving principal of a government college, on the condition of anonymity, claimed that administrative offices keep accumulating files which are seldom maintained.
“Whenever one applies for an NOC, these files are missing and retrieving them requires some special skills,” he said.
The principal was of the view that the entire system should be shifted online, which will make it easier for the public. “This will save a lot of time, money and discourage corrupt practices at the same time,” he said.
It may be mentioned that the Khyber-Pakhtunkwa government has already introduced a digital tracking system for government departments.
Contrary to these views, Rawalpindi Division Colleges Director Professor Humayun Iqbal toldThe Express Tribune that the situation has improved in the last two to three years.
“Almost 60-70 per cent cases, complaints and requests are entertained immediately,” he said.
He further stated that some applications, like the ones for leave, are immediately processed but a proper procedure has to be followed for some matters like the issuance of NOCs.
“The Punjab education department is making constant efforts to improve the administrative structure in the education department with the passage of time,” he maintained.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2014.

 
Date:10/10/2014

29 Sep 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 458 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

State of education in rural Pakistan
The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees access to education for each child. After the 18th Amendment, this responsibility lies with the respective provincial governments. Article 25a of the Constitution says: “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of 5-16 years in such manner as determined by law.”
The dilemma is that none of the representatives in the provincial assemblies have endeavoured to frame the necessary legislation that the Constitution refers to when it states ‘as determined by law’.
Overall, around 36 per cent [approximately 10 million] children of the primary age-group [5-9 years] were out of school in the year 2011. The lowest incidence [28.4 per cent, approximately 4 million] of out-of-school children is observed in Punjab. A relatively dismal picture is evident with reference to out-of-school children in rural Balochistan and Sindh where about half the children of primary age were not attending school.
https://ci4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/2VebcDXVkSNDOh5XY74ExycUSVs-C79rVnofNd4OniNA591x_NyjUePuZZnoXiSexIPQHhK4s3iP7xksY1diM1Y0PUFBLx36LAFJ60NqSyh6=s0-d-e1-ft#http://i1.tribune.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/004.jpg
SOURCE: SPDC ESTIMATES BASED ON HOUSEHOLD LEVEL DATA OF PSLM 2010-2011
Around 26 per cent of the children were out of school due to economic reasons. Moreover, around 32 per cent of the girls were out of school due to their parents’ refusal to send them to school.
The analysis in the report demonstrates that education of the family head directly and indirectly influences poverty levels. Female-headed households are also found to have a higher percentage of enrolment.
The gender disparity in terms of enrolment is quite high in rural Balochistan, where about 70 per cent girls in the 5-9 age groups were not attending school, against 45 per cent boys.
Overall, electricity is available in only 37 per cent primary schools, while 60 per cent primary schools operate in unsatisfactory condition of buildings. About 10 per cent primary schools in rural areas have no buildings whereas about 30 per cent run without boundary walls.
Literacy rates in rural Pakistan are 46 per cent for the overall rural population, with 60 per cent for males and 46 per cent for females. Rural Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have a clear edge over rural Sindh and Balochistan in terms of overall gender literacy rates.
The highest [37 per cent] female literacy rate is observed in rural Punjab whereas only 9 per cent females are literate in Balochistan.
The Express Tribune Oct 28, 2014

Reforms young thinkers believe in
Anumber of youngsters from all over the country gathered in Lahore this past week and deliberated on different issues for four days, committing to play their due role for the promotion of democracy, education and peace.
A national youth-led organisation, Chanan Development Association (CDA), had organised the fifth four-day National Youth Peace Festival 2014 and gathered some 600 youngsters from 110 districts of Pakistan. The festival based on a theme: “Pakistan Vows for Democracy, Education and Peace” was also supported by the United Nations Democracy Fund, the United States Agency for International Development, Umeed Jawan, the Youth Peer Education Network and the Peshawar Uplift Project.
The young people from diverse cultures and backgrounds interacted with each other in a positive manner to understand their opinions, share their beliefs and celebrate their diversity. They not only deliberated on issues related to education but also came up with recommendations on how to overcome political crisis.
They urged the federal and provincial governments as well as the media and civil society organisations to introduce and promote a unified education system and qualitative curriculum across the country. The youth demanded that the student unions should be re-activated but at the same time warned against violent student activities.
All the provincial governments, they said, should finalise youth policies and ensure their implementation. They stressed that youth commissions should be formed comprising people below 29 years of age and they should be provided with opportunities for employment, technical skills and higher education to enable them to play their positive role in the development of Pakistan.
Referring to the political impasse, the participants said all institutions concerned should play their constitutional role for political stability and strengthening of democracy. “The current political crisis should be resolved at the earliest with the consensus of all the stakeholders.”
As for free and fair elections, they said electoral reforms must take place and the local government elections be held as early as possible. “At least 10pc of the seats should be reserved for the youngsters,” they demanded.
For the elimination of all forms of discrimination on the basis of religion, ethnicity, language, sect and gender, they called upon the governments to take constitutional, legal and social measures so that all citizens could enjoy full participation in national life.
They further demanded that the powers that be take measures to control use of illegal weapons and stem the tide of illegal migration to curb terrorism. Another plea they came up with was a unified judicial system in the country.
The youth stressed that the people with disability should be provided with employment opportunities and orphans registered with Nadra through their centres as guardians.
The youth community also passed a resolution that reads: “We, the youth of Pakistan, from the platform of 5th National Youth Peace Festival 2014 support Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan, and show great solidarity with the IDPs, flood-affected people and martyrs and their families. We also commit ourselves to play our positive roles for the promotion of democracy, education and peace in the country.”
RABIA Faridi, an MSc (Honours) student at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, has earned the distinction of being the second Pakistani student to speak at the United Nations General Assembly session.
She spoke on women and education issues and expressed her commitment to work for the women education especially in the underprivileged areas so that they could shoulder their responsibilities effectively for the development and prosperity.
Ms Faridi, who herself hails from a village near Samundri, received an award “2014 Youth Courage Award” at the event by UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown.
In her speech, Ms Faridi stressed the need to promote education opportunities for women especially in rural areas. “It is essential for progress,” she said.
She condemned the Israeli bombardment on Gaza saying the brutal act had not only claimed many lives but also deprived many young girls of education. She vowed to follow in the footsteps of Ms Fatima Jinnah to serve the people and put every possible effort for the betterment of society.
She asserted that education was the key to deal with different challenges at individual, community, national and international level. Stating that Islam taught us to read, she said the menace of unemployment, extremism and human rights denial could be rooted out through education.
Ms Faridi is also a Global Youth Ambassador of Education by the UN. She is a student of MSc (Honours) in Plant Breeding and Genetics as well as member of Debating Club at the Agriculture University. She is also a winner of Bargad Youth I-con Award 2014. Currently, she is working on bringing out-of-school and dropout children to schools in the Faisalabad Division.
THE Virtual University of Pakistan and the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to combine resources and expertise to prepare students for a challenging career as business professionals.
The MoU aims at promoting academic collaboration between VU and IBA, Karachi, which would explore, facilitate and sustain academic programmes and other educational initiatives.
For developing entrepreneurial culture, the two institutions have agreed to jointly establish a Centre for Entrepreneurship Development at VU.
THE University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences is holding its sixth convocation on Nov 27. Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has consented to preside over the convocation.
UVAS Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha chaired a meeting of the sub-committees of the convocation on Saturday and reviewed preparations.
mansoormalik173@hotmail.com
By Mansoor Malik, Dawn: Sept 29, 2014

 

 

 
Date:29/09/2014

24 Sep 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 463 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

PACADE The Literacy Forum (TLF)  Meeting: The News, September 23, 2014
Education meeting

LAHORE

Participants in a meeting Monday discussed prospects of achieving Education for All (EFA) goals by the end of 2015, including 86pc literacy and 100pc primary education, and expressed concerns over slow progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and EFA targets.

According to a press release, the meeting of The Literacy Forum (TLF) was held at the Committee Room of National Commission for Human Development (NCHD). Among others who attended the meeting included Ms Shaheen Attiq-ur-Reehman, Fawad Usman and M Saleem Khan.

The meeting was chaired by Inayatullah, president PACADE, and had a presentation by Director NCHD Brig Abdul Basit Rana.

