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More Crucial Moments at U of Q
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yellofello



Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
As I said... since 2007 you've been posting this over and over... 5 years now. To me that seems obsessive for a mere interview. It seems like a vendetta against someone who did nothing to you except NOT offer you a job. Quite a few friends of mine interviewed with the same person and had a quite different impression.

VS

You have a point, VS. Maybe your friends had a different interview experience. Let's face it, no two interviews are alike. I was not angry about not getting the offer. I already pretty well had two in my hand when I went to the QU interview. And both offers were confirmed. So no sweat when QU said no and no, it is not a vendetta. Only the recognition of disturbance, maybe because of my cousin's condition. The discombobulating stare was weird. The interview's come to mind because I have been reconsidering working in Qatar. My girlfriend is a high-flyer at one of the private universities in Education City aka Sheikh Hamad University. The commute between Doha and Dubai is wearing us both out, she's the one doing most of the flying because Dubai has a lot more to offer. My girlfriend and consequently my consideration of CCQ aka HCCQ made me also rethink QU until she sent me the bad news. However, the news about the program changes at QU from two years to one and the reduction in the number of students taking the foundation English courses is off-putting. Then I remember the man at the interview, I think he was the one in charge, as I say the discombobulating stare and other mannerisms put me in mind of my cousin. Neither here nor there so I will cease and desist since it's becoming a bore. I attended the Qatar TESOL a couple of months ago and blow me down if I didn't spot the stare. Not one I'd forget. So cease and desist, okay. The CCQ/HCCQ problems are off-putting.We'll just have to keep up the commute for a while longer. So cease and desist, OK?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15603
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yellofello wrote:
So no sweat when QU said no and no, it is not a vendetta.

I can only tell you that to any outsider, this is EXACTLY what it looks like. So, yes you absolutely should cease and desist.

VS
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mesquite



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
QU Foundation Programme gets new look

DOHA: Qatar University (QU) yesterday unveiled the new structure of its Foundation Programme that does not require minimum scores in IELTS or TOEFL proficiency tests.A passing score of 70 percent in the Foundation Programme will allow students to enroll in their respective college or programme.The new structure follows the recent decision by the Supreme Education Council (SEC) making Arabic language as the medium of instruction at the University. The decision also abolished the Foundation Programme in all programmes that are being taught in Arabic.QU Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Dr Sheikha bint Jabor Al Thani outlined details of the new structure which reduces the Foundation Programme to one year instead of two, starting Fall 2012. Al Thani explained that the new Program is structured on Levels 1-4, and will be divided into four 9-week sessions, with an additional 6-week summer session if needed.
Its focus will be on improving students’ language and mathematics skills. A dynamic intensive English component that is attuned to individual student needs forms part of the new structure, while the computer component will be eliminated as ICT skills will be integrated into all student learning experiences at QU, she added.The Program will be student-centered and project-based, with a focus on creativity, engaging students in tasks and activities that not only spark their motivation, but are related to their prospective field of specialization and to the Core Curriculum Program (CCP).The CCP is aimed at the acquisition of skills and competencies in general knowledge, communication, research, critical thinking, ethics and civic responsibility, and appreciation of identity and cultural diversity.The teaching philosophy of the new Program advocates interactive, communicative, and collaborative strategies of teaching and learning, Dr Al-Thani said.

To achieve this, class size will be reduced to 16 students per class for Levels 1 and 2, and 20 per class for Levels 3 and 4, and allowed class absence will be reduced from 25 per cent to 10 per cent.She further stated that students’ duration of study can be shortened, as the new structure has a flexible built-in mechanism that caters to individual learning needs and facilitates movement from one level to the next based on individual progress. Current students will be transitioned into the new structure based on the level they would be moving on to at the start of Fall 2012.
The Peninsula


http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/185210-qu-foundation-programme-gets-new-look.html

Reducing class size is a good thing. ABP has small classes, one reason for its success.
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landcruzer



Joined: 15 Apr 2012
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: QU Probe Reply with quote

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/195606-19-academics-call-for-probe-into-qu-affairs.html


19 academics call for probe into QU affairs
Friday, 25 May 2012


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DOHA: Some 19 members of Qatar University’s Academic Council have urged the state to set up an inquiry committee to look into the university’s state of affairs.The members have demanded that the university’s handling of its finances and appointments of foreigners on key academic and administrative posts be probed.

