I WONDER who should be held responsible for the loss of intellect in Pakistan. My own story could well be the sorry tale of many Pakistanis who are made to struggle by our flawed system.
I was born in abject poverty and faced the many issues that one faces while living in such a situation. I had traditional schooling with no facilities, and there was no qualified teacher to guide me through my academic career. My childhood was spent in earning for my family, which resultantly caused me mental torture during my schooling. I had to quit my studies in grade VIII. Since then, I never sat on a school desk, and studied as a private student till January 2016 when I attended the first day of my MPhil class at the University of Sindh, Jamshoro.
I thought I would complete my MPhil within two years, but I was wrong. It took me three times as many; six years of mental agony and depression till I completed my MPhil in Sociology in 2021.
I wanted to join the academia in some public-sector university, but found that, among other requisites, there is also a maximum age limit that only suits people who have had a smooth sailing in academic life.
Completing a PhD is not an easy task in Pakistan under the prevailing socio-economic conditions.
As if the financial constraints were not enough, the University of Sindh this year raised the fee for MPhil and PhD programmes.
Scholars with no employment are under pressure and are unable to pay the fee. They should be allowed to pay fee in instalments instead of a lump sum payment.
Zahid Hussain Mirani
Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2023