Oxford University Press (OUP) announced the names of the national winners of its 4th Oxford Big Read competition – a highly successful reading programme launched by OUP in 2015 in schools across Pakistan.The idea behind this unique project is to introduce school children 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 fourth year, the reading contest, aimed at primary and secondary school students, received an overwhelming response in the form of around 4400 entries. 107 schools from 28 different cities of Pakistan participated in the competition. The entries were received from three different levels: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. 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, Hamza Khayyam Khan of Generation’s School was the national winner; at Level 2, the national winner was Ayesha Fatima of Bahria Foundation College and the national winner at Level 3 was Hassan Adil of Siddique Public SchoolAt Level 1, Hamza Khayyam Khan of Generation’s School, Karachi, is the national winner; at Level 2, the national winner is Ayesha Fatima of Bahria Foundation College, Chakwal; and the national winner at Level 3 is Hassan Adil of Siddique Public School, Rawalpindi. The 1st runner-up of Level 1 is Adyan Butt of Jadeed Dastagir Ideal High School, Gujranwala; at Level 2 is Zainab Moazzam of Army Public School for Girls (Azam Garrison), Lahore; and at Level 3 is Rabia Khalid Lakhani of Generation’s School, Karachi.The 2nd runners-up are: at Level 1, Spogmay Khan of Winnington School, Khewra; at Level 2, Syed Arham Ali Bukhari of Generation’s School, Karachi; and at Level 3, Eliana Serene of St. Joseph’s Convent School, Karachi. The national winners of each level will be awarded a certificate and a gift voucher worth Rs 25,000 by OUP, a smartphone sponsored by Bank Alfalah, and a gift hamper sponsored by Millac Foods. The 1st runners-up of each level will be awarded a certificate and a gift voucher worth Rs 15,000 by OUP, a tablet sponsored by Z Group of Companies, and gift hamper sponsored by Millac Foods. The 2nd runners-up of each level will be awarded a certificate and a gift voucher worth Rs 10,000 by OUP and a gift hamper sponsored by Millac Foods.The book reviews of the three national winners will now be entered in the Oxford Big Read Asia competition in which it will be evaluated by a panel of international jury. Published in Daily Times, March 19th 2019.