Showing posts with label Challenge Scholarship Programme. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Challenge Scholarship Programme. Show all posts

Sunday, October 29, 2017

AKU launch scholarship programme

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

 A total of 45 students from across Pakistan have come together to attend the Aga Khan University’s Challenge Scholarship Programme that aims to prepare young people for higher education.

The students, a mix of young women and men, come from 24 cities and towns across Pakistan, from Parachinar and Bhimber in the north all the way to Dera Ghazi Khan and Badin in the south. 

The Challenge Programme, a two-week residential ‘boot’ camp, gave students the opportunity to be coached by well-known professionals and academics; conducted community research, explored complex topics from critical thinking to gender and ethics while gaining valuable life skills including first aid training. 

They took part in sports and went through formal coaching for swimming; they also toured Karachi. A field trip to Rehri Goth, an old fishing village on the outskirts of Karachi exposed students to how community research can help understand lifestyles and advocate for solutions to local problems. 

Amtul Wadood from Chenab Nagar regarded the field trip as something that left a big impact on her. “Seeing people living in the conditions they were in (Rehri Goth) encouraged us to do something for them. It inspired me to try and make a difference in the world,” she said. 

Waseem Jamil, who came all the way from Parachinar, enjoyed the critical thinking seminar the most “because they encouraged you to ask questions, which I had never experienced before,” Nouman Tariq, from Bhimber, agrees: “the best part is that the sessions are interactive. We are having a dialogue and not just listening silently.” 

Other sessions during the programme included career guidance by academics and professionals, who while speaking about their own life experiences, inspired students to pursue their goals actively. 

One of the highlights of the programme was a dialogue with Pakistan’s first Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who has directed acclaimed documentaries such as ‘Saving Face’ and ‘A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness’. 

She spoke to the participants about her own experiences and how she pursued a career as a filmmaker and journalist. She told them to never be discouraged by setbacks, and that hurdles in life were meant to be overcome. 

The temperamental celebrity urged students to pursue their life goals through hard work, determination and strong ethics. She also praised the students and told them that they were the future of Pakistan. 

For many of the students, this has been a life-changing experience. It has given their confidence a great boost. 

This was certainly the case for Inam Ullah from Dera Ghazi Khan, who felt that he has become a new person after this experience. “Back at home my principal would always call me on stage to speak, but I used to shy away. After this experience I will go back home and tell my principal that I want to go speak on stage,” he excitedly said.