Are we all Human?

By Saif Ur Rehman, TGT FG Public School Boys
Kharian Cantt, Pakistan, 

Suddenly, while watching TV in the TV lounge, my mother switched it off; went to the room; sat in the sofa chair and began to weep. Seeing her weeping made me curious about the reason to know. Mother heaved a deep sigh and told; ‘It was fifteen years ago when we lived in a rented house in a village. It was mid-December; the cold was pinching and piercing every living being. Your aunt was in a family way. She felt an extreme surge of pain when the time for childbirth came near. We took her to the nearby village hospital in a car, but they refused to admit her saying that there was no equipment or any doctor except for a few midwives; and that the case was not under their capacity to handle.

She needed urgent and intense medical care. So, we set off to the city hospital which was thirty kilometres away from the village.

We had hardly covered the distance of twenty kilometres when we found the road blocked. There was a procession led by a politician who was addressing the participants. Many policemen were on security. We waited half an hour for the rush to reduce but it continued increasing. I requested the policemen to let us go ahead as her condition was becoming worse, but they did not pay heed to our request. Sooner, trails of hundreds of cars, motorbikes, vans and trucks were behind us. Everywhere was thronging with vehicles. The honking of an ambulance blocked somewhere in the traffic jam was also announcing some pending demise. On the other side, pangs of childbirth were at their extreme. The position of the child was not physically right as to be given birth normally. The pangs of childbirth not only killed the mother but also killed the child inside the mother’s womb.’  She took a deep sigh and went to say, ‘Two kind persons helped us take the lifeless mother out of the car to an open field near the road, and I covered the dead body with my chaadar*

At a distance, we saw smoke rising from a house. I ran to the house and told the owners of the house the whole situation. God bless them! Such kind men were they! Four men came with a cot, put the dead body on the cot and carried it to their house. The network was disconnected because of the procession; therefore, we could not even call and inform others about the catastrophe; and the whole night we spent there, weeping and mourning. Late in the dawn, the procession came to an end; and fourteen hours after the death we were able to come back to our rented house and performed the obsequies.’

She began to sob and resumed, ‘Today, when I watched the news about the same politician who was imprisoned by the government a few months ago has been released from the jail just because his health is not good; and also he will be taken by air to a foreign country for his treatment, reminded me how my dear sister and would- be- born nephew received the imposed death. A man of influence is being comforted and well cared though he is already on punishment; whereas the innocent lost their life, asking for help; and no one took pity on them or did they pay any heed to them, and left them to die among the crowd of monster-like men. I could not bear the more pangs of memories being revived, and switched off the TV.’

It has been ten years now when my mother told me all of this. I have never forgotten this incident. Whenever I am sitting in front of the TV and listen to the news about the death of any patient in a roadblock or because of doctors on strike, my heart becomes heavy with painful feelings and my mind is stormed with questions: ‘When will come the time, when every human being will be considered human? When will the entire human race have equal care and cure? Why there is such a contrast in the world of human? Why that innocent woman was left uncared to die? Why that angel was killed before he was born?’ Then somewhere from a distance, an innocent voice resounds in my ears as if saying ‘Are we all human?’

*(a big piece of cloth worn on by the Asian women as a part of their dress to cover their head and upper part of the body).

Do you have a comment?

En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos données inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisées par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a été mis en place. Aucune donnée ne sera utilisée dans un autre but, sans votre consentement éclairé, ni ne sera communiquée à un tiers. Vous pouvez à chaque instant demander l'accès, la modification ou la suppression de ces données en nous écrivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine übermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.
En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos données inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisées par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a été mis en place. Aucune donnée ne sera utilisée dans un autre but, sans votre consentement éclairé, ni ne sera communiquée à un tiers. Vous pouvez à chaque instant demander l'accès, la modification ou la suppression de ces données en nous écrivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine übermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.

Am I ready for tomorrow?

Sania Khan, from Pakistan, describes the education system there.

My name is Sania Khan. I am from Mansehra (division Hazara, province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). I am 20 years old and studying in the Govt Post Graduate College Mansehra.

Here I will write about education in Pakistan. Education plays a very vital role in the life of every person. But education quality in Pakistan is very bad. Starting from primary education to higher education Pakistan has failed to produce an effective human resource for national building.

The Education system in Pakistan is divided into six levels

Pre-primary (from the age 3 to 5)
Primary (from 1 to 5 standard)
Middle (from 6 to high (from 9 to 10)
Intermediate (from 11 to 12) and
University (graduate and undergraduate degree).

The Education system of Pakistan is divided into three broad categories: Public, Private and Madrasah system. The public education system is facing a paucity of resources as 89% of the educational budget is allocated for salaries of teachers and staff and only 11% is left for development. Also, there is a significant difference in teaching quality between public and private sector education. Students who reach university level lack certain qualities like a research-oriented approach and creativity. This situation has been aggravated by the poor examination system of Pakistan. It is based on a cramming approach and discourages creativity among young pupils. Taking into account matriculation and intermediate examination; the question papers are either definition based, or descriptive questions of important topics and students just cram the subject and reproduce it on answer sheets. Also, the theoretical portion of science subjects consists of 85% weightage which discourages the practical approach in science subjects.

