LAHORE: Teaching staff at public colleges across the province will get opportunities to visit British universities for higher education programmes funded under the Faculty Development Programme, Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad said on Friday.
He was speaking with delegations from the Association of Colleges and the British Council during a visit to London. Mashhood said the programme, started in cooperation with the British Council, would help improve teaching standards in degree colleges. He said the candidates selected under the programme would be sent to state-of-the-art education institutes in the UK. He said on completion of the programme they would resume teaching duties at their parent colleges in the province.
The minister thanked the delegation from extending support to the provincial government for capacity building of teaching staff. Later, Mashhood visited the Overseas Pakistanis Commission at the Pakistan Embassy. He urged the OPC staff to assist people visiting them with complaints about matters related to provincial government departments. He said overseas Pakistanis were the ambassadors of the country. He said the commission had been set up with the view that it would help overseas Pakistanis get in touch with authorities concerned back home.
He said the country was facing several challenges including high levels of unemployment, energy crisis and threat of attacks from terrorist outfits. He added that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had resolved to steer the country out of these challenges. He said government had been successful in restoring the confidence of foreign investors and hoped that the positive affects of increased foreign investment would soon be visible in the country.
Completion of anti-dengue drive
Additional Chief Secretary Syed Mubashir Raza said on Friday that completion of a cleanliness campaign at education institutes, including spraying the premises to eliminate dengue mosquito larvae, should be ensured before re-opening them after summer vacations.
He directed officials concerned at the Higher Education and School Education Departments to submit a report about the campaigns to him. The additional chief secretary urged district governments to undertake spraying and fogging drives in areas under their jurisdiction where dengue mosquitoes could find breeding sites. He was speaking at the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Dengue Control at the Civil Secretariat.
Additional Director General Health (Dengue Control) Syed Islam Zafar told the meeting that 11 dengue fever cases had been reported at hospitals across the province. He said six of these from outside the province. However, he said 800 cases of dengue fever had been reported in hospitals across Sindh and urged officials concerned not to end the anti-dengue fever campaigns in view of the low count of dengue patients in the province. On this, the additional chief secretary directed officials concerned to regularly monitor data of dengue fever cases reported from other provinces and to share it with the Cabinet Committee during its meetings. He also asked the Pakistan Railways to inspect its workshops and other premises and make sure that there no sites that could be used for breeding of dengue mosquito larvae. The Fisheries Department was also asked to survey water bodies under its control for such sites. The Punjab Information Technology Board and the Special Branch shared information about anti-dengue activities of various departments gathered through the PITB dash-board.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2015.