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KU declares MA Economics exam results
Karachi, Feb 01: University of Karachi Controller Examinations Prof Dr. Arshad Azmi has declared the result of MA Economics (Final) External Annual Examination 2011, here on Thursday. Hafiza Mariam d/o Muhammad Yousaf bearing seat number 71273 scored first position with 616 marks, out of 1000. Syed Hasan Faraz Rizvi s/o Muhammad Saqlain, bearing roll number 70806 stood second with 605 marks, while Sadaf Muhammad Yousaf d/o Muhammad Yousaf Suleman, bearing roll number 71762 scored third position with 602 marks. As per statistics of the result, 3547 students registered, 3331 appeared in the examination, out of which five, 471 and 23 students passed in first, second and third division respectively. Results of 22 students have been withheld due to objection on registration and non-payments of fine.

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FUUAST welcomes new vice chancellor
Karachi: Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology registrar Prof Dr Qamar-ul-Haq on Thursday welcomed the new vice chancellor of the university Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal and hoped that new VC would play a significant role for the progress of the institution. He assured Dr Zafar Iqbal for unbiased cooperation of teaching and non-teaching staff of the university. On the occasion, FUUAST registrar hailed the services of ex-VC of the university Prof Dr. Muhammad Qaiser for the university. Daily times

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Report draws dismal picture of education system
Karachi: it was not the numbers that interested you, the pictures and people would have: students clad in blue uniforms climbing the roof of a moving bus in order to get to school; Kashif, 10, a labourer who dropped out of school as his teacher "would beat up students and often leave after taking attendance"; or a scene from a grade seven mathematics lecture at a government school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where students simply repeat in English a problem sum read out by a teacher.

The third Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) for Sindh was launched at a local hotel on Thursday, and it was here through a documentary and a photo exhibition that such moving pictorial evidence was seen.

The launch was held by the South Asia Forum For Education Development (SAFED), managed by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) along with other partner NGOs.

Education in Pakistan is in a dismal state. And the report conducted throughout Pakistan in 136 districts, deploying 9,000 volunteers and which interviewed 251,440 children, gave the necessary figures to support the pictorial evidence.

Enrolment
In Karachi 70 percent of students attend private schools and enrolment is as high as 93 percent. Surprisingly, in Karachi it is not the girls that stay away from school. About five percent of boys and three percent of girls are out of school.

In Sindh's rural areas 32 percent of school-age children are currently out of school, and of them 24.7 percent have never been to school. The gender ratio of students out of school is 15 percent boys to 16 percent girls.

School enrolment in urban areas of Sindh (Hyderabad and Karachi) is 62 percent, while in rural areas it is 39 percent. While 60 percent of students in urban areas attend private schools, 90 percent of students in villages attend government schools.

Understanding levels
Only 40 percent of students in Sindh can read sentences in Urdu or Sindhi. There has been an overall improvement in the standard of the English language as compared to last year.

This year seven percent more students can read English sentences. Arithmetic levels for class four have also improved by three percent since 2011.

There is a very small presence of private schools in rural areas. In Urban areas they make up the majority. Private schools, according to the report findings, have done better in all aspects, but 57 percent of students in private schools in urban areas take paid tuitions.

Languages
Currently there are 18 different languages spoken in Sindh. This is because of internal migration. "This creates a vital question, are teachers in Sindh trained to help students in transition to either Urdu or Sindhi which is used in schools in the province," said Bela Jamil, ITA head who was reading out the findings of the report.

Panel discussion, speeches
Education Secretary Fazlullah Pechuho presided over the event as the chief guest. He maintained that the main problem with the education sector was the management of teachers.

"Even if students start attending school, what is the point if there are no teachers?"

He shared that he had appointed 2,000 monitors in various districts of the province, and to monitor them an electronic GPRS system had been installed. According to the system, when the monitor goes to visit a school he will enter an electronic signature and the secretary in his office in Karachi will come to know about the attendance.

The project is being funded by the World Bank.

"But what if the monitor goes into the school, drinks a cup of tea and comes back?" asked Qaiser Bengali, renowned economist, who attended the panel discussion. "Monitoring does not help unless a self-monitoring system is devised. The World Bank has only one motive and that is to sell off its debts."

Zubaida Mustafa, a journalist on the panel, remarked that she personally thought it was unfair to expect the private sector to bear the burden of education. "Because the private sector has one motive; profit."

Haris Gazdar, representative of Collective for Social Science Research, said real education change could come only when all stakeholders (security agency, politicians, business elite, civil society, judiciary) reached a consensus. "But seeing how large-scale successful projects in the city are run only through foundations and trusts, this consensus seems a long way to go."

The report is an important analytical tool as 2015 is fast approaching, and Pakistan is nowhere near its millennium development goals. The news

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Karachi Literature Festival - literati to dazzle book lovers
Karachi: Literary luminaries Gulzar, Nadeem Aslam, Shobha De, journalist Kanak Mani Dixit and writer and politician George Galloway will be among a wide range of literati and thinkers to attend the 4th Karachi Literature Festival to be held from Feb 15 to Feb 17 at the Beach Luxury Hotel.

The festival has gained significance over the last three years not just because of the magnitude of the event (which runs for three days and is composed of many literary, political and social panel discussions, book launches and meet-the-author programmes) but also because of the quality of its participants. International literary stalwarts such as William Dalrymple, Shobha De, Vikram Seth, Hanif Kureshi and Shamsurrehman Farooqi and an array of Pakistani intellectuals and writers such as Intizar Husain, Ayesha Jalal, Mohammed Hanif and Iftikhar Arif have so far been the highlights of the festival.