It was decided to hold meetings with members of provincial and national assemblies and senior officers of the education departments to impress upon them the urgency of up-scaling literacy and primary education programmes.

 'No teaching at KU till culprits' arrest'
KARACHI: The Karachi University Teachers Society (Kuts) at a meeting held on Friday decided to keep teaching suspended till the culprits involved in Prof Shakeel Auj’s murder were arrested.
The meeting also decided that a condolence meeting would be held on Monday on the campus after which the executive council body of the teachers’ society would meet and discuss future line of action.
“This year the university has lost two deans and a (visiting) faculty member. We are all in a state of shock,” said Mohammad Moiz Khan representing the teachers’ society.
The executive council of Kuts, he said, strongly demand that the government take notice of a planned killing of teachers and arrest and punish the culprits.
The teachers also demand that the government pay a compensation of Rs20 million to the family of Prof Auj, he added.
“The matter will also be taken up at the meeting being planned on Monday with representatives of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association to evolve a joint strategy,” Mr Khan said.
Prof Auj, dean of the KU faculty of Islamic studies, was shot dead on University Road in Gulshan-i-Iqbal a day earlier while he was on his way to attend a programme at the Iranian cultural centre.
The late professor, who had 15 books and a number of research articles to his credit, had been nominated for Sitara-i-Imtiaz and was the first in Pakistan to receive the Doctors of Letters (DLitt) in Islamic studies.
More than a week ago, Maulana Masood Baig, a visiting faculty member of the KU’s Islamic studies and son-in-law of prominent religious scholar Mufti Mohammad Naeem, was killed.
Before him, Dr Javed Iqbal Kazi, head of the pathology department of Karachi Medical and Dental College and KU’s dean of the faculty of medicine, was shot dead in February this year. Both individuals were killed in North Nazimabad and so far no significant progress has been made in their cases.
 Dawn, September 20th, 2014
Move to abolish entrance test well received
THE students as well as their parents have expressed their jubilation and heaved a sigh of relief on hearing that the Punjab government is likely to abolish the entrance test for admission to medical, engineering and other professional institutions.
The Higher Education Commission has already abolished the centralised entrance tests for admissions to M.Phil and PhD classes and the candidates this year had only appeared for their respective departments’ entrance tests.
In the latest move, the Chief Minister’s Examination and Admission Reforms Committee has recommended abolition of entrance test for admission to medical colleges and other professional institutions after the intermediate examinations. The recommendation has been sent to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for his final nod.
Punjab Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan says the ‘booti mafia’ has been eliminated and reforms have been enforced in examination system to discourage rote learning.
The students are happy because they will no more be required to perform extraordinarily in one comprehensive tests besides their marks in the extensive annual examinations at intermediate level. While, the parents are also happy as the decision will cut their financial burden drastically. Parents say they are required to pay heavy amounts to academies for short training sessions for the entrance tests. They say the academies are charging from Rs15,000 to Rs25,000 for a month session that fell hard on their already tight budgets.
The educationists were already arguing that the entrance tests were introduced when the `booti mafia’ was hyper active in education boards in the province and there was no system of standardised examination and marking systems. There were also complaints that students from smaller boards were getting abnormally high marks with low original competence and occupying top medical and engineering institutions. While, students appearing from big cities were getting low marks and getting admissions to medical and engineering institutions in far-off places in the province. However, after the Punjab government’s claims during the past many years that the`booti mafia’ had been crushed, the students and parents were demanding abolition of the entrance tests.
Former dean Faculty of Education, Punjab University and independent consultant in the field of education, Prof Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal, said the introduction of entrance tests had proliferated the commercial enterprises and the mafia involved in the business never allowed the government to do away with the entrance tests. He said the entrance tests were financial and psychological burden on students.
Prof Iqbal stressed that the Punjab higher education department should revive the Examinations Reforms Board to improve the conduct of examinations and assessment of students’ scripts. He said teachers should also be trained to construct and develop valid and reliable objective type tests as well as short answers. “Instead of relying on the borrowed expertise, the BISEs should establish their own examination syndicate comprising individuals, who are experts in the subject matter content as well as assessment techniques,” Prof Iqbal said.
A mother, Ms Nuzhat, said the entrance test preparation fee for her daughter was too much to disturb the entire home budget. “We, the parents, also remain anxious that our children should not feel that they were not given proper opportunity to prepare well and continue to suffer financially,” she said and added that transportation also charged a lot for their children.
Besides, she said, the academies were also costing socially a lot as they get confined to their homes and unable to meet their relatives many a time.
THE Punjab University Institute of Communication Studies’ FM 104.6 has started Punjabi-language news bulletin, besides increasing its transmission time by one hour.
The listeners will now be able to listen Campus Radio programmes from 11am to 4pm. The Punjabi news bulletin will help promote Punjabi language and culture among the students of the university and its listeners.
The ICS also plans including English news bulletin in its programming from next week. The new initiatives will enable the institute students to enhance their skills by learning practical journalism skills at the radio channel. The increased transmission time will give chance to more students to learn hands-on broadcast journalism skills, while improving their language proficiency and speaking power.
The Campus Radio gives an opportunity to students to present their ideas creatively in the form of news, dramas and live programmes in the supervision of professionals.
THE Government College University has completed the extension project of its Girls’ Hostel with a special grant by the Punjab government.
GCU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Khaleequr Rahman says the number of students at the university had increased from 6,200 to 10,500 in the last three years due to which the demand for hostels had also increased. He said the university would give top priority to hostels at its new campus at Kala Shah Kaku.
THE Punjab governor, who is also chancellor of the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, has appointed Prof Dr Ghulam Abbas Anjum as Dean Faculty of Architecture & Planning and Prof Dr Nadeem Feroze as Dean Faculty of Chemical, Metallurgical & Polymer Engineering for a period of three years or till the date of superannuation whichever is earlier.
Further, the UET vice chancellor has allowed Prof Dr Syed Hassan Javed Naqvi to look after the duties of Chairman Department of Chemical Engineering and Prof Dr Rizwan Hameed to look after the duties of City & Regional Planning Department till regular appointment is made by the syndicate. — mansoormalik173@hotmail.com
 Dawn, September 22nd, 2014
New concepts in education introduced to UoG faculty
GUJRAT: A project management workshop was organised by the University of Gujrat’s Centre for Media and Communication Studies.
Prof Jim Avery of Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Oklahoma University, US, was the chief instructor.
UoG Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin was the chief guest at the certificate distribution ceremony on the last day of the workshop on Friday. The main objective of the workshop was to introduce faculties of various departments to new concepts of education and their implementation through launching creative projects for the benefit of community and society.
Dr Nizam said this was an era of specialisation and academicians could help a great deal in transforming society by launching creative projects for improving the general state of community. He appreciated passion of the participants to learn and said the process of learning always opened up new paths of discovery. He said teamwork was an essential element of success.
Prof Jim Avery said the concept of modern education had completely changed in today’s world and many innovative ideas had been transmitted through this concept. He said workshops and seminars had become a necessary part of modern education and participants were able to learn different methods and approaches.
FORUM: A forum on ‘How We Can Transform Society Towards Positive Values’ was held at Decent Welfare Hall on Thursday.
UoG Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin was the chief guest of the occasion. The objective of the forum was to start dialogue among different sections of society to bring a positive and workable change in the existing social norms for improvisation of country and the nation at different levels.
Dr Nizam said a change of mindset had always helped humanity progress in the evolutionary process of mankind. He also said there was need for a positive change in society at various levels. He said recognition of basic rights of various classes of society was the first step towards a positive change.
He asserted that academia-institution linkages could prove better for this change and improvement.
POSTING: The Punjab government has made Kharian assistant commissioner Iqbal Mazhar as an officer on special duty and posted Afaq Wazir, a DMG officer of grade 17, in place of him.
Iqbal Mazhar has been on a departmental course for the last six weeks and Gujrat AC Dr Afshan Rubab had been given the additional charge of Kharian AC.
Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2014

 

 

 
Date:24/09/2014

15 Sep 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 472 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

PACADE International Literacy Day Meeting

The News International 9 Sep 2014
High literacy in Pakistan a distant dream
LAHORE

An NGO in cooperation with Quaid-e-Azam Library and Punjab Public Library organised a seminar to mark the International Literacy Day 2014 here Monday.

