Report Waqar Ahmed & A.M. Khan
Sajida Raza belongs to a backward and far-flung village of Diwangol. She qualified for both the KMC and AKU medical colleges’ admission this year. In the entrance test for the KMC, she topped the candidates from Chitral by obtaining 75.99 marks.
Talking to ChitralToday at her home village, Ms Sajida attributed her success to the guidance of her teachers, prayers and support of parents, friends, siblings and relatives. She believed that it was the outcome of her hard work, punctuality in offering prayers, growing thought for reaping a future destiny of success. The following is the brief interview with Ms Sajida:
ChitralToday: Tell us briefly about yourself?
Sajida Raza: I am the daughter of Muhammad Raza of Diwangol. The village is located across the river in front of Brep in upper Chitral. I am second among my siblings. I have been responsible in early days to guide my sisters in their studies. I also found it pleasing to help my neighbours and relatives in both studies and career guidance. Since early schooling, I have been interested in studies and medical education. Though I have had an interest in art and drawing and also do it as a hobby, my first priority of being a doctor motivated me to work hard.
ChitralToday: What was your second priority after medical profession to pursue?
SR: My second priority was teaching and I also like it. I would always be pleased to help my family members and others as a teacher.
ChitralToday: Where and how was your schooling in Chitral?
SR: Since there is no educational institution, not even a primary school, in my home village of Diwangol, people of my village shift their children to other parts of Chitral or down country for studies. My parents moved to Booni where I started studying at Pamir School and College in March 2000. At that time, this school was considered to be a very good institution. It provided me a nice platform in terms of primary education. After grade-8, I got admission to the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Kuragh where I did my matriculation and FSc. This institution also played a vital role in building my educational career.
ChitralToday: What is the secret behind your brilliant success in the medical college entrance test?
SR: The most powerful tools behind my success were hard work and punctuality in offering prayers. What I dreamed for I made it possible. I do believe that there also were best wishes of my teachers, parents and friends. I had good support of my sisters, cousins and other relatives too. I have also had a positive attitude towards any unfriendly conditions and circumstances which I faced during my studies.
ChitralToday: What would be your view on the role of AKHSS in your education and career path-making?
SR: AKHSS has a great contribution in shaping my life, especially my education and personality building. It provided me a chance to assess my interests, abilities, skills and identify the weak areas and turning them how into strengths in the course of time. I like AKU-EB board system of examination and its new approach to studies for assessment which doesn’t make a student to rely only on text books but it also makes one ready for independent learning.
ChitralToday: How your parents had a role in your success in framing your future?
SR: there is no doubt that my parents contributed and sacrificed a lot for us so that we could have better opportunities for learning. They had also a key role in our career and personality development. My parents left their home, property, relatives behind in Divangole and shifted in a rented house in Booni for our education, and managed to provide us comfortable learning environment at home. They always provided me a choice to choose my career independently. It was very hard for my parents to go back to home town, take us back to home on vacations and sometimes during studies was it very cumbersome leaving for home and returning back.
ChitralToday: Teacher has always been a key role in student’s success, what is your view on this point?
SR: In fact, teachers are parents at school or college. My teachers not only contributed in building my educational career but also shaping me morally. I was lucky to be loved which led to success. I still remember my teacher Ms. Kausar when I was in Kg; she used to cover me in my large dupatta when I ran in the playground. I believe my teachers from Kg to 2nd year contributed a lot in my life and I have gained a great encouragement from them. My teachers found potentials in me which were hidden even not known to me and I thank them all for their knowledge, love and care they shared.
ChitralToday: Could you clarify your test qualification in medical and your area of interest for specialization?
SR: I have qualified in the Khyber Medical College entry test as well as the Aga Khan University Medical College test. I am still waiting for the AKU interview results, once I shall qualify for the AKU I would like to prefer to pursue medical education there. Regarding my interest in specialization, it is not yet finalized but I would say that cardiology or neurology would be my preferred fields.
ChitralToday: What would be your message to student aspirants of medical field?
SR: Everyone should be responsible for one’s life…So everybody should have satisfactory life. Believe in yourself and do hard work.