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July 26, 1999


Poor state of education

Unfortunately education in our country has not been given the place it deserves. With so litlle education in the country, the future of a civilized society remains uncertain. Apart from low literacy rate in the country, also the quality of education is not up to the mark. Let us try to find out why our educational system has failed.

Objective type question papers are being used almost all over the world to check the ability of the students, but we are following the age-old subjective pattern of examination.

As a result students cram selective portions of books and reproduce them in the examination. So instead of being well-informed the student learns litlle.

If a student wants to be an engineer, why is he / she being taught biology in Matriculation and what is the use of teaching mathematics to a student who wants to join medical profession? Students feel overloaded right from the very beginning and cannot give their best performance in the end.

As sane people, we must realize the need for reforms in the existing system. If we do not change the status quo, we will be regarded as creepers in the next century of technology. Our youth is very talented.

We only have to channelize their potential in the right direction. In the class-room of the world, we neidher want to be back-benchers nor to be neglected by our class-mates any more; we want to take active participation in whatever discussion is going on in the lecture-room. It is our legitimate right!


Liaquatabad bridge

Nobody knows how long it will take to complete the overhead bridge being constructed at Karimabad Liaquatabad. As such the commuters face a lot of difficulty in crossing the roads as well as in parking their vehicles.

It is requested that the government should take steps to get the project completed by the concerned people as early as possible.


How tea was popularized

The annual tea consumption in Pakistan exceeds 100,000 tonnes. It is a heavy drain on our foreign exchange resources. A plea for local tea cultivation evoked a boyhood memory when free tea drinking was introduced in Lahore. Hardly anybody among the common mon folk knew about tea then. Our traditional drink was lassi (bitter milk) and shakkar (brown sugar) sherbet in summer. It should be of interest to the younger generation to know how tea was popularized by supplanting our staple drinks.

Now tea is the popular drink all over the country and at all levels of society. This is a success story of classic British long-range trading strategy. According to one estimate, pakistan spent precious foreign exchange worth Rs. 42 billion in the last six years on importing tea. It has turned almost all of us into tea addicts in less than a generation or so. Introduction of free tea here was a sort of latter-day model of the same strategy that the British had employed in inducing Chinese to opium smoking. They not only benefited from the subsequent flourishing opium trade but also eventually established a political hold over the Chinese government. The British rule over Hong Kong as a crown colony for 99 years was the last vestige of this imperial legacy till its return to Chinese sovereignty in July 1997.

Lahore B A MALIK