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. Khadija says:

    Luv the line about ‘VVIP’ culture. Its no longer kool to just be a VIP. You are right, this inflation has hit everything. From shaadi functions to cellphones… the less we have to show for ourselves, the more we feel we have to show off.

  2. Aziz Akhmad says:

    I have noticed that these cauliflower badges, or “billas” as you call them, are becoming larger every day. They used to be much smaller in the old days. I am talking of the days when important people were referred to only as VIPs and not as VVIPs, one kg of sugar used to sell for Rs 8 and a US dollar was worth Rs. 15. Do the economists among you see any correlation between the size of these badges and inflation in the country?

  3. Roshan Malik says:

    I was just following these results announced yesterday and for my surprise “Murder accused shares 2nd position” http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=1944 4
    I am greatly impressed by his commitment to education and also worried how a talented chap is involved in this crime.

    Regarding the picture, i repeat my point of view that self prjection is underming our educational sector. I doubt these billa holders had acheived such disticntion in their educational career.

  4. Suleman says:

    Great observation about the pic and what our priorities are, this pic speaks for itself. I think we need real teachers as well who place the focus on their students not themselves.

  5. MSk says:

    lol. always found the billa funny as well as sad. Made the men who wore them seem like peacocks. funnily those who wear them start believing they are actually important. and start acting like that too.

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