ON CAMPUS: Political parties vow to
support primary education
THE all-party conference (APC) in Lahore last week signed a joint declaration vowing that financial resources will be allocated in the Punjab School Education Budget to meet requirements of Punjab Free and Compulsory Primary Education Ordinance 2014.
The ordinance, it may be mentioned, has been tabled in the Punjab Assembly and is expected to be transformed into an act soon.
The APC attended by representatives of the PML-N, PPP, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Pakistan Muslim League-Q, Jamaat-i-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F and Pakistan Awami Tehreek, was organised by the Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) in collaboration with the Alif Ailaan. The APC reviewed the situation of educational facilities in Lahore district and identified the needs to enroll some 38pc out-of-school 5-16 years of age children in the provincial metropolis during the next five years (2014-2019).
According to estimates, there were about 2.639 million children in 5-16 age cohort in 2012 in Lahore the number would go up to 3.698m by 2018. Considering the 2012 figure of school-going age children, at present, 1.005m children are out-of-school in the city.
In order to accommodate such a large number of children in Lahore, the APC agreed that the number of schools should also be increased gradually – from existing 1,216 schools to 1,254 schools. It also agreed that about 3,722 classrooms were required to accommodate the ever-increasing out-of-school children in Lahore.
In order to retain and impart quality education to the enrolled children, the APC was also in unison in saying that all schools should gradually be provided with all missing facilities and quality teachers be recruited to.
The APC said the school education department must ensure 1:40 teacher-student ratio in classrooms. The department would need some 5,803 more teachers in Lahore by 2019.
The APC decided that the Punjab government should increase the education budget from Rs9billion to Rs14 billion during the next five years to ensure quality education for all children.
Giving a presentation, I-SAPS Research Fellow Ahmad Ali said that around 1.5pc schools in Lahore did not have boundary walls, 2.2pc were without electricity, 0.3pc had no access to potable water and 0.4pc were without toilets.
Acknowledging that the Punjab government had last year enrolled 3.5 million children, Mr Ali stressed the government must ensure that all those enrolled are retained.
THE Lahore College for Women University is considering making the subject of Punjabi as a compulsory subject at graduation level to promote the language.
LCWU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Sabiha Mansoor said the Academic Council would be recommended to consider the proposal of making Punjabi as a compulsory subject.
“The only way to promote the mother tongue is to speak Punjabi at home and workplaces,” she said.
According to linguists, the VC said, thousands of languages would disappear within the next hundred years while English has increasingly come to dominate in research and higher education, especially in the natural sciences, medicine and technology.
“If we will not enrich our mother tongue, it will also die one day,” Dr Mansoor added.
LCWU Punjabi department head Dr Samina Batool said the children attending school with a strong foundation in their mother tongue could develop stronger literacy abilities in the language used at school. She said the ability to converse in a language was developed through the mother tongue and advised the parents to establish a strong home language policy and make consistent efforts to help their children develop good literacy skills in their first language.
THE Punjab University Directorate of Students Affairs last week organised an inter-departmental Bilingual Declamation Contest. Around 60 students from various departments took part in it.
According to results, PU Law College’s Syed Sabtain Raza and Farheen Azhar showed outstanding performance and won team trophy.
In English Declamation contest, PULC’s Syed Sabtain Raza got first position, Tajmeel from the Institute of Chemical Engineering second position and Rameesha from College of Pharmacy got third position while Sehar Batool from Centre for Clinical Psychology and Kinza Khan from Institute of Business Administration won consolation prizes.
In Urdu Declamation Contest, Usman Aqeel from the Institute of Business Administration clinched first position, Huzaifa Anwar from College of Engineering second and Yasir Rasheed from the Institute of Communication Studies secured third position. Farheen Azhar from PULC and Muhammad Talha from Institute of Business and Information Technology got consolation prizes.
The declamation contests were adjudicated by Fahed Ali Kazmi, Humaira Tariq, Ahmed Suhail Basra, Shamoon Ahmed Shah, Ijaz Ahmad, Tauseef Sabeeh Gondal and Syed Ghulam Mohiuddin. —firstname.lastname@example.org
Curtsey:Dawn, May 27th, 2014