Former Dean of Education, Punjab University, Dr Hafiz Iqbal, former Director Public Instruction Punjab, Jamil Najam; Mrs Ruba Humayun, Maj-Gen (r) M Saleem Khan, Director General Libraries Punjab Dr Zaheer-ud-Din Babar, Prof Sajjad Haider, Prof Sajjad Chishti, Dr Arshad, Chief Librarian Punjab Public Library Mrs Azra Usman, Ms Nasira Yousaf and a number of educationists and civil society representatives attended the event.
              
An NGO President Inayatullah chaired the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, he said the target of 86 percent literacy remained a distant dream as according to the latest Unesco figures, Pakistan’s literacy rate at present was only 59 percent. “This means that it will take more than 20 years to achieve the internationally committed target,” he said, adding that some headway had been made by the Punjab Literacy Department but implementation of the new projects remained slow and unsatisfactory. The position in the other three provinces was worse, he added.

It was resolved that the central and provincial governments must wake up and speedily upscale the literacy programmes in accordance with the National Action Plan. Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal, currently member of the Advisory Committee, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, stressed for the need of coordinated efforts by the government and civil society to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He said every year literacy day was observed by various agencies but the focus generally remained on quantitative figures. According to him, multiple disparities in education and quality of students learning hardly get any mention.

The former dean said Pakistan was to achieve 86 percent literacy rate by 2015 and remove gender disparity at primary level by 2005 and at secondary level by 2015. The latest survey revealed attainment of 60 percent literacy by 10-plus age population but gender and regional disparity still remained an uphill task to achieve.

Dr Iqbal said a large disparity still existed between provinces, rural-urban areas and between female and male students. For example, on the one hand, there was literacy rate of about 84 percent among male in urban areas of Sindh and Punjab. On the other hand, just 15 percent literacy rate prevailed in female rural population of Balochistan.

The second neglected aspect was the quality of education. Reliable documents reveal that 85-90 percent of poor rural students were enrolled in public schools in comparison with 21 to 25 percent of upper middle class enrolled public schools. In the past, education used to serve a vehicle for social mobility, poor children being able to find jobs after getting quality education from public schools. But, in these days, students of poor families who are enrolled in public schools are in a competitive disadvantage because of low quality of education in these schools, he added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the theme of literacy day this year decided by the Unesco is “Literacy for Sustainable Development”.

Dr Iqbal said the dream of sustainable development could not be fulfilled unless all students have an equal access to quality education. It is the quality of education in public schools that needs to be taken seriously, if we want to achieve sustainable development, that is, development by all, he concluded. 

Message by
Irina Bokova,
Director-General of UNESCO,
on the occasion of International Literacy Day
8 September 2014
International Literacy Day, devoted this year to the connection between literacy and sustainable development, provides us with an opportunity to remember a simple truth: literacy not only changes lives, it saves them.
Literacy helps reduce poverty and enables people to find jobs and obtain higher salaries. It is one of the most efficient ways of improving the health of mothers and children, understanding doctors’ prescriptions and gaining access to healthcare. The lives of more than two million children under the age of five were saved between 1990 and 2009 thanks to improvements in the education of women of reproductive age. Literacy facilitates access to knowledge and triggers a process of empowerment and self-esteem that benefits everyone. This energy, multiplied by millions of people, is essential to the future of societies.
Today, 781 million adults worldwide cannot read, write or count. Two thirds of them are women. More than 250 million children are unable to read a single sentence, even though half of them have spent four years in school. What kind of societies do we expect to build with an illiterate youth? This is not the kind of world we wish to live In. We want a world where everyone can participate in the destiny of their societies, gain access to knowledge and enrich it in turn. To succeed, we must also change the traditional approach of literacy programmes to encompass, beyond reading and writing in the narrower sense, broader skills with regard to consumption and sustainable lifestyles, the conservation of biodiversity, poverty reduction, disaster risk reduction as well as civic participation. In these ways, literacy programmes can unlock their full transformative potential.
DG/ME/ID/2014/024 – page 2
Commitment to these goals will be central to the forthcoming Aichi-Nagoya conference on education for sustainable development to be held in Japan this November. It will also be at the heart of the World Education Forum to be held next year in Incheon, Republic of Korea, to lead the global debate towards the adoption of new sustainable development goals at the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. UNESCO is working across the world – in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal and elsewhere – to ensure that literacy is integrated into national development strategies. The Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education and the Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education, launched by UNESCO, also focus on literacy. The programmes acknowledged by the UNESCO-Confucius Prize for Literacy and the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize enable us each year to celebrate innovative practices that show that achievement is within our reach. New technologies, including mobile telephones, also offer fresh opportunities for literacy for all. We must invest more, and I appeal to every Member State and all our partners to redouble efforts – political and financial – to ensure that literacy is fully recognized as one of the most powerful accelerators of sustainable development. The future we want starts with the alphabet.
Irina Bokova

PACADE
Why is Literacy important?
Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy.
Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. There are good reasons why literacy is at the core of Education for All (EFA).
A good quality basic education equips pupils with literacy skills for life and further learning; literate parents are more likely to send their children to school; literate people are better able to access continuing educational opportunities; and literate societies are better geared to meet pressing development.
Source: UNESCO
 PACADE
Literacy and Sustainable Development
The theme of International Literacy Day 2014 is “Literacy and Sustainable Development”.  Literacy is one of the key elements needed to promote sustainable development, as it empowers people so that they can make the right decisions in the areas of economic growth, social development and environmental integration. Literacy is a basis for lifelong learning and plays a crucial foundational role in the creation of sustainable, prosperous and peaceful societies. 
Literacy skills developed from a basic to advanced level throughout life are part of broader competencies required for critical thinking, the sense of responsibility, participatory governance, sustainable consumption and lifestyles, ecological behaviours, biodiversity protection, poverty reduction, and disaster risk reduction.  
This year’s International Literacy Day will be celebrated worldwide. A main global celebration will take place in Dhaka, where the Government of Bangladesh in cooperation with UNESCO will organize the International Conference on “Girls’ and women’s literacy and education: Foundations for sustainable development and the awarding of UNESCO Literacy Prizes” in support for the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI).
“Literacy is a key lever of change and a practical tool of empowerment on each of the three main pillars of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection.”  
Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan
Exam boards to revise scheme for matric
LAHORE

In a major development all the nine Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISEs) of Punjab are set to revise Scheme of Studies for Secondary School Certificate (Matriculation) Examinations under which 1,100 total marks for matriculation will be brought down to a total of 1050 marks, it is learnt.

Sources said on the pressing demands of other provinces where total marks for matriculation are 1,050, the issue will be placed in the upcoming meeting of Inter Boards Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) to be hosted by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa next month.

Before 2012, Punjab too followed the same Scheme of Studies and had total 1050 marks at matriculation level. However, in 2012 the Punjab Boards Committee of Chairmen (PBCC) revised this Scheme of Studies and raised the total marks to 1100 unlike examination boards of Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) owing to which uniformity in total marks was lost at the level of BISEs across the country.

The sources privy to the developments said students from other provinces had to suffer a lot vis-à-vis equivalence issues and in case they had to seek admissions in Part-II (Class-X) in educational institutions of Punjab after passing Part-I (Class IX) from their respective provinces. They added the other provinces raised the issue on several occasions and demanded to ensure uniformity in this regard.

The sources further said the PBCC had now given the go ahead and the issue would be taken up at the level of IBCC, where all the BISEs of the country are represented for decisions related to policy making.

It is pertinent to mention here that Chairman of BISE Lahore Dr Muhammad Nasrullah Virk is Chairman of the national level forum for all the BISEs of the country, the IBCC.

As per the prevailing Scheme of Studies being followed by examination boards of Punjab, the subjects of Islamiyat Compulsory and Pakistan Studies carry 100 marks each unlike other provinces where these subjects carry 75 marks each.

Presently BISEs in Punjab offer Islamiyat Compulsory both in Part-I (Class IX) and Part-II (Class-X) with 50 marks in each part. The same is the case with the subject Pakistan Studies.

However, the BISEs in other provinces including AJ&K offer only one subject out of Islamiyat Compulsory and Pakistan Studies at Part-I and Part-II levels with 75 marks for each.

