Looking for the right school for your child?
Looking for the right school
July 13: Getting one's child admitted in a school is like playing darts
- there are not too many chances and one may never hit the bull's eye. The
bull's eye here is the right school - it may be the most reputed one, the posh
one or the one which offers an environment for your child where his/her skills
are best channelised.
Come admission season and a lot of parents start
looking for the right school. This means filling forms in schools, going through
'interrogations' garbed as orientation exercises and worse, pumping the child
with information of little consequence. Harried parents leave no stone unturned
to get their wards 'in' as it is a matter of social standing in society and of
course, their ego.
Majority of parents contacted by this scribe on their
criteria for choosing a school accorded high weightage to the reputation of
school. Quality of teaching emerges as the most important factor in determining
their choice. Other factors such as the physical lay out of the school,
availability of learning aids, student-teacher ratio and parent-teacher
interaction are also taken into consideration. Not much importance is however
given by parents to the distance of school from home, school timings and bus
Nasreen Akhtar, mother of five-year-old kid said City School
was her obvious choice as the school enjoys good reputation in many fields -
academics, sports and extra-curricular activities. This also saves me the
headache of looking for another school for the next 10 years. "I would have been
heart broken if he would not have got through for I had not applied elsewhere
and had pinned all my hopes here only, she confessed.
Anyhow, parents who
want good education for their kids opt for schools like Army Public Schools,
Beaconhouse, City School, Roots School, Convent or St Mary as according to them;
these offer a healthier overall personality development.
Col. Aziz, one
such parent has opted for Convent mainly because he wants his son "to grow up
without any complexes". His preference is also because the school emphasises on
all-round education and is nearer home. Nabeela Rafiq, wanted her son to be
involved in a variety of outdoor activities has put him in Beaconhouse as the
school has provision for such activities. "Fewer students in each section not
only ensured personalised attention but also good academic
Altaf Malik, who has put his daughter in Convent, is of the
view that name of the institution feedback from friends whose daughters are
already studying there and personalised care of girls helped him make the
choice. With a view to give her child a solid base in the formative years, Razia
Saad thought more in terms of quality of education than just reputation. While
some deterioration has crept in the working of some missionary schools, by and
large they still do not believe in fleecing parents by making unreasonable
demands. These schools also take measures to ensure that weaker students do not
lag behind. The system of education is such that it saves the students the
stress of carrying heavy loads of bags every day.
Parents who believe in
greater degree of individual attention go in for schools like Foundation
Montessori. According to Jalila Hasan, "I chose Viqar-un-Nias School for my
daughter for I was looking for a school which is not located in a residential
house and has spacious open surroundings."
Raheela Saud, who had done
enough spade work for choosing a school, said he did not want his son to go to a
school where his friends flaunt their social status in this hierarchy-minded
city. His preference was for missionary schools which have a blend of children
from different sections of society and the emphasis was on imbibing them
with the right kinds of values to be good human beings.
Maheen Saeed says
the student-teacher ratio; the methodology should also be taken into
consideration rather than just joining the rat race of what others are doing. -By Ibne Ahmad
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Education 'no more limited to textbook knowledge'
Islamabad: Education has assumed a new dimension altogether and is no more
limited to textbook knowledge, as the world is reshaping itself, with new
boundaries clearly demarcated by knowledge based technologies and
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir stated this while
addressing the convocation ceremony of Bahria University, organised here
Speaking on the occasion, he said that the material and social
progress that human beings have made to date has reached a stage where
everything around us is changing at an unprecedented pace, and this is
every sphere of life, be it technologies, social norms or
interpersonal behaviours and attitudes.
He said that the students need
to develop a broader vision for the global socio-economic intricacies along with
a clear understanding and respect for diversity of culture, creed and religion
of the people. "You need to channelise your talent and energies into positive
and healthy activities with a commitment to serve humanity," he said.
The chief guest also stressed them to develop strong leadership
qualities, which could be acquired through perseverance, professional excellence
and above-board personal conduct based on the principles of equity, honesty and
uprightness. "You, the educated youth, are the precious assets of our country.
