Stories about student

Rozas and results

The Cambridge International Examination results will be released this week – have you prayed for success? There are two very important things that you notice in Ramazan that actually have very little to do with the holy month itself. One: making fun of that kid who sacrificed a goat just before his O-Levels results wasn’t a very good idea, considering that you’re contemplating doing exactly the same thing before this Thursday (Cambridge International Examinations announces its results on Aug 11). Two: going through a list of prospective college tuition fees suddenly makes you wish that your father was the emir of some ...

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Dear IBA, your policy-makers need a heart

I am a student of Institute of Business Administration (IBA). For four years  I had been grateful towards the institute but now, when I needed it most, IBA bailed on me. During the last few days of my Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) programme, my father fell extremely ill and passed away with an unfulfilled wish – to see me graduate. Coincidentally, my father’s illness and my second set of midterms clashed. I missed three exams because he lay unconscious in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). I needed to talk to the doctors; to do a crash course in medicine to understand my father’s ...

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Grad schools: Expensive education

‘Profit-making machines! That’s what these educational institutions have become’, I keep shouting out, sometimes to my friends, at times in my head. I just can’t stop cursing our top grad schools; they are so unaffordable, especially for the average income families. My frustration arises from the fact that our educational institutions have transformed into these lucrative profit-seeking businesses that leave ‘consumers’ (as they would call the ‘students’ in their business jargon) drained of their earnings and savings. I finished my undergrad programme almost a year back and now I’m hunting for grad schools in Pakistan. After having made my parents go ...

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‘Professor sahab, please help me get in to college’

It has been a good seven months now. And I am still not done with my college applications. At first, the process seemed as simple as looking for the right university. I narrowed down my list of choices to Canada, googled a list of Master’s programmes and found myself overwhelmed with the choices. “British Columbia is too cold, you’ll freeze to death!” “Do you even know how far Vancouver is? It’s like a whole other country.” “Ontario sahi hai.” The next step was fairly straightforward. Look up the requirements for these universities and make sure you meet them. The worst part of it ...

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Why worry? These exams will come and go

Final exams are starting. Poor school kids, you think. So glad I’m over that, you muse as you reminisce about the hours you spent cramming text, the shock of your last year reports. And even if that’s not exactly what you went through during school, it’s what most of your friends did. Part of being a student is being equated with some clichéd exam story. So it’s totally understandable if you’re wondering why this time you can’t spot the telltale sleep-deprived puffy eyes, or why students aren’t clutching each other in corridors, weeping about how horrible the exam was. It’s ...

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Is your Islam better than mine?

Growing up, I studied about the history of Islam, religious battles and tales of bravery in our compulsory Islamic Studies class at school. I was taught to learn and believe in the religion – and so I did. Then, I went to college. My romanticized opinions were shattered when I took a course on  religious studies. As I entered a new discourse, one that compared Islam to  Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism, I found myself questioning my preconceived notions of righteousness. The class taught us the difference between “rational thought” and religion. When I looked around my class I felt orthodox, but certainly not superior. By comparing rationality to ...

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Do parliamentarians care about the education emergency?

The education task force set up by the prime minister has recently termed the situation in Pakistan an “education emergency”. When media walas, policy makers, development sector workers and political activists are invited to sit together, they do not seem to think this “emergency” needs to be addressed urgently. The panel from the educational task force concluded that the main hurdle in educating the nation is the lack of political will. It is ironic that this statement comes directly from co-chair of Pakistan Education Task force Shahnaz Wazir Ali who is a member of parliament and the ruling party. If not her, ...

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Sports Day for dummies

Stage 1: Identifying that it is Sports Day Notice perspiring students in the corridors and water bottles tanked and ready to go? Badges and T-shirts being passed out? A whole new array of running shoes? Welcome to sports fever. It hits two weeks to two months before the big day, so you had better not forget. Failing to understand the importance of Sports Day makes you a stain on your otherwise perfect class’s reputation, a piece of vermin to be immediately squelched underfoot. Alternately, if you are an athlete and know someone who shows no interest in sports, you either a) ...

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Taking the GMAT: Easier said than done

My university deserves credit for teaching me one great skill: passing an exam by studying just a couple of hours before the paper. However, two years after graduation, as I studied for another important exam I found that I did not have the same focus or zeal that I had in college. Unfortunately, the exam I was studying for was the GMAT. . The low down GMAT is not your run-of-the-mill exam. It cannot be attempted successfully by ratto-fying (or rote learning). If you have a good memory, you might be able to do well in one or two sections of the exam, ...

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Education at square one

Sixty-three years worth of disparities. I find it an illogical argument that for the majority of this country an important life-changing issue such as education will remain secondary to clothing, housing and nutrition. Why must the underprivileged be responsible for changing their own fortunes? How come there is Shining India, with the youth from middle class Calcutta, Hyderabad, and even the smaller suburbs of Delhi and Bombay, doing well in sectors such as IT, both at home and abroad? How come the youth in these countries and cities have more opportunities than us? I pin that down to the fact ...

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