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Pakistani students excel at International Science Olympiads, bag scholarships

Published Aug 05, 2012 09:01pm


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Students from Pakistan pose for photographs with students from India and Sri Lanka.
Students from Pakistan pose for photographs with students from India and Sri Lanka.

ISLAMABAD, Aug 5: Pakistani students won one silver and four bronze medals along with two honourable mentions in various events at the International Science Olympiads 2012, held in Singapore, United States, Argentina and Estonia.

Four to six-member teams from each country were selected out of more than 6,000 students, requiring a minimum of 70 per cent or higher in their SSC or O-level exams to participate in the contest.

These Pakistani students were facilitated under the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Careers Programme (STEM), a joint venture between the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) to groom students for future careers in STEM.

The 23rd International Biology Olympiad (IBO) was hosted by Singapore from July 8 to July 15.

Around 236 students from 59 countries participated in the event. Of the three Pakistani participants, two won bronze medals and one received an honourable mention.

The medalists include Usama Tahir from Lahore Grammar School (LGS) Lahore, Hafsa Shahab from LGS Islamabad and Hassan Mirza (honourable mention) from LGS Lahore. The IBO team was led by Dr Zahid Mukhtar.

The 43rd International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) was hosted by Estonia from July 15 to July 24. A total of 400 students from 88 countries participated. Out of the five Pakistani participants, one received a bronze medal.

The winner was Muhammad Taimoor Iftikhar from Rangers Public School and College, Mandi Bahauddin. The IPhO team was led by Dr Shahid Qamar and Dr Aftab Rafiq of PIEAS, Islamabad.

The 44th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) was hosted by the United States, from July 21 to 30th.

About 270 students from 70 countries took part in the event. One Pakistani student, Armughan Ahmad Khan from LGS Lahore, received a bronze medal.

The IChO team was led by Prof Dr Khalid M. Khan and Dr Muhammad Raza Shah of the Husein Ebrahim Jamal Research Institute (HEJ), Karachi.

The 53rd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) was hosted by Argentina from July 8 to 16th. About 600 students from 100 countries took part.

Waqar Ali Syed of Beacon House School Karachi won a silver medal while Huma Sibghat from Hamza Army Public School and College Rawalpindi won an honourable mention. The IMO team was led by Prof Dr Barbu Berceanu and Dr Ahmed Mahmood Qureshi from Government College University Lahore.

It is worth mentioning here that the students selected and groomed under the programme have also been successful in securing admissions and scholarships for higher education at some of the world’s best universities including Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Caltech, McGill, University of Toronto and the University of Oxford.


