Getting an education: Graduating from the school of hard knocks

Five students make their way to the top through hard work.

Our Correspondents July 26, 2013
Ahmed, whose father is bed-ridden due to a brain haemorrhage, drives a rickshaw to sustain his family. He used to study at night. PHOTO: FILE


The top performing students in the secondary school exams include a handful of remarkable young people who had to balance time studying with time working to make ends meet.

Rickshaw driver Ayaz Ahmed, one of 12 siblings, came second in the secondary school examination in the Dera Ghazi Khan board with 882 marks.

Ahmed, whose father is bed-ridden due to a brain haemorrhage, drives a rickshaw to sustain his family. He said he went to school in the morning and worked after school till as late as midnight.

MPA Chaudhry Abdul Waheed Aarain, who presided over the prize distribution ceremony, assured Ahmed and his family that he would make efforts so the government would pay for his father’s treatment.

Kiln worker- a future judge?

When Muhammad Ali, a resident of Daska is not studying, he is helping his family make bricks at a kiln. Ali, a student of the Government High School, Daska, came second with 929 marks.

Talking to The Express Tribune, he said his parents had separated when he was three years old. He said he had been living with his father and helped him at the kiln.

Ali says he wants to become a judge. “I saw Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on television one day. That is when I decided that I would be like him one day.”

Fruits of patience

Amir Ijaz, a fruit seller who helps his father at their shop in the Gujranwala fruit and vegetable market, came first in the humanities group in the Gujranwala Board.

Ijaz said he would stop at his father’s shop on his way back from school. He said he would study there and sell vegetables at the same time.

Rising from the roadside

Areeb Khawaja, who came third in the Multan Board with 1,023 marks, helps his father sell pakoras (potatoe snacks) at a stall in front of the BISE office.

His father, Ghulam Fareed, said paying his son’s fee was the toughest part of getting him an education. But, he said, he managed somehow and hopes his son would earn and sustain himself through college.

Khawaja says he wants to study medicine.

Habitual achiever

Komal Arif had been waiting anxiously for the secondary school examination results since April.

On Thursday, when she saw her parents entering the house with roses and and boxes of sweets, she knew they had good news for her.

Arif has topped the Gujranwala Board examinations with 1,021 out of 1,050 marks.

Talking to The Express Tribune, her parents said she had always been first in her class.

Her mother said, “We had never had to urge her to study.

She was always punctual about her study schedule. Guests and friends had never distracted her.”

Arif, who says she wants to study medicine, was first in the chief minister’s debate contest at provincial level.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2013.

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