Free education in Sindh | KU book fair
Free education becomes mandatory in Sindh
Karachi, Feb 14: The legislators of Sindh on Wednesday unanimously passed a law making
education free and compulsory for children between five and 16 years and
binding private schools to reserve 10 percent admissions for
disadvantaged and terrorism-affected children.
"Sindh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2013",
children will fall into the disadvantaged criterion if their parents'
monthly income is less than the minimum wage – Rs8,000 – fixed by the
If the owners of the private schools violate
the new law i.e. charge fee from these children or subject them or their
parents to their "screening procedures", they shall be fined between
Rs50,000 and Rs100,000 and face imprisonment ranging from one to three
The law also makes it compulsory for parents or
guardians to send their children to school. The government promises
through the law to arrange pre-school or special training for the
children who have crossed the given age limit to bring them at par with
The government also vows to set up a
system of grants-in-aid to support school attendance of poor students.
It will also provide incentives to the private sector to establish
schools that facilitate free and compulsory education.
The provincial government and metropolitan corporations will provide funds for the implementation of the law.
"Education Advisory Council" will be established comprising nine
members having expertise in education, child rights and child
development to advise the government on the implementation of the new
legislation. The council will ensure that every child attends school.
Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq, who moved the bill, informed the
House that the Act was being brought in compliance with Article 25-A of
the Constitution that declared free and compulsory education a
fundamental right of children aged between five and 16 years.
Th minister maintained that Sindh was the first province implementing the 18th Constitutional Amendment.
"There is no opposition from any party representing the Sindh Assembly
but there may be some acrimony exhibited by others on issues other than
compulsory education," Haq said. "No law is perfect."
He pointed out that the civil society and prominent educationists were consulted and they supported the new law.
who is also the parliamentary leader of the Pakistan People's Party in
the House, recalled that under UN's Millennium Development Goals,
Pakistan was supposed to achieve 100 percent literacy rate by 2015, but
unfortunately that was unlikely to happen.
Movement's parliamentary leader in the assembly, Syed Sardar Ahmed,
stressed the need for proper implementation of the law.
"This law should have been introduced three years ago when the 18th Constitutional Amendment was passed."
who has served as a chief secretary, recalled that Sindh was the first
province in newly-created Pakistan where education was compulsory.
He pointed out that the provincial government had also promulgated the Sindh Compulsory Primary Education Ordinance in 2001.
around 15 years ago, th Sindh Education Foundation was set up but the
province did not make any progress in the educational sector. Ahmed
regretted that scant attention had been paid girls' education in Sindh.
"Laws are good, but they have to be implemented to achieve the desired results," Ahmed noted.
Munawar Abbasi suggested that the provincial government should take
responsibility for providing funds to ensure free and compulsory
education up till the secondary level. "All local governments might not
have the sufficient funds to carry out this task," he added.
Jatoi of the National People's Party said the government should provide
incentives to private schools in line with the developed countries i.e.
the US and England.
The education minister responded that private schools in the country were earning in millions and did not need such incentives.
Muslim League-Functional's Marvi Rashdi proposed that immunisation
should also be made mandatory for school admissions. PPP's Humera Alwani
pointed out that of the 72,000 Madrassas in the country, 18,000 were in
Sindh. "The government should monitor them and be aware of what is
being taught there," she suggested.
PPP's Anwar Mahar recommended that the government should focus on improving the standard of government schools.
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Spare a thought for private schools
Karachi: The Sindh government believes that the new law making education free and
compulsory in the province and binding private schools to reserve 10
percent admissions for disadvantaged students and teach them free of
charge is a landmark achievement. But there are dissenting voices - the
private schools' association considers it unfair.
owners of private schools feel that it's unfair on the part of the
government to expect them to bear the extra expenses," said Private
School Management Association Chairman Sharf-uz-Zaman.
government schools pay electricity bills under the residential head,
while private schools are asked to pay them under the commercial head,
even though it is not the private ones which are the biggest defaulters
of the Karachi Electric Supply Company," he rued.
explained that in 1979, when the private sector was first encouraged to
invest in education, they were offered loans and aids as long as they
stayed non-commercial and non-political. "But with time, these
incentives have disappeared."
The reaction of the
principal of a private school was much more severe. "Some upscale
private schools consider legislations like this nonsense. Why should the
government tell me what to do?" he snapped. The owners of private
schools are skeptical of shouldering the responsibility which originally
belongs to the government; however, a number of notable educationists
both from the private and public sector support the new law.
include Saadiqa Salahuddin, the chairperson of the Indus Resource
Centre; Dr Iqbal Memon, the director of the Institute of Education
Development, Aga Khan University; and Anwar Ahmad Zai, the chairperson
of the Board of Intermediate Karachi.
