Stories about CIE

Aao Parhao – Why I chose teaching over a ‘dream job’

Teaching students at the college and high school levels has been a constant in my life since I graduated from the Lahore University of Management Sciences in 2011. Apart from working as a sub-editor at The Express Tribune in the year 2011-12, I was also teaching Sociology as a part-time faculty member. I have chosen to continue with the latter occupation for a variety of reasons. I went into teaching because I was inspired by John Dewey and his work on the education system in Turkey, whereby he completely reformulated the country’s education system according to the demands of the modern world. Not only ...

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8 hours of school and then tuition: Is your child learning anything?

I was quite disturbed to hear that Haroon Tariq – the student who secured 38 As in IGCSE – has opened up a tuition centre where he intends to offer paid tuition for O’ and A’ level subjects. It is indeed sad that such a brilliant mind is encouraging a trend like after school classes. This article by no means serves to undermine the accomplishments of the aforementioned student, but to highlight the implications of the overall growing trend of private tuition in Pakistan, whose endorsement by Haroon is pitiful. In my opinion, after-school tuition are a handicap, or put it more appropriately, an addiction for students. ...

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Have the British Council and CIE become moneymaking machines?

Recently, the British Council of Pakistan dropped an email saying that I was required to visit its office to collect my Cambridge International Examination (CIE) certificate. As the scheduled time clashed with my university hours, it was almost impossible for me to go myself. However, when my mom called the office to ask if she could come and collect it for me instead, the person answering the phone said, “No. Your daughter will have to come and collect it herself. We need her identification card. We are not dispatching the results this year.” I had no choice; I direly needed my ...

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I finally escaped…

The days of my four-year-old relationship were a mixture of contentment, depression and confusion at my inability to understand what he was saying. As days passed, I felt that he was becoming more possessive and controlling than ever and I wasn’t really sure if I could cope with his long list of demands anymore. There were days in those four years when I spent sleepless, agitated nights trying to understand what he really wanted out of me. I was more than willing to adhere to his demands but by the end of it, I felt more exasperated and tired as ...

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Lessons from the past: The O-Level retake is in your benefit

Every teenager who took Part 1 of his or her O-level exams this year is in a state of shock. The British Council has announced “a breach of security”. Because of a few low cheats, all students will have to retake their Pakistan Studies and Islamiyat Papers in ten days time. Reactions range from anger to hysteria to downright depression. Leaks are hardly new. The Matric Board exams are challenged with accusations of cheating every year and there is no doubt that the results from some centres are highly suspect. One senior citizen recalls being woken up by classmates the ...

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Cambridge International Examinations: Not Pakistani, so it must be good

I remember when my anxiety towards an impending CIE A level examination superseded the boundaries of personal interest and assumed a political nature. Disappointed with the B in my Chemistry mock exam, I turned to my teacher for further evaluation. Instead of relieving me of my worries, the response I received gave way to a wide array of concerns. “Come on, how many past papers did you guys really do? You can’t expect an A without having done enough past papers!” I began to notice, with increasing clarity, how much emphasis our teachers put upon the internalisation of what I call the CIE ...

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Education’s own ‘class conflict’

Pakistanis constantly face the dilemma of choosing the right education system for our children. Most of us, no matter which education system we belong to, would somehow always prefer the Cambridge system over the local Matric system when it comes to choosing for our children. I, myself, would make that choice. The reason is very clear: the British education system ‘imported’ for our progress is undoubtedly better than the home grown one. Children who get the opportunity of appearing for Cambridge International Examinations tend to have an edge over the Matric students. But the edge comes at a high price – inequality. ...

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A day in the life of an O’ level student

Myra sits in her exam centre and carefully looks at everything inside the exam room, taking in every minute detail around her. She looks for any means of entertainment, or something ─ anything ─ that would reduce this boredom. Her friend purses her lips which reveal her annoyance at Myra, too afraid to show any real emotions for fear of the invigilator. The invigilator, a stout, stern woman moves her eyes around the room like a hawk, ever ready to catch any miserable brat hand gesturing or passing random smiles. One can’t smile, speak, or move their arms to stretch as ...

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So long, farewell: College really isn’t that far off, right?

What makes a bunch of kids pack up a lifetime (albeit a short one) worth of belongings into a suitcase, say their goodbyes to family and take last-minute pictures with friends, and then quite suddenly, leave? When did going to college become so dramatic? It begins, as it ends, in drama. Last Monday’s A’ Level results involved the usual pre-result splitting up of students into the overly religious (no goat left un-sacrificed), the annoyingly hyper-worried (I’ve failed, I’m doomed, I am a blot on my parent’s izzat), and the blasé (wake me up when it’s over). But there was also an ...

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O’ Level results and all the people I must please

Is it just me or did every long lost relative have a big red circle around the date August 13, 2012 on their calendars? On this date they dusted up their phone books and called you or your parents – after lord knows how many months of not acknowledging your existence – just to inquire about your  Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) results. Typical Pakistani mentality. Read: Poke your nose into everything. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t your result something personal? In my opinion, you should control the right to share it with whoever you choose to share it with. This right, however, is ...

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