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Posts Tagged Education

Carrying on up the Khyber Imran Khan’s party improves services in Pakistan’s (KPK) – The Economist

The PTI now wants to see locals flocking to use public services. It has certainly made schools more appealing: the party has appointed 40,000 more teachers, rebuilt institutions blown up by the Taliban and furnished others with toilets and electricity. Teacher absenteeism has fallen. But the PTI’s claim that about 100,000 students have chosen to switch from private to public schools is based on dodgy data. There are other bones to pick. In 2013 the PTI allowed its coalition partner, the Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamist group, to remove pictures in textbooks of women without a veil, among other measures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The diagnosis is less mixed when it comes to health care. The PTI has employed many more medical staff, raising the ratio of doctors per 1,000 people from 0.16 to 0.24. It has also begun, albeit far from smoothly, to roll out a comprehensive health-insurance card for poor families. All this has had an effect. The number of operations in public hospitals has doubled since 2013; inpatient cases have risen by half as much again. Such change comes despite objections from special interests that lose out from reforms. Pharmacists broke the shelves of a new drug dispensary at one Peshawar hospital, so incensed were they by its offering medicine at the wholesale price.

Yet the PTI may struggle to win a second term in 2018. One problem is excessive promises. Mr Khan, who broke into politics after a stellar career as a cricketer, pledged a “tsunami” of change. But it took his inexperienced party two years to get a handle on government, and many of its reforms so far, according to Faisal Bari of LUMS university, need much longer to get entrenched. Some of its more notable improvements are hardly photogenic. It is one thing for people gleefully to take selfies in front of a new flyover in Peshawar, another to do the same in front of new toilets in a rural girls’ school.

That Mr Khan himself appears to have lost interest in the province does not help. He aspires to national office and spends much of his time heckling the prime minister, who is under investigation for corruption. The PTI is starting to look more like the established parties. Having long mocked rapid-transit bus lanes, a favourite pork-barrel project of such parties, as a costly distraction from public-sector reform, the PTI is now building one of its own in Peshawar. It is said to be the country’s most expensive, per kilometre, yet.

 

The Economist

This article appeared in the Asia section of the print edition under the headline “Emergency treatment”

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The Elephant in the Room

 

The Elephant in the Room

The biggest pain in Asia isn’t the country you’d think.

BY BARBARA CROSSETTE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010

Think for a moment about which countries cause the most global consternation. Afghanistan. Iran. Venezuela. North Korea. Pakistan. Perhaps rising China. But India? Surely not. In the popular imagination, the world’s largest “democracy” evokes Gandhi, Bollywood, and chicken tikka. In reality, however, it’s India that often gives global governance the biggest headache.

 

Of course, India gets marvelous press. Feature stories from there typically bring to life Internet entrepreneurs, hospitality industry pioneers, and gurus keeping spiritual traditions alive while lovingly bridging Eastern and Western cultures.

But something is left out of the cheery picture. For all its business acumen and the extraordinary creativity unleashed in the service of growth, today’s India is an international adolescent, a country of outsize ambition but anemic influence. India’s colorful, stubborn loquaciousness, so enchanting on a personal level, turns out to be anything but when it comes to the country’s international relations. On crucial matters of global concern, from climate change to multilateral trade, India all too often just says no.

India, first and foremost, believes that the world’s rules don’t apply to it. Bucking an international trend since the Cold War, successive Indian governments have refused to sign nuclear testing and nonproliferation agreements — accelerating a nuclear arms race in South Asia. (India’s second nuclear tests in 1998 led to Pakistan’s decision to detonate its own nuclear weapons.)

Once the pious proponent of a nuclear-free world, New Delhi today maintains an attitude of “not now, not ever” when it comes to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. As defense analyst Matthew Hoey recently wrote in theBulletin of the Atomic Scientists, “India’s behavior has been comparable to other defiant nuclear states [and] will undoubtedly contribute to a deteriorating security environment in Asia.”

Not only does India reject existing treaties, but it also deep-sixes international efforts to develop new ones. In 2008, India single-handedly foiled the last Doha round of global trade talks, an effort to nail together a global deal that almost nobody loved, but one that would have benefited developing countries most. “I reject everything,” declared Kamal Nath, then the Indian commerce and industry minister, after grueling days and sleepless nights of negotiations in Geneva in the summer of 2008.

