More girls than boys gave the intermediate exams held by the federal board. They made up 53% of the total candidates. They also did better, with girls getting 57% of A grades.
Federal Minister for Professional and Technical Training Sheikh Waqas Akram, the chief guest at a ceremony held for the position holders at the Islamabad Club on Tuesday, acknowledged this fact.
“The girls’ performance shows that given the opportunity and support, women in our country are very capable of taking us forward,” said Akram. He also noted that a handful of students who did well are from madrassas and their accomplishments signify that seminaries are not necessarily a breeding ground for militants.
Though private female candidates is still at 45%, it has come a long way in the past few years. However, most private candidates were repeating candidates.
Javeria Haseeb, who appeared privately, garnered second position in humanities and shared with The Express Tribune that she opted for private enrolment as it gave her time to pursue her job as a tutor for 8th graders.
Haseeb says her favourite subject is economics and she wants to pursue it further. However, even though she said she doesn’t know much about sociology and world history, she felt “it would be nice if they were included in the curriculum to give us more knowledge about the world”.
Salma Kulsoom from Army Public Science College earned third position in science and travelled all the way from Okara to attend the ceremony. “Even though it cost us Rs10,000 to travel and stay here, I came because it is an honour and I didn’t want to miss it,” said Kulsoom. Travel and accommodation expenses were not compensated by the organizers of the event.
Her father, a retired army captain on a pension of Rs15,000, lamented that honour students like her should at least get discounted tuition to make it easier on parents financially.
As a reward, the first position holders will get a laptop and Rs50,000, second position will be awarded Rs40,000 and Rs30,000 will go to third position holders. The award ceremony will be held at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat after Eid.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2012.
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