US Agency for International Development (USAID) awards scholarship to 26 International Islamic University (IIU) students

US Agency for International Development (USAID) awards scholarship to 26 International Islamic University (IIU)  students

Islamabad: The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded scholarships to 26 students enrolled in undergraduate degree programmes at the International Islamic University (IIU) as part of the $165 million Pakistan Reading Project.The scholarships would pay for tuition and supplies, as well as provide a stipend to the recipients.

The US government would provide more than 4,500 scholarships to the aspiring teachers. While addressing the students, USAID Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb said, “No matter how many schools or libraries we build or facilities we provide, none of it would matter until we invest in improving the quality of teachers. Keeping this in mind, I am pleased to note that the USAID-funded Pakistan Reading Project is working to do just that. The project is another significant initiative of the US government, in collaboration with the government of Pakistan to improve the standard of basic education.”This is the first group of the IIU students to receive scholarships from the Pakistan Reading Project that would improve the reading skills of at least 2.5 million children to ensure that they are reading at or above grade level by 2019.

The project works closely with 28 Pakistani universities, and 116 elementary teacher training colleges, like IIU to improve the quality of teaching skills and curriculum. The US partnership with the government of Pakistan supports the rehabilitation and construction of over 1,350 schools in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).The US is also establishing centres for advanced education studies at four Pakistani universities, and expanding English skills for more than 5,000 low-income students. The US has awarded more than 4,800 scholarships to the students to pursue higher education through the Pakistan-USAID Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Programme.

AIOU to start LLM programme

AIOU to start LLM programme

Islamabad: The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has decided to introduce Master of Law (LLM) programme from next semester, mainly to facilitate practicing lawyers who intend to improve their academic qualification.

Initially, the facility will be extended for undertaking master’s degree programme in Commercial Law and Islamic Studies. Designing and the course content work for the LLM has almost been completed, said AIOU Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Ali Asghar Chishti in an exclusive interview.

He said the legal community, including members of bar councils, will be involved in running the programme in an efficient manner. He said academic workshops will be arranged on weekly holidays (Saturdays and Sundays) to facilitate working lawyers. The university, he added, intend to introduce LLB at a later stage, after getting the consent of bar councils.

Dr. Chishti, who had done his LLB in 1980 from S.M. Law College, Karachi, hoped that the legal fraternity will take benefit of the AIOU programmes which also meet the HEC criteria.

The university is also working on a comprehensive plan to further strengthen its academic programmes, overcoming its shortcomings in teaching system. “We are considering a proposal to convert tutorial meetings into workshops for enhancing students-teachers face-to-face interaction. Workshops will be arranged on weekly holidays to facilitate on-job students.

The AIOU, he said, has also decided to decentralise its examination system to facilitate students. The evaluation of examination papers will be done at its regional offices.

AIOU to conduct PGD/MA and MSc exams from 19th May

AIOU to conduct PGD/MA and MSc exams from 19th May

Islamabad: The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) would conduct its final exams of post-graduate diploma (PHD), MA, and MSc programmes for the Autumn semester, 2013 from May 19. This was announced by AIOU Controller of Exams Hamid Khan Niazi. The roll number slips, he said, are being dispatched to all the eligible/enrolled students at their given addresses by postal mail service.

Those students who do not receive their roll number slips till May 10 are advised to contact the nearest regional office of the university or the AIOU exams section in its main campus at Sector H8 for the issuance of duplicate slips. For duplicate roll number slips, the students are required to bring two passport size photographs duly attested by the gazetted officer. The roll number slips, along with the date sheet have been placed on the AIOU website www.aiou.edu.pk for the convenience of the students.The exams starting from May 19 include PGD(CS/HRM), MBA/M.Com, MBA/MPA(COL), PGD (Youth Development), Diploma/MA (TEFL), MA(Arabic), MA (Islamiat), MLIS, MA(Urdu), MA(History), MA/MEd (Education), MA(EPM), MSc (Economics), MSc (Pak Studies), PGD/MSc (Gender and Women Studies), MSc (Sociology), PGD/M.Sc (Mass Communication), PGD/MSc (Environmental Design), MSc (Physics), MSc (Chemistry), MSc (Math), MSc (Stat), and MSc (Agricultural Sciences).