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Comments (47) Closed

Abdul Wakeel Aug 06, 2012 01:22pm
Dear Bryan I have no contribution nor i have had high grades in schooling and the same will be the case with my kids, my grand kids and their kids!!!! And that's the reason i am worried about, that my kids must contribute to the Humanity, they must have good grades, they must be educated and well civilized people of the world!!!! and one thing more dear, asking for own right has nothing to do with contribution nor grades!!! Its my contribution and i m proud of it that i can raise my voice for my right, for the right of my upcoming generations!!!
Raoul Ciao Aug 06, 2012 01:21pm
let's at least congratulate these kids who did this country pakistan proud, please ! the rest of the demographic and political issue can be taken up elsewhere !!
KA682 Aug 06, 2012 12:19pm
Congrats to the winning students as they increase the pride of our beloved country pakistan but i agree with the so called discriminating comments as this is the ground reality that not all the students got equal chance to participate in the even only the name of top class schools is appearing no govt school. Isnt it funny or i must say its mysterious that govt schools name is not included and the ans is simple i.e. govt schools cant generate such brilliant students who can represent pak at this level which is offcourse due to the substantial gap in the education provided to rich and poor. This is not a discrimination instead its an eye opener, but at the same time i must say that one should sit idle and do nothing. Poor or govt students should work hard like a horse not like donkey (with smartness) to get their share of success.
aku Aug 06, 2012 09:45am
I am proud of these students. Rich or poor, Lahore or Mandi Bahauddin, they all are Pakistanis and will stay that way no matter where they go or what they do. Please stop being so pessimistic.
Ali Hamid Aug 06, 2012 10:05am
If our system is not supporting our underprivileged students then we must speak against it. But, on the other hand, if someone has done something well for our nation regardless of their class, we must appreciate them. One bad thing should not undermine the importance of another good thing.
Arshad Aug 06, 2012 09:58am
Hi Aziz, thanks for your reply however it is not their fault that they born in a reach family. I once read a sentenced “Attitude is a small thing but the impact is very great”, the trend is changing now they will come back to Pakistan as they will live like a god and goddesses in Pakistan. They will work at the top levels and will eventually set up their own business in Pakistan, as they do not have to pay any taxes. They cannot survive with their authoritative behavior in western world as they have inherited this from their family. Al local or even the multinational companies have links to bureaucrats, politicians and ex-army general at the top level. You are absolutely correct that it is the system however, we are the system and we live in this system.
Azhar Aug 06, 2012 05:14pm
Shameful practices will continue till competition is made the criteria for selections. Years back, when I worked for an organization connected with CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency), I heard CIDA staff laughing at how only students from Islamabad only get selected and recommended for foreign trips. Same practice will continue till we disintegrate into further administrative units, God forbidden into another Bangladesh. All elements of separation are present. They believe that army will come in the way and not allow another Bangladesh. Certainly, times have changed. One should see Libya, Iraq and now Syria.
miramshah Aug 06, 2012 06:05am
Ankush Aug 06, 2012 06:06am
Good. Only practical science can help south asia excel (not water fueled car). Young students should get more coverage than water car nonsense.
usama Aug 06, 2012 06:21am
no wonder any writer columnist haven't write anything about it yet caz they all are sarcastic about the future of this nation and are so much nostalgic of religious matter that that see no good in Pakistan at least they don't write on it
Abdul Wakeel Aug 06, 2012 07:51am
Good of course, but i didn't get why there is open discrimination in Pakistan??? Why students are only selected from one province while the rest of the students have been ignored!!!???
Salar Aug 06, 2012 08:02am
Don't worry the other provinces will get their share; students from those provinces would be used for target practice.
Abdul Wakeel Aug 06, 2012 10:01am
Ya, you select your kids while ignoring our kids is not racism, but when we point out that u did discrimination, we are racist!!! what a shame Mr. Raja!!!!
Arshad Aug 06, 2012 08:43am
Congratulations to all of them however, I see this news from a different angles. These students are belongs to our privileged class of Pakistan. Shall we talk about 98% of the population I think the truth is so bitter that no one has the stomach to digest this. It is a confusing moment for me I am not sure I should be proud or should I be very sad or ashamed.
raja Aug 06, 2012 09:08am
I think it has nothing to do with ugly notion of provinicialism. They were pakistani students and they did a wonderful job. Lets not think negative and work for better education of children of all provinces. God bless us all
raja Aug 06, 2012 09:09am
They were pakistani only
A. Hhashmi Aug 06, 2012 09:11am
