EDUCATION  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Petaro celebrates 48th Parents’ Day
Compiled by: Prof. Saleem Sehto

  

Welcome Address and Brief Annual Report
By Commodore Muhammad Aslam Rana, Commandant & Principal, Cadet College Petaro

Bismillah Hir Rehman Nir Rahim

Honourable Admiral Noman Bashir NI(M), Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Azher Shamim Anwar HI(M), S.Bt Commander Karachi and Chairman BOG CCP, Members of the Board of Governors, respected Ministers, Flag Officers, Parents, Petarians, distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen and my dear cadets,

Assalam-o-Alaikum!

It is my proud privilege to welcome you all on the occasion of the 48th parents’ day. We are highly indebted to the Honourable Chief Guest that he has spared some of his precious moments from his very busy schedule to grace today’s function. This speaks of his great interest in the affairs of the college. Sir, your presence as the Chief Guest makes the day even more greater and has boosted the morale of my staff, cadets and their parents. We are also thankful to all other guests whose presence is a matter of great encouragement and inspiration for us.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you are aware that this institution is the largest cadet college of Pakistan with 900 plus cadets.

The basic aim of this college is to prepare young cadets physically, mentally, academically and morally to be outstanding and useful citizens of tomorrow. The college has been instrumental in providing trained young cadets not only to the armed forces of Pakistan but also to other fields of national activities.

Sir, now I shall present the annual report of the college for the year 2008-09.

 

a. First the Academics

It is my pleasure to report that this year college has also produced the excellent results both in the matriculation and intermediate annual board examinations 2009.

In SSC Part-II, out of 177 cadets, 173 secured ‘A-1’ grade and only 4 cadets were placed in ‘A’ grade. It is pertinent to mention that 16 cadets of this college have been placed under top-ten position holders in the entire board and created a new record in the history of the college. Cadet Shahabuddin Ahmed and Cadet Bilawal Ali shared first position while Cadet Muhammad Saad Saeed and Cadet Rayhan Jamil shared 2nd position in the entire Hyderabad Board.

In HSC Part-II (Intermediate) out of 175 cadets, 83 secured ‘A-1’ grade, 87 were placed in ’A’ grade and only 5 cadets were in ‘B’ grade.

 

b. Co-Curricular Activities

i.    Sports: Sir, regular games are played and inter-house competitions are held throughout the year. Our cadets took part in inter-collegiate sports fixtures organized by the Hyderabad Board and won a number of prizes.

ii.   Literary activities: Literary activities are also held on regular basis at inter-house level in the college. Our cadets performed very well by participating in literary activities at Pakistan level as well. the cadets participated in Urdu and English Declamation Competitions held at Pakistan Naval Academy, Habib Public School, Karachi, Cadet College Larkana, Cadet College Batrasi, Army Burn Hall College Abbottabad and PAF Academy Resalpur. Cadet Waqar got 2nd position in essay writing competition at Larkana and Cadet Maaz got 1st position in Urdu Declamation Contest in Habib Public School Karachi.

iii.   All Pakistan English Declamation Contest: By the grace of Almighty Allah we successfully organized the 18th All Pakistan Bi-Lingual Declamation Contest on 31st October, 2009. 20 teams from all the renowned institutions of Pakistan participated. The first position was secured by Punjab University Lahore while the 2nd position was secured by Govt College University Lahore. Pir Mazhar Ul Haq, Honourable Senior Minister for Education and Literacy, Government of Sindh was the Chief Guest. It has been my priority to focus upon the spoken English of the cadets as the spoken English is the need of hour to meet the global challenges in the world of competition. In this regard the college has inducted English language teachers specially to meet the required standard of the spoken English as well as the written.

iv.   Hobbies and Clubs: Sir, equal importance is given to hobbies and clubs in order to sharpen the skills of the cadets. An exhibition, reflecting these hobbies and clubs has been arranged today for the guests.

v.   National and Religious days: National and religious days are regularly celebrated. renowned scholars and personalities are invited to deliver lectures for the benefit of the cadets.

vi.   Excursion: Excursion trips and educational visits are a regular feature of our training programme. Trips to Thermal Power Station Jamshoro and Dewan Sugar Mills Thatta were arranged for the cadets in 2008-09. Our cadets also visit northern areas during summer vacations regularly. But owing to deteriorating law and order situation the excursion trip for the northern areas could not be arranged last year.

vii.  Induction in Armed Forces: It is my extreme pleasure to inform you that the college has been contributing potential officers to the armed forces over the years. This year, 50 cadets have been selected for Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force. It may be informed that LT CDR (Retd) M. Hanif PN, Faculty Member CCP has been very helpful in preparing the cadets for ISSB.

viii. Selection in Professional Institutions: It is also informed with immense delight that 98 cadets joined engineering universities, medical universities and managements institutions last year.

ix.   Participation of CCP Cadet in SAARC rifle shooting Competition at Sri Lanka: Cadet Muhammad Noman Sharif represented Cadet College Petaro in SAARC rifle shooting competition at Colombo from 16-10-2009 to 25-10-2009. The contingent from Pakistan comprised cadets from Military College Jhelum, PAF Public School Lower Topa, Military College Murree & Cadet College Petaro. By the grace of Almighty Allah Cadet Muhammad Noman Sharif stood first in the rifle shooting competition amongst the boys and was awarded medal for ”Best Shot”.

