Answer book evaluation system | Students with disabilities

Govt asked to reform answer book evaluation system
Islamabad, Feb 26: The Senate standing committee on education has asked the government to reform the evaluation system of answer books which was at present full of flaws.

The issue of reassessment of papers came under discussion at a meeting of the committee presided over by Senator Razina Alam Khan here on Wednesday. The committee directed the education ministry officials to settle the matter on a permanent basis.

Federal Minister for Education Mir Hazar Khan Bijrani also assured the committee that strict action would be taken against those involved in the reassessment case that not only tarnished the image of the board but also deprived many students of their right.

About the upcoming education policy, the committee said it should reflect the aspirations of the people and address the problems being confronted in the sector that have been neglected in the past. It suggested that the new policy should be finalised after having input from all the stakeholders.

A uniform system of education was need of the hour and the ministry should take necessary measures to ensure children coming from every strata of society have access to quality education, the committee said. The committee also asked the ministry to take special steps for providing adequate facilities at the primary level in remote and far-flung areas.

Commenting on the shortage and delay in the release of funds, Ms Alam said the government should ensure availability of adequate funds for the successful completion of various projects focusing on the improvement of education standard.

During a presentation, the secretary education briefed the committee on the salient features of the new education policy. He said the aim of the policy was to have access for all children to quality education and create standard-based education model in the country.

He said the government intended to increase the allocation of PSDP funds for the education sector from the current 2.5 per cent to four per cent of the GDP in the next three years. He said the education policy would encompass all those aspects which remained neglected in the past. Dawn

CDA Model School upgraded to college level
Islamabad: The CDA Model School organised its Annual Day here on Wednesday in which students who had performed extraordinary in curricular and extra-curricular activities were awarded prizes and medals as an acknowledgement of their hard work and dedication.

The awards were presented for the academic session 2007-08.

The award of the 'Best Student' in Junior Section was given to Tehreem Fatima. The 'Best Student' award in the Senior Section was given to Farkhanda Zareen. The award of 'Best Athlete' went to Hifza Imran. The 'Best Urdu Debater' award was given to Minahil Aziz. The 'Best English Debater' award went to Shibra Qaiser. The 'Best Qaria' award was given to Amna Haq and the 'Best Naat Khwan' to Fareeha Ghani. The 'Best Singer' award was given to Moater Zehra. The 'Most Cooperative Student' award was given to Anas Waheed. The 'Most Well-Behaved Student' award was obtained by Zain Abbass. The 'Most Regular Student' award went to Ayesha Naveed and the 'Tidiest Student' award was given to Khansa Naz and Shazeb Shahid Mirza.

Farkhanda Zari was given a gold medal for achieving first position in the SSC Annual Examination of 2008 (Science Group), while Aiman Mughal was awarded a silver medal for her first position in the SSC Annual Examination 2008 (Humanitarian Group).

Razia Sultana House in Senior Section and Nishtar House in Junior Section won the trophies for 'Outstanding Performance in Co-curricular Activities,' while Razia Sultana House in Senior Section and Noon House in Junior Section won the 'Academic Trophies'.

CDA Chairman Tariq Mahmood Khan was the chief quest on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, he appreciated the students for their outstanding performance in curricular and extra-curricular activities and urged them to fully concentrate on their education, as it is not only good for their own future but also for the country. "Children are the future of our country and only their good education and personality grooming can ensure a stable and prosperous future of Pakistan," he said.

The CDA chairman said that students should never underestimate themselves, rather they should always have high targets in front of them to be achieved. He said "Sky should be the limit for students". He emphasised on the importance of discipline and punctuality, saying that they are the necessary ingredients for success of any person or country. "It is good to see that the most punctual and disciplined students were awarded, as it would encourage other students to follow the same path," he said.

The CDA chairman approved the upgradation of the school to college level as requested by the principal and announced a grant of Rs200,000 for the school library.

