Olympiad winners call for more opportunities for youngsters

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Winning students of International Science Olympiads 2012 on Sunday said Pakistani students are enough capable to bring laurels for their country and underlined the need for increasing opportunities for utilizing their talents in constructive way.
The four teams of talented Pakistani students represented Pakistan in different Science Olympiads held recently at United States, Singapore, Argentina and Estonia.
Talking to sources, one of the winning students Hassaan Mirza of the Lahore Grammer School said that the Pakistani students could change the stereotypical thinking of people at international level by showing extra ordinary talents in such competitions. “My participation at such international level competition gave me sense of honour, pride as well as a responsibility to represent the potential of Pakistani youth. Pakistani students are as capable as the students of any other country in term of their intellectual capabilities,” he said, adding that the youth were facing lack of awareness and opportunities. Another winning student Hafsah Shahab of Lahore Grammer School said that she herself had discovered this opportunity and applied for this competition without any support or guidance from her institute. She thanked authorities of Higher Education Commission for giving support and training to the participating students.
Taimoor Iftikhar, a student from Rangers Public School, Mandi Bahauddin said he did not face any discrimination or awkward situation while participating in the Physics competition held at Estonia.
He thanked the teachers who voluntarily trained the participating students for one year and urged the education authorities to further enhance opportunities for the deserving students. Meanwhile, Huma Sabghat, Hamza Army Public College, Rawalpindi, said that there was no support from her institute regarding her participation in the Olympiads and she applied privately. “There are many students who have great potentials and a capability but there is need to discover them and give opportunity,” she said. Armaghan Ahmad Khan from Lahore Grammer School said the credit for their success goes to the untiring efforts of the trainers and teachers hired by HEC who had served for a year to prepare the students for these competitions.
Syed Waqar Ali Shah, Beacon House School Karachi, who won silver medal in the field of Mathematics, said that he was participating in the Olympiads from the last four years and this year he was successful. Executive Director HEC, Sohail Naqvi said the commission advertised these competitions and more than 6,000 students participated in the test among which 50 students were selected. The selected students were given training by the teachers from the best institutes of the respective fields of studies for the whole year. The teachers trained by through the support of HEC on volunteer basis by arranging camps, he said.
He added these students were taught the courses randomly from different levels including of MPhil, PhD courses. HEC is also providing support to the students who participate in Robotics, Electronics and fuel efficiency competitions, he said.
Four teams of talented Pakistani students represented in the 23rd International Biology Olympiad (IBO) in Singapore, 44th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) in United States, 53rd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Argentina and 43rd International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) in Estonia. This year all the four teams showed excellent performance altogether winning One Silver, Four Bronze Medals and Two Honorable Mentions in these events. The International Science Olympiads are unique competitions organized to discover and encourage young talented students from all over the world.
These young talented Pakistani students were facilitated under Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Careers Programme, a joint innovative venture of Higher Education Commission HEC and Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences PIEAS, for grooming talented students for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).