It is learnt once the proposed Scheme of Studies for BISEs of Punjab was approved by the IBCC the same would be followed by all the boards of the province from the year 2016 and both Islamiyat Compulsory and Pakistan Studies will carry total 150 marks (75 each) like other provinces. By doing so the total marks at Part-I (Class-IX) level will be 525 unlike prevailing 550 marks and thus the total marks for matriculation would be brought down to 1050 from existing 1100 total marks.
The News: August 27, 2014

Special kids need motivation

LAHORE

A Karachi-based activist and businesswoman, Farhat Shaheed, is raising voice how Pakistani society perceives ‘disability’ through a play titled ‘Junoon’ scheduled to be staged at Alhamra on Friday.

Talking to The News, Farhat Shaheed said she has been in wheelchair since birth but she never stopped from leading a life of success and contentment. The former assistant brand manager of a company and gold medallist MBA graduate said children born with disabilities do not require society’s sympathy and instead should be encouraged and motivated by others. She said societal stigma surrounding disability in Pakistan is strong and families are not aware of emotional needs of children in a majority of cases.

Farhat Shaheed, who will perform in the musical play, founded an NGO in Karachi along with her friends for raising awareness and laws benefiting people with disabilities. ‘Show You Care’ is a society of young people working for physically challenged people and stands for disability rights, safety and security, community acceptance, self-sufficient living, quality of life, full and active participation in society, and equal access to education and employment for all.

Since launching the organisation, she told The News that a number of successes have been achieved for the cause of disability rights. After staging a workshop and talk show “Loose Talk” presented by celebrities Anwar Maqsood and Moin Akhtar, she said all potential commercial buildings in Karachi had to demonstrate wheelchair accessibility in their plans, the State Bank of Pakistan issued an order demanding all banks in the country to be wheelchair accessible, and ramps were installed in the Karachi Stock Exchange building.

The founder of ‘Show You Care’ said her organisation involves influential personalities including politicians and celebrities in their events and campaigns in order to send a message to decision-makers in power. Talking to The News, she said ‘Junoon’, a play based on the struggles of a Pakistani dancer made wheelchair bound after a fatal accident, is expected to be attended by notable dignitaries including Senator SM Zafar, the Vice President of South Asia Regional Corporation (SAARC), and Punjab Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar. Despite her successes in life, Farhat Shaheed told The News that she had faced many limitations when applying for admissions in school and positions at well-known private companies after graduation. The activist said many companies in Pakistan do not have wheel chair ramps and elevators installed in their building and this disadvantage people with disabilities. In most schools in Pakistan, she said children with disabilities are insensitively treated by the administration.

The activist said Pakistan’s culture of staring and passing comments particularly affects people with disabilities, as they are perceived as being abnormal. She said the term ‘differently-able’ as opposed to disable should be used instead in order to encourage a change in attitudes. Talking to The News, Farhat Shaheed said the government should undertake efforts to make public transportation friendly and accessible to people with disabilities, wheel-chair accessible footpaths and pedestrian spaces, ensure an end to discrimination in schools and in employment, and make all buildings including shopping malls and cinemas wheelchair accessible. She said she was blessed to be born into a family with means and said efforts should be undertaken to make life of underprivileged parents in Pakistan less stressful.

The News: August 28, 2014 

 

 
Date:15/09/2014

01 Sep 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
EFA target date
December 31, 2015
 486 days left

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

DFID funding £105 million for 23000 new classrooms: 

Deputy Secretary Planning and Budget School Education department Qaiser Rasheed has said that DFID will give 105 million pounds for the construction of 23000 classrooms in all the districts of Punjab within three years. He said this while speaking at the launching ceremony of Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) on Saturday. 

Director Programmes ASER Baela Raza Jamil, Director National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) Brigadier Abdul Basit, former DPI Jamil Najam and Zulfiqar Ali Saqib from Directorate of Staff Development (DSD) also expressed their views on this occasion. 

Qaiser said that these classrooms will be built in those schools which were over crowded. He also said that last year Rs 14 billion were spent on infrastructure development of schools. He said that government is opening 500 schools on public private partnership in 24 districts of Punjab. He said that Punjab government is providing solar panels to the schools in the districts of DG Khan and Rajan Pur where there is no electricity in two months. Speaking on the occasion Director Programmes ITA Baela Raza Jamil said that ASER 2014 survey will be conducted by specifically trained 10,000 volunteers covering 145 rural and 22 urban districts in Pakistan. 
Business recorder, Aug 31, 2014

Online learning techniques highlighted
LAHORE: 
Online learning is far more interesting than traditional education techniques and is also easier to track and review, said speakers at I Love Learning Conference on Saturday.
The conference, organised by 3P Learning, is a series of lectures and workshops aimed at challenging teachers and educators to look differently and creatively at the teaching and learning process. The lectures are titled: teaching ethics, learning dispositions, integration of technology in regular teaching and learning process through online education.
The 3P Learning is a Sydney-based company, with offices in 12 countries, including Pakistan. Research Scholar Muhammed Akram and teacher training expert Tina Hameed shared their e-learning experiences with the participants.
“The diversity of activities, tasks and challenges in each e-learning programme instills a sense of achievement and the love for learning in students. Coupled with the drive to reduce teachers’ workload, the online learning resources are powerful tools both in and out of the classroom. These programmes cover mathematics, spelling and literacy, reading skills and science,” Hameed said.
“Learning dispositions are different from skills and knowledge and have long-term effects on learning. The concept of dispositional approach thus rests on the working assumption that effective, sustained change in the ethos and effects of schooling only happens when many ingredients are present,” she said.
Muhammad Akram focused on integration of online and blended learning at schools. He shared his experience of using online learning for grade 9 students.
The 3P Learning, Pakistan CEO concluded the session by extended his thanks to all the participants for making the event a success.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2014.

School reforms roadmap has revamped education
LAHORE: 
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Friday that implementation of the Punjab School Reforms Roadmap had revamped the education sector.
He was chairing a meeting held to review the roadmap. Sharif said the target of enrolling four million children in schools would be realised in October. He said the government had recruited 140,000 teachers last year to provide quality education. Adviser to Chief Minister on Punjab Schools Reform Roadmap Sir Michael Barber, briefed the chief minister about the roadmap.
Sharif said the government was spending billions of rupees to provide quality education in the Punjab. He said the government had already released funds for improving facilities in public schools. Sharif said it was imperative to further capacity building and resource utilisation in a competent fashion.
The chief minister said data collection was being digitalised to make the reforms more effective. Sharif said the government was spending billions of rupees to restore missing facilities in schools and to reconcile the number of students with the number of teachers. Sharif said teachers should pay special attention to improving academic standards in public schools.
He directed officials to constitute a committee tasked with formulating proposals regarding the matter. Sharif said the committee would also be tasked with advising the government regarding quality teacher recruitment. He said the committee would have to present its final recommendations seven days after its formation. Sharif directed officials to implement the roadmap in an effective manner. He instructed officials to ensure that solar panels were installed at schools in Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan immediately to provide continuous power to the facilities.
Sharif expressed displeasure over delays in the implementation of some reforms and said zero-tolerance would be shown in this regard. British Department for International Development Country (DFID) Head Richard Montgomery and Barber praised the efforts of the chief minister. They said he was committed to promoting quality education in the province. They said the Punjab had made great strides in education, health and infrastructure under the leadership of Sharif.
They said the provision of quality education in the province had shown an improvement in his tenure. They said the provision of quality education in the province was increasing despite the political situation.
The education minister, Planning and Development Board chairman, Punjab Education Endowment Fund vice-president, schools secretary and the finance secretary were also present on the occasion. Several DFID and World Bank officials also attended the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2014.

GCU students' strength increased by 85% in 3 years
LAHORE: 
Government College University’s student body has swelled from 6,200 students three years ago to more than 11,500 this year, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleequr Rahman said on Friday.
He was addressing the inauguration ceremony of a two-storey building for the university’s examination branch. The new building has state-of-the-art examination rooms, offices, class rooms and seminar rooms.
The vice chancellor said the university had initiated more than 26 new postgraduate programmes including three doctoral programmes since July 2011. He said they were also concentrating on developing the university’s infrastructure and providing adequate facilities to students and faculty. He said they were also establishing reading rooms in all departments of GCU for students.
Rahman said more than 24 new class rooms and offices had been added to the GCU’s building in the last three years.
He said the Examination Department building was the first structure constructed using GCU’s own financial resources instead of government grants. He said the building would suffice for 10 years. He said two more storeys could be added to the building.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2014.

