Devils’ Room

14 Sep

Today’s man is how much discontented! Daily Almighty Allah fulfills countless desires and wishes, longed by His beloved and the best among the creatures, “Human Being”. But still he shows ungratefulness and bewails over the hardships of life.

During the early days of my childhood I was appalled by Mom to be locked up in a room of “devils”, if committed something wrong. Though, I used to be horrified for a jiffy but being an inquisitive sort of fellow I always thought and anxiously desired for the moment when I could see that particular parlour. Time passed, days went and years flew like humming bird, I stepped in the balcony of adolescence and came to know that “Devils’ room” was nothing, but a strike with horror.

They say, “Always speak good because bad words uttered, sometimes turn out to be reality.” But who listens to elders…! When the second decade of my life was about to bid good-bye to me, I stumbled upon the real time example of this particular saying.

My Bachelors exams were about to commence. Fortunately, the centre that was allotted to me was one of the famous and historical government colleges of the country. I was quite exhilarated and felt to be honoured because that college occupied “crown’s place” in the history of Pakistan. For me, it was not only an examination centre but also a chance to visit a historical place of my beloved country.

Who can forget to mention the services of M.A.O College, when the Resolution of Pakistan is discussed? Mohammedan Anglo Oriented College, which played a key role in forming the grounds of the Land of Pures, is now desperately looking for its own foundations. When I went to take my first exam, the pathetic condition of the college was heaping curses on all of us.

In search of the examination hall in M.A.O, I passed through a storeroom where a thick layer of dust on desks and benches was laying like a layer of cream on boiled milk (though it’s bit indecent comparison, but believe me it really seemed like that). Thinking, “Usually storerooms aren’t dusted”, I kept on towards my hall. When I was about to leave that particular room I was at my wit’s end to read “Room No. 63…!”, the “Hall” where our exams were to be taken… Oh My God! The room, which seemed not to be dusted for years, whose furniture was not less than archaeological monuments, where fans were working at snail’s pace (and that too in June, the month when sun doesn’t take pity on anyone) and where there’s not any proper conduction of ventilation and light, seemed to me nothing, but a “Devils’ Room”. Again Almighty fulfilled a desire and again I bewailed… (But this time I was right to bewail). I was down in the dumps. But being helpless just like the opposition of our national assembly I had to take the exams in this so-called “Hall”.

What is more, shortage of cooperative and courteous invigilators was just like adding fuel on fire. In today’s modern world where people are conversant with the methods of communication even with animals, there I came across a number of invigilators, who didn’t know to behave and communicate with students decently (who’re bit more respectable than animals, I think).

It wasn’t the condition of one room only. Almost every second hall was presenting the same panorama. In every room there was either shortage of facilities or dearth of supportive and courteous staff.

The pathetic condition of the college forced me to think that an institute where some of the chairs are ‘cripple’ and others’ cloth have been worn out, how would it accommodate the students? An institute whose walls aren’t washed for years and where dust use to lay like grass in a garden, how would the students of such institute realize that it’s a place, which is to be called their “Alma Mater”? During the scorching summers of Pakistan, when air conditioners withdraw their cooling, if pupils are not provided even with fans, how can we expect from them to come college and seek knowledge? These are some of the questions that are roving in my mind just like a vagabond. Is there anyone who may help to resolve these queries?

Indubitably, uphill struggle of this government in the field of education deserves a round of applause. But it should also realize that free books and a stipend of few hundred rupee isn’t enough to uplift the passion for study. Modern facilities and decent educational environment are as much necessary as water to plants. Unless these institutes are provided with these necessities along with cooperative, courteous and decent staff, every year we’ll come across a number students claming to see the “Devils’ Room”.

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Posted by on September 14, 2008 in Issues


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