World Teachers' Day or Black day

World Teachers' Day to be marked as 'Black Day'
Islamabad, Oct 05: World Teachers Day' is being held today (October 5) to celebrate and appreciate the services of educators, but this year the teachers of the capital will observe it as 'Black Day' if the government does not upgrade their scales and provide them with other facilities.

This was decided in a joint meeting of the Central Academic Staff Association (CASA), the Federal Government College Teachers' Association (FGCTA) and the Headmasters Association of FG Schools (HAFGS).

The teachers' community said they would hold a protest rally today (Saturday) and would observe it as a 'Black Day', if the government does not provide them with benefits under the timescale formula (TSF).

HAFGS President Tariq Khattak said the CASA and the FGCTA had been trying to get these issues resolved through proper channels but the officials concerned were not ready to listen to the demands of the teaching staff of the capital territory.

Sources said that in view of this situation, the teacher organisations of the capital arranged a meeting at the Islamabad College for Boys in which office-bearers of the CASA, FGCTA and the HAFGS took part and decided to mark the World Teachers' Day as a Black Day due to the apathy being shown by the relevant authorities.

Sources said the participants were of the view that due to the 'incompetence' of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), the teachers were facing multiple problems and the non-issuance of house rent for the past three years had added to their woes.

The teachers said that if their demands were not met they would boycott classes as the second phase of their protest.

According to details, teachers had been struggling and raising voice for up-gradation of their scale since they were assured by former prime minister Shaukat Aziz on the World Teachers' Day on October 5, 2006. Then former PM Yousaf Raza Gilani reiterated his pledge on November 8, 2010 in Islamabad.

However, teachers working under grade 16 and above never got the up-gradation as per the directives of the PM. The teachers believe that they have been given false hope to keep them quiet whenever they demand scale up-gradation. They said that now they would not sit quietly.

A leader of the FGCTA, on the condition of anonymity said that there was no proper system for up-gradation as it was done on the basis of seniority. He said that one could only get promotion if his or her senior dies, retires or had influence.

On the other hand UNESCO and other governmental and non-governmental organisations announced to mark the day with the aim to support teachers for their continuous development, professional competencies and lifelong learning, bringing social, economic and intellectual development to the nation.

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IIUI to arrange walk on World Teachers Day
Islamabad: The Department of Education (girls) of the International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) will arrange walk in connection with the 'World Teachers Day' today at 10am. The walk will start from the Central Library to the girls campus of the university, said a press release issued on Thursday. The purpose of the walk is to appreciate and admire the services of the teachers for the progress of the society. A seminar will also be held after the walk. app

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HEC's top slot vacant for over a month
Lahore: The Higher Education Commission's top slot has been lying vacant for over a month since chairman Prof Dr Javaid Leghari's tenure completion on Aug 26.

It is learnt the federal education ministry had moved a summary on July 30 to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to allow Dr Leghari to continue for the second term owing to his last year's performance.

In order to persuade Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is controlling authority of the HEC, to take a prompt decision to fill the vacant post, a number of parliamentarians from treasury benches have sent a signed letter.

MNA Ali Hasan Gilani said the letter had been sent in a bid to request the prime minister to allow Dr Leghari to continue as commission chairman in the larger interest of the country.

He said the letter signed by various MNAs read as: "We, the parliamentarians belonging to various parts of the country, strongly recommend the continuation of Dr Javaid Laghari as HEC chairman in the larger interest of the country."

Mr Gilani said the HEC Ordinance 2002 allowed extension in the tenure of the chairman for one more similar term. Dawn

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Decision on next HEC chairperson likely this week
Islamabad: With the return of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, decision on next Chairperson of Higher Education Commission (HEC) is expected within this week.

The position is vacant for more than one month, which, according to sources, is affecting day-to-day policy affairs and other important matters. The Supreme Court has also taken the notice of the seriousness of the situation and asked the government to do the needful in this regard.

The insiders shared strong chances of Dr Javaid Laghari's reappointment on the post. With his extensive experience and requirement to ensure continuity, they said he has got a strong background for extension.

Other than Laghari, names of some powerful political figures and bureaucrats are circulating in the academic circles. Two strong names are Vice Chancellor Punjab University Mujahid Kamran and member Prime Minister's Commission for CEO's Appointments Shams Lakha.

