Stories about education

Malala returns to Pakistan

DISCLAIMER: Malala has not landed in Pakistan. Ignore the mind-blowing realism and true-to-life drawings – this is ...

Read Full Post

Malala would be better off living in Canada

Jon Stewart was not wrong when in his late night The Daily Show, he offered to adopt Malala Yousafzai. He was highly impressed by this child’s advocacy for education and  for him, it looked like a great deal.  It’s easier to raise a precocious child who is adamant to educate herself even after being persecuted by evil forces, as compared to many other kids in the US who play hooky on attending school.  However, Stewart did not know that his ‘adoption wish’ might come in handy for the brave girl. As the dust will settle in and normalcy will prevail, the question ...

Read Full Post

Pir Sahab’s orders: Don’t breast-feed your child or eat meat

Recently, a two-month old boy, Faizan, was brought to the hospital where I work, by his grandmother. She complained that he suffered from severe diarrhoea. I immediately asked her to bring Faizan’s mother so that we could establish breast-feed for the baby. We are currently in the process of educating mothers about the importance of breast-feeding at our malnutrition stabilization centre, and are trying to help them establish or re-establish breast feeding. In reply to my request, she answered, “Who tou nahi ayegi kyunke uska perhaiz hai.” (She won’t come because she is on abstinence.) Seeing my perplexed expression, she told me ...

Read Full Post

Why I chose Karachi University

Karachi University (KU) is to Karachi what Karachi is to Pakistan. I was the first member of my family to attend KU for a Bachelors degree and even after completing four years at the institution, I still get concerned queries from people wanting to know how I survived. It seems strange to me that KU appears like such a distant and uncharted territory to those who have never studied there; it is as if people from KU are aliens! Hence, I thought that I would shed some light on this mini universe for those who have never been here and ...

Read Full Post

Why should Sindhi be taught in all schools of Sindh?

The Government of Sindh recently announced that it would ensure that private educational institutions offer Sindhi language as a separate subject. The announcement went on to state that schools refusing to offer Sindhi would be fined or even have their permits revoked.  This announcement has led to predictable outrage. Some have argued that students who attend private schools have no use for learning a language that is ‘only’ spoken within Sindh. On the other hand, children attending public schools, given their financial background also have little practical utility for studying the region’s native language. This, in itself, is a false assumption ...

Read Full Post

What is Balochistan like?

With every day we believe, through the media, that we are coming closer to one another. In reality, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. We see only what the media wants us to see. That being said, along with many realities, there is much more to each city than our eyes can see. Hopes, dreams and aspirations have always been a part of Balochistan, but we haven’t ever really looked to be able to recognise these. “Balochistan” When you read this word, what is the first image that pops into your mind? Flashes of violence? Target killing? Poverty, discrimination ...

Read Full Post

Going to school during Ziaul Haq’s time

I was born almost a year after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, to an Air Force family. Hence, my entire schooling was done in schools run by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) during General Ziaul Haq’s regime. My first school was the PAF school in Sargodha and my English teacher resembled Shaista Zaid, the English news anchor on Pakistan Television (PTV), the only channel aired in the country at the time. Although most people remember General Zia’s regime as oppressive and restrictive, my memories of school years are somewhat different. I studied in a co-education school, where boys and girls ...

Read Full Post

Can’t afford to go to Stanford or Yale? Don’t worry, the internet will take you there!

Internet hype prevails globally and world renowned universities are taking advantage of this by offering education online for free, using Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Universities such as Stanford, MIT and Yale are inviting students to attend their courses without any charges, regardless of any boundaries and these courses are available anytime, anyplace and almost anywhere with internet access. I can register myself for round the year courses from different universities in different fields of study, irrespective of what my ethnicity or nationality is. My journey with the MOOC began almost half a year back. I was carrying out a research on cryptography ...

Read Full Post

My university, NUST, grooms to minimise differences

The dress code at NUST (National University of Science & Technology) has cooked up quite a storm and as a student at the prestigious institution, this is what I have to say: “It was an overreaction.” The match that struck the flame was an image of a student fine notice stuck to a bulletin board at the university. This image, detailing what the students were being fined for, went viral. I admit that the grammar used in the notice was less than satisfactory including the terms ‘wearing tight’, ‘no dopata’ and so forth; but this error has been unfairly used to ...

Read Full Post

NUST: What’s so bad about a dress-code?

Since the concept of morality is fraught with subjectivity, any public discourse over it is always going to stir up a few emotions. Add to that a society, which has no qualms in projecting ostentatious displays of disposition or for that matter their disinclination towards religion; it can then stir up more than a few emotions. By now you have probably already heard, read, tweeted or shared the infamous news story regarding the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), that it imposed fines on some of its students for a dress code violation. Even though that was really the ...

Read Full Post