Stories about teachers

Sending your child to school doesn’t guarantee that he will actually learn

In a utopian setting, the quintessential scenario for Pakistan would be to educate every child, thus leading to countless benefits, not least in relation to important indicators such as employment, health, equality and so on. Receiving “free and compulsory” education is also a legal constitutional right for every Pakistani child aged five to 16 under Article 25A. However, let’s face the harsh reality: Pakistan is unable to educate every single child. According to budget estimates, the government will only spend around a meagre 2.03% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on education in 2018. This is way below international requirements. Resources are ...

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Nation uniform curriculum: Are we compromising equity for equality?

In another move towards a Naya Pakistan, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood has announced a uniform national curriculum policy to not only ensure the quality of education, but also provide a level playing field across the country and present equal opportunity to everyone. This may sound utopian to many, but can we start celebrating yet? Let’s unearth this thought by taking a glance at the omnipresent institution of ‘schools’. How old is this institution? Impromptu responses might suggest perhaps thousands of years old, or maybe dating back to Socrates. Not only would these responses reflect our ...

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5 reasons why good teachers quit within 5 years

Often a good teacher will decide to leave his or her job after just a few years. A federal study states that up to 20% of certified pedagogues of both public and private schools begin to change their minds about devoting their lives to teaching by the fifth year of their career. According to Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, the number is actually much higher. He claims that about 50% of young experts quit teaching during the first five years because they are sick of the profession. While the exact number remains to be ...

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Make matriculation/high school compulsory to vote

On July 25th, Pakistan’s fate, at least for the next five years, will be in its own hands. The future will come down to all of us as we make certain choices in that polling booth. Some of us will still be thinking, weighing pros and cons, measuring the benefits, and calculating the risks. But most of us would have likely made up our minds on who to vote for before judgement day. The next day, Pakistan, a sovereign state since 1947, will see only the second successive transition in democratic power. But I have a question: are all people informed enough to ...

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I run a private school in Islamabad, and here’s the truth behind summer school fees

Those who are all daggers against private schools and are celebrating the Islamabad High Court’s decision to stop private schools from charging a summer fee, can stop reading because a private school owner is writing this blog. But then again, it might be worthwhile for you to hear the other side’s perspective too. I find myself to be a very small player in the private school industry. A newbie, who perhaps four years ago might have been bashing private schools from the other side too. Today, I am here not to make a case for myself but for the Citys, Roots, ...

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Teachers threatening mass suicide – How did it come to this, Pakistan?

It was a despairing day in the capital, when around 1,800 teachers and staff of public schools and colleges threatened to commit mass suicide outside the Supreme Court. Having not been paid for a shocking period of over 10 months, the protestors said they would kill their children alongside them. One wonders how this is possible in a country where even low-ranking ministers have imported, luxury cars, and where politicians are on the next flight to England upon a hint of the slightest ailment. There is no doubt the state of public education in Pakistan has continued to dwindle, but ...

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Arming teachers will only create a greater mess, one the US cannot afford

It’s a strange time in our history. America is making the news for the worst of reasons. I look back and wonder at times as to what happened to my adopted country. I look back at the time when the news headlines were dominated by the likes of Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire and Michael Jordan, to name a few. Granted that the social and political buzz and the emotions were still high at that time, but this kind of pressure wasn’t felt all over the body politic. Today, just turn the television on and there’s always something crazy ...

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Maybe Humpty Dumpty was never meant to be put back together again

People believe falling makes you stronger. These people were clearly never witness to the Great Ski Hazard of 2002. Let me elaborate. I grew up in Canada. When I was in the fourth grade, my school had the bright idea to take a bunch of clueless, over-excited nine-year-olds on a ski trip. Naturally, I was ecstatic. At the time, I never thought twice about slipping and sliding down snow-covered hills with two measly pieces of wood stuck on my feet. I didn’t grasp just how daunting the prospect of skiing would be until I stepped off the bus at the resort. I remember my stomach ...

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My teachers refused to teach me because they “weren’t in the mood”

When I joined my high school, my fluency in Urdu sucked. My accent, vocabulary and my pronunciation of the language was so bad that when it was my turn to recite anything, the whole class would burst out laughing. My teacher never said anything to me and only corrected me where I was wrong. He would smile and tell me to go on. On some occasions, he would make sure I was the one who read out loud. Never once did I ever feel threatened or discouraged. Over the period of two years, my Urdu improved and my vocabulary got so much better ...

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Why America is the greatest Islamic Caliphate there exists

Last Friday, Maulvi Sahab again said that God’s wrath is soon going to descend on the United States of America (USA) and the Muslim World will rise again. Although these are two entirely different things – fall of America and rise of Muslims more so the Asian Muslims – quite unrelated; nevertheless, he bundled them together as is the understanding in the entire Muslim world these days. So far so good. For the last 30 years of my life in Kashmir, I have often heard this prediction being made by “God’s own middlemen” that this Islamophobic, zionist, kafir America will ...

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