University-level education also depicts the same sub-standard picture as secondary and higher secondary education. University instructors also feed students by providing certain notes to their students, assignments are full of plagiarism and there is a serious crisis in research work at the graduation level in universities.

So, a university graduate complains about unemployment and lack of merit in the country; actually, he lacks the basic qualities of being a university graduate which are essential to lead the modern industry.

Do you have a comment?

En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos données inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisées par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a été mis en place. Aucune donnée ne sera utilisée dans un autre but, sans votre consentement éclairé, ni ne sera communiquée à un tiers. Vous pouvez à chaque instant demander l'accès, la modification ou la suppression de ces données en nous écrivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine übermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.
En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos données inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisées par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a été mis en place. Aucune donnée ne sera utilisée dans un autre but, sans votre consentement éclairé, ni ne sera communiquée à un tiers. Vous pouvez à chaque instant demander l'accès, la modification ou la suppression de ces données en nous écrivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine übermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.

English in Schools

Saif ur Rehman currently teaches English at the FG Public School Boys in Kharian Cantt, in Pakistan. He is also currently preparing to become the headmaster of a school. In his article, he explains how a bi-lingual education system might not prove to be so beneficial after all.

Ubiquitous English in our education system, as is in vogue in our country, has created hurdles in the way of education. All schools, from nursery to high, are bound to teach students the curriculum, using English as the language of education. It is an undeniable fact, that English has become the international language and the language of science and technology, yet our manner of changing the language medium, especially at the very outset of the education process, has not produced positive results. It has been observed that when children at the age of four or five start school, are not experts, even in their national language. Instead they speak and understand their mother tongue well. They also understand and can communicate in the national language, but not in English.

We have changed the teaching language, but the proper planning on how to improve or teach all the four skills of the English language is still missing. This has created several problems.

Young children, especially in the government institutions (provincial and federal), have not satisfactorily developed writing, speaking and reading skills. Even their performance in mathematics, due to the English language, is uncertain. Only five percent children who are from educated families can continue with the system, but their performance is also unsatisfactory. This is because a specific syllabus has to be completed in a fixed time, at every cost.

Students cannot communicate in the English language as is expected. The whole system of education supports cramming, because of a language problem. It has been observed even in Grade 10, students are unable to write or speak more than a few sentences in English.

The language used Geography, History and Social Studies in textbooks is very difficult. Students find it quite an uphill task to cover the syllabus and solve the assignments or papers.

Students are unable to express themselves, even in their national language. The Active Teaching Learning Process remains absent because language problems create communication barriers between the teacher and the learner.

I therefore recommend the following:

Up to primary five, all textbooks should be printed and taught in our national language. English should also be taught, but separately, in a pleasant and proper environment for reading, writing, understanding and vocabulary.

From Grade 6, teaching should be shifted from our national language to English. Functional English should also start to be taught at this level.

History and Geography should be taught from Grade 6. The language used should be simple and abridged.

Literary Period (Bazm e Adab) should be made a part of the regular timetable for all classes.

Special books, like abridged versions of famous novels by English writers, must be part of the curriculum as a reading section.

Essay and paragraph writing should commence from Grade 6. Up to primary five only short sentences/structures should be taught and assessed.  

Practical grammar books like “English Grammar in Use” by Raymond Murphy and “Practical English Grammar” by Ave Martinet should be taught to Grade 9 and 10.

English language teachers, proficient in the usage of language, should be employed. They must be given the responsibility of teaching all the four language skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing to the classes from Grade 1 to Grade 10.

The English language curriculum should be divided into 80 percent functional language and 20 percent literature at secondary level.

In place of the textbook consisting of a variety of lessons, there should only be one novel, drama or a single book of short stories to study literature at secondary level.

It is clear from the analysis of the present method of teaching English, that it is not producing language learners at all. We need to improve the language first and to provide such a platform on which students can learn the language. After these reforms, I hope, language will never create hurdles in our education in English, rather it will make the teaching learning process enjoyable. It will also increase language skills which is major tool of communication.

Do you have a comment?

En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos données inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisées par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a été mis en place. Aucune donnée ne sera utilisée dans un autre but, sans votre consentement éclairé, ni ne sera communiquée à un tiers. Vous pouvez à chaque instant demander l'accès, la modification ou la suppression de ces données en nous écrivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine übermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.
En cliquant sur "Send", vous acceptez le fait que vos données inscrites ci-dessus seront utilisées par Frank Peters, Peters-Langues dans le but pour lequel ce formulaire a été mis en place. Aucune donnée ne sera utilisée dans un autre but, sans votre consentement éclairé, ni ne sera communiquée à un tiers. Vous pouvez à chaque instant demander l'accès, la modification ou la suppression de ces données en nous écrivant. /// Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass diese Website meine übermittelten Informationen speichert, damit sie auf meine Mitteilung antworten kann. /// I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to the exercise.