Educating the Right Way!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2015 by razaidi

The other day i was talking to one of my relatives who recently got his enrolled in one of the most prestigious schools of the city. During the conversation he revealed something quite strange which left a lasting impression on my mind. The guy said “My kid was quite creative and talkative when he was at home, but ever since he started going to school we have been noticing that he is not just more disciplined but also acting a bit dumb”.

That’s exactly the problem being faced by most of the kids these days. Our educations system has been borrowed from the colonial era which emphasizes discipline and learning in a structured way which hampers creativity quite a bit. Thus, even though we have been churning out a lot of educated kids from thousands of schools every year, their thought processes are competence levels are not good enough at global levels.

Pakistan is facing a number of problem regarding education systems. On one hand we don’t have enough schools in villages and smaller cities. Those schools which do exist do not provide quality education as the teachers are either absent or not well qualified to teach. Situation is worst in public sector schools so parents who can afford prefer enrolling their kids in private ones.

The three parallel education systems quite popular in our country are the Medressah system which is the Islamic way of education but unfortunately has been used and abused by many. Then we have the matriculation system consisting of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Schools Certificate (HSSC) which is widely taught in public schools nationwide, although the variation in curriculum is quite large across various board of education. Finally, we have the Cambridge education system, the GCE Ordinary-levels and Advanced-levels being conducted by the Cambridge International Examinations. This third system of education is mostly being taught in private schools and largely in bigger cities as the faculty is generally not available.

Although one cannot deny the overall achievements of Pakistani graduates worldwide, yet even after almost 70 years, these three education systems combined have not been able to produce the right amount of vibrant and competent individuals who would bring a revolutionary change in Pakistan.

What i feel is that the focus of education is more towards textbook learning and not enough on overall personality grooming of a child. Those who cannot afford to educate their kids in public schools put them in medressahs where they are taught for free mostly but the education quality is not that good. Mostly public schools also face the same problems although they charge a meager fee. Private schools generally provide better education but the affordability issues are largely there.

It has been observed that with a few exceptions, generally students of private schools are far more smarter and better groomed than those coming out of other systems. Even in private schools, those who pass the O/A level exams are generally sharper than the rest. The difference mainly lies in the way various subjects are being taught. While the SSC/HSSC systems focus more on producing on paper exactly what had been taught in class, the CIE exams focus more on critical thinking and applying concepts.

Recently i came across another system of education in a convention arranged by one of the the biggest private schools network of Pakistan, the Beaconhouse School System (BSS). The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a flourishing education system worldwide and has been approved by the United Nations and is strictly taught by schools approved by the foundation after rigorous assessments. The program aims to develop the emotional, intellectual, personal and social skills of a student thus nurturing the overall personality growth of a child.

What sets IB apart from the currently popular systems in Pakistan is that it focuses not only on textbook learning but also encourages students to challenge and question the things they learn. The critical thinking abilities are further enhanced when the students are asked to apply whatever they learn in class to their everyday lives. The general knowledge and writing abilities are continuously improved as kids are taught to do research and write essays comparable to graduate thesis coursework at a very early age. Moreover, community work is an important aspect of the grading system where students learn how to give back to the society as well. In this way, the overall persona of a kid enhances and when the child finally graduates with a diploma, he/she feels more competent to face the challenges of the world. Another unique aspect is that there are no failures in this system. A child is trained so rigorously that even if they score below par to earn a diploma, they become so competent that they make quickly make their own standing in the world.

Many universities globally, including those in the IVY League, have now recognized the far better competence levels of the IB students and this system is quickly being adopted worldwide. In Pakistan, the system, being quite tough to implement is generally not that much popular till now and only a few schools have been able to achieve the authorization to teach IB. However, with time, if local educational institutes implement the IB, not only it’s popularity levels will increase but the costs will also go down as more and more trained faculty will be available . This in turn will benefit the country as a whole as far better thinkers and strategists will emerge out of the system and will contribute to the prosperity of the nation. Even though prestigious institutes like BSS are providing scholarships to more than 10% of its enrolled students nationwide, ideally, in my opinion, this system should be provided free of cost to all the uneducated kids so that they develop more interest in learning and turn out to be smarter and better individuals for the society.