It is a matter of pride but we as nation must revisit of our education policy and try to give equal opportunity to every citizen of Pakistan.Most of the students those earned the honour apperantly belong to the elite families of the society, as the family of middle class could not afford to educate thier chidern in such costly schools i.e like Grammae etc
Aziz Aug 06, 2012 09:17am
I agree 100 per cent. Once these very bright and capable students from well-to-do finish their education in the elitist universities abroad they will perhaps never return to Pakistan. The losers would be the poor tax-payers of Pakistan and the country. But it is no fault of these students. It is the system that is rotten to the core. It cannot harvest these bright minds for national development.
Bryan Joseph Aug 06, 2012 09:18am
This is so great to read.... Brilliant boys and girls.... keep it up.... ! College and School authorities.... kindly encourage this spirit... I wont call it competitive....It s about the spirit of loving a subject so much that one starts creating newer stuff and all the accolades are just a part of it. Children should not chase success, rather success should be a by product of the love she/he develops for the subject. For commentators like Wakeel and Salar.......... what has been your contribution ? How much did you score in school and colleges? Get over words like discrimination and province.... It stymes your thinking ability. Also kindly let us all know what your contribution has been to humanity.... Pls have the gall to respect the achievements of these kids... Well done kids...!
Abdul Wakeel Aug 06, 2012 09:53am
Dear Raja, for the last 60 years we were / are been blamed to be the racist, whenever we asked about our rights, while one province was and are enjoying the central treasure!!! I m not thinking negative for them, but at the same time i have to thinking positive for our children!!! Its the time for you people (Punjabi's) to accept the other two provinces as Pakistani without say "I think it has nothing to do with ugly notion of provinicialism". You enjoy the wealth and when ever someone from the other provinces complains, you people put a "racist" stamp on them. Time to wake up dear for the nation Unity!!!!!!!!!
Rizwan Aug 06, 2012 10:16am
Thankyou DAWN for printing some positive news .Well done Team Pakistan keep it up .
Kashif Aug 06, 2012 11:05am
What a shameful sick minded man you are. Don't be loser and think positively.
shankar Aug 06, 2012 11:16am
Congrats to the future nobel lauretes!
Syed Imam Aug 06, 2012 02:14pm
They are all bright young fellows from the motherland, a ray of hope and real source of pride. Nevertheless, the selection process should be streamlined and made transparent to ensure participation from all corners of the country. You never know from where will we get our next star.
Muhammad Iqbal Khan Aug 06, 2012 02:39pm
Well done kids. Good news about Pakistan,
aamir Aug 06, 2012 02:52pm
Well done students... those who are calling them elite class... yes they may belong to that class but look at their effort.. they have all the luxuries and still they managed to put lot of efforts in their studies... I personally have seen many students from very poor background excelling in education and they managed to change their fate.... So congratulations to all of you bright stars of Pakistan... work hard always for Pakistan...GOD bless you..
Eusha Aug 06, 2012 02:53pm
Mr. Abdul Wakeel, when your kids are intelligent enough and focused, and when you all are focused on the right things, things will automatically start improving..until then instead of being a loser and crying abt it on blogs, start making a difference..i dont know what province ure from or what regional language u speak, you are as much Pakistani as these kids are..they are doing their part to make a better Pakistan..i suggest u do something too! more and more ppl can follow!..
shani Aug 06, 2012 03:01pm
Thanks to Allah Almight, here is a positive and encouraging news about Pakistan which can brighten our future. otherwise our illitrate and greedy politicians have nothing to do with intellectualism. They are just to grasp the poor's money and wanising from the scene. Bravo! God Bless you and open more doors of success on you Pakistani Youth! inshAllah
SAS Aug 06, 2012 04:37pm
These students are not selected they qualified in open competition all over Pakistan to represent Pakistan in olympaids.
SAS Aug 06, 2012 04:55pm
By the way these students are not SELECTED they qualified the open competition all over Pakistan to represent Pakistan in olympaids. Any student from any corner of the country can participate. This competition is held every year. if you didn't know abt the competition that doesn't mean ur ignored due to racism ,its ur lack of knowledge about your surroundings. like every year this year again its going to be open competition why don't you introduce your kids in the competition which is going to be in January 2013 search NSTC,STEM in google. Unless you again blame the test was this & that etc.
Uzma Yousuf Aug 06, 2012 05:01pm
Why are people reading what they want to and ignoring what's actually there . Rangers Public School and Army Public Schools cater to low and middle income groups. In order for inequality to be decreased we need to work harder and do something about getting the millions of kids into schools .Also please read the state of education report on what standards generally prevail . This story is good news indeed and lets keep it that way !
Ixap Aug 06, 2012 06:29pm
Who won the gold?
ProudPakistani Aug 06, 2012 06:37pm
