Apr 02 - 08, 2001
The youngest Java master is in the making in the
form of Afsah Shafqat, a 12-year-old young girl from Karachi.
Afsah, brushing aside all the taboos and so called
barriers imposed by the outmoded education system against spread of
knowledge and wisdom has proved by securing 16th position out of 4000
contestants in Java admission tests that it is the aptitude and not
the degrees or certificates that matter in acquiring advance
A student of 7th grade in White House Grammar
School, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, appeared in the pre-admission test
for Java course introduced by Badr Operations at Sir Syed University
of Science and Technology. In the preliminary test she appeared along
with 4000 contestants and was selected as one of 600 successful
candidates. Out of the 600 she outclassed majority of the contenders
by securing 16th position amongst them.
Born on Feb 26, 1989 Afsah had already proved the
proverbial saying i.e. "coming events their shadows before"
by winning various distinctions in her short span of education life.
She always stood first class first right from Grade one to Grade 7 in
her school. She also won special prize on her painting "Pakistan
as I see" at the competition organized by the Arts Council of
Pakistan. She also assist her younger sister Afrah, an 11 year old
girl and elder sister Isbah who 14 in bringing out a magazine "Chand
Ziaullah Khan, the mastermind behind the concept of
Badr Operations aimed at spreading IT knowledge in Pakistan free of
cost, has chosen her as the teaching assistant (volunteer teacher) for
Java classes at Sir Syed University.
This generated tremendous amount of confidence in
the young lady who has started taking classes for the beginners at Sir
PAGE: How did you manage to get through
admission test for Java course?
Afsah : My mom and dad were the source of
inspiration for me. They spend most of their time at home busy with
computer for different disciplines of IT including Java. Naturally I
got involved and learnt a lot about Java without any formal education.
When pre-admission tests were announced by Badr Operations at Sir Syed
University I decided to appear along with my father who was also
interested in taking Java classes.
PAGE: What is your future plan. Do you want
to make a career in IT?
Afsah: Currently I am preparing to appear in
Java certification within next three months. I am hopeful and
confident that it may not be a difficult job for me. After
certification in Java, I would like to go for other advance courses in
PAGE: How your school mates and teachers
reaction on your selection as the Java teacher at Sir Syed University.
Afsah: My school colleagues and teachers
were really happy and are going to give me a treat and gifts in
recognition of whatever you may call it my success of achievement.
Dr. Shafqat Mehmud, the proud father of the young
Afsah paid glowing tributes to Ziaullah Khan, an IT expert from the
United States, who has come back to mother land with the commitment to
spread IT knowledge throughout the country by utilizing the given
resources currently like idle in the country.
Ziaullah Khan had arrived in Pakistan with an idea
to utilize the premises and labs of large educational institutes lying
idle on off-days. Hence he launched IT education program Badr
Operation I from Sir Syed University where he started a weekly class
on Sundays when the University is closed. People having thirst for
knowledge gave him a warm welcome and today Badr Operation II is going
on at APPIT, III at DIMS and IV at IMIT. Badr V is also in the
pipeline which is likely to commence sometimes next month at IQRA
University located at Abid Town in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.
Ziaullah has a dream to see Pakistan as a strong IT
power on the world map. He feels that this dream could only turn into
a reality when the knowledge is imparted at the grass root level at
extremely affordable price. The IT university offering IT education at
an approximate cost of Rs3 lakh may not deliver the goods to achieve
the desirable targets. Currently, Badr operations have been launched
in Karachi. However this concept of utilization of premises and labs
of large education centres on off-days would be taken to other major
towns and cities of the country in near future.
Afsah, who is also the product of Badr Operation is
the proof that much talked about IT education can only be brought upto
the grass root level if the so called formalities are abolished and
the talented people having aptitude to learn IT are encouraged to go
Afsah, who visited the ITCN Asia 2001 conference at
Sheraton was given a thunderous applause when accompanied by her two
sisters namely Isbah and Afrah invited at the speakers' stage before a
large gathering of IT specialists from all over the world.
Dr. Shafqat hopes that Afsah is likely to make a
world record as the youngest Java master soon after she gets through
the certification process.