It also needs to be looked into as to what extent the university complies with the directives of the State Cabinet and the Supreme Education Council (SEC). “The employment contracts of the foreign recruits should be looked into to make sure that prescribed procedures, rules and standards have been followed,” the members said.

In a letter addressed to Al Sharq which was published yesterday, the members said the committee they are demanding to be set up must make sure that Qatar University authorities are accountable.The letter was highly appreciative of the daily for publishing critical reports and columns by Qatari contributors about the university and its affairs.The local media have been carrying articles and columns about the university for a while criticising the university for its failure to ensure an education system that caters to the needs of the local job market. Questions have been raised over the university’s contribution to pushing the job nationalisation policy of the state forward and helping the country meet the lofty goals of national development and vision.

The letter lauded the daily for writing that decision-making at Qatar University is in the hands of foreigners and that there are several irregularities.The members raised the issue of the university’s controversial admission policy in their letter as well, and said it must be accountable to the Qatari student, his or her families and the Qatari community as a whole.It is the right of the families of those students who have been denied admission, the letter said, implying that over the past few years due to its tough admission criteria tens of hundreds of Qatari students had been denied admission.

Critics, meanwhile, criticising the university for its admission policy and for denying entry to many Qatari students, ask: “Where do these students actually go?”Do they enter the job market after finishing secondary school, sit at home or go overseas for higher studies? “”But then, what happens to families who cannot afford to send their children for studies overseas,” asked a critic.He said that if a student is not proficient in English language, it is the fault of the school system. “So why blame a student for that and deny him admission,” the critic said.

Significantly, some students who were denied admission to Qatar University understandably due to lack of proficiency in the English language approached the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) and lodged complaints.The NHRC has in its report for 2011 has raised the issue and said that it did receive complaints from some parents against Qatar University saying that their children could not get admission because of low marks in English. “Many students suffered with no option with them to look for admission elsewhere,” the NHRC said in its 2011 annual report.

It has urged Qatar University to have separate faculties with English as the medium of instruction for those students who do not know Arabic.Local social networking sites are also abuzz with criticism of Qatar University for its admission policy and for the choice of English as the medium of instruction for certain key streams. “All over the world universities have local languages as the medium of instruction,” said one commentator, implying that Qatar University stands alone in that matter.In the past few years, some 1,800 Qatari students have been denied admission to Qatar University, said another commentator.

The Peninsula


Last edited by landcruzer on Fri May 25, 2012 6:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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landcruzer



Joined: 15 Apr 2012
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Abolition of Foundation Program? Reply with quote

Quote:
“Open Meeting” at Qatar University Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Does anyone wonder about the reasons for a visit by the guardian or his equivalent to any of the entities in the country? The guardian, as you know, has permanent and full information about the working of government agencies, whereas, the minister and other systems, each according to his power, passes on the situation to His Highness. But who conveys the news of those authorities, and according to my point of view, he may convey the news in a way that might achieve some purpose. Therefore, the visit of a guardian to the location of an authority takes place because of his desire to hear the hidden and aspects of the workers and the beneficiaries as His Highness desires to develop the work for the better. But we, unfortunately, find that the authorities are racing to highlight the bright aspects of their work, and at the same time, are removing the facts which impede the required development. This is something that happened on the morning of Sunday, April 29, when Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, may Allah protect her, visited the University of Qatar. The university community knew about the visit on the next day through local newspapers. According to published news, Her Highness discussed, in an open meeting with the members of the governing body, teaching staff and students and which was organised by the university at the building of College of Education, the importance of the role of the University of Qatar as the national university. The visit in itself was not a surprise because we know that Her Highness likes to follow up all the proceedings, big and small, personally. But the surprise is the claim of the university that the open meeting with members of the governing body, teaching staff and students was an absolute ruling, while the meeting took place with some who were selected by the university, or have been selected by other authorities, we do not know them, for the purposes, I think personally, to support the approach undertaken by the university. The “selected audience” did not convey the true picture to Her Highness that the university has transferred hundreds of Qatari university staff and dozens of faculty members from Qatar were forced to take early retirement and were replaced in larger numbers by non-Qataris. (For more information, see the statistics by the Bureau of Statistics). The Qatari students are not in the best situation, as there are obstacles in front of them before they apply to the university and also during their education. Therefore, you will find that the percentage of students, members of faculty and staff at the university is very less which does not make it a national university.

