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Punjab University signs MoU:

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:02

Lahore:28 April: Punjab University and Centre for International Relations, Rome, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote bilateral relations, exchange faculty members and launch joint research projects.

The MoU signing ceremony was held at committee room of the vice chancellor’s office here on Thursday.

PU VC Prof Dr Zaffar Mueen Nasir, Registrar Dr Muhammad Khalid Khan, Pakistan Study Centre Director Prof Dr Massarrat Abid, Centre for International Relations, Rome, Chairman Prof Andrea Margelletti, coordinator and analyst Dr Gabriele Iacovino, Asia Desk analyst Ms Francesca Manenti and faculty members were present on the occasion.

Dr Zaffar Mueen Nasir said that the MoU would remove misconceptions about Islam and Pakistan. Prof Andrea Margelletti said that Islam is a peaceful religion and has nothing to do with terrorism.The news.

Academics share thoughts on liberalism

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:44

LAHORE:27 April: Speakers at a seminar on Wednesday highlighted various aspects of liberalism as a social, political and economic concept.

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) in collaboration with the Government College University (GCU) organised the event.

Dr Fauzia Ghani of Political Science Department spoke about liberalism as a socioeconomic and political concept. “The word was coined by John Locke and encouraged individual freedom for productivity and development, but by the 20th century the utilitarian theory changed the concept a little by moving from just the individualistic approach to the communalistic approach,” she said.

“Liberalism enhances the individual’s capability of production with little government intervention. People are free to produce, buy and sell to raise their standards of living. In economic liberalism, economic decisions are made by individuals or households rather than by collective institutions or organisations.”

She said there were certain downsides of the system as well. “The political system of a country greatly affects how liberalism comes into motion. In many instances, human rights which are considered important and liberalism are incompatible,” she said.

Liberalism may lead to inequality and disparities but because individuals are given power, they may be able to make changes. Obviously this requires great responsibility, and freedom is not without restrictions and limitations, she said.

Dr Alwin Murad (GCU’s Philosophy Department) emphasised that liberalism advocated equality, respect and dignity of the person, and encouraged freedom of expression and equal distribution of wealth.

Speaking on ethical values, CSJ chairperson Wajahat Masood, a columnist, said liberalism meant accepting the possibility of being wrong, compassion and empathy, productivity and human freedom.

“It has nothing to do with beliefs or dress codes, contrary to what many think it is. It also has nothing to do with judging others from their appearances and practices. Without modesty and humanity, there are no ideals of liberalism,” he explained.

“A person may be called liberal if he or she has empathy for others, and has love for knowledge, creativity, productivity, and strives for equality of rights and opportunities,” he said.

Mohammad Afzal Khan (Philosophy Department) posed counter intuitive paradoxes or questions when it came to liberalism. He questioned whether liberalism, which recognises minorities, also created issues of majoritarianism.

“There are groups who are not given a voice in liberalism even though some of the larger minority groups are,” he said. “From a social sciences and an arts perspective, though, liberalism is important because it allows freedom of thought and imagination, as well as all other freedoms. But is this happening in academic spaces?” he asked, referring in particular to the lynching of Mashal Khan. He said technology, while providing convenience for humans, was also ultimately turning humans into instruments rather than thinking beings. He said at least in academic spaces such freedoms should be there.

Concluding the event, CSJ Executive Director Peter Jacob said it was important to deal with misunderstandings and misconceptions among the youth in particular regarding liberalism. “Some people call those who believe in modernity ‘liberal fascists’ which is sad,” he said.

“In fact, we are only living with one kind of fascism and that is intolerance. That is why a change of mindset is integral. A liberal person has tolerance and open mindedness to change. But no one theory is suitable for all countries, therefore states have to create and maximise opportunities for weaker groups to make them equal in opportunities and rights,” he said.Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2017.

