May 7, 2009

Installation of Computer Systems & Distinguished Publicans Lecture Series


The second programme of the Publican Alumni Trust (PAT) Educational Initiatives Programme was the Installation of Computer Systems & the first lecture in the Distinguished Publicans Lecture Series. The programme consisted of installation of 16 computers, 8 each in the F.G. Boys Public School and F.G. Minwala Girls Public School, followed by a lecture by Javed Jabbar titled "Pakistan: Unique Origins: Unique Destiny?"


Video of the lecture is available broken into 5 parts. To view any part of the video, please click on the thumbnail below.



Pictures of the event as well as a report on the proceedings by Javed Jabbar are posted below. To view these pictures, click on one of the Library Buttons below.



Report by Javed Jabbar


Dear fellow Publicans,



1. On Thursday, 7th May 2009, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. a multi-part event was organized by the Publican Alumni Trust at the Boys' Public School and the Minwalla Girls' Public School as follows:


2. At 10 a.m., formal inaugural of the newly-extended-capacity computer lab at the Boys Public School to which Sabiha Pervez and HSBC through Tahir Sadiq have donated computers. Earlier, computers were also donated to the Girls School. The Principals of both Schools, and Shahid Karimullah, Chairman, Advisory Council, PAT, Col. Tariq Mehmood, School teachers and several Publicans were also present.


3. As older computers have been displaced due to the new computers, Col. Tariq has promised to facilitate installation of computers for the first time in other sections of the Boys School.


4. The undersigned proposed that, ideally, PAT and the School administration should be able to plan a project by which the approximately 1600 students enrolled in both schools should have daily access to a personal computer instead of, as present, the extremely restricted access of 1600 students to about 20 computers.


5. The cash cost would be about Rs.7 million which is a doable target.


6. Alternatively, as suggested by Atiq Rehman there are so many "surplus" computers in the USA and elsewhere that if PAT and donors are able to arrange for shipment cost, we could place a computer on each student's desk and possibly make these 2 Schools the first-ever such schools in the Federal Government School network to be fully, individually computerised.


7. Let us dream and do it !


8. The second part of the event took place in the auditorium of the F.G. Minwalla Girls' Public School. Proceedings began at 11 a.m. sharp, as planned.


9. In the preceding minutes, about 125 girl students and 125 boys students, teachers, staff, security guards and Publicans were treated by PAT to a cold drink and a pattie with the co-operation of Muhammad Canteenwala's unit. Shahid Karimullah and Khalid Zaki contributed to the cost of the event.


10. Zohair Ashir, Convenor, Educational Programmes conducted the proceedings with patience and care.


11. Outside it sizzled. Inside it was reasonably humid - and bearable. Every Publican was introduced. Fragrant flowers were presented.


12. All present, including Mrs. Rani Rafi were given due acknowledgement and respect.


13. Publican Admiral (r) Shahid Karimullah rendered a moving and evocative tribute to Mr. M.E. Hyder. He aptly cited the belief held by Naval personnel and ship-makers that each ship has a soul and the first Captain of a ship imbues the ship with his soul. In the case of Karachi Cantonment Public School, he credited Mr. M.E. Hyder as having personified the body and the soul of the original School.


14. The undersigned was then invited to present the First Distinguished Publican Lecture on the subject: "Pakistan : unique origins : unique destiny ?". With a power-point presentation in English, the verbal part was deliberately conveyed in Urdu and spanned about 40 minutes.


15. Ashraf Kapadia's IT expert unit operated with efficiency as did all other arrangements made by the Event Management Committee led by Shamim Riaz and actively supported by Dr. Masroor Afridi and Nudrat Alvi. Several planning visits to the Schools were made prior to the event during working hours to ensure every thing was in place.


16. All or part of the lecture will be available on the website.


17. Hum TV has made a recording. The date and time of the telecast of the programme will be conveyed later.


18. Both girl and boy students asked extremely pertinent and thoughtful questions reflecting deep concern about current conditions in Pakistan and their keen interest in qualitative education.


19. Each student also recorded comments and queries on a sheet of paper. All the responses will be studied, and will help shape PAT's future work.


20. These are intelligent, sensitive children with enormous potential: it will be a privilege for all of us to help meet their hopes and aspirations in the times ahead. Most of them come from low-income families.


21. Felicitations to the Board of Trustees and the Chairman and Members of the Advisory Council for their enthusiastic participation.


22. The auditorium was packed to capacity and the programme concluded precisely on schedule at 1 p.m. sharp. Publican Hussain Jamil with exceptional humility delayed handing over a financial contribution till after the event's conclusion.


23. We missed all those who could not be there. The next event is after the summer School holidays - on 18 August 2009. Details later. Book the date in your diary now.


24. The Board of Trustees is expected to hold its next meeting on 2nd June 2009.


Thank you for your attention.


With best wishes,

Javed Jabbar