Islami Jamiat Talaba Haya Day | Punjab Inter admissions

Haya Day
Lahore, Feb 15: Like previous years, Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), has announced to observe Valentine's Day as Haya Day.

In a press release, IJT termed Valentine's Day as a western conspiracy aimed to misguide people especially youth. Separately, Punjab University (PU) chapter IJT also announced that the varsity students would observe the day as Haya Day while banners and placards would also be displayed at all the departments of the varsity regarding Haya Day.

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UHS, Nova University ink MoU
Lahore: The University of Health Sciences (UHS) and the Nova University, Lisbon, Portugal, on Thursday, signed an agreement to start an international master's degree programme in Mental Health Policy and Services.

According to a press release issued here, the agreement was signed by UHS Vice Chancellor Maj Gen (R) Prof Muhammad Aslam and the Rector, Nova University Lisbon Prof Doutor Antonio Rendas.

The programme is basically an initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the participants of this joint master's degree will be drawn largely from the low and middle income countries of WHO Eastern Mediterranean region, particularly focusing on Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, etc.

The Nova University Lisbon is already offering this course in collaboration with WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence. The modalities for launching this course were set last year when UHS Board of Governor's member Prof Malik Hussain Mubashar visited Lisbon. The UHS VC said the programme would start in March 2015 and initially the course would admit 20 participants using a selection criteria mutually agreed by the two universities. He said as per the agreement, fund-raising for running the joint master's programme would be directed to governments, NGOs and foundations.

He added the noted local and international mental health and public health professionals would be approached to serve as faculty.

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Punjab Inter admission date extended
Lahore: Chairman of the Punjab Boards Committee of Chairmen (PBCC) Muhammad Nasrullah Virk has extended the last date for submission of admission forms for Intermediate Annual Examinations 2014.

In a press release, Muhammad Nasrullah Virk, who is also chairman of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Lahore, said the new date for submission of forms with single fee is Feb 17 instead of Feb 13. The last date with double fee is Feb 24 while with triple fee the last date is Feb 28. Intermediate Annual Examinations 2014 will commence from May 03, 2014. The news

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'16% of children aged 6-16 still remain out of school'
Lahore: Despite the recent focus of the provincial government on enrolment drive, 16 percent of Punjab's children aged 6-16 still remain out of school, according to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2013.

The remaining 84% that are enrolled in the 6-16 age bracket are not learning much either.

Conducted by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) in collaboration with National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) and Democratic Commission for Human Development (DCHD), ASER 2013 was launched in the city on Monday.

Punjab Minister for Population Zakia Shahnawaz, Secretary School Education Abdul Jabbar Shaheen, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Pro-chancellor Syed Babar Ali, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Secretary General IA Rahman, Oxford University Press (OUP) Managing Director Ameena Saiyed, Director Programs Baila Raza Jamil and representatives of civil society and government officials were present on the occasion. The survey was conducted by 10,000 volunteers across Pakistan.

The ASER survey findings for Punjab is based on the testing of 59,092 children (including 44 percent girls) by thousands of volunteer citizens, who personally visited 21,365 households in 1,074 villages as well as 3,542 children (including 47 percent girls) 1,339 households in 67 blocks in urban areas of four districts across Punjab.

For the year 2013, the ASER rural survey has been conducted in 36 rural districts in Punjab, wherein 5-16 year age cohort children were tested for English, Language (Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto), and Arithmetic competencies.

According to the report, student competencies in learning English, Arithmetic, and Language are deplorable. Half of the children from Class V cannot read Class II level text in Urdu/Sindhi/ Pushto. In English, only 62% of the surveyed Class V students could read sentences which should ideally be read by students from the second grade. A similar trend has been observed in the Arithmetic capabilities of children where only 56% of Class V children were able to do a two-digit division, something that is expected in second grade curriculum.

The ASER survey also identified that, in Punjab, children enrolled in private schools are performing better compared to those studying in government schools; 71% children enrolled in Class-V in private schools were able to read a story in Urdu compared to 63% Class V students studying at government schools. The difference in learning levels is starker for English, where 70% Grade V could read English Class II level sentences compared to 58% public sector students.

Further, the survey explains that gender parity in learning levels is growing. As many as 55 percent of boys were found able to read at least sentences in Urdu with almost the same percentage of girls (54%) equally competent in Urdu.