Baloch, Pakhtun students protest PU action

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:43

LAHORE:27 April: Baloch and Pakhtun student councils of the Punjab University (PU) on Wednesday protested outside the Lahore Press Club against the university administration for suspending and expelling their members.

A large number of students gathered at Istanbul Chowk on The Mall and walked towards the press club to protest against the administration for not taking action against the Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT) activists.

The students chanted slogans against the administration, police and government for registering, what they called, fake cases against them and not ensuring their security on campus. The students were also carrying banners and placards. Activists of Punjabi, Seraiki and Sindhi councils also joined the protest.

Baloch council President Asfandyar claimed that the PU administration had expelled and suspended their 10 members over false allegations. Not only were they tortured by IJT activists, but cases were also registered against them.

“We are facing discrimination on campus and 12 of our activists, quitting their studies, have gone back to their hometowns.”

He alleged IJT activists were carrying out their activities on campus daily, but no one from the administration had tried to stop them.

Asfandyar said they had started a sit-in outside the press club, but called it off after Capital City Police Officer Amin Wains assured them that he would contact the PU administration to accept their demands.

He said they had been boycotting classes for a week and would continue to do so till acceptance of their demands.Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2017.

Punjab University engineering students to study in China

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:42

LAHORE: April 27: The Punjab University’s faculty of engineering and technology has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese company for higher education of its students in China.
A ceremony to the effect was held at PU’s Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology here on Wednesday.
Dean Faculty of Engineering and Technology Prof Dr Taqi Zahid Butt and Ms Yang Yu and Ms Yan Liuyl from China’s Gorges company were present on the occasion.

According to the MoU, the Chinese company would support the PU engineering students to pursue higher studies in China for two years.

UET: A workshop on ‘Outcome based education implementation’ was held at the University of Engineering and Technology here on Wednesday.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Punjab Higher Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gilani said it was time of learning through teamwork to bring all stakeholders on board for new path of development through education. He said the government was fully committed to ensuring quality of education.

He said educational reforms and the related changes could bring about the country on the road to progress.Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2017

Selection of VCs for medical varsities

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:41

LAHORE: April 27: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and certain candidates have criticised the formation of the search committee for three medical varsities’ vice chancellors (VCs), saying that its members do not belong to the medical profession.
The five-member search committee, notified by the Punjab government, has Punjab Health Minister Khwaja Salman Rafique as convener, while its members are Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Secretary Najam Shah, retired Justice Amir Raza Khan, former University of Engineering and Technology VC retired Gen Muhammad Akram and retired civil servant Sibtain Fazal Haleem.

“We demand that the search committee be made on merit since the matter is related to the future of hundreds of postgraduate students,” PMA General Secretary Dr Rana Wajid said. He said such controversial practices had driven the health department from bad to worse.

Dr Wajid said the members had no technical know-how about medical education.

About the members of the committee, he said the secretary and the minister were government’s representatives whereas the three other members also had soft corner for the rulers.

“How will they resist the government in the selection of candidates for the medical universities?” he said.

He suggested that three former VCs or retired senior medical teachers be included in the committee.A majority of medical teachers, retired VCs of public medical institutions and a few candidates for the VC slot also rejected the selection body.

“Are you going to select a VC for a medical university or a political worker for a party?” said a visibly annoyed candidate, requesting anonymity.

The candidate said why an engineer was included in the committee and why not a doctor.

He said the high-powered board of all non-medical professionals had sent a wave of disappointment among most of the candidates. Up to 35 medical teachers, including former VCs and principals of public medical institutions, have applied for for the top slots of varsities.

The candidate said no one would take up issue with the authorities fearing committee’s revenge in the selection.

He alleged the candidates were now exploring the right connections in Chief Minister’s Secretariat to win over the body members.
Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2017.

GCU Expanded role of health, education sectors

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:38

LAHORE:April 27:Speakers at the opening ceremony of three-day international conference on “Health Psychology: Issues and Challenges” at the Government College University (GCU) here on Wednesday laid a stress on expanding the role of health psychologists in education and health sectors to modify human behaviours.

