Stories about school

Dear Arham, I will never forget the last day you went to school…

To my dear brother Arham, My Arham, that day, before you left for school, I remember seeing a vibrant smile on your face. It was as if you were excited for the day to come. I miss that smile now. I think about how energetic and cheerful you were that day. I still remember how, in the car, you kept going on and on about playing video games with Zawar and kept boring me with your chatter. I would give anything to hear you speak now. When Abbu dropped you to school, I remember how you rushed to pick up your bag ...

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Lub pay aati hai dua bann kay tamanna meri

On December 16, 2014 The Express Tribune blogs desk received many submissions from grief stricken people from all over Pakistan. These people wanted to show their solidarity with the families of the victims. They wanted to mourn the deaths of the students and teachers from the Army Public School, who were brutally massacred by the TTP in Peshawar. Due to shortage of space, we were unable to accommodate many, but we understood that this was a traumatic event in which every Pakistani’s protest should be recorded. So, this post was created as a window for people to come together and ...

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This was not revenge, this was murder without mercy

From today, we can no longer be divided into groups and raise slogans for politicians. Today, we need to join hands and stand together as Pakistanis for the future of this nation. The ‪‎Peshawar attack is another brutal example of the heinous criminals that infest our nation. As the death count rises, we are counting the bodies of dead children. Dead children, for God’s sake. There is no excuse for this brutality. There is no excuse for this infamy. There is no excuse for anyone to even consider fighting for anything other than the Pakistan that 132 families sacrificed their future generations for ...

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Aao Parhao – Jo Seekha Hai Wo Sekhao

As part of a remembrance to Robin Williams, I arranged a showing of Good Will Hunting and invited some school friends over. After the movie ended, one of them remarked on the critical role the protagonist’s teacher, Prof Gerald Lambeau (played by Stellan Skarsgård), a Fields Medal winner, and mentor  Sean Maguire (played by Robin Williams) had in his development. “We didn’t have anyone as dedicated as them. Not even close.” I had to disagree and thought back to an incident back in March 1991. The phone rang and my mother picked it up. “Hello, is this the home of Sibtain Naqvi?” a lady asked. My mother ...

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Can the Pakistani education system stop catering to political agendas please?

The issue of school curriculum has been under discussion in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) for some time now. The 18th Amendment devolved the education sector to the provinces but that has yet to bear fruit, since the leaders who have decided to take up the responsibility of planning a ‘better’ future for the youth of K-P still need to achieve some constructive results. Playing its ‘due’ role, the coalition government in the province wants to change what is being taught to children at schools. The changes desired are within the lines of ‘religious’ and ‘national’ teachings, according to the members. They want chapters on national heroes like Bacha Khan ...

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My secret admirer

The doorbell rang. It was 2pm and I was preparing food for lunch. It was almost time for my 15-year-old son, Omar, to come back from school. Wiping away sweat from my forehead with my left sleeve, I rushed towards the entrance. But there was nobody there; just a small package tied with a red ribbon-flower. I was shocked for a second. It wasn’t any special occasion that I could recall neither was it anyone’s birthday at home or any sort of anniversary. I picked it up. It had my name written on it but the box had no name of ...

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Living with polio in Pakistan

“I always wanted to study but my dream to get higher education remained just that, a dream. I was unable to complete my Matric because of my disability. It would pain me immensely to see girls who were with me in school going to college and making something of themselves.” Maria, while wiping her tears, was discussing the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government’s new scheme regarding free education for the disabled. Maria is 32-years-old and is a resident of Gulbahar in Peshawar. She was diagnosed with polio when she was one-year-old, soon after she got her polio vaccination. She is currently living with her brother ...

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What if your daughter doesn’t want to be a ‘doctor bahu’?

In a recent conversation with a mother to little girls, I asked her what she had planned for her children with regards to their education. I was merely referring to school choices but she told me, quite categorically, “Matric, FSc and then straight to medical college!” It seemed quite standard a response for the desi mind-set, but I couldn’t help but wonder. What if they want to do something else? What if they want to grow up to be writers or study hieroglyphics or become physicists or God forbid, singers? What if they hate being doctors? What if they hate studying biology? What ...

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10 things my 3-year-old taught me this summer

Summer vacations always bring out an all-new, never-known-before side to kids. Some days are filled with frantic fire fighting and others are just an awe struck pause at what these little ones are capable of. The absence of a school routine and the luxury of designing their own days brings all sorts of surprises. Here are some fun rules I observed this summer: 1. If you haven’t used your toothbrush as a tummy scrub, you’re under utilising its potential. Photo: Giphy 2. Lessons in Physics: All balls, when are thrown upwards towards the ceiling, bounce back. Except the play ...

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Overcoming adversity and reopening schools in Swat

As one travels, on the highway, from Peshawar to Swat, the lush green fields, dotted with tall poplar trees, appear breath-taking, and gradually the silhouette of the mountains become visible. The low-lying mountains gain height and the sound of water springs, gushing from the crevices of rocks create a melancholic music. Photo: Sameera Rashid   On a winding road from the Chakdara to Mingora, people are seen crossing the clear waters of river Swat, on makeshift bridges, and plum trees with delicate pink flowers bloom on the roadside orchids. Photo: Sameera Rashid Not only does Swat cast its ...

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