KARACHI: There is a need to radically reform the education sector and start from ground zero since due to the lack of leadership in the sector there is little gain, but mostly losses, said academic Prof Takbir Ali on Wednesday.
He was speaking at the launching of a book titled Educational leadership policies and practices: Voices from the developing countries at a ceremony organised by the AKU-IED. The book is co-edited by education experts: Dr Jan-e-Alam Khaki, Dr Gulab Khan, Dr Mola Dad Shafa and Dr Sadruddin Qutoshi; and features contributions from noted scholars hailing from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Central Asia, all of which either are faculty members, former faculty or alumni of the AKU.
Dr Takbir, who has written one of the chapters of the book, said that writing a book and making a point was a painful process, which was why the team deserved appreciation.
Talking about lack of leadership in the education sector, he asked to see if the current educational supervision and structure was benefitting the education system, and said there was a huge gap between performance of students and education sector.
Book stressing educational reforms through leadership launched
About how the educational leadership actually works, Dr Jan-e-Alam Khaki, the chief editor of the book, recalled, “A woman in a village started teaching girls in her home in the guise of giving religious education. After a few years, it was proposed to set up a primary school there and when the people asked from where would they get the teachers, they were told that the same girls had passed their matriculation and could teach, and a school was set up there.”
IBA-Sukkur faculty member Dr Dhani Bux who joined the event online said that he was privileged to contribute in the book as he wrote a chapter.
Neelofer Ahmed, a human rights PhD student in Canada, who was also present virtually, said that her chapter in the book mainly discussed about how to support students affected by war zones and conflicts.
Mola Dad Shafa who joined the ceremony via Zoom opined that accomplishing an academic milestone was not an easy task and co-editing the book was a rewarding experience which reunited him with his commitment.
Aga Khan Education Service Head of Education Aien Shah who attended the event online argued that research must also be done only on practitioners and their ways without following any theory and documentations, since the teachers might not be aware of the terminologies, but practicing it.
Prof Dr M. Memon, who is the founding faculty member of the AKU-IED and was the chief guest of the ceremony, congratulated the editors of the book and said that it was a time consuming job.
Addressing the audience, he lamented: “I have spent 22 years in public and private sectors each, but I suspect if we have any leadership in the education sector.”
AKU-IED Dr Farid Panjwani in his concluding remarks said that it was the fruit of the seed which was sown by Mr Memon 20-25 years back. He said that today all the administrators, supervisors and managers had become leaders when in reality leaders were made post-facto. He said the sanctity of the word ‘leader’ had to be recaptured as it had become a buzzword.
In the end, the book was launched by Mr Memon and one of the copies was also gifted to an institute’s student through lucky draw.
Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2023