E Magazine

Bridging the Gap through Industry Academia Linkages: A letter to the editor

The debate about bridging the gap between academia & industry is never ending and universities are full of people who are taking initiative to tackle the situation and cement a road that can do the trick. Academicians have developed the departments that are solely responsible to equip the final-year students & freshers to achieve what it takes to hit the ground running in an industrial set-up.

Not to upset the academicians, I believe that if there is a separate department to polish the skills and school the students to acquire the professional traits, it will only compel the students to unlearn the taught skills and learn the new ones in a very narrow window of time.

The trick is to teach the students what theories and norms are there in the books and how they impact real-life situations. Rather than stuffing the grey matter of the students with bookish knowledge, the practicality and productivity of each aspect, theory, notion, norm and statement should be taught.

I can see the gap more obviously because I have been lucky to teach by teachers who became academicians after working in the industry for several years. My thought process was moulded accordingly by teachers from SIEMENS, TOYOTA, AstraZeneca etc. and instead of being taught the theory, I was given the problems and told to sort them out with the help of books and their intuition.

The DNA of the whole pedigree can be related to the example that if you taught someone “French” language in a classroom, the language will be of limited use to him/her. But rather than that, if someone is taught French by speaking it with native speakers, watching movies or dialogues and put in more of a real-life situation, then s / he will be able to use that more practically and diligently and it would benefit the person more. That learning methodology will teach the French that is more used at a street level and talked about more in media.

Similarly, let’s talk about MS Excel. You can teach so many tools, techniques, hacks & formulas in a classroom setting. Contrary to that, if a problem is given to the students in an Excel course and the students are asked to come up with a solution either by reading a book i.e., Excel for Dummies or by watching a YouTube video, the students will remember that thing more and even see the actual practicality.

Keeping that perspective in mind, the learning and teaching approach used by most of the universities in Pakistan needs to be revised and revisited and the teaching pedagogy should be changed altogether. That would create a workforce of fresh graduates who are more aligned with the demands of the industry and they’ll fit better and quicker into the organizations.

Fahim R. Chaudhry

The writer is HR Manager at Qarshi Industries and can be reached at:

Related: Where are the schools taking us? A letter to the editor

E Magazine

Where are the schools taking us? A letter to the editor

Where are the schools taking us? A letter to the editor

A friend of mine; who is a 4th grade class teacher at one of Lahore’s top private school, quoted: A student refused to pick up his stuff from the floor saying, I cannot pick it up.  Ayaa gi will pick it up.

Today, all the eligibility and acceptability criteria have been narrowed down to only one criteria i.e how fluently and confidently your child can communicate in English. This increased inclination towards speaking English has now led us to a social setting where a child who cannot communicate in English will not being warmly welcomed, appreciated and might not be considered good enough.

The children being nurtured in these big private schools are far away from seeing the broader aspect of the society and they might end up never knowing how to communicate with the kids/individuals coming from a different background or status than theirs.

I do understand that these are high expectations from a child who is only a child at the end of the day. On the other hand, I have also observed and understood the belief that it all starts from home but can we just take into consideration that this might have started happening unknowingly in your household as well?

Related: Top best private schools in Pakistan

Primarily if we are to compare the ability, attitude towards elders, basic values and empathy between the children coming from top private schools and children coming from street smart schools; the results might shock us all.

Let’s not forget that the teachers play a less part in the problem as they are just employees whose hands are tied and are only allowed less or no space to teach freely. A child of 8 or 9 years of age would know exactly know or is being told how to treat the teachers, Ayaa gis, and his class mates. This new benchmark has primarily been introduced by the top private schools and has widely been accepted by the young parents.

We, as responsible individuals have failed to understand that if we will be discouraging the use of own language at this tender age, our children will become the individuals who will discouraging the very own way in which they were being raised.

Uswa Sadia 

E Magazine Issue 14 May 2020

Corona Clownery

lowns arrive to entertain Palestinian children during a home-confinement order amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease in Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, as part of corona clownery. According to a recent report by UNESCO, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced school closures in 191 countries, affecting at least 1.5 billion students and 63 million primary and secondary teachers. But more concerning are the disparities in distance education that are now beginning to appear. The report has found that half of the students currently out of the classroom – or nearly 830 million learners globally – do not have access to a computer. Additionally, more than 40 percent have no Internet access at home. These disparities are particularly evident in low-income countries and areas, such as the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. 

