Wednesday, November 23, 2005

News from Interior Sindh on a typical day

Every day I try to read the most widely read and prestigious daily Kawish. I am pained to read the news from Interior Sindh. Today is a typical days of news. Here are the top seven headlines in the internet edition with rough translation:

Two teachers in Dadu try to burn themselves for non-payment of salary
Police official assigned for finding family members of Munno Bhil
Husband in Dadu tried to cut throat of his wife so that he can remarry. His children are injured while trying to stop him.
Accussed in Nawabshah Confessed after police brutality
Lack of confidence in Governor's package for Hyderabad
Two kidnapped from Ghari Yassin not found-- police attacks, firings, arrests, homes burnt
Fights in Ratodero--police station attacked, SHO beaten, 13 arrested

This should serve as a mirror in faces of all of us. These are the top new in the top Sindhi newspaper in whole Sindh outside Karachi. It gives a glimpse of what society we have. Contrast that with all the debates we, the educated ones have.

Once again, it is the same question: WHAT TO DO?

Your input and help towards development of Sindh is always welcome.
Ali Nawaz Memon

Sindh Development Institute7204 Antares DriveGaithersburg, Maryland, USA 20879

Monday, November 21, 2005

Guidelines for Earthquake Resistent Construction

Dear Friends,
I just came accross a very useful 36 page report on Guidelines for Earthquake resisitent construction. You can see the full report by clicking on:
This report is immediately useful for earthquake affected areas in Kashmir and NWFP. However, this is very useful for new construction anywhere including Sindh.
I understand that even low intensity earthquakes have already damaged several houses in Karachi. Given future possibility of earthquakes in Sindh and other parts of Pakistan, we all should be reading this report.

Your input and help towards development of Sindh is always welcome.

Ali Nawaz Memon
Sindh Development Institute7204 Antares DriveGaithersburg, Maryland, USA 20879

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sindh: Possible World Bank Loan for Education

Sindh may get Rs10bn loan from World Bank: Education reforms

By Mukhtar Alam

KARACHI, Nov 8: Sindh may get a significant amount of loan from the World Bank for its educational sector during the next three to four years, it was learnt on authority here on Tuesday.

Sources privy to a meeting of the WB mission with Sindh education minister said that after a plea for investment in Sindh educational plans, the funding agency officials hinted for providing a loan to the tune of Rs10 billion for construction of schools and other academic facilities, provided the government ensures a fool-proof utilization of fund.

The WB mission included Director South Asia Human Development Unit, Julian Schweitzer; Manager Education South Asia Human Development Unit, Michelle Ribound; and Senior Social Sector specialist of WB Pakistan, Tahseen Sayed.

Sindh Secretary Education Ghulam Ali Pasha and Additional Secretary (Schools) Iqbal Durrani were also present on the occasion.

The bank’s officials told the minister that a team of technical experts and financial managers would meet the provincial education department officials in December to finalize the three-year plan for promotion of education in Sindh, added the source.

However, the visiting delegation expressed certain reservations based on their experiences pertaining to a couple of educational plans affected in 90s and hoped that the agreed terms and conditions for any future plan would be observed in its real sense, said the source.

Dr Hamida Khuhro apprised the WB team about the problems and needs of education in the province and mentioned that the real concern of Sindh government was out-of-school children and those leaving schools after passing primary classes.

She said that the problems existed due to insufficient infrastructure and lack of awareness among the rural population. “Now people are eager to get their daughters educated but we don’t have sufficient schools to offer education to our girls,” she added.

The minister said that the government was fully committed to dedicate major portion of resources to education sector. She pointed out that a very efficient and result-oriented team of Executive District Officers (education) would be brought forward at district level to carry out reforms in education.

She asked the WB team to extend their support to the education department for constructing schools for girls up to middle-level, along with the provision of missing facilities at all levels.

In a separate meeting, Sindh Secretary Education Ghulam Ali Pasha along with Additional Secretary Iqbal Durrani informed the delegation that the number of primary schools in Sindh was 40,559 with a total enrolment of 2,790,161 children. The number of students getting education in 2,400 middle schools and 1,543 secondary schools stood as 480,710 and 246,565 respectively.

According to the officials, the figures of out-of-school children at primary, middle and secondary schools were 3,761,227, 2,388,431 and 1,132,524 respectively. The bank officials were told that 31 per cent (13,967) of the government schools in the province were shelterless, while 45 per cent (19,880) were without electricity, 27 per cent (11,854) were without water, 28 per cent (12,309) were without boundary wall, 25 per cent (11,176) were without toilets and 14 per cent (6,300) were closed or non-functional.

About the establishment of a Reform Support Unit, Mr Pasha said that it would function as provincial think-tank. It was further stated that the government would ensured sustainability and ownership of RSU, while the RSU proposals would be included in government policies and implemented accordingly.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Free Master's studies in Finland

From: Tahseen Jilani Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2005 19:15:18 -0800 (PST)Subject: [mcsku2004] Fwd: Study in FInland
AOA, for those who are interested

Hello! Please check the following link to find details about Universities and most of the International Master programs being offered in Universities in Finland: If you are in Pakistan, please spread this information about these Master programs in your university or college. Also let your friends and relatives know about them. Please remember, education is free in Finland & in most of the Master programs specially in Computer Science, there is a possibility of getting paid Master Thesis. It means that university pays around 500+ euros/month to a student working on his/her Masters thesis. This amount gets doubled during Summer as work is considered full-time. The amount of this stipend depends on the type of the thesis. Thesis which are done in co-operation with an industry are mostly well paid (around 1200 euros/month). Basic requirements for most of the Master programs are a bachelors degree (in most cases four-years) OR a Masters degree for Pakistani students and test scores from either IELTS or TOEFL. Last year in one program (Masters Program in Chemical Engineering @ Åbo Akademi University), there was only one Pakistani, three Indian and couple of Chinese students. This year so far there is NO Pakistani student, couple of Chinese students and 10 Indian students. Such a sad state of affairs and its simply because Pakistani students don't know about these opportunities. Please remember: "OPPURTUNITY IS NEVER LOST, THE OTHER FELLOW TAKES IT" and in this case it is obvious that Chinese and Indian students have been able to benefit from all opportunities. Last year all students were able to get Research Assistant positions apart from their Thesis Work and both of these are paid jobs. Interested? Or have any queries? Please joinStudy in Finland(SIF) Pakistani student planning to consider Finland as a study option is welcome to join this group. The main purpose of this group is to inform Pakistani students about study opportunities in Finland. Please forward this message to all prospective students.