Stories about Karachi Grammar School

Remembering Benazir Bhutto: This is the last chance we have to save our country

In the Oscar winning 1976 film Network, an ageing anchor-man tells his viewers to go to their windows and scream: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more”. The tragic, completely unnecessary death of Benazir Bhutto makes me want to do something of the sort. I remember her as a charming, attractive young woman when she came to Karachi Grammar School to do her A’ levels. I was two years behind her with her brother, Murtaza Bhutto, who was more commonly known among his friends as “Mir”. Their younger sister, Sanam Bhutto was with my sister, Samira, at the ...

Read Full Post

Here is why I think CAS is the best school in Pakistan

After spending nine years and counting at Centre of Advance Studies (CAS), I have come to cherish and value the teachings and experiences it has given me. The corn stand’s lala and the cafeteria staff has become the outlet of our daily ramblings. In every Centarian’s life, there are very few experiences that can compete with singing our school song, fighting for the last paratha roll and sitting by the steps waiting to high-five every junior that walks by. “Imagination is more important than knowledge” – Albert Einstein This teaching is what highlights the CAS amid many other nation-wide recognised schools. While other educational ...

Read Full Post

If A’ level schools from Karachi were houses from Game of Thrones

I am sure that anyone who has seen the Game of Thrones would love to know what house they would belong to had they been part of the series. But what if we lived in a world where houses were based on the A’ level colleges that people attended – or were aspiring to attend? How would that work? After a lot of research and analytical conversations with alumni from the top ten A’ level institutes in Karachi, I was able to grasp a sound, albeit limited, understanding of the kind of students who studied at these particular schools. And in GOT language, ...

Read Full Post

Does Aitchison give more importance to kinship than KGS?

Before we go on to tackle the issue of kinship and its importance in maintaining a certain decorum, atmosphere and legacy of an institute, let’s go back and take a quick lesson about an institution steeped in rich history, namely the Aitchison College. Aitchison College was founded on January 2, 1886, as the Punjab Chief’s college, and was renamed the Aitchison College on November 3, of the same year. The foundation stone of the new building (now known as the old building) was laid down by the Earl of Dufferin and Ava. The college is named after the (then) Lt Governor ...

Read Full Post

Karachi Grammar School admission blues: Do you have what it takes?

It is that time of the year again when parents of three-year-olds queue up breathlessly outside the most coveted red building in Pakistan, to get their wards admitted into this 150-odd years old institution thus, ensuring a ‘secure and bright future’ for their beloved offspring. Some of these little ones have been going to preparatory classes along with their preschools, filling their lives with more alphabets and numbers than any three-year-old should be subjected to. Every parent who saunters into this school is confident that his or her child is ‘the best’ and if Karachi Grammar School (KGS) lets them fall through ...

Read Full Post

Five great reasons why I will vote for Bilawal Bhutto

Is Bilawal Bhutto Zardari running for the National Assembly? Is he not running for the National Assembly? Do we have to wait till 2018, or a few months? The media really needs to make up its mind…like me! I am all set to vote for the boy in red, black and green – and here are five excellent reasons why. 1. Line up all our current Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) and then take a good look. No seriously, do it right now. I’ve got a handy dandy random selection for you to peruse below! I shouldn’t have to argue my ...

Read Full Post

KGS admission blues and the pursuit of (academic) happiness

Saturday, March 16, 2013 was probably one of the few very anticipated days in the academic calendar. For many, it was undoubtedly a defining moment for their kids. Yes, it was the day when one of the most prestigious schools in Karachi held its admission test for entry into class three. Success would mean victory, triumph and a sense of academic achievement par excellence. Failure would spell doom, despair, depression and a social stigma – in other words – for some nothing short of a calamity. The so called pursuit of academic excellence, if that is what we are after, comes with ...

Read Full Post

Terror on Facebook ‘Confession’ pages, from KGS to CAS

Rehtaeh Parsons was just 17. What could lead a 17-year-old to such a state that ending her life appeared to be the only way out of her misery? Cyber bullying, it appears. This case bears stark similarities to that of Amanda Todd’s – another teenager who took her own life early in October last year due to severe bullying over the internet. Both girls suffered from acute depression due to the fact that nasty rumours and compromising pictures of the two had been making rounds online. Teenagers can be cruel and intolerant. They can cripple your self-confidence to the point where you feel as ...

Read Full Post

‘Faiz is a hat?’

For those who do not know (and that number is growing) November 20 is the death anniversary of one of Urdu’s great intellectuals and poets, Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Sadly, the man and his body of work have become increasingly irrelevant for many Pakistanis, including myself. Conversation in the newsroom Me (upon spotting the story on a local news site): “Guys, today is the death anniversary of Faiz – are we covering it?” (Clueless) subeditor: “Isn’t Faiz a hat?” Yes, Fez is a hat. And yes, Faiz has been reduced to token mentions in the print media or online (“Today is Faiz’ birth or ...

Read Full Post

The rat race of KGS admissions

Mrs A remembers it as ‘the most horrible week of my life.’ She cried frequently; she had trouble sleeping at night; she had to leave a party early because she felt like she ‘couldn’t breathe’. And too many of her hours were filled with ‘whys’; why did this happen to her? Why? A child stricken with life-threatening illness? The collapse of the family business? The death of a beloved parent?  No, the darkest week of Mrs A’s life came two weeks ago when her daughter was rejected admission in the nursery at Karachi Grammar School (KGS). It’s hard to imagine writing such a ...

Read Full Post