Nearly 90 percent of students in sub-Saharan Africa do not have household computers while 82 percent are unable to get online. And although having a mobile phone can support young learners, in accessing information or connecting with their teachers, for example, around 56 million live in areas that are not served by mobile networks; almost half in sub-Saharan Africa. Teachers also are struggling with the rapid transition to online learning, even those in countries with reliable infrastructure and household connectivity. They also need to be trained to deliver distance and online education. Again, countries in sub-Saharan Africa face the greatest challenges.

Related: Blessing in Disguise? Pedagogy in the Time of Corona
EDUTAINMENT Issue 14 May 2020

What They Said III

Here is another piece of our popular series, what they said (iii)

1 – Greta Thunberg

Climate Activist

“Like the climate crisis, the coronavirus pandemic is a child-rights crisis. It will affect all children, now and in the long-term, but vulnerable groups will be impacted the most. I’m asking everyone to step up and join me in support of UNICEF’s vital work to save children’s lives, to protect health and continue education.”

2 – Audrey Azoulay

Director General, UNESCO

“While efforts to provide connectivity to all must be multiplied, we now know that continued teaching and learning cannot be limited to online means. To lessen already existing inequalities, we must also support other alternatives including the use of community radio and television broadcasts, and creativity in all ways of learning.”


3 – Inger Andersen

Executive Director, UNEP

“Billions of children are currently out of school because of COVID-19. But learning cannot stop. COVID-19 has revealed how deeply interconnected all life on this planet is. I am delighted that UNEP, along with TED-Ed and other collaborators, are launching Earth School. Learning about the natural world will be critical to building a better and sustainable future for all. These unprecedented times highlight just how important it is for young people to connect with the natural world and understand science”.


Related: What They Said (ii)
E Magazine Issue 14 May 2020

COV-Ed In Pakistan: What Is, And What Should Be

 The pandemic that has spread like wildfire across the globe has left more than 1.5 billion students in schools, colleges and universities out of classrooms, putting their short- and long-term prospects at stake. Sameen Motahhir details how we can limit the loss of learning for the country’s future generations and get COV-ED in Pakistan right.

E Magazine Issue 14 May 2020

How To Maintain Your Mental Health Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

The spread of coronavirus has not only caused widespread deaths across the world, the ensuing lockdowns have led to severe mental health issues in a large number of people around the world. Mahrukh Nadeem writes about the ways we can protect our mental health amid COVID-19 lockdowns as we negotiate this unprecedented style of life .

E Magazine Issue 14 May 2020

Moving Higher Education Online: A Challenge Or Opportunity?

As schools and universities across the world remain deserted due to the spread of Coronavirus, providing and seeking education has become a major challenge. As the first world moves on to online education to minimize loss of learning, education has become a key concern for countries like Pakistan, who lack both the infrastructure and expertise to impart learning online.

E Magazine Issue 14 May 2020

Why Educational Reforms Are Crucial To Fighting Pandemics

There is much more than science and vaccines that is needed to fight pandemic outbreaks like the COVID-19. It requires social responsibility and collective action, something that we lack in Pakistan seriously. Moazma Ashraf contends why educational reforms are crucial to fighting pandemics effectively and enabling people prepare for future disease outbreaks of this scale.

E Magazine Issue 14 May 2020

Blessing in Disguise? Pedagogy In The Time Of Corona

The COVID-19 pandemic has woken the world up from its sleep of mediocrity. Every individual has been forced to up his or her personal and professional game in order to survive in these troubling times. Syed Ali Zia contends why the pandemic might actually be a blessing in disguise to improve the entire educational process.

E Magazine Issue 14 May 2020

Education In A Pandemic: LITMUS Test For HEC And Universities

Online education facilities put in place by HEC and universities to minimize the effects of Coronavirus lockdowns have certainly drawn flak from students. But a contributor questions if it is alright to only blame HEC for the mismanagement that has come to the fore?

n these unprecedented times, it is not only our economy that is faltering, but the entire education process is also in shambles. All local and international examinations have been put on hold and uncertainty and confusion surrounds online classes arranged by higher education institutions (HEIs). Higher education has been, perhaps, the least discussed issue by successive governments and thus a comprehensive policy for it appears lacking. For many weeks in April, various hashtags trended on Twitter, like #WeRejectOnllineClasses #WeWantSemesterBreak and #HEC_StopOnlineClasses, which highlighted how effective the online education had been so far. Although it was a planned twitter campaign, issues students have been facing regarding online education are not absolutely wrong. Though it does beg a question: is only HEC solely responsible for enduring this reaction from university students? This pertinent issue needs to be examined from various angles for a better understanding.