Three foreign varsities to set up campuses

Three foreign varsities to set up campuses

Lahore: Three memorandums of understanding were signed between the Punjab government and international universities at a local hotel here Thursday.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was the chief guest. Higher Education Secretary Abdullah Sunbal and representatives of international universities signed the documents. Under the agreements International Scottish Qualification Authority UK, COMSATS/University of Lancaster and Noor International University will set up their campuses in the Knowledge Park to be established in Lahore. The institutions will extend cooperation for the promotion of research in Punjab. Similarly, they will also share their experiences and skills for promoting higher education in Punjab as well as award scholarships to students.

Addressing the function, the chief minister welcomed the signing of the agreements and said that all possible measures would be taken to give a practical shape to the agreements as early as possible. He said that education was essential for achieving the goal of national development and prosperity as well as overcoming extremism, poverty, unemployment and other problems. Keeping in view the importance of the education, he said, the Punjab government has attached top priority to the development of education in the province. He said the Knowledge Park was being set up over a large area in Lahore where prominent universities of the world were setting up their campuses which would promote research.

He said the Knowledge Park was being set up at an extremely prime location of Lahore and it would be a centre of knowledge and research. He said the Knowledge Park was based on the vision to take Pakistan forward and scholars and researchers to be produced in the park would bring laurels to the country. Shahbaz Sharif said the Information Technology University would be shifted to the park while a kidney and liver research centre as well as institutes of medical and other important sectors would also be established in the park. He said the promotion of education was the most important method to eradicate extremism, terrorism and militancy. He said that compared to bullets, education was more effective to deal with extremism.

The chief minister said Daanish schools had been set up in South Punjab to counter extremism and educational facilities at a par with prestigious educational institutions of the country were being provided to children of extremely poor families free in the educational institutions. “Smart boards are used in Daanish schools for imparting education to the students. Youths completing their education from Daanish schools will play an important role in the progress and development of the country. Besides establishing Daanish schools, laptops have also been distributed among talented students purely on merit and scholars of seminaries have also been included in the laptop distribution programme so that they could benefit from education and research work being carried out in top universities all over the world,” he added.

He said that Britain had been extending commendable cooperation in education and other sectors. “Vocational training has been imparted to more than 40,000 children under the Skill Development Programme initiated with the collaboration of DFID. The British prime minister, ministers and senior officials have appreciated the efforts of the Punjab government for the improvement of education, skill development and other sectors which is an honor for the Punjab government,” he added.

He said the school reforms programme being implemented with the cooperation of Britain was also yielding highly positive results. The chief minister said the provision of modern education and empowerment of the youth was the mission of the Punjab government. “The youth of the country will be provided with honourable job opportunities and the challenge will be turned into golden opportunities. The agreements signed with the international universities will soon be translated into reality,” he observed.

Replying to a question, the chief minister said targets of development could not be achieved without bringing women into the mainstream of national development. He appealed to daughters of the nation to take an active part in the process of development so that Pakistan could make rapid progress. He said the Punjab government had taken solid measures for the empowerment of women and a programme of the provision of small loans to women had been started. He said, “The Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park is being set up over a vast area near motorway which will help create one million new job opportunities,” he added. In reply to another question, Shahbaz Sharif said that there were vast opportunities of development and investment in agriculture, livestock and dairy farming sectors and their promotion would help strengthen the national economy.

British Council Pakistan Country Director Peter Upton, in his address, commended the efforts being made by the Punjab government for the promotion of education in the province. He said the British prime minister had also lauded the measures taken for the uplift of education in Punjab. He said the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund, Daanish schools and Punjab Education Reforms Roadmap are world level programmes which would leave a positive impact on the education sector. Provincial Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, Parliamentary Secretary on Higher Education, Secretary Higher Education and 80 delegates of 15 countries including India, Sri Lanka, America, Canada and Britain participated in the function.

