Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Assault of a Professor at the National University of Modern Languages

Across the world, Universities are a place where anything can be debated at length and professors are respected due to their scholarship and grasp of the subject matter. But is it the case with the Pakistani universities? On February 4, 2010 in Islamabad, the registrar of the National University of Modern Languages beat-up a university Professor Tahir Malik at a students’ reception ceremony organized by the International Relations Department of the university.

The registrar of the university is an ex-military serviceman who got maddened after hearing the criticism on General Musharaf’s role in power brokering deal with the PPP through the National Reconciliation Ordinance. The registrar also got enraged when Professor Tahir Malik questioned the registrar’s appointment which was made without any advertisement or following the prescribed selection criteria. The registrar is neither guilty of his act nor the university administration has taken any disciplinary action against him as yet other than calling for an inquiry of the incident.

According to “The News” this is not the first incident at NUML where a University professor has been assaulted because of criticizing army. At another such incident, Azaz Syed, a journalist teaching in the NUML’s Journalism Department, was sacked from his job because of criticized ISI’ chief. The News also reports that after these two incidents the tension between NUML’s civilian and military staff (retired army officers) has grown to a great extent.

Surely, NUML is one of the many military businesses or “MILBUS” in Pakistan and as Dr Ayesha Siddiqa Agha discusses in her book “Military Inc.”, the purpose of these MILIBUS like NUML is to ensure a very dominant social presence as well as gain political and economic control. Besides, the recent incident of assault of a professor by the NUML administrator also suggests that criticizing army can not be tolerated by any means if you are being employed by any of the MILIBUS. But then where goes the fundamental constitutional guarantee of “freedom of speech and expression”? Or probably freedom of speech and expression is only limited to books and it has not yet been accepted by the masses and institutions. Or probably we are not that democratic yet and therefore freedom of speech and expression has not become a norm here.

Update: The President of Pakistan who is also the Chancellor of the NUML has ordered an inquiry into the incident. More Details can be found here

Dawn Education Expo 2009…

The Dawn Education expo 2009 is happening in the Convention Center starting from 28th February 2009 to 1st March 2009.

For all those who are thinking of higher studies – be there…

Intro to Google Business Solutions

About the Presentation/Talk:
NUST SEECS Social Entrepreneurship club (NSEC) is arranging Intro to Google Business Solutions a talk by Badar Khushnood, Google Pakistan Country Consultant and a local Google evangelist.
Although Google is generally known as a web search engine, it has many business products in various categories including internet advertising, communication & publishing, development, geo, search, statistics, etc. The idea behind this talk is to introduce these products to SMEs, corporate & professionals so that they can make the most out of Google business solutions and increase their efficiency & productivity with these cutting edge tools.

5:30 ~ 6:00pm : Registration
6:00 ~ 6:15pm : Prayer Break
6:15 ~ 7:35pm : Presentation / Talk by Badar Khushnood [ ]
7:40 ~ 8:00pm : Q&A Session
8:00 ~ 8:30pm : Refreshments

Monday, Feb 09, 2009 (6~8pm)

Organized by: NUST SEECS [ ]
Venue: SEECS Seminar Hall [ ; Login with ur Gmail to see the street map ]

Registration (Mandatory):
We have limited seats so please register here: OR

Event Page:

1- Registration will close on Friday, Feb 06 at 3pm
2- Only pre-registered participants will be allowed to enter NUST-SEECS campus
–> (as per university security protocol)
3- Please DO NOT forget to bring your ID card with you

Supporting Bodies:
1- CIO Pakistan [ ]
2- Cogilent Solutions [ ]
3- Brightspyre [ ]

The Convent Model United Nations- Part I

For those of you who don’t know what an MUN or a Model United Nation conference is, it is basically a conference where committee sessions of the United Nations are simulated in real time. Institutions send teams who are designated different countries and each participant or delegate is assigned a different committee. Heated debates, political inclination, diplomacy of all the things are checked, marked, evaluated and resolutions are made to a set of different problems that are to be discussed. What an MUN does is that it enables individuals to nurture their debating skills, their diplomatic skills, and their conflict resolution skills which contributes heavily in the future.

Today happened to be the first day of the 1st Convent Model United Nations, venue being The Islamabad Convent School (ICS). As is tradition, the first day is the opening ceremony and the Global Village. The opening ceremony took place in the school Library which was quite spacious for a library. I was expecting a plethora of long boring speeches and bland crammed scripts, but came out to be the exact opposite. There was a welcome speech, the Principals message and a word from the sponsors Islamabad Tubular Society, University College of Islamabad and Cherat Cement. I don’t remember what people came up and said but the Principal said something that I really liked “An individual makes up a family, a family a community, a community a society, a society a country, a country the whole world “. After the Secretary General declared the event open, most of the delegates rushed outdoors to the tent where they were to set up their Global Village stalls

I sneaked out to grab a bite and I’m sure what happened between the time the opening ceremony ended to the time I made way to the Global Village area wasn’t much that was missed. So let’s just get straight to the Global Village.

