National University of Modern Languages registrar resignation

Numl registrar opts for resignation rather apology
Islamabad, Feb 11: Registrar of the National University of Modern Languages (Numl) resigned on Wednesday apparently to avoid making a public apology for beating up a lecturer, which sparked unrelenting protests by the faculty as well as the students.

Brig (retired) Obaidullah Ranjha submitted his resignation to the office of Numl Rector Brig (retired) Aziz Ahmad Khan, who accepted it.

Both the rector and the registrar were not available for comments as their cellphones were switched off.

Lecturer Tahir Malik, however, said he was ready to pardon the registrar, but only if he had tender an apology in front of the students, who had witnessed the nasty incident last week.

"I have no enmity with Brig Ranjha but want my dignity back which he damaged by thrashing me in front of my students," Mr Malik added.

Discussing political issues and the educational system in the office of Numl's International Relations department's head on February 4, Brig Ranjha and Mr Malik became involved in an altercation. The issue appeared resolved after they along with other faculty members attended a welcome lunch given to new students.

However, some 45 minutes later the registrar returned with two guards and roughed up the lecturer in a corridor.

After the situation heated up and triggered mass protests, Interior Minister Rehman Malik asked the registrar and the lecturer to settle the issue, and it was decided that Brig Ranjha would tender a public apology on February 8. However, he did not fulfil his commitment, which sparked a massive protest by the students and faculty members of the university, who also boycotted classes.

On February 8, the administration announced the closure of the university for a week, apparently in a bid to prevent the students and faculty members from joining the protest movement.

Lecturers of the university, when contacted on Wednesday, said they had called off the protest as their major demand had been fulfilled but in a different manner.

"Our demand was that the registrar should be terminated, but he had himself resigned from the post," they added.

"We harboured no grudge against the registrar, it was just the matter of a teacher's dignity and prestige," the lecturers said.

However, they still demanded an inquiry into the irregularities mentioned in the institution's annual report, including the second extension given to the rector.

Over 8,000 students, including 500 foreigners and 60 personnel of armed forces, are enrolled in Numl, which has 350 faculty members, including 50 retired officers of the army, including brigadiers and colonels, and 20 retired bureaucrats.

The institution was established in 1970 on the directives of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, with the name National Institute of Modern Languages. It was set up with an aim to teach government officials, especially officers of the foreign office and the armed forces.

It was under the control of the Quaid-i-Azam University at the time of its inception. Later its affairs were overseen by the Allama Iqbal Open University.

The army took over the charge of the institute in 1981, when Gen Ziaul Haq was in power, after a brawl on the campus. Since then the head of the institution remained a serving or retired army officer of the rank of brigadier or above.

The institution was given the status of a university in December 1999 by former president Pervez Musharraf. Dawn

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40 per cent schools have good libraries
Islamabad: Only 40 per cent schools have well equipped libraries, while only 25 per cent are enjoying the facility of a proper auditorium.

It was revealed in a brief survey on co-curricular activities at various schools, conducted by the Centre for Civic Education.

According to the findings, about 56 per cent schools have platforms like boy scouts and girl guides, while about 62 per cent are involved in some kind of community work. The trend of community work exists more in private schools.

Almost all schools begin the day with an assembly of the students and teachers in which verses from the Holy Quran and prayers are recited. Teachers and students occasionally make speeches on any moral or educational topic.

According to the survey, 97 per cent schools arrange Qirat and Naat competitions, about 96 per cent feature speech competitions, 96 per cent hold national song singing contests, 87 per cent carry out inter-school activities, and 94 per cent arrange sports activities.

About 62 per cent schools cooperate with non-governmental organisations in various activities that are most of the time confined to awareness seminars and speeches, and usually are one-time engagements for a day.

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IBMS teachers launched protest drive
Peshawar: The teachers of the Institute of Business and Management Sciences, NWFP Agricultural University, Wednesday launched a protest drive after the university administration failed to accept their demands before the expiry of the deadline.

The teachers started their drive from boycott of two classes on daily basis initially and threatened that if the university administration failed to meet their demands within one week they would completely boycott classes.

The teachers wore black armbands to express concern over what they called the non-cooperative attitude of the university administration. The teachers staged protest at the premises of the university under the aegis of IBMS Teachers Association. The protesters were holding banners and placards inscribed with their demands.

Speaking on the occasion, the office-bearers of the association stressed that their salaries should be brought on a par with those of the faculty members of the Institute of Management Sciences, Hayatabad. They said that the university was earning a profit of more than Rs200 million from the institute, but the teachers were not given the salaries they deserve.

They urged the university administration to pay attention to the welfare of the teachers and other staff of the IBMS. The faculty members of IBMS also demanded of the NWFP governor and chief minister to look into the matter and resolve their problems.

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PhD supervisory process
Islamabad: To improve the performance of both supervisors and research scholars, Higher Education Commission (HEC) is organising a three-day Academic Retreat Workshop exclusively for the HEC approved PhD supervisors.

The workshop, to be conduced by the Learning Innovation Division in collaboration with the Social Sciences Section of HEC, will be held here at the HEC Secretariat from February 11 (today) to 13, says a press release.

The main focus of this activity would be to review the HEC policy towards the effective supervision of PhD research, covering academic, ethical, financial, technical and situational stakeholders, and the global dimension.

