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Private & govt schools in Lahore

5,000 private, 1,300 govt schools in City
Lahore, June 13: Over the years academic circles have been expressing concerns over shortage of government schools especially at primary level vis--vis increasing population.

This shortage of government educational facility, obviously, is one of the contributing factors behind mushroom growth of private sector schools across the country. The comparison of the number of public and private schools functioning in the provincial metropolis alone should be an eye opener for those at the helm and who are never tired of making tall claims of providing facilities to the people at their doorstep.

Punjab's capital Lahore has around 1,300 government schools while it has over 5,000 registered private schools. This data was also shared by Punjab Minister for Education Mian Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman at a function held recently. These simple figures are sufficient to understand as to how successive governments have badly and blatantly ignored establishment of new schools.

This aspect of shortage of schools has also been highlighted in a recently launched book "Education in Pakistan: Developmental Milestones" written by Punjab University Faculty of Education Dean Prof Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal.

The available statistics regarding primary schools in Pakistan reveal a negative trend. During the Musharraf government, instead of expanding primary education in public sector, the number of primary schools rather decreased, from 159,330 in 1998-99 to 156,400 in 2009-10. The deteriorating standard of education at government schools and more especially at primary level is another serious concern. The government schools offer free education with free textbooks to the students but still people prefer sending their children to private schools. According to Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal, enrolment rate at private schools in Lahore is 66 percent while at government schools it is merely 33 percent. It is quite clear that the difference between the both is of quality component. Therefore academic circles have been highlighting the need for focusing the quality component besides establishing more government schools to save the people from being fleeced by private schools.

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14-year-old girl launches book
Lahore: 'Memoirs of Billie Joe Fanatic: A Collection of Shot Stories and Artwork,' a book by a 14-year-old Ayesha Ali Khan was launched at a local hotel. The book is a collection of short stories she wrote while she was in her 7th grade but the credible plots and characters created by the young yet brilliant writer are awe-inspiring. Envisaging domestic and social behaviours in the simplest yet catchy manner, the majority of the stories have moral lessons which from even mature tiers of society can learn. A budding writer who is a tremendously talented artist as well and seeks to amalgamate drawing skills with her writing skills, Ayesha is a very keen observant for a 14-year-old and expresses her perspective in a mature fashion through the stories in the book. The mellow plots of a majority of her short stories depict her sensitivity towards the intricacies of life and careless social behaviours. The characters in most of her stories are beautifully crafted to the last detail and though in some way are parts and elements of her own self, yet, many can relate to the characters. Ayesha thanked and appreciated support of her family for her passion and termed it a driving force for her work. Aiming to further her interest, she is planning to write another book in the near future. The news

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MBBS admissions: 'No more relaxation of rules for foreigners'
Lahore: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has decided not to extend any further relaxation to foreign students for admission to MBBS/BDS under the Pakistan Technical Assistance Programme (PTAP) without passing entrance test or Scholastic Aptitude Test Part-II (SAT-II).

The fresh decision came in the executive committee meeting of the PMDC held on May 27 in Islamabad, closing a chapter of giving such a favour to foreign medical students 'for ever'.

Earlier, the PMDC had granted, in its executive committee meeting held on August 7, 2010, 'one time exemption' to the foreign students nominated under the PTAP from the condition of entrance test or SAT-II examination for admission in MBBS/BDS into public sector medical colleges for session 2010-2011 only.

The favour was given by the council after Ministry of Economic Affairs and Statistics wrote a letter on July 16, 2010 seeking exemption from the condition of entrance test or SAT-II for the foreign students.

Later, PMDC Registrar Dr Ahmad Nadeem Akbar, in a letter on Sept 1, 2010, informed the additional secretary of Ministry of Economic Affairs and Statistics that the council had accepted its request but for the session 2010-11 only.

Similarly, a high-level five-member committee, headed by Senator Ishaq Dar, had also endorsed the PNDC decision of granting one-time exemption from the condition of entrance test or SAT-II examination to 63 medical students of 19 countries holding them eligible for admission to public sector medical colleges of Punjab.

Dr Ahmad Nadeem Akbar said that the executive committee of the PMDC had decided, in its meeting held on May 27, 2011, that no waiver of entrance test, SAT-II and IELTS/TOEFL would be given to the foreign students for the current session 2011-12 or onward"

In future, he said, the students who intended to get admission to medical colleges in Pakistan under PTAP shall have to appear in the entrance test or clear the SAT-II examination. Dawn

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Students slam drone attacks, Karachi killing by rangers
Lahore: Students, studying in various universities of the provincial capital, held a peaceful a protest demonstration at Liberty Square on Saturday against fresh wave of drone attacks on the Pakistani soil by the US in the post Osam bin Laden era, as well as against the recent killing of a civilian at the hands of rangers personnel in Karachi.

The protesting students were from the University of Management and Technology, Punjab University, University of Lahore, Superior University and Skans School of Accountancy.

They were holding placards inscribed with various slogans reading: No more drone attacks, rulers must press US to stop killing innocent people, love Pakistan or leave Pakistan and we are bloody civilians. Daily times

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PEF plan to admit special children to school
Lahore: The Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) has envisaged an ambitious plan to educate special children in its partner schools.

Addressing the certificates-distribution ceremony of teacher training programme at Rising Sun Institute of Special Education, Lahore Cantt, PEF Chairman Raja Muhammad Anwar said that under the pilot project, to be launched from the provincial metropolis, 10 deserving special children would be given admission in every PEF partner school in Lahore so that they could get quality education like a normal human being.

Giving details of the PEF initiative for the special children, Raja Anwar said the purpose of the plan was to promote social interaction of normal children with the students having some disabilities so that the attitude of civil society towards special people could be made better.

The PEF will bear all the expenses of the project, he added. The ceremony was also addressed by Rising Sun Institute for Special Children Chief Executive Prof Abdul Tawwab. Later, the PEF chairman distributed certificates among Teachers of different organisations working for the welfare of special persons took part in the training. The news

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