KARACHI: It took two months for Zuha Latif and her friends to create cartoon characters, Uncle Faizee and Aunty Fauzia, and a story for their comic strip. But it was worth the wait. “We are proud of our work,” said the eighth grader, showing a comic strip of the Punjabi couple. In the comic Uncle and Aunty were spending a day at an amusement park.
“Both of them are so funny,” chuckled another girl, wearing an I-love-comics t-shirt. “Uncle is shorter than aunty and is very frightened of rides.”
On Friday evening, the playground of Haque Academy held a colourful and innovative exhibition, as a part of its annual open-house exhibition under the Special Programmes Amongst Regular Classes (Sparc). “Sparc is a special programme consisting of co-curricular activities,” explained Saubia Fatemi, the director of admissions. “Each student from grade one to nine opts for creative courses.” The students have to choose from robotics, arts, filmmaking, cooking, journalism and photography.
Photography instructor Kanwal Anjum seemed happy with the images captured by her students. All of the close shots were displayed on a panel in the middle of the ground. “The boys took pictures of themselves having fun while the girls were interested in nature,” she said. In her class, Anjum tries to get the students comfortable with the camera.
The most impressive part of the exhibition was where students, from grade six to eight tested their Lego-based robots, which they had made themselves. “See my robot. It will dance to a Black-eyed Peas song,” said Hasan. Another student had a robot that detected colour. It identified the colours on the testing board but would walk away from its black border.
“It’s my second robot. I made it after four classes of robotics,” said Abu Baker, studies in grade eight.
Running around the ground, which was bursting with excited students and jubilant parents, were students dressed up as characters. Soha Aijaz, in her vampire cloak and fake teeth, went up to the people and screamed, “I’ll drink up blood!” She told The Express Tribune between fits of laughter that she loved vampire movies like Twilight. Another student was dressed up as Harry Potter and also had a fake lightning scar on his forehead. “Where is Ron, I can’t find him,” he asked everyone around.
At another side were erected colourfully painted vertical panels. “The students painted symbols representing themselves and their characters,” said the art teacher, Zheela Hasan. “Some of them are really deep, such as jewellery representing a mother. It was also the most touching.” Hasan’s course was the most popular with 400 students from grade one till grade eight.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2012.