Syed Shabbar Hassan
Why Pakistan has failed to produce a single Nobel laureate having entire education and career within Pakistan?
Many straight A’s in O levels & A levels, a plethora of students with 1050+ marks in matric and F.Sc., a huge number of graduates with CGPA more than 3.7/4 and still we can’t get a chance to say proudly that ABC, a Pakistani student who studied in a Pakistani education system, has achieved XYZ remarkable milestone in the history of science while living in Pakistan.
We have no right to take pride in the achievements of Dr. Abdul Salam, Dr. Abdul Qadir, Dr. Naweed Syed, Dr. Parvez Hoodbhoy, and many others who became, what they are known for, on the foreign lands.
When the goals will be like: I wanna top my class, I wanna top the board, I wanna top the University, I wanna win a gold medal, the outcome will be a race for money that will never end unless death takes over the life. This mindset is also negatively fortifying the roots of depression and anxiety in the youth. Consequently, the cases of suicides are becoming more frequent.
Goals of youth need to be like: I want to be the most qualified doctor in Pakistan, I want to solve the problem of illiteracy in Pakistan, I want to be the most professional lawyer of Pakistan, I want to innovate technologies within available resources, I want to be the most professional pilot of Pakistan, I want to be the pioneer of contemporary governance in Pakistan, I want to be the best job-creating entrepreneur, I want to be like Abdul Sattar Edhi who hadn’t received gold medals for his education but won the hearts of millions by his selfless services.
This mindset can only be developed during the initial education of a child. Otherwise, later on, it becomes difficult for him/her to unride the wave of fictitious excellence that leads to the point of no return in the ocean of unsatisfactions (but pushes towards suicidal attempts as highlighted above).
Money, gold medals, grades, etc give a boost to your dopamine levels just for a limited duration but the real community service is such a great thing that makes you “BayNyaaz” personality. Money, certificates, medals, and applauds become secondary things once you reach that level.
Jean-Paul Sartre declined to receive the Nobel award. Similarly, Thomas Edison, who discovered a light bulb, never received Noble prize. Einstein preferred to go on a lecture tour of Japan rather than receiving his Noble prize for relativity. Many western scientists got Nobel award after their deaths. It implies that they worked for community and became BayNyaaz of worldly rewards.
When nations think and act like that, awards become trivial things. We, as teachers and preachers, can do wonders by inducing BayNyaazi in the young brains. Ustad and Molvi sahab has to play an equal role for this cause. The nation will witness the International awards and recongnitions flooding in as byproducts.
Syed Shabbar Hassan is a Hydrogen Energy Researcher at Korea Institute of Energy Research. He holds a degree in Energy Eng. from UST Korea and has done B.Sc.(Hons) from UET Lahore.