PU BA and BSc results: Top students call for education reforms
By Waqar Gillani
LAHORE: The top marks getters in the Punjab University Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science annual examinations of 2004 have called for an improvement in the educational system and greater job opportunities for women.
Talking to Daily Times during the prize distribution ceremony for the BA andBSc exams on Monday, the top students, most of them girls, said there was a shortage of qualified teachers and colleges needed to move away from the learning-by-rote system. The top three BSc students got help from students outside their colleges.
Ayesha Hameed of Kinnaird College, who came first in BSc with 678 marks, has been getting good marks throughout her academic life. The daughter of a brigadier, she aims to follow her grandfather and become a mathematician. She said her interest in maths came from her grandfather, who was a teacher at Government College. She also thanked her mother and father for their support.
Ms Hameed said more and more women were getting jobs these days, thanks in part to President General Pervez Musharraf.
Maryah Riaz of FG Degree College for Women, Kharian Cantt, who came first in the BA group with 634 marks, plans to do a PhD after doing masters courses in English and Islamiat. The daughter of an orthopaedic surgeon, she is also a Hafiza Quran and completed her primary education in England.
Ms Riaz said the education system needed improvement. “Teachers should use modern methodologies to teach and students should be given assignments and projects to do during their courses. She said women needed to be given greater job opportunities and rights, “but within Islamic boundaries”. She said the human rights situation in Pakistan was improving.
Ms Riaz said the image of Islamists as terrorists was distorted, but added that moderation and education were the backbone of Islamic civilisation. She said the current Muslim leadership was flawed and needed to acknowledge that. She was critical of the government, saying it was not democratic. She said defence spending must be cut and more should be allocated to health and education.
Afshan Hannan Mirza of Government College for Women, Samanabad, who came second in the BSc group with 672 marks, plans to do a Masters in Business Administration and then work with her father, a businessman. She said there were few good jobs for women in Pakistan.
Ms Mirza said the education system promoted rote learning and this needed to change. She said each college had at most one or two good teachers, while the rest were normally poor.
Sadia Zubair of Government College for Women in Gujrat, who came third in the BSc group with 658 marks, said her principal had to arrange for teachers from another college so she could study double maths and physics, because there were no qualified teachers in her college.
Ms Zubair plans to do an MBA. She said women needed to be more courageous in grasping job opportunities and their rights. She condemned honour killing, which could only be eradicated if people living in rural areas were educated.
Riffat-un-Nisa, a private candidate from Phalia tehsil, Mandi Bahauddin district, came second with 625 marks, plans to take the CSS exams. She said the education system needed reform. She called for gender equality. She said the human rights situation could not be improved until women were given equal opportunities. She said women should be given jobs in a wide variety of fields and not restricted to teaching, nursing and medicine.
Awais Aslam Mustafa Kamal Pasha, the son of a retired army man and an external candidate from Shakargarh, Narowal district, came third in the BA group with 618 marks. He studied in the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies, which is run by the Pakistan Awami Tehrik and Idara-e-Minhajul Quran, but appeared privately. He also plans to do an MBA, but said position holders should be given full scholarships. He said Pakistan’s education system was not of an international standard.