No new school, college, university in Sindh | Iqra University convocation

No school, college established in Sindh in FY2013/14
Karachi, Feb 01: Despite heavy amounts allocated in the Sindh Budget 2013-14 for education, the provincial education department has failed to build even a single school, college and/or university across the province; it emerged on Tuesday.

While half the fiscal year has passed, a budget of Rs 2.05 billion was allocated for the construction of 106 schools, whereas Rs 0.563 billion are due for the construction of 56 colleges in Sindh.

This year's budget for education was the highest in comparison to other sectors, yet its utilisation still seems to be a distant dream.

Increased government spending on education in Pakistan was a longstanding demand of the citizens, civil society and academics. This lead to a rise in share of education in Pakistan, both at the provincial and federal levels, but to no avail.

The present government has been in power since 2008, yet no substantial efforts have been made to increase the educational infrastructure in the country. The Sindh Education Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, who took charge of the aforementioned ministry in 2013 earlier directed the education department to provide all basic necessities, particularly in primary schools before summer vacations; but all instructions went in vein. All schools still lack even the basic necessities, ie, water-coolers, ceiling fans, doors and tables, etc.

The Sindh Education Department, rather than reforming the education sector, tends to spend the allocated amount just to maintain the 'status quo'. About half of the allotted amount is utilised in providing salaries to teachers and other recurring expenses. Yet, the authorities concerned do not seem to be serious about establishing 'new and capable institutions' for education. While a huge amount of the education budget each year is wasted in maintenance of 'ghost schools' set up in almost all the areas of Sindh, the sum left serves the pockets of government officials.

In this financial year an amount of Rs 1.25 billion was allocated for the construction of 23 new English medium schools; Rs 500 million for the betterment of education systems, construction of 23 new comprehensive schools, engineering colleges in Khairpur and Larkana, law colleges in Haala, Dadu and Lyari and girls cadet college at Larkana, Naudero and Dadu are the projects present paper but practical work is yet to be initiated.

As a matter of fact, merely increasing the allocated budget amount is not a viable solution. The government, which was criticised a lot in its last tenure, must take up this issue more critically and bring reforms in terms of providing a proper infrastructure and make drastic changes to improve teaching standards.

It said that the budget is essentially made up of two types of expenditure: current and development. While the former is for recurring expenses, ie teacher salary, the latter is responsible for new expenses such as buildings, repairing and/or purchase of heavy equipment for the laboratories.

The upkeep and maintenance of new facilities and equipment is paid for in subsequent years through the recurring budget. Of the total combined budgeted allocation for education, 82 percent is earmarked for current expenditure mainly salaries and 18 percent for development expenditure.

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ICAP launches new education scheme
Karachi: Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) launched its new education scheme and chartered accountants study packs at ICAP House, said a statement issued on Saturday. Naeem Akhtar Sheikh, President ICAP said it was another milestone, revamping the study scheme of CA aligned with modern developments. The new structure will further equip the students to undertake contemporary and forth coming challenges of business, finance and economy. The new system has four tiers and each stage has stand-alone recognition and specific study packs have been developed along with learning outcomes and test bank. During the session, information was provided to the representative of Registered Accounting Education Tutors (RAETS). Other details covered in the session included new curriculum, examinations, exemptions and transition of existing students into the new stream. ICAP Council Members, representatives of RAETs, training firms and media personnel, attended the ceremony.

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Iqra University holds 12th convocation
Karachi: Iqra University in its 12th convocation conferred degrees to its graduates on Sunday.

Distinguished guests including Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of Pakistan, Hunaid Lakhani, Chancellor IU, parents, students and faculty attended the convocation.

Degrees were conferred to the students passing out of various bachelors and masters programmes, ie, Business Administration, Electronics Engineering, Telecommunication Engineering, Computer Sciences Fashion, Textile Designing and Media Sciences, among others.

Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan congratulated the graduates and their proud parents. He expressed his gratitude on having been invited to the IU. He praised the esteemed faculty for their endless dedication towards education.

His words were in itself the torch of guidance when he emphasised on consistency and untiring efforts. In his clear, coherent, and reasoned discourse, he emphasised on the importance of consistent and life long learning under the guidance of the Holy Scripture.

Hunaid Hussain Lakhani, chancellor of the university thanked Dr Khan for being a part of the convocation. He congratulated the graduates and stressed upon the importance of education by giving thought provoking statistics.

Dr Isani, the Vice Chancellor apprised the distinguished guests about the research ranking and PhD faculty that IU proudly possesses. He not only soothed the graduates and their parents by describing brief details of largest ever reported Job Fair 2013 but also assured corporate sector that the university was cognisant of their requirements. He also shed light on university's achievements in sports. Daily times

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Medical students seek PMDC recognition
Sukkur: Students of the Ghulam Mohammad Mahar Medical College staged protest demonstration and burnt tyres outside the local press club against denial of recognition by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

Speaking to the media, Dr Avinash Punshi said that their college was registered with PMDC in 2009 but the students who got admission in 2008-09 to its affiliated Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, were not being recognised by PMDC, which was denying them its registration certificate.

The protesting students said they were supposed to be registered with the PMDC within three months after getting admission but their college did not follow the rule despite repeated direction from the council.

They said the college administration kept insisting that they had not been receiving any such direction although the PMDC had issued a notice to it in this regard and asked it to pay a fine of Rs200,000 per graduating student for the lapse. They said the PMDC-college dispute was ruining their career.

They urged the authorities concerned to look into their grievance. Dawn

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