Monthly Archives: February 2013

Athletes in Education

In 1962, the Ministry of Education created the Pakistan Sports Board.  This fact is ironic in the face that few Pakistani sports stars are educated.  Their lack of education is part of the reason children are failing at school.  These ‘heroes’ do not promote education by their own lack of it.

Sport’s heroes are role models.  Young aspiring athletes look to these ‘heroes’ and idolise everything about them, including their lack of education.  Young boys; especially, look at the stars’ wealth and prestige and believe that they accomplished all of this without a good education.  For example, the cricketers today, between the whole lot of them, only hold 2 degrees; Mishbhaul Haq has an MBA and Faward Aalam has a Bachelor’s of Commerce.  All other players have no more than Intermediate.  A Category A player will make 312,000 Rupees per month.  Now that is a nice wage for a non-degree holder!

Many a young boy in Pakistan aspires for the big leagues; they dream of someday joining the ranks of their favourite cricket hero.  They spend hours at the game while neglecting their studies.  They look to the wealth and prestige of these players, knowing that most have only an elementary level of education, and believe that they don’t need get good grades.  They think they don’t have to work hard and get good marks at school.  After all, these sports athletes have made it big; they have money, they have girls, they have prestige.  And they did it all without an education.  So who needs an education?  What does it matter if young boys fail their classes?  These young men think they can have the same future as their favourite hero without an education.

This kind of thinking is very short sighted and flawed.  There are several good reasons why everyone, even the most talented young person should earn a college or university degree.

1)       Only 1% makes it to the Top of the Sports World

That means that if there are 1000 athletes striving for the pros, only 10 might make it; that means that you will most likely be in the 990 who will not become a sports star and must look elsewhere for a career.  If you are one of the 990, then you need a college or university education to make a good future for yourself.

2)       Injuries

Injuries happen.  Even if you make it to the professional leagues, you can easily fall and injure yourself early or late in your sports career.  An injury can be a life changing event that prevents you from going back on the field.  You may never play again so what will you do?  Having a good education means you have something you can use instead of your sports ability.  It is your safety net for an illustrious career outside of sports.  An injury can end your cricket career but it cannot stop your career as a (e.g.) business administrator.

How Education Can Help Your Game

1)      Improving your technique and skill comes from practice.  That means you need a disciplined life and habits.  If you can discipline your mind to study; then you have what it takes to have discipline in the sport you love and practice it to your fullest and beyond.

2)      A good athlete must be a student of the strategies of the game.  A well-disciplined graduate has acquired the necessary thinking skills necessary to transfer these same skills to the game and come out a winner for himself and his team.

3)      Ability to cope with the tactical complexities of the sport.  Poor performance on the playing field has been equated with a lack of education that prevents the athlete from being able to cope and understand the complexities of the modern game.  Jan Molby, a footballer and quad-linguist believes that British footballers do not spend enough time in the classroom and that is one good reason why England is not doing well on the playing field.

So if you really are into sports, continue on playing the game; give the very best you have towards your sport, but don’t forget your education.  Become disciplined; start a good study program, get plenty of rest, get those good grades, decide now to enter university.

If you are among that 1% that does make it to the big leagues and you also have a degree; then so much the better.  The horizons are open to you, the sky is the limit even after retirement, and you are prepared to start a second career.

Attracting International PhD students to Canada

As Canada continues to develop its technology and science sector, it calls for more workers in the respective fields.  Canada is a large country that is technologically advanced but under-populated.  Employment rates are high which means there are plenty of opportunities to work in Canada, especially if you are an International Student who is studying in Canada.  Canada does not have enough qualified workers to work in its technically advanced industries.

This news release in November 2011 stated that Canada is to accept up to 1000 international PhD students each year as permanent residents through its Federal Skilled Worker Program.  International PhD students studying in Canadian institutions are the most likely candidates for this program.

Canada prefers to attract and retain Canadian trained international students rather than looking at permanent resident applicants from abroad.  International students contribute significantly to Canada’s workforce, economy, research and academia.  As, the current Minister of State, Gary Goodyear has stated, “Canada needs more of them.”

So, if an international student in Canada spends a minimum of 2 years studying towards his/her PhD designation at a provincially recognized post-secondary institution, he/she is eligible to submit an application.  The student must also be in good academic standing.  If you want to research this opportunity further, go to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s News Release for more information.

If you are interested in studying in Canada, contact a Canadian International Student Representative in Pakistan for more information on different undergraduate and graduate programs offered at Canadian institutions.

Study Health and Community Services in Canada

Flipping through Grant MacEwan’s International Student calendar, I became acutely aware that this university in Canada has some excellent programs that would benefit those Pakistanis who want to work to bring justice and equality to everyone in Pakistan, those who want to be agents of change.

It is not that there are not Social Work programs to study in Pakistan, there are; but these programs are more geared to social development on a grandiose scale.  And as much as we need social welfare and development programs to develop sustainable economies for the marginalised in Pakistan, there is even a greater dearth of justice, mercy and compassion for the physically and mentally challenged segments of this society.

An assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of Balochistan says that Pakistan needs social workers, workers of change.  But Pakistan also needs changes in the workplace for people of disabilities, it needs special needs workers in education, it needs drug and alcohol addiction practitioners; the list can go on and on.

Grant MacEwan’s Faculty of Health and Community Services is a unique faculty in that a student can study not only the philosophy and theory of working in health and community service areas, but it also provides practical work experience and on-hands training.  It is this kind of equipping that students in Pakistan need if they want to work in Pakistan and help change society for the better.

Some may argue that to study a foreign perspective may result in interference with Pakistan’s societal norms and religion.  Although this may happen, an intuitive graduate will have learned the analytical and critical thinking skills necessary to adapt new ideas and methodologies to work effectively and yet they will be culturally appropriate.

The great thing about this faculty is that you don’t need to start off with the highest 1st division FSc marks.  For example if you want to study Disability Management in the Workplace you could apply with an FA only.  Some of their other programs may require an upgrading year to meet their admission requirements.

If you want to find out more about this small university where you can study world class programs and still pay below the average Canadian university tuition cost, contact their International Student Representative in Pakistan.

The Faculty of Health and Community Services’ slogan is “Creating Healthy, Safe Communities”.  It seems we could do with some of that.