Scholars and faculty members from 35 universities of Pakistan and delegates from Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada are participating in the conference jointly organised by the GCU Psychology Department, Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC), Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) and Punjab AIDS Control Programme. The conference is spread over 15 scientific sessions and six talks by eminent foreign psychologists.

In his presidential address at the opening ceremony, Punjab Minister for Higher Education Raza Ali Gillani said health psychology was a broad field that covered multiple issues related to social, emotional and physical well-being. He hoped this gathering of scholars and professionals would make recommendations to the government for meeting the challenges to their education and health care systems. He also said it was psychologists' duty to reform society.

Dr Syeda Shahida Batool, chairperson of GCU Psychology Department, said “Despite the realisation for overall unhealthy lifestyle, increasing ratio of chronic illnesses and escalating health care costs, the government is yet to focus on health psychology which helped modify human behaviour.

Dr Batool highlighted that there was no scope of health psychology in Pakistan while standards of training of health psychologists were undefined. She said the role of health psychologists in the hospitals was not well-defined and sometimes it was confused with that of clinical psychologists.

GCU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said the university had received more than 300 quantitative and qualitative research papers for the conference on coping with stress, heart diseases, hypertension, cancer, eating disorders, infertility, arthritis, HIV/AIDS, diabetics, burden of care, and assessment issues in healthy psychology. He said the papers would add to their understanding that how psychological, behavioural and cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness of individuals.

In his key note address, Prof Dr Syed Ashiq Ali Shah from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, British Columbia, Canada, highlighted the impact of psychosocial-cultural influences on physical and mental health. He said arrogance, prejudice, xenophobia and aggression eradicated happiness from life while gratitude, thankfulness, sincerity, love and respect toward others were the sources of true happiness in life.

Dr Barabara Keller from University of Bielefeld, Germany, said health was not just absence of disease but the presence of positive well-being and movement towards positive directions. She said that this psycho-biosocial model of health had made health psychology a diversified but specialised field. She also believed faith and religion had key role in strong mental health of individuals.

Adnan Zafar Khan, additional secretary of Health Department, Punjab, also laid stress on expanding the role of health psychology, saying that one major challenge to mental health professionals was to manage chronic illnesses like cancer, arthritis, coronary heart disease, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. He said that in his view, this one of the major segments of population with chronic illness had largely been ignored while making health polices.

Meanwhile, Minister Syed Raza Ali Gillani also addressed the international workshop on outcome-based education and implementation at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET). He said universities were powerful engines of innovation and intellectual development which trained the students as best professionals to steer different spheres of the economy. He said outcome-based education benefited students. He urged the engineering students to learn new trends and give innovative solutions for improving the quality of life of the ordinary people through dexterous use of information and communication technologies. The government is committed to fully train the students in universities by providing them with the best facilities. He said that after completion of CPEC, Pakistan would be the new ‘Gulf of Asia’ where different nations would come for trade and commerce-related activities. He said the students should prepared themselves to benefit from the situation.
UET Vice-Chancellor Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid, Putra University of Malaysia’s Azlan Bin Abdul Aziz also spoke.The news.

British Council delegation visits Fatima Jinnah Women University

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:37

British Council delegation visits Fatima Jinnah Women University
Rawalpindi:April 27:British Council Pakistan in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) visited Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi on Wednesday.

The aim of visiting FJWU was for improving Institutional capacity of education sector in Pakistan. The visiting team included Nishat Riaz (Director Education British Council), Dr Azra Medows (OBE) and Abou Bakar Fathalla (International Engagement Manager, Cardiff Metropolitan).

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr. Samina Amin Qadir received the delegation with a warm welcome. In her presentation she briefed the delegation that FJWU is the pioneer female university in Pakistan and offering degrees in the fields of Management Sciences, Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Education, Computer Arts, Law and Computer Sciences. She further told the delegation that FJWU have approximately 5000 students from every corner of the country and FJWU offering courses to bring women students to an international level of training. Institutions from all over the world have been in touch to develop exchange programs of collaboration. She further said that Fatima Jinnah Women University makes it possible to join the global knowledge for society.

