Stories about education

At NUST: Fined for ‘wearing tight’ or no ‘dopatta’

As its contribution towards disciplining the youth of this country, the National University of Sciences and Technology (Nust) imposes fines on students for breaking their dress code. In their haste to fine students for wearing jeans and not wearing a dupatta they overlook something called grammar. No one is perfect, but when one is running an institution of higher learning perhaps one should have higher expectations. However, I digress. According to dawn.com, Nust has denied the report and stated only that students are instructed to wear ‘decent’ dresses. The fact, however, remains is that this isn’t the first time students have been fined at Nust or ...

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A child’s broken dreams

A smile flickered on her lips as the fluttering butterfly evaded her for the umpteenth time and became a fugitive in the darkening skies. She cried out to her mother excitedly, “I nearly caught her!” To which her mother, Nargis, replied as always, “How many times have I told you not to tease such innocent souls, Ghulab Jahan? They will curse you and then you will never be able to become a doctor.” Ghulab Jahan, as pretty as her name implied, chuckled at the thought of a tongue-less creature complaining to God about her. Ghulab was an anachronism in many ways; she belonged neither to ...

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Make the GRE agree with you! Here is how you can start prepping

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) isn’t just your ordinary test. The GRE is a test designed to measure the verbal, quantitative and analytical writing skills you have developed in the course of your academic career, particularly when you are aiming to go USA’s best graduate schools like MIT, UC Berkeley, Stanford, Georgia Tech; you have to encounter the GRE to study under such ‘consistently’ ranked-near-the-top-of-the-elite-school-slush-pile. Worldwide, about half a million people take the general test each year, while a much smaller number take the subject exams. As a non-native speaker, I was first a bit loathsome (yes, utilising GRE vocabulary) ...

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Things you should consider before deciding to work abroad

Pakistan produces numerous world class students every year. These students excel in a variety of fields including, medicine, engineering, accounting and business. However, due to the political and economic instability leading to high rates of unemployment, a lot of these students are forced to explore employment options abroad.   The idea of shifting to an alien country creates hopelessness and frustration amongst the youth and this leads them to make impulsive and irrational decisions. And, they seldom consider the implications of their rash assessments. For instance, a person accepting a job abroad at a position lower than his qualification or experience ...

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Education in Peshawar: Will free higher education for students with distinctions help?

Recently I read that the University of Peshawar will be offering free higher education to students who pass their bachelor’s degree with distinction; and this applies to not only Masters but a PhD students as well. As I scrolled down further, other news stories related to the topic materialised. One of them read “The University abolishes third division as a passing grade in order to improve the standard of education”. I was left wondering whether such a move will even be effective. Should we celebrate? Can raising educational standards be possible with as simple a step as this? It has become old ...

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Banning the niqab in Britain: How very Taliban of you

A recent ban on the niqab, introduced at the Birmingham metropolitan college, has sparked huge controversy among the communities in Birmingham and across the United Kingdom. Over 9,000 students across the UK signed a petition against this decision made by the college administration. While a large number of political activists have condemned the decision, College Principal, Dame Christine Braddock DBE, described the ban as promoting robust equality, diversity and inclusiveness. She further stated that she is committed to ensure that students are provided with a safe and welcoming learning environment whilst studying there — a truly ‘British way of life’. I ...

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Doctors vs pharmacists: Selling drugs gets no respect in Pakistan

Ever watched a Bollywood song and wondered why the back-up dancers, who are as pretty as the main actor/actress, fail to catch a glimpse of the limelight? There are some people who feel like this all the time. You may recognise them as the people behind the counter at a medical store — I like to refer to them as ‘pharmacists’. Fact: they study a crucial, nerve-racking five-year course and earn a doctorate of pharmacy, yet they are not recognised on professional platforms. I believe most of them are tired of this crazy roller coaster, where they are asked several ...

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Is a ‘science student’ smarter than an ‘arts student’?

As soon as we step into the dreaded phase of our education where we must choose which subjects we want to pursue for our higher studies, arts and science are pretty much the basic options to choose from and these practically shape our academic future. I remember when I passed the eighth grade, I was content because I had been able to achieve the target score required to be able to choose science for my matriculation; I was ecstatic, my interest in science being secondary. It wasn’t just me, all my class fellows worked hard so that they could be promoted to the ‘science’ ...

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Why does Pakistan need 3G?

The Supreme Court’s intervention in the availability of 3G technology in Pakistan should be received with a welcoming reaction, as the country is in dire need for high-speed mobile (portable) broadband connectivity. Over the past few months, more than 160 countries have launched 3G services and the number of active 3G subscriptions surpassed one billion. Even in a small and poor country like Kiribati – situated in the middle of the Pacific with hardly any resources and considered to be one of the least developed countries of the world – 3G systems are being introduced to the public. Countries from Australia ...

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Why you should pick a college away from home

Unlike the West, where living away from home is a norm, a large part of our traditional Pakistani society is new and rather averse to this notion. Most parents are overprotective by nature and are unwilling to disrupt the family dynamics. Thus, they are reluctant to even consider the possibility of sending their children away from home. Sure, attending college in one’s hometown is an experience in itself.  However, I think that the purpose of college education entails character-building, ability to deal with copious amount of pressure and exploring the person that one is or wishes to be. Dorm-life, in ...

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