I belong to the northern part of Pakistan called Sonikot,
Gilgit-Baltistan. I started my career as a teacher in 1992 from DJ Girls
Middle school Sonikot which is run by the Aga Khan Education Service,
Pakistan (AKES,P). When I was in intermediate there was a scarcity of
educated females and female teachers in my area. Girls rarely completed
their intermediate studies in those days. I was fortunate to have the
opportunity to study away from home and lived in a hostel. My whole
paternal family was against my studying and there was tremendous
pressure on my parents not to allow me to continue studying. Luckily, my
parents were enlightened and supported my progressing in education.
Discovering a beacon of hope!
I started teaching and worked with AKES,P for ten years. Being a
committed teacher who wants to make a difference, I then decided to join
the public education sector as a teacher in the FG Girls Middle School,
Sonikot Gilgit-Baltistan. During this time I continued my studies, even
after getting married. Completing the bachelor’s and master’s degrees
in teacher education from Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad in
2005, I have been offering my services as teacher educator for Allama
Iqbal Open University.
Several of my friends in Gilgit-Baltistan studied in the MEd programme
at AKU-IED. I observed the positive changes in their teaching practice
and how they were working with other teachers to develop their capacity.
I also worked as a trainee briefly for a diploma programme at the Professional Development Centre, North,
where I also had the opportunity to develop my research skills through
practical action research studies that I conducted in real classroom
situations. This inspired me to join the MEd programme for an in-depth
understanding of teaching learning processes and enhancing my
professional knowledge and skills.
Student experience like no other!
Studying at AKU-IED was not an easy task. The programme was rigorous
and the faculty had high expectations from us to learn not only from the
curriculum but also from the practices and new developments in teacher
education around the globe. They also encouraged students to take part
in extra-curricular and student activities to relax.
During my two years at the institute, I was always amazed at support provided to students. Being a mother of five
children including a nursing baby, joining the MEd programme was both a
great and yet challenging experience. However, the moral and physical
support I received from everyone at AKU-IED was unimaginable which
helped me to cope with the demands and expectations of the programme. I
was supported for taking care of my children while I studied by
facilitating in finding a suitable residence and allowing my children to
visit during the day.
Having no prior experience of using information and communications
(ICT) technology was another challenge. Along with other students, I was
supported through a programme to learn ICT skills in a facilitating
environment. AKU-IED also facilitated the development my professional
skills, particularly in case of making presentations. I can now
confidently face large audiences without any hesitation.
All the support helped me not only to cope with the pressure of a
demanding programme but it also encouraged me to work harder and focus
on my studies.
Transformation as a professional educator
I feel that the MEd programme eqipped me with skills to perform my
teaching duties better than before! I am now teaching ADE classes at
Government College of Education for Women, Gilgit-Baltistan as an
instructor. I am more confident to work with my students, colleagues and
teachers in building their knowledge base, skills by sharing my
experiences and learning at AKU-IED.
Joining the MEd programme was a good decision for me. I have gained
tremendous knowledge, skills and positive attitude which has enhanced my
abilities as a teacher and teacher educator. I have also come to
realise that teaching is a lifelong process. There may be difficulties
on the way however where there is a will, there is way!