Only 32pc of schools budget released in seven months
Lahore, Feb 09: Despite the passage of over seven months of the ongoing fiscal year, the Punjab government has released just around 32 percent of the total development budget announced for its School Education Department for 2012-2013.
Out of total allocation of Rs15 billion, under the Annual Development Plan (ADP 2012-13), only about Rs4.8 billion have been released for development schemes of the department, belying government's tall claims of the government regarding education. This slow pace has raised many eyebrows in the academic circles as the interim setup is just around the corner for the upcoming general elections. The critics of the Punjab government foresee not-a-good-year for the schools this year due to lack of funds.
On average, the quarterly release would have been over Rs8 billion by now had the government released half of the allocated amount as more than half of the fiscal year has passed.
It is pertinent to mention here that the School Education Department Punjab is the largest department of the provincial government with around 60,000 schools across the province, over 300,000 teachers and over one million students.
As per sources, privy to the development, a major chunk of the released amount, i.e., over Rs3 billion, is for the provision of missing facilities at the public schools while the remaining released amount is for various ongoing schemes.
The prominent among the ongoing schemes are construction of six hostels at Cadet College, Chakwal (Rs30 million), construction of six hostels at Cadet College, Essa Khel, Mianwali (Rs30 million), construction of six hostels at Cadet College, Pasrur, Sialkot (Rs30 million), and restoration/renovation of historic Govt Central Model School, Lower Mall (Rs8.3 million), etc.
Some of the new schemes for which funds have been released include Accelerated Programme for School Education (over Rs123 million) and provision of furniture in existing schools (over Rs372 million).
A total of over Rs41 million have been released for provision of missing facilities at 56 schools of district Dera Ghazi Khan, the hometown of Senior Advisor to Chief Minister Zulfiqar Khosa. The second highest release for provision of missing faculties has been witnessed in Rawalpindi district where over Rs40 million have been released for 55 schools while Rahimyar Khan district stood third in this regard with a release of over Rs38 million for provision of missing facilities in 67 schools.
It is important to note here that hundreds of schools across the province, especially in far-flung areas, have been missing the facilities such as classrooms, toilets, drinking water, furniture, boundary walls and electricity. In such circumstances, playgrounds are certainly a luxury for students in public schools. Undoubtedly, over the years, these missing facilities have been contributing in students' dropout.
According to a recent media report which quoted a government official, over 10 percent of public schools in Punjab lack facilities like drinking water, electricity, toilets and boundary walls. However, sources in Schools Department confided to The News put this percentage much higher.
The stakeholders have been quite critical of the Punjab government for moving slow vis-à-vis release of allocated funds, arguing that had school education been top priority of the Punjab government, the situation might have been encouraging regarding release of funds and subsequent utilization. They also argue that as the Punjab government has focused Metro Bus System, laptops, internship and now Ujala programme (the provision of solar lamps to students), the important development schemes of the schools have been put on the back-burner as evident from release of development funds for Schools Department.
When contacted, Secretary Schools Muhammad Aslam Kamboh said that over Rs5 billion had been released so far, adding that most of the funds had been released for provision of missing facilities at the schools.
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) Examination Department announced the results of various examinations on Friday.
These exams include MBBS 1st Professional Part-I Annual Examination 2012, Master of Educational Research and Assessment (M.E.R.A) semester system, session 2010-12, MA Education (Islamic) Self-Supporting (semester system) session 2010-12, MA Education (Islamic) semester system session 2010-12, MA Education (Early Childhood) Self-Supporting (semester system) session 2010-12, MA Education (Early Childhood) semester system session 2010-12, Master of Science Education (M.S.Ed) Self-Supporting (semester system) session 2010-12, and Master of Science Education (M.S.Ed) (semester system) session 2010-12.
Detailed results are available on PU website www.pu.edu.pk.
GCU wins contest
Ebating Society of Government College University (GCU) won All Pakistan Serious and Humorous Prose Recitation Contest organized by a private university here. Forty educational institutions took part in the contest. Khaqan Arshad, a student of BA (Hons) English Literature stood first in Urdu category while Syeda Qurat-ul-Ain Sherazi, a student of BA (Hons) English Literature secured second position the English category.
GCUF to increase scholarship fund
Faisalabad: The Government College University Faisalabad will increase scholarship under the Endowment Fund for talented students from Rs 11 million to Rs 30 million, said GCUF Vice-Chancellor Dr Zakir Hussain.
Talking to a delegation of the Alumni Association in his chamber on Friday, he said that work on the new campus, consisting of 200 acres, was in full swing and it would be completed in two years. He said that tender notices for employees' residences, VC camp office, academic block, hostels and other uplift projects had been issued.
Speaking on the occasion, Alumni Association president Dr Saulat Nawaz said that the association would give Prof Asmatullah Khan and Prof Ahsan Scholarship to talented students. He congratulated the GCUF on becoming the sixth best university in the country, according to a ranking of the Higher Education Commission. Fiaz Butt, Salahuddin and Zeeshan Ahmad Khan were also present on the occasion.
Islamabad: The 4th Annul Dawah Bookfair organised by the Dawah Academy is continuing at the Faisal Masjid Campus of International Islamic University.
About 50 publishers and booksellers from all over the country are providing 30 to 50 per cent discount on books to the visitors.
Thousands of people from the twin cities are daily visiting the Dawah bookfair and purchasing books of their interest. The Bookfair will continue till February 11.
TEFL workshop at AIOU starts on 11th
Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University's Department of English Language & Applied Linguistics is holding a two-week Diploma TEFL Workshop from February 11 at its main campus.
Coordinator of the workshop, Muhammad Sajid-us-Salam, informed that the workshop is meant for students of MA TEFL who are given admission on the basis of Diploma TEFL from AIOU or equivalent qualification from other universities.
He said that the workshop is a full credit or 6 credit hours course and attendance for all days is compulsory. Those failing to attend the workshop will have to re-enrol themselves for the course. Students may contact the department at 051-9057761. The news