Salaam, Everybody,

EID DAY : September 2, 2017
At Hyperstar
Fortress Stadium, LAHORE.   2 SEPTEMBER  2017

Salaam, Everybody,Image may contain: 1 person

Visited EMPORIUM Mall in Jauhar Town, Lahore with family around 5 pm today. EMPORIUM is almost the last word for quality shopping and entertainment.

We had tea with delicious pastry at Big Moe’s Diner, an American food franchise of international repute. Strangely, the Americans too love to look back at the past..Big Moe’s Diner reflects the spirit and tradition of the 1950 s. A signboard says :
” Welcome to the 1950 s “.

Dummy of an elegant 1950 model Chevrolet car stands at the entrance of Big Moe’s Diner. 3 SEPTEMBER  2017

Salaam, Everybody,
Coming back to business let’s now take a look at our system of examination.
As mentioned earlier, the system just requires the ability to write. But does it ensure that the students write in their own words ? Certainly it doesn’t. The examiners have to give credit for correct answers , never minding where the answers come from.
I would like to see what you suggest in this regard. 9 SEPTEMBER  2017

Salaam, Everybody,

Dr Nasim Riaz Butt, Chairman of the English Department in Punjab University during the early 1990 s, introduced a new pattern of English papers for BA. The questions in the paper required short answers consisting of 100 to 150 words.

Since such questions were not given in the guides and teachers’ notes, the students had to write the answers in their own words. It was a very good way to motivate the students to learn writing in English. Regrettably enough, most of the worthy teachers resented the move. Some of them even challenged the pattern in the Lahore High Court.

I was one of the few staunch supporters of that pattern. I wrote an article in favour of the pattern which was published in the Pakistan Times. Dr Nasim Riaz was so highly pleased that he sent me a letter of thanks which said he had included a copy of my article in his lawyer’s file. 10 SEPTEMBER  2017

Salaam, Everybody,

Thank you all, my commentators, for endorsing my view of MCQs. Just one of you said we must keep up with the world. MCQs are being used in UK and USA.

Well, keeping up with the world in this case is something like keeping up with a car on your bicycle while the car is doing 150 km an hour.

Must we follow UK and US ignoring the sad realities on the ground down here ? The main sad reality is that our teachers as well as students always go for shortcuts. Hence our book market is flooded with collections of MCQs. I hear Google also offers many. Who would teach or study text books in the presence of this easiest shortcut ?
15 SEPTEMBER  2017
Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and beard

Salaam, Everybody,

The short questions pattern of English papers introduced by Dr Nasim Riaz Butt before the import ( rather smuggling in ) of MCQs was a lot more useful. But sadly enough some of our status-quo loving colleagues challenged it in the Lahore High Court.
Mercifully the judge rejected their petition. The short-question pattern still survives, but it too has fallen a prey to shortcut mafia. 16 SEPTEMBER  2017

Salaam, Everybody,
Let’s take a look back at our ongoing discussion. After discussing the need to improve the teachers’ knowledge of English, we came to the system of examination. First we briefly discussed the usefulness of viva. Then we debated the use of MCQs, and concluded that they are useless.
What else do you think is wrong with our system of examination ? 20 SEPTEMBER  2017

Salaam, Everybody,

In his comment Mr Fayyaz has given a wonderful suggestion. He says there should be no compulsory prescribed English textbook. Instead the students should be given a collection of helpful material to serve as a model of current English.

I remember when I was in Matriculation, there was no single prescribed textbook for English. There were four recommended books. The Headmasters could choose any two of them.

The point needs further elaboration which I’ll do tomorrow , InshaALLAH , as I have to do something else at the moment. 23 SEPTEMBER  2017
Salaam, Everybody,
As there was no single prescribed English textbook, the question papers (A & B) for the Matriculation examination didn’t contain questions about the text. Both the question papers focused on the language. The questions were meant to test the students’ knowledge of the language.
The teachers therefore had to concentrate on the language instead of any given text.
Good news for those who really want to learn English ! Mr Fayyaz is devising a special program for effective learning. Wish him success all along. 25 SEPTEMBER  2017

Salaam, Everybody,

Discussion about the system of examination brought us back to the key role of the teacher. Now that Mr Fayyaz has undertaken to pull up the teachers’ proficiency in Mianwali, let us hope other competent teacher trainers across the country would also follow the example. We can only hope. But is it possible ?  27 SEPTEMBER  2017

Salaam, Everybody,

I hope by now you have got used to my frequent breaks. It is good if you do. Not that I’m going to stop writing for you. It’s only a question of timing. Sometimes, after a busy day, I just want to relax at this time. As my daily routine doesn’t allow me to change the current timing of my English posts, I have to take a day off.

Looking back at our discussion of the pattern of examination in English, you can see that so far we have developed two important suggestions :
1. Viva should be made a compulsory part of every examination in English.
2. MCQs are worthless for testing proficiency in a language. Therefore they should be abolished.

Could you add some more suggestions ? 29 SEPTEMBER  2017


  1. My family migrated from Sultankhel Village Isakhel Tehsil during partition. Name of my Dadaji Ishwar Dass Grover. Looking for details of our ancestors

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