Annual Oxford Big Read competition concluded

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The annual Oxford Big Read (OBR) prize distribution ceremony was held on Tuesday and was attended by winning students, teachers and parents. This was the fifth year running that the Oxford Big Read competition was being held with the objective of inculcating reading habits in students from a young age and is open to all schools across Pakistan. The 5th OBR had participants from 176 schools across Pakistan with 5,466 students belonging to 40 cities. In this edition, the national winners competed at the Asia Education Level comprising of students from India, Malaysia, China and Pakistan and won across all 3 categories; Level I: Grades 1 -3, Level II: Grades 4 – 6 and Level III: Grades 7 – 9.

At the prize distribution ceremony, Managing Director of Oxford University Press Pakistan congratulate the winners and appreciated the efforts of teachers and parents. He further said, “The idea is to present children with the idea of books, the concept of literature, the habit of reading, as something, pleasurable, enjoyable, as a deeply engaging Competition, where the effort of reading brings both Pleasure and the possibility of Reward”.

The 5th OBR competition was launched on 6 September 2019; the national winners were announced on 3 March 2020 and Asia winners on 31 July 2020. At Level I, students are expected to design a new jacket for the book read by them, including the title, and must write 2 sentences about the book. At Level II the students write something interesting about the book and on Level III students are expected to write a critical review of the book. They are judged by an independent jury who select the National winners who subsequently compete in the Asia Education Division against their top entries. The International Jury Members then select the Asia winners.

This year the top prize at Level I for both Pakistan and Asia was won by M. Qasim from Army Public School, Garrison Junior, Lahore. The top prize for Pakistan and Asia was won by Haanya Abbasi who studies at The Iris School, Karachi. Zaid Faisal from Generation’s School, Karachi made it a clean sweep for Pakistan by winning at Level III. This is the first time in the history of the competition that entries from Pakistan won across all three levels.