The other issue is that the “selected audience” did not convey the true picture to Her Highness on how the university, with creative and innovative thinking, modifies the decision of the Supreme Education Council to arabise the language of instruction, and to abolish the foundation programme. The decision of the Supreme Education Council pleased all the citizens and residents, as it was very clear to cancel the foundation programme and calculate the decisions of the Foundation acquired within the requirements of the university. The university was not clear in this matter and it approved a mechanism to implement the decisions of the Supreme Education Council vaguely, and in some aspects contrary to the decisions of the council. (See the mechanism to implement the decision of the Supreme Council for Education issued by the university).

The call of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser on the need to open channels of communication between faculty and students, work to understand their needs and solve their academic problems which impede their educational march at university, is a sincere call because Her Highness, earlier, was one of the students of Qatar University and she knows different issues and problems faced by the students. But, unfortunately, again, the “selected audience” did not convey to Her Highness that the rules governing the account of cumulative average, which were not applied in the days of Her Highness, are exposing the students to the separation from the university due to poor average. Even though we find that the Committee on Student Affairs does not approve an apology of the student if he had been warned, even if the student was receiving the clinical treatment in the hospital, so as to ensure the separation of the student from the university.

The result of all that is that the proportion of the total number of Qatari students in recent years has declined. The problem is that the poor students cannot bring a case against the university because of mistakes of guidance or the mistakes of the system of admission, registration and account courses because the directory of the university provides that the student shall bear all the mistakes that occur.

The “open meeting” which I knew later, was planned with great care and in good standing of the position of Her Highness in the state and in our hearts, but it is shameful that the official site of the university mentions that “Qatar University is a scientific and intellectual community characterised by open dialogue and free exchange of ideas and constructive debate.” At the same time the subject of the visit of Her Highness to this academic edifice is covered in full confidentiality, in fear of “freedom of exchange of ideas and constructive debate” and the same is announced on the pages of newspapers as “an open meeting”.

The visit of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser to the university is a good initiative, carries a lot of progress and urbanisation as it was made by a good personality who carries a lot of love and goodness for the nation and citizens, and I wish that the effects of this good visit do not perish as soon as Her Highness leaves the building of the campus. I wish, at the same time, that the office of Her Highness, after this visit, will take initiative to establish a developmental committee to open a dialogue with the university community, away from the conventional faces and their foreign experts, to view the aspirations, ideas and hopes of the university community and to undertake following up the implementation of the real recommendations given by the Office of Her Highness, in coordination with the Board of Trustees, and this step will result, as I see it, in a quantum and excellent leap in the performance of the university.


http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/dr.-muhammad-al-kubaisi/195335-open-meeting-at-qatar-university.html
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blastermill



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 5:29 pm    Post subject: QU hits back at baseless accusations Reply with quote

QU hits back at ‘baseless’ accusations Monday, 28 May 2012

DOHA: Qatar University (QU) has hit back at its critics and said that accusations that there is no transparency in its administrative affairs and handling of finances are baseless.The State Audit Bureau conducts the audit of the university’s finances and sometimes takes help from international experts as well, and so far there have been no complaints, said QU President, Sheikha Al Misnad.

“As a government institution we are closely monitored by the authorities concerned,” Al Misnad was quoted by Al Sharq as saying in her weekly address at the university. Referring to criticisms by newspaper columnists and media reports, she, rejecting the criticisms, said the university is pursuing its goal of catering to the needs of the Qatari community.

About nationalising jobs at the university, the President said that the institution’s aim is to prepare Qatari students for the local jobs market and help nationalise jobs in various sectors, which cannot be achieved if QU has all Qatari staff.“We need to rely on foreign experience and expertise since our aim is not to Qatarise jobs at QU but to make sure that more and more Qataris join the local jobs market,” she said.

At present 700 Qataris who are former students of QU are employed by the university. “We also send students for further studies overseas. Presently, 39 students are studying abroad on QU scholarships,” Al Misnad said. She did not respond to accusations about alleged denial of admission to a lot of Qatari students in the past few years but said that QU expects excellent performance from its students and the fact that many of then have excelled in regional and global competitive events was proof enough that QU students are the best.

