'Primary school survival rate 70% in Pakistan'
Islamabad, Sep 11: Paris UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova has said the primary school survival rate is 70 percent in Pakistan, while a gender gap still exists.
She said the survival rate for girls in primary schools was 68 percent compared to 71 percent for boys.
She made these points in her message on the International Literacy Day.
She said Punjab, primary school survival rate today was better with 76 percent, but not without a gender gap of 8 percent with the girls' survival rate at 72 percent compared to 80 percent for boys.
She pointed out the better average per student spending in primary level (ages 5 to 9) in Punjab, which was Rs 6,998 compared to the national average.
She said in Balochistan, although almost the same amount of money, Rs 6,985, was being spent, but the primary school survival rate was only 53 percent. The girls' survival rate was slightly better with 54 percent than that of boys, which was 52 percent, she added.
She said in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the primary school survival rate was 67 percent, which was lower than the national average of 70 percent. She added that the gender gap also existed with girls' survival rate at 65 percent compared to 68 percent for boys.
She mentioned that per student education expenditure in primary level (ages 5 to 9) in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was Rs 8,638.
Islamabad UNESCO Director Dr Kozue Kay Nagata drew on the point made by Irina Bokova and highlighted its relevance in Pakistan's context.
Referring to a recent national survey carried out by the Education Ministry, Trainings and Standards in Higher Education, Dr Nagata pointed out that in Sindh, the primary school survival rate was 63 percent. She said the girls' survival rate was 67 percent compared to 60 percent for boys. Per student education expenditure in primary level (ages 5 to 9) in Sindh was Rs 5,019.
"Literacy is much more than an educational priority – it is the ultimate investment in the future and the first step towards all the new forms of literacy required in the 21st century. We wish to see a century where every child is able to read and to use this skill to gain autonomy."
Like every year, the UNESCO supported the relevant federal and provincial governments and NGOs working for the promotion of literacy, to organise meaningful events in their respective constituencies to mark this year's International Literacy Day.
A total of 21 events (two seminars in Karachi, three in Lahore, two in Quetta, two in Peshawar, one literacy walk each in Islamabad and Peshawar, one seminar each in Sialkot, Muzaffergarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Multan and Hafizabad and one seminar each in five districts of Balochistan, Pishin, Ziarat, Nushki and Qilla Saifullah, were being organised by relevant stakeholders with the UNESCO's support.
These events include advocacy campaigns on LED digital screens (electronic hording boards) in Islamabad, literacy walks, seminars, speeches and art competitions, and seminars of teachers' associations.
About nine events were being organised in the rural communities to mobilise the communities to send their children to schools.
Dr Nagata underscored: "Illiteracy in Pakistan has fallen over the last two decades, thanks to the government and people of Pakistan for their efforts in working towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Today, 70 percent of Pakistani youth can read and write. In 20 years, illiteracy has been reduced significantly."
However, she also emphasised the need to do more to improve the literacy rate in the country and said: "The proportion of population in Pakistan lacking basic reading and writing skills is too high. This is a serious obstacle in the development of the society".
Five names proposed for RBISE chairman
Rawalpindi: Punjab Higher Education Secretary Sohail Shahzad on Monday forwarded a list containing five names for the appointment as chairman of the Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE). A RBISE official said the Punjab chief minister is empowered to recommend a nominee, out of the five names submitted by the secretary, for appointment as the chairman. The names of Zareef Bhatti, Ghazanfar Bhatti and Humayun Iqbal are on the list forwarded for the appointment against the post, which fell vacant after the retirement of Dr Ashraf as chairman on September 5, 2013.
Sept 10 last date to submit FJWU admission forms
Rawalpindi: September 10 is the last date for the submission of admission forms for the bachelors and masters programmes in the Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU). The university has announced the admission for regular and self-support for the bachelors and masters programmes for the 2013 session. Prospectuses for all programmes are available at the First Women Bank Limited and the Bank of Punjab. A national aptitude test (NAT) with the minimum score of 40 is mandatory for the admission. The students can visit the university's website: www.fjwu.edu.pk to get further information. app
Student lands 2nd spot from 4th after paper rechecked
Karachi: A girl who gave her class X exams through the Aga Khan University Examination Board was promoted to the second position from fourth after her papers were rechecked.
Nadeem Roshan, father of Mehdia Nadeem, said: "After my daughter insisted on having her papers rechecked, we applied for a scrutiny. When we did, her percentege increased to 93 percent and her position went up. The news
UVAS anti-venom project fails
Lahore: The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) has failed to complete a unique snake anti-venom vaccine production project to treat victims of snake-bite in the country due to the paucity of funds, sources said.
The pilot study of the project was launched some three years back in which the UVAS was assigned to prepare the anti-venom vaccine but after the successful preparation of the vaccine, the university could not make progress regarding its further commercialisation.
Head of the project, Dr Ziaullah Mughal, admitting shortcomings and shortage of funds, told APP on Sunday that every year around 40,000 incidents of snake-bite occurred in which over 30,000 people died in Pakistan. Only six to 10 per cent of the anti-venom vaccine was prepared by the National Institute of Health (NIH) against the required 150,000 vaccines per annum and that too was not easily available in market, he added.
He said 90 per cent of snake-bite deaths could have been prevented if the vaccine was produced at local level. During every year's flood, anti-venom vaccine is imported from India.
Dr Ziaullah said the locally prepared anti-venom dose would be effective for four kinds of snake and be available at just Rs400 while the Indian vaccine was available at Rs1,900 and it was effective for only one kind of snake. The snake-bite victim needs four doses for complete treatment, he added.
Sources say Rs400 million is needed to complete the project in three to four months and the vaccine export could earn a handsome amount. app