Private schools high fees, charges

Private schools demanding a pound of flesh
Rawalpindi, Feb 14: Rawalpindi has a big number of schools run by private bodies and trusts that collect high admission and tuition fees, and development charges under various heads. It is shocking to find that these funds are charged at the fancy of these private managements.

Their focus seems not to provide education but to run an educational factory, where they can reap rich harvest and they compel students to pay vast sums of money totally unconnected for the purpose for which they go to school. Due to the heavy demand for seats in private schools, it has almost become a sellers market where these private managements fleece parents by insisting on earmarked funds as a pre-condition for admission.

The game begins at the very beginning of the term when parents requiring admission for their children have to buy application forms ranging from Rs50 to Rs500. In order to get admission they have to pay funds, tuition fees, book fees, uniform fees and other amounts just to begin their term.

Even those students who continue to study in the same school every year are expected to pay building, lab, sports, library, computer, security, stationery, and health funds.

Parents also have to buy notebooks and textbooks and they have to shell out huge sums depending on the school and the type of funds being demanded. At times, the sums demanded are so high that many families have to admit their children to schools far away from homes.

While school authorities deny the charges, stating they do not collect more than Rs1,000, relatives and parents of children say huge sums are demanded from them. Some of them who spoke to this scribe said that the concerned authorities should interact with students and parents to get their feedback.

A mother of a student said she was taken aback when school authorities demanded Rs5,000 to get her sister's son admitted to Class VII. Dejected, she got her nephew admitted in a government school.

Muhammad Ehsan, working in a private firm, said he was unable to admit his younger brother in Class VII as he was asked to deposit Rs6,000. A father of a student recalled that his son studied at a school a few years ago. But when he took two of his brothers to get them admitted in the school, he was asked to make a payment of Rs8,000 for each of the boys. When he said he could not afford to pay more than Rs5,000, admission was refused. He said that following a request from a local councilor, he was able to admit the two boys in a government school elsewhere.

Majeed Akmal, a Class X student, said that he was deeply pained as his family had to contribute an unreasonable amount of funds to the construction of a school block. Several parents recounted the tales about how they were fleeced in the name of development funds.

They recalled that one of the famous schools established decades ago with the objective of providing quality education to children from backward pockets of the city now gets flak for demanding development funds.

"Why are they punishing us like this? We pay the school fees on time. All over the academic year circulars are issued by the principals of the schools to meet operating cost of various projects," concerned parents lamented.

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SPLA token hunger strike observed
Karachi: Members of the Sindh Professors and Lecturers' Association (SPLA) on Saturday observed a token hunger strike at the D.J. Sindh Govt Science College in protest against what they described as a biased attitude of the government towards college teachers.

A number of teachers belonging to different colleges of the province came to the DJ college and took part in the token hunger strike on the call of SPLA.

The president of SPLA, Prof Mirza Ather Hussain, said that promotions of college teachers had been delayed by the government despite several assurances from the government.

"Many hindrances and there in promotions of college teachers and the education department seems to be least interested in resolving their problems; therefore, we demand that the government end this biased attitude towards college teachers," he said.

He also called for immediate issuance of a notification for the promotion of college teachers from Basic Pay Scale (BPS) 19 to BPS-20 and from BPS-17 to BPS-18.

He said that no timescale was being followed for the promotion of college teachers in the province as 1,048 college teachers were waiting for their promotion to next grades. Dawn

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Promotion of knowledge
Lahore: Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has said that the country can attain academic and socio-economic supremacy at the global level only through the promotion of modern knowledge.

He was speaking at the launch of a orientation program for the newly admitted MBA evening class students at the Hailey College of Banking and Finance, said a press release here on Saturday.

Dr Kamran said we could not achieve development in any sphere of national reconstruction without producing professionally sound experts in the scientific and financial disciplines. He said the promotion of literacy had never been recognised as a national requirement by any government in the past.

Presently, the country was spending only about two percent of the GDP on education which was meagre, he said, adding that owing to educational backward and illiteracy, an overwhelming majority of the population was unable to actively participate in the developmental process and that's why we were at the mercy of the advanced countries.

