Oxford University Press (OUP) here on Wednesday announced the names of the national winners of the second Oxford Big Read (OBR) competition, a highly successful reading programme launched by OUP in 2015 in schools across Pakistan.
An official of OUP Pakistan said that the idea behind this first-of-its-kind project is to introduce schoolchildren to quality reading materials and to inculcate in them a life-long love of reading, leading to appreciation of the written word, and better learning and critical thinking skills.
Students who participated in the competition were required to read Oxford books and write reviews on them. Now in its second year, the reading contest, aimed at primary and secondary school students, received an overwhelming response in the form of around 4,000 entries. 450 schools from 30 different cities of Pakistan participated in the competition.
The entries were received from three different levels: Level 1 (Classes 1-3), Level 2 (Classes 4-6), and Level 3 (Classes 7-9). The book reviews were first judged on the regional level and the finalists then competed at the national level. The reviews were evaluated by a distinguished panel of jury comprising educationists, academics, and authors of children’s books.
At Level 1, Mir Shaigaan Hussain of Winnington School, Khewra, is the national winner; at Level 2, the national winner is Syeda Maria Bukhari of Generation’s School, Karachi; and the national winner at Level 3 is Anosha Umer of Lahore Grammar School, Faisalabad.
The first runner-up of Level 1 is M. Ali Khurshid of Fazaia Education System School, Islamabad; Ali Haider Butt of Society Public School, Mughalpura/Harbanspura, Lahore, of Level 2; and Dua Ghori of The Academy, Karachi, of Level 3.
The second runners-up are: at Level 1, Muhammad Hafeez of Habib Public School, Karachi; at Level 2, Ammar Mansur Khan of Siddeeq Public School, Rawalpindi; and at Level 3, Manal Tahir of Army Burn Hall School and College, Abbottabad.