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Defeating the Devilish Diabetes

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2014 by razaidi

In this age of technology our routines have become so tech-oriented that we hardly get time for physical exercise. Almost every individual of every age is seen glued to the multiple screens of television, smart phones, hand-held devices, music players, tablets and other similar gadgets while walking, talking, eating and hanging out together. Although a lot is said through media to highlight the importance of a physically fit body that bears a healthy mind, people hardly pay any heed in this era of ‘mad competition’.

What people fail to realize is that working for 8 to 10 hours straight on a comfortable chair only works to jog the brain and nothing else. The gentle tap of fingers on the keyboards and a billion mouse clicks would never ever burn enough calories that are required to be fumed for a healthy living. All this, coupled with the increasing junk food consumption trend following the western eating habits, is only serving to multiply various lethal diseases that are already prevalent in the third world countries.

Of these self-induced (and sometimes hereditary) diseases, diabetes tops the list. So many people in our country have already been diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes (which is the more dangerous form of it) and yet so many suffer silently from the Type-2 without controlling their eating habits and living styles.

Diabetes destroys lives as it continuously requires the patient to check his/her insulin levels and control the type of food and drinks he/she is eating as to not aggravate the blood sugar levels in his veins. This requires frequent pricking of finger-tips to get drops of blood to be sampled through gluco-meters. Once the sugar levels are determined, they are brought under control by injecting artificial insulin into the blood through a syringe.

Although a lot of research is being carried out world wide to invent non-invasive devices that use body current or ultrasound to check the blood sugar, these devices are still at testing stages. At times even when they are available, their prices are quite beyond the affordability levels of average Pakistani citizens. Furthermore, semi implantable Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices as well as Glucose Pumps are available through imports, which wirelessly transmit the blood sugar information and inject insulin through a feedback control system without much human intervention. These gadgets are also quite costly still.

Diabetes is not only a dangerous disease but a root cause of many other problems as well. If a person is not careful, it can lead to a variety of damages to the human body like multiple organ failure and loss of sight etc. However, those who have learnt to conquer it, are living with it for many years now. Wasim Akram, the renowned cricketer’s example is testimony that if a person carries out proper physical exercise and keeps his blood sugar and diet under strict check there is no way that he cannot live a normal life even with diabetes. So instead of being scared we should be more informed and educated others as well. Without a doubt, prevention is a whole lot better than finding cures.

The Tranquil Rage

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20, 2012 by razaidi

The recent outrage against the American convict who has made a very derogatory film about Islam and our Holy Prophet P.B.U.H has raised some serious questions about Islamic Protests.

The whole Muslim Ummah is quite furious, and rightly so, about the continuous attempts by the westerners to produce blasphemous content about Islam and Muslims every few months. Be it the use of abusive language, making of caricatures and comics, or filming entire movies filled with utter bulshit!

It is truly the fundamental right and duty of Muslims to protest against such heinous acts whether or not they’re government sponsored.

However, the question that remains unanswered is How Do We Protest Against Such Crimes?

The natural outcome of Rage is Destruction… Since the protesting Muslims want to show off their rage and they don’t find any other way to display it, they resort to destroying property and throwing stones and crackers on Embassies so that they their hue and cry is taken seriously.

The question that we need to ask ourselves is … Would destroying our own land and property have any impact on the US? Would blocking Youtube stop these videos from propagating on the internet?

Are we not portraying a false image of Islam as a religion of peace? Are we not Marketing this video by making more and more people watch it in countries where Youtube is not blocked?

Television channels and Media has again played a major role in this! On one hand they continue to tell people to resort to peaceful protests and on the other side they enrage them more and more by explaining how important it is to show their anger and fury!

I think TV anchors are now playing that game again where they do not want to labelled as Anti Islamic and end up like Salman Taseer. They are playing it safe and even some of them want to clear their names too in order to gain some TV ratings for their filthy political shows!

This Protest, in my opinion should be taken up at the Federation Level. But the government is so terrified to voice an objection against this that they can only call a strike in their own country and suffer from millions in losses by shutting down its very own businesses. It’s like burning your own self when you are angry at someone else. But then again that’s the most they can do cause beggars are not choosers. If OIC can convince UN to pass an international law against blasphemy this bullshit in the name of freedom of speech will never happen again.

Another thing to bear in mind is the attitude of people against countries. You cannot generalize a whole country based on a few crazy people just like you cannot generalize the entire Muslim world or all bearded men/veiled women as terrorists based on the acts of one Osama.

