Foundation Public School wants mandatory charity at A-Levels

Published: January 18, 2012
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At the campus, you aren’t promoted to 2nd year without 30 hours of service.

At the campus, you aren’t promoted to 2nd year without 30 hours of service.

KARACHI: The Social Service Society of Foundation Public School’s (FPS) A-Level campus is working on making this kind of work mandatory for all A-Level schools in the city.

According to Muneer Iqbal, the chairperson of the society, he and his peers are already in touch with students from other schools to push for this demand. Meanwhile, the school’s society plans to publicise the cause at events in different schools. “As youngsters, we should contribute to the society by helping those who are in need,” Iqbal said.

At the FPS A-Levels campus, all of the 120 first-year students have to do mandatory community service of 30 hours to be able to pass to the second year. They are free to choose what kind of work they want to do.

They can, for example, teach at government schools, tend to the elderly at shelter homes, or spend time with the mentally or physically challenged or those suffering from life-threatening diseases.

“Community service is greatly needed at government schools because they are in a deplorable state,” said Iqbal. “If educated people like us step forward, we can make a huge difference.”

Another student, Hamza Masood, also at FPS, believes that community service also gives students applying to universities abroad an edge. “Foreign universities prefer students who have done social service,” he said. “Even the top universities in Pakistan, like the Lahore University of Management Sciences, give credit to social service.”

But Masood does not do charity work because it will get him admission to a foreign university. According to him, at the end of the day it is satisfaction that one gets from helping the people that matters.

“I went to Dar ul Sukoon five months after I did community service there,” he said. “I was delighted when two children recognised me and called me by my name. They made me realise that our visits meant a lot to them.”

It seemed like students of other A-Level schools feel the same way. Saba Basit, who studies at Nixor College, believes that students should be made aware of how important serving the community was.

“Community service should be made mandatory but students should know what they are doing is important for the community rather than it being imposed upon them,” said Basit. “Social service does not only mean going to hospitals or old homes. It means that we can also help others in our neighborhoods as well.”

Though community service is not compulsory at Nixor, Basit says that there are still 20 groups of students who do charity work. Basit herself heads the Nixor Culinary – the group cooks food and then serves it the underprivileged once a week.

Sadia Syed Ali, an A-Level teacher, said that social service was necessary to bridge the divide between the rich and the poor. “Empathy and sympathy are leaving our society,” she said. “We need to educate our children to care for others.”

An official of the resource generation and outreach department at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) said that their student volunteer programme has been very successful. “Around 3,000 students from over 100 schools have participated in community service so far,” she said.

The SIUT holds the programme every year during the vacations. It includes nursing training for the students and teaches them how to take care of the patients. The official said that a lot of students spent time in the pediatric ward reading story books to the children. She mentioned the names of the schools which were most regular: The Lyceum School, Mama Parsi and  Foundation Public School were among them. “Sometimes the teachers also come with the students and do community service.”

An education expert, Abbas Husain, thought that since the educated youth is in school, educational institutes should encourage their students. He agreed that community service was not only limited to hospital visits and old homes. “The students should be encouraged to help people,” he said. “For example, they can pay utility bills for senior citizens or people who cannot do it themselves or they can help those who are illiterate fill out a form.”

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

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Reader Comments (17)

  • please make this a mandatory passing requirement at all business schools

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  • Jan 18, 2012 - 7:30AM

    “If educated people like us step forward, we can make a huge difference.”
    Golden words.

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  • Natasha
    Jan 18, 2012 - 8:05AM

    I’m not saying this is not a good thing, as it is, but seriously, this has been going on for YEARS at A Level schools!!! My mum started the FPS A Level and 30hrs of social service per year has been mandatory since it started! As for the students going to Dar ul sukun or SIUT or for that matter even the AKU, ALL SCHOOLS have been doing it for years!!

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  • Sajida
    Jan 18, 2012 - 9:43AM

    Excellent effort!

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  • student
    Jan 18, 2012 - 1:59PM

    @natasha – im frm FPS and so is my whole family .. we have never been through this it just started .. as it says in the above news ..