Sustainable Development Study Centre (SDSC) of the Government College University (GCU) Lahore holds workshop on ‘occupational health, safety’

Sustainable Development Study Centre (SDSC) of the Government College University (GCU) Lahore holds workshop on ‘occupational health, safety’

LAHORE: The Sustainable Development Study Centre (SDSC) of the Government College University (GCU) Lahore on Monday held a one-day workshop on “Occupational Health and Safety” to apprise the students and professionals about health like safety principles and practices. Vice Chancellor GCU Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman chaired the opening ceremony of the one-day workshop at GCU, which was also addressed by renowned occupational health consultants Usama Tariq and Dr. Huma. The experts told the participants about workplace hazards, risk control, transport hazards, work equipment hazards, electrical safety, fire safety and safety techniques.

Punjab to build 40,000 more classrooms in schools: minister

Punjab to build 40,000 more classrooms in schools: minister

LAHORE: The Punjab government has set a target of achieving 100 percent literacy rate by 2016 under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Programme and that 40,000 classrooms will be constructed in public sector schools in order to accommodate millions of additional number of students that will be joining schools in this process. According to a handout, Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan said this while addressing the foundation stone laying ceremony of a new academic block, an information technology laboratory and a staff room at Government Girls High School in the Sodiwal area on Monday. Students, teachers, prominent social workers and PML-N workers attended the ceremony. Welcoming the minister, Senior Headmistress Farah Aamir presented performance report of the school. Rana Mashhood also said that latest machinery would be provided to the late Rana Abdul Rahim Memorial Hospital, Sodiwal, in the next month in order to make the hospital built at a cost of Rs 40 million fully functional.

All of promises made with nurses to be honoured: adviser

All of promises made with nurses to be honoured: adviser

All of promises made with nurses to be honoured: adviser

All of promises made with nurses to be honoured: adviser

LAHORE: Chief Minister’s Adviser on Health Khawaja Salman Rafiq has said that role of nurses in the health care system is commendable and that the Punjab government will honour all of its promises made with nurses. He also said that a summary had already been sent to regularise over 800 nurses working on a contract basis and that 1,500 seats of nurses in BS-17 would be created in the coming budget.

According to a handout, Rafiq expressed these views while addressing a seminar at Alhamra Hall to mark the International Nurses Day on Monday.
Health Secretary Dr Ijaz Munir, Nursing Director General Rukhsana Kamal, Nursing Association Secretary General Tauseef Khanum, Young Nurses Association (YNA) President Rozina Manzoor, YNA General Secretary Shahnaz Kausar and a large number of nurses were also present.
Rafiq said that nurses were performing their duties efficiently in difficult conditions. He said that all of the commitments made with nurses would be fulfilled and that necessary measures were also being taken for ensuring their welfare. He said that work on repair/renovation of nurses’ hostels would start very soon. He also said that a notification has already been issued for non-deduction of allowances during long leave and that its implementation would also be ensured.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Dr Munir said that nurses look after patients 24 hours a day during which they have to face a number of problems. He said that the government was endeavouring to resolve all of problems faced by nurses and also to provide them best incentives.
Dr Munir said that the aim of all these reforms and incentives was to provide best treatment facilities to patients. Advising nurses to pay proper attention to their professional responsibilities, the health secretary reiterated that the government was making all-out efforts to resolve their issues.
Earlier, office-bearers of nurses’ associations highlighted their problems and demanded early resolution of these problems.