On climate change, India has been no less intransigent. In July, India’s environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, pre-emptively told U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton five months before the U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen that India, a fast-growing producer of greenhouse gases, would flat-out not accept binding carbon emissions targets.

India happily attacks individuals, as well as institutions and treaty talks. As ex-World Bank staffers have revealed in interviews with Indian media, India worked behind the scenes to help push Paul Wolfowitz out of the World Bank presidency, not because his relationship with a female official caused a public furor, but because he had turned his attention to Indian corruption and fraud in the diversion of bank funds.

By the time a broad investigation had ended — and Robert Zoellick had become the new World Bank president — a whopping $600 million had been diverted, as the Wall Street Journal reported, from projects that would have served the Indian poor through malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and drug-quality improvement programs. Calling the level of fraud “unacceptable,” Zoellick later sent a flock of officials to New Delhi to work with the Indian government in investigating the accounts. In a 2009 interview with the weekly India Abroad, former bank employee Steve Berkman said the level of corruption among Indian officials was “no different than what I’ve seen in Africa and other places.”

India certainly affords its citizens more freedoms than China, but it is hardly a liberal democratic paradise. India limits outside assistance to nongovernmental organizations and most educational institutions. It restricts the work of foreign scholars (and sometimes journalists) and bans books. Last fall, India refused to allow Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan journalists to attend a workshop on environmental journalism.

India also regularly refuses visas for international rights advocates. In 2003, India denied a visa to the head of Amnesty International, Irene Khan. Although no official reason was given, it was likely a punishment for Amnesty’s critical stance on the government’s handling of Hindu attacks that killed as many as 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat the previous year. Most recently, a delegation from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a congressionally mandated body, was denied Indian visas. In the past, the commission had called attention to attacks on both Muslims and Christians in India.

Nor does New Delhi stand up for freedom abroad. In the U.N. General Assembly and the U.N. Human Rights Council, India votes regularly with human rights offenders, international scofflaws, and enemies of democracy. Just last year, after Sri Lanka had pounded civilians held hostage by the Tamil Tigers and then rounded up survivors of the carnage and put them in holding camps that have drawn universal opprobrium, India joined China and Russia in subverting a human rights resolution suggesting a war crimes investigation and instead backed a move that seemed to congratulate the Sri Lankans.

David Malone, Canada’s high commissioner in New Delhi from 2006 to 2008 and author of a forthcoming book, Does the Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy, says that, when it comes to global negotiations, “There’s a certain style of Indian diplomacy that alienates debating partners, allies, and opponents.” And looking forward? India craves a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, seeking greater authority in shaping the global agenda. But not a small number of other countries wonder what India would do with that power. Its petulant track record is the elephant in the room.

 
 

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“Malala deserves Nobel Peace Prize” (for 2013)”: Angelina Jolie, but will the Nobel Committee overcome its hidden anti-Muslim/Pakistan bias? Edhi Sahib is a case in point!

Malala deserves Nobel Peace Prize: Angelina Jolie

 

Nobel Committee is heavily skewed and prejudiced against Muslims and Islam. Therefore, it stands to reason that they bypassed in 2012, Pakistan’s heroic daughter Malala Yousafzai. But, you never know that their conscience may be awakened, and Malala is recognized by them in 2013. She went against her tribal culture and spoke as a brave Muslim woman for the education of women in Pakistan’s tribal areas of FATA. For her vision and bravery, she received bullets in the head in return. The West did a lot of song and dance and lionized her or rather used her for their propaganda, mainly Zionist driven,against Pakistan and Muslim  societies at large. They made 180 million Pakistanis and 1.2 billion Muslims appear like Neanderthals or living in dark ages. Little realizing that Islamic societies have produced more women political leaders, Prime Ministers, Chief Executives, Managers, Business leaders, Doctors, Engineers, Soldiers, Journalists, and many professions, where women still face prejudice in Western societies. The West is still trying to play catch-up.