Later on in panel discussion, panellists focused on opportunities to reform international research and education programs to keep advance the quality of education.

The delegation also visited Campus Radio Station (VOW FM 96.6) and Television Studio (Vision of Women). Members of the delegation appreciated the technical equipment installed in the studio and showed interest for future collaborations

In the end university souvenirs were also presented to the honourable guests as a token of appreciation.The news.

Promoting equality: Sensitisation campaign ends at LCWU

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:16

LAHORE:25 April:A seven-month-long project launched with an aim to encourage gender institutionalisation through gender sensitisation of students, faculty and non-teaching staff in public sector universities came to an end at the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) on Monday.
The concluding ceremony of the campaign titled Institutionalisation of Gender Sensitisation and Gender Training Materials in Public Sector Universities was held at the university on Monday.
The Institute of Education (IOE) Director Dr Nusra Inayat welcomed the guests and gave a brief introduction of the project.
The purpose of the project is to encourage and develop students’ ability to raise questions, develop the prospective teachers’ sensitivity to students’ needs and interests as well as integrate gender studies to increase sensitivity not only on matters of gender, but also on matters of class, race, and ethnicity.

Faculty In-charge, Department of Professional Studies IOE and Project Manager Dr Asma Shahid Kazi highlighted the purpose and outcomes of the sub-grant, which aimed at developing the prospective teachers’ sensitivity to students’ needs and interests. It also aimed at equipping them with knowledge to safeguard their interests against gender based discrimination, harassment, violence and stereotyping. The event showcased the various activities through pictorials and testimonials of the beneficiaries of the project.

Aurat Foundation Resident Director Mumtaz Mughal shared the vision and purpose of the organisation and its commitment to improve the gender discrepancy prevalent in Pakistan through various projects. The Grant Cycle 12 B focuses specifically on strengthening gender equity of Public Sector Universities of Pakistan.

LCWU Vice-Chancellor Dr Rukhsana Kausar encouraged students and faculty members to utilise their potential and contribute effectively for the betterment of the society.

Deans, directors and heads of departments of LCWU and other universities, students of LCWU attended the event. This project was being implemented under the Gender Equity Program (GEP) of Aurat Foundation by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Lahore.Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2017.

Punjab University book fair postponed again

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:13

LAHORE:25 April:Punjab University (PU) administration on Monday once again postponed its three-day book fair scheduled to be held from April 27, 2017.

Last month, the university administration had announced holding the book fair from April 6 to 8, 2017.However, it was postponed following a tense situation at the Punjab University after a clash between student groups.

Sources in the university said this time the book fair was postponed in the wake of security situation as clearance was not approved from security agencies. They said Jamiat’s possible interference was also one of the causes as the student group had announced participating in the book fair and announced constituting different committees for this purpose. A Punjab University spokesman, in a statement, said the new date will be announced later.Express Turbuni.

first-ever degree awarding ceremony at Punjab University

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:12

Lahore:25 April: The first-ever degree awarding ceremony of recently graduated students of Punjab University Department of History and Pakistan Studies was held on Monday in which two PhD degrees and 110 degrees of M Phil History, MA History and MA Pakistan Studies were distributed among students. PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zafar Mueen Nasir awarded the degrees while Dean Faculty of Engineering and Technology Prof Dr Taqi Zahid Butt, Registrar Dr Muhammad Khalid Khan, Controller of Examinations Prof Dr Shahid Munir, Dean Faculty of Arts and Humanities and chairman of the department Prof Dr Iqbal Chawla, senior faculty members and a large number of students and their parents were present.Express Turbuni.

