Category Archives: Education

Welcome to the guitar school

Courtesy: Daily Times

By Afnan Khan

LAHORE: At a time when fear and insecurity have put an end to most cultural activities, one art form, speaking the universal language of notes and harmonies, is still very much alive and kicking. One of the places still keeping musical traditions alive while promoting more contemporary forms, is The Guitar School. The brainchild of seasoned guitarist Hamza Jafri, the school, located in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), has already had 55 students since it opened its door in June this year.

Ravail Sattar, one of the teachers at the school, believes in the undying power of music. “It is like a flowing stream that is unstoppable. You cannot hold it back forever, it will break through,” he says. He insists that neither extremists’ threats nor criticism from the government could deter artists from their calling. Many artists have recently been criticised for including anti-US rhetoric in their lyrics. Continue reading

Below-par private schools mushroom in city

* Schools claiming to be branches of registered schools, but operating separately

* Private schools association chairman says inspection teams should not take bribes for registering schools

By Ali Usman

LAHORE: Flaws in the Education Department’s mechanism for formal registration of private schools and their affiliation with the relevant board Continue reading

SSE in Lahore

Salal Humair

This newspaper’s editorial ‘Whither and wither’ of Jan 4 articulates two excellent questions about the direction of Higher Education in Pakistan, while expressing disappointment over the shelving of HEC’s plan to create world-class universities in Pakistan. The editorial asks: ‘If you are poor and bright you have few options and ‘abroad’ isn’t one of them. But what if ‘abroad’ were somehow to be able to come to us? What if the benefits of a foreign education system could somehow get transplanted to Pakistan?’ I believe those are well-phrased questions to which we may still find solutions, but we would need some visionary political leadership to do so. Continue reading

ADP’s Latest Blog Entry: The Great LUMS Trip Day 1

Posted by Raza Rumi

Read this crisp, fresh and youthful perspective on a blog entitled Koolmuzone: Pakistani Underground Media. The real Lahore lives beyond the cliches of terrorism and media-cooked crisis. I am cross-posting this as the readers would get a flavour of the youth and their interaction with myriad facets of Lahore.

The fact that I had so much to blog about usually puts me in denial of how much I have to blog about. The result is I don’t blog. But here I have forced myself to go back to writing and give you the account of our concert at LUMS. Last weekend ADP were booked to play at LUMS University’s 10 Year Re-Union of their Music Society. Now we got the gig mostly because Omar Khalid is a favorite son of LUMS and he seems to have this legendary reputation there as an extraordinary musician. The kind of awe that OK inspires in LUMS freshies is pretty surprising to me. No doubt OK is an extraordinary musician. But as we all know, he is mostly a choot. Anyway, I was pretty sour-grapes because for once I wasn’t hogging all the attention, and for some reason everyone in LUMS seemed to assume that OK was the lead singer of ADP. Continue reading

Is Pakistan collapsing? A father and a citizen speaks

By Ali Dayan Hasan

At my daughter’s annual school parent’s day event in Lahore last month, the tension was palpable. Bewildered at the speed with which this innocuous annual event had transformed into a maximum security operation, anxious parents filed in their hundreds past security guards, metal detectors and bag searches into Theatre Number Two of the Alhamra Cultural Complex – a modernist structure that the citizens of Lahore would tell you proudly is amongst the largest public-funded exhibition and theatre complexes in Asia. They were there to see their children, none older than seven, perform the usual amalgam of tableaux on “Peoples and Festivals of the World”, a smattering of Kathak – a North Indian classical dance, a “Chinese dance” performance and, of course, my daughter’s favorite – a Disney-esque version of the Bangles hit – “Walk Like an Egyptian.” The event began, as always, with recitation from the Quran. Tense primary school teachers grappled with security issues and as I walked in; a very public stand-off between a security posse comprising teachers, local police and plain clothes personnel and a random man who was on the premises for “no known reason” was underway. The man was eventually deemed harmless and let go but there was no parent who entered that hall without making note of the exits. Two hours later, as we filed out, I and virtually every relieved parent thought and said the same thing: “One more year like the last one and next year there will be no Parents Day. Another month or two like the previous ones and there might be no school left open.”