In addition to the assessment of children, the report also highlights school functioning across every district in Punjab. The ASER Punjab rural survey informs that overall teachers' attendance in government schools stood at 88.5% as compared to 92% in private schools on the day of the survey. Private teachers were reported to have better qualifications at graduate levels; for example, 64% teachers in private schools are graduates in comparison to only 42% in government schools.

The trends in multi-grade teaching across schools are also mixed. ASER 2013 findings have found 34% of government and 35% of private schools imparting multi-grade teaching at Class II level. On the contrary, at the Class VIII level, multi-grade teaching is more prevalent in the private sector 43 vs 13 % in government schools.

Despite the fact that only 15% private primary schools receive funds from the government (as compared to 100% public primary schools), the private sector has been reported to be better at school facilities. For example, 95% private primary schools had boundary walls as compared to 81% government primary schools. Similarly, with regard to availability of functional toilets, it has been found that the facility was still not available in 14% public and 8% private primary schools in rural Pakistan. Daily tmes

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Class-V English question paper changed
Lahore: The Punjab Examination Commission on Monday conducted Class-V English paper by changing a question paper out of six versions in the province in the wake of rumours that a question paper had leaked out.

The PEC distributed six versions of question-paper in different regions of Punjab and it responded to rumours that an English paper was leaked out in one region, comprising Lahore, Layyah, Bahawalpur, Rawalpindi and Pakpattan.

When contacted, PEC Chief Executive Officer Nasir Iqbal Malik said there was only a rumour that English question paper had leaked out but it was not confirmed. Still, he said, the PEC decided to change the question-paper to avoid any criticism and to ensure credibility of the examination.

He said the PEC had ensured strict monitoring this year and there were very few cheating incidents reported from across the province.

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PU affiliate in Jeddah under a spotlight
Lahore: Al-Sharq College in Jeddah, an institution affiliated with the Punjab University, has recently drawn the flak over alleged anomalies.

Of late, the Consulate General of Pakistan, Jeddah, has questioned founding of the college without the knowledge of the Mission.

Consul General of Pakistan in Jeddah Aftab Ahmad Khokhar has written a letter to PU Vice-Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran, stating that the Mission had no information about the founding of Al-Sharq College in collaboration with the PU.

He has sought details and agreements signed with the local entities or individuals for operation of the PU in Jeddah.

The Consul General has asked the VC to take up the matter on an urgent basis because "it impinges on the interests of Pakistani community as well as bears on the credibility, prestige and repute of the university."

He has stated that the Pakistani community in Jeddah has complained that Al-Sharq College is operating as campus of the Punjab University and charging high fees from students without offering satisfactory services.

The parents of students have also complained about the validity of examination, alleging that the examination supervisors demand bribe for getting through the tests, reads the letter.

Meanwhile, the PU vice chancellor has constituted an inquiry committee headed by Controller of Examinations Prof Dr Liaquat Ali to visit Al-Sharq College, meet students and their parents and decide whether the examination should be kept valid or cancelled.

The parents have lodged a written complaint (through an email) with the Consulate General of Pakistan, Jeddah, stating that the college is charging exorbitant fees ranging from SAR (Saudi Riyal) 2,000 to 12,000 for their services as well as $350 and $1,400 for university.

They have stated that they had paid the dues but got upset because the college did not appoint a principal and teachers.

Similarly, no woman teacher was appointed for girl students. They say only few classes are held at the college.

Parents' representative Mohammad Zubair, who sent an email to the Consul General, stated that the conduct of examinations also turned out to be a drama as no examiner on behalf of the Punjab University was available. Stating that only local examiners were present at the examinations, the complainant alleged, "the examiners and college staff was demanding SAR 4,000 to 5,000, if anybody wanted to pass the examination, which is totally unacceptable for parents."

The parents also alleged that some staff members of the Jeddah Consulate also seemed involved as they responded coldly.

The parents demanded that the higher authorities concerned should take notice and cancel the examination and direct holding of proper classes afresh and proper examination.

Another parent, Kamran Shahid sent an email to the PU vice chancellor as well as the Higher Education Commission, stating that the Pakistani community was very happy when the PU opened its campus in Jeddah and people got their children admitted to the college.

