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Saqiba Kakar, a 17-year-old girl from Balochistan’s Kila Saifullah district, committed suicide on the last date for the submission of forms to Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education after the college principal allegedly refused to send her examination form to the intermediate education board.
Saqiba and 12 other girls were barred from sitting in their final intermediate exams for staging a demonstration outside the Quetta Press Club in June 2015 demanding resumption of classes at their institution.
Although, it’s a fundamental responsibility of the Government to ensure quality education in the province, yet it is perplexing to note that Balochistan has had no specific education policy during the last 30 years. There is no benchmark for hiring and monitoring the work of teachers.
Unless the government pays attention, Saqibas will keep on killing themselves. Apparently, the leading parties in the province are firm supporters of education, but to translate this into reality, massive, radical reforms are required and the government must do it at the earliest.
Rizwan Kasi (Quetta)
WHITHER HEC SCHOLARSHIPS?
Recently the HEC chairman announced overseas scholarships under the title MS and MPhil, leading to PhD, Phase-II, Batch 7. It was surprising to see that scholarships are for PhD studies only and, contrary to previous schemes, now only those having 18 years of education can apply for the scholarship.
In this quagmire, the candidates who want to go for higher education look to the HEC only to provide them ample chances and transparent process of availing the chances. Yet the current HEC advertisement has not only left potential candidates frustrated, but it has also given rise to questions whether the HEC is seriously interested in selecting candidates from Sindh.
I hereby draw the attention of the officials concerned to revisit this decision so that everybody can have an equal chance of applying for the scholarship.
Ashfaque Hussain Soomro (Khairpur Mir’s)
SHORTAGE OF WATER IN GWADAR
It is painful to say that the Pakistani port city of Gwadar is facing an acute shortage of drinking water after a three-year drought in the arid province of Balochistan. The government is hoping that Gwadar will become an international business hub as a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — an ambitious US $46 billion project linking the deep water port on the Arabian Sea with the city of Kashgar in western China. But, it’s shocking that in Gwadar, more than 100,000 people have no access to clean drinking water and they have been forced to buy expensive water or wait days for provision of subsidized water transported from 80 kilometres away.
It is my humble request to the Government of Pakistan to provide for the fundamental rights of Gwadar’s poor people.
Shakeel Phullan (Kech)
THE WAR FOR GRADES
Pakistani students are intellectual and are blessed with enviable potential but, unfortunately, many brilliant students could not get good grades because our system promotes only rote learning. So, in this race for getting maximum marks to enroll themselves in a college or university, thousands of geniuses are lost. After his impressive achievement of getting 22 A grades in A Levels, Ali Moeen Nawazish asserted that our country is fascinated to get high grades but it’s more important to be good human beings and productive members of the society. So we must not go for the best grades because Einstein and Steve Jobs didn’t have any high grades. Almost all engineering and medical universities are counting 70% of marks in entrance. It’s a sheer injustice to those intellectual students who could not get high marks. A lot of students committed suicide after getting frustrated from low grades.
Engineer Yahya (Panjgur)
PROTECTING THE LEGAL FRATERNITY
I am currently a student of BS Law and Shariah in the University of Swat. There is no doubt that lawyers play a pivotal role in reforming the society. But, if we see the current situation of the country regarding lawyers, we find that most of them are facing numerous problems, especially the young lawyers who heavily rely on the earnings made from their legal practice. It is the duty of the government to provide the legal fraternity with physical as well as financial security because the lawyers are the main part of the country’s justice system.
Kalim Shahab & Shama Khail (Matta, Swat)
THE LEGEND DEPARTED
Some personalities remain alive even after their death because of their praiseworthy works. Such one great personality was Fatima Surayya Bajia, the renowned Urdu novelist and playwright. She was an institution in herself. She has contributed a lot to Udru literature by her dramas that highlighted cultural and social issues and anomalies. Her contributions will always be remembered and her name will be written in golden words in the annals of history.
Mahnoor Mustafa (Kech)
CSS-2016 SHOCKS MANY
The syllabus for CSS 2016 and onwards issued by FPSC in April 2015 was a welcome change. But, this change has taken a heavy toll on many aspirants who have appeared in actual exam held last month. Papers like English Précis & Composition and Pakistan Affairs are the most prominent in this regard. For instance Head III of précis paper contained Grammar and Vocabulary (20 marks). But total marks assigned to questions such as rewriting of sentences given in indirect speech in paragraph form (5 marks), punctuation (5 marks), synonyms and antonyms (20 marks), actually far exceeded the prescribed limit. Moreover, Pair of Words, Grouping of Words and Sentence Correction, each having ten marks in syllabus i.e. 30 in total, were given the weightage of only 15 marks. Idioms and Direct & Indirect narration were not explicitly mentioned in syllabus but were actually there in the question paper.
The paper of Pakistan Affairs was shocking, to say the least. The syllabus of this very paper contained as many as 28 heads but more than 60 percent of the paper consisted on only the first head. This is a sheer injustice to students because in spite of announcing new syllabi for all papers, the examiners have set papers similar to those prior to the change of syllabus. The FPSC authorities should take notice of this as the future of thousands of aspirants hinges on the CSS exam but they fall prey to the ineptness of the examiners.
An Aggrieved Aspirant (Lahore)