Since December 27, 2007 – the dreadful winter’s day when streets across Pakistan fell silent in the aftermath of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Pakistanis have understood and expressed in varying degrees, or disagreed in desperate denial, that the Islamization project unleashed by the United States and implemented by the Pakistani military since 1979 had turned on its creators, snarling at the United States, devouring Pakistan and exposing its army for the megalomaniac but intensely incompetent institution that it is. And the narrative of impending disaster, brutal dispossession and disembodied lives in exile for stateless citizens harking back pathetically to a lost life, hitherto the preserve of Palestinians and Cubans, Afghans, Somalis and the ethnic mosaic of the Balkans, beckons to Pakistanis as well. One could argue that Pakistanis are scared of a future comprising daily doses of floggings, beheadings, daisy cutters and drones. They might be too. But no one has had time to think that far ahead. The truth is more prosaic: After all, if your children cannot go to school, the future has ceased to be. And when societies cannot have a future, they die. Continue reading

Al-Mashal

Check out this video of a free volunteer school that’s doing the most unbelievable work in a working class abadi in Saddar, Cantonment.  Watch this to see the amazing philanthropic work of the people responsible for this great school.

You can find out more by visiting the Foundation’s website at http://almashalfoundation.org/

Climate Change lecture at LUMS

LAHORE UNIVERSITY OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCES (LUMS)
LAW AND POLICY DEPARTMENT

INVITATION

The Department of Law & Policy has the pleasure of hosting Mr. Toufiq A. Siddiqi’s lecture on Asia’s changing role in global climate change at the PICIC Auditorium at the Lahore University of Management Sciences at 11am on 20 November 2008. Continue reading

First Sikh to graduate from Punjab University

The first Pakistani Sikh to graduate from the Punjab University (PU) since partition says that there should be reserved seats for Sikhs at the university.

Talking on Friday, Juswinder Singh, who has passed his Bachelor’s in Arts (honours) programme, said that he belonged to the North Federal Administered Tribal Area (NAFATA), and got admission to the PU in 2004 on a seat reserved for NAFATA students. Juswinder said that he had scored a 3.4 GPA (grade point average) in his honours programme. He said that he would do his Masters in Business Administration in finance from the PU.

He demanded that the government reserve seats for Sikhs intending to take admission to the PU, as it was one of the most prestigious and oldest universities of Pakistan. Continue reading

State should provide sex education

‘State should provide sex education’

* City lacks community centres where the youth can freely express themselves
* Popular social networking sites are being misused by the youth

By Ali Usman (Daily Times)

LAHORE: The state does not provide the youth with proper guidance regarding gender issues and sexual studies, leading to odd behaviour when they express their suppressed ideas in frustration at the wrong place and time, experts told Daily Times.

They said that even in big cities like Lahore, there was a lack of community centres where the youth could express themselves and exchange ideas. “When the youth is left with no way to express what they feel or think, they end up using the wrong channels to release their frustration. Proof of this is the social networking websites that are being extensively misused by Internet surfers, who upload obscene pictures and/or vulgar messages to them,” they said. Continue reading

Schools I – If it ain’t elite, it’s gotta be highbrow

posted by Rafay Alam

Quality education in Pakistan is – at the primary and secondary level – almost entirely dominated by the private sector.  With so many schools out there, there is bound to be a shortage of names.

I’m beginning a series of photos of schools in Lahore. 

 Enjoy.

Elite schools may be offered govt land in remote areas

Saturday, August 23, 2008
By Khalid Khattak (NEWS)

THE government in order to encourage elite private schools to establish campuses in remote areas is considering various proposals including provision of land on lease to such schools.

It is learnt that the Punjab Schools Education Department recently held meetings with the representatives of some elite private schools on the instructions of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif.

Sources privy to the development said that Schools Education Secretary Nadeem Ashraf recently held a meeting with representatives of Beaconhouse Schools System, Lahore Grammar School (LGS) and The City School. The meeting deliberated on various proposals such as provision of land on lease besides exempting schools from various kinds of taxes. They said that private schools might open franchises in remote areas on the pattern of Beaconhouse School System operating across the country. Continue reading

21 government schools in Lahore non-functional

By Khalid Khattak in Lahore

AS many as 21 government schools in District Lahore have been non-functional for the last many months, exposing lack of interest and commitment on part of officials concerned.

Sources in the Punjab School Education Department told The News that reports recently submitted by Monitoring and Evaluation Assistants (MEAs) of the Chief Minister’s Monitoring Force disclosed that there were dozens of non-functional schools in each district of the province.

The sources added most of these schools stopped functioning during previous regime because of acute shortage of schoolteachers. Continue reading

A new website continues the plagiarism saga at Lahore’s Punjab University

Now the dismissed Professor of PU has set up a website that despite its self-serving tone and poor taste, is worth visiting.

