Sowing seeds of peace through students
A delegation of 14 Pakistani students and two teachers has recently gone to attend the Seeds of Peace (SOP) International Summer Camp 2005 in the idyllic haunts of Otisfield, Maine. The camp brings together students from regions of conflict, including India and Pakistan, to help them understand each other. Direct interaction with the “enemy” helps reduce the prejudices and stereotypes about the other side.
Students Amna Chaudhry, Aqsa Shahid, Jennifer Saleem Khan, Khadija Khan, Sarah Amjad, Sundus Manan, Mahak Bakhtiari, Arslan Ali Khan, Faizan Ahmed, Muhammad Safwan, Salman Shahid Khan, Turab Hassan, Uzair Aftab and Ibrar Chaudhry from Divisional Public School, The Trust School, Convent of Jesus and Mary, Crescent Model Higher Secondary School, accompanied by teachers Naila Faheem and Rockson Riaz, are representing Pakistan at the camp.
In an effort to make young people in Pakistan aware about the importance of peace in the region, the Pakistan chapter of the SOP is also trying to expand its circle by making presentations in various schools.
The organisation recently arranged a lecture on Kashmir by Najam Sethi, the editor of Daily Times and The Friday Times. Sethi focused on the origin and political history of Pakistan and placed the Kashmir issue in context. Later he answered many questions posed by young students at Saint Anthony’s School. Sajjad Ahmad, coordinator of the programme’s Pakistan chapter, arranged the lecture.
Seeds of Peace is an international non government organisation which facilitates friendships among children from conflicting nations. The idea of SOP was envisioned by John Wallach, a journalist who was moved by the violence he saw in the Middle East to found Seeds of Peace in 1993. He died of cancer in July 2002.
PUNJAB University’s Mass Communication Department has started an international languages programme this summer. An inauguration ceremony for four languages courses was held last week. The director of the Iranian Consulate, Muhammad Raza Ameeni Mashadi, was the chief guest, while PU Mass Communication Department chairman Dr Mugheesuddin Sheikh also attended the event.
SIX Pakistani students will compete in this year’s International Mathematics Olympiad in Mexico this month, a first in the 45-year history of the event. The team includes Muhammad Hanif of FG Sir Syed College Rawalpindi, Hira Manzoor of Beacon House School System Lahore, Amir Siddique of Government College University, Lahore, Muhammad Salman Malik of Army Public Degree College Multan, Fawad Ahmed Najam of FG Degree College for Men Wah Cantt, and Rehma Farhatullah Khairi of Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karachi. The invitation to Pakistan was down to Government College University’s School of Mathematical Sciences, the sole Pakistani institution for the training of Olympiad participants.
THE Syndicate of the University of Education (UoE), Lahore, recently approved its non-college budget of Rs 239 million and decided that all academic posts would be transferred to the Tenure Track System, a programme introduced by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). The HEC has already awarded the university a grant of Rs 50 million for choosing the programme. The university also approved a plan to build a campus in Okara. The campus will temporarily be at Kalsoom School, Okara. The UoE will start enrolment to its new campus in August 2005. The UoE, established when Lt Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool was chief executive of the province, has largely been a flop. The Punjab government recently detached 35 elementary colleges from the UoE and plans to give administrative charge of those colleges to the Directorate of Staff Development.
A high level team of the UNICEF regional office, Nepal, visited the Department of Mass Communication, Lahore College for Women University (LCWU). Dr Teressa Stuart, Guy B Scandlen and Shamshad Qureshi of UNICEF were in the team. The objective of their visit was to identify institutions to be possible partners in training UNICEF staff, as well as potential partners in the governmental and non governmental sectors to plan and implement communication inputs to projects it supports.
The department chairperson, Anjum Zia, gave a presentation about the department. The LCWU vice chancellor, Dr Bushra Mateen, informed the team about the university’s projects and progress. Souvenirs were also presented to the guests. ali waqar