Tag Archives: Education

Lahore’s Fountain House

There are 470 patients in Lahore’s Fountain House. 180 of them were admitted by their families who did not intend to see them ever again. We might have been forced into the 21st century, but mental health in this country remains a stigma.

Govt. Islamia College, Railway Road, Lahore




Govt. Islamia College Railway Road Lahore was founded in 1892 by the Anjuman-i-Himayat-i-Islam, the oldest of the three colleges was one of the focal points for the Pakistan Movement. The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, visited this college to address and confer with its students. Graduates and students of this college are referred to as “Habibians” after the name of the college’s oldest and central building.

Photo by: Shiraz Hassan



Where’s The Money for Higher Education in Pakistan?

Posted by Raza Rumi

This article appeared in STEP (Science, Technology, and Education in Pakistan), and has been reproduced with their permission.

A Conversation with Dr. Asad Abidi (Part 2 of 2)

By Bilal Zafar and Omar Javed, April 19, 2010

Asad Abidi is a professor at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He served as the first dean of LUMS’ School of Science and Engineering from 2007 through 2009. In the first part of our conversation with Dr. Abidi, we talked about LUMS SSE. In this second part, we talk about the challenges faced by the higher education sector in Pakistan, possible solutions, and what Pakistanis living abroad can do to help.

STEP: Moving on to the topic of higher education. Do you think that the level of financial support that higher education, in general, and the Higher Education Commission, in particular, is getting from the government can be sustained?AA2BlockQuote1

Asad Abidi: It is not getting (a lot of support) or it might be getting it for a moment but, you know, Pakistan is bankrupt and all this investment is from borrowed funds from the future. The typical elected government is just running scared, trying to keep its head above water. And, unfortunately, this is not going to change (anytime soon). So, the question is how do you take a country with so many needs and keep higher education running? The only way I can see it happening is if a substantial allocation, such as from the military budget, is diverted toward higher education. The military has never deprived itself of money. In the worst of times, their budgets have gone untouched, their privileges have gone untouched. But, it will take a political leader with guts to do this.

Honestly, I think the only way it could happen is if the United States, which effectively supports the Pakistan military, were to say that ‘we don’t really believe that it is valuable to add more men to your forces or add to your existing perks and privileges; this is actually only going to lead to more disenchantment from civil society and unrest in the region. So, you must cut your budget by, let’s say, 10% or 15% and that this money must go into higher education to deliver some hope to Pakistan’s people. Otherwise we will withdraw our support’. Only then might things change.  So, it’s going to be really hard unless you have massive civil protest in Pakistan. I don’t think Pakistan is quite ready for that kind of thing yet. People dispirited by spiraling inflation, power outages, unemployment, kleptocracy, can hardly be expected to rally in numbers against a bloated military budget. Continue reading


By Majid Sheikh
Dawn, Sunday, 24 January 2010

When the British conquered Lahore in 1849, Lord Dalhousie, the Governor
General, declared that he would educate the “wild illiterate Punjabis” in a
new system of Anglo-Vernacular education. When they started the East India
Company Board was shocked by what already existed.

The board was amazed to find that the literacy rate in Lahore and its
suburbs was over 80 per cent, and this was qualified by the description that
this 80 per cent comprised of people who could write a letter. Today, in
2010, less than nine per cent can do this, while 38 per cent can sign their
name, and, thus, are officially ‘literate’. If you happen to read Arnold
Woolner’s book ‘History of Indigenous Education in the Punjab ’ you will come
across some amazing facts we today just do not know. To understand the
situation it would interest scholars to go through the ‘A.C. Woolner
Collection in the Punjab University Library. My review is a scant one. But
studying other similar pieces provides a picture of the educational system
as it existed in Lahore in 1849 when the British took over. Continue reading

Pakistan: The lost voices of the middle class

By Tom Hussein

In early June, four of Lahore’s leading medical professionals congregated at the Punjab Club, a recreational retreat for the city’s educated elite, to discuss the future with a former colleague visiting from Australia.

The discussion, held over tea and sandwiches served by waiters in turbans and colonial-style white uniforms, centred on the visitor’s experience of his transition from being one of Lahore’s most fêted doctors, to a respected, but otherwise ordinary member of the Melbourne medical community. Continue reading

Prisoner secures second position in general group

RAWALPINDI: A jail inmate secured second position in Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education’s (RBISE) Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Annual Examination 2009. Qaisar Nadeem S/o Muhammad Ashraf (Roll No 186251), Barrack No 5/8, Central Jail Adiala, Rawalpindi appeared in general group boys in the examination Continue reading

SSE in Lahore

Salal Humair

This newspaper’s editorial ‘Whither and wither’ of Jan 4 articulates two excellent questions about the direction of Higher Education in Pakistan, while expressing disappointment over the shelving of HEC’s plan to create world-class universities in Pakistan. The editorial asks: ‘If you are poor and bright you have few options and ‘abroad’ isn’t one of them. But what if ‘abroad’ were somehow to be able to come to us? What if the benefits of a foreign education system could somehow get transplanted to Pakistan?’ I believe those are well-phrased questions to which we may still find solutions, but we would need some visionary political leadership to do so. Continue reading

Lahore’s schools hiring private security consultants

Government’s security guidelines not enough?

