Monday, November 30, 2015

Pakistan Students Crowned World Champions in World Education Games 2015

Pakistanis were crowned World Champions and won the Maths World Cup, with Malaysia taking second place and the Literacy World Cup and Australia claiming third place overall and the Science World Cup, according to a report in Australia's The Educator publication.

World Education Cup 2015 saw student competitors from 159 countries earn 169 million UNICEF points, and raise more than $100,000 which will help 33,000 kids go to school.

The event was hosted by 3P Learning, an Australian company internationally renowned for its online education resources including Mathletics. Its CEO, Tim Power, said he had seen a big improvement in the results of STEM education subjects. World Education Games is a free downloadable program for registered schools for students to use.

Pakistan's winning team members included Ali Saud Khan (Grade 9), Abeeha Saud (grade 4) and Emaan Fatimah (Grade 7) from Beaconhouse school in Mandi Bahauddin, Lahore, according to The Express Tribune newspaper. The goal of the annual event is to ensure that students have 21st century skills to be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.

Pakistani kids are now increasingly visible on the international stage in global competitions. Recently,  an exceptionally bright student of PakTurk International School in Jamshoro brought home a gold medal after competing in Math Challenge V hosted by the Pan-Asia International School in Bangkok.  In 2013, Khadija Niazi,  then a 12-year-old Pakistani girl attending advanced MOOCS (Massively Online Open Courses) was featured at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In 2012, four teams of Pakistani students won five medals, including one silver, in four international science competitions.

After seeing its youngsters win several international competitions, Pakistan has now decided to host the 48th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) in Karachi next year at the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (KU).

Although access to quality education remains quite limited in Pakistan, it is still encouraging to see some Pakistani youngsters excelling in STEM fields at the international level. I hope these wins will help inspire more young Pakistanis to pursue and excel in math and science education.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Girl's Journey From Karachi Slum to Harvard Business School

12-Year-old Pakistani Girl at World Economic Forum

Pakistani Kids Outperform Indian Counterparts in Math and Reading

PakTurk Schools in Pakistan

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan

Human Capital Growth in Pakistan

Pakistan Joins CERN as Associate Member


Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan turns into a Scrabble powerhouse

In a country traditionally obsessed with cricket, the wordy board game is fast becoming a major competitive sport

“Oxyphenbutazone.” Hasham Hadi Khan spells it out. “I think it’s a drug.” It’s also one of the highest-scoring possible plays in a game of Scrabble, a subject the 10-year-old player knows a lot about.

Last year, Hasham racked up a whopping 878 points at a Scrabble championship in Sri Lanka — a higher score than the official world record.

Hasham is part of a new generation of Pakistani schoolchildren who are establishing the country as a Scrabble powerhouse. In a nation where cricket is an obsession, the board game is — perhaps surprisingly — flourishing. Scrabble clubs are popping up all over: Karachi has more than 20, and, last year, 726 people competed in a national tournament.

The Pakistan Scrabble Association was formed in the late 1980s, but players did not fare well internationally until the association began to focus on under-8 students, who went on to score triple-triple word scores at international tournaments. The Pakistani player Moizullah Baig won the World Youth Scrabble Championship in 2013. Last year, the national team placed second.

Javeria Mirza, 18, recalls reactions to the Pakistani contingent on the international circuit. “One of the kids asked us, ‘If Pakistan is a totally locked down terrorist country, how did you guys make it here?’ It was stranger for them to see me playing because I was a little girl with a scarf.” The Pakistan Scrabble Association once had to fundraise, but, as word of its players’ success has spread, corporate sponsors have stepped up over the past couple of years.

Scrabble’s popularity is also, in part, a macabre by product of Pakistan’s state of insecurity. “Parents would rather children stay indoors and play Scrabble than send them out to play physical sports,” says Tariq Pervez, who heads the association’s youth program.

On a Sunday morning, about two dozen people huddled over their boards in a ranking tournament held at a Karachi hotel. Players rushed to a computer to challenge moves, mused over their strategy and meticulously recorded scores. Hasham’s older brothers — 17-year-old identical twins in matching clothes — competed, as did Pakistan’s top-ranked player, Waseem Khatri.

Hassan Hadi, one of the Hasham’s older twin brothers, learned to play Scrabble when their father brought the game home one day. The twins are competitive, but have been upstaged by Hasham. “He bullies me that ‘I started playing two years ago and I’m a record holder and you are just O’” Hassan trails off. “I really am jealous.” — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2015

Jamshed said...

While India has 16 Universities in the top 200 among emerging markets, Pakistan has just two and Bangladesh has one.!/page/0/length/-1

Parthasarthy said...

Sir, we participate and win prestigious awards too. I was in the US in May 2015 and here is a newspaper clipping.

“Hum Kisise Kum Naheen” is what these brilliant young Indian Schools students would like to tell the world, after winning awards at this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), that was recently held in USA.

Their winning science projects ranged from “An AAC Device: Converting Breath into Speech for the Disabled” to “Plumeria Blooms for Organic Electronics”!

Team India at the 2015 ISEF opening ceremony - Pittsuburg USA
Team India at the 2015 ISEF opening ceremony – Pittsuburg USA
Photo source: Facebook

The awards were given away on May 15, 2015 at a glittering ceremony held in Pittsburg, USA, the venue for this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

About the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF):

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), a program of Society for Science & the Public (SSP), is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition.

Approximately 1,700 high school students from over 75 countries, regions, and territories are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for approximately $4 million in prizes.

Today, millions of students worldwide compete each year in local and school-sponsored science fairs; the winners of these events go on to participate in SSP-affiliated regional and state fairs from which the best win the opportunity to attend Intel ISEF.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair honors the world’s most promising student scientists, inventors and engineers. Finalists are selected annually from hundreds of affiliated fairs. Their projects are then evaluated onsite by approximately 1,000 judges from nearly every scientific discipline, each with a Ph.D. or the equivalent of six years of related professional experience in one of the scientific disciplines.

The 2015 Intel ISEF award winners from India

Thank you