Education budget increased by 6pc
Karachi, June 18: The Sindh government has increased its education budget by 17 percent from the last fiscal year and the total funds available for 2013-14 in this most important of sectors are Rs132 billion compared to Rs111.96 billion in 2012-13.
The sum includes Rs13.48 billion for additional development projects.
There was also some good news for the Sindh Education Foundation, which was allocated Rs2.21 billion in the new budget. It had previously been facing an uncertain future due to the shortage of funds.
The second part of the Sindh Education Reform Programme has also been launched and funds worth $400 million will provided by the United States for four years till 2017. The programme is aimed at improving elementary education in all 23 districts of the province.
An additional 2,000 posts of headmasters and headmistresses were also proposed under the programme, which discussed school management committees, cluster-based schools and public-private partnership.
Also, Rs1.25 billion has been set aside to construct 23 English-medium schools in Sindh.
About Rs500million have been allocated for information and communication technology (ICT) enabled education management. This includes using the internet and telephones to teach students in far flung areas.
The budget also mentions the creation of 23 comprehensive schools in the province from elementary till intermediate. At the same time, engineering colleges will be established in Khairpur and Larkana, while three law colleges will be constructed in Lyari, Hala and Dadu.
The budget also approved a girls' cadet college in Shaheed Benazirabad, Larkana and another Girls' Degree College in Naudero. Three cadet colleges in Dadu, Mithi and Khairpur were also part of the budget.
An additional 2000 posts of headmasters and headmistresses are also proposed in the budget.This time around, a separate section was allocated for technical and vocational education.
The step was taken after the establishment of the Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (STEVTA). Rs785.71 million has been allocated for vocational training.
Educationists viewed the increase in the budget as good news. "Any increase is good news. Of course we want more and more, but given the current state, I think it should be adequate," said Aziz Kabani, operations director of the Sindh Education Foundation. However, he added that the education department, in general, is unable to utilise the allocated budget.
At the same time, Kabani was concerned over receiving the Rs2.21 billion allocated for the SEF. "We have not been given the Rs500 million endowment fund that the board had approved. Also, we asked for Rs200 million as our regular yearly expense; we only received Rs150 million."
Saadiqa Salahuddin, the chairperson of Indus Resource Centres, also gave the six percent increase her nod of approval. "The budget increase should always be gradual; never sudden. One also needs to consider the funds leftover from last year."
However, she lamented the increase in the wages of teachers, which stand at
10 percent for grade 16 and above and 15 percent increase for grades below 16.
"Most of the increment will go in salaries. Nowadays many teachers are drawing as much as Rs100,000, but this has not improved motivation in any way. What about the non-salary expenditure such as the construction of toilets in schools, teachers training and classroom renovations?"
Arrest of accused in varsity rape case ordered
Larkana: Two senior police officials have been asked on Monday to arrest the accused who had allegedly raped an 18-year-old student of the Qauid-e-Awam University of Engineering Science and Technology. The directive was issued by senior provincial minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro after this newspaper had carried a report on the ghastly incident in its edition on Sunday. Khuhro directed the DIG and the SSP of Larkana to arrest the university employee involved in the incident. He also appealed to the family of the victim to lodge an FIR as soon as possible for provision of justice. The news
Publishing fake research paper: New body to probe plagiarism in IIUI
Islamabad: After continuous correspondence between the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the rector of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), it has been decided that another committee would be formed to look into the alleged plagiarism committed by an IIUI faculty member.
Rector of the university, Prof Dr Masoom Yasinzai said two committees had been formed to look into the complaint of plagiarism against Dr Mohammad Sher, but the heads of both committees had refused to conduct an inquiry.
"I have instructed Sahibzada Sajid-ur-Rehman (Vice President IIUI) to form a committee and finalise the inquiry as per HEC guidelines. If the committee cannot finalise the inquiry, the case may be referred to HEC for a decision," he said.
According to documents, the Director General quality assurance HEC, Ms Zia Batool, had sent a letter on December 11, 2012 to the president of IIUI.
She had stated that a representative of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) journal, Daniel J Costello, had informed HEC that Dr Mohammad Sher had committed level one plagiarism in the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board (PSPB) operation manual.
Ms Batool requested the university to take up the case and investigate the matter within 90 days according to the SOP (standard operating procedure).
An official of the university said the inquiry should have been finalised by March 15 but despite numerous HEC reminders, the university management had not initiated it.
Similarly, an official of HEC, requesting anonymity, said the IEEE in September 2012 had lodged a complaint against Dr Mohammad Sher stating that he had published a research paper "Application of Error Control Coding" on October 6, 1998 in their journal.
"IEEE maintained that Mr Sher had plagiarised the research paper and since HEC has been working against this practice, it should take action," he said.
He said IEEE had also sent a soft copy of the research paper to the HEC which was checked for plagiarism through Turnitin, a plagiarism detecting software. It was found that a Level I (severe) plagiarism had been committed and the paper had been prepared from different research papers published in the IEEE journal.
Dr Muhammad Sher, who was awarded best university teacher by HEC in 2008, had also been caught for plagiarism in 2011 and had to publish an apology through the newspapers (documents available with Dawn).
Rector Yasinzai said that he was aware of the past incident of plagiarism but that chapter had been closed. "I will ensure that the inquiry is completed because if our education system is doubted, no one will recognise our degrees," he said. Dawn
Universities ordered to take security measures
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has directed all universities of the country to adopt extra precautionary measures in terms of security and protection of students, faculty and staff in wake of recent blast at a university in Quetta.
Talking to this news agency here on Monday, HEC Chairman Dr Javaid R Laghari said he wrote a letter to the vice chancellors of all the universities to take proper security measures for the protection of students, faculty and staff from any untoward incident. The chairman said that HEC would extend all possible support in this regard. The chairman condemned the recent bomb blast in the Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University, Quetta, causing death of so many innocent female students. He, in a meeting with Vice Chancellor of Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University Sultana Baloch, termed the blast as plot to derail peace and education process in the province. The news