By Afnan Khan writing for the Daily Times, Pakistan

LAHORE: In the wake of reported terrorist threats for schools providing Western educational facilities, the city’s elite educational institutions are hiring private security consultants to provide foolproof security to students and faculty.

The schools have decided not to rely solely on the security instructions issued by the government. Continue reading

Is Pakistan collapsing? A father and a citizen speaks

By Ali Dayan Hasan

At my daughter’s annual school parent’s day event in Lahore last month, the tension was palpable. Bewildered at the speed with which this innocuous annual event had transformed into a maximum security operation, anxious parents filed in their hundreds past security guards, metal detectors and bag searches into Theatre Number Two of the Alhamra Cultural Complex – a modernist structure that the citizens of Lahore would tell you proudly is amongst the largest public-funded exhibition and theatre complexes in Asia. They were there to see their children, none older than seven, perform the usual amalgam of tableaux on “Peoples and Festivals of the World”, a smattering of Kathak – a North Indian classical dance, a “Chinese dance” performance and, of course, my daughter’s favorite – a Disney-esque version of the Bangles hit – “Walk Like an Egyptian.” The event began, as always, with recitation from the Quran. Tense primary school teachers grappled with security issues and as I walked in; a very public stand-off between a security posse comprising teachers, local police and plain clothes personnel and a random man who was on the premises for “no known reason” was underway. The man was eventually deemed harmless and let go but there was no parent who entered that hall without making note of the exits. Two hours later, as we filed out, I and virtually every relieved parent thought and said the same thing: “One more year like the last one and next year there will be no Parents Day. Another month or two like the previous ones and there might be no school left open.”

Since December 27, 2007 – the dreadful winter’s day when streets across Pakistan fell silent in the aftermath of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Pakistanis have understood and expressed in varying degrees, or disagreed in desperate denial, that the Islamization project unleashed by the United States and implemented by the Pakistani military since 1979 had turned on its creators, snarling at the United States, devouring Pakistan and exposing its army for the megalomaniac but intensely incompetent institution that it is. And the narrative of impending disaster, brutal dispossession and disembodied lives in exile for stateless citizens harking back pathetically to a lost life, hitherto the preserve of Palestinians and Cubans, Afghans, Somalis and the ethnic mosaic of the Balkans, beckons to Pakistanis as well. One could argue that Pakistanis are scared of a future comprising daily doses of floggings, beheadings, daisy cutters and drones. They might be too. But no one has had time to think that far ahead. The truth is more prosaic: After all, if your children cannot go to school, the future has ceased to be. And when societies cannot have a future, they die. Continue reading

Schools I – If it ain’t elite, it’s gotta be highbrow

posted by Rafay Alam

Quality education in Pakistan is – at the primary and secondary level – almost entirely dominated by the private sector.  With so many schools out there, there is bound to be a shortage of names.

I’m beginning a series of photos of schools in Lahore. 


Elite schools may be offered govt land in remote areas

Saturday, August 23, 2008
By Khalid Khattak (NEWS)

THE government in order to encourage elite private schools to establish campuses in remote areas is considering various proposals including provision of land on lease to such schools.

It is learnt that the Punjab Schools Education Department recently held meetings with the representatives of some elite private schools on the instructions of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif.

Sources privy to the development said that Schools Education Secretary Nadeem Ashraf recently held a meeting with representatives of Beaconhouse Schools System, Lahore Grammar School (LGS) and The City School. The meeting deliberated on various proposals such as provision of land on lease besides exempting schools from various kinds of taxes. They said that private schools might open franchises in remote areas on the pattern of Beaconhouse School System operating across the country. Continue reading

21 government schools in Lahore non-functional

By Khalid Khattak in Lahore

AS many as 21 government schools in District Lahore have been non-functional for the last many months, exposing lack of interest and commitment on part of officials concerned.

Sources in the Punjab School Education Department told The News that reports recently submitted by Monitoring and Evaluation Assistants (MEAs) of the Chief Minister’s Monitoring Force disclosed that there were dozens of non-functional schools in each district of the province.

The sources added most of these schools stopped functioning during previous regime because of acute shortage of schoolteachers. Continue reading