But, he said, there was no study and two local persons were sitting and dealing with people focusing more on payment of dues.

"The college has destroyed the PU reputation because they charge money for help in examination," the parent said.

Former PU Affiliation Committee chairman Prof Dr Shaukat Ali said Al-Sharq College was neither PU sub-campus nor was the university collaborating with it.

He said the college was granted affiliation, which was approved by the Jeddah's Ministry of Education. The ministry had also granted registration to the college.

Prof Ali, who retired from the university service on Feb 2 and re-appointed as professor on a contract on Feb 3, said the PU was not supposed to inform the Consul General about its affiliated college. He said the Jeddah Consulate engaged supervisors and conducted PU examinations.

He said the PU sent question-papers and received answer-sheets through the consulate. "Holding of examinations is consulate's responsibility," he added.

He said the VC had constituted a committee headed by Prof Dr Liaquat Ali to go to Saudi Arabia. Asked whether he was a member of the committee, he said, "I may be on the committee."

Prof Ali said the university had severally tried to send emails to complainant Muhammad Zubair but failed. He also said an Indian lobby was active when the PU had granted affiliation to the college. Dawn

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PhD awarded
Lahore: Punjab University has awarded a PhD degree to Muzammal Iftikhar, S/o Iftikhar Ahmad, in the subject of Mathematics after the approval of his thesis entitled 'Series Solutions of 7th Order Boundary Value Problems.' He is a lecturer of Mathematics in University of Education, Renala Khurd Campus.

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Four awarded PhDs
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) has awarded PhD degrees to four scholars in different subjects.

According to a press release, Areesha Nazeer d/o Nazeer Ahmed has been awarded a PhD degree in the subject of Chemistry after the approval of her thesis titled "Synthesis of Novel Derivatives of Heterocyclic Compounds Containing Fused Pyridine Ring", Abdul Jawad s/o Mohsaneen Ahmed in the subject of Mathematics after the approval of his thesis titled "Evolution of the Universe and Dark Energy Mystery", Safeer Sadaf d/o Muhammad Shafi Bajwa in the subject of Urdu after the approval of her thesis titled "Urdu Shairi Main Talmihati Nizam (Qayam E Pakistan Kay Baad)" and Wajiha Javed d/o Javed Babar in the subject of Mathematics after the approval of her thesis titled "Hawking Radiation from Some Particular Black Holes". The news

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European scientists laud GCU research facilities
Lahore: A delegation of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN, on Wednesday visited the Government College University and inspected its research facilities.

The delegation, comprising Research and Scientific Computing Director Dr Sergio Bertolucci, Head of International Relations Dr Rudiger Voss, Claude Crottaz and Margret Susan Foffano, also met with Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleequr Rahman and explored areas of future collaboration.

According to a press release, the European scientists appreciated the research facilities at GCU's Chemistry Department and Centre for Advanced Studies in Physics (CASP).

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Bertolucci showed interest in collaboration with GCU and other universities of Pakistan. He said Pakistan had recently applied for the associate membership of CERN to increase collaboration.

This was they were visiting the country's universities, scientific organisations and industrial complexes to understand the education system and organisation of physical science in the country. Dawn

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CIMA to collaborate with LCWU
Lahore: The Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) UK will facilitate students and faculty of the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) to access research and publication by CIMA and benefit from online seminars and lectures. According to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Monday, students of LCWU will gain maximum exemptions from CIMA examinations. CIMA Regional Director Bradely Emerson, LCWU Vice Chancellor Dr Sabiha Mansoor, British Council Head of examinations Arzu Daniel, CIMA Sri Lanka Country Head Radely Stephen, CIMA Pakistan Country Manager Javaria Hassan, other CIMA officials, faculty members and students of the LCWU were present on the occasion. While addressing the gathering Bradely Emerson stated that students need professional qualifications in this competitive global market and CIMA qualifications will help them to shape their minds instead of just filling them and allowing them to become adaptable to change themselves. Bradley also announced that CIMA would be offering six scholarships to faculty members of LCWU management science department plus fee waivers for all students who have gained exemptions during course of their studies at LCWU. Dr Sabiha Mansoor expressed her delight with this relationship with CIMA and was optimistic that the MoU would help more women enter the field of accountancy and business, thereby adding to the empowered female workforce of Pakistan. Daily times

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