What have you been up to since the program?
While remaining closely attached to my foremost passion, teaching, I also began conducting a series of training workshops to spread what I learned in the US to other educators and students in Pakistan.
In addition, I was asked to join Islamabad ASCD Connected Community in the capacity of Director Editorial Board and am involved in a range of projects aimed at uplifting the standard of education in Pakistan. We held an immensely successful workshop on 'How to Blog' and our next venture is the Libraries for All Project where we aim to set up libraries in schools for underprivileged children.
I have also been conducting educational research and completed a research project to gauge the perceptions of peer-assessment among Pakistani high-school students in order to introduce this method as a viable method of assessment.
Writing is something I thoroughly enjoy and I've been writing on a range of platforms, including blogs and magazine articles. The focus of my writing is predominantly to raise awareness about the gaps within the current Pakistani education system and offer solutions for improvement both within the public and private sector.
I am trying to make a difference by addressing the issues within our education system by using a range of strategies and was nominated as ASCD Emerging Leader. I fervently hope that I can work collaboratively with other activists to ensure that our coming generations can benefit from an exceptional learning experience and make Pakistan shine in the global arena.
What was the most influential experience you had while in the U.S. with the Civic Initiative?
Although I thoroughly enjoyed every part of the experience ranging from the excursions, visiting the high schools, interacting with different people, the thing that had the most impact on me was the time we spent in class, where our beliefs about education were challenged. The inspirational personality of our teacher, Dr. Rebecca Woodland, and the way she presented concepts to us have left an indelible mark on the way I think about educational principles.
If you could spend another day in Amherst, how would you spend it?
I would choose to spend a day in Dr. Woodland's class to re-live the thrill of being on the mental roller-coaster she would take us on.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a person chosen to participate in this program?
While you're there treat everything as a learning opportunity. What one learns in classes is only a part of the learning experience. Every adventurous trip you take, every person you pass by, every new day is packed full of moments which will become cherished memories that you take back home with you.
What is next on your To Do List?
In a nutshell, I want to work on raising the literacy level of Pakistan whereby every child has access to an excellent educational experience. To achieve this there are a number of projects in the pipeline at various stages of planning and implementation. As I mentioned earlier, the library project is up next, interspersed with conducting more training workshops. I also want to set up an educational TV channel that will make education accessible in all areas of Pakistan and will cater to a range of ages, abilities and interests.