Given the success of the previous three editions, this year too literature buffs are expecting a stellar lineup of authors and creative individuals to take part in the event. It is but natural that the organisers, Oxford University Press, keep the names of their international guests under the hat for various reasons and only reveal it a week or two before the event kicks off.

According to OUP managing director Ameena Saiyid, writers, journalists and intellectuals from different parts of the world will speak at the festival and Pakistani book lovers will get an opportunity to interact and share ideas with them.

Those who will be coming from the UK include politician, journalist and writer George Galloway, novelist Nadeem Aslam and playwright and screenwriter Farrukh Dhondy. Nadeem Aslam will be the keynote speaker at the event.

India too will be represented by some illustrious names. Poet, lyricist, short story writer and film director Gulzar is one of them. Writer and journalist Shobha De will be attending the festival for a second time.

Eminent Nepali journalist Kanak Mani Dixit is an added South Asian attraction to the festival.

No fewer than 23 books will be launched during the course of three days. A collection of Urdu poet N. M. Rashid's translations from modern Persian poetry will see the light of day. It is an extremely valuable addition to the world of literature itself, leave alone the KLF. No less important is the launch of a book of poet Jaun Elia's prose writings, 'Farnood'. 'Of Martyrs and Marigolds' by Aquila Ismail and 'How it happened' by Shazaf Fatima will also be launched.

Apart from that, an important session on the sensitive issue of Balochistan is expected to be participated by some known socio-political figures who have been keenly following the subject.

Prominent Pakistani media persons Najam Sethi, Nasim Zehra, Maliha Lodhi and Zahid Hussain are also part of the large group of speakers.

Some other distinguished participants are Amar Jalil, Shamim Hanafi, Mehr Afshan Farooqui, Kamila Shamsie, H. M. Naqvi, Kamran Asdar Ali, Iftikhar Arif and Zehra Nigah.

A session with Intizar Husain, who has been nominated for this year's International Booker award, is something a lot of literature buffs, particularly those into Urdu fiction, will be looking forward to.

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USAID delegation meets SALU VC
Khairpur: A delegation of the USAID Pakistan Reconstruction Program held a meeting with vice-chancellor of the Shah Abdul Latif University Prof Dr Parveen Shah on Thursday and briefed her on the institute of education the USAID was building at the university.

Mr Naveed Tariq, project manager of USAID, briefed the VC on salient features of the building and said its ground-breaking ceremony would be held next week and the building would be handed over to the university administration in June this year.

Prof Shah lauded efforts of the USAID for promoting education in Pakistan and said the building would be constructed according to international standards.

The meeting was attended among others by dean of faculty of social sciences and arts and high officials of the university administration.

The USAID delegation was led by Salman Khan of the aid agency's engineering management unit.

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Protests continue to disrupt academic activities at SU
Hyderabad: Academic activities at the Sindh University, Jamshoro campus, partially resumed on Thursday after alternative arrangement to run point buses for students and employees were made to neutralise effects of the ongoing agitation by university employees.

Led by Sindh University Employees Workers Association (Sewa), a large number of SU employees have started a campaign on the campus to get their charter of demands accepted by the university administration and the provincial government. On Tuesday, police moved into the campus and used force to disperse participants in a protest sit-in outside the administration block. In the ensuring clash, several protesters and policemen were injured and a two-wheeler was set on fire. Academic and administrative affairs of the campus were badly affected on Wednesday as point buses could not be operated, leading to a thin attendance of students and employees.

On Thursday, the SU administration awarded the contact of running the point buses to a new party but a little improvement was witnessed. Classes at some departments were held but the overall attendance of students, the teaching staff and employees remained thin.

The protesting workers continued their demonstrations in protest against what they called a crackdown on their colleagues. The protesters were joined by families of about 50 SU employees allegedly rounded up by police during the Tuesday clash and raids on their houses since then.

The All Sindh Universities Employees Federation also organised a demonstration in Jamshoro and another one in Hyderabad to express solidarity with the protesting workers.

It urged the government to consider and accept genuine demands of the workers, order release of all protesters picked up and booked in different cases and remove the SU registrar for his anti-workers attitude.

A procession was taken out under the auspices of the All Sindh Universities Employees Federation from outside the Hyderabad Press Club. The federation claimed that as many as 64 protesters were picked up by police but only a few of them were booked and produced before a court.

The others must be accounted for, its leaders at the rally said. They set up a hunger strike camp outside the club and said that batches of five workers comprising one from each of the Sindh universities would observe a hunger strike daily until the SU workers' demands were accepted.

A Sewa leader, Ghulam Rasool Chandio, who has gone underground to escape arrest, said by phone that the SU administration had issued notices to many employees for joining in the protest. He appealed to the Sindh governor to take notice of the situation.

SU registrar Mohammad Nawaz Narejo said that notices were issued to nine protesting employees, who were asked to attend the duties. He said that a new contractor had now taken over the point buses operation and 15 new drivers had been appointed. However, he added, more than a dozen point buses were stopped and their tyres deflated by miscreants on Wednesday to disrupt the operation.

He said he also received reports of firing into the air by some miscreants to harass drivers and passengers. Necessary measures had been taken to ensure a normal operation on Friday, the registrar said.

Meanwhile, teaching and administrative activities at the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) and the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) returned to normal after a day of disruption due to their employees' demonstrations and protest meetings held on the campuses on Wednesday to show solidarity with the protesting SU workers. Dawn

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