The Oxford University Press (OUP) 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.
The idea behind this first-of-its-kind project is to introduce school children to quality reading materials and to inculcate in them a life-long love of reading, leading to an 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. As many as 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, became the national winner; at level 2, the national winner was Syeda Maria Bukhari of Generation’s School, Karachi; and the national winner at level 3 turned out to be Anosha Umer of Lahore Grammar School, Faisalabad.
The 1st runner-up of level 1 was M Ali Khurshid of Fazaia Education System School, Islamabad; of level 2, Ali Haider Butt of Society Public School, Mughalpura/Harbanspura, Lahore; and at level 3, Dua Ghori of The Academy, Karachi.
The 2nd runners-up were: 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.
The winners of each level will be awarded a certificate and a gift voucher worth Rs25,000 by OUP, a laptop sponsored by Engro Foods, and a gift hamper sponsored by Dayfresh. The 1st runners-up of each level will be awarded a certificate and a gift voucher worth Rs15,000 by OUP, an IPad sponsored by Lifebuoy, and a gift hamper sponsored by Dayfresh. The 2nd runners-up of each level will be awarded a certificate and a gift voucher worth Rs10,000 by OUP and a gift hamper sponsored by Dayfresh.