Armed men conduct, humiliate school guard
FAISALABAD: Police said on Friday three men had shaved the head, eyebrows and moustache of a watchman after he had told them off for teasing schoolgirls in Langrana.
They said the men had also painted his face black and paraded him in Chak 220-JB. They said Shaukat Ali, a school guard, had admonished Tahir Khan, Asif Noor and Nawaz Ahmed for harassing girls.
The men had then overpowered Ali and taken him to their dera where they shaved his head, eyebrows and moustache. Police said they had then paraded him in Chak 220-JB.
Rafaqat Ali, an uncle of the victim, said the men had been teasing girls as they were leaving the school. Ali said he had told the men to refrain from teasing the schoolgirls and told them to stay away from the school. Ali said the men had gotten incensed and threatened him with dire consequences.
Ali said the men had returned later and beaten him. Ali said Zulfiquar Khan, Tahir’s father and the culprits had abducted the victim and had taken him to their dera in Chak 220-JB. Ali said they had again beaten him at their dera and had blackened his face and shaved his head, eyebrows and moustache.
Ali said the culprits had then painted the victim’s face black and had paraded him before the residents of Chak 220-JB. Ali said they had publicly humiliated the victim.
Ali said the men had also made a video recording of their antics. Ali said they had warned the victim with dire consequences if he tried to initiate action against them.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Langrana station house officer (SHO) said a case had been registered against the culprits and a police team had been constituted to arrest the absconding men. He said the police had arrested Nazar Khan, a cousin of Tahir Khan, to trace and arrest the absconding men.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2014.

 
Date:01/09/2014

25 Aug 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

Man locks up school for not being given job in education dept
SUKKUR: The education of more than 120 students has been put at stake by a villager who, embittered by failing to get a job in the education department, threw out the furniture of Government Primary School Nangar Ali Umrani.
Around 22 years ago, Rahib Ali Umrani, resident of the Nangar Ali Umrani village near the Naudero bypass, had given a piece of land to the education department to construct a primary school. In return, he wanted a job in the education department, he told reporters.
https://ci5.googleusercontent.com/proxy/ynz7dsrZxeAdm_p3DwoPTUwv9mLSHemAvV_RBbbvpUIkqjV5v-6LnG2E6PwE7TgnQ6ciPlxhOCJb331jY53ysU3SeUi-5Z7R0mP2XOKwFHja5i7_Jsx5nnK6yfKsZmE=s0-d-e1-ft#http://i1.tribune.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Nawab-Ali-Khokhar.jpg

“Despite the lapse of more than two decades, the education department has not given me a job, and instead, dozens have been appointed on different posts,” he said.
“I am now in my late 50s, and therefore am not eligible for a government job, but my son is. When senior education department officials repeatedly turned down my requests, I was left with no other option than to close the school. I will not allow the school to be reopened until my son is provided with a suitable job in the department.”
Education department supervisor Syed Gada Hussain Shah confirmed the closure of the school and said that the students found that the school’s furniture was thrown out and the building was locked up when they returned from their summer holidays on August 5. “We contacted Umrani and requested him to allow the children to continue their education in the school, but he refused, he said. “Upon his refusal and with no alternative building available, the children started their classes under the shade of the trees outside the school building.”
However, Umrani asked them to vacate the area as well. The school’s teachers are now teaching at the Behram Khan Lohar Primary School, which is situated on the other side of the Naudero bypass. The children, however, have no school to go to at the moment.
The Larkana district primary education officer Nawab Ali Khokhar claimed that Umrani had initially given the piece of land without naming any such condition and it was only later that he had demanded a job in return. Senior officials had asked him to transfer the land’s rights of ownership and promised him that his case would be considered once he does so, Khokhar added. However, Umrani is unwilling to listen to their demand.
“If he does not vacate the school building within the next two days, we will lodge an FIR against him,” said Khokhar. The Express Tribune: 25/8/2014

Parents resent schools closure due to sit-ins
ISLAMABAD: Parents of the students studying in educational institutions of the federal capital are perturbed over disruption of their academic activities for the third week due to prolonged sit-ins of marchers.

The authorities announced weeklong extension in summer vacation for the third time due to prolonged sit-ins of the participants of Azadi and Inqalab marches in capital.

The schools and colleges in the federal capital were supposed to open from August 11 after two-month long vacation but the concerned authorities announced more holidays till August 17 (Sunday) to save the students from any untoward situation.

Again, the authorities announced more vacations till August 24 (Sunday) and then till August 31, and now the students are likely to resume their study routine from September 1 (Monday).

Students are perturbed over the prevailing situation and parents are worried that their children would not get good grades in the examination due to continuous disruption in their study schedule.

“Students suffer psychologically when there is unrest on the roads and sense of insecurity lingers on,” Farhat Fatima, a mother of three school-going children said.

“I am concerned about the positions of my children in annual results this year.

The sense of insecurity and uncertainty has perturbed the students, adding psychological pressure besides disturbing their study routine,” she added.

Another parent Afzal Shahid said the prevailing political situation is creating problems for the students, especially for the girls who travel daily from the far-flung areas.

The situation will impact the annual results of the students if the situation prevails for long, as they will be unable to complete their syllabus in time, he said.

A teacher at a local college Tahir Bhatti said, “Nations can progress only through education not sit-ins and protests and such activities cannot yield positive results except making the common people suffer more and more”.

He said, “We as a nation are already lagging behind in education and are not likely to achieve the Millennium Development Goals of education and such protests will badly impact the efforts to improve this sector”.
The News: 25/8/2014

 

Helping school children think out of the box
A Spain-based non-profit organization, ThinKids, in collaboration with Rabtt, an NGO working in education sector, recently set up a summer camp under the World Camp 2014 programme at the Saint John’s Boys High School, Youhannabad, where students enrolled for a five-day course, aimed at improving critical thinking, self-awareness, problem-solving skills in them.
ThinKids, founded in 2010, is the brainchild of Ignacio Gonzalez Cabello, Javier Gutiérrez and Santiago Aldanondo, a group of twenty-something boys who believe that an innovative approach towards education can help children become entrepreneurs at the early stage of their life. Shifting from the traditional paradigms of classroom education and teaching, the trainers of the organisation trigger creative thinking among the students through summer camps that focus empowering skills and multiple intelligences in young minds.
Rabtt was founded by Imran Sarwar in 2011 and it has Harvard University South Asia, British Council Pakistan, and Seeds of Peace International among other organisations as its partners. It emphasises creative thinking and creative skills as a part of the learning process in a typical classroom. Rabtt has so far conducted 12 workshops and numerous camps, engaging over 1,300 students and 150 volunteer trainers.
Under the World Camp 2014 mission, the collaboration between ThinKids and Rabtt looks help students learn something different from theoretical methods such as traditional rote learning.
“We found Rabtt online and were pleasantly surprised to come across an organisation working on a similar focus like ours in Pakistan. As part of the World Camp 2014, it only made sense to collaborate with Rabtt. We have leant a lot from Rabtt and are thankful to them for giving us the relevant resources and allowing us to connect with the wonderful students at Saint John’s Boys High School in Youhannabad,” says Ignacio Gonzalez Cabello.
“Our workshops cover various aspects of learning like reading skills, creative writing, communication skills, peace building, and theatre and arts. ThinKids is trying to do the same in Spain,” says Imran Sarwar.
Through the five-day camp in Youhannabad, ThinKids and Rabtt helped the children think out-of-the-box and solve real world problems on their own. Each day consisted of a five-hour programme, divided into two sessions: workshops and projects. Some of the core activities included public speaking, spatial intelligence and 3D workshops.
“By the end of the camp, we hope that the students perceived learning differently and are able to think on their own. These are young, thirsty minds that just need a little push to do big things. They are learning through games, music, and art,” explains Gonzalez Cabello. On the last day of the summer camp, the students presented their projects.
During the camp, ThinKids did face the language barrier to some extent but with Rabtt’s assistance this was taken care of as well.
“Children around the world are very similar and we want to reach out to them despite the language barrier. We had fun working with them,” says Javier Gutiérrez.
Under this global programme, ThinKids has already setup camps in Iran, Turkey, Uzbekistan, China and Tajikistan. From Pakistan onwards, ThinKids plans to travel longer distances to reach Nepal and other parts of the region.
Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2014
IT equipment which never delivered
CHINIOT: Scammers are preying on public school headmasters in Chiniot pretending to be their senior officials and asking for money.
Two months ago, the headmistress of Government Girls High School, Chenab Nagar, was at work when she received a phone call.
“Hello, I’m Muhammad Mansha, EDO-education, Chiniot,” the caller said.
“You need to send Rs8,000 via UBL mobile banking service to the IT deputy director so that they will dispatch you IT gadgets.”
As she did not recognise Executive District Officer (EDO) Mr Mansha on telephone, she obediently followed the directions but never heard again from him about the promised information technology (IT) equipment.
A few weeks later, the scammers called the headmasters of Government High School, Chak 125-JB and Chak No 11-JB. Headmasters say the caller asked them to deposit the money with the account of CNIC 33303-5696353-1.
When the headmasters contacted him, Mr Mansha denied that he had called them. He, however, did not issue any warning to 750 schools in the district about fake callers.
This correspondent called the cons pretending to be the clerk of a high school. The person on the other end introduced himself as the EDO and said the IT director in the Punjab Education Department, Lahore, Afzal, needed money.
A few moments later, another con called this correspondent introducing himself as the IT deputy director and asked for the payment.
Dawn learnt the CNIC, the cons referred to for amount submission, is fake.
Mr Mansha said headmasters should not follow telephonic directions and instead verify such calls from his office.
Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2014
BA, BSc exam result expose frail higher education system
THE Punjab University’s BA, BSc annual examination results have once again exposed the “shattered” higher education system in Punjab and English Language is continuously serving as a nightmare for thousands of students wishing to become graduates.
Overall 37.69pc pass percentage itself shows that a large majority of students appear for their BA, BSc examinations to become eligible for a bit better jobs but fail to qualify.
This year 83,012 candidates failed to qualify the examination, out of them some 74,011 candidates (89.157pc) were unable to clear their English Language (Compulsory) examination.
Educationists and English language teachers say the results have shown the real picture of the education system in the province. They say the Punjab Higher Education Department has gone deaf and dumb as it is neither responding to the poor results for the past many years nor is coming up with interventions that may help improve quality of education at public sector colleges.


