Journalists vow to play active role for quality education


Journalists of electronic and print media and civil society has agreed to play a vital role in highlighting the various issues which hinder to ensure access, quality and proper utilization of resources in Education system.
Expressing their views, in a consultation workshop organized in Karachi by Pakistan Coalition for Education and initiative of Society for Access to Quality Education (SAQE) under the title “Role of media in Education for all”, representatives of electronic and print Media assured that they would play a role of bridge between civil society representatives, NGOs and educationists to ensure the free education for all.
National Coordinator of PCE Zehra Arshad welcomed the participants and highlighted the aims and objectives of the consultation workshop. She told that, workshop is aimed at creating a strong liaison between media and civil society to bridge the gaps for the progression and enactment of article 25-A after the 18th constitutional amendment.
Zubeda Mustafa, famous scholar and writer, highlighted various aspects which need to be taken under consideration to ensure Education for all. She shared that, there is a big issue of access to schools especially for girls, while different social and cultural taboos and worst law and order situation throughout the country are the main impediments.  The quality of Education is not satisfactory and utilization of resources is not meaningful, she added. She said that, basic education should be in local language but there is no specific law and language policy regarding education in Pakistan. Through Public private Partnership, schools are being handed over to different private partners and, consequently, parents cannot afford heavy amount in name of fees. Therefore Government should focus on these issues, Zubeda Mustafa emphasized.
Renowned researcher Zaigham Khan delivered his presentation and briefed about education reporting, issue and Challenges. He stressed media to create demand for education and point out where governments need to be guided because media informs, educate and link people with people. He said, Education is the only entity that informs us how to liberate our self and others.  He further said, there are certain rights which are guaranteed under the constitution of Pakistan and article 25-A is one of them. Media is facing various challenges such as power politics, crime, lack of recognition, pressure of authorities and commercial interests. Participants, belonging to different newspapers, civil society, print and electronic media, agreed that they would publish education news on front page at least once in a week and news channels would telecast news in headlines and they would reserve time for education awareness programs. They assured that any news regarding ghost teachers, closure of schools, and embezzlements in school funds would be highlighted as crime.
Concluding the workshop National Coordinator PCE Zahra Arshad stressed, that rules and regulations should be arranged in light of Article 25-A, a detailed implementation Plan should be chalked out and monitored by Media and Civil Society. He suggested that vote casting should be linked with education efforts for politicians.
Students protest against KU’s admission quota policy: Indus Social Forum (ISF) staged a protest rally against the University of Karachi’s admission quota policy here in front of the Press Club on Sunday.
A large number of social and political workers, civil society representatives observed protest demonstration and chanted slogans against the KSP category system of the university, which is an unjustness with the students of Sindh as well a versus of the merit.
Whereas the protesting activists had carried banners and play cards marked with slogans against the anti-Sindhi policies, such as “KSP category is slaughter of merit of students in Sindh”.
The protestors claimed that they would not accept such so called policies, which deprive students from getting education. They demanded for immediate eradication of the quota system by reforming of the admission policy according to the admission policy of other universities of the country. Speaking on the occasion the student representatives claimed that there are 6000 seats in the University of Karachi where 5800 seats are allocated for the students of Karachi, while only 170 seats are left for the students from across Pakistan whereas just 30 seats are allocated for the twenty two districts of the Sindh Province, which is extreme discrimination and unjust with the student of the province, the asserted.
The speakers said that the KSP category system has divided the ideas and has deprived the Sindhi students, adding the speakers said that “the ISF demands for fair and merit based admission policy in the University of Karachi, as is in other universities of the province.
The students have also demanded form the PPP government to ensure a transparent and merit based admission system in the University of Karachi, and ordered for opening a campus of the university in Gharo to eradicate the grievances of the masses of the province.
JSQM stage sit-in against vague report over Qureshi’s murder: Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) on Sunday staged a sit-in protest at Sakrand National Highway against a vague post-mortem report of their deceased party chairman Bashir Ahmed Qureshi.
Thousands of the party workers along with their leader Niaz Kalani protested at the national highway, suspending traffic going to Punjab, Balochistan from Karachi. Kalani on the occasion said that the PPP government was responsible for Qureshi’s fake post-mortem report and threatened for province wide protests if the killers of JSQM leader were not exposed by the PPP government. The protesters demanded authentic post-mortem report. During the protest some protestors also threw stones on passenger buses, leaving five passengers injured.