 

d. Development Projects

With the help and courtesy of the government of Sindh, college has completed various development projects and some of them are under progress.

i.    The construction work of new water supply scheme is in the last stages of completion.

ii.   The construction work of new auditorium having the capacity of 1200 persons is in progress.

iii.   The construction work of 15 low-paid employees quarters is under process of completion.

iv.   The construction work of the bachelors’ hostel is in progress.

v.   The project of 8th house amounting to Rs 170 million has been approved by the government of Sindh and the work on this project will be started soon.

 

e. Projects funded by the Federal Government

The PC-I amounting to Rs. 42.045 million of 5 projects has been approved by the Federal Government. It is for kind information that these projects were announced by Mr Asif Ali Zardari, the honourable President of Pakistan during his visit to cadet college Petaro on the occasion of 47th Parents’ Day. These projects are examination hall, cafeteria, sports complex, construction of track/compound wall for riding school and construction of 3 quarters for Syces at Riding School.

 

f. Construction of A.M. Nizamani TCF Secondary School

The Petarian Association North America Chapter is funding the project for the construction of A.M. Nizamani the Citizens Foundation, (TCF) Secondary School at Petaro. It is worth mentioning that new block of secondary school has been named after the name of Mr. A.M. Nizamani, whose services for the establishment of Cadet College Petaro are unforgettable. The foundation stone was laid by Pir Mazharul Haq, Honourable Senior Minister for Education and Literacy, Government of Sindh on 15th November 2009.

 

g. Petaro Automation Project

With the courtesy of Mr. Shahid Mahmud, a Petarian of 75 entry and owner of the inter-active communication established Petaro Automation Project which was inaugurated by Professor M. Akram Bhatti, Former Vice Principal Cadet College Petaro on 15th November 2009. This Automation Project comprises the computerization of college accounts, administration, examination and other information pertaining to the staff and cadets.

The wireless network facility through Wi-Max for the whole campus is also under process of completion by the inter-active communication. The towers have been erected and the system will be installed during this month. Every house has been provided six computers with internet facility and lap-tops have been provided to all the faculty members. The provision of computers and lap-tops will ultimately improve the standard of education on modern lines in the college.

 

h. Problems faced by the college

Sir, in order to run the college and maintain proper educational environment, substantial finances are required. Cadet College Petaro right from its inception has been benefited from the patronage of the government of Sindh and Pakistan navy.

I would like to avail this opportunity to place before you, sir, the difficulties this institution has been facing pertaining to security arrangements to make foolproof measures to avoid any untoward situation. Presently, the college is maintaining its security arrangements within the limited security staff. Immediately, the college is 174 need of at least ten marines to strengthen the security.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our benefactors and patrons, who have been extending their all out support to the college.

My staff and I myself have always felt grateful to vice admiral Azhar Shamim Anwar HI(M), S.Bt, Commander Karachi and Chairman Board of Governors and Members of the board for their full support in running this elite institution.

I am thankful to Petarian foundation for sending an employee on hajj every year. The Petarian Foundation has also provided scholarships to the needy cadets amounting to Rs. 14,95000/-. I am also thankful to the Petarian association for Eid package for the college employees of grade 1 and 2.

We are grateful to Pakistan Navy for Arranging the I.T. Course at PNS Rahnuma for nine members of teaching staff during the summer vacation.

My thanks are also to Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force for extending all possible support and cooperation.

I am grateful to various federal and provincial agencies, especially the administration of district Jamshoro, Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Hyderabad, Revenue Department, Police Department, HESCO, PTCL, Habib Bank Limited, Combined Military Hospital, Sui-Southern Gas Company and Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences for their support.

I must not forget to thank the valued parents for extending their full support for efficient running of the college.

Sir, I would like to thank you once again, on my behalf and on the behalf of my staff, cadets, employees, petarians and the parents, for gracing today’s function.

Now I would request you, Sir, to please accept the traditional gifts as a token of love and respect and give away the prizes to the winners in various fields and address the gathering.

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World Bank Help For Pakistan’s Education , A Poisoned Chalice?
By Pervez Hoodbhoy

 

Rumor has it that the World Bank is on its way back to Pakistan with a bagful of loans, together with plans for how we must spend the money. A major focus of the Bank’s efforts will be higher education reform. No one doubts the desperate need for reform of Pakistan’s education sector, or the need for assistance, especially since we have shown little capacity to fund or plan our education ourselves. But recent experience suggests the Bank’s help may be a poisoned chalice. If it is to be otherwise, the Bank will have to avoid local snake charmers and be more skeptical of what bureaucrats and ministers claim.