Mental health week begins at GC University

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:11

LAHORE:25 April:Government College University (GCU) Monday started observing Mental Health Week to highlight and deliberate upon issues related to human thinking, behaviours and social well-being.
The week long celebrations organised by the GCU’s Dr Ajmal Society Physiological Society and Psychology Department includes a three-day international conference on Health Psychology, besides an awareness walk, pre-conference workshop, invited lectures and inter-universities performing arts competition. On Monday, the celebrations began with a poster exhibition inaugurated by Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah. “Self-care isn't selfish: it's self-preservation,” reads one of the many posters put on display the psychology students from twelve different educational institutions.

The posters highlighted the key values that helped people in avoiding stress, anger and drug addictions, and staying positive in negative environments. In her inaugural address, GCU Psychology Department Chairperson Dr Syeda Shahida Batool said they all faced professional stress, social and interpersonal constraints and security challenges, and above all they were fighting the war against terrorism and this all had a very negative impact on their mental health. “So, activities this year mental health week intends to carry out are very effective as one-way or other to safeguard our mental health by undertaking our mind and social needs and indulging us in relaxing healthy activities,” she said.
Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said besides academic and professional debate, the mental health week provided a platform to the students of GCU and other universities to show their innovation and creativity, which was somehow discouraged in our formal education system. Later, the VC gave away prizes and certificates to the winners of the poster competition.The news.

Plan to build Rs260m access road for women college

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:10

LAHORE:25 April:The Punjab government has prepared a plan worth Rs 260 million to provide access road to the students of Government Fatima Jinnah College for Women, Chuna Mandi.

According to a handout in this regard a meeting was held on Monday which was chaired by Punjab Minister for Higher Education and Chairman Board of Governors of Govt Fatima Jinnah College for Women Syed Raza Ali Gillani. Principal Prof Shehnaz Kausar and representatives of Higher Education Department attended the meeting.

The meeting was told this new facility would facilitate 3,000 students as well as the faculty members to easily make it to the college without any hurdle or hassle. The meeting discussed different matters including renovation of historic building and provision of wider access road to thousands of students and faculty members. The meeting discussed the issue of students’ obstruction in reaching the college due to various commercial activities in the close proximity.

The minister directed that renovation work of the college building should be done in a professional way to help preserve and restore its centuries-old grandeur. He commended the fact that the college has been providing quality higher education facilities to the girls of walled city for the last three decades. He approved construction of 10 new class rooms to accommodate the rising number of uptown students. Later, he visited different sections of the college.

Cleanup: Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) Monday launched a cleanup operation in Gawala Colony, Harbanspura. More than a hundred workers took part in the operation during which a large amount of manure was removed from the vicinity with the help of heavy machinery. More than 200 tons of waste was removed during the operation.

Manager Operations Hassan Khalid, Assistant Manager Hamza bin Masood and Zonal Officer Zaki Shah supervised the operation whereas Deputy General Manager Asif Iqbal and senior Manager Operations Suhail Malik paid visit to review the operation.

Manager Operations Khalid Hassan said Gawala Colony did not come under the jurisdiction of LWMC, but it launched the operation to make the area waste free. LWMC was planning to utilise more than 220 tons of animal waste in the locality for converting it into biogas, he said.The news.

Media seminar at Lahore College for Women University

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:09

LAHORE:25 April:A seminar held at Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) on Monday highlighted the importance of media and media studies departments in protection and promotion of democracy and democratic dispensation in the country according to the spirit of the Constitution of Pakistan.
According to a press release the Lahore College for Women University Department of Mass Communication organised an interactive session with media experts and academicians on the issue of “Democracy in Pakistan, Role of Media and Media Studies Departments”.

Dr Mughees ud Din Sheikh shared many experiences and historic examples to make the students of media studies understand their importance in society. Lahore College for Women University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Rukhsana Kausar, Ms Mobina Ali and Dr Anjum Zia spoke while documentary related to the topic was played on the occasion.The news.

ITU faculty member wins innovation award

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 10:52

LAHORE:24 April:A faculty member of the Information Technology University (ITU) has won the World Bank innovation award worth $100,000.

