Graduation dilemma: This seat is taken

Published: October 4, 2010
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Why take opportunities away from those who would actually use their education for something other than enlightened child rearing?

Among the enlightened elite of our great nation are parents who believe in educating their daughters. They spend several thousands, millions even, to ensure that their daughters have quality education from the best universities within their means.

Yes, parents like these do exist, among the many who only look forward to the dubious pleasure in marrying their daughters off.

Imagine, for example, one of Pakistan’s best universities. Graduation, especially with accolades, would add to any resume, attracting many good opportunities. But you are mistaken if you think I am talking about job opportunities. Somehow, somewhere, someone changed the rules of the game and that university is viewed by families and friends as a glorified finishing school.

I doubt that the alma matter’s name is bandied about by prospective employers as much as it is by prospective mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, even aunts-in-law. Somehow, the concentration in development economics is confused with major in home economics!  And the degree is viewed as little more than a hobby indulged in by the benevolent permission of forbearing parents, to be put aside now that ‘real’ life has started. Or at best, to be used as a bait to hook the best “fish” in the sea.

During university life, there is competition for the best grades, the highest GPA, eclat in sports and extra curricular activities. Before the rivalry for the best jobs can begin, however, many young women who have been leading so far in all these arenas, detour to a different path, shelving dreams of careers and success with apparently happy smiles.

Whether the engaged or married states can really afford happiness enough to make all else seem unworthy, I do not know, nor have I been tempted to find out.  My issue is this – why take opportunities away from those who would actually use their education for something other than enlightened child rearing?

fatima.attarwala

Fatima Attarwala

A sub-editor on the national desk of The Express Tribune

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.