ISLAMABAD: Anxiety, fear and dread are three emotions that every teenager goes through after sitting through Cambridge University’s O Level Examinations in August.
O levels results become the pride and joy, or bane, of many households in the twin cities.
With every aunty around town calling to dig up information on the recent test results, the pressure mounts up several notches.
Beacon House School System in Islamabad this year not only managed to produce some of the best results in Islamabad but students managed to scrap a whopping 24 distinctions. With this, Beacon House has become the leading school with the most number of distinctions in Islamabad and the northern areas.
“We have developed our own curriculum that emphasises on research skills, extracurricular activities and leadership skills,” beams Beacon House Media Correspondent Saman Imtiaz, “The school cannot take the entire credit when an achievement like this comes through, though. It’s a combined effort of the students, teachers and the parents.”
The students talked to The Express Tribune about their accomplishments and how they planned to coerce their parents into getting them fancy presents.
“I definitely want a car!” exclaimed Ibrahim Shahid, a world record holder for 23 A’s in O levels, “This is the perfect opportunity to get my parents to buy me a Honda Accord.”
While the boys discussed cars and gadgets, the girls in the group had something very different on their minds.
“I love to shop. This is my window to go to Dubai for a week and shop till I drop,” chimed Areej Abbasi after securing a regional distinction in Environmental Studies.
Haran Innocent Bhatti, World Distinction holder in Religious Studies said mischievously, “I am willing to blackmail my parents with this for a very long time.”
The prevalent culture of tuition centres and parents paying an arm and leg for extra classes so their children are prepared to compete, has had its influence on the way many approach this milestone in their lives.
Urwat Til Vusqa, World Distinction holder in Mathematics and regional distinction in Additional Mathematics wants to pursue medicine, “I took no tuitions during my years at school and I doubt my distinctions are going to help me get into college as medical schools look at sciences and not mathematics.”
Others very boldly admitted that they got extra help. “It takes a lot of hard work to achieve good grades,” said Hamza Sohail, who holds the regional distinction in Physics.
But it is not all work and no-play for these high achievers. The discussion took a new flavour as they passionately talked about debates, sports, theatre and just hanging out. When asked where they like to hang out after school “Hot Spot” came the unanimous answer.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2011.