The PU VC narrated an incident of his noble laureate teacher Prof Dr Abus Salam, saying that when his teacher visited Germany soon after the World War II, he was amazed to learn that a former German prisoner of war, who had learnt Punjabi language during his imprisonment from another prisoners from the sub-continent, was looking for him everywhere to know the meaning of a few Punjabi words and was working on a German-Punjabi Dictionary. He said if our students pursued their goals with the same commitment and single-mindedness, they could also cause miracles like the German and Japanese students.

Speaking on the occasion, renowned industrialist Shahzad Alam, Chairman Investment Institute Lahore Muhammad Ishaq Khan and Ex-MD PICIC AG Mir paid tribute to the college principal who was striving for enhancing the number of qualified graduates for the national and foreign multinationals.

Earlier, presenting his welcome address, the Principal Khawaja Amjad Saeed told the audience that in addition to a modern seminar room, six new furnished classrooms would also be added to the college building while MPhil programme for postgraduate students would also be started shortly. Souvenirs and shields were presented to the vice-chancellor and guests of honour.

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Internship Programme Workshop
Lahore: University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Nawaz has said that the university students are the ambassadors of their alma mater and they must strive to excel in their fields to strengthen livestock, poultry, dairy and agriculture sectors.

According to a press release on Saturday, the vice-chancellor, he was addressing DVM final semester students at the concluding ceremony of five-day Orientation Workshop on Internship Programme (2010) arranged by university's faculty. Dr Nawaz said the DVM students should equip themselves with practical knowledge and training during their internship in various organisations, adding that the UVAS students must emerge as strong professionals.

Addressing on the occasion, former vice-chancellor of the Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam, Bashir A Sheikh, lauded the UVAS, acknowledging that the university was also facilitating the private sector. He urged the students to work hard in their fields. During the workshop, lectures on personality development and technicalities were delivered on a daily basis by various officials of different companies and firms and teachers.

Earlier, Prof Dr Nasim Ahmad, dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences (FVS), gave a briefing about the procedure of the internship of DVM final semester students. He said the objective of the internship programme was to provide the training to students in the area of veterinary medicine, animal husbandry and allied fields.

Prof Ahmad also announced that a visiting monitoring team would be constituted to check the presence of internees in 44 organisations where they would be sent for four-month internship.

Those who delivered lectures at the workshop included Prof Dr Nasim Ahmad, Dr Mustafa Kamal, Altaf Mehmood Chaudhry, Faisal Fareed, Haroon Lodhi, Dr Irfan Zahid, Shahzad S. Iqbal, Dr Zubair, Dr Salah ud Din, Junaid Jamil, Dr Mohsin Ali Bhatti, Dr M Latif, Dr Japie Conradie, Sayed Hassaan Bin Haider and Dr Muhammad Rashid.

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FAST varsity Competitions
Islamabad: Students of different universities Saturday enthusiastically participated in initial rounds of various competitions on the opening day of 3-day Tamasha 2010, an annual event being organised by the FAST University.

Over 150 students put in their best efforts to shine in initial stages of competitions including essay writing, bilingual declamation, painting, theatre and cultural performance. The winners of these competitions would be eligible to compete in next two stages to be held on second and third day of the event.

The universities that are being represented in the competitions include Gomal University, PAF Academy (Risalpur), International Islamic University Islamabad, the University of Punjab, Institute of Management Sciences, NUST and NFC (Faisalabad). The essay writing competition was divided into two categories-English and Urdu-in which the students were supposed to use their writing skills keeping in view their respective topics.

The essay writing (English) was further divided into two categories including fictional and normal writing. Topics for fictional writing included 'Photographer and Meaning of Life', 'Journey of a Water Drop', 'Global Warming' and 'Priest'. The participants of normal writing wrote on topics such as 'Dog Day' and 'The Planet Criminolia'.

The topics for essay writing (Urdu) included 'Mazhab', 'Adam ki Sarguzsht', 'Khud Ko Taqseem Na Karna' and 'Zamane Ka Asar Mazhab Par'. The judges for these competitions were Mariam Piracha, Dr. Saghir Awan, Dr. Sohail Abbas, Dr. Bushra and Dr. Shameem.