89pc of unsuccessful students fail in English Language


They say many public sector colleges have lost their importance either by giving very poor results or presenting shamefully low number of students to appear for the degree examination.
Though, the Punjab higher education has an allocated budget of around Rs24.196 billion, the PU BA/BSc results preamble says, the Government College, Bhaipheru, Kasur, (that falls in Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal’s constituency), has sent admission of only four students and all of them failed in the examination. Similarly, the Government College of Science, Faisalabad, sent admission of only one student and that candidate failed too. The Government College, Pindi Gheb, Attock, sent admission of 10 students and all of them failed. All these three colleges have posted zero percent results.
The result gazette also says that there are 14 other public sector colleges that sent admissions of less than 15 candidates each, raising questions over their viability. The colleges either does not have proper faculty or those posted are either unable to turn around the lives of their students or they are not performing their duty honestly.
No public sector college, including even the best of the best, has earned any distinction in the results. In BSc, all private colleges’ girls earned positions while in BA the private candidates won positions.
A senior educationist says the results show that the foundation of the education system in Punjab has collapsed. He says the college education system has crumpled during the past three decades and no administration could plug the damage.
Terming the college education system as “Wasteland”, the educationist regrets the best minds are being attracted by the flourishing private sector. He says a majority of teachers in public sector just do not improve their qualifications and many don’t even study new books and update their knowledge.
Students say there are regular complaints that public sector college teachers do not complete their courses in their classes. The educationists say there is no proper monitoring of workload of teachers, feedback and analysis of students’ performances. They regret that there is no system of training of college teachers.
The educationists also regret that the higher education department administration has been politicised and continue to serve politicians to get postings of their choice.
“Over the years, no intellectual improvement has been propelled by the public sector colleges in society,” educationists observe.
They say that many colleges, particularly in small cities and rural areas, are facing acute shortage of basic facilities, including teachers.
The educationists say the degrees being received by graduates are also not helping them get respectable jobs which leads to frustration among them.
Parents and students say the public examination results influence their decision making while selecting the college they should join. Some parents say that it is a pity that none of the public sector colleges, even in Lahore, have shown great results. Such results lead parents to spend extra money and send their children to private colleges or even to tuition academies. Billions of rupees spent by the government on education did not give any benefit to the quality-conscious parents, a concerned parent said.
Punjab Higher Education Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbal did not respond to the comment on the state of higher education in Punjab.
THE Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA) for the past two years have been calling for implementation of the Chief Minister’s Package for College Teachers but in vain.
Complaining that the delay is causing unrest and resentment among them, the college teachers demand the Punjab Higher Education Department notify the cancellation of contract policy, regularize teachers serving on a contract basis, 10 posts of NPS-21 and promote cases against two BPS-21 posts lying vacant since long. The teachers also demand notification of 19,548 agreed posts of college teachers. — mansoormalik173@hotmail.com
Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2014

 

 