What we actually need to do is to propagate the true meaning of Islam and tell people about the glorious life of our Prophet P.B.U.H, for whom the whole universe has been enacted! At the same time we need to send a strong message to these ugly blasphemers that no matter what you do you cannot tarnish the name of Prophet or Islam as his Glory and Magnificence is too strong to be affected such preposterous crimes!

I think this is the Best Time to Tell the World about Islam as this Issue is being read and watched closely by nearly everyone on the planet.. and curiosity to learn more will definitely lead them towards Islam for good!

Small is Big

Posted in Uncategorized on August 15, 2012 by razaidi

Hope is something that is desperately needed by Pakistan these days. We are literally running after anyone who is promising us a ray of hope for a brighter future. Be it politicians, sportsmen, social workers or celebrities, we are all trying to break away from this world of chaos and misery where violence and gore is haunting every soul.

However, there are some who have decided to break the norms and be the symbol of hope themselves. They’re not after fame or fortune and they have nothing to do with limelight and charisma. What they solely seek is the satisfaction of their souls and the pleasure of their Creator.

They indulge in what i call ISR or Individual Social Responsibility. Taking small steps to improve the lives of people around them and gradually improving the society as a whole. Instead of looking at a savior or a messiah they work in their own capacities to help, guide and assist everyone whose lives are touched by them.

Small acts of kindness such as helping a colleague with work, so that he/she can go home early, or guiding someone to an address, assisting someone with a broken car, sharing food with those who work for you, pulling up an umbrella for someone in the rainy season or just passing a sheer smile to a passerby. These are the acts that do not need a huge capital investment to perform and the Almighty gives us opportunity to perform them every day. All we need to do is look around and watch out for such a divine chance.

Taking this concept further we see many national and multinational corporations taking initiatives to promote such small acts of compassion and generosity. Surf Excel for example launched a campaign a while ago, based on the same idea with multiple advertisements on the theme “agar kuch acha krne mei dagh lag jae to dagh to ache hue na” depicting everyday situations where people of all ages helped one another a tiny bit during their everyday lives. Thus starting a never ending domino’s affect.


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Similarly CocaCola has recently launched a campaign in the Spirit of Ramadan where it tends to portray the true Islamic spirit of sharing and caring for each other during this holy month. As a part of CocaCola’s global philosophy of sharing happiness and spreading optimistic positive thinking, it stresses upon the fact that it doesn’t matter if your act of kindness is small in nature because even little things can leave huge impact in one’s life. This campaign not only targets the urban population but also dispatches happiness to the less fortunate segments of our society.


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Also, the Company has been active on social media especailly Twitter and trying to make an impact using the handle @Small_is__BIG and trending the hashtag #SmallisBig. Thus enabling people to think out of the box for small changes they can bring about that would make a huge impact in the long run.

Following the affect of this campaign we observed many positive changes in our youth on Pakistan’s Independence day 14th August 2012. Many people were found helping and assisting each other out in the open as well as spreading the much needed positivity about Pakistan on social networks. The trends like ‘#ILovePakistan’ and “#PakistanZindabad” were seen trending worldwide and people also took it to the streets in the form of Independence Day parades to portray the positive and peaceful side of Pakistan to the world. Thus they were not only helping themselves but also their nation as a whole.

In short, companies like Coca-cola and Unilever have taken their corporate responsibility to a whole new level, involving Individuals for the first time, and giving them a chance to spread their message as well as brand promise through word of mouth. Thereby initiating massive positive campaigns which otherwise would’ve never been possible.

Ultimately, it’s only the power of the small deeds of kindness and the self induced courage of Pakistanis, that can succeed in breaking the stereotypical media images of Pakistan and give the whole world a chance to see this great country from an entirely different perspective!


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Publicity Stunts

Posted in Uncategorized on July 27, 2012 by razaidi

The local Media as well as the Political front of Pakistan has recently been a manifestation of controversies. Be it the much opposed reappearance of local television show hosts Maya Khan, Veena Malik and Amir Liaquat or the News Channel anchors Mubashir Luqman and Mehr Bukhari or even the much debated re-enactment of  Raja Parvez Ashraf as the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Controversy seems to be the driving force for all major celebrities these days. A saying goes that Negative Publicity is the best form of publicity. This is exactly what’s happening nowadays!

