ISLAMABAD: Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood Friday said that the government has decided to enroll over 11,000 out-of-school children in the federal capital’s schools by June this year under a drive to raise a number of school goers.
“Over 11,000 out-of-school children belonging to different age groups were identified under the survey conducted by the ministry in Islamabad and the enrollment of around 5,000 was being ensured at this stage,” Shafqat Mahmood said while addressing the launching ceremony of ‘Wish 2 Action’ Project organized by Rahnuma-EPAP.
“We have tried this campaign as a pilot project in the capital city and soon it will be replicated at the national level after its complete success,” the minister remarked. Highlighting the various challenges faced by the education sector, he said collective efforts were required to bring significant improvement in this area. At present, the country was going through a crucial phase but the government would deliver as per the aspiration of its citizens in its tenure, he added.
He said the prime focus was to provide quality education to every child of the country and uniform education policy was being chalked out for the purpose. Other than that, the government was also working out a number of projects to enhance the education standards in the country he said and added that it was striving to scale up literacy rate from 58 percent to at least 70 percent by the end of its five years term in the office.
Debt Debate and Robert Smith’s gift to graduates
NEW YORK: When the American billionaire Robert Smith announced to students graduating from historically black Morehouse College that he would pay off their student loans, he put himself at the center of one of the 2020 US election’s key issues.
While the cost of Smith’s surprise gift announced on Saturday to Morehouse’s 396-strong class of 2019 is not yet known, the body’s student debt is thought to reach $40 million.
Smith, a Texas businessman who is the wealthiest African-American, has been applauded for his generosity, but his gift also generated jealousy among the many Americans struggling with huge student debts.
“Can a billionaire pledge to pay off my student loan debt? I’m glad for the graduating class, but also envious,” one Twitter user wrote, reflecting a sentiment common on social media.
Already, several Democratic challengers to President Donald Trump in next year’s elections have proposed ways to reduce the nearly $1.5 trillion American student loan burden, and even politicians who aren’t running have weighed in.
“People shouldn’t be in a situation where they depend on a stranger’s enormous act of charity for this kind of liberation to begin with,” tweeted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a rising Democratic House representative who was elected last year in part on the promise of free university education.
– Mobilized billionaires –
More than two-thirds of American graduates were in debt in 2016, the Institute for College Access and Success said in April, with their burden averaging $29,650.
Paying off the debt often weighs heavily on young Americans’ lives through their 20s and 30s, delaying the starting of families and the purchase of cars and homes.
All of that affects the US economy, and Smith isn’t the first billionaire to take notice.
Last November, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, from which he graduated in 1964.
The donation aims to make education at the elite school more affordable to low- and middle-income students, who would otherwise have to face fees and living costs totaling about $72,000 per-year.
Another billionaire, Kenneth Langone, gave $100 million to the New York University School of Medicine last year to make tuition free for its current and future students.
Shafqat Mehmood urges opposition parties to stop playing non-issues
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood Tuesday urged the Opposition parties to play its constructive role in government’s strive to move the country forward and avoid playing up non-issues.
IN an interview, minister urged politicians to sit with government and find a solution for the current political crisis that is seriously damaging the country’s economy and business.
He said despite different kinds of challenges, the incumbent government was trying to bring the country on the way of development.
“PTI government accord top priority to the welfare of the poor, the honor and security of the motherland,” he said.
Reacting to the opposition leader’s, he said both Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif looted the country on the name of democracy.
Minister said the whole nation was paying the price of their wrongdoings as they badly damaged the country’s economy and plunged the nation into the quagmire of debts, he said.
SC issues notice in Pvt. Med. colleges case
ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Monday issued a notice to Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PM&DC) over a matter of private medical colleges and sought details of private medical colleges their affiliated hospitals and a total number of house job officers.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and comprised on Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, heard the case regarding stipend of House Officers Graduate of Private Medical Colleges.
During the course of proceedings, Justice Azmat Saeed said private medical colleges are exploiting students. It is mandatory for each medical college to have its 500-bed hospital where doctors can perform their house job duties, he added.
He said a medical college and its degree is not recognized without a hospital. He said private medical colleges are demanding house job training fee from the doctors instead of giving them a stipend.
Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan said during house job, doctors get a stipend. Private medical colleges charged Rs0.9 million annually from the students but they do not provide house job to their students. The court issued a notice to PM&DC and adjourned the hearing of the case for two weeks.