Giving a brief introduction of the school, CDA Model School Principal Shahwar Ajmal said that the institution was established in 1986 to provide quality education to children of civic body's employees and the general public on merit. "Since its affiliation with the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education in 1995 till the session of 2008, students appearing in the SSC examination from this institution have always shown excellent results". She said that 100 per cent success rate has so far been maintained and as compared to other model institutions the ratio of those achieving A+ and A grades has always been high. Schoolchildren entertained guests through national songs, tableaux and skits. The News

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Students with disabilities
A Report has highlighted the problems faced by visually impaired students appearing for public examinations in the country. In principle, most examining authorities, including the Public Service Commission, allow such students different options for writing their exam scripts - computers with screen-reading software, Braille, voice recording and the services of amanuenses. In practice, however, the choices of the blind are severely restricted. In most cases, they are only allowed to use the facility of a writer. Without institutional help, procuring the services of one can be quite a challenge in itself. Neither are visually impaired candidates given the extra time they require for tackling exam questions. This apathy on the part of the examining authorities is reprehensible. It betrays a lack of sensitivity to the needs as well as the rights of handicapped students. It is not so much limited resources as the absence of awareness that hampers the integration of the disabled in the social, economic and political mainstream.

The fact is that Pakistanis lack knowledge and awareness of the concept of disability as it is understood today. Rights advocates worldwide recognise the importance of ensuring the full and equal enjoyment of human rights by the disabled and the need to remove barriers that hinder their full and equal participation in society. In a country where the able-bodied are traditionally denied their rights, the disabled stand a slim chance of being provided equal opportunities to realise their full potential. While policymakers are indifferent to the rights of people with disabilities, the public harbours prejudices against them that violate their inherent dignity. This results in the marginalisation of handicapped persons.

History is replete with examples of how people with disabilities have proved to be an asset when an inclusive approach is adopted and are allowed to contribute to their own area of expertise. This paradigm shift in perception led the UN to adopt the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol that came into effect last year. The Pakistan government has done well to sign the convention. It should now ratify it and also sign and ratify the Optional Protocol, which would go a long way towards ensuring its implementation. The convention by itself will change nothing as has been our experience in the case of other international human rights instruments. But it could become the focal point for the disability movement in Pakistan to create public awareness. Dawn

Degree college approved
Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has approved the establishment of Federal Government Degree College for Women at Kot Hathial, Bhara Kahu, Islamabad.

Urdu speech contest at Jack & Jill School
Rawalpindi: The weeklong activities of speeches, songs and skits at Jack & Jill Montessori and High School culminated here Wednesday with the Urdu Declamation Contest.

The topic for the Urdu speech contest was 'Safai' (cleanliness) for the juniors and 'Taleem Ka Rujhan, Tarbiat Ka Fukdan' for the seniors. The speeches were well prepared and thought provoking.

A student orator, Aiman Jehangir, during her speech emphasised the importance of upbringing and grooming, and quoted Napolean, saying, "Give me good mothers and I will give you a good nation". The young speaker also pointed out that students graduating from the so-called 'modern' universities could not be guaranteed to be polite and well behaved, unless they have been brought up accordingly.

The judges had a hard time selecting the best speaker due to the participants' outstanding oratory skills. The finalists included Aiman Jehangir, Suniya Amjad and Qurat ul Ain.

Principal of the school Tahmeena Malik appreciated the efforts of the staff, adding that the target is not to win or lose but to participate and appreciate the spirit of competition. Later, she distributed certificates among the winners of the contest.

A day earlier, the Jackonites had captivated the audience with their melodious and coordinated renditions of national songs, 'geets' and 'ghazals', in which Arooj of Class 8 was declared the best singer with Komal, Marya, Fariyal and Azka Gull following her closely. The News

College celebrates Silver Jubilee
Islamabad: The educational institutions should be equipped with role model teachers to educate the next generation and materialize the dream of an educated nation, said Federal Minister for Education Mir Hazzar Khan Bijarani on Wednesday.

He was addressing the Silver Jubilee Celebrations and prize distribution ceremony of Islamabad Model College for Boys (IMCB) F-7/3 as the chief guest. Daily Times

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