Meanwhile, a prominent newspaper columnist, Dr Mohamed Al Kubaisi, changing his anti-QU stance, wrote in Al Sharq yesterday in praise of the university and said that those who are making allegations about lack of transparency in QU affairs, whether administrative or financial, are saying so without any substance or evidence.Al Misnad’s weekly address has, however, evoked sharp reactions in the Qatari community with some saying that she is just on the defense. “It is self-defense that she is indulging in,” wrote a Qatari commenting on a popular local social networking site.

“She did not address the real problems and her insistence was the same that we are improving. She is only hiring good teachers from overseas…how about solving students’ woes,” asked another commentator. “The question is not about QU having 700 Qatari staff, the question is how about solving the problems of students,” asked another commentator. Still another commentator, seemingly upset with QU’s policy of hiring non-Qatari teachers, said they are pampered with all kinds of allowances.


http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/195799-qu-hits-back-at-baseless-accusations.html
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blastermill



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:15 pm    Post subject: QU Foundation English Mass Resignations Reply with quote

Word is out and about town that nearly 25% - almost one quarter - of the English language teachers a have given notice and are quitting the their department. A few of these people were fired earlier but more than a dozen have given in last minute resignations. What does this say about the people who think they have the answer to QU problems?

Many teachers are desperate to leave as they feel the new program is doomed. I've heard various reasons such as new teachers coming in on a higher base pay (3,500 QR more- guaranteed to make current staff feel undervalued and marginalized); the new program with 9 week courses, resignation of management and the replacement of management with some of the new staff who are designing the revamped foundation program. The assistant head also quit; he was supposed to be pretty popular.

This paints a gloomy picture for the new program. Replacing competent people with airheads and people who have no experience of the QU foundation program is not a good idea. To start with they should rename this program - maybe ABP-QU or something to start afresh.

Students will also have to get 70% to pass!!! Totally asinine! This is unrealistic - what's wrong with 60%

Newbies should be aware that the new program is basically designed to cram as much as possible in 9 weeks. Is this feasible? Is it logical? Is it pedagogically sound? Is it realistic?

Who are these people who think you can teach a whole level in 8 or 9 weeks? Do they have experience of Qatari students. I've worked in an SEC school and from personal experience with male students in an independent school, I doubt you can cram enough language into someone's head in 9 weeks so that he or she can make it. It will be interesting to see how this mess pans out.
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battleshipb_b



Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 185

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:58 pm    Post subject: Re: QU Foundation English Mass Resignations Reply with quote

blastermill wrote:
Word is out and about town that nearly 25% - almost one quarter - of the English language teachers a have given notice and are quitting the their department.
I doubt you can cram enough language into someone's head in 9 weeks so that he or she can make it. It will be interesting to see how this mess pans out.


Pretty shocking - to lose such a huge number of teachers in a few weeks.
But it does happen in the magic kingdom - we've had up to about 15% quit in one go but 25%. Something must be very wrong with the new structuring process. Totally agree - you can't squash a whole course into a student's brain in 9 weeks - just won't work. If the students are fee-paying, it would be different - but a free university? - Forget it.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15603
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From a slightly more reputable source than the rumor mill at the local pub... the number is more like 15% and many of those were "non-renewals." But considering the situation and the lack of support in all directions, more would likely be leaving if they could have found another position.

Right now the Foundations program is being blamed by all... newspapers, Ministry, university upper management, and students... for the fact that the whole educational system of the country sucks.

Nothing new about this as we TEFLers have always been given the job of performing miracles in a year or two with these kids... and getting the blame when it doesn't work.

VS
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blastermill



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
From a slightly more reputable source than the rumor mill at the local pub... the number is more like 15% and many of those were "non-renewals." But considering the situation and the lack of support in all directions, more would likely be leaving if they could have found another position.

Right now the Foundations program is being blamed by all... newspapers, Ministry, university upper management, and students... for the fact that the whole educational system of the country sucks.

Nothing new about this as we TEFLers have always been given the job of performing miracles in a year or two with these kids... and getting the blame when it doesn't work.