 

Status of Women in Islam:

The First Lady of Islam, Hazrat Khadija (RA) was literate business woman. She was also the Boss (in modern terminology) of our Holy Prophet (PBUH). She exported and imported goods from as far away places as Syria. Our Prophet(PBUH) handled her Import-Export business or cross national Trade!

Hazrat Khadijah R.A was the first wife of Prophet Muhammad P.B.you.H. She was the daughter of Khuwaylid ibn Asad and belonged to Banu Hashim Clan. 

Her contributions to Islam are numerous. She was the first person to convert to Islam. She trusted her husband and she consoled him whenever he was distressed about the reactions of the non-Muslims. She sacrificed her wealth to promote Islam. She also patiently bore the persecutions of the non-Muslims and aristocrats of Quraish.

She remain at the side of the Propher Muhammad P.B.U.H all her life and supported him in his mission. She died in the year 619. This year is known as the year of sorrow. This is because Prophet Muhammad P.B.you.H was deeply moved on her death. She was the favorite wife of the Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H and he did not remarry until her death.

 

The Hollywood celebrity has joined the growing number of voices speaking in support of Malala. PHOTO: AFP

American actor and former UN goodwill ambassador for refugees Angelina Jolie has urged the Nobel Peace Prize awarding committee to give “serious consideration” to “brave” Malala Yousafzai.

The Hollywood celebrity has joined the growing number of voices speaking in support of Malala, the 14-year-old girl who was shot by the Taliban for promoting girls education in Swat.

In an article published by the Daily Beast, Jolie wrote: “I felt compelled to share Malala’s story with my children. It was difficult for them to comprehend a world where men would try to kill a child whose only “crime” was the desire that she and others like her be allowed to go to school.”

Jolie wrote: “Still trying to understand, my children asked, “Why did those men think they needed to kill Malala?” I answered, “because an education is a powerful thing.

“The shots fired on Malala struck the heart of the nation, and as the Taliban refuse to back down, so too do the people of Pakistan.”

She was of the view that Malala was proof that it takes only the voice of one brave person to inspire numerous men, women and children.

“As girls across Pakistan stand up to say “I am Malala,” they do not stand alone,” Jolie asserted in her article.

Lauding Malala for her feats achieved at such a small age, Jolie said: “As the Nobel Committee meets to determine the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, I imagine brave Malala will be given serious consideration.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2012.

 
 

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Critical Thinking is Critical for Pakistan to Progress in the 21st Century

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. 

Dr.Margaret Mead 1901 – 1978 American anthropologist

 

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Is Pakistan a Nation of Sheep?

 
 

Default Allah will not Change the Condition of a People until They Change Themselves

Surah No. 13, Ar Raad, Part of Ayat No. 11

إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللّهُ بِقَوْمٍ سُوءًا

o فَلاَ مَرَدَّ لَهُ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَالٍ

Translation :

Verily ! Allah will never change the condition of the people until they change it themselves (with state of Goodness). But when Allah wills a punishment for them, there can be no turning back of it, and they will not find a protector besides Him.

 

Allah will not Change the Condition of a People until They Change Themselves

Quite often the servant of Allah is granted abundant blessings but he becomes bored and longs to change it for another which he claims is better. In fact, Allah, the Merciful does not deprive him of this blessing, and He excuses him for his ignorance and bad choice until the servant is unable to bear the blessing, feels discontent, and complains about it. Then Allah will take it away from him. When he gets what he wished for and sees the great difference between what he had before and what he has now, he is filled with worry and regret and he wishes to have what he had before. If Allah wishes good for His servant, He would make him see that whatever blessings he now has is from Allah and He will show him that Allah is pleased with him, and the servant would praise Him. If he is deceived by his soul to change this blessing, he would ask Allah for guidance.There is nothing more harmful to the servant than becoming bored from the blessings of Allah; as he neither sees them as a blessing, praises Allah for them, nor is happy with them but he becomes bored, complains, and considers them as a means of distress. He does not think that these things are from the greatest blessings of Allah. The majority of people are opposed to the blessings of Allah. They do not feel the blessings of Allah, and moreover, they exert their effort to drive them away because of their ignorance and injustice. How often is a blessing bestowed on a person while he is exerting his effort to drive it away and how often does he actually receive it while he is pushing it away, simply because of his ignorance and injustice. Allah says, “That is so because Allah will never change agrace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their ownselves.” (Al-Antal, 8:53) And He, the Almighty says,”Allah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah).” (Ar-Ra’d, 13:11)
What can be worse than the enmity of a servant toward the blessings he has received? In so doing, he supports his enemy against himself. His enemy arouses fire in his blessings and he increases the fire unawares. He enables his enemy to light the fire and then he helps his own enemy to blow on it until it
becomes strong. Finally, he seeks help against the fire and blames fate. 