The World Bank Group and Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) awarded ITU Data Science Lab Director Dr Faisal Kamiran for innovations to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, said a statement issued on Friday.

The award is part of competitive funds totalling $1.14 million distributed among 10 teams from around the world. Dr Kamiran received this prestigious distinction for his research on the identification of hotspots for harassment of women in public transport.

Dr Kamiran’s proposal titled ‘Mapping for Policy’ aims to provide an in-depth understanding of how fear and perceived risk of victimisation in general and fear and perceived risk of sexual harassment in particular, inhibit women’s use of the rapid bus transit system in Lahore.

This is a collaborative project of ITU’s Data Science Lab and US-based think tank the Urban Institute. The award will fund a pilot project of the research in Lahore that will apply state-of-the-art data science and artificial intelligence techniques to tackle the menace of gender-based violence.

Sexual harassment in public spaces is an under-recognised global human rights violation that disproportionately affects women and girls every day. There is a high risk of sexual victimisation in public spaces in low- and middle-income countries, where women and girls are increasingly entering the public domain.

Pakistan, the sixth most populous country in the world, is ranked 125th out of 169 countries on the Gender Development Index and 99th out of 109 on the Gender Empowerment Measure.
A panel had reviewed more than 200 proposals submitted to the World Bank Group and the SVRI following an open call in July 2016 for innovations to prevent gender-based violence in low- and middle-income countries.
Published in The Express Tribune.

Violence feared at Punjab University annual book fair

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 10:51

LAHORE:April 24:The Punjab University is all set to organise its annual book fair from April 27 to April 29 after it was initially postponed due to the unrest on campus. However, the faculty and students fear fresh violence.

PU had earlier announced the annual three-day book fair from April 6 to 8, 2017. In this regard, a high level meeting, chaired by PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zafar Mueen Nasir, was held to review arrangements.

Deans of various faculties and members of the book fair committee were present. The meeting was briefed on various measures being taken to organise the book fair. On March 21, a cultural event organised by the Pakhtun Education Development Movement (PEDM) was attacked and 30 students were left injured. The unrest caused the administration to indefinitely postpone the annual event.

Vice Chancellor Dr Zafar Mueen Nasir again announced the annual fair to mark World Book Day on April 20. The VC said multinational companies must come forward to promote book reading culture and fulfill their corporate social responsibilities.

He announced that the administration would hold the book fair from April 27 to April 29. The VC added the university would award a special prize to the person who writes the most book reviews. He stated the varsity would also consider the student for the roll of honour.

Despite the administration’s enthusiasm over arranging the annual book fair, faculty and students who spoke to The Express Tribune expressed concerns over the management’s lax behaviour with political groups and its ability to control violence on campus.

A faculty member, requesting anonymity, said the failure of the administration to curb different groups’ activities was evident. He said Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) carried on with their activities despite the ban.

“Now the IJT has been holding meetings for the book fair,” he added.

Students on campus also shared similar views as one of them, who identified himself as Jabbar, said chances of violence were high.

In a statement, the IJT said it had organised a meeting to discuss the 33rd book fair of the Punjab University. IJT’s Nazim Osama Ejaz, while speaking at a meeting, said the IJT had introduced the book fair at universities. He said the student body, over the next two days, would assign responsibilities to members at the PU book fair.

When contacted, PU spokesman Khurram Shahzad said that no student organisation would be allowed to interfere with the administrative affairs of the book fair. He said high level security arrangements would be ensured during the three-day event. Khurram stated the PU administration had announced the fair to promote reading culture and provide opportunities to buy books at discounted rates.Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2017.

Spirit of Math’ to cater High-achievers needs

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 10:49

LAHORE:April 24:“Spirit of Math” being a system of after-school programme for high performing students in mathematics has opened doors for bright students in Pakistan. After the successful recognition across the world, this programme is developed to address the critical needs of those students who are looking for an opportunity to study mathematics more deeply with others like them, and for those parents who are looking for an opportunity for their children to be challenged at a global level.