37 countries implement WHO’s infant formula code

37 countries implement WHO’s infant formula code

ISLAMABAD: Only 37 of the 199 countries reporting to the World Health Organisation (WHO) have passed the laws reflecting all the recommendations of the International Code of Marketing of breast-milk substitutes.According to the World Health Organisation report, 69 countries (35%) fully prohibit advertising of breast-milk substitutes, 62 (31%) completely prohibit free samples or low-cost supplies for health services, and 64 (32%) completely prohibit gifts of any kind from relevant manufacturers to health workers. Similarly, 83 (42%) require a message about the superiority of breastfeeding on breast-milk substitute labels, while only 45 countries (23%) report having a functioning implementation and monitoring system.Breastfeeding is the best source of nourishment for infants and young children, and one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. People who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be overweight or obese later in life, the report said. They may also be less prone to diabetes and perform better in intelligence tests, but globally, only an estimated 38% of infants are exclusively breastfed for six months. “Nearly all mothers are physically able to breastfeed and would do so if they have accurate information and support,” said WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development breastfeeding expert Carmen Casanovas.But in many cases, women are discouraged from doing so, and are misled to believe that they are giving their children a better start in life by buying commercial substitutes. Mothers are often inundated with incorrect and biased information through advertising, health claims, information packs, and sales representatives, the report stated. It said that the distribution of educational materials on breastfeeding produced by manufacturers of infant formula have a negative impact on exclusive breastfeeding, especially on mothers of first-born children and those with less formal education. The distribution of samples of infant formula also has an adverse impact on breastfeeding.Over concern that breast-milk substitutes were being marketed to mothers too aggressively, the 27th World Health Assembly in 1974 urged the member states to review the sales promotion activities on baby foods, and to introduce appropriate remedial measures, including advertisement codes and legislation where necessary. This led to an agreement on the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, and the adoption of several subsequent resolutions on the matter.“Full implementation of the code is vital for reducing or eliminating all forms of promotion of breast-milk substitutes, including direct and indirect promotion to pregnant women, and mothers of infants and young children,” said Casanovas. WHO supports countries with implementation and monitoring of the code, and the comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant, and young child nutrition which aims to increase the global rate of exclusive breastfeeding for six months to at least 50% by 2025.To support this, WHO has developed courses which are used to train health workers to provide skilled support to breastfeeding mothers including HIV-infected mothers, help them overcome problems, and monitor the growth of children, so they can identify the risk of under-nutrition, overweight, or obesity.

Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Director General Shahnaz Riaz retakes charge

Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Director General Shahnaz Riaz retakes charge

ISLAMABAD: Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Director General Shahnaz Riaz has taken formal charge of her former post after being reinstated by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) today (Tuesday). Her reinstatement by the IHC follows months of cold war between the CAD Ministry and FDE DG, and while talking to the media personnel, when contacted, she announced her reinstatement by the IHC, terming the verdict as a victory for justice and truth. She also disclosed that when she arrived at her office, she was restrained from taking the charge; an ugly situation, which was rectified when she showed the written orders of the IHC regarding her reinstatement.

Smoking law being violated

Smoking law being violated

ISLAMABAD: Anti-smoking law is being violated in public transport as a number of passengers including driver conductor puffing cigarettes in public transport during travel in the Federal Capital.Due to non-implementation of the law, the sale of cigarettes to underage smokers is also going unchecked. Muhammad Shoaib, a resident of G-6/1 sector told APP that the situation during travel was getting worse in the public transport where the smoking ratio was increasing among the travellers.“There was hardly any driver and conductor of the public transport in the city who could truly abide by anti-smoking law” he said.A transport worker Ayyaz said that even at then the local bus terminals, the blatant violations of the anti smoking law could be witnessed. “People smoke freely within the transport and premises of the bus terminals causing health problems for non-smokers,” he added.He said when he brought the matter into the knowledge of the administration head of the transport owner, he refused to take any action. A senior official of the concerned department of the district administration, on contact told that he has already directed the transport owners to keep the transport “smoking free”. According to the official, efforts were being made to implement anti-tobacco law to protect the public health.

82 teachers of Rawalpindi District promoted

82 teachers of Rawalpindi District promoted

RAWALPINDI: The Education Department has accorded promotion to 82 teachers from EST BPS-14 to SST BPS-16 in the Rawalpindi District under the departmental promotion policy. Notification in this regard has been issued. The teachers who have been promoted include 38 male teachers of arts subject, and 5 science teachers. Likewise, 35 female teachers have been promoted in arts subjects, and four female teachers of science subjects have been given promotion. Office bearers of the Punjab Teachers Union have welcomed the promotions.

Parents protest denial of admission to girl students

Parents protest denial of admission to girl students

RAWALPINDI: Parents have strongly protested the denial of admission to their daughters who seek to take up science subjects in the Government Girls High School, Dhama Syeddan. This is the only girls’ high school in this area but no arrangement has been made for conducting classes for the science students therein. The girls who want to take up science subjects are denied admission. The girls are forced to get admission into arts subjects. The parents have demanded the EDO Education to visit the school to ascertain facts otherwise all the girls would quit the school. The school management is of the view that they have no science teacher and competent teachers are appointed to deliver lectures in arts subjects. Therefore, the girls are pursued to take up arts subjects. The social circles and the civil society have demanded the government to immediately appoint science teachers besides initiating action against the school management for not allowing the girls to take admission into science subjects.

Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran inaugurated PCR machine at PU Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAGS)

Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran  inaugurated  PCR machine at PU Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAGS)

Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran  inaugurated  PCR machine at PU Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAGS)

Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran inaugurated PCR machine at PU Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAGS)

LAHORE: Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has inaugurated one generator and real time PCR machine at PU Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAGS) on the occasion of annual dinner.

Agricultural Minister Dr Farrukh Javed, Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation Prof Dr Khalil Ahmed Abu Potto, Sultan Ali Choudhary, Dean Faculty of Life Sciences Prof Dr Muhammad Akhter, Director IAGS Prof Dr Saleem Haider, faculty members and a large number of students were present on the occasion.

On this occasion, Dr Haider briefed on the research and development related activities at the institute. Dr Farrukh Javed lauded the research work at the institute and said that it would be beneficial for both country and the nation.

No discrimination in Law College Selection board proved: Punjab Univeersity Spokesman

No discrimination in Law College Selection board proved: Punjab Univeersity Spokesman

LAHORE: A Punjab University spokesman has said that withdrawal of Intra Court Appeal by a few Assistant Professors of University Law College against PU Selection Board and Honorable Lahore Higher Court’s decision has proved that no discrimination or any irregularity was committed by the administration. The spokesman said that it had proved that the promotion of Dr Shazia Qureshi as Associate Professor was on merit and the petition of the assistant professors were contrary to the facts. The spokesman said that the assistant professors had withdrawn their ICA to avoid further embarrassment. The spokesman said some elements wanted to fan baseless propaganda against administration but now the facts had been brought to all.

Colon, breast cancer on the rise, says Dr Shaharyar – King Edward Medical University

Colon, breast cancer on the rise, says Dr Shaharyar - King Edward Medical University

LAHORE: Prof Dr Shaharyar, former dean of the King Edward Medical University’s oncology department, has said that colon (large intestine) and breast cancers are increasing rapidly in Pakistan.

He was addressing a seminar titled ‘Cancer prevention through healthy lifestyle’ organised by the Cancer Care Hospital and Research Centre at TECH Society Club on Sunday.
Zubair Sheikh, Engineer SD Riaz Cheema, Dr Muhammad Sadiq, Jameel Gishkori and a large number of professionals attended it.
Dr Shaharyar said that it was unfortunate that 70% of cancer patients are diagnosed at the last stage in Pakistan that creates problems in their treating them, as three or four different specialists have to handle such patients simultaneously.
He said that population of Punjab had reached almost 100 million and that 162,000 new cancer patients were diagnosed every year whereas treatment facilities for such a large number of patients were meagre. He urged professors of oncology to launch a movement to battle cancer in Pakistan.
Dr Shaharyar said that cancer treatment was no longer very expensive because of introduction of latest digital technology.
He said that mammography of all women in Lahore was possible by dividing the city into 10 zones and putting mammography machines in place to screen all of the women.
Unfortunately, he said, 60 percent deaths in all breast cancer patients were certain.
Indicating major causes of cancer in Pakistan, Dr Shaharyar said that 20 percent of cancer patients were obese while other causes included smoking, avoiding exercise and consuming unhealthy food, etc.
Highlighting prevention methods, Dr Shaharyar said that 40 to 50 percent people can avoid cancer by getting away from smoking, taking 30 minutes brisk walk five days a week, doing aerobic exercises and using healthy foods like fresh vegetables, fruits and juices.
Sharing details about the biggest cancer care hospital and research centre in Lahore, Dr Shaharyar said that the 400-bed facility had been built on an area of 23 acres of land with estimated cost of 700 millions. Dr Shaharyar said that such cancer hospitals would also be built in Faisalabad, Sialkot and Karachi with the help of philanthropists. There would be no age limit or any kind of restriction for treatment of cancer patients in these hospitals, he added.
At the end, Engineer Aftab Chaudhry announced a Rs 20 million donation for the Cancer Care Hospital and Research Centre while Humayun Saeed announced a Rs 2.5 million donation.