 

We are the best of Creation but are we living up to our Creator’s expectations

Lack of critical thinking skills in Pakistan has kept the whole nation backward in all aspects of life. Pakistan’s social, political, economic, health, and religious problems can be traced back to a lack of critical thinking. Pakistanis tend to accept every trauma as part of fate, without thinking that Almighty Allah has endowed man with free will and intellect, by which man can become “Master of his own Fate, and Captain of his own Ship.” Man is a Creation of the the Ultimate and Everlasting Intellect, Allah Almighty. Are we defying Almighty Allah or disappointing Him by not utilizing our capabilities to the maximum. As his Creation, do we not trust our individual God given capabilities, embedded in the ‘hard drive’ in our head?  The human brain has been chiseled by none other than the Master Creator of the Universe. It can perform quadrillion upon quadrillion functions in a life time, including controlling the performance of all human faculties. But, Man cynically depreciates his own abilities through negative and cynical thinking. Thereby, denigrating the Masterwork of his Creator, The Al-Musawir. 

Pakistanis stoically accept political malfeasance and incompetent governance as a fact of life

 Pakistanis as a nation,meekly accept corrupt mediocrities to rule us and guide us throughout our national life?  Our fear of sticking our necks out or standing for Truth and Justice has made us into a retrogressive society. This is no different from sheep or goats who can be led by a goading with a stick by the herder or shepherd. Pakistanis can only change Pakistan, if we can master nuclear and missile technology, then changing the fate of the nation is a piece of cake. Wake up, my Pakistani sisters and brother! Throw down the yoke and breathe the freedom of a technologically,politically, economically, and socially advanced nation. We are 180 million strong, WE CAN DO IT! Change Pakistan. Change your world. otherwise, no one will come around and change it for you. Get rid of “luteraas,” like Swiss Bank Account Thief, Zardari, Raja Rental, drunkard Bilawal, Mehran Bank Robber Nawaz Shariff, and paindoo crooks like Malik Riaz, and the rest of the feudal shahi.  Let us not be empty “gharas,” which make much noise, but are hollow from inside. If we do not reform ourselves, no one will reform us. Allah will abandon us to our fate, because, we are not using our brains to make critical national decisions. The followers of the Greatest Man, who ever lived have become an ignorant and corrupt Nation of Sheep. Whenwe can’t BEAT the Corrupt, we throw our hands in despair or become part of them. What have we become? What malaise is eating our souls? Are we a nation of “Phaydoos,” or a nation of sheep?

 

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The brutal “control freaks,” in our primary and secondary in rural and inner city education systems

Pakistani educational system is for the most part based on rote learning and bowing to whims of dictatorial and control freak “masterji” and “ustaniji.” Most of our primary and secondary school educators are charlatans or “drop-outs,”from other more lucrative or challenging professions.   They put young minds in their vise grip in which individualism and creativity is stifled. Challenging the accepted rules and concepts are a taboo in our mostly rural society. On the other hand growth of urban centers have resulted in blind acceptance of Western ideas and concepts, without whetting them through a filter of critical thinking.