According to the sources, Minister of State for Ministry of Education, Trainings and Standards in Higher Baligh-ur-Rehman, has been moved a summery to PM Secretariat which has supported extension of the contract of Dr Laghari due to his contribution and belonging to smaller province.

The last tenure was also headed by Dr Javaid Laghari who was appointed as Chairperson in August 2009 for his first term of four years. His contract as Chairperson expired in August 25, 2013. Since then, intensive lobbying in the corridors of power is on for the nomination of the next chairperson for Higher Education Commission (HEC).

In a recent move, a number of Parliamentarians from treasury benches wrote a letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, controlling authority of Higher Education Commission (HEC), requesting him for the continuation of Dr. Javaid Laghari as Chairman HEC in the larger interest of the country.

The letter, acquired by 'The News', strongly recommends the continuation of Dr. Javaid Laghari as Chairman HEC. "His continuation is in line of manifesto of PML-N which clearly states appointment of capable and good reputed persons. Dr Javaid Laghari, in spite of a lot of difficulties during previous regime, performed exceptionally well and contributed a lot for brining Pakistani higher education sector at par with international standards. His contribution has been widely recognised at national and international level. His continuation will also give good message to the people of smaller provinces," mentions the letter.

Member National Assembly Makhdoom Syed Ali Hassan Gillani confirmed the decision of the appointment of Chairman HEC is expected this week. He is part of the group that wrote letter to the Prime Minister. "As per my knowledge, the decision got delayed because the Prime Minister was busy. Now he is back and we expect final decision within this week," he said adding that the group of Parliamentarians will also meet Prime Minister to convey the message.

More than two dozen Parliamentarians have already met the Prime Minister regarding continuation of services of Dr. Javaid Laghari. Gillani said under Dr Laghari's tenure, successes achieved by HEC are unprecedented.

HEC Ordinance 2002 allows extension in the tenure of the chairperson for one more similar term. Precedence for similar extensions were given for the previous Chairperson Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman (one similar term), and all other members of the Commission. Extension in the tenure of the chairperson, allowed by the HEC Ordinance, are at the discretion of the Controlling authority of the Commission, who is the Prime Minister.

HEC today is one of the few role model institutions in Pakistan that has successfully delivered. It has raised the level of Pakistan universities to be ranked globally. This happened despite every effort to curtail HEC's autonomy and reduce its funding. HEC is today recognized as a success story among various global higher education communities.

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Degrees, medals conferred upon NUML graduates
Islamabad: The Annual Convocation 2013 of the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) was held at the Jinnah Convention Centre, says a press release.

A large number of dignitaries, jubilant students, their proud parents and the faculty of NUML attended the ceremony. Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif, Inspector General Training and Evaluation (senior member of Board of Governors NUML), was the chief guest. The convocation was also attended by Members Board of Governors, Rector NUML Major General (r) Masood Hasan, Director General Brigadier Azam Jamal and academia from other universities and institutions.

The bachelors and masters students who graduated during June 2011 to January 2013 and scholars who completed their research work and qualified for award of PhD, MPhil and MS degrees from 2002 to January 2013 were conferred upon the degrees in different disciplines. Over 650 students were awarded the degrees including 69 PhDs, 17 MPhils 564 Masters and Bachelors and 39 of the male and female students won the coveted Gold Medals.

The chief guest, Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif, applauded the role of Higher Education Commission (HEC) in promoting the research culture in Pakistan and expressed satisfaction on the fact that today Pakistani universities have made their place in the folds of top 250 universities in Asia and among top 500 universities of the world. "Research culture is taking roots in our leading institutions. Just at NUML, 15 research papers have been produced and published in international journals during last year alone," he added.

While addressing the students, he said, "The university has equipped you with necessary knowledge to move forward in your life. Whatever profession you join, remember that Pakistan has enabled you to be what you are and what you will be in the long run. You have to return some of it to the nation by way of your hard work and service to the nation".

Earlier, NUML Rector Major General (r) Masood Hasan welcomed the chief guest, students and their parents on the auspicious occasion of the convocation.

The audience gave tremendous applause to visually impaired student, Muhammad Ikhlas Tariq, who won Gold Medal in MSc (IR). The news

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