THE FUTURE of the opening Test of the Haier Cup looks ‘pink’ for Pakistan, as they dominated the West Indies on the opening day of the second-ever day/night Test match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium yesterday.A record opening stand of 215 between Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali left the West Indies limping at the end of the day, as Pakistan closed on 279 for one. Ali was unbeaten on 146, while Aslam made 90 and Asad Shafiq not out 33.The West Indies cricketers were made to chase the pink ball for the entire afternoon and into the night, as the experiment of playing the longest format of the game from 15:30hrs looked promising.During the afternoon fans were seen coming to the ground with their families and this was one of the benefits of staging the match at this time of day. While the crowd dynamics changed, the West Indies’ problems since arriving in the UAE a month now, did not, as they continued to suffer against the world-ranked number two Test side.Earlier, West Indies lost the toss and without hesitation the Pakistanis decided to take first strike. Openers Aslam and Ali ran out looking to give their team a good foundation. The aim was to take the West Indies bowlers out of the game early and pile on the pressure, leading to a big score and the ultimate scoreboard pressure.When tea was taken after two hours’ play, the effort was well employed to build a huge total and the construction was underway. After 10 overs the pink ball stopped swinging and it was a hard grind for the West Indies thereafter.During the warm-up games, the bowlers were able to get the ball to seam around just after tea but Shannon Gabriel and Miguel Cummins could not reproduce that.After the break it was the same story as the Pakistanis continued to send leather to all parts of the field and some tired-looking West Indian legs were in pursuit. Aslam was the first of the batsmen to reach fifty. He did it off 105 balls with five fours. Ali then recorded his off 115 balls with five fours as well.The experienced Lahore batsman turned up the heat on the West Indies after the milestone and raced to his 11th Test hundred in his 50th Test match. His century came off 184 balls with 10 hits to the fence and in the process he joined a very elite group of Pakistani stroke-players.A wicket seemed impossible to come by with the closest option looking to be a run-out, as Ali and Aslam gave chances with their running between the sticks.The breakthrough finally came after 67.5 overs, when Aslam enjoying his Test-best of 90, swept at Roston Chase, only to hear the dreaded sound of timber falling behind him. His effort came in 290 minutes in which time he negotiated 212 balls and struck nine fours.The rock-solid Asad Shafiq then joined Ali and they continued to play good Test cricket, rotating the strike and putting the bad balls away efficiently. When stumps were drawn Ali had batted for 366 minutes, faced 268 balls and struck 14 boundaries.SCOREBOARDPAKISTAN vs WEST INDIESPAKISTAN 1st inningsS. Aslam b Chase 90Az. Ali not out 146A. Shafiq not out 33Extras: (b-1, lb-2, nb-6, w-1) 10Total: (for 1 wicket, 90 overs) 279Fall of wickets: 1-215.Bowling: S. Gabriel 14-2-55-0 (nb-6), M. Cummins 16-2-62-0 (w-1), J. Holder 15-4-30-0, K. Brathwaite 8-2-21-0, D. Bishoo 16-3-45-0, R. Chase 21-2-63-1.
In the aftermath of a historic election, the debate about how much power the federal government should be given, particularly in terms of education, will always be present in the United States. With a communist political system, Cuba’s government maintains complete authority and control over social and political issues. While the United States would never transition to such an authoritarian system of government, and I’m not suggesting this as such, it could learn from Cuba’s educational system. Specifically, Cuba’s high accountability standards, continual professional development for teachers, high access rates for all genders and races, among others, could be replicated if the United States wanted to have a high quality education system.At the World Conference on Education for All in 1990, scholars gathered to develop consensus on what factors should be associated with a high-quality and highly effective educational system. These factors range from the institutional organization of a country’s educational system, such as supportive policies and sufficient funding and material resources, to school-based factors like clear goals and highly effective teachers. The Cuban government independently included several of these factors when creating their educational system, which helps account for their high achieving students.Multiple studies have illustrated the high correlation between a pupil’s test scores and his or her socioeconomic background. Cuba breaks out of that mold as one of the countries in which, despite students’ relatively low social standing, students generally perform very well and have higher test scores than their low income would predict. Moreover, Cuban students outperform those in other Latin American countries with similarly low levels of wealth and receive the same high quality education that only wealthy, upper-class students would receive in other Latin American countries. So what is so unique about the Cuban education system that creates such high-achieving students? The communist system of government that encourages high-quality teaching with well-defined goals to ensure that schools focus on student performance. One of the biggest takeaways from studying the Cuban education system is the positive impact that low income inequality can have on a country’s system of education. While poverty does exist in Cuba, even the very poor have access to food, shelter, healthcare and education. Additionally, by enforcing child labor laws, providing free healthcare to all and guaranteeing adult employment, Cuba works to ensure that low-income students are able to attend schools and do not have to work or go hungry. While a communist government affords few individual liberties, through large governmental oversight, the Cuban government assures that low-income students are given the same educational opportunities as higher income students. Additionally, Cuba’s system of measuring teacher performance helps assure that teachers continue to improve their craft with a reliable feedback and monitoring system. The United States largely keeps teachers accountable through monitoring student test scores, which results in educators focusing on teaching students content to pass exams more than developing critical thinking skills. In contrast, teachers in Cuba are presented with a portfolio of lessons and a video example of another teacher giving a lesson. This not only allows for greater collaboration among teachers, which would help all of the teachers improve, but would provide feedback for teachers with low pedagogical skill. Cuba is able to ensure such a high quality educational system because it requires families and teachers to conform to state-sponsored standards for students’ learning and has the unique governmental structure in place to guarantee conformity and control. One of the ways to achieve such collective interests, in which everyone is concerned with granting all students a high quality education, is that the state has to be much more of a guarantor of quality education for all. In other words, much like Cuba, the United States needs to take public responsibility for the success of its students. By tackling debilitating issues like poverty and income inequality, which both negatively impact a child’s educational attainment, and setting high standards for teachers through developing effective performance measures, the United States can move toward guaranteeing all students a high quality education.Julia Lawler is a senior majoring in history and social science education. Her column, “Get Schooled,” runs Fridays.