There were 33 countries in all or so I was told. I did speak to most of them but some were average, some weren’t interested and some were rude (I have no idea why though *shrug*). So the following countries, in my view stood out:-

North Korea:-

The delegates of North Korea were an independent team though all of them were students of West Minister College Islamabad. I got to talk to Jahangir and Rabia. I specially enjoyed talking to Rabia because she had a very unique perspective regarding the war against terror, global economy, nuclear arsenal and her vision if she was to be the premier. Jahangir was a nice fellow who explained how Korean music used the harp and harmonic scales. In my view, this team would do good if they stick to their thought process and originality.


The delegates of Germany were from The Saint Mary’s academy, Lalazar Rawalpindi. Their stall was interesting and had loads of car magazines, two bottles of “celebration drinks” put to portray beer and a guitar and a football. They looked confused and a little unprepared but I guess first times at MUN’s are always like that, though it was interesting to see a paper poster which had the NAZI sign and the “Hail Hitler” slogan on it. When asked whether they were pro Nazi, or anti Nazi, they had nothing to say. Moreover them not knowing that Hitler was actually born in Austria and not in Germany was disappointing.


The Chinese stall was a rather interesting stall. With the ladies dressed in traditional Chinese dresses with small Chinese fans in their hand. They looked nice and they were of the opinion that China savours on their labour and should be categorized as a “developed” country rather than a “developing” country and that the west doesn’t want them to be on top. Interesting views, oh and they had traditional Chinese food as well. Who doesn’t love a good dose of Chowmein and chop soy?


I didn’t talk much to the delegates from Iraq but they were nice young girls who had a point of view about anything that I asked them. I talked to Urwat from the delegation and she was well spoken and very kind in answering all my questions regarding Iraqi culture, food, and heritage. They also had kebabs and some sort of rice as food items.


The Ethiopian team consisted of budding accountants from the University College of Islamabad. The team consisted of Asmat Fayaz, Ibrahim Marghoob and Daniyal Khan Hoti. They had a nice lively stall and a lot of food to go with it. Asmat who looked like she was interested in writing said “war itself is terrorism” when asked about her views on the on going war against terror. Goes to show that all accountants “aren’t always that boring :)


The Afghani stall was rather interesting. It had two girls dressed up in traditional pukhtoon topis and beards made with markers apparently portraying the Taliban. The delegation of Afghanistan were from Headstart and the little conversation that I did have with them, was enlightening. It was rather pleasing to see that two of them came up to me and asked me if I could get their view across. I obviously said sure and asked them what it was, they i.e Maham Faisal and Iman Hazir were blatantly against the war and said that the only way that the world could see peace was via peace and tolerance itself. Kudos to these young individuals.

Along the way I talked to lots of other country delegates as well. I would distinctly like to mention that the delegates from the United Kingdom were offensive, rude and ill-mannered but then again, teens are supposed to be like that. The delegates of France were nice as were the delegates from South Africa, Bangladesh, Canada and Egypt.

Credits to Miss Zainab Zakeer, who happens to be a student of O2 and also the Social event director for managing the first social event with a lot of responsibility and devotion along with her team, noteworthy mentions being Rahima Zia.

A lot of pictures were taken but due to poor light, the cold, a trembling hand and a point and shoot, most of them came out blurry so they had to be deleted, let’s hope that tomorrow will be a good day with respect to pictures. For all those who I mentioned without a picture, my apologies =)

Au revoir!

The board reflects

(An empty classroom)

What I am about to write is how I look at the education system as a whole. Coming from a Matric to FSC background I have had hands on experience regarding what the education system portrays. I’m going to lay it down over here, the education system does NOT encourage creativity, diversity or anything remotely associated with the word ” unique”. They expect us to cram a few books that have been in the curriculum for as long as anyone can remember and reinact the same exact words in the exams and then get good marks. So to be successful, all you have to do is, take a book, read it from start to finish around 7-8 times, and make sure you write all of it in the exam *a few extra answer sheets ALWAYS help*. So if you write ” This said paragraph depicts apathy” you probably will get say 1/10 and if you write “this paragraph is the poets view written in the text  book” chances are you’d get 8/10.

