KGS, FPS, Nixor, Southshore, Lyceum or Cedar – The choices you make today will mould your future tomorrow
If you think you can relax right after taking your O’ level examinations, you’re wrong. Right after you’re done with your exams, people begin bombarding you with all sorts of questions, asking you what your plans are for college and what subjects you’re going to opt for.
There is literally no chill, and apparently for all the right reasons. The decisions you make now will affect the course of your life. I know this sounds scary, but it’s true.
After O’ level exams finish, the main concern is the arduous process of choosing a school for A’ levels. But before getting to that part, you have to decide whether you are going to do A’ levels or intermediate.
Many of your relatives will advise you to go for intermediate as it means that you are more likely to get admission into an engineering programme or a medical college They will probably tell you how much easier it will be for you to get a job in your country.
However, it is entirely up to you. If you do not want to become an engineer or doctor, then perhaps opting for A’ levels will be a more practical choice. Nonetheless, while choosing a school for your further studies, you must remember that the school you opt for will play a big part in your life ahead; not only in picking a university, but in your career and more importantly, in shaping your personality.
After deciding whether you will be going for intermediate or A’ levels, you have the task of deciding which school you are going to study in. There are various factors to consider. For starters, you must be able to afford the school. However, you shouldn’t be obsessed with the cost, as many schools offer scholarships and if you study hard enough, you can earn the scholarships. Other than that, this is the era of independence, where you can start earning your own money and partially pay for your tuition fee.
It is preferable for the school to be close to your residence so you don’t have to worry about traffic or getting late every morning. When it comes to Karachi, a school in Defence wouldn’t be desirable if you’re living in North Nazimabad. However, sometimes even the nearest school may end up very far, and in that case, you should have plans in place, such as waking up early or studying during the ride to school.
You should also take into account the faculty, and particularly, the teachers of the subjects you will be opting for. Good teachers will make sure that you get the best out of school and that you do not feel the need to take tuitions for any given subject. Visit the school before deciding, and have a look around to make sure that whatever you’ve heard or read about it is true. Various colleges offer personal tours of the campus so you can use that to erase any doubts from your mind.
You must be careful about a few aspects such as not choosing a certain school simply because your friend is not planning on applying there, or because someone told you that it’s highly reputable. It is imperative that one finds out about the school themselves, reviews all of their options and after carefully considering each one, decides which one they’re going to apply to instead of making a haste decision. You must not choose a school because your parents advise you to do so, learn to make your own choices.
In some cases, people turn down offers from great schools simply because an ‘enemy’ of theirs is enrolled in that school which is very foolish of them to do. While choosing, you will find that there are some colleges that are famous for just partying and having fun, and not studying, while others have good reputations for their studies and faculty. You have to keep in mind that you’re attending school to study, and have a little fun alongside, and not just to have fun.
It is good to be focused on a single goal and to work hard to achieve it. But sometimes you are unable to achieve that particular goal, and under these conditions, it is helpful to have a ‘Plan B’.
Similarly, while applying for colleges, it is better if you keep your options open and apply to as many colleges as you can, rather than just applying to the one you want to get into. This way, if you don’t get admission into college A, you can always consider colleges B, C or D.
In Karachi, three of the most prestigious colleges are Nixor College, Lyceum School and Karachi Grammar School (KGS). KGS is said to be the best school in Karachi and it has the highest standards of entry so you’ll be in the company of the best people. It is the oldest school offering A’ levels, so with this school comes years of experienced staff. However, it has old-aged faculty which may cause communication gaps between the teachers and their students.
Lyceum is said to be the ideal college for students with commerce subjects, and it has some of the best faculty in town along with some amazing extracurricular activities. Nixor also has some of the best teachers in town and is now making a name for itself. It has notable extracurricular activities as well.
Another option could be the newly opened Cedar College, Southshore School for A’Levels or even Bay View High School. There are so many options out there; you just have to find the one that suits you best.
However, I myself am planning to go to Foundation Public School’s (FPS) A’ level campus because I have been with FPS since nursery and now after 11 years, it feels like my second home and I have a strong connection with it. Other than that, the faculty is pretty good too and I won’t have to pay the admission fee since I am an FPSonian.
Good luck to those applying!
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.