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Teachers wonder how they will manage to coursework after long holidays in Karachi

KARACHI, Oct 23: Schools around the city re-opened Monday after remaining closed for almost a week. Most schools and colleges around the city are now wondering how they will manage to complete coursework in time as they have less time than usual to cover the same amount of syllabus.

"Students take time to fall back into routine after every weekend and considering they had a four-day long weekend this time, they will have to put in extra effort to prepare for the end-of-term exams and finish the course in lesser time than expected," said O-level teacher, Mehreen Ayaz.

Eid Milan parties were held in several schools on Wednesday which could not be counted as a routine school day. Therefore, students almost got a ten-day break while those whose schools closed earlier, enjoyed a two-week long vacation. Riots after the suicide attack further intensified tension in the city and parents were afraid of sending their children to school in such conditions. Consequently, students have been unable to keep up with the pressure and not performed up to the mark despite being capable of doing better, said Afshan Qureshi, a member of the administrative staff of a renowned private school near Bilawal House.

Schools have also suffered financially along with facing the burden of work load.

"When Benazir decided to come as a Pakistani citizen, she was well aware that schools will have to be closed, while her children are studying at Oxford and other schools in the UAE," said Naveed Iqbal, the owner and administrator of S.M. Public Academy.

S.M. Public Academy has six branches in North Nazimabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Gulistan-e-Johar which means that the majority of its students are from these areas.

"We provide electricity, water, a large variety of snacks at our canteens which alone is a loss of millions of rupees." Iqbal wondered how the country would achieve Benazir Bhutto's claims of democracy and prosperity if the youth was not being properly educated.

Students at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture situated opposite Bilawal House are struggling to complete their work on time. Hafsa Zuberi, a final year student, said that her final dissertation had to be submitted on November 11 and students were wasting time sitting at home since the school was closed for Bhutto's arrival.

"Students had planned a schedule to complete their work during the Eid break but our mid-review scheduled for Friday was postponed till Monday, pushing the deadline even closer." Although Saturday was a working day, several students hesitated to travel to that part of the city due to riots. "None of my classmates went to school on Saturday because it wasn't safe and now we are struggling to make up for lost time."

Students and teachers feel that the loss of precious school days right before the end of the term is a big blow to the literacy rate of the country which is already low.

"It is not possible for students to be constructive when there is so much destruction around them," said Saleha Mirza, a sociology teacher at a local private school. "In their personal lives, people conformed to the same behaviour they experienced in their social lives. Negative events in society frustrate its inhabitants and have a separate effect on every person. Benazir should invest in free clinics so that psychologists can help people recover from the trauma they have recently experienced before securing democracy." Daily Times

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Updated: 14 Oct, 2014
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