According to a press release, this concept for the after-school programme has been developed by Kim Langen, CEO and Founder, Spirit of Math Schools. The programme allows teachers to focus on the learning style of high-achievers and address their needs. The students move quickly through the material, and delve deeper into concepts. The problem solving element is very intense and students must be able to work with others to solve hundreds of problems each year. As this programme is for high performing students, these students must keep up with the class, rather than the teacher slowing down for students who are struggling with the basic ideas.

Talking about bringing this system to Pakistan Kim commented; “The people of Pakistan understand and value high standards. They want to be recognised for their forward thinking and will do what it takes, without making any excuses, to succeed. Pakistan is quickly changing and progressing forward: it seemed to us to be a natural fit.The news.

Go Nawaz go’ slogan ─ Railway police torture five students

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 11:29

LAHORE:23 April: A Railway Police team allegedly took five students into custody and tortured them for chanting an anti-government slogan during the concluding ceremony of the Pakistan Railways (PR) Inter-Divisional Athletics Championship at Garhi Shahu Stadium on Saturday.
Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafique was distributing medals and shields among the winners of the annual meet when a group of participants started chanting ‘Go Nawaz go’ slogan. The minister left the stadium hurriedly while men in police uniform randomly picked up five boys, bundled them into a van and sped away.
Denying that they had taken into custody Shakeel, Ali, Fatehullah, Navaid and Aitzaz -- all studying in railways educational institutions at Karachi -- the Railway police said the boys were taken away to an undisclosed location by the Garhi Shahu police.

An officer at the Garhi Shahu police station said the railway stadium did not fall in their jurisdiction. “No official of Garhi Shahu police station was on duty at the stadium,” said the official who wished not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Railways Director-General Public Relations Najam Wali Khan later told a private TV channel that the boys were taken into custody but were released afterwards on a direction by Khwaja Saad Rafique.

Some channels reported that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself ordered that the boys be released.

One of the arrested boys told Dawn that they were nabbed on the directions of Saad Rafique by Railway Police Deputy Inspector-General Shariq Jamal.

“We were treated like criminals while being taken from the stadium to Mughalpura station of Railway police. Officials at the police station gave us a sound beating while telling that we were arrested on the orders of the minister and that DIG Shariq Jamal Sahib was coming to himself register a case against us. They continued torturing and hurling threats on us even after receiving orders for our release,” said the boy who requested anonymity.

DIG Shariq Jamal did not respond to the calls and the SMS sent to him for knowing his stance.

A railway police official later said the boys were released on the orders of the minister.Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2017.

Police term PU teacher’s death murder-cum-robbery

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 11:28

LAHORE:23 April:Lahore police claimed on Saturday to have arrested three suspects involved in the murder of an Ahmadi professor and the Marian Chowk robbery, the video of which went viral on social media a few months ago.
On Saturday, the Anti-Organised Crime Cell (CIA) presented 13 wanted men before the media. Four of them were said to be involved in the notorious robbery at a traffic signal in Faisal Town and three behind the robbery-cum-murder of Tahira Perveen, a retired PU professor.
At a press conference at his office, Criminal Investigation Agency SP Tariq Mastoi said the police found no evidence suggesting the murder of Prof Tahira was a religiously motivated murder contrary to media reports. “It is purely a murder-cum-robbery case,” he proclaimed.
CIA police arrested Sajjad Ali, Hammad Aslam and Sunil Masih for the murder within 24 hours and also recovered the mobile phone and $100 stolen from the victim’s room, he said.
The prime suspect Sajjad worked as an electrician at PU. He would often visit the slain professor’s house and built a relationship of trust with her. The suspect had to pay a loan of Rs300,000 as he had bought some appliances on instalments.
Last Tuesday, he went to Tahira’s house, stabbed her with a cutter and took away her mobile phone and $100 dollars before locking the room from the outside. “He planned to take away other valuables at night but did not know the victim’s daughter remained in constant contact with her,” SP Tariq explained.