Such is the difference between someone who uses his mind and someone who just uses it for the sole purpose of learning by heart, a few things, preferably from the “guide books”. Apparent books written by the masters in the field. I don’t know WHY this happens but then again, it’s the system as a whole. A syllabus revision usually consists of :-

1) Change the color of the cover
2) Instead of black and white pictures, use colored ones usually copied from some O-levels or A-levels textbook.
3) Examples with wrong answers (Apparently incorrectly copied off)

If you people have had the chance to see the video for the Pink Floyd song “Another brick in the wall”, there’s a scene in which all the students are lined up on a manufacture tail going inside a chopper and they come out as minced meat. If you openly look at it, unless you work on personal grooming, you end up being just like your class fellows. The same opinions, the same objectives, the same motives, nothing creative. Clones so to speak, robots speaking what they’ve been taught to speak. Speak something else and you get a spark. With an education system that promotes cramming rather than creative thinking, how can we expect to “progress”.

Now I being an ACCA student, see that they encourage creative thinking A LOT. Say, if you have to reduce the cost of a product, what would you do?! Use plastic instead of metal? Instead of an alarm clock just have a clock that displays time. It opens your mind, I’m not saying Accounting is interesting, but the people at ACCA time and time again emphasise on the point that “knowledge should be APPLIED rather than just written”. And that’s the way it should be. People coming from an FSC background have a lot of problems applying knowledge. And I’m not blaming the students, I blame the system. I blame the teachers who shove students down who have a point of view that is different from his or from the book.

We don’t need no education,
We don’t need no thought control,
no dark sarcasm in the classroom,

Hey teacher, leave them kids alone.

(Another brick in the wall- Pink Floyd)

The Inner Child Comes Out to Play


Children’s Resources International is conducting its annual teacher-training workshop on interactive teaching and learning methodologies, which kicked off on July 14. The first week of training was for kindergarten teachers, and I happened to be at the Islamabad Model School G-9/3 session, recording minutes. And what a colourful week indeed. The participants of the workshop were introduced to innovative ways to improve the quality of elementary education and to make learning fun for kindergarten children in a friendly and inclusive classroom environment. This involved getting the teachers to actually do all sorts of activities designed for kindergarteners. So throughout the workshop, the participants were ‘kacchi jamaat kay bacchay’ and the workshop instructors were their ‘madams.’ As you might imagine, the teachers had a blast. Elderly gentlemen fingerpainting, matronly principals playing with brightly-coloured blocks, young ladies trying to better one another in the art of making popup storybooks out of A4 paper. For one week, these teachers all became kids. What was really interesting was that whenever the instructors had trouble getting the participants to hear them out, they would end up saying: “See how hard it is to sit still and be quiet? Can you blame the kids?” This was a running theme throughout the workshop: teachers putting themselves in their students’ little shoes. They experienced firsthand the creative learning materials provided by CRI and the many fun ways they could be used to learn math or languages. They felt the satisfaction of having their work appreciated by the instructors and displayed on the walls. All in all, I felt it was a promising way to improve teaching skills. Next week, the workshop will train Class 1 teachers.

Click on the thumbnails to see more photos from kindergarten week.

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History Lesson


This plaque on the wall of the lobby at the Islamabad Club is always good for refreshing one’s memory of the list of heads of state Pakistan has had from Ayub Khan onwards. And a useful illustration of the fact that half of them have been military men.

Hopefully, Gen. Zia-ul-Haq will remain the record-holder for longest-standing patron – even though Gen. Musharraf seems to be trying his utmost to surpass him.

بین المدارس کرکٹ ٹورنامنٹ

Inter Madaris Cricket Tournament
A step that should be encouraged and applauded…!


The banner tells:

Book Fair comes to town

For all the Book Worms et Lovers , Great News :-)

Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) has organized Book fair, offering books at discounted rates, this week. The books from publishers such as Academy Kitaab Ghar, National Language Authority, Dawah Academy, Islamic University Press, Islamic Research Institute, National Institute of Historical Research and Culture, Oxford University Press, Al-Hamra Publications, Shifa News, Nigarshaat Publications, Fiction House, Sanjh Publishers, Al-Karim Publications, Purab Academy, Gandhara Books, Kitaab Nagar, Wahdat Publications and Iqbal Academy.

The book fair will remain open till Saturday from 9am to 5pm daily and books will be available on discounted rates. So hurry – PAL, to my info, is located in H-8. Please correct me if I’m wrong!!

For Details, clickety.


Job Fair – Bahria University

At Bahria University on Saturday, 27th Oct a Job Fair‘s been arranged.

20+ universities and 30+ companies will take part in it. Get ready for it with your CV’s, on-spot interviews and tests will also be conducted.

Have a nourishing Good Experience.

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