In painting competition, some 18 students were given two-day time to complete their work after which the judges would evaluate their skills before announcement of winners. The themes for the competition were 'Renaissance', 'Psychedelic' and 'Conceptual Art'. The jurists included Attiqa Zafar and Khizar from Hunarkada.

In theatre performance, the students divided into 16 teams rehearsed on the opening day for their events to be conducted in next two days. Every team would be given 20 minutes in which they would show their artistic skills in street performance, 'notanki' and mime (silent).

Songs would also be included to attract attention of the audience. In cultural performance, students from various universities continued to rehearse for their combined performance to be presented today (Sunday). Their performance would mainly focus on wedding ceremonies including 'Mehndi (Henna)' in which the students would try to portray real local culture and traditions.

Earlier, FAST University Director Dr. Aftab Maroof addressing the inaugural ceremony of Tamasha 2010 said the event has been organised to provide students with ample opportunities to show their skills in various competitions.

"Our students can make waves in every sphere of life due to their unmatched talent and skills, but there is a need to provide them with better opportunities to enable them utilise their potential to the fullest," he said.

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Letter writing competition
Islamabad: Pakistan Post here Saturday announced 39th International Letter Writing Competition for students under age 15.

An official of the postal ministry said that the subject chosen for this year is " Write a letter to someone to explain why it is important to talk about AIDS and to protect yourself against the disease.

" He said that the following cash prizes will be awarded to the best three winners in addition to Pakistan Postage Stamps Albums and Certificates of merit.

The first prize Rs20,000, second prize Rs10,000 and third prize Rs05,000.

He said that the best letter in Pakistan (English version only) will be sent to the Universal Postal Union, where a jury set up by Unesco will select three winners to be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals respectively bearing relevant inscription and their names as well as albums of the UPU official postage stamps.

"In addition, the next four or five winners will be awarded certificates and consolation prizes," he added.

Students not more than 15 years can participate by sending a letter either in English or Urdu duly verified by the Head of their school to the Assistant Director (INTL. POST) Pakistan Post Directorate General Islamabad-44080.

He said that the following particulars should be authenticated by the head of the school full name, father's name, age, class, photograph of the candidate, name of the institution with complete address & telephone number, length of letter from 500 to 800 words.

"Each participation must send his/her entry Urgent Mail Service (UMS) Registered mail from any post office," he added. The news

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Children creative skills
Islamabad: Pak-Turk International Schools & Colleges, Islamabad Campus has come up with a unique idea of 'Third Eye Project' with a purpose to enhance sense of creativity among children so that they could view things with different possible angels.

The school administration has taken the idea from Turkey after deliberations with the different educationists of Turkey. The idea of 'Third Eye Project' spoke about its success and the hard work of children as it could be witnessed after watching their projects displayed during a funfair held in the school premises on Saturday.

After watching the projects of the children, it could be ascertained that things could not only be interpreted in the way as they apparently looked but could be explained in the more optimistic manner with different angles. The projects in fact revealed the inner thoughts and imaginations of children that could help them a lot to enhance their sense of creativity in practical life. Bashna Emaan's project was conveying a good message generally for all citizens of Pakistan and especially for residents of the Capital that 'traffic violations could be lethal for all of us'.

Subaat Eman and Eshah Eman, both had given the message of tolerance and non-violence in her project titled 'Earth is a worth living place for all of us'.

Another child had made beautiful comparison between a book and money with the words inscribed on it 'Knowledge is worthier than money'.

Maooz, Affan and Tayyab had made a clock with a fixed candle in the middle of it conveying an important point that "Time is like a burning candle, so do not waste it. Abdullah Ibal Hatipogue 's idea was very relevant in the prevailing situation of extremism and terrorism as he while giving the message of broad-mindedness in his project showed different pencil colours saying that "we can learn a lot from crayons, some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull.

All are different colours but they all have to live in the same box". An other child's 'Love Train' was floating the idea that all human beings were brothers and sisters besides the fact what race, religion and country they had and all were like boogies of one train and should have love and respect foe each other.

H Mustafa Hatipoglu, principal of the school said that Pakistan and Turkey were the two countries but "one nation" and were true promoters of education. The nation

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