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Education Watch

May 25, 2018


Model schools still more in demand

The model colleges and schools are so much in demand that the teacher student ratio is now one to 60. — Dawn
The model colleges and schools are so much in demand that the teacher student ratio is now one to 60. — Dawn

Though it spent Rs2 billion on renovating educational institutions in the capital, the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has failed in improving the standard of education in Federal Government (FG) schools and bringing them at par with model colleges and schools.

There are 423 public educational institutions in Islamabad of which 20 are model colleges. This year, too, model colleges received more applications.

“We received thousands of applications for new admissions in model colleges, particularly for IMCG F-6, IMCB G-6, IMCG F-7, IMCG and IMCB I-10,” a director at FDE said.

The model colleges and schools are so much in demand that the teacher student ratio is now one to 60.

He explained that there are two systems in the federal capital, FG colleges and schools and model colleges and schools. He said that until these two systems are merged, the problem of admissions will continue.

Another FDE official said there is a need to pay attention to the FG system in terms of increasing funding and trained teachers.

He said the issue is of the quality of education in FG schools, which have otherwise good infrastructure including large buildings and proper facilities.

“We received many admission applications for our FG school on Embassy Road, which offers quality education,” he said.

Other FDE officials also agreed that the admission issue will be resolved if both the systems offer quality education. One of the officers said that students from Malpur, Bhara Kahu, Phulgran and Shahzad Town are also enrolled in model institutions.

According to the FDE education policy, students from nearby areas are to be given priority during admissions in schools in their neighbourhoods. However, this policy is being violated in almost all model colleges. FDE DG Hasnat Qureshi could not be reached for his comments.

Nust wins Microsoft Imagine Cup semi finals

Winners of the competition pose with their teacher. — Dawn
Winners of the competition pose with their teacher. — Dawn

A team from the Nust School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science won the first prize in the Middle East and Africa semi finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2018 with their project titled Fe-Amaan Foetal Monitoring and Analysis.

Teams from Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey took part in the competition on May 23, 2018 in Cairo, Egypt in which the team from Nust secured first position.

The project has now qualified for the world final which is scheduled to take place in July at the Microsoft headquarters in Seattle, USA.

The world champions will be given a USD100,000 cash prize. The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition and since 2003, Microsoft has provided a global platform for students to bring their novel ideas to life.

Fe-Amaan consists of a wearable belt and a mobile application providing remote and automated analysis of foetal health on a regular basis without harm to the mother or foetus. In case of anomalies in heart rates or movement patterns, the system generates alerts, enabling timely precautionary measures. The system aims to reduce the high rate of miscarriages in Pakistan.

The country currently ranks highest in child birth fatalities, miscarriages are frequent in rural areas due to lack of proper medical facilities. Fe-Amaan will provide a ready solution to problems related to timely and regular monitoring of foetal health.

After mass production, it will be used by lady health workers in rural and remote areas. Currently, Fe-Amaan is collaborating with Prof Dr Rizwana Chaudhri, dean of the department of obstetrics and head of gynae at the Holy Family Hospital for product testing and evaluation.

The team consists of BS computer science students Iqra Irfan, Sami Ullah and Areeba Kamil, and Dr Imran Mahmood, assistant professor at SEECS, was their supervisor.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2018