Each one of you is important and will have to shoulder heavy responsibility for
leading Pakistan to a prosperous and bright future," he said
As many as
983 students were conferred degrees during the ceremony in various academic
disciplines including Business Management, Computer Engineering, Computer
Software Engineering, Telecom & Networking, Geophysics and Geology.
Moreover, 31 gold and 21 silver medals were awarded to outstanding students in
recognition of their remarkable achievements, while Ammar Ahmad, Hira Zafar,
Sadaf Fatima Akbar, Tabinda Tariq, Sumaira Ashfaque Khan, and Beenish Ahmed
scored an outstanding 4 GPA in their respective disciplines.
the occasion Bahria University Rector Vice Admiral Mohammad Haroon said that
education is the only way forward to put our country at
socio-economic parity with the rest of the world, adding that the entire system
of education, inclusive of primary, secondary and university education, needs to
be integrated in a manner that produces quality manpower.
stakeholders including educational institutions, youth, their parents, industry,
and corporate and service sectors must join hands in cultivating such a vibrant
education system that could respond to the needs of human resources in various
areas," he said.
Haroon advised the students to never lose heart on
failures and keep a firm focus on the goals they have set for themselves.
"Life is a continuous struggle and there will be learning at every step
you take," he said adding that their positive attitude and superior efficiency
at the workplace would reflect on their future performance. The News
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Urdu dictionary: a cherished dream of many visionaries is under threat
Among his other cherished dreams, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan had a dream that Urdu had
a comprehensive dictionary. There was none that could truly be called so. Some
European scholars had compiled Urdu dictionaries, but they were bilingual ones
and lacked the depth and scope Sir Syed dreamed of.
himself had begun compiling an Urdu dictionary, but left it unfinished
apparently because of his preoccupation with other pressing tasks concerning the
Muslims of the subcontinent. He, however, attached great importance to a
dictionary that enlisted each and every word of the Urdu language. According to
Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali, the Scientific Society, Aligarh, had published a
sample of Sir Syed's Urdu dictionary. Renowned French scholar Garcin De Tassy
had reviewed the sample quite favourably.
Though Farhang-i-Asifiya, a
four-volume dictionary published between 1888 and 1901, had somewhat satisfied
the need for a good dictionary, Sir Syed's dream of an all-encompassing
dictionary remained unrealised, and it seemed that after his death the dream had
been forgotten till a man stood up and began following it.
dream was pursued by none other than Baba-i-Urdu Moulvi Abdul Haq, who embarked
upon compiling the most comprehensive dictionary of Urdu single-handedly, though
the gigantic task demanded a special institution staffed with linguists and
lexicographers and stocked with a library of rare and modern books.
1928, the world famous Oxford English Dictionary - the mother of all modern
dictionaries - had been published and was considered a rare feat of lexicography
as it contained, or so it claimed, each and every word of English with its
different shades of meaning and illustrative citations from English writers and
poets. Then named A new English dictionary on historical principles, the Oxford
English Dictionary took some 70 years to be completed and published. After
revision, it now has 20 volumes and is referred to as OED.
named his dictionary Lughat-i-Kabeer and began working on it in 1930. As an
erudite scholar who kept himself abreast with new developments, he had planned
that his dictionary would incorporate each and every word of Urdu, be it a term
or idiom, whether archaic or obsolete, vulgar or poetic. Abdul Haq had compiled,
on the pattern of the OED, several thousand pages before he had to move to
Karachi when Pakistan came into being. Here he picked up its threads, but had to
face several difficulties and Sir Syed's dream, shared by many visionaries and
scholars such as Abdul Haq, remained elusive.
Finally, in 1958, the
federal ministry of education decided that it was time to compile such a
dictionary in a more organised manner, and established in Karachi the
Taraqqi-i-Urdu Board, or Urdu Development Board, (later Urdu Dictionary Board,
UDB) appointing Abdul Haq as its chief editor. With Abdul Haq's death in 1961,
the board began working afresh under the guidance of Shan-ul-Haq Haqqi,
modelling its dictionary on historical principles just as Oxford had done.
Each headword was to have illustrative citations from three different
periods, beginning with the classical period and culminating at the modern. This
principle of citing from different historical periods of language and
literature, known as philological principle or historical principle, was first
applied by Samuel Johnson in his A dictionary of the English language - the
great-grandfather of all modern dictionaries - which he published in 1755.
