Saturday, June 9, 2012

Education in Pakistan? Ha Ha Ha

I am writing against the unfair education system of Pakistan. I am opposing the whole foundation that is forming the future of Pakistan and this world.
Starting from the private education institutions to public schools and colleges, everything is adding to the potential failure of Pakistan as a nation and as a state.

You call it Education? I call it ignorance.

Pakistan is on the verge of self-destruction. I do not blame corruption nor do I blame extremism. I just blame our education system. There are many flaws in Pakistan's education system which are slowly corroding the pillars of this country and eating through the foundation of Pakistan like termites. 

Matric or Cambridge? 
Why is there a dual system in this country in the first place? Have you ever wondered it's consequences? First of all, this system is creating a huge class difference in our society. The rich study in the Cambridge system because they can afford it and because their idiotic children can give as many re-takes as possible while the poor study in the Matriculation system because it is affordable and will land them in an average public college, university or a government job. The rich get into better universities while the poor get an extremely hard time trying to fit into the academic scenario of Pakistan. The rich kids usually land themselves into a good paying job and hence their children also get to study in expensive Cambridge system. While the others who had a not-so-high-quality education have to struggle a lot to get a job that would feed their family; their off-springs are also forced to become a part of the same cycle of public schools and average universities. A class division inevitably forms. The rich get richer. The poor keep on struggling. 

School or business?
Education is the right of every individual and education should not become a business. Alas, in Pakistan it has become a very thriving business. Parents are concerned about their child's future and thus opt for private schools. Just go and check how many students study in a single private school and how high is the fee of every child. The owners of the popular school chains of Pakistan drive Mercedes and BMW while my parents were forced to sell their cars to pay for my education. I am not the only one. I have seen my friends and their parents struggle to keep up with the monetary demands of the schools. After that, do not forget the high Cambridge Exam Registration fee. Every year in the month of January, parents from all over Pakistan have to empty their pockets and register their child for these exams. On the other hand, these parents also have to spend a fortune on books and school supplies. Our public school textbooks are too outdated and our private school books are too expensive. Public schools don't have quality. Private schools only produce stuck-up, character-less individuals with no desire to give back to the society. Why does a school asks it's students to buy new books every year when the school itself could provide those books through it's system of a library? Oh, I forgot, because these school have contracts with publishers. Another money-making technique. Have these businessmen stooped so low as to exploit the citizens of Pakistan even through education? And then we wonder why Pakistan is not moving forward! We blame corruption, we curse our leadership, but we never come out on streets for atrocities of this type.

Tuitions, Tutions, Tutions
In my high school experience, I have always avoided tuitions. Even though I often needed them, I still had to stop myself because of the extra financial burden it would put on my parents' shoulders. However, one can stop and observe how the system of schools and system of tuition centers work together with fluidity. In schools, the teachers pay less attention to every student and as a result the student has to join a tuition centre. A teacher earns money not only from the institution but also from tuitions. Moreover, I have seldom heard about a school which has put a restriction on it's teachers giving tuitions. These same teachers will often blackmail the school staff and even join other institutions of  their demands are not met. Seeing this whole scenario, I detest the profession of a teacher. They are also on the road to exploit every poor soul hungry for knowledge. Knowledge is supposed to be free or at least affordable. If an institution is charging a huge sum of money, then they must also make sure that none of their students should even feel the need for tuitions. Even if some students need help, then the institution should arrange extra classes free of cost--every opportunity should not be used to make more money!

A Personal Experience
My parents have always supported me in my educational endeavors. However, I have always felt guilty for asking too much. They sent me to another city to study and that move proved beneficial. But my family had to struggle every day of every month just so that I could get good education as they didn't want to see me "wasted." I got into Oxford, but could not go due to financial restrictions. At that moment, my school gave me hope and told me they will make sure that I go by finding me sponsors. They advertised me. They sold me on billboards. And they got a huge load of new admissions. But when the time came for actually helping me, they just vanished. They said they cannot do anything and I must forget about Oxford and move on. It felt as if my 17 year old girlfriend dumped me for a 31 year old guy. My hatred for the education system of Pakistan increased ten folds. Next year someone else got into Oxbridge and the cycle continued. These institutions only look good on pamphlets, advertisements and billboards, but one must actually go through the whole system to realize how flawed everything is. A school will advertise about how many students got As in their Cambridge result, but they fail to tell that those As are just one percent of the total student body. These advertisements do not mention the 70% students who either fail or get bad grades and have to give re-takes. 

Moral of the Story?
Now we come to the fun part: we idiots are all to blame. It is our fault that things have gotten out of control because we all succumbed to the deep pit of this system. We acted dumb and we whined but we did not do anything about it. I did my part by writing about and having countless fights with all the institutions that I attended. What part will you play? Will you let these leeches suck out more money or will you actually say NO for once. Education is supposed to be a birth-right of every individual but now people have transformed it into an expensive commodity. And then we wonder why our Pakistan society is declining? Private schools suck your money like thirsty leeches. Teachers and administration exploit our need for knowledge but do not give us the right kind of knowledge. They just give us facts but do not train us for independent thinking. On the other hand, the public school system is just another shame we have to stick with. 

Signing off,
Syed Shehroz Hussain

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I be so K3wL because I be smoking Sheesha at the elite cafe of Islamabad.

Sheesha came and brought with it the much awaited revolution. You do not need to attend any Jalsa for that, just smoke sheesha. Cough Cough.

I have had the opportunity to spend time in all the major cities of Pakistan. One thing that was common everywhere were Sheesha lounges filled with teenagers. They sit and chat and smoke their way into the night. That is so cool! NOT. Every teenager spends around 200 to 500 rupees during a single Sheesha session. Have you ever wondered how many people can be fed with the same amount of money? Ah well, how would you know because you have never really peeked out your window and witnessed a person carrying heavy bricks on his shoulders for a hundred rupees to feed his family of eight. Trust me and try thinking about how much money you waste on such useless activities. Trust me further and try giving a 100 rupee note to a random beggar and see how you feel. You will feel better than what you feel while smoking Sheesha. It's the expressions of surprise when they see the note which gives me a head-rush. This act of giving often intoxicates and eventually becomes addictive. Believe me, this addiction is way better than ANY other addiction you know about. 

I will not talk about the health issues associated with Sheesha because I am a sheesh a smoker too. My main aim is to make you realize how much time and money you waste in such an activity. Imagine how many books you would have finished reading if you had read instead of wasting time in a lounge. Imagine how many community service projects you could have implemented if you had actually used that time to plan a project to help the unfortunate members of our society. Moreover, think about the money you would have saved. In short, all the Sheesha smokers are idiots. Sorry to pop the bubble but you have been a useless citizen of Pakistan and you need to wake up for an actual revolution. Just by sitting and talking about the deteriorating conditions of Pakistan while making smoke-circles will only make things worse. Furthermore, just by attending a single Jalsa will also do you no good. I have noticed how attending Jalsas and smoking Sheesa has become more of a fashion statement in Pakistan. Please grow up Pakistanis. Stop destroying yourself.

(PS: I still smoke Sheesha. But at the same time, I give charity as well to balance the whole scenario)