Document Type

Conference Paper

Book Title or Conference Proceedings Title

Impact: Making a difference

Department

Professional Development Centre, Karachi

Abstract

I started my career as a primary school teacher working for the Aga Khan Education Service in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. I was one of AKU-IED’s first-cohort Professional Development Teachers (PDTs), and was the only course participant from the Northern Areas of Pakistan in the first MEd course. Having completed the MEd degree from AKU-IED, I went back to my parent institution and was assigned the management of 30 schools. My post-MEd work, which reflects an integrated approach to school development, ranges from conducting professional development programmes for teachers and head teachers, increasing students’ voice in school improvement-related decisions, revitalising school management committees, establishing resource centres, to increasing parents’ (especially of mothers’) involvement in school life. The saga of my work as a PDT portrays both successes and frustrations, and has interesting implications for those who may work under similar social, political and geographic conditions in the Northern Areas, or elsewhere in the country. My work as a change facilitator for Aga Khan Education Service, the government and the English-medium schools in the Northern Areas was researched and a documentary called ‘A New Beginning’ was produced by an AKU-IED research assistant (Saeeda Nathu). This documentary presents interesting insights on multigrade teaching issues, community involvement in schools, orientation programmes to the school management committees, and the students’ representative councils in schools. I believe that sharing the significant episodes of this documentary, of 25 minutes, highlighting the achievements and challenges, and showing the school improvement work done in the rural, mountainous Northern Areas might be interesting and professionally helpful for other PDTs facilitating changes in schools. Thus, I intend to present a paper (with the video) describing both my successes and challenges as a PDT in enacting school improvement in the Northern Areas of Pakistan.

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