The more a person becomes negatively famous, the more people start discussing him/her. The more people start talking, the more press coverage the person receives. Thus with this huge amount of free coverage and audience attention the person makes him/herself heard, seen, and viewed in all forms of media, without spending a penny.

The social media which is like a time bomb waiting to explode any second, bursts into flames upon hearing any such sort of embroilment. Then starts a never ending series of Rants and Trends ridiculing the subjects from every possible angle and coming up with all sorts of conspiracy theories in pictures as well as words.

What does all this lead to? Nothing but more and more mentions of the person under fire. These mentions bring him/her into the limelight and at the top of Search Engine Results and YouTube videos. Even those who knew nothing about these men or women come to know of them through print, television and blogs.

In short they get unprecedented fame through this altercation and bickering in a very short time which would have actually taken them years and years to build on their own through good hard work, in this age of media clutter.

And as this ranting and agitation simmers down, people start forgiving and forgetting. They get tired of shouting and screaming against these numskulls and out of sheer boredom, start looking  for other topics to chant about.

That’s when these controversial people make their re-entry. Owing to their high brand recall they manage to attract sponsors worth millions and thus become the golden geese for the television channels.

All this boils down to the fact that we as a Pakistani Nation are very much divided in our opinions. At one end we denounce and shun these hypocrites for deceiving us all, while on the other hand we welcome them with open arms after a few days. These people manage to clear their names slowly and gradually and the public starts settling in after the usual protests and objections.

This negative controversy brewing, it seems, has now become the only standard of popularity in this country. And if this continues, the time is not far when the craziest of the lot would be sitting at every key position in the judiciary, executive as well as private sector.

It’s high time we address this issue!

Twistale!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 6, 2012 by razaidi

…..PAkistAn won the 3 test series against England in Dubai…. giving them a total white-wash (as people call it)

The spectacle of winning was overwhelmed by the celebrations that kicked off afterwards in the country… People started screaming  and dancing on the streets, the media went bonkers showing interviews of every cricketer’s family and the festivities that were taking place in their homes…

What a wonderful win it truly was…. A win to remember for ages… Beating the #1 team in the world in three consecutive matches is by no means an easy task and the our boys did it so seamlessly…. The amazing spins of Ajmal and A.Rehman freaked the shit out of the English batsmen and the gora boys crumbled like dominoes in every inning they played…

As a different perspective to life in Pakistan… i am now starting to see the changing mindset of my people… They’re more aware of their importance in the world now… Despite what the world says and western media projects about us… we have continued to prove everyone wrong at every front …. and it this very spirit that rejects the petty differences and makes us stand united … and stronger!

To play against the best team in the world with the most in-experiences set of players and those too who are afraid to play as the world is stalking and waiting to point fingers of match fixing allegations at them… was indeed no easy task…. But then… when you have nothing to lose you give your 200% and don’t care about the results… You take risks, decisions and work hard on your way upwards… and if your intention is right it always ends up in a positive result… even if you lose….

That was the lesson of the day for me….and as i reach the threshold of the twistale of my life… i’m hoping to do the same!

 

Do Hazar Bara!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 31, 2011 by razaidi

This post marks the beginning of 2012….

Our country  is still in a critical condition…. as if surviving on a ventilator….

Resources have been depleted to ashes…. Gas, Electricity and Water shortages still lurk in every corner of the state…..and the same floods destroy thousands of homes every year…

Political deception is ubiquitous….. and the nation is evidently divided into multicolored flags….

There exists no balance between supply and demand…. and lack of planning is pushing us back in time….

probably towards stone age….

Hope is being suppressed and opposed by those who have accepted the status quo….. just because their eyes are still wide shut…

The reign of chaos is continuing to strengthen democracy…. demonstrating the true power of people…. ultimately leading to their own destruction…

The last day marks 2 bomb blasts in the provincial capital… and a sectarian killing scene in the revenue engine of Pakistan…. and still people continue to celebrate…. as if nothing happened.

Yes we are living in the most difficult of times and…. so many of us have already lost the will to fight back… and have happily retreated to the trenches…. carrying a variety of visas on the green passport… waiting for things to change in the meanwhile…

All the above things said…. i salute the dwellers of my homeland for surviving the last year…. and still having the courage to move forward and serve the country….

2011 is over…. and whatever the prophecies and myths foretell… 2012 will mark a new beginning…and hopefully a better one… for everything that is!