This is not true. I personally know two of the students who won medals, and they don't belong to the privileged class as you put it. They've worked hard from day one, and due to good grades in O-Levels they were accorded full scholarships at reputable schools and managed to complete their A-levels despite being unable to afford the school fee. And they've done their entire country proud through their efforts. And most of them are staying in Pakistan simply because they can't afford to study abroad. So think before you lash out at others.
ProudPakistani Aug 06, 2012 06:53pm
Great achievement by these students! They've done the entire nation proud!! Only if our country paid a bit more attention to these competition we might be able to win a Gold for once. And to all those haters who say that only these 'elite class' students get all the perks, get your facts right. They represented Pakistan because they worked hard for it, not because their parents are millionaires-which they aren't. So you guys should know better than to belittle the achievements of your fellow Pakistanis. No wonder this country is lagging behind; all we do is cry foul over others achievements instead of learning from them and matching them ourselves.
ProudPakistani Aug 06, 2012 06:56pm
India, China, Germany, Singapore. Not that they're more intelligent than us, they just pay more attention to thee competitions. Their budget allocation for such educational activities is far greater than ours.
Amjad Wyne Aug 06, 2012 07:28pm
Wakeel Bhai, it has less to do with discrimination and a lot more to do with a lack of organization at all levels. I am sixty years old now but had a similar experience as a child. I could not participate in an international art competition when some other students from Karachi were able to. One suggestion I may offer - for which I am grateful to my late father - please go to your child's school and motivate the principal to look out for such competitions. In my case, it turned out to be too late but I was told that my school was able to partcipate in the art competition after I left. That said, please note that students are required to pay for their travel - and that is one reason why many gifted students and good schools do not even bother to pursue these competitions.
zavia Aug 06, 2012 07:42pm
Well Done Team Pakistan. You Felt us proud.
Ali Aug 06, 2012 08:45pm
Abdul Wakeel sahib, it is the seniors who missed submitting an application for the competitions not the selection process. Please be on the look out for such opportunities in the future.
muhammad ali Aug 06, 2012 09:35pm
but why these students applied for admissions outside pakistan why not study in pakistan if all the best students study in foreign universities then they will be getting jobs there and would never come back
m.mirza Aug 06, 2012 10:09pm
sir, best wishes to my pakistani brothers and sisters, I hope it represent all of pakistan.keep up good work.
fahadjs Aug 07, 2012 07:31am
Bring the best of the available lot into power... is the answer
NSTC Alumnus Aug 07, 2012 12:14pm
Students are not selected from only one province, u should know that HEC conducts a test known as 'National Science Talent Contest' every year throughout the country in all the major districts of Pakistan, in every province in which thousands of students appear every year... By that test, 50 students are short listed in every subject i.e Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Math and invited to the institutions of Pieas University in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Faislabad for further testing and training... after two whole weeks of Testing and training, 5 students are selected out of those 50 on the basis of their performance in the practical and theoretical tests conducted in this whole period... these students are then given further training of about two months and then they are able to attend the International Science Olympiads to represent Pakistan.... and btw let me tell you that during their training and travelling, all their living expenditures of food and stay are paid by the HEC and Pieas not by the students.. even when the top fifty students are invited to the university for the 1st training camp, all the 50 students are given the travel allowance from their living place to the university.... I belong to a middle class family and did my FSc from an F.G College in Rwp, appeared in the Test for Physics two years back and got selected in the top 50.. I still remember the fee which i had to pay to appear in that test was just a hundred rupee bank draft!! So now If u still think it is designed only for the elite class of Pakistan, then God may Bless you!!
Olympiad competitor Aug 07, 2012 05:38pm
thank you NSC ALUMNUS !! ... its really sad to see how they turned all of our hard work into something political, for us it always was about representing Pakistan as a ' PAKISTANI ' and that's how we treated each other at the training camps not by what school or what city you were from and the selection process couldn't have been more fair than how it was conducted ' EVERYONE WAS GIVEN AN EQUAL CHANCE' no wonder why we never progress cause its these pessimistic thoughts that cripple the very foundation of something productive .
Khadijah Aug 07, 2012 10:18pm
Yes i reconcile with u ! I belong to an ordinary Government college ! N i gave the screening test in BIOLOGY recently , n MA i cleared it ! Because i worked hard for it !!!
Nadeem Uddin Aug 10, 2012 04:32am
Congratulations to all of the olympiads. The Generation Next of Pakistan..... God Bless You All....
ISH Aug 12, 2012 07:51am
Probably, the students were selected on merit and not through quota system.
Khadijah Aug 15, 2012 08:42pm
Yes ! All this is merit based !