Stories about universities

Tough guy syndrome: Ragging is not ‘shugal’ or some rite of passage – it has consequences

Underneath Barry Block’s ominous tress, at the grand Aitchison College, the “premier school in Pakistan”, they stand in a row. Five of them, those unimportant, annoying juniors. “Murgha ban kar beth jao saare ab,” the seniors order. (All of you sit in the chicken position now)   “Yeh tumhara baap hai. Tameez se beth, aur Sir ya Daddy bol. Yaar nai hain hum teray,” another senior exclaims pointing towards one of his batch mates. (This is your father. Respect him. Call him Sir or Daddy. We’re not your friends.) Amongst the hundreds of crises that every teenager faces, there are many fuelled by ignorant, toxically ...

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And they will say, ‘Remember what happened to Naila’

She hailed from Qambar Shahdadkot, where the literacy rate is 44%, according to a report published in 2012. She came from an area where only 33% of the female population has completed higher education. Against all odds, she left her hometown and enrolled herself in the Sindhi Department at the University of Sindh, Jamshoro, to continue her studies. Currently in her final year, Naila Rind was not just an average student; she was an award winning student in her Masters class. Naila had returned early from her hometown during her winter vacations in order to work on her final year thesis, which was due on ...

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My top ten memories of Pakistan

Three years is not much time in which to learn about a society as diverse, complex, and fascinating as Pakistan. However, for foreign diplomats, it is a fairly long tour. As I leave, I wanted to share with the Express Tribune readers what I hope will be an interesting and unique perspective on this great country; on some of the things that we, in the American government, have done with our Pakistani partners; and, of some of the things I have most appreciated during my time here. 1. Viewing Mughal Architecture I have lived in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan off and on ...

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Is education killing creativity?

This one TED-talk made me rethink my concept of education. Education for me had always been about rote learning and grades. I mean, if I could repeat the day’s lesson verbatim I was one of the most intelligent students. But if that logic applies, then a parrot can repeat things perfectly too so it is probably the most intelligent of all life forms. But parrots aren’t educated. Do you see my conundrum? Education should be about more than just about becoming literate, it should also facilitate creativity and originality. In my opinion, formal education is producing a workforce conditioned to be conformist; ...

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23 post-exam student reactions, explained through Disney

With final examinations coming to an end, many students are rejoicing over their newly-found freedom. From planning the upcoming vacations to partying hard in their farewells and annual parties, the end of exams has an ecstatic effect on everyone. Being a teacher myself, many varied reactions have come my way from my students and their friends – and some of which have compelled me to put together this post. So, here are the 23 post-exam reactions you would come across from students everywhere, explained via Disney. 1) Uncontrollable joy, over finally getting done with their never-ending coursework Source: Tumblr 2) Bouts ...

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Entry tests and inept professionals: Another nail in our education coffin

A few days back, I came across the news that the government is considering to end the entry test system (ECAT & MCAT) for admissions in universities. The news left me utterly dismayed. The policy to hold these tests was implemented a few years back, to check the competency level of students coming from different educational boards. It was a good way to test individuals on similar parameters to understand their aptitude for a particular field of study and was a much-needed step. In Punjab, there are many educational boards – almost every city has its own – and alongside ...

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Iss parcham ke saaye talay

It’s been more than a decade since I have felt safe in my own country. Through times, I have experienced phases that this country has seen, but never have I seen such a demanding situation that seemed never ending. But now, finally, there seems a light at the end of this tunnel – maybe children will be able to play on the streets again… like I used to. Now, finally, we are taking the war to the enemy. I remember the day Lal Masjid was attacked. There were many discussions on various forums about whether the government was right in taking action ...

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It’s useless to study in the US, stay in Pakistan!

The education system in the US is, undoubtedly, no match to that of Pakistan. There is a major difference in the quality of education between the two nations. A majority of youngsters living in Pakistan are encouraged to pursue their studies from abroad as the standard of education in Pakistan is awfully low. There are, however, quite a few individuals who believe that receiving education from a country such as the US is of no use. This is a common misconception, possibly stemming from the anti-US sentiment in the country. I, however, do not agree as I believe that there are a number ...

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Is a ‘science student’ smarter than an ‘arts student’?

As soon as we step into the dreaded phase of our education where we must choose which subjects we want to pursue for our higher studies, arts and science are pretty much the basic options to choose from and these practically shape our academic future. I remember when I passed the eighth grade, I was content because I had been able to achieve the target score required to be able to choose science for my matriculation; I was ecstatic, my interest in science being secondary. It wasn’t just me, all my class fellows worked hard so that they could be promoted to the ‘science’ ...

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HEC University rankings: Why not Indus Valley, IBA or NCA?

The headlines are in, folks; scholars can stop holding their breath now. The HEC, or the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, has declared irrevocably who is the best in the business. The HEC has provided us with some very serious looking numbers that tell us which university is ‘fit’ according to its standards. It includes the analysis of how many HEC research and travel grants and HEC approved PhDs were included in the universities. It all seems kind of circular, but anyway. The problem with singular, all-powerful bodies such as the HEC is that there is no check and balance on their judgment. If institutions are ...

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