British Pakistani girl credits mother for instilling ‘deep passion’ for learning

Mahnoor Cheema, 17, from Slough, with an IQ as high as Einstein’s, is currently undertaking 28 A-levels

Mahnoor Cheema (Photo:X)

Pramod Thomas

A British Pakistani girl, studying for 28 A-levels, has credited her mother with instilling in her a ‘deep passion’ for learning and books.

Mahnoor Cheema, 17, from Slough, with an IQ as high as Einstein’s, is currently undertaking 28 A-levels after completing 34 GCSEs.

She is studying four A-levels at the sixth form at Henrietta Barnett School in London and then completes her extra studies at home with her mother Tayyaba.

The teenager paid tribute to her mother for engaging her in various “intellectually stimulating” activities during her childhood, such as arithmetic, chess and classical music. She described her mother as a role model and a source of inspiration.

“My study co-partner is my mum and her policy has always been that we take one subject at a time and we tackle that in however long it takes, then we move on to the next one,” Mahnoor, who moved back to the UK from Pakistan when she was nine, was quoted as saying by the BBC.

According to reports, amid her academic pursuits, Mahnoor finds time for extracurricular activities, maintaining a balanced lifestyle that incudes swimming, horse-riding, and social engagements with friends.

She added, “My parents have always made sure I’m not so academically focused that that I forget to have a social life and extra curriculars. So I play the piano, I do chess, I do swimming, I go out with my friends.

“I just didn’t want to narrow down my choices, and I think if I had done four A-levels I would have been very dissatisfied with the academic challenge provided to me, so I just decided to go that extra mile.”

However, Mahnoor said she felt let down by the education system rather than empowered by it.

Her journey began with disappointment at her Church of England primary school, where she was denied the opportunity to advance academically despite demonstrating a thirst for knowledge far beyond her years, reported The Times.

Similar challenges persisted in her secondary education, with teachers at a grammar school expressing scepticism and discouraging her ambitious academic pursuits.

Mahnoor said state schools should recognise and support gifted students just as they do for those with special educational needs.

She suggested tailored approaches such as allowing gifted children to take extra GCSEs or providing opportunities to learn alongside older peers in classes that better suit their abilities.

Mahnoor, a member of Mensa, the largest and oldest high-IQ society in the world, wants to study at Oxford University or Imperial College.