Our society has failed to create community feelings among students despite the fact that they direly need to know how to live in an integrated society. Positive parenting is always needed to boost confidence among children and to help them do their best. Parents must respect knowledge and wisdom of their children and encourage them to adopt values such as honesty and humility by demonstrating what they have.
These suggestions were put forward by participants in a seminar “Positive Parenting: Teaming Together to Raise Better Citizens” jointly organized by The City School and Mir Khalilur Rahman Memorial Society (Jang Group of Newspapers) at a local hotel.
Senior academicians including vice-chancellors (VCs) of universities, faculty from different varsities, schoolteachers and people from different walks of life, including parents, attended the day long seminar which comprised two sessions.
The experts during the second session comprised Professor of Political Science at FC College (A Chartered University) Dr Syed Farooq Hasnat, psychologist Maqbool Babri (alias Max Babri), Lahore University of Management Sciences VC Dr Adil Najam, Arif Ijaz, visiting faculty member at LUMS and University of Engineering & Technology (UET) and Mir Khalilur Rahman Memorial Society (MKRMS) Chairman Wasif Nagi.
Senior academician Attaullah Niazi, Muneeza Arif and Seemi Lalika of The City School were among the moderators of the second session. Dr Farooq Hasnat said it was responsibility of schools to inculcate discipline among their students and to exploit and polish talent among students.
“A child learns from the environment so we need to widen our approach and horizon,” he said and expressed concerns at distribution of free laptops among students by the Punjab government. He said that instead of giving laptops for free, the government should have provided them subsidy and provided them the laptops on easy installments so that a child had a sense that he/she had actually bought the laptop.
Hasnat was of the view that if such norms continued and children continued accepting the same they would look for similar opportunities in future lives. He also said the society and schools, unfortunately, had failed to create community feelings among students.
Maqbool Babri said we could not change our children but we could help them change themselves. He termed self-esteem important and said that parents needed to strengthen their children’s self-esteem as well and this should always remain high. He said both honesty and humility were important and only honesty was not enough, adding that parents must demonstrate integrity and other values as mere rhetoric could never be helpful in positive parenting. He also stressed the need of respecting knowledge and wisdom of children.
Dr Adil Najam said it was unfortunate that children were not being taught how to live in an integrated society. He regretted that education had been turned into a race rather an opportunity and added that there was need to get out of the tuition culture, saying that “We need to prepare our children for life and not for exams.”
He also shared interesting success stories of some of Lums graduates who, owing to their poor financial circumstances, studied at the university under its National Outreach Program (NOP) and secured fully funded admissions to prestigious institutions like MIT and Harvard.
Arif Ijaz said it was quite unfortunate that the culture of empathy was missing from our society. “Self-esteem is something in abundance in our own culture and there is no need to go to Harvard for this,” he said while quoting verses of Allama Iqbal.
MKRMS Chairman Wasif Nagi talked about women education and said it was unfortunate that many women despite getting medical education did not work. He termed the same an injustice and regretted that many parents preferred their daughters get medical education so that once they became doctors they could good marriage proposals. A question-answer session was also held at the end in which the participants asked pertinent questions to panelists.