- POSTED: 18 Sep 2013 19:14
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Pakistani student Haroon Tariq has broken the current world record by securing a total of 47 "A"s in the Cambridge International 'O' and 'A' Examinations. The phenomenon of overachievers such as Haroon is affecting the general student population in Pakistan.
LAHORE: Pakistani student Haroon Tariq has broken the current world record by securing a total of 47 "A"s in the Cambridge International 'O' and 'A' Examinations.
The phenomenon of overachievers such as Haroon is affecting the general student population in Pakistan.
The 18-year-old student of Froebel's International School in Islamabad has been making headlines for being Pakistan's brainiest student after securing grade-A in 47 ‘O’ and ‘A’ level examinations.
Principal of Froebel’s International School, Shameena Kamal, said: "We are very, very proud as a school and as a nation, of Haroon's achievement. He's brought Pakistan and his school to another level."
And it is not the first time that Haroon has set a world record for the most number of "A" grade. He first made his mark by getting 23 "A"s.
Haroon attributes his success to a smart study plan.
He said: "Never was I, you know, the best student of our class but in ‘O’ levels I really took off and achieved 10 'A'-grade in my first year of examinations. So I completed my 'O' levels early, in only one year of examinations. After that, I took over 50 subjects. I used to study about 8 to 10 hours just before exams, a couple of months before exams."
Aside from being an academic genius, Haroon is also a die-hard football fan; yet, he has managed to balance his academic and social life.
Haroon plans to become an aeronautical engineer by furthering his studies either in America or England.
His teachers believe Haroon has set a great example for others to follow.
But other academicians believe this trend is not healthy as it puts psychological pressure on average students who are attempting the compulsory eight papers at the ‘O’ level exams and three for the ‘A’ level exams.
Lahore Grammar School’s ‘O’ and ‘A’ level administrator Maira Omair Rana said: "Academically speaking, yes, I think we are setting a trend which should be discouraged. Everyone is not academically gifted, people have other interests (and) they have other talents, (such as in) co-curricular (activities)."
In recent years, Pakistan has set many world records at both the International ‘O’ and ‘A’ level exams and being an overachiever now seems to be what society is expecting.
However, this pressure is also being felt by the very people who are exerting it -- the overachievers themselves.
Anam Javed, who secured 11 "A"s in ‘O’ level exams, said: "If anyone takes eight (subjects), they always feel pressurised to, first, take nine. And when they see other people taking extra and studying for them outside of the school, they start to think that they should take even more subjects."
Another overachiever Aiza Waseem, who scored 9 "A"s for ‘O’ levels, said: "Average minds, people who want to achieve more, they get pressurised by us, yes, they do. But for others, they do not, those don’t even care about their studies."
Experts said that setting a world record for academic excellence is a positive trend but when the same achievement becomes a burden on the entire society, then the system only ends up churning out bookworms instead of talented individuals.
Observers said the overachievers should not make the average student feel marginalised.
Instead of records, the focus should be on the development of minds that could lead to progress and in turn, yield an enlightened and positive Pakistan.