Thanks to Adnan Lodhi for introducing this sordid tale through his report:

LAHORE: A plagiarist, who was ‘forcibly’ retired from the Punjab University (PU) by the former governor, has launched a website to press his ‘fellow plagiarists’ – still working at the PU.

The plagiarist, Dr Mian Aftab, former PU Applied Psychology Department director, in the website (www.forgeriesinpu.150m.com) named PU teachers, PU Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, Prof Dr Najma Najam, Prof Dr Yasmeen Farooqi, Prof Dr Rukhsana Kausar and Prof Dr Shaukat Ali.

Mian Aftab said these teachers were involved in plagiarism. He said the website was meant to bring to light the ‘work’ of his fellow teachers. plagiarism

More here

Brilliant News for Lahore – CM House to be converted into IT varsity

Monday, March 24, 2008
By our correspondent

The NEWS reports:

 Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday reiterated that he would convert the Punjab Chief Minister House into an information technology university after assuming power.

He was speaking at a ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Karkunan-e-Pakistan to mark the Pakistan Day.

Shahbaz said the dictatorship in the country was on its last legs. He said the country was in the clutches of a dictator just one year ago and no one could imagine he would lose his grip on power. He said the dictatorship “wounded the nation” but now it was time that these wounds were healed.

He said the entire nation had sent a clear message to the undemocratic forces that their time had come to an end. He regretted that the dictator was still conspiring to derail the democratic process in the country. He said all efforts made by the undemocratic elements to derail the democracy in the country would be foiled. Continue reading

Teachers should not defend plagiarists!

The Punjab University’s “vice-chancellor, Prof Mujahid Kamran, should be supported in his campaign against plagiarism in the once great seat of learning in Lahore. The Higher Education Commission has been keeping its grants in abeyance during the time it took for the University to punish the plagiarists. It has now released the funds. Meanwhile, at the Government College University (GCU) in Lahore a similar action against an erring teacher has earned the gratitude of those who want to see our teachers better rewarded for original research. Unless plagiarism is treated with toughness, merit will not be properly recognised.”

Read the full piece here

Lahore Students excel in an MIT Design Competition

Tech Lahore blog has this pleasing news (below) to offer. It is indeed gratifying to note that Lahore students are doing so well. But our question is – when will the non-elite education institutions reach, or aspire for, this level?

“Kudos to Hasanat and Farrukh, two sophomore students from the Lahore University of Management Sciences who have placed 5th in an MIT Design Contest that required entrants to design, code and document an electricity consumption monitor that uploads information to a central database. Since the competition was open to contestants from all over the world, this award is a huge honour for the young engineers, their school… and for Pakistan. The quality of our science and technology graduates is increasing by the day. LUMS and its new SSE (School of Science and Engineering) promise to yield several Newtons, Einsteins, Turings and Abd-ul-Salams! “

All three students should accept mubarakbaad from Lahore Nama.

What privatised education might mean for some

Khalid Khattak writes in the NEWS; exposes how some private schools might be indulging in invisible extortion.

SOME private schools force students to purchase books and uniforms at prescribed stores, though amid a protest by children and parents.

The practice has helped people to develop a chain of uniform/book shops, like schools, where products, such as books, uniforms and stationery etc, are sold at fixed prices. Parents are asked to buy them at selected stores only, which according to many, exposes them to overcharging. Continue reading

Punjab University plagiarism case decided

What a pity that a city of learning and education has to undergo this shame:

Punjab University psychology and applied psychology department chairman ..has been removed from the office and placed under suspension following establishment of, prima facie, plagiarism allegations levelled against him.

It is learnt that the committee initiated inquiry stating that Dr Aftab had committed plagiarism in two research papers – “Socialization of the Physical Attractiveness Stereotype: Parental Expectations and Verbal Behaviours”, which was stated to be verbatim copy of the original published research work of Gerald R Adams, Mandy Hicken and Mahshid Salehi; Utah research article published in International Journal of Psychology 23 (1985). The committee also said Dr Aftab also falsely claimed that another research publication entitled: “The Role of Parents in the Socialization of Children: an Historical Overview”. It said Dr Aftab had copied the original research work of Dr Eleanor E Maccoby, Stanford University, USA, which was already published in Developmental Psychology 1992, Vol 28. No 6, 1006-1017. (from DAWN)

Full story here