The Forgotten Islamic concept of Critical Thinking

Therefore, we present the kernel of concepts which form the basis of critical thinking and which have lead to the advancement of Western societies in science, technology, and social values. Islam taught Muslims to debate and discuss all ideas, but, after the fall of Spain, Muslims became insular and isolationists. Debate and discussion became dormant. New ideas became a rarity. Demagoguery became the source of all knowledge. This lead to development of learning institutions, who were mostly centered around faith and dogma, and the concepts of taqiq fell by the wayside, leading to the the dark age of Muslim society, which has yet to merge into the bright sunshine or Renaissance of Critical Thinking during the glory days of Islam, when streets of Europe were in darkness or ignorance, the lamps of Baghdad were lit with the beacons of knowledge. Critical thinking were intrinsic part of Muslim culture.  This was the period of enlightenment from streets of Cordoba to souks of Baghdad. Critical Thinking is the Engine of Economic Prosperity and Social Advancement. It starts in early education and continues throughout life.the West learned it from Muslims, now the Muslims have to revive it in their own societies.

Critical thinking I

Strategies for critical thinking in learning and project management

Critical thinking studies a topic or problem with open-mindedness.
This exercise outlines the first stage of applying a critical thinking approach to developing and understanding a topic. You will:

  • Develop a statement of the topic
  • List what you understand, what you’ve been told 
    and what opinions you hold about it
  • Identify resources available for research
  • Define timelines and due dates
    and how they affect the development of your study
  • Print the list as your reference

Here is more on the first stage:

Define your destination, what you want to learn
Clarify or verify with your teacher or an “expert” on your subject

Topics can be simple phrases:
“The role of gender in video game playing”
“Causes of the war before 1939”
“Mahogany trees in Central America”
“Plumbing regulations in the suburbs”
“Regions of the human brain”

  • Develop your frame of reference, your starting point,
    by listing what you already know about the subject
  • What opinions and prejudices do you already have about this?
    What have you been told, or read about, this topic?
  • What resources
    are available to you for research
    When gathering information, keep an open mind
    Look for chance resources that pop up!
    Play the “reporter” and follow leads
    If you don’t seem to find what you need, ask librarians or your teacher.
  • How does your timeline and due dates affect your research?
    Keep in mind that you need to follow a schedule.
    Work back from the due date and define stages of development, 
    not just with this first phase, but in completing the whole project.

Summary of critical thinking:

  • Determine the facts of a new situation or subject without prejudice
  • Place these facts and information in a pattern so that you can understand them
  • Accept or reject the source values and conclusions based upon your experience, judgment, and beliefs

Critical thinking II

Second stage exercise in critical thinking:

Critical thinking studies a topic or problem with open-mindedness.
This exercise outlines the second stage of applying a critical thinking approach to developing and understanding a topic.

With the second stage:

  • Refine/revise the topic
    either narrowing or broadening it according to outcomes of research
  • Rank or indicate the importance 
    of three sources of research
  • Clarify any opinion, prejudice, or bias their authors have
    While an opinion is a belief or attitude toward someone or some thing, 
    a prejudice is preconceived opinion without basis of fact
    while bias is an opinion based on fact or research.
  • Identify key words and concepts that seem to repeat
    Is there vocabulary you need to define?
    Are there concepts you need to understand better?
  • In reviewing your research, are there
    Sequences or patterns that emerge?
    Oposing points of view, contradictions, or facts that don’t “fit?”
    Summarize two points of view that you need to address
  • What questions remain to be answered?

Critical thinking, first stage helped you to

  • Develop a statement of the topic
  • List what you understand, what you’ve been told 
    and what opinions you hold about it
  • Identify resources available for research
  • Define timelines and due dates
    and how they affect the development of your study
  • Print the list as your reference

With this second exercise, 
think in terms of how you would demonstrate your learning for your topic
How would you create a test on what you have learned?
How would you best explain or demonstrate your findings?
From simple to more complex (1-6) learning operations:

  1. List, label, identify: demonstrate knowledge
  2. Define, explain, summarize in your own words:Comprehend/understand
  3. Solve, apply to a new situation: Apply what you have learned
  4. Compare and contrast, differentiate between items: analyze
  5. Create, combine, invent: Synthesize
  6. Assess, recommend, value: Evaluate and explain why

 

Summary of critical thinking:

  • Determine the facts of a new situation or subject 
    without prejudice
  • Place these facts and information in a pattern
    so that you can understand and explain them
  • Accept or reject your resource values and conclusions 
    based upon your experience, judgment, and beliefs
  • Reference

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