 
Date:25/08/2014

22 Aug 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 16 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

How and why the MDGs remain elusive
Much of the developing world, including our own country, remains caught up in a seemingly endless cycle of political instability, internal strife, and growing external debt. Despite spurts of economic growth, the vast majority of citizens in developing countries continue to be deprived of basic amenities such as the opportunity to obtain an education, availability of health facilities, and even access to clean drinking water and sanitation.
Back in 2000, the United Nations Millennium Declaration had tried to put forth a collective goal with tangible targets for improving the lives of the deprived multitudes across the globe. With the 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs fast approaching, progress on achieving these goals remains mixed at best, according to the latest UNDP report on the MDGs, which was prepared this year.
The world has reduced extreme poverty since 1990s, when almost half of the population in the developing world used to live on less than $1.25 a day. This rate has dropped to 22 per cent by 2010. Between 2000 and 2012, an estimated 3.3 million deaths from malaria were averted. Over 2.3 billion people have gained access to an improved source of drinking water between 1990 and 2012. Similar progress has been made in education, including that of girls, and other MDG goals such as improving sanitation facilities for the poor.
Nonetheless, ensuring that poor people across the world have access to the basic facilities, which was the underlying objective of the MDGs, still remains elusive. While a quarter of the world’s population has gained access to improved sanitation since 1990, a billion people were estimated in 2012 to still be resorting to open defecation due to lack of toilet facilities.
There are other growing threats which the MDGs have not been able to contend with effectively. Global emissions of carbon dioxide have continued their upward trend, and such emissions in 2011 were almost 50 per cent above their 1990 level. Millions of hectares of forest continue being lost every passing year, and many species are being driven closer to extinction. Renewable water resources are becoming scarcer by the day.
Progress on hunger is not sufficient. In countries like our own, hunger has become an increasingly serious concern over the past decade. Thus, meeting the target of halving the percentage of people suffering from hunger across the world by 2015 will certainly not be possible. One in four children is still affected by chronic malnutrition. Much more needs to be done to reduce maternal mortality given that almost 300,000 women died in 2013 from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. While maternal death is easily preventable, much more needs to be done to provide adequate care to pregnant women. The World Health Organisation last year estimated that the world needs another seven million skilled healthcare staff for improving access to basic health services. How this human resource investment will be achieved remains uncertain, especially when international donor agencies like the World Bank are in favour of curbing rather than enhancing public funding.
Moreover, while International development assistance had nearly reached $135 billion in 2013, the highest level ever recorded, aid is actually shifting away from the poorest countries towards those which are more capable of servicing their debts. UN development agencies need to assertively engage with other multilateral and bilateral development aid agencies to more effectively channel aid to achieve internationally endorsed human development goals like the MDGs, otherwise they will continue to remain mere aspirations for the foreseeable future.
Source: The Express Tribune 22/8/2014
Teachers' Training
PUNJAB Education Foundation (PEF) has completed training of 97 partner school teachers of 24 different schools situated in the districts of Lahore, Multan and Khushab.
According to PEF spokesman, these teachers are trained to teach through interactive classroom technology in their schools.
This is part of a pilot project which is going to be launched from September, next month,. During the training, these teachers were trained to operate computerized electronic boards and multi-media projectors. These schools are attached with the PEF under its education voucher scheme.
Source: The News 22/8/2014
211 extra teachers appointed with the blessings of CM, minister 
The provincial education department had appointed 211 teachers in Hyderabad in the year 2012 – at a time when there were no vacancies to allow for their appointment, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The appointments were made on the special recommendations of the chief minister and a senior minister of the provincial cabinet. The alleged illegal appointments were revealed during an inquiry conducted by the chief minister’s inspection team (CMIT) that is investigating appointments in various departments that have been made against the rules.
According to the inquiry report available with The Express Tribune, around 419 teachers were to be appointed and applications were invited through advertisement only for Hyderabad district. However, 628 persons were appointed to the posts, thus making 211 excessive appointments.
Many of the candidates possessed domiciles of districts other than Hyderabad. “They were supposed to be purely district-based appointments, but candidates from Benazirabad, Dadu, Sanghar, Ghotki, Naushero Feroze and Khairpur were also inducted in the list of candidates that was received from the chief minister and former education minister, Pir Mazharul Haq,” the then Hyderabad Schools director Shamsuddin Dal confessed before the CMIT.
The director, besides his own confessional statement, has also provided the list he had received from the CM House through fax which comprised the names of many candidates who had not even appeared for the written tests or interviews.  “Around 100 candidates did not provide the domiciles and other necessary documents, but received the appointment letters. A few of those who belonged to other districts made their domiciles after getting the appointment letters,” said one of the members of investigation team. The member added that a recruitment committee was formed by the education department, but its members had no other option but to accept the directives issued by the CM and the education minister.
The inquiry report goes on to say that even the district accounts officer of Hyderabad did not object to the appointments and allowed the salaries to be disbursed to the 211 excessive teachers. “The then special secretary to the CM, Nazar Muhammad Bozdar, had also ordered the schools director to appoint his favoured candidates to the posts,” said one of the members of the CMIT, adding that they had also received complaints about backdated appointments. “Some teachers were appointed in 2012, but were given backdated appointment letters from 1998-99.”
The backdated appointment orders were prepared by the district education officers of Kamber Shahdadkot, Dadu, Larkana and Sukkur. Earlier, an inquiry was ordered by higher authorities but was later stopped due to undisclosed reasons. “We have again taken up this issue after having received a number of complaints,” said the CMIT member.
Nazir Dhoon, another member of the CMIT, said that the team had recorded the statements of various stakeholders involved in the appointment process and will submit the report to chief minister soon.  Meanwhile, Haji Muzaffar Shurja, coordinator to the chief minister on inquiries, refuted the direct involvement of the chief minister in the induction of these teachers. He added, however, that the involvement of the CM secretariat could not be ruled out. “At the moment, it is premature to derive any conclusions as we have to record the statements of some other officials. After that we will have a clear picture,” he said, adding that the employees were still getting their salaries which would only be stopped after terming their appointments null and void. “Outsiders cannot be given the jobs in district and union council-based appointments. Massive irregularities have been uncovered in the education department and we have started reviewing the appointments process in order districts as well,” said Shujra.
For his part, the then education minister, Pir Mazharul Haq, disputed the allegations that he had given a list of his favorite candidates to the Hyderabad schools director. “Many people have leveled allegations against me, but not a single one has been proved thus far,” he said, adding that the Pakistan Peoples Party believes in merit and jobs were given without discrimination.
Source: The Express Tribune 21/8/2014
Four failed students take poison: one dies
GUJRANWALA: One of the four students who swallowed wheat pills over their failure to get through the ninth class annual examination died at the DHQ Hospital here on Thursday.
Reports said Saim Rafiq of Gill Road, Sheeza, Aslam Hidayat of Kashmir Road and Abdullah of Gulberg Colony took wheat pills in dejection. They were rushed to DHQ Hospital where Rafique died while the condition of the remaining students was said to be critical.
Police are looking into the matter.
Murdered: The brother of a Tehreek Minhajul Quran’s local official was shot dead by unidentified attackers on Sargodha Road on Thursday.
Malik Muhammad Afzal, brother of TMQ local vice-president Malik Muhammad Arshad of Naushera Road, was returning home from Islamabad by his car, along with three others on motorway.
Near Kot Momin interchange, Sargodha Road, four unidentified armed men signaled the car to stop. Instead, Afzal tried to speed away but they opened indiscriminate fire. A bullet hit Afzal who died on the spot.
Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Dr Tahirul Qadri condemned the killing during his speech at Islamabad.
The deceased was laid to rest in the main graveyard in the presence of hundreds of PAT and TMQ workers.
Meanwhile, Gujranwala City Police Officer Waqas Nazir in an official handout claimed no murder took place in city jurisdiction as a result of firing on any vehicle bearing a PAT flag.
Kot Momin police claim no one came to them so far for FIR registration.
LOOTED: The robbers looted three traders in separate incidents in the city on Thursday.
Police said four outlaws entered the house of a local trader, Muhammad Amin, in Allama Iqbal Town by scaling the outer wall. They held inmates hostage at gunpoint and collected Rs 650,000 cash and other valuables and escaped.
In another incident, two armed men arrived at a shop owned by Humayun and took away Rs 200,000 in cash at gunpoint in Nian Chowk area.
In the third incident, two motorcyclists deprived a trader, Ijaz Ahmad, of Muslim Road, of Rs 50,000.
He was on his way home after withdrawing the cash from a bank.
Police are investigating the matter.

 

 
Date:22/08/2014

18 Aug 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 17 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.

CHAIRMAN PACADE 
INAYATULLAH
PACADE Vice President
Maj. Gen (R) M. Saleem Khan
General Secretary
M. Ghulam  Abbas Sargana
Joint Secretary
Professor Sajjad Haider
Consultant
Dr. M. Mohsin
Coordinator PACADE
Ms. Nasira Yousaf

Post-2015 Development Agenda Marginalizes Youth

Youths representing South Asian countries in the South Asian Regional Youth Conference 2014 (SARYC’14) acknowledge that the Post-2015 Development Agenda process is consultative and more inclusive than the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but the engagement of young people to shape their future and lead this process is still lacking.