Haqqi Sahib, the then secretary of the board, was of the view that until
the last volume was compiled, the first should not go to press. On the contrary,
Oxford, after publishing its first volume in 1884, had to resort to print
unbound fascicles making it easier for readers to buy them and get them bound
later when a part was completed. But it had a drawback: while compiling the next
volumes some rarely used or new words that belonged to the previous volumes were
recorded, and Oxford had to publish supplements once it was done with the
publishing of the main dictionary.
To avoid that problem, Haqqi Sahib
did not go for the printing despite having compiled a few volumes, though they
needed finishing touches. But succumbing to the mounting pressure from the
government and the public, the board began printing the first volume after
necessary amendments and it was published in 1977, though Haqqi Sahib had
resigned and Dr Abul-Lais Siddiqui had taken over as the chief editor.
In 1982, the board was renamed as the Urdu Dictionary Board and was
asked by the ministry to concentrate only on its flagship dictionary and leave
other responsibilities, such as promotion of Urdu, to other institutions. After
Dr Siddiqui, from time to time many scholars took over as chief editors,
including Dr Farman Fatehpuri, and volume after volume began to come out,
contributing to the realisation of a great dream that had by now become a
A similar scheme was launched in India and several
scholars were hired by the Indian government to compile a greater Urdu
dictionary. But the project in India could not take off and it was abandoned
probably due to lack of political will and Urdu's comparatively lesser status in
India. By now the Indian scholars, too, had begun to look to the UDB for an
authentic dictionary despite the fact that many scholars not only from India but
also from Pakistan had criticised certain volumes of the dictionary for certain
Even then they waited and still wait for its newer volumes
as there had developed a consensus in the Urdu world that in spite of its
shortcomings and certain lapses, the UDB's dictionary was unprecedented. It is
the most comprehensive and the most authentic dictionary written in Urdu.
Even Rasheed Hasan Khan, the renowned Indian scholar known for his
meticulousness and his criticism of the UDB's dictionary for some scholarly
lapses, especially in the first volume, had acknowledged in an interview after
the publication of the dictionary's 20th volume that it was a great scholarly
The UDB has so far published 21 volumes and only the last volume
remains. But the government, as is reported in the media, wishes to merge the
UDB with some other institutions, jeopardising the future of the dictionary and
the UDB itself. It would really be unfortunate if the UDB is merged with any
other government institution as it would render it ineffective and inefficient
as other government departments are.
The UDB has a great past. It has
done an extremely wonderful job by compiling 21 volumes of Urdu's most
comprehensive and authentic dictionary. Sources in the board informed this
writer that 448 pages of the 22nd volume - the last one - have already been
printed and work on the remaining 300 or so pages is in full swing. The UDB is
soon going to achieve the rarest of feats that only English and German can boast
of: a dictionary enlisting each and every word of the language on historical
principles with citations from thousands of classical and modern sources.
Perhaps somebody is eyeing the precious piece of land the UDB is
situated on. Or some unscrupulous, short-sighted section officers have decided
to save the government's few millions that are spent on the UDB every year, not
understanding that the job of compiling a dictionary never ends. Some experts go
to the extent of saying that a dictionary is obsolete a soon as it leaves the
I feel it is an extreme view, but even a conservative estimate
shows that a dictionary becomes outdated 10 years after its publication as it
needs to record the changes that a language usually goes through over a decade.
And revising a dictionary compiled on historical principles and having 22
volumes is no joke. It needs trained, technical hands with vast experience of
lexicography, which no institution has in the country other than the UDB.
Moreover, after the publication of the last volume, there still remains
to be published an index and a bibliography enlisting the works cited. It would
definitely take another volume. Then there is the project of shorter versions of
the dictionary and many other spin-offs such as dictionaries of synonyms,
antonyms, idioms, proverbs and technical terms.
One sincerely hopes that
the UDB will be allowed to work unhindered so that this great project of
national importance and a source of national pride is completed befittingly, and
Sir Syed's and Baba-i-Urdu's dream does not end in a nightmare. -By Rauf Parekh, firstname.lastname@example.org (Dawn)
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