Stories about education

Does Lahore really need its own Disneyland?

Lahore will have its own ‘Disneyland’ – a recent news item that does not carry significance as far as headlines are concerned, but does carry a ton of significance otherwise. As things stand currently, only a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Punjab government and the Chinese company. While a MoU has no legal value, it does point a finger towards Shahbaz Sharif’s priorities. Coming from an industrialist background, his focus towards capitalism is unquestionable. From investing in infrastructure to handing out laptops, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government is a big proponent of liberal economic policies, despite being a conservative party otherwise. But ...

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Chitral earthquake relief: Aid may be expensive but lives are priceless

Floods in Chitral became the reason for the first introduction of our team at Elaj Trust and this beautiful valley. We are in the area again, this time due to earthquake relief. Nature has not been kind, government aid has not been effective. But the people are resilient. Victims who are still looking for compensation announced at the time of floods have not lost faith. Sorlaspur village, at 10,000 feet above sea level, is the last stop before Shandur, home of the world’s highest polo ground. Nearly 70 houses are completely destroyed here and nearly 350 in the surrounding area. In ...

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Why my father devoted his life to jailbirds, and so will I

A poor person isn’t one who has no money or riches, but the one who holds no love in his heart for those who are suffering. This has been my father’s motto ever since I can remember. My father has devoted his entire life to the well-being of prisoners in Pakistan, be it Muslims or Christians. I grew up watching him attend to his duties at the prison and working amongst prisoners for their betterment, and I always used to wonder why he worked with them. Why did my father have this particular job? Why was he not a ...

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Dear Malala Yousafzai, your Nobel Prize is not your ticket to Stanford

It is time for Malala Yousafzai to start considering colleges for the next phase of her education. However, here the queen of education seems to have run into a little snag. Though she has her eyes set on Stanford University in California among other institutions, Stanford has demanded that she demonstrate herself to be academically adept as per US standards for college admission. Not quite interested in her stature as the youngest Nobel Laureate, the university, which ranks number third in the world, has demanded Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores from Malala. SAT is a specialised test of academic skills in the areas of reading, writing, and math required for applying to admission ...

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Why do we insist on treating children with special needs differently?

Recently, my friends and I interned with the Child Development (CD) ward at The Children’s Hospital in Lahore. Many students opt for summer internships in order to aggrandise their resumes, gain experience for future jobs, or simply add lustre to their otherwise boring summer holidays. We sauntered through the glass doors of the hospital, cracking jokes and addressing each other in husky voices with the title of ‘Dr’ tethered to our names. We were not, however, anticipating how this two-week experience would change our perspective. The hospital itself was a surprise. The phrase ‘government hospital’ is often associated with decrepit, insanitary, and feculent buildings with incompetent ...

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I am a Sindhi and I have no sympathy for PPP anymore

Thar’s veteran politician, Rana Chandra Singh, once commented on the size of Umerkot’s Lanba ground in Dhatki, “Lanba ground Kachhi menhan Bhari ya Bhutto re Dikri.” (Either the southern rain has the power to fill the Lanba ground, or the daughter of Bhutto.) Those were the days when Sindhis, both Muslims and Hindus, chose to name their children after the famous Bhuttos. There are many Zulfikars, Bhuttos and Benazirs in Sindh and people once took pride in such names. Similarly, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged, many who had named their children Ziaul Haq, changed their children’s names immediately. Now, you will rarely come across a person named Zia in Sindh. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) represented the people; PPP represented the ...

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Jinnah’s letter to Pakistan: Who do I hold accountable?

My precious, Where do I begin? Where do I end? 68 years ago, you two breathed your first – I remember it like it was yesterday. It wasn’t ideal. They thought you two wouldn’t be able to make it, but you did. I was such a proud father – the effort, the commitment, the resolve, it all had finally paid off. After the euphoria died down, it was time to snap back to reality. The challenges ahead were steep, but both of you had my unwavering support. My health was giving up on me and I knew I did not have a lot ...

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Four tried-and-tested tips to land a job in Dubai

Most of us, if not all, go to the UAE on a visit visa in order to search for a job. And the majority of us have no guarantee of finding a satisfying job. It takes time to research and locate your ideal job post in UAE. If you are unemployed, make this task your full-time job; if you’re employed, set aside some time every day after work for your job search, after all, we’re all looking for the next best opportunity. Speaking from experience, here are a few suggestions and tips I would like to share with you for a successful ...

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Finding a solution to Pakistan’s ‘log kya kahenge’ syndrome

I am sure that most of you are well aware of Disney’s Oscar winning animated feature Frozen . What you are probably not aware of, however, is the fact that it could easily have been the creation of a Pakistani production house because Mir Zafar Ali, one of the animators behind the film, is Pakistani. In the past few decades, Pakistan has witnessed a major brain-drain; we have seen many talented individuals move to greener pastures in search of better employment prospects in their relevant fields of interest. Of course, there are those who haven’t given up on their dreams ...

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Some of us cannot afford the hijab of today

There is a school named The Clifton High School which is not in Karachi but in New Jersey, USA, and Abrar Shahin is a Muslim student of Palestinian descent who recently graduated from this school. Sincere congratulations and best wishes in her subsequent career to the young lady who appears to possess a strong sense of identity since her photograph shows her wearing a hijab, and who is about to present us with what I hope, a healthy debate. In the hormone-charged atmosphere of high schools, where girls dress quite revealingly, it takes conviction to cover your head with a scarf at ...

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