By Ihtisham Ur Rehman
Chitral, in spite of being a remote area, is one of the areas where the literacy rate is above 95 %. However, the students don’t excel in different areas of life. We, with the exception of few, don’t see students doing great job in fields other than the conventional areas—medical and engineering. As a teacher I have spent a fair amount of time with students. I have seen great potential among the students. But, they lack the quality of expressing their talent. The reason, to me, seems that they don’t have a platform to express themselves.
An Arts and Science exhibition was organised by Shaheed Osama Waraich Academy in the supervision of Fida Ur Rehman, professor in Physics and Tanzil Khan, professor in Chemistry, with the collaboration of district administration. Different schools and colleges, both private and government, participated in the event. Different projects and models were displayed in the exhibition.
As a member of jury for the projects and models in Arts and a member of the organising committee of the event I had a chance to observe the hidden potentials of the students.
Science was divided into four categories—Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Computer Science. There were four further categories of Arts including painting, sketching, embroidery and calligraphy. However, the projects of arts were innovative as well as creative.
The works of three participants were mesmerising. One of the student of Government Girls High School Muldeh had depicted the idea that woman is capable of doing anything. He had shown a woman holding Mars between her arms. When I asked her about the idea of the sketch she told me that here she has tried to show that woman is capable of doing anything. Woman is working along with man in space, ISS, which shows her imaginative as well as creative abilities; through which she has depicted the idea through images.
The second was that of students of Government Girls Degree College where she has sketched a man smoking a cigarette. The smoke of the cigarette turns out to be a hand grenade when it enters the body. When the students were asked about the idea one of the students told that the smoke and the dangerous ingredients of the cigarette when it the body the become more dangerous than a hand grenade. She further added that through that sketch she had tried to convey the message through sketch as picture is more effective than words.
The last but not the least was the painting of Chitral Public School and College’s student, Mr. Yousuf. The way he had presented nature through painting was a beautiful amalgam of balance, quality, depth and aesthetic pleasure. The thing that struck me was that majority of his paintings were depicting the benevolence as well as ambivalence of nature. He has presented the destructive as well as constructive aspects of nature.
As an observer and judge what I felt was that the projects of science weren’t innovative. They had repeated the same ideas which had been presented earlier. That is a serious issue that has to be pondered upon that why we haven’t been able to inculcate creative and innovative ideas among students? Why is it so that the students are used to cramming? Is it the classroom or the teacher responsible for it?
The encouraging aspect of the event, however, was the huge number of participation of the government school. One of the schools, Government High School, Bomburet, grabbed 1st position in the category of Chemistry. The position of the mentioned school is a good omen as well as it is a testimony that the teachers, definitely talented, are working hard in the far flung area of Bumburait.
There is no scarcity of talent in Chitral. What the students need is a platform to showcase their hidden potentials. Events like these are the medium through which they can show their creativity and talent. It is the foremost responsibility of all the departments to encourage such events. However, unfortunately, we as organisers didn’t see the cooperation of majority of the departments, political or social or administrative, who supported us. With the exception of few we didn’t even see the moral support of any party or administrative department or an NGO.