"This is for the
first time that secondary education has been made compulsory in a
province. If parents fail to send their children to school, they will
face a heavy penalty," said Zai.
He maintained that it
might appear cruel, but in the long run it would achieve milestones.
"Parents cannot become an obstacle to the upbringing up of a responsible
Regarding the displeasure of some private
schools, he said: "When private schools register under the private
schools' law, they agree to 22 conditions. One condition is to give free
education to 10 percent students."
In each meeting, he
maintained, notables from the private sector were invited and the bill
was drafted after mutual consultation. "Now if some individuals are
unhappy, I can only say they are being selfish. For a brighter future,
we should ignore these few voices."
There are more than 4,
000 government schools in Karachi, but about 76 percent students appear
for their matriculation examinations through private schools.
Despite this rate of representation, the government provides no relief to the private sector. The news
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Book fair at KU pulls crowds
Karachi: The 14th annual book fair at the University of Karachi is
pulling crowds and the gymnasium of the varsity, the venue of fair,
gives a festive look.
The book fair is organized by Study Aid
Project (SAP) of the varsity in collaboration with Islami Jamait Talba
(IJT). A wide variety of books and education-related accessories are
available at the fair at reduced rates.
Vice chancellor, Karachi
University, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Qaisar, appreciating the book fair, said
in these busy times, most of us have not only forgotten the habit of
reading books but also forget the fact that the basis of a visionary and
knowledge based society is the habit of reading books. He said books
open new doors of success for its readers allowing them to explore other
parts of the world, new ideas, new concepts and new culture.
said that the University of Karachi is the only institution which
arranges such informative events like book fair for their students.
Nowadays, when people are on the verge of abandoning the habit of
reading books, the students of KU are organizing events that help in
developing interest of reading books among young generation.
of almost every kind and on every subject are part of this grand book
fair. The book fair consists of more than 50 stalls with around
0.3million books on various subjects of Science, Arts and Commerce.
Almost 40% discount is offered on the books make it affordable for
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Shaheed ZAB Law College affiliated with Lyari varsity
Karachi: The Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University Lyari, Karachi, has
issued a letter affiliating the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Law College,
Memon Goth, Malir, Karachi. Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Law College
started its first academic session on 1st September 2013, with the
registration of 183 LLB Part-I students and 16 LLM-I students. The
college is going to offer BA, LLB Honours with five-year degree
programme in the academic session 2013-14. It runs at the state of the
art building with a beautiful library, seminar hall and auditorium in
Memon Goth. The college is situated on 15 minutes drive from Malir 15.
The 24-hour cheap public transport with eight entry points had made the
college attractive for the students. Daily times
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Gulzar pulls out of Karachi Literature Festival
Karachi: Celebrated Indian poet, song writer and director Gulzar, who won an
Oscar for writing lyrics for the smash hit movie "Slumdog Millionaire"
has pulled out of Pakistan's top literary festival at the last minute,
organisers said on Wednesday.
Syed Ahmed Shah, one of
the organisers of the Karachi Literature Festival, confirmed Gulzar had
pulled out - just two days before the start of the event. "We can't say
about the reasons and circumstances that led to his return home without
attending the festival," Shah said.
denied Pakistani media reports that they had advised the poet to return
to India. Vishal Bhardwaj, an Indian director travelling with Gulzar,
said there was "nothing political" about the withdrawal.
76-year-old was simply "emotionally overwhelmed and stressed" after
visiting his birthplace, Deena near Jhelum, for the first time in 70
years, Bhardwaj insisted.But a Pakistani film director who met Gulzar
during his visit, told AFP on condition of anonymity that he left the
country "because of some security concerns". Gulzar was scheduled to
read from his poetry as well as take part in discussion groups and Shah
said his absence would disappoint millions of admirers in Pakistan.
"Pakistan had welcomed him with great warmth and zeal two days ago as he
is hugely popular as well in our country," Shah said."His arrival was a
great confidence building measure between the neighbours ." The news
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IJT demo against student's abduction
Lahore: The Islami Jamiat Tulaba (IJT), Punjab
University, on Wednesday staged a demonstration against secret agencies
for allegedly abducting PU Law College student Hafiz Nauman Saqib about
two months ago. They demanded his release.
Speaking to protesters, Nauman's brother Asif Saqib said his brother
should be presented before court if he had committed any crime. He said
the family had already got registered an FIR against police and the
Elite Force officials.
He said the PU students would stage a sit-in in front of IG Police office on Feb 20, if Nauman would not be released till then.
The IJT has decided to observe Valentine's
Day as Haya (modesty) Day and hold a walk from PU Law College to Faisal
Auditorium on Thursday (tomorrow). Dawn
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