Said to be the world’s biggest research institution working on developmental issues, the Bank employs thousands of technical people at its Washington headquarters and abroad. Typically, a highly paid World Bank team of experts, trained in the use of sophisticated mathematical and statistical tools and report writing, is parachuted into a Third World country. They could be charged with fixing broken down systems of education, healthcare, agriculture, or electricity. But although its researchers and team leaders are often accomplished individuals, experience suggests they are not adequately equipped to understand the complexity of local issues. As important, the Bank depends on government agencies and cannot easily bite the hand that invites it in and provides access.

The Bank’s limitations are exposed by how it allowed itself to be systematically deceived in its mission to promote and support reform of higher education in Pakistan. For six years, Pakistanis heard endless stories of success about the revamping of their universities under the leadership of the Higher Education Commission and its celebrated chief, Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman. With a record-smashing 12-fold increase in the HEC’s funding ordered by Gen. Musharraf’s government, new universities popped into existence almost every other month. Production of PhD’s and research papers shot up. It seemed obvious that things were improving. At least that’s what HEC and the World Bank said.

A 2006 World Bank report on the HEC’s performance, issued by a team led by Benoît Millot, reads like a paean to the HEC. Written in impeccable English, and embellished with impressive charts and diagrams, this 109-page report finds no fault, nor questions any assumption of the-then prevailing authorities, and proclaims that “HEC has placed quality improvement of the higher education sub-sector at the centre of its agenda?. No surprise then that the report was widely quoted by the HEC as evidence of its achievements and used to demand yet more money for HEC schemes. Everything dovetailed perfectly: the Bank wanted to lend and the HEC to spend.

But now as the bitter truth gradually seeps out, the HEC’s alleged accomplishments are fading away. Today, in spite of sporadic newspaper items planted by the HEC’s former chairman, the consequences of arbitrary one-man decision making, deliberately exaggerated or invented numbers, and plain sloppy thinking are becoming apparent.

The construction of university buildings has been frozen leaving them half-completed. Fantastically expensive research equipment litters the country, much of which is unused. It has been abandoned by even those who insisted on their import. Vice-chancellors are panicking over unpaid salaries for faculty and staff. Thousands of desperate Pakistani students sent overseas have received no scholarship money for months. Until they were cancelled a few weeks ago, many of HEC’s hugely expensive but shoddily planned projects  such as building nine new Pak-European universities  had been furiously sucking resources away from real needs.

Academic quality may be an even bigger casualty. Driven by huge cash incentives to mass-produce PhD degrees, university teachers have banded together across campuses to fight tooth and nail against every attempt to enforce genuine academic standards on Ph.D. graduates. Fearful of losing their bonuses, they oppose setting a reasonable pass mark for the Ph.D. exam, the internationally recognised GRE subject test. They know many of their students would fail, even though these students are now allowed to take the test even at the end of their studies. In China, India, and Iran, students take this exam as part of getting admission to a PhD programme overseas  and do immensely better.

Then there is research. The HEC claimed that, prior to the launch of its programs, annual research publication rates in universities were very low. It says, for example, that Quaid-e-Azam University published only 631 research papers between 1998-2003. But, after the HEC’s chairman started his cash reward-per-paper program, the number of research papers shot up to 1482 in the 2003-2008 period, a 235% improvement.

But, all serious academics know that what matters is not how many papers are written but how good these papers are. A standard measure of a paper is how many times other academics refer to it in their own papers. According to the International Science Citation Index, the total number of times the research papers published in the 1998-2003 period were cited by other researchers (excluding worthless self-citations) was 2817. But, in the 2003-2008 period the citation count was a mere 1258. The message this sends is loud and clear  producing more papers does not mean more useful knowledge is being produced.

The fact is that for years numbers were twisted around and no one noticed, including the World Bank. What’s worse is that the Bank did not even bother to check. Its trained and intelligent observers could have easily investigated several of the HEC’s claims without even stirring from their desks. All they would have needed is a good internet connection, and access to standard science citation indexes.

Rather than simply sign off on HEC claims that it had worked miracles, the World Bank could have undertaken its own study. It could, for instance, have looked for evidence of improvement in university teaching quality (rather than a mere increase in enrollment). To do this scientifically it would have needed to work out the parameters that define teaching quality and then gathered the relevant data. This might have involved establishing some reasonable metrics for gauging the quality of the faculty and student body, assessing the state of library and laboratory facilities, the content of university courses, the standard of examination papers, the presence (or lack thereof) of academic colloquia and seminars on campuses, the suitability of those appointed as vice-chancellors, the number of days in a year that the universities actually function, satisfaction of employers with university graduates, etc. But there is no sign that the World Bank bothered to do this groundwork. At least, having searched available databases, I could find none.

If the Bank is again going to try support higher education reform in Pakistan, it needs to be more serious. It must focus on quality and demand greater accountability.

What Pakistan needs from the Bank is help for improving the dilapidated infrastructure (buildings, libraries, laboratories) of ordinary colleges where the bulk of Pakistani students in higher education study, not more half-baked universities. Mega-sized projects for producing qualified junior faculty for universities and colleges are badly needed. The importance of quality teaching in colleges and universities must be emphasized, not meaningless publications and more junk Ph.D. degrees. Better institutional governance and ethics is the key. Encourage this and the rest will follow. 

  

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