Stories about college

Life in a hostel: The hate list

The Warden: I wonder if while hiring hostel wardens, the administration specifically looks for bitter, old, and mostly unmarried ladies who will make sure that life is unbearably hard for students at the dreaded boarding school. They inculcate a sense of fear among those destined to be at their mercy. With a paper and pen ready, they are constantly waiting to pounce on their victims just so they can attach another notice on the board of disorderly conduct. The Washrooms: It is an absolute pain walking into a wet washroom. The pain scale shoots to 10 when the washroom is ...

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A few American brats you know

Alarmingly large numbers of Pakistanis are heading to colleges abroad. It’s become a status symbol. Parents dole out ridiculous amounts of money to make sure their kids – especially their sons – get a degree from a foreign college, however bad, or expensive. Experiencing life at a college in the US makes it easy for me to see what becomes of most of them. Forgive me; I’m going to take the liberty to generalise. The way I look at, if you place the typical Pakistani male at an American college then he’ll be sure to fall into one or more ...

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The mockery of education

Pakistan is a country of 170 million people with an average literacy rate of 57 per cent only. The education sector has always been treated like an illegitimate child when it comes to annual budget allocations. A great chunk of the federal budget goes to military and defense. It has been the same old story this year. The defense budget was raised by 17 per cent in the annual federal budget under the pretext of ongoing war against militants while the spending on education is less than 3 per cent. According to a recent report by Sharmila Farooqui, advisor to ...

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The job that wasn’t there

Getting a job is hard these days. With more joblessness in the capital, it has become extremely difficult to the right job that will pay well too.  But a new trend some companies have adopted is  fooling candidates about their designation. Last year, in 2009, we (some friends from my MBA batch and myself), were asked by our career office to visit an established local bank. We were all very excited, as the letter said: “You have been shortlisted for a test as Management Trainee Officer (MTO) at XXX bank. Please bring these documents: a copy of CNIC, copies of your ...

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College life and the dilemma of red tape

I belong to the 2006 batch of Bahria University. After completing two semesters at BU, one day my mom asked me to show her my interim transcript. Figuring I needed a print copy of my transcript, I went to the examination department, who promptly said, “sorry, we can’t give you the transcript since there is no paper.” I was a bit puzzled over such an unlikely excuse. The next day, I was informed by a couple of friends, “They give this paper excuse to everyone, they don’t want to give transcripts out”. I didn’t give up and went to the Director Academics. He ...

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Labour of love: lessons learned overnight

““Final year students are required to do two night shifts per week in their Obstetrics and Gynecology posting.” Ever since I heard my in-charge say those words, the apprehension started building up until it became a real bothersome issue. I tried to look for an escape route, anything, to be able to skip those night duties. Amazingly, I’d never had to do night duties in my clinical rotations so far but this being my final year as a medical student, all the loose ends would now have to be tied up. In other words, there was no escape. The reasons I ...

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Punjab on education, setting the wrong example

The recent announcement by the government of Punjab to “privatize” 24 colleges has sadly been unable to garner the publicity it deserved. As part of the policy, a board of governors is to be constituted including the local district commissioner and National Assembly members. The implementation of this policy has been condemned by student, parent and teacher representatives. The government claims that on its part, it is appointing a board of governors to each of the respective colleges to make them more efficient. That said it has as yet, not offered any elaboration on what those efficiency gains may be. Paramount amongst the concerns ...

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