It is funny how despite sharing similar syllabus all over the world, schools around the world run in many different ways. In this article, we explore the many signs that tell you that you may have ended up in the Pakistani school system.
1. You were sent to playgroup as soon as you were born!
Pakistani schools have started this trend of admitting children as young as 2.5 in so-called playgroups, where they ‘learn to sit in a class’, even before learning how to go to the toilet themselves. Jumping on the bandwagon, many mothers prefer sending their babies to school thinking that early schooling will make the child brighter. This is, however, not the case as most children hardly learn anything in school at this age. Ideally, children should spend the first few years of their lives with their mothers and learn at home.
2. You were sent to a good school because of your neighbours and cousins!
Competing with other children when it comes to studies is healthy because, in this way, children work harder than their peers to stand out. However, in Pakistan, most parents take this competition to the next level. Children are sent to good schools not for good education or personal grooming but schools are chosen on the basis of competition with other children (in the family, neighbours or social circle).
Schools should be chosen only for the benefit of the child and not to fit into someone else’s social standards.
3. You have been beaten up by (at least) one of your teachers!
If you attend a Pakistani school, there are chances that you have been beaten up by your teachers for not behaving properly. Although most Pakistani schools these days have a rule that the teacher must not physically hit a student, teachers usually don’t abide by the rules because most teachers do not undergo any formal teachers’ training, so they don’t know how to handle mischievous children.
4. Your schoolbag is heavier than yourself
In Pakistani, most schools require children to carry too many books. One subject usually has two to three books and there is no concept of audiovisual aid in the classes (except for elite schools). Also, teachers don’t follow the time table and ask children to bring all the books to school. For example, if the time table says English Literature, the teachers might decide to teach English language that day, depending on their personal planners, deadline for syllabus completion, and/ or moods!
5. When your school keeps asking for more and more money!
In most private schools in Pakistan, it has become a trend to arrange different activities and events for children’s extra-curricular education. However, these activities come with a hefty price tag. Children are told to ask their parents for extra money all the time. Not only this, but schools have also made it a rule that children must buy all books and stationery from the school at a higher price. Even if a child buys a note book from a shop, the school doesn’t accept it. In short, apart from the regular school fee, most private schools in Pakistan rip off parents from time to time!
6. Extra lessons are a must for all students
In Pakistan, the culture of sending children for private tuition after school has become exceedingly common over the years. Nowadays, parents think that without private tuition, their child would lag behind others and not perform outstandingly. As a result, the child is burdened with unnecessary homework which hardly adds to knowledge and understanding. Sadly, many school teachers have also started conducting private lessons for their extra income. Consequently, they don’t teach the children in school properly (expecting to repeat the same lecture during private lessons).
About the author:
Sarah B. Haider is a freelance journalist interested in writing on women’s rights, environment, education and current affairs. She’s currently pursuing a post-graduate degree in Journalism.