Studying William Shakespeare earlier in Schools

KARACHI, Sept 21: Studying William Shakespeare is no longer a task faced by final year 'O'-level students only. In an effort to familiarize students with English literature, private schools have decided to introduce novels in the curriculum of the seventh and eighth-grades.

"Our seventh-graders are studying 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and they have responded to it well," informs Tahira Ahmed, a seventh-grade teacher at a local private school. The O level English literature course includes poetry, plays and a novel. Usually, students begin studying the course in grade 10 and sit for the exam at the end of grade 11.

One of the most popular subjects chosen by students is Business management. "This is because the basics of business and management are very beneficial no matter what field you eventually choose for your career," explains Hayat Dastur, a Business management teacher.

According to British Council representative, Sumaira, Law and Economics have been popular subjects in the past few years. "Even though these fields are completely opposite to each other, they help students in deciding whether they would be better suited for factual or theoretical studies in the future," she says. A-level law is a three-part course, comprising law of contract, law of tort and criminal law. "Students find it interesting and easy since the concepts are very basic and it is easy to score in this course," observes Sumaira. "Since the inception of the external LLB degree, a large number of students take up this course yearly."

The British Council informs that this year, students are also opting for graphic design and art-related subjects, judging from the registrations coming in from schools and private candidates.

"The curriculum for the lower secondary classes is changed every year according to the weaker aspects in the previous year's results," says Afshan Idrees, the headmistress of a small private establishments that recently started O- and A-level programs. "This year, we have taken up English since students tend to use a lot of slang and computer-chat language in their writing. Throughout this school year, my staff will try to correct this habit. My student body may be small but they are very hardworking. Due to the time and effort put in by my staff, I have managed to beat top results of schools like Lyceum, Avicenna and Bayview." Daily Times

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