Stories about school

Let your children blossom

It’s funny that creativity is such a sought-after trait in today’s world but when we have it in our hands, playing in our backyards digging up the entire garden, getting Cs in math but making exquisite art pieces, or creating magical stories about old trees, we have absolutely no idea what to do with it. Worst yet, we fail to recognise it, nurture this difference, celebrate the genius. By reprimanding it, questioning it, assimilating it into the ordinary — we do the ultimate injustice — we steal someone’s talent or gift and intentionally kill it. What I’m talking about is ...

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Shia killing: If we tolerate this, our children will be next

Last week, I heard the news of the targeted sectarian killing of Jaffer Mohsin. The name didn’t ring a bell at the time, but later that day, when a friend told me that a fellow schoolmate’s father had been shot dead, it jogged my memory. I then realised that doctor Jaffer Mohsin was our friend’s father. That’s when the memories came flooding back. Back when I used to live near my school building, Dr Mohsin’s family lived in the lane next to mine. Like regular Pakistani youths who bond over a common love for cricket, his sons and I played the ...

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LUMUN or competitions that turn into a losing game

Two weeks ago, Jinnah International airport was deluged by nervous yet excited parents. “Kya aap ki beti bhi LUMUN ja rahi he?” (is your daughter going to LUMUN too?) they cried as they bumped into each other. School teams kept arriving in jam-packed buses, students streamed through security checks in their uniforms and blazers. They were headed for Lahore University of Management Sciences Model United Nations, an endeavour that consists of night-long research marathons on different countries, eating too much at Hardees, and chilling out at the free concerts. It is also incidentally a convergence of some of the country’s brightest, sharpest ...

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The value of school reunions and networking

High school is a time many students think they’d rather forget. A year or so after, once university life kicks in, it’s a time almost every person begins to reminisce about. Ten years down and one can only wish for a day of walking around the place that once was a second home. High school reunions are one of the few opportunities most students have to relive school days and reconnect with school friends. But even more so, they are a great opportunity for networking. After all, it’s not every day that you get to interact with hundreds of people ...

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Another Imran Khan article that’s not about Musharraf’s rally. Sorry.

If Pakistan were a school and voters were the graduating class, then we’d know exactly where Musharraf would fit in. Musharraf would be the angry guy who sits at the front of each class and has a problem with things no one cares about, like the colour of the chalk the teacher uses. He would be a suck-up to everyone but his peers, and be like the head boy or prefect who gets the job done, but really, does anyone like him? His dog (his profile picture on Facebook) would probably be a lot more popular than he is. This was ...

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We don’t need a school like Jamia Hafsa

The Islamabad administration has given the city a much needed gift on the eve of the new year. With education already in a hole and extremism showing no signs of fading, city bosses, under the guidance of our beloved fruit-alchemist interior minister, have decided to grant Jamia Hafsa, the Lal Masjid burqa brigade school, permission to rebuild in Sector H-11. While the Supreme Court ruling on the matter called for an equivalent area of land to be turned over in compensation, the esteemed city authorities went one better by granting the land-grabbing, hate speech-espousing Abdul Aziz, a part-time religious leader, ...

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‘No Baba, not her 18th birthday party, her wedding’

“Baba, I need to go to Mehek’s* mehndi tonight.” “Mehek’s sister?” “No, Mehek’s. As in, Mehek in my class.” My father lowers his newspaper, eyebrows raised. “Mehek in your class is getting married?” Yes, Mehek in my class is getting married. And I am cordially invited. Who gets married at 18? Apparently, a sizable chunk. I can easily produce a list of girls who have gotten married, will get married this year, or will be getting married in the next year or two. The list of girls whose possibility of getting engaged in the next year or two is exponentially higher. And this phenomenon is not ...

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A field trip to a festival of hate

“The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.” Stephen King Teachers are entrusted by parents to help mould children into ‘good’, responsible, people. They are also trusted to tell their parents the truth about what their kids are being made to do in school. That trust is one of the most important things in the student-teacher-parent relationship. Breaching it makes one an embarrassment to the profession, and threatens the welfare of the child. In the last fortnight, there was the Gujranwala incident, where, according to this newspaper, “the local administration ordered the heads of all government schools to ...

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My school in Badin

Four months after torrential rains hit rural Sindh, the people of Badin are still trying to rebuild their lives. Shaukat is a fourth grader at Kehar Khan Lund primary school in Badin. This video shows  his journey to school every morning – a school surrounded by stagnant rain water. Every day, Shaukat and his seventy-two classmates wade through filthy stagnant rainwater, smiling, even laughing at their struggle. However, their teacher says with no help, little can be done to keep the school functional. Even though Shaukat is fond of learning and says that his favourite subject is poetry, he will ...

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Hijab, or else…

The recent attack on the MC Model Girls High School in Rawalpindi is no less than a national tragedy. When 60 men, armed with iron rods waltz into an educational institute to mete out violent justice against women and children for not ‘dressing moderately’, it is a low point in the very substance of a nation. When an armed mob of religious vigilantes entered the school they did more than just beat innocent children and teachers. They instilled fear in every female student, in every girls school, and in the mind of every parent of a girl. The fact that ...

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