Picture of the Day: What is wrong with this picture?

Posted on August 11, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Education, Pakistanis Abroad, Photo of the Day
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Adil Najam

Because education is as central to everything else as it is (see earlier ATP post) I want to stick with it a little longer (plus, as a teacher, education is what I do).

Regular contributor Owais Mughal just sent me this picture, published in Dawn today (11 August, 2006). Ostensibly, this is a picture of the position holders in Grade 10 (Matric) from the Lahore Board. But here is what Owais points out (slightly edited):

It looks like the actual ‘position holders’ are the education board officials who are all standing in the middle. Their sides are then flanked by the real position holders [students] as if to fill up the photographic frame only. The decorations on education board officials chests also look bigger than a ‘nishan-e-haider’ medals!

One more reminder of our misplaced priorities and ‘billa baazi’ (when will we give up on these ridiculous looking ribbons, a ‘billa’ in Lahore parlance). As a teacher myself, of one thing I am certain. Unless you put students at the center of education (literally and metaphoriccally), there can be no education.

P.S. There is much to talk and think about today. Including the fact that those arrested for the alleged terrorist plot in Bristih are mostly of Pakistani origin. We need to think and think hard about these issues and I am convinced that education is a big part of this equation (see earlier ATP post). But rather than give you my still-half-baked ideas, let me point you to Pakistani blogger Eteraz where some deep and interesting discussion on this is already happening.

9 responses to “Picture of the Day: What is wrong with this picture?”

  1. saima nasir says:

    Below is the link to a thought provoking piece of writing by Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy, who has been an inspiration to me since my college days, we strived to be better learners after listening to his lectures and T.V. programs…wish… we could have more teachers like him in Pakistan then the “pictureâ€

  2. Sattar says:

    Oh my God! I got the EXACT same feeling when I saw the picture on dawn.com. It’s amusing that you should mention it here.

  3. Zaheer says:

    A very sad picture. That also repressnts the state of affairs in the country.

  4. Owais Mughal says:

    The words ‘billa’ and ‘billa-bazi’ made me laugh :)

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