The conference was aimed at making young people understand the transition from MDGs to Post-2015 Development Agenda, ensuring inclusion of Saarc development vision for progress on post-2015 development, developing effective partnerships among young people and youth-led organisations in South Asian countries and developing an exclusive platform for youths from Saarc countries, ‘South Asian Youth Advocacy Network (SAYAN)’, said SARYC’14 Media Coordinator Asif Nadeem.
On the concluding day of the conference, the youth delegates finalised a ‘Lahore Charter of Demand’ wherein they agreed voices representing the grassroots were not reflected in the ongoing process and youth from developing countries were marginalised within the process.
“We, the young people in South Asia, affirm our commitment to speed up actions for the Post-2015 Development Agenda,” the delegates said.
Understanding the background and context, the youths asked their respective governments, civil society, business sector and the UN agencies to engage with them for effective results in new development goals. 
Over 250 govt schools occupied illegally in KPK
PESHAWAR: Over 250 government schools, mainly primary, have been illegally occupied for the last over two decades by different people across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it is learnt.
Of these schools, 38 are completely occupied and 215 partially, according to official documents available with Dawn. The occupation of so many schools is astonishing in a situation when senior officials of the Elementary and Secondary Education (E&SE) Department are scratching their heads over how to meet the schools’ requirements, according to sources in the education department. They said that the department currently needed thousands of schools, mostly primary, so as to enrol the out of schools children.
A senior official of the education department said that in most of the cases of occupation the owners had donated land for the schools on the condition that they or their immediate relatives would be given jobs in the same schools. The jobs include peon, watchman and in rare cases that of a teacher.
He said that the owners had occupied the buildings when their demand for jobs was not met. He said that the education department did not have the property documents of the fully occupied schools.
In the partially occupied schools, the occupants, including peons and watchmen, have been residing in a portion of the respective schools, sources said.
Of the 38 completely occupied schools, six are in Bannu; five in Shangla; four each in Swabi and Mardan; three each in Swat, Peshawar, Nowshera, Hangu and Tank; and one each in Abbottabad, Charsadda, Upper Dir, Kohistan and Mansehra.
Similarly, the partially occupied schools include 37 in Bannu; 20 in Peshawar; 15 in Swat; 13 each in Mansehra and Dera Ismail Khan; 12 in Charsadda; 11 in Lakki Marwat; 10 each in Abbottabad and Mardan; nine each in Nowshera and Upper Dir; seven in Haripur; six each in Shangla, Kohat and Chitral; five each in Buner and Tank; three in Kohistan; and two in Battagram.
Currently, the education department is not allowing construction of new schools on donated land without transfer of the land to the education department, a senior official of the education department told Dawn. “It is very easy to occupy the government’s building as no one challenges the occupants for their wrong act,” he said.
When contacted, E&SE Department director Rafiq Khattak said that the occupied schools were not constructed on the feasibility report of the education department.
“These schools are constructed by the senators and MNAs and under different schemes of the federal government,” Mr Khattak said, adding that the provincial education department was not taken into confidence at the time of construction of such schools.
According to the procedure followed for construction of new schools, the education department first visits the proposed site for preparing the feasibility report, he said. Mr Khattak said that after construction of the schools the provincial communication and works department handed them over to the education department.
After that the education department appoints the teachers and other staff for the new schools to make them functional, he said. However, this procedure was not adopted for the construction of the occupied schools, he added.
He said that the department had started proper work to end the occupation of schools and make them functional.
Right to Education Denied
https://ci6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/HXFfrhYR62-vPnYd5VCUo0TAlu0S9Gwfee8XpLZL905My42eneb3JlhAFwjnKXO5P-Emj-nF7D_ZS-ib_uLE9CcYEo5smBYU-V0m9RxVv-s3XkZefTI=s0-d-e1-ft#http://i.dawn.com/primary/2014/08/53f11ace62914.jpg?r=1790030854
Heedless of the future, regardless of all the damning statistics pertaining to out-of-school children in Pakistan, criminal negligence in the education sector continues unabated.
A recent report in this paper offered a glimpse of the dire situation that prevails in Sindh’s Shaheed Benazirabad district, a long-time PPP stronghold.
For example, in the area’s Long Khan Brohi village, there are three schools — two primary and one middle — none of which have teaching staff (apart from, curiously enough, an art teacher) and hence, no students.
Only 30 of the 150 children of school-going age here are getting an education, for which they have to trek to the only primary school in the next village. But while the latter institution actually boasts a teacher, classes are held in the open because the school building was rendered dangerous after the floods a few years ago.
At another school in the district, there are again no students because the sole teacher appointed here takes advantage of his connections in the local power circles to remain absent from duty. Neglect of girls’ schools is compounded by parental apathy towards girls’ education.
The conditions in this district encapsulate the multiple problems that bedevil the education sector to a greater or lesser extent all across the country.
The indifference of the ruling elite towards the constitutional right of all children to education, the lack of accountability of teaching staff, ‘ghost schools’ that exist only on paper, the politicised and irrational system of teachers’ postings, and the shockingly high dropout rate, particularly among girls, are just some of these.
However, given that Sindh back in early 2013 was first among the provinces to pass legislation to make education until Matric free and compulsory, the appalling education infrastructure here — particularly in a place where the PPP-led provincial government could easily take steps towards achieving that objective — makes a mockery of such efforts.
While increasing literacy rates takes time and sustained effort, there is scarcely any evidence that this journey has even begun.

 

 
Date:18/08/2014

Source: Dawn August 18, 2014

12 Aug 2014

PACADE EFA MONITOR
PAKISTAN IS LAGGING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD IN ACHIEVING EFA GOAL.
LESS THAN 17 MONTHS ARE LEFT TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TIME.
CONVENER
INAYATULLAH
CHAIRMAN PACADE

Asia-Pacific Ministers Outline Priorities for Region''s Education in ''Bangkok Statement''
 Ensuring inclusive, lifelong learning for all, and improving the quality of education are among the top priority action areas identified by Asia-Pacific education ministers to guide the region’s learning sector over the next 15 years.

Nearly 20 education ministers and their representatives from 37 countries in the Asia-Pacific region endorsed the Draft Asia-Pacific Statement on Education Beyond 2015 on 8 August, 2014, at the conclusion of the three-day Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference hosted by UNESCO in Bangkok, Thailand.

The document represents one of the main regional inputs going into the World Education Forum next year, which will in turn inform the UN Summit in September 2015, where the final international development agenda for the next 15 years will be declared. The Bangkok Statement represents the culmination of the Ministerial Forum which concluded APREC as well as extensive consultations UNESCO has conducted with stakeholders since 2012.

UNESCO Assistant Director-General of Education Qian Tang emphasized this importance, saying that APREC as well as the other regional conferences that will follow are crucial to ensuring that education’s place on the global development agenda is prominent and responsive to countries’ needs.

“The global education agenda is meant to drive development globally and nationally, and to inspire action in areas which are considered key for education. Therefore, it is crucial that all countries participate in the process of the development of this global agenda in order to ensure that it contributes to the realization of their own vision and ambitions for education,” Mr Tang said. “Member states are in the driver’s seat for the development of the post-2015 education agenda.”

UNESCO Bangkok Director Gwang-Jo Kim said APREC gave the region a strong and unified voice regarding the future of the global education agenda.

“The Asia-Pacific region is rich with experience and we should take advantage of this, as we, as part of the international community, move towards finalizing the post-2015 development agenda,” Mr Kim said. “The formulation of the post-2015 sustainable development goals is a work in progress and we should join hands to work together to ensure that our voices are heard at the highest level. Our role in influencing the new education agenda is critical. And we should be confident, that our collective efforts will be well featured in the future agenda of education.”

The Preamble to the Bangkok Statement declares the overarching goal of the region is to, “ensure equitable and inclusive quality education and lifelong learning for all by 2030”.

“Since the birth of the EFA movement 25 years ago in Jomtien, Thailand, the Asia-Pacific region has made remarkable progress towards achieving the EFA goals,” the statement continues. “At the same time we recognize that the agenda remains unfinished. This is the impetus for an expanded vision of Education for All and for meeting persisting and emerging challenges, including demographic changes, migration, climate change, environmental degradation and the technological divide.”

The Bangkok Statement outlines six Regional Priority Action Areas for Asia Pacific:

1. Lifelong learning for all: Equitable and inclusive access to quality learning for people of all ages and at all levels of learning, from early childhood care and education to tertiary education in formal and non-formal settings. A goal of 12 years of free and compulsory education for all by 2030 is strongly recommended.

2. Equity and equality: A commitment to addressing all forms of marginalization as well as disparities and inequalities, including gender inequality, in access to education.

3. Skills and competencies for life and work: Education should provide youth and adults with the skills they need to pursue decent work and other opportunities amid challenging times brought on by socioeconomic and demographic transformations. There should also be an emphasis on learning methods that encourage young people to be creative, innovative and to think critically.

4. Quality and teachers: Efforts must be made at all levels and in all educational settings to ensure that all learners are taught by professionally-trained, motivated and well-supported teachers. A key element in this regard is recognizing the importance and proven success of mother-tongue based multilingual education.

5. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for education: ICTs must be fully utilized to achieve the post-2015 education agenda to improve access to education, particularly in remote areas, as well as to support teaching and learning and strengthen education management.

6. Governance and financing: A commitment to establishing legal and policy frameworks that promote accountability and transparency in education and actively involve all stakeholders. Public investment in education should reach the internationally recognized benchmarks of 6% of GDP or 20% of total public expenditure devoted to education. Resources should be distributed equitably across education sub-sectors and geographic locations, with specific attention paid to marginalized groups.

The Bangkok Statement concludes by requesting that UNESCO, along with UNICEF and with the support of other international partners, continue to spearhead the development of the global education agenda going into the United Nations Summit in September 2015 and beyond.

UNESCO Bangkok organized APREC in collaboration with Thailand’s Ministry of Education and with the support of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Education and UNICEF.

 
Date:12/08/2014
        | Home | About UsLiteracy in PakistanProjects | Useful Material |
                                   | Publications | Sponsorship Scheme | News | Contact Us |