It will provide an opportunity to clearly identify the problems, issues, constraints and opportunities in the PhD supervision process using the participatory method that involves various stakeholders, and explore the ways and means of improvement where needed.

The participants will be able to refresh their research and data analysis skills, and will be updated about the emerging areas of research in their particular fields in order to promote diversity, creativity and inter-disciplinary approach. The overall effort will also help in streamlining the PhD supervisory process.

Eminent experts including Prof Dr Najma Najam, Vice Chancellor Karakoram International University, Gilgit; Prof Dr M Nizamuddin, Vice Chancellor University of Gujrat; and Prof Dr Nisar Hussain Hamdani, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, AJK University, Muzaffarabad; will act as resource persons during the workshop.

Dr S Mahmood Raza, Adviser Quality Assurance & Learning Innovation, HEC, will chair the Academic Retreat workshop.

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Japanese art contests
Islamabad: More than 100 enthusiastic students from 32 schools of Rawalpindi and Islamabad participated in the Japan Children's Art Competition & Speech Contest at the National Art Gallery (NAG) here on Wednesday.

The event - a part of the Japan-Pakistan Friendship Fest 2010 - was jointly organised by the Embassy of Japan, MEXT Alumni Association of Pakistan (MAAP), Pakistan-Japan Cultural Association and the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA). It is a popular event among schoolchildren for last 15 years, as it promotes creativity among them.

In the art competition, students, aged 13-14, drew pictures related to Japan and Pakistan on the themes of their own choice while using different mediums and powerful symbols. They depicted the Japanese culture and traditions besides their technological advancements, alongside the strong relations between the two peoples and the strong diplomatic ties between the two governments. They also appreciated the technical help that Japan provides to Pakistan in various fields.

PNCA Director Mussarat Naheed Imam and renowned painter Fauzia Minallah comprised the panel of judges for the art competition.

According to the results, Wajeeha Zafar of the Army Public School stood first for her depiction of the Japanese technological advancement in her painting. Fatima Mustafa of the Bahria College, Islamabad, stood second for showing the love and regard among the people of both the countries for each other. Amna Ahmed of the Beaconhouse School System, Margalla Campus, stood third for painting the Japanese culture with special emphasis on traditional fans. The consolation prize was given to Rafia Ahmed Virk of the Bahria College, Islamabad, for portraying the Japanese tradition of Ikebana.

On the occasion, Fauzia Minallah appreciated the children's involvement in such a healthy activity during the prevailing unrest in the country. "Such activities are good for children, as they help them explore their creativity and also express their feelings in a positive way," she said.

The speech contest was an ideal opportunity for the young and talented students to freely express themselves on the cordial relations between Japan and Pakistan and contemplate on the friendly relationship the two nations have been enjoying for more than five decades.

The panel of judges for the speech contest comprised English newscaster, poet, author and columnist Shabnam Riaz and renowned TV anchor Sufia Shahid. According to the results, Ramsha Fayaz of the Bahria College, Islamabad, got the top honour, Mahak Sajjad of the OPF Girls College was declared second and Saif Jamshed of The City School, Islamabad, stood third. The consolation prize was given to Fatima Imam of the Rawalpindi Grammar School.

Addressing on the occasion, Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Chihiro Atsumi said the Embassy of Japan organises various events every year to familiarise the people of Pakistan with Japan. "The Japan Children's Art Competition & Speech Contest is one such event that helps strengthen the friendship and develop cultural understanding among the people of the two countries," he said.

The ambassador appreciated the participating students for portraying different aspects of Japan through a careful selection of colours. "Children here have well articulated their thoughts and ideas about the Japanese culture, language and technology in their delivery," he added. He congratulated teachers and parents for encouraging children to take part in the contest and assisting them in their preparation.

PNCA Director General Tauqeer Nasir said that such events would help in further strengthening ties between the people and governments of Japan and Pakistan. "Our country is greatly in need of such events in order to infuse the spirit of enthusiasm and liveliness among its youth, who seem quite perturbed over the prevailing situation," he said.

He added that the PNCA would continue supporting such events in order to strengthen diplomatic ties between the two countries and encourage the children to explore their talents.

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Office-bearers elected
Rawalpindi: The Anjuman-e-Asatiza Pakistan has elected new office-bearers, says a press release.

In a meeting of the Anjuman-e-Asatiza Pakistan, Islamabad district, held recently, the members unanimously elected Syed Ahmed Tauqir as president of the association. Other office-bearers elected in the meeting included Sultan Sikandar (vice president colleges), Malik Muhammad Javed (vice president schools), Hafiz Muhammad Manzoor (general secretary), Malik Noor Zaman (finance secretary), Mazhar Hussain (information secretary) and Ishtiaq Ahmed (joint secretary).

Addressing the meeting, newly elected president Ahmed Tauqir Ahmed sought cooperation of members of the association for promotion of Islam, love for the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and ideology of Pakistan. He also urged them to extend their cooperation for advancement of the mission of teachers and safeguarding the interests of the teaching community.

Speaking on the occasion, Hafiz Muhammad Manzur urged the acceleration of the membership campaign. He asked for making elaborate arrangements for holding 'Azmat-e-Quran Conference' on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi and for observing the anniversaries of the prominent figures in the Islamic history.

He also urged the members of the association to ensure inculcation of love for the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in students. The news

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