VS

Maybe your source is out of date. Pub rumors are usually pretty reliable here. Qatar is a small place and the TEFL teaching pool is not as big as in other places - so people get to know each other or have friends of friends so I find pub talk mostly correct, not to mention garage sales talk. Speaking of garage sales talk, there was a garage sale at the QU compound a few weeks ago and from chitchat there, one of the teachers at the sale confirmed that at least 21+| teachers were leaving - so this is at least 20% if not more. I don't know how many teachers work at this place but have heard just over 100. I also met a non-renewed teacher a few months ago who told me 8 teachers were fired so this means the rest resigned, not the other way around. Losing 20% of teachers means a lot of disatisfaction and I wouldn't be surprised if others are also thinking of leaving.
Teachers who are leaving cited lack of transparency, the new program, and salary discrepancies in addition to an increased work load just like the pub talk chitchat. And yes, you are totally right - the QU teachers are being blamed for a lot of things that the independent schools are responsible for - inflated grades, passing students who really should do an extra year and too many other sneakeroo things to mention. Qatari students have been given the short end of the stick but the stick is now being used to beat the QU teachers. There is a very high turnover rate of expat teachers in many of the schools. Most of the Ozzies have left the SEC schools because of lousy pay and overwork. Imagine having to do more work for less pay - that is the current situation for expats in the indepdent schools. Not a nice scenario.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15603
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My source is as of this week. Now there could very well be teachers who are leaving - or tell people that they are leaving - who haven't bothered to officially resign. Who knows... dumber things have been done. Most of the passed on pub rumors (or boot sale rumors) here for the last few years have consistently been off... usually significantly over the actual departure numbers. My friend was sure (or pretty sure without a post from mgmt) of 7 that had been 'non-renewed.' That was pretty close... I am always leery of passing on specific numbers as they are usually off by a few - either way.

Considering what is going on at the university, I expect that the number of leavers is only limited to the number that were able to find acceptable employment. Why would teachers want to stay when the Ministry tosses stuff like this out at the last minute and no one knows what is going to happen by the end of next year's experiment in EAP?

The same thing... a last minute Ministry directive happened a few years back with UAEU and precipitated a year or two of chaos. Oddly... I hear that a few of those leaving are heading to UAEU. Hopefully this sort of thing isn't going to happen to them again.

VS
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blastermill



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This new 35 hour work week is very bad news and an insult to university instructors. Do other QU university instructors have 35 obligatory hours? I doubt it, it's just an excuse to treat these poor suckers like servants which is what most teachers are nowadays anyway.

Maybe the guy did say 7 were fired - nevertheless 21 plus people leaving out of 100 plus is bad news. Losing 20% of a department's teaching staff implies that something is really wrong with the institution.

Pub talk also says all the people who run the foundation courses are going to be replaced. What message does that send? Is this regime change justified or are some people very ambitious? I'd bet my bottom dollar it's ambition that is fueling this.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15603
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blastermill wrote:
Maybe the guy did say 7 were fired - nevertheless 21 plus people leaving out of 100 plus is bad news. Losing 20% of a department's teaching staff implies that something is really wrong with the institution.

Pub talk also says all the people who run the foundation courses are going to be replaced. What message does that send? Is this regime change justified or are some people very ambitious? I'd bet my bottom dollar it's ambition that is fueling this.

The number that I heard is less than the 21 from your boot sale source. So it is not yet 20%... but at least that drops from the initial rumor claims here of 25%.

More pub rumors? That one sounds like wshful thinking. I would expect that most management levels are stuck in the middle of this. I'm not sure how you have segued into claims of ambition. Who or what or why? I think this pub crowd has had one too many. Laughing

The Ministry makes a drastic change... university management is scrambling to try to implement it... teachers (and probably also managers at all levels) are stuck in a situation where they don't know what they will be doing next year or if they will even have a job... but of course, according to pub conspiracy theory, that means it's all about ambition. Rolling Eyes

VS
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squareandfair



Joined: 10 Mar 2007
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The huge number of departures is similar to that at ADWC a few years ago - people were fed up with a certain misfit manager. These QU teachers seem to be dealing with a similar issue but at least they don't have the Claw.

Last edited by squareandfair on Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:58 am; edited 5 times in total
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15603
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other than you (in each of your various names), you are the only source on the current rumor. Being on site for 35 hours is not uncommon. It was, in fact, exactly what was required at ADW/HCT in the UAE twenty years ago. I would consider it the norm in universities in the Gulf. I also know of universities that require clocking in and out around the Gulf.

As to the number of contact hours, we don't have anything yet from a more reputable source than you - whichever name you are posting under today.

VS
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