When the woman could not get in touch with her mother, she informed her acquaintances and then the university administration. The suspects went to a shop to sell the snatched mobile when they saw the news flash of the murder on media.

“Police could not find any link or evidence suggesting the murder was religiously motivated,” the police official concluded.

Faisal Town robbery

Ten other suspects arrested allegedly belong to the Tahir Imran alias Mithu gang and were said to have been to jail many times.

Four of them were accused of the notorious robbery at a traffic signal in Faisal Town. The video of three men looting a family on a traffic signal had gone viral on social media in November 2016, attracting criticism that Lahore was no more a safe city as people were being robbed in broad daylight.

SP Tariq said the gang members were involved in 31 robbery cases registered with Hanjarwal, Iqbal Town, Muslim Town, Wahdat Colony, Faisal Town and Garden Town police.

He said police started investigation by collecting the CCTV footage, gathering information about relatives of the suspects identified in the videos and arrested the suspects through their informers.

“The men would form a group of two to three and chase a target to a signal. They used to rob the citizens and sell the valuables in other cities,” he added.

Of the five suspects identified in the case, four are in custody while one named Shah Rukh has fled to Dubai. Lahore police have got him arrested through Interpol as well and are acquiring red warrants to bring him back.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2017.

Environmental education should be a compulsory subject

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 11:27

Lahore:23 April:WWF-Pakistan marked Earth Day 2017 with an aim to encourage people to promote environmental and climate education campaigns across the country.

A number of activities were organised by WWF-Pakistan in different cities which engaged education institutes, corporate entities, civil society organisations, local communities and government departments. Speaking on the occasion, Hammad Naqi Khan, WWF-Pakistan director general, said that education could play a pivotal role in addressing environmental problems which were increasing day by day. It can also help create public support for conservation of the earth’s resources and can be a voice for change. "With quality education, we can inspire action towards environmental protection and sensitise people to adopt green technologies", he said. He was of the view that people should switch to alternative energy, end use of plastic bags, conserve freshwater bodies and make effective and wise use of natural resources It is time to take environmental and climate issues seriously and mobilise people to develop public momentum to mitigate greenhouse emissions, increase tree cover, reduce pollution and protect endangered species.

He also emphasised that environmental education should be a compulsory subject and taught in schools across the country.

In Lahore, WWF-Pakistan organised a main event at Ali Institute of Education (AIE) and also planted indigenous trees there. Another event was organised at Changa Manga. The participants planted saplings and showed commitment to protect the earth through increasing tree cover in the city. The participants also visited WWF-Pakistan's Vulture Centre.The news.

Mariam Dawood School Thesis show Opens

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 11:26

LAHORE:April 23:The annual thesis show of the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD) of the Beaconhouse National University (BNU) featuring thesis works of around 72 graduating students opened at the varsity’s Tarogil Campus here on Saturday.

BNU Vice-Chancellor Shahid Hafiz Kardar, SVAD Dean Prof Rashid Rana, faculty, students and their parents were present at the opening of “The Degree Show 2017”—which will continue till April 28, 2017 and will be open to public every day from 11am to 7pm. On the first day, the event was attended by a large number of students, art academics, artists and art enthusiasts from across various institutions of Lahore. This year’s SVAD Degree Show features thesis works of around 72 students graduating in Bachelor's of Fine Arts - Visual Arts, Bachelor's of Design - Visual Communication Design, Bachelor of Design - Textile and Fibre Studies Bachelor's of Design - Fashion and Fibre Studies and Bachelor's of Design in Jewelry and Accessory Design.

In his statement on the occasion, Prof Rashid Rana said “Our graduates comprise of diverse backgrounds from many countries across South Asia which is a strength we cherish. They have made their mark and continue to do so not only in their respective countries but also on the global stage.The news.