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  • Sharjeel
    Jan 18, 2012 - 8:47PM

    @ Student: i did my O-Levels in 09 from FPS and A Levels in’11 from FPS.! we have been through this, if anyone told you that it just started please ask your A2 if they know my name, at least those in Social Services would be!! Forget all, ask the Head of A Levels. I won’t write her name here, I was perhaps the most active in the last 2 years. as Natasha said it has always been there.. Children Cancer Foundation Pakistan Trust (Children Cancer Hospital), SIUT, Dar-ul-Sukoon, NICH (National Institute of Child Health), FESF, TCF etc etc… the list goes on and on.. You’re perhaps new to FPS that is why you feel that way, i have been with FPS for more than a decade…

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  • Mohsin Rasheed
    Jan 18, 2012 - 8:58PM

    i did my o levels from fps and then a levels from nixor. It was mandator on us to do 30 hours in FPS and in nixor it was voluntary but still almost everyone did that. The thing i hated was that FPS gave a certificate for it and Nixor didn’t and i enjoyed doing it more via nixor since it was not mandatory but you were motivated to do such things. So in the end i would like the school to just give opportunities to students to motivate them themselves to work in this field and contribute rather than by forcing them to work for the good.

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  • Hira Khan
    Jan 18, 2012 - 9:42PM

    “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.

    I am currently the General Secretary at FPS and I would like to take the initiative to Thank our Administration and Management in instilling in us the desire to take out time and contribute a little share of what we have with the unprivileged people of our community.Community Service has become more of a NORM or VALUE at FPS and most of the events at FPS are CHARITY EVENTS be it a concert or simply a carnival, students are willing to show their love and concern for the community by contributing in a number of ways. I’m extremely proud to be part of FPS and I’m sure this legacy will be continued by the upcoming batches. :)

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  • Asad Rahim
    Jan 18, 2012 - 9:58PM

    A very good initiative taken by Fps and specially the social service department which includes Muneer Iqbal(Cheema) and Hamza Maqsood.Well done guys :)

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  • fps a level student
    Jan 18, 2012 - 11:12PM

    @natasha
    yes, it was there when i was in fps. and it was during my a levels that RJK left fps.
    i remember how she’d emphasize on community serving, but one thing that really troubled me was forced MONETARY charity. that was one thing, and perhaps the only thing that i feel is RJK’s not-so-good quality, she used to force monetary charity

    not all students belong to the similar financial background. some parents work really hard to cope and meet the educational expenses, they’re already too much….. and we were forced to spend extra money for useless walkathon hand bands, uselss charity disco dances etc….

    with all due respect, i think we should only stick to community service without being constrained by the monetary factor. trust me, not every a level student can afford.

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  • Umair
    Jan 19, 2012 - 12:56AM

    @Natasha is rite! In fact I was the community service chairperson in 04-05 and in my tenure we crossed the mark of 50 hours of service, n we did a couple of bake sales as well. The proceedings were later donated

    This is a very good initiative to make it compulsory at A levels (it wasnt compulsory at tht time). and more schools should pick this thing up. Moreover, if the school owners want to do something then they must NOT charge exorbitant fee 10000-12000 per month !! in a country where majority of the masses survive under 100rs per day

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  • kay
    Jan 19, 2012 - 2:17AM

    its give confidence and awarness to students

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  • Natasha
    Jan 19, 2012 - 8:43AM

    @student:
    I think you need to read all the posts below your won, chk your own school’s website for old pics, and speak to the FPS A Level Alumni. please get your facts right

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  • Rizwan Ali
    Jan 19, 2012 - 2:38PM

    Thanks, Rabia Ali, wrote wonderful story, also might attract other school to do same,, as FPS did a great Job

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  • Ahsan
    Jan 19, 2012 - 4:40PM

    Ahahahaah copying off KAS karachi american school. They also require 60 hours of community service to graduate…..

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  • Ahsan
    Jan 19, 2012 - 4:42PM

    Ahahahhahaha copying of KAS Karachi American School….They also require 60 hours of community service to graduate….

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  • Rabindranath
    Jan 19, 2012 - 7:10PM

    It can help themseleves later part of life.

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