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Yesterday, news that Pakistani student Hunain Zia has managed to secure 66 A-grades in O and A Level examinations in a measly 1.5 years created a lot of waves worldwide. I congratulate Hunain on his well-earned achievement. Having completed my own O Levels four years ago and A Levels two years ago, I know how difficult this must have been.
That said, Hunain stated that he had two main aims that resulted in this tremendous endeavor. I’ll quote them from his own Facebook post below, to avoid any confusion:
- First was that in a society where the “monetary” elites constantly suppress the rights of those below them, having a voice was of utmost importance for someone belonging to the middle class to ensure survival. I got that voice in August last year by my result.
- […] The second conclusion was more important. We rise by lifting others. There are many out there who are much better than me … melodious singers, enthusiastic writers, spell bounding poets, dexterous critics etc yet they were not able to get their deserved place either because they could not afford it, or the “parchi” system curbed their true spot. There were students who deserved better yet our system did not allow it. […] We believe that every person deserves a chance, and we are willing to provide it through our projects IA. This is what our aim had been all along. I could not have stated this in January as I had to take my team into confidence. Moreover, that was too early to make such a claim. We waited for the right time to make things known. Beating world records, being the first person to be approved such a huge number of subjects in one session etc were all our stepping stones.
I read his post numerous times and even watched his interview with Rohi channel in which he reiterated his motives for taking on this endeavor. To be fair, he seems like a nice guy with honorable motives, and like I previously mentioned, I offer him the heartiest congratulations on his efforts.
However, I would respectfully like to say to him, please don’t set the wrong precedence. It is understandable that you believed that securing 66 A-grades would provide you with a platform where your voice could be heard and you could work for the betterment of Pakistan.
But I would also like you to note that I know numerous people who are working for the betterment of Pakistan by securing funds for orphanages, old homes, promotion of talent, and free education among other things, and trust me, they didn’t (and don’t) need good grades to campaign their initiatives, which are very similar to yours.
There are numerous societies in my university which raise funds and awareness for similar initiatives. I will not mention names because these views are my own and self-endorsement is not my aim.
I’m not going to tell you that it would have been better if you spent that amount of money you spent taking these exams and studying for them towards some cause; after all, it’s you money, you are free to do what you want to do with it… But I strongly believe that your words and detailing of personal reasons for your efforts are setting the wrong precedence for other students who are currently looking for inspiration. Grades are not required to let your voice be heard – even for a good cause – and telling people otherwise will only deviate them from the true aim of education and may even result in them losing the purpose of their efforts (which you have miraculously achieved) in the struggle to let their voice be heard through grades.
This obviously isn’t your objective, but your words might have already swayed the determination of thousands who are actually campaigning for the betterment of Pakistan without exemplary grades. Of course, they may also have convinced some people to do what you did and take on tens of O and A Level subjects, which is why I believe that you are setting the wrong example.
I congratulate you on your achievements, I admit that I didn’t think it’s possible. Your intentions may truly be honorable but I am strongly against the message that your achievement unintentionally sends, and the example that it’s setting.
Hunain, if you read this article, I urge that you view my words as constructive feedback and not criticism. Like I said, I completed my O and A Levels four and two years ago respectively, and am currently enrolled in a well-reputed university, so I have no reason to be jealous of your achievements.